Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Electric Forest

Bedgebury Pinetum lured me back again this week for the truly magical Electric Forest. A light and sound installation throughout the pinetum. We made our way round the pine scented trail in the moonlight from one pool of light to another.

Underfoot the soft pine needles made a gentle carpet as we discovered fairy groves and pixie glades and magical floating trees.

We encountered strange echoey sounds and then made our own as the trees shimmered, shone and sparkled to our whispers and whistles.

I loved that outsidey excitement you only get a few times a year on bonfire night and the magical splendor of the colourful lit landscape. Such landscapes have always cast a spell over me, from the little fairy light attraction that used to light up a grassy bank in Southend (does anyone else remember tht, I I loved it!) to the gaudy ravines of Shanklin Chine. However, this was a very different experience and really beautiful, and really well planned with fire pits half way round for warm cups of cocoa and marshmallow toasting and a candlelit cafe at the end. The Electric Forest is at Bedgebury until 7th November before moving to Thetford.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Tweets and woofs

Spent today making brooches for the forthcoming Handmade in Tooting exhibition. Sewing the owls' sleepy eyes makes me feel very calm.

Looking forward to sewing the cats whiskers, they are very dandy!

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Chestnut Sunday

Traditionally, Chestnut Sunday is the second Sunday in May, when people celebrate the flowering of the chestnut blossoms. For me, it is those crispy autumnal Sunday afternoons, coming home with handfuls of shiny conkers to admire and pockets of spiky sweet chestnuts to roast. These sweet chestnuts were from our walk around Bedgebury Forest. The adjoining Pinetum is beautiful and I'm looking forward to returning to see the Electric Forest.

Halloween brooches

I'm making more of these brooches again. I'm not keen on fancy dress but I like to wear one of these as a subtle way of celebrating Halloween. As well as putting a few on sale I'll be giving a few away to the trick or treaters along with the chocolate eyeballs! The fabric is from the US, I really like the little cats with their masks.

Friday, 22 October 2010

An apple a day...

Saw these cheeky chaps in one of the local charity shops today. I really liked them in all their appleley weirdness. They were made in China 2006, but what for? Are they souvenirs from an Appleworld experience out there somewhere? I love all the apple permutations, toffee, sauce, peeled and cider looking a bit sick from too many apples! I wonder if there is also an apple pie chap to complete the set. I didn't buy them as I'm having to come to terms with a home that is already full to the brim, but looking at this photo now I'm fighting the urge to nip out again to the charity shop. I hope someone buys the set and gives them a fitting place in their home.

Monday, 18 October 2010


Orange peel mushrooms, originally uploaded by Fabric Nation.

We spent a lovely day out in the woods and with the help of a local fungi expert, picked an exotic collection of edible mushrooms, including these beautiful orange peel fungi.

We didn't pick this one.

And this one had an unpleasantly lingering spicy after taste...

They had wonderful names, like this one, called Elf Saddle...

And we found all of these...

Which we cooked up into a delicious forest picnic.

We added some garlic and thyme, but the best flavour was knowing we had picked them all ourselves (after our fungi expert double checked we hadn't snuck anything deadly into our baskets). A perfect autumn picnic.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

I'm having an exhibition!

I'll be teaming up with local illustrator Caragh, for an exhibition in Sprout, our new community art space from Tuesday 9th November to Saturday 27th November.

We will be filling Sprout with all things handmade, from Cara's hand painted ceramics, original artwork and prints to Fabric Nation's bags, brooches, purses, cushions and other vintage textile treasures.

We have an exciting programme of ceramic and textile workshops for all ages throughout November. No previous experience is needed and all materials and tuition is provided. Full details are listed on the Tooting Artists website. Please contact us for more information or to reserve a place.

Look forward to seeing you. xx

Friday, 15 October 2010

Brooch making workshop

Brooch making workshop, originally uploaded by Fabric Nation.

Some of the lovely brooches made during my brooch making workshop during Wandsworth Artists Open House.