End of a Rainbow


I've come to understand lately that tinctory has died. She was made possible by conditions that no longer exist. She was of an era that has ended. She was very important in my life and taught me much for which I am grateful.

I'm here today to mark an end and take leave so that I can give myself more fully to what is.

Thank you. Thank you for being here with me, then or now.



"Loook, mummy, I'm painting!"

Thanks to Jo for the fantastic red cabbage and turmeric watercolours tip.

In other news: we are settling into the new house and I'm hatching plans for the garden and for the future.

Happy 2014, everyone!

PS ugh! whatever happened to flickr?


Chop and Change

...and then it became impossible again.

Busy days, a trip to stay with the grandparents and now she's decided (at not quite two) she doesn't need a nap any more. Add the teething, the Autumn colds and preparation for the house move.

Sorry to chop and change like that.

PS Thank you for the comments!


And then

and then

...it became just about possible.

I picked up something I left unfinished two years ago. There are five new pieces. Not quite ready yet. I can only do a little bit here and there with many interruptions so it could take a while. I'll show them here at least a week before putting them in the shop.


Parallel Universes


In the world of Anna there's the sand pit, the Red Riding Hood opera on repeat, the tricycle, the playdough, the mini muffins, the tomato+vegetable sauce, surrender to the mess, the impending house move, the Summer slipping away too fast... and new words every day.

She says 'ne ne ne' to me then turns to daddy with a 'no no no'.

Light years away and dimensions apart is the deserted world of tinctory. If I could go there the bunch of strikingly red eucalyptus leaves I brought home a month or two ago would be wrapped in fabric and steamed.

In that world I'm also one of the featured artists in Sophie Long's Embroidery , a book published earlier in the year.

Sometimes I still get messages from that faraway world. Kind strangers get in touch with comments, invitations and questions. Thank you for being there and reminding me it exists.




Those footprints were left by some of her first steps outside... Now she's a confident playground explorer, slide rider and stick and stone collector.

This winter has felt very long and cold. Her cheeks turn an alarming blue sometimes in the bitter wind and I worry. Hopeful, I keep pointing out the crocus buds on our way to the park.

The other day, for the first time in months, I wrote down a dyeing + smocking idea in a notebook. I looked at old indigo silk while she slept. Something's stirring but there's no room for it yet.



Untitledblue this year

Now that it's gone I've come to realize what played an important role in my past life: solitude. It let me focus and see in the way that made tinctory what it was.

Motherhood has been a time of intense closeness. I'm never alone. If I ever pick up this thread that's hanging loose here something will have to be very different.

I also found that being a mother to a baby is something I'm unable to do part-time for various reasons. So what I thought would be months away will more realistically be a few years.

Anna is nearly a toddler now and it's a joy to watch her grow. The love has settled in its home. I used to relish the changes of seasons. Now she is my season of constant change.


These Days...


...the ring sling is my favourite piece of fabric and metal.

I'm taking Anna to my country to meet her grandparents for the first time and the trusty sling is coming with us. When she grows up I'm going to miss babywearing.


With Indigo Eyes

with indigo eyes

About a month ago... all bundled up for a winter walk.

She's unfurling like a new leaf, with the same energy that lies hidden in something tightly coiled.

She's quickly grown into the hat I knitted for her back in the summer. The yarn was one of the last things dyed in my indigo vat.


Black Springtime

black springtime

It's easy to forget what naturally follows fruition: the ripe seeds need to spend time buried alive in the dark before the shoots find the light again.

The first months felt very dark. Objectively everything was well. Anna is beautiful and thriving and we are all healthy. But subjectively it's been a dark time.

If my hands were free I'd like to acknowledge the dark beginnings and would be dyeing with the deepest colours - indigo, logwood, walnut. There would be mourning necklaces and I'd call them the Black Springtime.

I am still much needed and it's likely to take many more months before I can sew or dye.

Thank you for the kind comments on the last post and for your emails. I'm sorry for not replying earlier but want you to know that I read and appreciated them.