Tuesday, 24 July 2012


The University of the Third Age has started a branch in the Isle of Man. The first joint meeting is on Thursday where the ideas for new groups will be announced. I am starting a herb group where we will explore the many and varied uses of herbs, their history, herbs in Art and mythology.
I grow a large variety of herbs in my garden and use them as food, medicinal and dye plants as well as being an endless source of inspiration for my textile art.
Above is an image of a wallhanging that I made a few years ago using herbs as the source.
The image on the left is a block print of fennel, the centre one is Calendula and that on the right is chives. Tyvek paper was painted with acrylics and then ironed lightly to distress the surface. They were further embellished with hand and machine stitch.

Friday, 20 July 2012

Bokashi composting

Have been working in the garden today to clear a new area. I intend to dig a trench and fill it with compost from my Bokashi composter. This type of composter allows me to recycle meat and bones as well as green material. I am finished harvesting the redcurrants and am still picking blackcurrants. The raspberry and strawberry crop is enormous as I allow the plants to spread by themselves around the forest garden. I have made some redcurrant jelly and am beginning to make raspberry conserve. It is very easy to make the conserve; I put equal weights of berry and preserving sugar in a bowl and leave this in the fridge for 24 hours. This mix is boiled for 5 minutes the next day and returned to the fridge when cooled, for another day. It only takes a few minutes after this to bring the raspberry mix to setting point. Above is a picture of a frog in my greenhouse. There are very many of them in the garden , all different sizes and colours.

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Forest garden produce

I have a forest garden which produces large quantities of food. At present I am picking berried fruit; we are eating them fresh at the moment but also freezing plenty to have with my yogurt for breakfast during the rest of the year.The fruits I am harvesting at now are; raspberries, strawberries, blackcurrants, redcurrants, salmonberries and jostaberries. We had a barbecue today and one of my herb salads. I use many different ingredients in the salads. Today I had lettuce, fennel, calendula petals, meadowcranesbill petals, yellow archangel leaves and Munchen Bier radish pods.

Amulets and Talismans

I have a shared exhibition running at the Hodgson Loom Gallery, Laxey until 11th August. The theme is Amulets and Talismans and their historical backgrounds. The pieces are worked in a variety of media.
Below left, is an image of the Eye of Horus produced using photo transfer and chain stitch. The right hand
photo is part of a larger work depicting herbs that were thought to protect against the plague. I painted the flowers and transferred them onto silk paper incorporating plant dyed fibres using Ario transfer paper and embellished with machine stitch.

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Shaman's coat

Shaman's coat
I made this Shaman's coat for a competition at the Hodgson Loom Gallery in Laxey where I won the 3D category, The coat is made from a hand felted fleece , dyed using Iris root. It is made in four panels each one representing a different era of cave art. The images were hand stitched on a machine stitched background using mohair thread.