reason 1 to buy blackdogandgingercat needlefelt kits

So, to celebrate the upcoming blackdogandgingercat birthday, hereโ€™s the REASON TO BUY blackdogandgingercat Kits countdown….NUMBER 1

1.jpgOur appreciation, love and support of important charities such as SANE, as seen here in our #blackdog kit.

IMG_5378.jpgAnd in turn, the sales of all of the other kits help to support my other work alongside charities such as ACEarts, MIND, and Somerset Wildlife Trust, as seen in the ongoing FIFTY BEES project.


So, thank you everyone whoโ€™s ever bought one of my kits – you are wonderful.


Morning coffee

Morning you lovely people.On 20th October, blackdogandgingercat (my Little needlefelt business) celebrates its 4th birthday ๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽŠ ๐ŸŽ. Hurrah! 

To mark the occasion, I am going to be relaunching my kits and I am hoping they will be โ€˜THE MOST ETHICAL NEEDLEFELT KITSโ€™ available to you. 

So, today I will begin the TEN REASONS TO BUY blackdogandgingercat countdown.

Watch this space – but in the meantime, coffee????

(Listen to me advising Joy in the use of the splice app last year at Sence of Place, Brean Down ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚) 



The last day of #SeptTextileLove – where did September go to? So, this is for hero.

And I’m sharing with you the work of Jenni Dutton, an artist who uses many different media but for the dementia darnings used textiles.

The exhibition, which took place at ACEarts earlier in 2017, just took my breath away. If you ever get a chance to see this work, do.

They are at the same time moving, complex, confusing, uplifting and sorrowful. 

When looking at the pieces, one gets lost in ideas of technique and subject, by the subtlety of the colours, the looseness of the stitch, the person making the work and the person in the picture – and of course, ideas of family and our own mortality. 

Incredible work and I can honestly say it’s one of the best exhibitions I’ve ever seen.

And Jenni? Well, she’s rather lovely too ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š as if that’s any surprise!

Thanks Jenni for your inspirational work.

More art – look away now!

As I write this, I realise that it feels like I’m on a proper holiday. For nearly a whole week I have been trollying around Somerset looking at some amazing work.

Yesterday, I went off to Taunton to see the work at venue 82, the Brewhouse Theatre. Here they have the CREATIVE PATHWAYS exhibition of past participants in the SAW professional development programme. 

Here you’ll see work by ‘me old mucker’ Joy Merron as well as superb works by Andrea Oke, Sandra James, Sarah Hitchens , Lucy Lean and Natalie Parsley as well as many more. 

Closed Sundays.

Then I went on to see the CHANGE show at CICCIC – beautiful work.

I’m kicking myself for not getting there sooner and having longer to look but I hope to get back. 

The artists involved are Sian Martin, Lesley Roberts and Pauline Lerry making work in response to Stewart Marshes – one of my favourite places. Do go if you get a chance.

Posted in art

OPENING TODAY – Bees: the interconnectedness of all things at Bruton School for Girlsย 

The girls worked so beautifully hard and enthusiastically to produce a fabulous collaborative installation.

Three days, 80 plus students and a handful of staff produced a whole host of British bees which are now hanging in the gallery at the Bruton School for Girls.

‘Taught by Lydia Needle, Bruton School for Girls students will sculpt tiny, lifesize British bees in wool, representing just a few of the 260 varieties left in theUK. 

The bees become artworks as part of a whole school installation in the schoolโ€™s gallery. To follow up this work, the students will research the habitats and ecosystems, the flora and fauna that rely on bees, to create companion artworks. Our objective is to raise awareness of the diversity of bees in Britain and to spread the story – using art as a medium – as far as possible.’ SAW guide 2017. 

Watch out – long post from a very full day, fab!ย 

Yesterday was a day in three amazing parts.

The first part involved doing needlefelt landscape experiments with residents at Wessex House Care home – just love these pieces.

Great British tones in great British Wool.

I’d like to include this as Seam Collective #SeptTextileLove prompt for today which is ‘happy accidents’ because I’m a very keen exponent of the idea of experimentation, play, accidental discovery and making mistakes – this is how we learn.

What’s the expression….”A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new” —- so true.

So let’s play, I say!!!

Then I met up with Donna Vale and we trundled off to Frome’s Black Swan Art to see the exhibitions there but first lunch and surprise meet up with David Smith – much talking and laughing.

Then onto the ‘Hinterland’ exhibition by Gladys Paulus.

It’s pretty hard to get across what an amazing exhibition this is. On a purely craft level, Gladys’ work is second to none – the pieces are truly beautifully made; as a felter, I am always amazed.

But this exhibition is so much more. It is so, so moving – the pieces have a real presence and I know I will HAVE to go back for another look, or two. The pictures don’t do it justice but I’ll share a few more.
Such presence,

So moving,

And resonance.

If you have a chance – get there.

And the final part of my day was at @tmac_taunton with an Arts and Health Speed Networking event!!! Whooohooo!

There I met a whole host of people and ‘networked’, oh yes I did. We talked and learnt about a whole range of arts and health providers and the links that are being made between them.

I also talked FIFTY BEES to a few people too!


“Moan….moan…moan!”I’m moaning at you cause there’s no one in the house to moan at apart from Jack who is determined to BLATANTLY prove that he has no problem sleeping!

So, after a night with about two hours kip (thank you iPlayer and iTunes), I had the pleasure of being woken at 6:30 by darling Charles jumping up to lick my face.

“Morning,” he said, “What a beautiful day, isn’t my breath sweet?” Lick, lick, lick……

“Moan….” was my reply, “iTired!” 

But no time for a lie in. 

Instead, container pieces to be finished and lots of listmaking and packing to be done ready for tomorrow’s Salisbury Contemporary Craft; I’ve got out the big guns – the A3 piece of recycled card for the mother of all lists.

Now, where did I put my brain, I know I left it around here somewhere……