Madder Than Ever – Dyeing to See Red

One of the many other workshops apart from my tapestry weaving at the AGWSD Summer School in Trinity St David’s, Carmarthen last week was wool dyeing.

The two red photos here are wool dyed in madder and the remnants of the dye bucket. I love the colour!

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Weaving, Wine and Wonderful Food

Weaving – I had a great week last week with a bunch of wonderful women taking my tapestry weaving course as part of the Association of Guilds of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers. Samplers were completed if not all the designed tapestries but we were able to go into detail about all the different aspects of controlling the tension in weft and warp and I hope that you will benefit from this in all your future weaving.

One of the highlights for me was when they gave me a present of two brass tipped African and Brazilian hard wood bobbins – they were so generous and I am very, very grateful 🙂

Wine and wonderful food – the catering at the summer school was good and I have no complaints but now I am home again and we are doing our own cooking. Having worked on equestrian photography all day Sunday with the help of my daughter and her boyfriend, today was my first “free” day (sort of). Tonight Julie made a fantastic Pilau Rice with which I stuffed red and green peppers (capsicums) along with chestnut mushrooms, spring onions and feta cheese. I pretty much followed this recipe and it was absolutely delicious and washed down with a very nice Portuguese red wine.

So thanks everyone for an excellent and enjoyable week and especially for those lovely bobbins.

A Countryside Connections Walk

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Swansea Countryside Connections Team, through which StillWalks ran the Sights and Sounds of the Countryside project, put on a number of events throughout the year for those living in eligible rural wards in Swansea. It was one of their dawn chorus walks where I first met Helen Grey and it was she, along with Tim Orrell, who was leading the Nature Detective Walk along the Gower Way from Felindre to Lower Lliw Reservoir last Wednesday evening. See the photos below.

As this was the route taken by the Sights and Sounds project on the production day for the Felindre Families group, I thought it would be good to go along – and indeed it was! I discovered what the funny lumps and bumps are in the first field we crossed. We found a very old ash tree with branches twisting and twining round each other, reflecting its age. We saw Deadly Nightshade amongst other plants and flowers, a badger set, mole holes, young Hazelnuts, whin, thistles, ducks, etc., etc.

“Helen, you will have to remind me of that last little yellow flower I asked you about. I cannot remember it it now!”

Click here (Countryside Connections Events) to see what other Countryside Connections events are coming up.

Knocking Things Into Shape

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Indy, it seems to me, is a patient horse! I understand there were five horses being re-shod  at Cimla Equestrian Centre last Saturday. I wonder if they were all as accommodating as Indy?

I spent about ten years taking my eldest daughter to riding lessons at Cimla and although I don’t ride, I surprised myself by enjoying being around the horses. This is quite useful now that I am doing equestrian photography.

Hot Shoe – Farrier Style

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I was doing some equestrian photography training at the weekend and for the purpose arranged to use a group lesson at Cimla Equestrian Centre in the hills above Neath.

I can’t show the photography the students did but I managed to get some of my own shots up in the stable yard at the end of the session and this is a quick taster of what I found – a gallery will go up tomorrow.

Farrier Fire

Fire, if not brimstone!

Cimla Landscape

Cimla Landscape

Planning a Walk – Walking on the Gower

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A few weeks ago I was asked if I would be interested in writing a regular article about my walks in the Swansea and South Wales area for the online version of the South Wales Evening Post. So, with the interests of StillWalks in mind and what they are all about, I will be posting up my sixth article today – My Walk this Week – from Parc-Le-Breos House.

I have recently been planning StillWalks Sights and Sounds Tag Along Days and this has necessitated exploring possible walk routes in suitable places. This not only serves the intended  purpose of setting up these events / workshops, but also provides me with good material for the Evening Post article.

My first exploration was to Parc-Le-Breos House. The reason for selecting this as a starting point is the number of already planned walks that start from the Bed and Breakfast and include some beautiful areas on the Gower Peninsula. Also, there is the option for refreshments and facilities and the use of a room for review of photography and sound clips produced on the Tag Along walk.

Below are a couple of the photos I got on my recce walk. I will talk more about this and post more photos over the next couple of days and a selection of the images are available at the StillWalks Photography website on PhotoShelter.

Park Le Bruce Burial Chamber

Giant’s Grave, Green Cwm

Flowers along the wayside

Flowers along the wayside

Long Oaks Woodland

Long Oaks Woodland at Parc-le-Breos

Exhibition Opening and Tag Along Days

The Sights and Sounds of the Countryside project exhibition opening, which took place last Wednesday, went very well – so well I forgot to get photographs! Never mind, the event was enjoyed by all who came and since then I have had a number of enquiries about the possibility of Tag Along days.

StillWalks Tag Along days would not be about production of a StillWalk®. The bespoke StillWalks produced through project work require greater input than would be practical on a tag along day.

Tag Along days would give a small group of individuals the opportunity to accompany me on a walk with their own cameras (and sound recorders) and discover some aspects of the approach to photography I take for personal use and for StillWalks production.

Field recording – there would also be the opportunity to experience environmental sounds through the high quality StillWalks field recording kit which in itself, can lead to better listening skills – this can be a revelation!

Watch the website for more information and if anyone out there is interested, please contact me.

Exhibition / screening

The seats are empty here but they had been full to overflowing!

StillWalks Project Exhibition