The Bilberry Bumblebee 

This is the Bilberry Bumblebee, paired with its companion piece by Helen Hickman of Nellie and Eve. 

This is what Helen says about her work.

“My creation is inspired by the landscape that Bombus Monticola (Bilberry Bumble Bee) and I live in.

Surrounded by species rich heath and peat bogs in the Welsh hills, Bilberry feeds on plants such as gorse, blackberry and of course, bilberries, which line banks.

As a spinner, weaver and dyer my material of choice is local wool, a much undervalued, sustainable fibre.

By carefully foraging for plants that produce rich, natural dyes for my hand spun yarns, crochet hexagons become ‘honeycomb’ inside a used ‘brood’ frame representing how it is possible to mindfully interact and interconnect with our natural environment.” 


OPEN CALL to artists, craftspeople, poets, writers, performance and installation artists

Fifty BEES: The Interconnectedness of All Things

OPEN CALL to artists, craftspeople, poets, writers, performance and installation artists

Did you know that there are around 250 different bees in Britain which include 24 species of bumblebees, 225 solitary bees and just one honeybee?

Did you also know that many are in decline; how will we survive without them….we wouldn’t?

The focus of Fifty BEES: The Interconnectedness of All Things is to illustrate how diverse our bee population is, how endangered it is and how pivotal they all are to our ecosystem.

This open call is to artists, craftspeople, poets, writers, performance and installation artists in order to present a really diverse, collaborative range of work and responses.

The plan is for Lydia Needle, fibre artist, to produce 50 small, life-size bee pieces in wool and the other 50 artists, makers, writers etc. to produce one companion piece, each in response to the habitat, linked wildlife, ecology, flight, sound, predators of 1 specific British bee; they will use media of their choice…..but they won’t be making a bee 😊.

The exhibition will take place this July at ACEarts in Somerset from 1st – 22nd July 2017 although the deadline for the completion of work will be the end of April.

Please contact Lydia by email by 29TH of January to for further details.

Lydia Needle

For further information about ACEarts and the valuable work they do, please visit

#StevenFalk #richardlewington #somerset #artist #callout #makers #craft #writers #poets #installationart #performanceart #theinterconnectednessofallthings #bees #britishbees #douglasadams #opencall #interconnectedness #ecology #somerton #art #fibrearts #needlefelt #entomology #Melittology #pollinationforthenation

Work in progress

So, working against the clock it seems, still about 15 pieces to make for ‘evolution’ with deadline this weekend…Hahahaha (nervous laughter)

And of course, I’m working on something completely different….well, not completely, it’s still part of the ‘Leave Only Footprints’ theme, this ones called ‘composition’ and goes something like this:

It’s an evolving thing and I might be some time….

Blow the wind blow

What a difference a day makes- gone was the late summer sun, in its place a very strong autumnal  westerly wind followed by scrawly rain. But you can’t get a bad at Brean.

So this is what we did:

We checked that the elements of  ‘erosion’ were still attached,

We helped Joy install ‘Still Going Strong’ graffiti shirts,

We set up the log burner for fresh coffee and drop pancakes for breakfast,

We added to ‘evolution’,

We ate Shaun’s mushroom soup and Brean blackberry and apple crumble,

We made a little film of the changing weather,

We admired the wool in the 1st world war uniforms,

We met a kitten, a tortoise, lots of dogs and a camera club,

We lit candles, stoked the fire, hid from the diagonal rain, welcomed 400 people and generally

Had a laugh!

Looking forward to more of the same next Thursday. Until then, dear friends, it’s back to the home studio for some serious stabbing.

Cat – another lovely donation

I was really pleased to receive these lovely threads and so enjoyed working with them – so satisfying.

I wonder how this one did last night – the wind was immense and the rain came down.

Coffee, cake, curls and Cathy

glorious day, tiny speck of the kestrel in the centre of the picture 

The moon still out in the blue sky
Lovely day at Brean today, the sun was stonkingly shiny and the wind was enthusiastic, on several occasions it chose to pick up my wool and dump it in the corner of the studio.

My very healthy breakfast consisted of coffee and a custard – trying to cover as many food groups as possible.

Custard from Kitchen
Before breakfast however, I popped along the the spotlight lookout to check on ‘erosion’ and, goodness me, you should see what’s happened to all of the lovely felty pieces.

There were two pieces which had become entwined through the power of the wind and all of the front pieces have picked up a strange rusty substance – on the surface.  It looks like unusual weathering, but it could be usual, for Brean.

Kate’s piece, right at the front, has got a lovely smattering of new colour – rust? mud? Who knows?

entwined together

angels with dirty faces

mucky paws

I think this one’s fascinating – look at the surface collection of rusty dust

more entwined pieces
Then I did a bit more stabbing (I’m working on a woolly rhino at the moment) and then it seemed to be time for luncheon – it’s a non-stop food fest’.


The chef in action

The chef cooking and greeting visitors and explaining the artwork – multi-tasking 

My first top hat – it was BLOODY lovely
And then, to add to the pleasure of the day, I met (for the first time in the flesh) Cathy from the twittersphere and facebook – thanks so much for visiting Cathy, it was lovely to meet you properly.

So, are you impressed with the work that I did yesterday????




Thank you 

Twenty years ago, at the grand old age of 30 (minus 4 weeks) I began my first week at Bath Spa University on a Creative Arts Degree having just completed an Access course at Bridgwater College. I was very excited, incredibly shy, broke and in effect, homeless.

I had two children at primary school and was their main carer.

I hadn’t learnt to drive so the kids got the bus to their new school and I attempted the 41 miles to uni using public transport – that failed.

With the next four weeks my husband had changed jobs so he could be there for the girls, I’d learned to drive, passed my test, and made some great new friends.

Fast forward 20 years and I’m 50 (minus 4 weeks) and, for the first time, I’m exhibiting work that reflects what I aspired to be as a child and as a 30 year old: an artist!

And it feels good.

It’s been a long and winding road and I couldn’t have done it without my beautiful children and husband, who has been my rock.

At the beginning the support of good friends and family who gave us a roof over our head, looked after the girls, and fed them when needed. Huge thanks to them.

More recently, Donna and Joy for believing in my art visions and allowing my the privilege of making work for this glorious place. Thank you ladies.

And to all the people I’ve met along the way, thank you too xxx