Monday 27 February 2012

ohio 2012

i took these pictures in Ohio back in 2009

where i had the joy of attending one of Dorothy Caldwell's
"work in progress" classes
i had applied to attend because i wanted to be an anonymous student
in a class that would have a diversity of other textile practitioners in it

the plan was that we would study a text ['Bird by Bird' - Anne Lamott]
and that people would share their approaches to working with cloth
we talked about writing artist statements,
described how we would begin a studio day
stitched and sewed
i met some lovely folks

one of whom, Christine Mauersberger
has put together a brilliant program for me in Cleveland, Ohio
for October this year.
i'm thrilled to bits to be able to offer three classes

the timing also allows me to attend the IAPMA papermakers conference
and because i have some days off between sessions
i am also looking forward to exploring Cleveland on foot
wandering hopefully
but not

if you'd like to get in touch with Christine for more details, please drop her a comment at her blog
email her

Sunday 26 February 2012

some tidbits to share

i opened my recent copy of Textile Fibre Forum
and found something that looked familiar

the flyer for the Beautiful Silks Natural Dye Symposium
has an image of my work as background.

which was a bit of a surprise

but i reminds me to remind my readers of this splendid opportunity
to participate in workshops that all have natural dyeing as their common thread

i've signed up for a couple of classes including Velma Bolyard's shifu books
and Trace Willans' all natural mixed media workshop


while we're on the subject of workshops, my friend Pam de Groot
is keen to wander Europe
teaching her own brand of magic


and in case you hadn't noticed in the sidebar, a lovely place to investigate [and follow bountiful trails through the virtual forest] Robyn Gordon's blog


also in the sidebar, helpful reading for those who want a guide to buying fabric


last but not least
an image of a delectable patchwork piece i was shown by a friend recently

Wednesday 22 February 2012

thank you

heartfelt thanks to those of you who took the time to respond to the previous post, your contributions have been most helpful. am delighted to say that many of them simply reassured me that i was on a good path [for the new book] and as for your suggestions - there were a couple of things i hadn't thought of and i'll be taking them aboard

meanwhile my lovely friend Jenni Worth not only survived having the riverstitch retreat in her home but also had the energy to put together a few visuals, kindly offering pix and words for what will be the first guest post on these pages!

so the words below are by Jenni Worth [some of them giving me rather pink cheeks], pix by Jenni, Louise Milne and Jenni's friend Maria [whose surname escapes me but who has the most delightful bear/dog I have met in a long time].

not a needle & thread to be seen
needless to say these were but fleeting moments during India's
recent riverstitch workshop in Goolwa SA
& yes...  more divine pics of 'what India likes to do with her hands'
this time they're playing in the woad bucket 
the woad leaves were lovingly harvested, frozen & presented to 
India during her recent workshop in Goolwa by Louise

  dividing the precious silk thread for us all

day 1    we were treated to Miss Violette demonstrating her 
beautiful 'lace'

on the 2nd night India gave a public talk at the 
local Goolwa Library/council chambers  
 tickets were sold out 
& 80 people were treated to her  'show-and-tell' 

   prior to the talk south seas bookshop from nearby Port Elliot 
devoted a window to promoting India's books  they also sold 
tickets & were present on the night successfully selling many 
signed copies of both 'eco colour' & 'second skin' 
on the [auspicious] 4th night  blessings as we left our fun 
group dinner at the flying fish restaurant  Port Elliot*
thanks Fiona for the delicious chocolate cake with sweet 
marzipan bumblebees 

the workshop was wonderful      
India graciously giving & the small extremely enthusiastic 
group receiving much
lots of talking laughing coffee chocolate & delicious lunches  
India's gumbo is to dye for
and as happens so naturally around her a gentle frenzy of 
cutting stitching & the magic that the dyepots offer
people breaking into song often with reference to 'woad'  
on the woad again
the long & winding .........
& my favourite joke of the week    "what do gorillas drink at 
   "margeurillas"    thankyou Audrey

