Sunday afternoon sun, love and a bit of a weep of joy

I’m sat in the garden with my old man, drinking cava on a much needed ‘day off’ but enjoying the time and space needed to really take in what our fifty artists have written about their work for this year’s exhibition.

It’s joyous, humbling, funny, inspiring, exhilarating, and just all round wonderful.

Until we reach this point, with works finished and explanations written, it’s difficult to know what sort of exhibition we are offering you.

But, surprise surprise, it’s going to be an experience – I feel so moved (no, it’s not the Cava talking).

I keep stopping to share bits with Shaun but as I read them out loud, I get a bit wobbly and tearful. It’s so moving.

Thank you to all of the incredible artists who have chosen to take part, invested a huge amount of time, effort and creativity and a little bit of their souls in order to bring you an amazing experience.

Show some love, people, you must come!

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Looking with new eyes

Seeing things with fresh eyes.

Good morning everyone, I’m drinking tea in bed (proper tea: leaves, pot, cosy, tray). And I looked at the tea cosy, and I saw the tea cosy but it was like it was the first time.

This was given to us second-hand, years ago, by a much beloved aunt, and she’d had it for years so it’s very familiar. Yet I don’t think I’ve every looked at it and taken in how beautiful it is, how evocative and how well made. I can imagine walking in that garden gate and seeing all the flowers – think about all of the insects those plants could feed. It’s a proper chocolate box cottage. Looking at it has made me realise that a) I need a break and b) I need to be paying attention.

Yesterday I made a Bee that I really didn’t like, it didn’t work – it felt like it was was part of a production line. So, today, I stop, regroup, spend time in the garden, discard that Bee and then start again – I can’t ‘churn’ out products, they have to be created with love and care.

Have a great day, people, and thanks for the ongoing love and support.

Zzzzzz

Today, I’m very tired 💤 and parts of my brain are doing that whole racing around thing, planning the multiple things I have to organise over the next seven days.

Then, another few parts of my brain are like summer roadworks, you know the type that seem to be on practically every road you need to travel down.

But there’s no one working on them.

And there doesn’t seem to be any point to the hole in the road.

And the temporary traffic lights have stopped working….!

You know what I mean????

Well, the holes in the road are definitely where the fifty 🐝 have gone cause I just can’t work on them at the moment cause I HAVE to work on other stuff!!

So, I’m imagining I’m this little sleeping leveret, you know, sleeping!!

The merit of mistakes

Anyone who’s even been to one of my classes knows that, sometimes, often, I bang on about how mistakes are the only way we learn.

Well, I’ve just proved my own point and I’ll explain why.

Last week, at one of my favourite charity shops, I found some really beautiful vintage crewel wool. (I don’t know what that is, please explain someone?)

I thought it would be perfect for the bees and for the landscape pictures I’m teaching at The Brewhouse Theatre soon.

Today, working on Bee53, I thought I’d use some for the wings. Now, my logical brain knew it wouldn’t work, not THROUGH firmly felted wool – too tough, too dense.

Surprise, surprise, the yarn snapped- d’oh and duuuuh!!!

But look at the result…I love the way the wings are floating in the air.

Will I keep them like this?

Are they finished?

Can I recreate it?

Who knows, but it’ll be fun finding out.

So, children, adults, makers, artists etc – let’s make mistakes. Do share!

A year ago, how time flies

It was a year ago yesterday that myself, Polly, Joy and Donna had a meeting at ACEarts to discuss the FIFTY BEES exhibition. We sat on the sofas, measured walls, talked and talked and decided that these three wonderful women would be called the beekeepers.

Why?

Well, with fifty artists to coordinate, it made sense to share out some of the work. Now, I look back at this picture with amazement.

We had no idea how it was going to work, whether the story of the bees would translate into an exhibition, whether anyone would be interested.

But, wow! It was wonderful. The fifty artists made such a wide variety of art, amazing responses to these incredible creatures.

But it wouldn’t have worked without the enthusiasm and keenness of them all as well as Nina and the team at the gallery.

Now, we’re gearing up for the next leg of the journey at Richard Jefferies Museum – can’t wait. Thanks everyone.

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#vintagecontainer #bees #fiftybees #artists #somersetartist #opencall #interconnectedness

#JACIndieFriday

So here it is, #indiefriday, everybody’s having fun!

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d Indie Friday is about supporting small businesses, independent makers and our fabulous, hardworking creatives.

Devised by the wonderful sarah Hamilton and run by the volunteer team at Just a Card, it’s a campaign to promote the idea that buying #justacard from small business can be make or break in these tough times.

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’s also a way to encourage us, as consumers away from the big, faceless corporations who for so long have wielded so much power over advertising and consumerism because consumerism isn’t what Christmas is about, is it?

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ristmas should not be about standing in massive queues and spending our hard earned money on yet more landfill of the future.

So, if you’re out there this black Friday make it instead a rainbow Friday – slow down, drink tea in an independent cafe, visit small shops, divert just a bit of your cash their way – it’ll make them so happy! And happiness has a way of growing – it’ll come back your way, too.

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d remember, it’s #justacard #justapairofearings #justamug #justakit #justadecoration that’ll keep this small business (me) going!

reason 1 to buy blackdogandgingercat needlefelt kits

So, to celebrate the upcoming blackdogandgingercat birthday, here’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.

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So, thank you everyone who’s ever bought one of my kits – you are wonderful.