Monday 25 October 2010

Mulberry Lodge

When we were looking for a house in the UK we realized that having enough outbuildings could be an issue. So one January sale time we saw a sort of 2 story log cabin special offer and bought it thinking it could become an emergency dyehouse!

In January we started chopping down the pine trees in the courtyard, they were HUGE,  frighteningly so, it was safest to remove them before there was a serious problem! It didn't take long to realize there was a perfect space for the log cabin - and it could have a special use of its own - for running workshops here!

So a few weeks ago with the aid of a friend John started building the cabin! It fills in a gap between the end of the house and the dyehouse, with space by the side to park the van, keeping the courtyard nice and tidy! (Wonder how long that will last?!) I even think I might put nice planters all round and grow some dye plants!

So here it is -  Mulberry Lodge -  all finished and awaiting water (hence the ditch), electricity is already installed and I have started moving in!

The plan is to run 2 workshops a year - one in May and one in October. What do you think? Will you come? We also hope to be able to get guest artists to come and run woerkshops for us too - but that takes time to sort out!

Saturday 9 October 2010

A lovely parcel

A few weeks ago we went over to the Haute Marne to visit some friends who live there. We set off really early in the morning and drove down via the N roads rather than the peages, the scenery was breathtaking and we really enjoyed the drive (just wish we could have had Vixy!!)

About 5 miles from where our friends lived we saw a Troubadour! I didn't know they still exist but sure enough he arrived in the village the next morning playing a tune and walking with his donkey and caravan. I have never seen such a well cared for and gleaming donkey (or caravan for that matter)  It was so timeless! (His name by the way is Olivier d'Icarie)

Sue and Pete moved over about 5 years ago and have bought a lake (with another friend) that they have spent much time and effort in making into a holiday destination - with an eco slant - take a look at their site to see what I mean! It's beautiful and tranquil, we went up there for a picnic lunch and could have stayed all day!

 Sue has been casting pewter for years and trades as Casts from the Past but she has now discovered something new to occupy her time - making glass beads. They are really beautiful - I had a go, but it's such a skilled thing to do and flames and me don't together either, scary burny stuff!!!
It occured to me that the beads would make fabulous stitch markers - really unique, so I asked if Sue would like to have a go at making some!  She said she's think about it and see how it went, I've heard nothing..............

But - just look what arrived in the post today -
 and there are lots more in all sorts of different colours and shades!

Friday 8 October 2010

Quick update

Tinsel has now been in touch and the Organic Merino will be winging its way to her home on Monday! Goody I'm glad that's worked out!

October already?

We went to the UK at the end of September and it very quickly became not just October, but into the month - where does time go? I can't keep up! At least we are now here until the 5th November!!! So much to do though, you wouldn't believe the number of walnuts we have - before we went away I had a big box full and gave some away to a neighbour, I have already filled the wheelbarrow since we got home and there are as many again still on the ground! We missed lots of the husks - well they have gone brown already and I wanted to try out the green husks. Have to see what I can still rescue!

So what's news? We did some filming for a new BBC programme last week, can't say much about it at the moment - but I was very ill (have the photos to prove it!) my compliments to the make up artists!

On the 5th October we were working at the Clothmakers Hall in London - running a workshop for the students who were finalists in the SDC/Clariant International Design Competition and CSI Colour Award 2010. They came from all parts of the globe - South Africa, Australia, Hong Kong, Pakistan, India, Singapore, Ireland even the UK! All were incredibly talented and it was a priviledge to teach them something new! I am hoping that they are going away inspired to work with natural dyes in their future careers, I know 2 at least were keen!
I have had no contact at all from Tinsel - the Autumn giveaway winner, we are thinking that if there has been no contact by the 15th of this month I will draw again - the wool is sitting on my table neatly wrapped and waiting to be posted out, it's crying out for a new home!!!

On the subject of new I have a fabulous new yarn, can't wait to show it to you - so watch this space!