The good news ...

... is that I shall be opening the door on a new website soon!

I thought I'd update you on that, just in case you were thinking I'd gone for good.

Thank you so much for all your sweet words in reply to my last post, I'm sorry I haven't replied to them individually, but commenting is another thing that's not working properly ... at the moment I can't add new comments, upload new images (luckily I had this pic of a greenhouse door at Arley Hall in the blog's archive), add new widgets ... the list goes on and on. As regular readers will know, these 'bugs' have been plaguing me for well over a year now, and while 'life' has certainly played its part in the infrequency with which I've been blogging, the inability to just pop up a quick post has been a major factor too.

I've finally accepted that I must leave this blog behind and begin again elsewhere and I already have a new WordPress site half built. Hopefully the transition will be fairly seamless and I won't lose anyone along the way. To be clear though, all the content that's here will stay here - possibly redirected to a new URL - and the new site will be a new start. If you visit here for the knitting patterns etc. you'll need to keep this site bookmarked as well as following me (I hope!) to the new one.

I'll be sure to let you know when the big day comes. And meanwhile ... I am truly struggling to find words that will adequately express my gratitude to everyone who's joined me here these last five years, community is what makes blogging worth the time and the effort it takes, without you there would be no blog, old or new. Thank you.

The colour collaborative: metal

The best bits about blogging? Community. Comments. The worst bits about blogging? Missing my mark, misleading you ... as 'Mater' stated in reply to my last post, sometimes we can only gesture at a more precise truth than we've been able to articulate. When I wrote that I'd been tempted to delete the blog's archive I meant to convey a longing for that new notebook feeling - the anything's possible vibe one gets from a first page yet to be written on - not to suggest that my continuing to blog was somehow in doubt because, accidents and disasters aside, it isn't. I'd definitely get a buzz from starting over though, and perhaps that's not so very surprising, given that I first posted here five years ago this past Monday.

I'd have marked the anniversary on the appropriate date, but my poor old Pa landed in the local hospital's high dependency unit at the weekend and I've been a bit distracted. I've not had time to write a proper Colour Collaborative offering either I'm afraid, I can only tell you what I'd originally planned - a how-to about using metal salts (aluminium, iron, tin) as colour modifiers in natural dyeing - and offer instead the observation that without metals (silver, palladium, platinum, iron) black and white photography would have a very different past*.

Which is a great excuse to share one of my favourite vintage photographs again. I'm convinced she's knitting on coloured aluminium needles, the kind that were fashionable in the 50s and 60s. My mum still has some.

Black and white enhances the geometry of an image, the play of light and dark, texture, mood, emotion ... colour can be a distraction and a cluttered shot gains clarity in monochrome. In this gelatin silver print (that's a link to a fascinating "history of" video) the eye is drawn to the sitter's hands via her gaze, something that just wouldn't happen to the same degree if the skin tones were competing for attention with the primary hues. And it's the focus on her fingers, busy with those metal knitting needles, that makes the picture, right?

* The V&A website has a section devoted to early photo processes and Chemical Heritage Magazine also has an excellent online article.

Don't forget to visit the other Colour Collaborative blogs for more of this month's posts, just click on the links below ...

CJ at Above the River

Gillian at Tales from a Happy House

Jennifer at Thistlebear

Sarah will return next month

What is The Colour Collaborative?
All creative bloggers make stuff, gather stuff, shape stuff, and share stuff. Mostly they work on their own, but what happens when a group of them work together? Is a creative collaboration greater than the sum of its parts? We think so and we hope you will too. We'll each be offering our own monthly take on a colour related theme, and hoping that in combination our ideas will encourage us, and perhaps you, to think about colour in new ways.

The crooked path

Close up shot of an old typewriter keyboard.

Blogging. I'm out of practice. I'm also struggling with some sort of existential blogging crisis. Yesterday I was pondering deleting the blog's entire archive. I won't, because even the most toe curlingly embarrassing bits are part of how I got to where I am now, but where I am now appears not to be where I thought I was.

Taking stock seemed like a good idea, after the last few months when posts here have been almost as rare as hen's teeth, but it's actually turned out to be somewhat discombulating. Rather a lot of 'life' was happening while I was mostly elsewhere and I've found myself altered by that and out of kilter with the blogging me, a little lost and looking for a way back, or a way forward.

It doesn't help that I'm also world weary enough lately to be disinclined to do anything much beyond knit a bit and read. There's been a surfeit of reading, just don't mention the house work. Most recently I've been dipping into Herminia Ibarra's Working Identity, a book about managing life changes* and the psychological process of transition.
We don't find [our way] in a blinding flash of insight ... it takes a while to move from old to new ... each new experience is part answer part question ... [avoid] shortcuts ... accept the crooked path ... live the contradictions.
How am I only just reading this, it was written in 2003?!

Reading, reading all the time - becoming book-drunken, to borrow from Susan Sontag - was the norm for me, and then life got in the way and it wasn't. I'd read and read and read, and then I'd write, and then I'd read some more because reading is what makes a writer. And I miss it, the book-drunkeness. So, in the spirit of living those contradictions, I'm reneging on my 'no goals in 2016' anti-goal and I'm planning to get tipsy on words every day. And now I've written that I don't feel lost or out of kilter at all.

Have you embraced any contradictions lately? Have you read any good books?

* Specifically career change, but I've found it invaluable while considering more general changes.

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