“Shouting quietly”

I know I’m not alone in finding self promotion difficult to practise, despite understanding how important it is. That’s why I’ve just crowdfunded Pete Mosley’s forthcoming book "The Art Of Shouting Quietly", subtitled "a guide to self-promotion for introverts and other quiet souls". If you’re one who feels reticent about mentioning your achievements and sharing your successes, this might be a good book to take a look at.

Promotion is rather easier when someone else does it for you, and I’ve been delighted and a bit overwhelmed this month to be featured in an art quilt magazine, Patchwork Professional. The magazine showcases a number of well-known textile artists producing beautiful work and I feel honoured to be included.

Patchwork Professional cover

The magazine is German and I only have a Google-translated idea of what the article says, but it looks lovely, with lots of images.

magazine pages

It’s a celebration of my work and the Isle of Tiree where I live, drawn from what I’ve posted here on the blog, and crafted into a coherent story by the editor of Patchwork Professional, Dorothee Crane. My thanks to Dorothee and her team for getting 2015 off to such an exciting start for me!

finding my way back

This blog sorely needs an overhaul – when I look at it and see how much there is to update, I quail. I could start by posting something, a few bits and pieces to get started again. Just do it, or whatever it is they say.

Soooo…. I’ve been printing a bit on fabric, just playing around with techniques, trying out different blocks and having fun. The Tiree Tapestry Group (which is astonishingly almost a year old) is holding a simple printing workshop next weekend in the cattle market, and it’s in preparation for that. Who knew that the calyx of a tomato would print a starfish?

printing on fabric

printing on fabric

What else? I’ve been enjoying reading about this collaboration/exchange between Jane McKeating and Jilly Morris; it’s a fascinating insight into their processes, ideas and self-awareness.

And I’ve been thinking a lot – about how to carve out time for making, about continuing to learn, being committed. Reflecting. Seeking balance.

beach reflections

since June…

I needed a blogging break after finishing my course but it grew rather longer than I intended. If anyone is still here reading, this is what I’ve been doing since then.

In July, I was given a couple of Tiree fleeces, a Jacob and a Suffolk, by a very kind crofter friend, and spent some time learning how to turn this

fibres

into this,

fibres

and then to this.

yarn

August brought visitors and walks by the sea.

birds

In September, we sadly said goodbye to Tansy, our darling companion of almost 17 years – this photo was taken in the spring. She loved to run on the beach and the machair right up to the week she died. I miss her so much.

Tibetan spaniel

In October I collected blues, yellows and greens together and made some little pieces of felt for the International Day of Felt. But I didn’t get myself organised in time to get other people involved as well – I will next year, I hope, when the colours will be Red-Purple-Blue.

felt

While all my flat surfaces were filled up with blues and yellows and greens…

fibre and fabric

I spun some of it too.

handspun yarn

In fact, I’ve been spinning a lot in the last few months. I’ve woven scarves with some of these yarns now, but the basket keeps filling up again.

handspun yarns

I think my birthday visit to the mainland deserves a post of its own, for another day. I don’t quite know how this blog will evolve without the focus of the OCA course. Mostly textiles still, of course, but maybe a bit more of life as well. I’ve tried keeping a separate blog for ‘other stuff’ but since it’s a challenge to keep one blog alive, let alone two, a more eclectic mix may be the way to go from now on.

textile tv

Thanks to Joanna at Things [Handmade], I just learned about a very exciting new TV series, Talking Threads, which is going out on Sky and on the online TV channel countrychannel.tv, and will be made into a DVD as well. The series starts in mid-October – may it be the first of many.

I’d not come across the Country Channel before but it has some other goodies too, including a short feature on Farfield Mill in Cumbria and a 3-part series called Inspirations – interviews with different textile artists about their inspiration and process.

The other thing that caught my eye this week was the new Galleries feature on Flickr. You can collect up to 18 images by Flickr users "around a theme, an idea or just because". So I’ve made a small celebration of the washing line.

Flickr galleryon the line

tagged

Penny over at Fibrefrolics has tagged me with this – the rules are to answer the questions, replacing one and adding another and then to tag 8 other bloggers to do the same. I’m feeling a bit shy about tagging anyone, but it was fun to do, so if you would like to join in, please consider yourself tagged forthwith!

What are your current obsessions? feltmaking, dyeing, breakfast

What are you currently reading? Shibori by Yoshiko Wada, Life without Bread by Allan and Lutz, Sword at Sunset by Rosemary Sutcliff

What’s for dinner? goulash with soured cream, salad, cauliflower gratin

Where do you plan to travel to next? Edinburgh, for my nephew’s wedding, then Cockermouth for the Woolfest

What is your favourite film ever? Some Kind of Wonderful

Care to share some wisdom? motivation follows action (I wish I know who said that, it’s so true)

Where would you rather be right now? there’s nowhere I’d rather be than here, on Tiree

If you could be an animal other than a human, what would it be? a dolphin

What is your favourite flower? columbine, though to choose just one sorely challenges my decision-making capacity

Favourite textile artist? no, one is just not possible – Jane McKeating, Heike Doll, Jae Maries, India Flint, ……

What’s your favourite word? (my addition) spindrift