Solva Mill - lining our non-existent nest.

Recently Jack and I went on a holiday with his family - to Wales. Pembrokeshire more specifically. And when we came back we had the most amazing souvenir in the boot. A Welsh Tapestry rug. Good. photo P7292975_zpsf8fb9c38.jpgJack will be a teacher next year and so will have a STEADY INCOME (shitabrick) and I think this is a major factor in what happened. What happened? Well . . . we went to Solva Mill and were looking at the rugs and were playing at choosing which one we liked best when Jack just got his wallet out and bought it. It wasn't even the smallest cheapest one. I loitered nearby, all casual like, pretending we always buy high quality stuff from new. It was dead good.  photo P7292974_zps3fa36f19.jpgSo now it's at my house and when we move in together it will take pride of place in our nest. Until then I'm refusing to put it on the floor in case it should get spoiled before time. photo P7112654_zpsdbb6ea5b.jpgSolva Mill is amazing: you're allowed into the weaving shed to look at all the machinery: a weaver was even kind enough to set one going for me. I love all the old machines, as you well know and had to seriously talk myself down from giving it all up to go and learn weaving. photo P7112634_zps90567462.jpg  photo P7112635_zps903b24c5.jpg
There's our rugs siblings - stashed in a suitably idyllic basket. Perfect. A very satisfying little trip, I'd thoroughly recommend it.

(p.s Solva Mill also has a very fine Facebook page with plenty of weaving and pictures of cats, Like it)

Sheep and wool . . .

. . . and Billy Ringhorn.
 I went to Lambeth Country Fair again this year and it was so good! And, as before, Billy Ringhorn was my favourite. I love his show and I don't mind who knows it.
He comes to Lambeth on his way to Scotland where he ends his sheering year. He starts his sheering year in Australia in the spring, then to New Zealand, then works his way around the globe. Proper. And he get's paid £1 for every sheep he shears. One pound! Can you believe it? Someone had better invent a sheep sheering machine sharpish because that £1 gig won't last much longer.
 photo P7202856_zps7b9cdcf2.jpgHis presentation is old fashioned and nice - just a talk and a demo, but it's so pleasing to see a hoard of London folk captivated by someone sheering a sheep. Also the presentation is a bit rubbish in that he presumes you know lots of things, he'll say something really technical and sheep/woolly that you don't understand one bit and then say - 'so that explains that'. It all adds to the charm. photo P7202840_zpsca92a044.jpg  photo P7202837_zps76696808.jpg  photo P7202852_zpsbc29f4a9.jpg
See you next year Billy!

The Passing of Time

Dear Friends,
Here is a blog post I promised myself I would never write: the one where I write that I'm not really sure what to write about recently, the wishy-washy, boring, shitty, 'Woops, I didn't do no blog' one. . . I hope you like it!
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This is me-planting an oak tree that had got to be in the wrong place, that's a little bit idyllic actually.
What is my gripe? Well. I am trying to get shit going, but sometimes shit just goes nowhere! And I'm not sure what is interesting, let alone what to tell you guys about! Also, I keep forgetting to take my camera places. And a lot of the things I do aren't very idyllic or heroic at all anyway. And sometimes I want to show you things and then I don't do it straight away, so they go on the to-do list which makes the prospect of them instantly boring . . . so I don't do them, because that is how I roll! Sigh.
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Don't worry, I'm keeping my strength up.
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This is a deep, deep visual metaphor.
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And this is Rosalie relaxing.
Let's see where things go from here then eh?

Japanese woodblock printing

At the print studio the other day Wuon Gean and I looked through all her printing equipment together. All the pieces are beautiful and simple, carefully considered, functional and wonderfully worn.
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The gentle curve of this brush
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The transparency of the construction.
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Wuon Gean's handwriting on the brushes (the thinnest one is my favourite)
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Vibrant inks looking like lacquer.
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Sharpening stones with their wounds.
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A handsome water brush.
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Perfectly stained plastic palette.
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The Baren - for rubbing the image from the block to paper.
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And the most beautiful selection of printing colours.
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Or maybe this is the most beautiful selection, I can't choose.
There you go. It makes me feel quite calm to look at it all. I love that Japanese woodblock printing doesn't require lots of equipment, that you could take everything with you in a box. Unfortunately Wuon Gean isn't teaching it for the rest of this year but I think I will sign up for the next course (I'll let you know when it's on too).