Littleborough Arts Festival – 2016

Three collage/embroideries recently exhibited at the recent Littleborough Arts Festival exhibition.

I will write a little about the festival in my next blog, but for now please do check out the webpage:




Oh to be in England…



(embroidery on painted cloth)

My, I’m enjoying the early English spring time.  So I place my green-hatted lady here, like a child putting a pussy willow branch on the nature table, or a small boy putting a bit of lamb’s wool in his pocket.  Is being in the spring time a return to innocence for Salty Pinches one asks oneself?

Looking ahead to a darker part of the year, I’m pleased to mention that Littleborough Arts Festival will take place between 15-22 October this year (a different time of year than usual).  So, save the date if you can!

More about  that at the end of the summer.  For now, I’m taking a blogging break, to sew, to work on my ideas for the arts festival, and just, “to be in England now that Spring is  here”.


Getting my feather back


“Sing me that song, all of it, before the bell goes and you get your feather back.”

The song had many verses and the bell soon rang. We’ll meet up with this charming individual in a blog later this year. Strange what one remembers, but it was a very good feather.

Meanwhile, I have been finishing off my art work for the Littleborough Arts Festival exhibition and the Touchstones Art Exhibtion. I’ve also been wandering the streets handing out leaflets about the Festival to every poor person I have passed.



(Sketch from my notebook)

I think most of us at times are guilty of some kind of prejudice or complacency. I find it interesting looking into this. It is something I hope to consider more when approaching my own art work.

And, just in case you can’t get to The Littleborough Arts Festival to watch Manchester International Roots Orchestra (MIRO) this August, you can watch them on YouTube. Though I can’t even sing in tune, I think it’s going to be a good “do”.

Snow in a heatwave

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(gift for a friend, crayon and embroidery on cloth).

For seventy-two years
I’ve kept the ox well under
Today, the plum in bloom again,
I let him wander in the snow.

Bukuo (1384-1455), from “The Penguin Book of Zen Poetry”, Ed. Lucien Stryk, 1977, this edn. 1981, Transl. Takashi Ikemoto

It’s nice to have a bit of snow in the middle of a heatwave isn’t it? I’m doing the opposite with my ox at the moment, as I intend to blog every week in the run up to The Littleborough Art Festival in August. At the moment, I’m working on some collages that I hope to display at the Arts Festival in August. I’ll share more as time goes by.

Because my work is experimental and often involves mixed media, I find that my poor ox is often kept “well under” (with his nose to the grindstone). I’ve sometimes had to force needles through very unwielding fabric, or have found myself doing a lot of boring embroidery filling work (boring to me anyway). Also, my tendency to “jump in” can cause unpleasant surprises at the framing stage. That is a task I do not enjoy. I’ve learned from these experiences thoughand I now give more thought to the issues of materials and framing at the planning stage.



“Tracey loved to eat”
(fabric crayons and embroidery on cloth)
Part of an on-going project inspired by my neice, Jess, who always needs to hear a new story about her Mum as a child.

And, ideas are marinating richly and remarkably on the Littleborough Arts Festival front. Hettie Haywood, a young Littleborough artist, is enthustiastically “doing” the Facebook page. But is isn’t all about the Festival (that happens at the end of the Summer). Hetty is also covering local bands and other creative events.

Here is the link to the Facebook page. Also, there is a great colourful video about the Festival on YouTube (link below).

See you in April!

Here comes the people!

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Work in progress, inspired by Jess.  (Grandma was very old, and didn’t speak much.  She did do: “Here is the church, and here is the steeple, here is the door, and here comes the people” (and did all the actions with her fingers).  We always kissed her when we arrived.  We always kissed her when we left.”)

Jess, my niece, always wants her Mummy to tell her a story about when she was a little girl.  Mummy’s supply of stories is now much depleted, but I still have a few up my sleeve.  So, to please a little girl who, correctly, believes that I used to travel to school on a dinosaur and eat a cornet with four scoops of ice-cream for breakfast (mint, strawberry, rum and raisin and vanilla) I’m re-visiting the late 60’s and early to mid 70’s for my current creative project.

Apart from that, I’ve been hibernating since Xmas.  I’m waking up now and am ready to eat lettuce.  Inspiration includes The Littleborough Arts Festival (more of that nearer the time (end of the summer)).  Also, I recently visited an exhibition on hell (I mean war) at Manchester Art Gallery.  Normally, the subject would put me off, but I’m glad I went, and so far, I’ve had no nightmares.  The commentaries were useful (I find the commentaries at some exhibitions incomprehensible). I learned a lot. Also, there are a lot of paintings by Paul Nash (if you are a Paul Nash fan).

See you in March!