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.

Meet the BEE team

Afternoon all!

Thank you to everyone for the lovely ongoing support, likes and comments on this page and the other social media sights. For those of you that are new to the FIFTY BEES project, I thought I should introduce the team. This is us outside the Richard Jefferies Museum which is where the #secondleg of the journey takes place. This is the BEE team (or the #beekeepers as they are known to the #fiftybeesartists)

From left we have Polly Hughes who is fielding questions and queries from Bee artists 77 to 89. Second left is Joy Merron who’s working with artists 63 to 76. In the middle is Donna Vale who is dealing with 51 to 62 and then I’m the one on the far right working with artists 90 to 101!. Also in the picture is Suzie who we met for the first time yesterday. Suzie works at the Museum but is also one of our artists, number 61; thanks so much for all the help yesterday. And in the second picture you’ll also see Denis, what a beauty!

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

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 school’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! 

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

“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……

Here’s Fluff

She snuck off to find a cosy place to close her eyes and this is where we find her. 

This is Fluff and she’s sleeping soundly inside a vintage metal container and doesn’t she look peaceful; I wish I could sleep so easily and so soundly, don​’t you?

This piece is 7cm circumference and 6cm to the top of the handle. It is made using wool, a vintage container and thread.
https://tictail.com/s/lidfuzz/fluff-sleeping