India has previously mentioned the lack
of response from South Australians
only 1 person at this workshop was from Adelaide  the rest 
came from Victoria, NSW, Queensland & Western Australia
there were over 30 enquiries in response to her initial 
announcement   from SA  as well as interstate & overseas
it's a mystery to me why they didn't all register but l join 
with the fortunate few who did and thank India for her 
generosity [editors note: aww. shucks.]

the beauty of a bundle above
unexpected results from the woad pot below

* editor's note...the blue photo with the dot is actually of the most amazing orange moon [like the Giant Pumpkin] that was rising over Horseshoe Bay as we were heading to our comfy beds

Friday 17 February 2012


i am pondering completing the trilogy
[which would give me something in common with Tolkien
beyond the writing on my wrist]
and because i think i have some things yet to say

while i have an abundance of ideas
sprouting as marks on pages
errant files lurking in the laptop
and drawings on envelopes

i would like to hear from you
especially those who have been kind enough to read my other offerings

what would you like to read about?

the comment box awaits your pearls...or if you wish please write to me via here
[thanking you in advance for taking the time and trouble and no hard feelings if you think i have written enough already - feel free to say so, i'm wearing my Big Girl Pants today ]

Thursday 16 February 2012

the Day of the Phoenix

today is a kind of birthday for me
29 years ago i emerged somewhat sooty but otherwise unharmed
along with a shell-shocked German Shepherd [the canine variety, not the other sort]
from the 1983 bushfires

and while i certainly don't need to find excuses to celebrate being alive
[nor am i fishing for any sympathy, believe me!]
i do subscribe to the German saying "Man muss die Feste feiern, wie sie fallen"
which more or less translates as
"you have to celebrate the festivals as they come"
or more plainly
"any excuse for a party"

so it was a lovely "birthday" present to find myself mentioned on Donna Watson's lovely blog

thank you.

in turn i will give a kind of present...

my erstwhile student and now friend Trace Willans has plans to travel to Europe in May/June. i had vaguely thought i might pootle over in July but as she's going first and is very keen to put together a teaching tour
i thought i'd mention it here

swing over to her blog [where she rightly labels herself as a Self-Reliant Artist]
to see what she does
and leave her a message in the comments to set things in motion

Wednesday 15 February 2012

riverstitch wrapped

we stitched and sewed

we dyed


we ate well
inhaled deeply of the fragrance of flowers

made a blot

marveled at the mysteries of woad

shared stories and
created shapes on bodies

for me it was a wonderful week
catching up with old friends who had journeyed far
and meeting new ones
in Jenni Worth's wonderful brewery 
filled with delicious textile treasures that
gladdened the eyes and inspired our work

Friday 3 February 2012

other nourishment

breakfast, as Maggie Smith's character famously said in the delicious film "Keeping Mum"
is the most important meal of the day.

and in the interest of improving my health and well-being, i've been making changes to mine. it's so good [both tastewise and in terms of how it makes me feel] that i thought i would share.

although as you see from the bowl above, i've already eaten it.

sometimes i have banana smoothies. most folks know how to put those together so i'll spare you the details

but my breakfast salad is something else entirely
and can be different every day

decide on the bowl. it's size will determine how much of this stuff you consume.

splodge a few spoonsful of unsweetened yoghurt into the bowl [here in South Australia we are blessed with Farmer's Union Greek Yoghurt. those with a cow or a sheep or a goat can make their own]

some nuts [this morning i had cashews, linseeds and sunflower kernels], a selection of chopped fresh vegetables and fruits [the bowl looks pink because today i grated beetroot, chopped tomatoes and fresh spinach and hacked up a tiny zucchini]

with whatever you like. i use Pacific sea salt, Tony Chachere's seasoning and a good splash of Crystal Sauce

and savour each delicious morsel

Thursday 2 February 2012


sometimes things can get a bit squiggly