Monday, 30 March 2015


Beautiful, but I only give them to the end of the week.  I'm not known for my skills with houseplants.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

I do like a play on words.

I'm coming to the end of building my garden.  Of course you'll not see any of the plants that are flowering such as Lily of the Valley or Laburnum, at the same time as those that are in their autumn colourings eg the Rhus, or the Sumac being constructed on the left.  But I'm not bothered.

Then I thought that those viewing the quilt might just think I'd made a mistake!  I looked for something in the title which might help to explain it.

Titles are really really important to me, and I spend a lot of time thinking and trying to get them right in my mind. So, Poisonous Plant, has now morphed into The Unseasonable Poisonous Plant. Unseasonable has two meanings.  The first is to do with seasons ie when my plants would normally be in flower or dropping their leaves, and the archaic meaning of inopportune, which refers to the untimely whispering, or planting, and spreading of poison.  It may be cumbersome but I like it!!

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Richard III - The good is oft interred with their bones?

Richard III remains are being re-buried today in Leicester Cathedral.

The quote of course refers to Julius Ceasar by Shakespeare, but could easily fit Richard III too.

Left is a sketch I did from a photograph of his skull. His skeleton was recently found underneath a car park in Leicester.

The sketch doesn't show the whacking great holes in the back of the skull. The largest injury is a hole where part of the skull has been completely sliced away. This could only have been caused by a large, very sharp blade wielded with some force. Whilst it is not possible to prove exactly which kind of weapon caused this injury, it's probably a halberd or something similar. An injury like this would have been fatal.

And secondly, a potentially fatal injury; a jagged hole on the right side of the skull. A sword or similar bladed weapon has been thrust through the bone. Close examination of the interior of the skull revealed a mark opposite this wound, showing that the blade penetrated to a depth of 10.5cm.
Richard was killed at the battle of Bosworth in 1485 and was hurriedly buried in the church of the Greyfriars in Leicester, which was subsequently lost during redevelopment. Some remains were discovered in 2013 under a car park in Leicester and DNA examination with the one surviving relative proves beyond doubt that they belong to Richard III.

His death paved the way for Henry VII. But of course life is never that simple and a whole and great intrigue surrounds Richard and whether or not he should have been King in the first place. It all rather hinges on two of his nephews, 2 young boys who were Edward IV's sons, Edward and Richard, and whether they were murdered in the Tower of London by their very nasty uncle, or perhaps the Tudor factions.

We know now, that there were several interested parties who may have murdered the children, and much has been made of propoganda against Richard by Henry VII and Thomas More, but we'll never know.  It's a fascinating story in a very turbulent period of history.

Anyway his bones are to be reburied today and you can read more about it here....
I shall be watching it all on the TV very avidly.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Moving on!

Moving on from the harsh comments of the radicalized faction of the Oliver Cromwell Preservation Society yesterday, I'd like to share this picture today - a mark of the continuiing stitching going on chez Rainbow.  The garden is growing.

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Rainbow Trolling.

This little chap on the left, and the one below, are non threatening, mostly liked, cute little mice, stealing sweets off the top of a cake in Life 12 - Murder.Ahhhh, that's nice.   It'll be on show at Bilston Art Gallery in May/July 2015. The title of the quilt, Murder, is about some of the reactions I get to my quilts from other quilters. The "story" for this one is: “And The Crows Came To The Feast and Laid Waste To The Beauty

Regular readers will know that I sometimes moan a bit because the quilts get me into a bit of bother and trouble - mostly with other quilters, and mostly because they often have naked bodies on them.  No big deal really, but occasionally they seem to cause offence.

I always say that I'm "whispering my stories to you and not shouting", and the trouble with that is that sometimes people don't hear properly.

This morning, the nasty but not new remarks of "disgusting" "yuck" "disgraceful" " absolutely horrific" paled into insignificance because I was trolled. Trolling is according to the Urban Dictionary: Being a prick on the internet because you can. Typically unleashing one or more cynical or sarcastic remarks on an innocent by-stander, because it's the internet and, hey, you can.

