Crab apples

Was it a trick of the light? This afternoon I stood and stared at the yellow fruit under this crab apple tree and the carpet of fallen leaves began to look purple. I can see it in the photograph too. I can guarantee that the leaves on their own looked brown. If this became a painting there would definitely be purple in the brown (apart from the lilac-coloured plastic object I’ve just noticed among the leaves!).

Lovely complementary colours in action.

Water behaviour

One of the teenagers I’m working with in south Fife found this yesterday:


He was so pleased with it. Even more when he found two drops on another cabbage leaf later and showed them to his colleagues. They played with the water the same way I remember playing with mercury at my grandmother’s house (it was the 1960s!), watching the drops of liquid run, bump into each other, join up and separate again. Very satisfying.

Red flannel

For five days days only, Fife Folk Museum is exhibiting nine of the quilts and covers in their amazing collection. From today 25th October until Sunday 29th, you can see these precious textiles hanging in the Museum Annexe and the Weighhouse Tearoom. We finished setting up the exhibition yesterday, a fairly nerve-wracking experience as some of the covers are more than 150 years old and very delicate.

The fabric colours are still bright because they don’t often see the light. This one is my favourite. It is thick, backed with a red woollen material, possibly recycled red flannel petticoats. I love how the maker has used tiny squares of this red in the centre of the big ‘log cabin’ squares.

Other highlights include a bedcover made from woven silk flower cards given away with packets of Kensitas cigarettes in the 1930s, a very modern-looking random pattern cover dated 1890 and a spectacular cube design patchwork made from velvet and silk.

Worth a visit!

http://www.fifefolkmuseum.org

Cordyline and reedmace

One of the participants at last week’s workshop in Ceres sent me this photo of her finished basket. I love her use of the stiff strip of Cordyline round the rim and the angled cut end. And you can just about smell the lavender. Thanks Karen.

I’ll write more about Cordyline in a future post, it’s wonderful stuff. 

Cordyline australis, a New Zealand tree growing in Fife (and Wester Ross, the Clyde coast, Devon, Cornwall…)

Summer rushes

The summer materials are growing fast. Here are some harvests and experiments made over the last few weeks…

One handful of Common Rush Juncus effusus in the Lomond Hills


Rushes stripped down and left to dry…



Experimental string made with rushes and yarn waste…


Rosebay willowherb is just about ready for harvest. It smells lovely…


Willowherb string, willow bark and elm bark collected for a project.


More about these and the experimental yarn string in a future post!