Tuesday, 16 September 2014


I love and adore the work of Kate MccGwire. Ever since a friend and I went to see her exhibition at a gallery in Kings Cross a couple of years ago I have been haunted by her work. Using it constantly as a reference in my teaching and pondering upon it often the rest of the time.
So you can imagine the excitement when it was revealed she would be part of the Costal Currents art festival here at the sunny seaside.
The crypt of St Mary in the Castle is an amazing venue and did not disappoint.

Secrete. Mixed media with magpie feathers.

 Purge. Mixed media with pigeon feathers.

"These instillations appear animated yet still. The feathers which once enabled flight, have been repurposed: once a weightless bird, now a heavy, swollen mass.
There is something undeniably otherworldly and primal about the works bulging forms, which capture the movement of water, referring in part to the natural spring that feeds the front of St Mary in the Castle."
(words from exhibition display)

Hurrah for inspiring art work.
Love Nora xxx

Tuesday, 9 September 2014


Due to overwhelming popular demand I bring you the results of the recent experiments with Fairy Dyes.

We have had more than one date and a lot of mixing up and blending of colours has gone on.

In fact since these pictures were taken there have been more shades of yellow created.
The motifs are all for a project that started out being all in white and cream which I was then going to tea dip in to various neutral shades.
However muted tones from the stash started to creep their way in, when they were used up the dying started. Its a project to use up all the odds and sods so I don't want to spend money on it. Hence the adapting and changing what I already have.

It will I think still be predominantly in the whites and creams, but next up I am thinking of trying some dying with blackberries and possibly nettles.
There is still a lot of crochet to be done.
What, oh what are all those motifs for though? I hear you cry.
They are for what my Cousin rather scathingly termed a window cosy. 
It is a rather pleasing name and one that shall stick!
Love Nora xxx

Sunday, 7 September 2014


Todays post is a bit of a Hello, Thank You, Sorry.
It's a bit of an ambling story.
Its a bit of an information download.
First I must say a heart felt Thank You.
Thank you for sticking with me over my sketchy posting of late, thank you for all the wonderful comments you have all been leaving and thank you for all the encouragement you constantly give.
And now for a quick information download pop over to the Stitches blog to see a second article I have written on creating surfaces to embroider onto. This time its about distressing fabrics.

Right enough of this waffle Nora, get on with the amble.
Yesterday morning I took a wander on the beach.
The sea was becalmed and a slight sea mist muffled much of the sound.
Climbing on the groins was called for. 

Then a  refreshing paddle in the icy spicy sea.

Along the seafront to check out the beloved pier.

And the local youth having fun

Later after all jobs had been done I took the Ginger Son and his Ginger friend back to the beach where I was presented with a dragon egg.

They were off to get wet and muddy in the rock pools and I sat in the sun with a bit of light crochet.

Happy Days.
Sorry for not leaving comments on very many blogs of late. Having recently bought an ipad it apparently doesn't like me leaving comments. Every time one is written it just disappears. Very frustrating. But rest assured reading is continuing and when I am on this old and dilapidated computer of mine comments are made. I know how much your comments mean to me so it's a little upsetting to not be able to make them. If anyone has any advice....
Love Nora xxx

Thursday, 4 September 2014


At the end of last year I stumbled across these little packets of Fairy Dye in a local junk shop.

The label said they were from the 1930's, according to the lady in the shop they still work.
During a quite moment during the summer holidays the time came to put this to the test.
The Fairy Dyes days of hanging about on the shelf looking good and gathering dust were over.
Inside the little cardboard boxes lurked cork stoppered test tubes full of dye.
Could anything be more sublime?

There were comprehensive instructions, that to be honest were soon disregarded.

There is a project afoot, a collaboration between myself and the crochet hook.
Of this more shall be said at a later date.
But the project was floundering, it needed a serious injection of colour.
Hanks of yarn were wound off, tied and twisted then soaked in boiling water before being plunged in to a dye pot of Old Rose.

Sadly the Old Rose was a bit too perky for my liking.

So I added a splash or two of Daffodil to the pot which gave a delicious warn red orange.

I had fun variegating the yarns by dipping one end of the hank in to the pot for longer than the other and dribbling the darker dye from a teaspoon over the Old Rose.

Very happy with the results, especially the candy strip one.

Now the children are finally back to school you never know I may actually be back here more than once in an occasional while!
Love Nora xxx

Friday, 29 August 2014


Sometimes things surprise you.
Sometimes people surprise you.
Sometimes big, hairy, beardy, aggro folk punk musicians can also get their stitch on.

I took this picture of our beardy musical friend in the summer at a boro inspired quilting workshop I was running. 
I thought a granny, floral tablecloth silhouette was a fitting tribute.
He has also been known to knit.
Do pop over to check out what every one else has been up to this month.
Love Nora xx

Tuesday, 26 August 2014


This summer I am really excited to be a guest blogger over on the &Stitches blog
The very clever guys over there write about every thing embroidery, if you haven't checked out their site yet I would suggest you go and have a look.
I have written for them before, here.
This time round I am talking about one of my favourite things. 

Not only is it a wonderful, life enhancing, refreshing and comforting drink that brings friends together, builds bridges and heals a fraught mind, but it is also the best thing for instant ageing of your fabrics.
So go have a look at the tutorial and let me know what you think.
Love Nora xxx

Friday, 22 August 2014


Hello have you missed me? 
Do I need a note from my Mum?
I have got a good excuse, honest.

I have been chained to the workroom for weeks now. 

Little old me and not one but two glamourous assistants.
One frock, 3 people, two weeks on the braid and trim alone.

In between times we managed to squeeze in a little extra Victorian bodice too.

All for this show in London's wonderful West End.
We are all now officially done in.
One glamourous assistant has fled the country and the other is running away to Cardiff.
And me?
Well, tonight I am drinking some beer and then going to bed.
Then in the morning I am going to pay some attention to my sadly neglected urchins and my poor beleaguered Mother and her partner who have been holding the fort for the last week.
Well after I have had a cup of tea that is...
Have a wonderful weekend kids.
Love Nora xxx