I’m feeling rubbish today. I’ve picked up some horrible bug from somewhere or someone. But in between the really rubbish bits I’m managing to do a bit more reading, and nail down the concept of Quilt-As-Essay. I think I now have it sorted in my head, thanks to Deleuze, Bachelard and more recently and more usefully, Umberto Eco’s “The Open Work” – which I think I’ll come back to again and again.

I’m also thinking about a pre-proposal meeting for my Big Idea (I’m afraid it’ll have to remain a secret till I hopefully get the go-ahead). What to take, just in case, but not so much as to frighten them off!

I have made a list of things I’d like to achieve during next week’s Lullaby recording session – one of which is a one-minute mix to put up here for you to listen to. This is a scary prospect, and I may need something tasty in a bottle to help me press the publish button.

Still wringing my hands over the display of the bonnet and dress (they wont fit the same doll, bugger!) (but actually, changed my mind after anyway, as the doll adds a dimension I don’t want). The drawer idea would be ok, if I had lots of things in lots of drawers, but at the moment I don’t.

…and anyway, I think I’d quite like people to be able to handle them, which is always a thorny gallery problem isn’t it? Any ideas?

been looking at: Lucy Orta, Susan Collis, Cleo Mussi, Freddie Robins

been listening to: Elbow (Asleep in the back), Ella Guru (The First Album), Jose Gonzales (Veneer), The Miserable Rich (12 Ways to Count) (particularly the Boat Song, but I’ve talked about that little obsession before)

Just added photos of clothes in drawers, I’m liking this better now, think it’ll go on some sort of pedestal (visual pun intended).


The secret project I mentioned in post no17 can now be revealed… I’ve been making recycled fabric sleeves for a limited edition of Dan Whitehouse’s debut album… if you want one of these, containing his gorgeous songs, rush headlong to his website, or turn up to the launch gig and buy one!



I think I’m quite suggestible. If someone I like and/or respect has a thought about my work, I’m all set to say “That’s a good idea!” and set off down that path. It can take me quite an effort of will to think it through carefully to make sure it really is a good idea, and really does fit with how I’M thinking.

This is the problem I’m having with the music and textiles. Originally they did sit happily in my head and sketchbook together. Synchronised. People have been very kind and complimentary about the lullaby, and a couple have said I shouldn’t over complicate things. The song could stand on its own. I know this. But that was never the original intention. The textile pieces could also stand alone. I know that too. I’m also wondering about my ownership of the song. The concept is mine, but its execution is collaborative, and tangled and lovely! The textiles are mine all mine. In terms of the art, the song is my idea, but I’ve had lots of help from Dan and could not have got anywhere near how it is now on my own. That’s the whole point of collaboration surely? If I was not using this for my MA, I wouldn’t be even worried. I’d stick up a label with both our names on and keep going.

I don’t really know what I’m asking here? Just writing what I’m thinking in the hope that all will become clear or someone will come up with an answer for me!

Perhaps I should describe a bit more…

I have the baby dress which has appeared photographed here before (post no24) with a bonnet embroidered with sshh…shh…sh…sshhh…shh ssh….and so on, with felt pads inserted to protect delicate ears. (See attached photos) These may be displayed on a doll, or framed in old pine drawers… not decided yet… Lullaby (lyrics on post no22) will play on a 5 min (ish) loop.

Tell me your thoughts my astute e-friends!


* very very cheap headphones are crap, no stereo! As someone very wise once said “you get what you pay for”. So I’ll not be sending to Japan for the mp3 player that costs 1p, no postage then.

* finished hanky

* washed quilts, they got wetter, weather forecast wrong

* Lullaby is sounding great (well I think so) last recording session on it on Oct 5th, may have something to play you then.

* washing instruction idea is rubbish


Lots of people to talk to yesterday. I think I’m approaching a bit of a crossroads in my work, and I’m finding it a bit scary.


Elliot Smith (Waltz no2, see obsessions below) wrote “leave me alone in the place where I make no mistakes, in the place where I have what it takes”


This MA that I’m doing though… what would be the point in finishing it, and my final show looking like it could have been made at the beginning?

I have a group tutorial coming up. I’m thinking of showing NONE of the textiles I’ve been working on… just playing the sound stuff. I know the textiles are good, they work, they are interesting. I have confidence in my skill, and in the results. Time to put my neck on the block eh?

feeling a bit nauseous….


Right Then.

List of things to do this weekend:

* see how the very very cheap wireless headphones work now I’ve got the right sort of batteries.

* finish embroidering the handkerchief and send it off

* wash some quilts

* check weather forecast BEFORE washing quilts

* work on the lullaby a bit more, paying particular attention to the outro

* do some research on washing instruction diagrams. Think they might be adaptable.

This of course is in addition to the usual joys of family life. I start my day sat up in bed with tea, toast and laptop… thinking, writing, scribbling in sketch book… obsessionally listening to the same song over and over. I have to do this with headphones, as the rest of the world would be driven mad by it and would think I was insane.

I can become totally involved in a song. It grabs me in some way and I have to keep on listening to it. Then suddenly I stop. I have no idea what causes the start or the stop. In between the ones that catch me, I’m a perfectly normal music fan.

Want to know what the latest ones are?

Over the last year I’ve listened to the following songs probably HUNDREDS of times. Am I the only one that does this sort of thing?

Elbow: Great Expectations

Doves: Sea Song

Ian Brown: F.E.A.R.

Agnes Obel: Avenue

Dan Whitehouse: Needles, Pins and all Sharp Things

Elliot Smith: Waltz no2

Lisa Hannigan: Slishy Splashy

and currently, with particular attention to the outro….

Kathryn Williams: Little Black Numbers


If anyone can think of a link/common denominator (other than a bent towards Manchester I’ve just noticed) let me know – it could help with my treatment!