June 2020 newsletter

Three months now and the future is still very uncertain. I think we hoped the situation would be clearer by now. With shops due to re-open in a limited way, but no hairdressers, who is going to allow themselves to be seen out! Added to that, there will be no coffee shops, no toilet facilities and most of us will feel much safer staying home.

I popped along to the local garden centre this weekend to get some annuals and plants for the gaps in my borders. Queued, masked, disinfected trolley, I was all ready to fill my baskets with lovely salvias, hostas, veronicas and pelargoniums, only to find there was nothing, not one variety, left on the shelves.

I think I’ll have to make my own!

I’ve been sent a lovely little article by Janet Humphreys, on her efforts to keep busy and creative, which I shall share below:


Sadly our wings have been clipped and we are all mostly stuck at home, greatly missing our family and friends. At first it was ok, what an opportunity to be locked in to create “stuff “with no deadlines or classes to worry about. The weather was a problem though….too nice to be stuck inside my gloomy workshop (garage) so outside I went.

Everyday digging, ,weeding , planting seeds and watering and even making a small water feature for the patio. The cat is not happy about this turn of events as now, she has to stand on her hind legs to get a drink. Yes she has a drinking bowl in the kitchen but prefers any outside supply. Daft cat.

My poor nails are disgusting, broken and grimy with ingrained soil and I’m getting down the Christmas hand cream stash, trying to keep my hands from drying out completely. Gardening gloves never really work do they?

The result is one VERY tidy garden and a few new acquaintances as folks walk past, two metres apart of course.

On the odd cold and windy day I retreat inside and sort out my workshop whilst listening to the radio. Pop master is getting too hard (Ken Bruce on Radio 2) but the afternoon serial on Radio 4 has kept me going. Missing my 2 o clock fix of The Archers though. I wonder what Ambridge is doing in lockdown?

Whilst in the garden, I came across a piece of chicken wire and decided to try and make some 3D work. Starting with a bird shape I moulded the wire and then began wrapping and weaving. It was pretty tough on the fingers with a frantic search for plasters at one point. I incorporated a beak from an old hair slide, you see ,you have to improvise when most of the shops are shut.

Eventually after much snipping and moulding, I was happy with the result even though it’s not a named species, just a made up one, I can then decorate as I please.

Rummaging about, I came across a lovely felted sweater, (thank you Helen from Material Girls….I knew it would come in handy one day) which I cut and stitched over the “skeleton”. It was weird, as I began to stitch, I imagined the  bird coming to life, soft and light just as the little creature would feel in my hands. It was quite emotional.

The next morning I looked at what I had created and oh no….it’s legs are too long. Surgery will have to be performed so out comes the scalpel and wire cutters and he is opened up, poor thing. He recovered quite quickly and I didn’t need any P.P.E so that was a relief. The operation was a success. Hurrah.

The next layer was an old muslin scarf, dyed and stitched down to form the base colour. At the moment, I am stitching with one strand of cotton, straight stitch, by hand so this will keep me occupied for a while. Unfortunately I don’t have the right colour thread but a bit of silk paint dabbed on at the end should solve the problem but don’t tell anyone. His wings are ready to go on, then the next challenge will be the tail feathers.

Let’s hope you can meet him on his first outing at the Exhibition next April. Fingers crossed that it will happen and we can all meet up again.

Take care of yourselves, keep safe. Got to go …..my new solar fountain pump has just arrived yippee. 

Jan x

I have been visiting virtual galleries worldwide during lockdown. I’ve toured Salvador Dali’s weird fantastical villa, Gaudi’s houses, Egyptian tombs and currently I’m working my way through the V&A. They have tours of the Kimono exhibition, Dior and Vivienne Westwood. I’ve been watching Grayson Perry and visiting various artists via their websites. There is also a virtual Chelsea Flower Show and, on Netflix, the Big Flower Fight to provide some inspiration for our exhibition theme, and in this glorious weather we should be able to get outside and find our own sources and do some research.

We do still hope to be able to offer our Autumn classes and take bookings in August. We have a Preview Day organised for 1st August, but more about that closer to the time, when we know more about the virus restrictions down the line. Please keep an eye on the website.

Don’t forget to check our website at: www.livingthreadstextileartists.com or email us at: livingthreadsgroup@gmail.com or check us out on Facebook.

We wish you all a speedy recovery if you or family have been unwell or had Covid-19, and that the rest of us manage to avoid it.

Testing for the virus is straightforward. I had an ear infection and anosmia and was sent for a test; the most difficult thing was negotiating my way around the Boots complex in Beeston to find the correct car park! Luckily my test came back negative.

Everyone please stay safe and keep creating. We will get through this and come out the other side!

Until July


Gilli Theokritoff, Newsletter Editor



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