Wednesday, December 17, 2014

I'm still here

I never meant for this blog to slowly fade away. I did intend to keep it up and to post all the lovely things I do and make.

However, life got in the way. More accurately, a small wonderful little person got in the way!

Turns out my son is not a 'sleeper'. He doesn't take long naps during the day. He doesn't like to play alone. He doesn't like for me to be busy in another room or working on something he can't touch. He wants me to play with him, to talk to him and interact with him. He is curious and loves to explore. This all means my grand plans to make things for him (and myself!) while on maternity leave have not really happened. Instead I've been playing games, going for walks and singing songs to my son. 

I've made very little but I'm trying to work on a little bit of something every day.

Slowly I made my son a cardigan. I mixed four different yarns together to get a dappled effect. 

I'm back at ceramics. This time at the wheel, not just hand building. After almost 300 hours at ceramics I'm starting to make nice things that turn out how I want them to.

This bowl is wood fired in a dragon kiln. The colour comes from the ash in the kiln. Its magical.

I also look for workshops to attend while my husband baby sits.

I've taken up tapestry weaving and I love it. Its so exciting to see a piece develop.

This is the third part of a triptych I made for my living room wall.

Rather than blogging, I'm posting images of my work on Pinterest as Ellen Blue Triangle.

I'm still on Ravelry as Mrs Teapot. I just began updating the last 2 years worth of work!

And still working on my own little design collection now on sale in Japan.

And the exciting thing: my son loves texture. Its fun to watch him exploring with his hands, fingernails, teeth and tongue and even feet. He gets into all sorts of fabric and yarn and materials. He loves highly textured watercolour paper and paper string and things that crunch or are fluffy or smooth.

Maybe a love of yarn and fabric is genetic...

Tuesday, April 22, 2014


My major creative project for the last 9 months has been growing a baby.

Hence the quiet blog and the resting.

My world is upside down in the best possible way.

Here are my 'feet' pictures from the first week of pregnancy until delivery. I took one picture per week for 40 weeks.

Growing a baby is an extraordinary thing.

Meeting the baby that has grown inside you is even more extraordinary.

I stare at his little face in wonder and awe.

How can it be that I'm his mother. What a privilege.

Friday, January 24, 2014

I'm still here

Its been a little quiet here for the past few months.

Resting has been a necessity rather than an option.

But 2014 promises new things and new making.

I have been making progress slowly on a few things. There has been some knitting, some dyeing and there will be some crochet to come.

I've been to a few museums recently. The Asian Civilisation Museum has some textile treasures.

This long timber piece with ornate mother of pearl ends is labelled as a 'warp beam winder'. Its from Cambodia and is early 20th century. As far as I can work out this is what the warp is wound onto and then it is placed at the back of loom under tension and as more warp is needed its wound out. More info on Cambodian silk weaving here and here. You can see a large beam like this at the back of some of the looms. And for interest, this site shows you how to make your own reed from bamboo if you want to.

These are embroidered collars from the Hmong culture, mid 20th century, from Northern Thailand. Clearer examples of the wonderful geometric embroidery here. The collars are worn at the back of the neck as part of a jacket.

This is a batik apron from the Miao of Yunnan in China, early 20th century. The central panel is batik while the sides are woven.

This looks like an apron but it is a baby-carrier from the Hmong of Chiang Mai. It dates from 2005 which is obvious when you notice the Doraemon fabric around the edges! The central panel is embroidered with a type of cross-stitch in geometric motifs.

These are waist ties from West Sumatra and were made in the late 19th and early 20th century. I would guess these are woven using a backstrap loom like this. The label says these are worn by men of Minangkabau and are symbolic of a male's ties to his nieces and nephews in a matrilineal culture.

This beautiful but hard to photograph piece is tapestry woven. Apparently tapestry weaving is rare in south-east asia. This piece is a skirt worn by Maranao royalty from Western Mindanao in the early 20th century. It is made of silk and because it has yellow it means it was worn by royal women because yellow is reserved for royalty in Moro communities and in Malay societies in south-east asia.

I'm currently reading this fabulous book on Prehistoric Textiles which is making me notice more about the textiles around me. Pre-historic people were weaving some very sophisticated fabrics and garments by 5000BC with patterns, multiple colours, fringing, beads and lace inserts. I hope one day to be as skilled as them with my weaving!