Thursday, March 11, 2010


Originally uploaded by AARON_400D
It has been a long and hard few years. All my work has been on stop for so long. I am happy to announce that my daughter is now through Hodgkins and I can at last be free to return to my loves and interests and continue work on this project at last.... slowly begin rev up the engines. lol.

I am looking forward to restarting all of this again... In some ways this period has been very good to come back and look at this with new eyes.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Perfumed garden...

Perfumed garden...
Originally uploaded by iamkhayyam
Everything has been on hold.

Due to family illness I was unable to even think let alone work on this project.

I am slowly returning to the light and looking forward to taking up the threads and working again on this.

Thanks to all for their patience.


Monday, June 23, 2008


It has been a while since I have posted although it doesn't mean I have abandoned the project. My life complex as it is often calls me in different directions and I must follow.

During the festival week I created some pot-pourri sashes with essences to see how it would work.. I made some small linen with pure silk linings .. filled them and stitched.. They smelt beautiful and It was a little experiment for the bigger work to come. Not necessarily using the same essences but the same ancient process. Hours later the essences had spilt into the linen making them unsaleable... a good lesson which has me thinking now.

I know how I shall approach this. The next problem is mathematical as I have to work out the height and width of the piece and work out the size of each embroidered botanic so that the piece will hold the 92 authentic botanicals that the physicians used in their healing.. I have figured out I will need to use 8 rows of 10 prob 2 rows of 11 to complete.. The spaces between each machine embroidery has to be calculated and I will use one of my experimental pieces as a guide to the size of the botanics. This will give me a projected overall size of the piece.

I knew this would take time... I am glad I have no time restrictions . I am enjoying the process and how the project is growing organically and naturally.

As far as the background blanketing I am still no nearer in making my decision.. Well a little nearer ... a light went on this evening but I shall see how that will sit.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

experimental piece

After a lot of glitches with the new machine and I am still not out of the woods yet... I have at last begun my experimental piece before launching into the main work.... I am still not 100% on the background colour or thread yet but my decisions are getting closer. I now realise that if I want any chance of getting on with this and cracking on I need to use a thread that will be reliable and consistent in the machine. I have already been breaking needles left right and centre so I really want reliability. The fiddly work and creative embroidery will come with the botanicals.

I knew that this would be slow. But it is moving forward and that is the main thing.

Monday, March 3, 2008

still searching

Originally uploaded by littlelakey
I've had quite a few glitches with the various ideas I have had..

I am still uncertain on exactly what type and what colours of thread I am going to use for the main blanketing of the large piece. One of the insights that I have mulled over now... is that I have some really beautiful specialist artisan dyed threads that takes measurable time to prepare ..... which I don't mind.. but would be best set aside for the floral and plant work. Plus the technique I would have to use on some of the samples would be too thick for what I have in mind.

I am coming round to the opinion that I need a reliable thread that will be problem free for the background colour and shading as there will be a lot of area to cover with the machine... the rare dyed threads from these specialist dyers can be applied for the with that in mind I am now going over all types of thread to come to a moment when zen happens...

Saturday, February 23, 2008

umbrellas and skeins

Skeins into Balls
Originally uploaded by abalonee
My equipment finally arrived late last week. I had been keeping my sample skeins ready for balling and was eager to begin.

The umbrella is slightly different from the one in this picture and rotates on a base for ease of lifting off onto the ball winder. At first because I had bought the ballwinder on ebay it came with no instructions. It had wool wound round but when I need to wind mine it somehow got lost ! After some emailing to the States and some helpful photos back from Travis it fell into place and I was off! The sample skeins are wound ready for the next stage which is the experimental piece...

I am preparing myself as I have to get into a mind set before I sit down... I like to be calm and focused and need peace and quiet so that all attention is on what I am doing. Still waiting from the dyers in North Wales for some samples ... but I have a possible great supplier in the US who have been very quick and helpful . I would like to incorporate them both for this project..

Thursday, January 17, 2008

collecting balm

I found a window space between all the rains that Wales has been inundated with this month and took the car up to the Gardens to meet up with Kristina to collect the raw material for which she had dried and stored for me at the Botanic Gardens.

My there was a goodly lot. I am so grateful.! Kristina during the course of last year when she was cutting back would pick up and dry and store in various places.

When I arrived and parked it took me a while to find her.. I went to reception, then up to the offices who tried to contact her on the walkie talkie ... it was then suggested that I go to the oust house? (not sure of the name) on the other side of the apothecary gardens. I walked through the dried river like beds and up around the garden behind the botanical cinema (which is amazing) and finally up into the house... I spoke to another gardener who again tried her on the walkie talkie and then suggested she might be upstairs in the offices... climbing up the narrow wooden stairway and under an eve and there she was.. it was great to see her again.

We talked away about news in the garden and the project as we were collecting ... then took them to my car and piled it up in the back of the terios. Decided to go for a hot drink at the cafeteria and chatted away some more .

I Climbed back into the car as twilight was beginning to change the light... enjoyed a different and much easier route home (thanks to Kristina) and the balm has been in my car drying out even more....

Mina has promised to help me crumble and store the herb as it is lying now waiting for attention.