A more wikipedia description is: a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.

Pinterest can be wonderful, and I think must be regulated reasonably well.  Someone had posted Life 4 on a board (next to a lot of guns with pink handles and cutsey crotcheted covers) and said how disgusting it was.  There followed a string of unpleasantness that I'm too embarrassed to repeat. Fortunately the comments were taken down very quickly but not before I'd seen them. True, I shouldn't look, but then they shouldn't be ******'* (insert any rude word you wish)

I'm not saying that what happened to me was as bad as that poor woman who was threatened with rape and murder because she happened to suggest that Jane Austen would make a great addition to a banknote. Or those people who've lost loved ones and found facebook sites set up in their name with horrible remarks.  In both these cases the people involved were jailed.

The law
  • The Communications Act 2003 governs the internet, email, mobile phone calls and text messaging
  • Under section 127 of the act it is an offence to send messages that are "grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character"
  • The offence occurs whether those targeted actually receive the message or not

Apparently we can all become trolls..."The temptation is there and we can get caught up in impulses. If someone reacts, it's emotional and it can be hard to get out of."

 Internet experts say the key is not to "feed the troll" by offering them a response.

Comedian Dom Joly takes a different approach.

He describes himself as "troll slayer" and takes pleasure in tracking down the culprits and exposing them to public shame, especially from close family.

"There's something about a bully that really annoys me," he says. "They'll say something online that they'd never dare to say to your face."

The deviousness is "freaky". He discovered that one of those who'd threatened him was a 14-year-old girl with nine different online identities. They aren't always very intelligent about how they do it, he says.
"One guy tweeted from his work account that he hoped my kids die of cancer. I let the MD of the firm know and the guy was fired. I felt no guilt, he should have gone to prison." 

So that was a jolly nice start to my day.  Fortunately for me, there are thousands of really lovely people out there, who are continually supportive and put things in perspective.  I've turned off the anonymous comments on this blog too, and hope that won't cause geniune commenters too much trouble.  I've been wondering what to write on the bodies of my Poisonous Plant quilt, and I think I may just have been helped along the way.  See, Positive Outcome, yay!

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

How Galling.

I had a lovely day out yesterday at Avebury - I went to refresh my karma and be-as-one with ancient stones. (I think there's probably a Mick Jagger joke in there somewhere)
Whilst trotting round the environs of Avebury enjoying the sunshine, I came across this lady communing with nature. How galling!  Think how useful this image would have been when working on the last quilt!!! Still at least my imagination wasn't THAT far out.

Monday, 9 March 2015

There's no need to stop working when you're poorly you know.

My family have been running around after me for a few days whilst I recover from a bout of lurgy. I've been waited on hand, foot, and finger!

And, because of an inability to see straight,  it would have been foolish for me to attempt much in the way of sewing. However, I was able to sit in the corner, keeping my germs out of everyone's way, and stick things to other things.

Here's a box I've been making to put my latest GALS journal in together with the award etc.

Not exactly magnificent, and if I see anything better on my travels this one will be scrapped, but it will keep things together and safe until then.

It was a plain wooden box from eBay, and I've used acrylic gel to weld bits and bobs to it.

Over at Through Our Hands we have been able to welcome Genevieve Attinger to the Affiliated Artists, and I've just begun uploading her portfolios, so do have a look if you have a moment.  Here's the first one, it's called Eden #1.

All the editions of the magazine can still be read online and they are absolutely free, here, so if you've missed any of them please feel free to take a squizz!  We were all thrilled that the latest edition was read 8,500 times in the first couple of days, and the front cover featuring Susan Hotchkis' work was viewed over 150,000 times!!  Well it was very beautiful.

Laura and I have exciting new plans for expanding soon as well, so I hope you'll stay tuned to find out if it's something you'd be interested in.

The May edition will be an exhibition special with new work by the Afffiliate Artists, not seen before, and all sorts of other interesting articles.

Thursday, 5 March 2015

International Womens Day. Sunday 8th March 2015

Inequality and prejudice against women is a form of mysogeny. But it frequently goes deeper than mere words.

