Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Another New Year Resolution gone down the Swanee!

Well, I was determined to keep up-to-date with the blog in 2012 but life has a way of throwing curve balls....

My studio was in a building called Duchy Square Centre for Creative Arts. Sadly, the operators of the building have gone into voluntary liquidation so I am currently working from home, and am blessed that my good friend Nick Viney has at last got planning permission to convert her stable block into a teaching space, so by the end of May, courses should be back on the agenda.
My house is not quite big enough to contain all the stuff that was in it before the studio equipment moved back, so we are living in a permanent obstacle course...

Had a fabulous trip to Australia and New Zealand to visit various family members. I had the great fun of meeting up with Anne Field and attending a Christchurch Spinners' meeting, plus all the family stuff, though getting an email from the liquidators telling me to render them an account of money I might be owed, during our first week away wasn't the best way to begin a holiday. Wish I hadn't taken the laptop!

I am overwhelmed with new design ideas, some of which may appear on the blog during the next few months, relating to landscape and fauna. I had an encounter with a deadly poisonous spider, a funnel-web, and a non-venomous but still scary python. Spiders don't bother me in the slightest, even poisonous ones but snakes are vile! For me, it is 8 legs good, no legs bad.
I was privileged to meet a tuatara, a prehistoric lizard-like creature that takes 90 years (they think) to become old enough to breed and may live for 200 years. The one we saw was a mere 25, so a baby.

Back home, having sorted out all the post-liquidation crisis and having had a trip to The Netherlands to teach silk spinning and Whacky Fibres, I came home to find some truly black bananas. As no-one wished to eat them, I decided to make an indigo vat using Michel Garcia's banana recipe (you can substitute other sweet fruits if you prefer to make banana cake!) and to my surprise and delight, it worked! And the conservatory smells delicious. Pix to follow.

Time, too, to inspect the oak for leaf development. I have cocoons in the fridge and they will need to come out fairly soon as we get back on the silk rearing conveyor belt again. Time to plant the Japanese indigo, check the woad, inspect the weld....then it will be shearing again and why haven't I finished last year's fleeces yet? Life is never dull!

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