Monthly Archives: January 2011

Bye January

This Saturday I start invigilating in Opera North’s Howard Assembly Room for Mariele Neudecker’s installation. Her work is inspired by Gustav Mahler’s  song cycle, Kindertotenlieder, (The Death of Children) which in turn was originally inspired by over 400  poems written by german poet Friedrich Rückert after his two children Ernst and Luise died of scarlett fever in 1833. The Poems were never intended for publication.


I am going to try and get some more illustration done.

Here’s one I did last week. I am majorly our of practice.



Today I started work on some fabric Valentine’s Day Cards which will feature embroidery on the front and a booklet of tracing paper pages inside for people to write on. Gross.


I will be finishing these off during invigilation at theartmarket this Wednesday as there is currently an exhibition of Ross Downes / Rory Macbeth’s work titled ‘DISPLAY COPY’

This Saturday a group of us will be venturing to Marsden for Imbolc Fire Festival!

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Filed under Textiles

Two Thousand and Heleven

So, 2011.

Things That Are Good:

Janet’s Foss and Malham cove – went on the 2nd of January and intend to go again so that I can walk along the crazy paving bit without it being really dark and death inducing, and swim in the pool near Janet’s Foss (That sounds disgusting.)

Bruce Parry is doing a series about the Arctic! And riding Reindeer! And generally being great!

Things That Are Bad:

It’s cold and boring and there’s nothing to do in January.

Or Is There?

Was very tempted to go to the Straw Bear festival in Peterborough on the weekend of the 14th January;

In Whittlesea, from when no one quite knows, it was the custom on the Tuesday following Plough Monday (the 1st Monday after Twelfth Night) to dress one of the confraternity of the plough in straw and call him a ‘Straw Bear’. A newspaper of 1882 reports that “… he was then taken around the town to entertain by his frantic and clumsy gestures the good folk who had on the previous day subscribed to the rustics, a spread of beer, tobacco and beef” – Whittlesea Straw Bear Festival Website

The bears have a good old dance through the town accompanied by accordions and your usual folk malarkey, before being set fire to on Sunday afternoon – lovely

Also, it has been under some debate for the last half a year as to whether it is logistically possible to get to Up Hella Aa in the Shetland Isles, because it looks, frankly, insane. It seems to involve a great deal of people dressing up as vikings and burning stuff, and having researched further on YouTube, apparently also dancing stormtroopers. (Have a look for your self.)

Visit the website

Plans for this year include Ghyll Scrambling, making a herb garden, learning how to build stuff like furniture (and possibly some scaffolding in the livingroom) going to La Rosa Campsite, rock climbing, going to padstow for May Day celebrations, and designing some really stupid birthday cakes. OH, and this year I Will have a good halloween costume.

I am also registering as self employed and getting cracking at being a designer maker. Yesterday I got paid for painting a gallery; Bosh!

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Filed under Folk Lore

Cat Commissions 2010

Happy New Year!

I was asked to make a few Christmas presents during 2010; cats, foxes and sausage dogs were in demand.

This is a cat my friend commissioned me to make for his girlfriend; I was just instructed to make a tabby cat and this is what I came up with



When asked where she thought it came from the reply was ‘Japan?’

I think he works quite well as a sofa cushion. I am planning to make a few more to sell on the net and at more craft stalls


Filed under Cats, Friends, Japan, Plush, Textiles