Can anyone listen to the words of the gang members who have been convicted of rape in India and not be moved to cry out against their cruelty and wrong thinking?

A woman was gang raped on a bus in Delhi in 2012.  She was dragged to the back of the bus screaming and was repeatedly raped.  She was then brutalized with an iron bar, so much so that her intestines were pulled out. Her rapists remained impassive thoughout the trial and their thoughts have now been recorded by the BBC:

“You can’t clap with one hand,” said Mr. Singh, who was convicted of rape and murder, though he denied taking part in the assault. “It takes two hands. A decent girl won’t roam around at 9 o’clock at night. A girl is far more responsible for rape than a boy. Boy and girl are not equal. Housework and housekeeping is for girls, not roaming in discos and bars at night doing wrong things, wearing wrong clothes. About 20 percent of girls are good. When being raped, she shouldn’t fight back. She should just be silent and allow the rape. Then they’d have dropped her off after ‘doing her,’

Beyond sickening. So whilst I shall be thinking about the suffragettes, political and economic reforms, education, and how far we've come, I shall also be thinking that there's one hell of a long way to go.

Life 4 - "Hello Dear, What Did You Do Today?"
by Annabel Rainbow

Well dear, I worried. I had coffee this morning. Coffee is the second most valuable legal commodity after oil but is largely grown by subsistence farmers and I forgot to buy Fair Trade.

Then I took our grandchildren to school. Did you know that 90% of all childcare still rests on women’s backs.

On the way to the hated supermarket to buy food, I saw that lady from the house by the park in her burkha who everyone says is lonely and abused but can’t tell the police in case her family is deported, and thought about the veiling and seclusion of women and the cult of virginity and the death penalty for women’s adultery, and tried to imagine what it was like to be killed with stones.  I thought of rape and how under Shar’ia law a rape victim needs four male witnesses to substantiate her testimony. In the west we might just say she’s making the whole thing up. I thought how rape could end if men just stopped doing it.

Then I had my hair done and looked in the mirror and saw how old I was. When you get old you cease to exist, people just don’t seem to see you any more. Perhaps I should lose weight or wear high heels to make me taller and show off my legs. Perhaps my nose needs altering or I could get my ears pierced or my teeth whitened. This made me think of trying to look nice and how odd this was when 140 million women have been circumcised and cruelly mutilated because it reduces libido and prevents promiscuity.   No, I’ll just bleach and perm my hair and put on false eyelashes and shave my legs and pad my bra, and file and paint my toenails. I’d best skip lunch or I’ll get fat.

I pottered about the garden and planted some lettuce. I thought of the women who make up over 50% of the world’s population yet only hold the title to 1% of the land, and produce more than half it’s food.  They work 2/3rd of the worlds working hours but receive 10% of the world’s income.

Then I paid a visit to that frail neighbour who The Meals On Wheels lady told me about. She’s sad and alone because her family have had to move to search for work and she’s frightened and doesn’t want to go into residential care but she’s in the system and thinks no one is listening.

Then I collected the grandchildren from school and took them to cubs and ballet and thought of childbearing and the way fertility can be controlled, and the 35% of all Puerto Rican women that were sterilized by the US Agency for Development.

Then I came home to do the cleaning and the cooking, sort out the clothes and do the washing, and remembered what the Ladybird books taught me in school. “Here we are at home says Daddy. Peter helps Daddy with the car, and Jane helps Mummy get the tea. Good girl, says Mummy to Jane. You are a good girl to help me like this.” When I had our children I worked part time for 20 years without sick pay or a pension and tried to nurture you all in sickness and life, and help keep them fed and educated.  If an Englishman’s home is his castle why doesn’t he clean it. Only 3% of PLC directors in Britain are women and only 4% of judges. 78% of all clerical workers are women, but only 11% are managers.

Then I started to work on my quilt, and you’re reading it now. Women artists only earn 1/3 of male artists. So I stopped and made your tea.  That’s how I spent my day, dear, how about you?