Multidimensional identities / Katrina Douglas (2014)

I have been reading ‘On ( writing) families
Autoethnographies of presence and absence, love and loss’
Jonathan Wyatt and Tony E Adams
(Eds) Sense Rotterdam 2014 as part of my research into what home means to me

Katrina Douglas has written a multilayered account of a summer with her mum. Page 105-114

She says” there will plenty of time to be at home when you are old”

Douglas leaves a golf tournament and goes home, her mother was very pleased to see her and didn’t ask┬áher any questions
Word associations/ brain storming,
Home is a place to go to if you are miserable
Do you need blood relations/ relatives? My Dad, is my stepdad, home is not quite the same as before my Mum died, but I know I will always be welcome.

Both sets of our parents have moved out of ‘the family home’ as have Jon and I. I know my daughter found it very difficult as a concept initially when we moved up to Edinburgh. I will have to ask here what it feels like now, a year on.

When Jon’s Parents moved our son was small and I remember him wandering around their house saying good bye to objects, like the swimming pool and the patio, where he had played .

Douglas continues that at home multidimensional identities of hers were able to develop including – golf pro, singer, fruit picker, tea drinker and cake eater.

And on the golf course ( when she was miserable) something was missing from her body that only going home would fill.

When Jon was away and I was home alone, this did not apply, I wonder if Douglas’ holes would have been filled by an empty home?

I have multidimensional identities, I think I don’t have to be at home for them to develop. Teacher is definitely ‘out there’. She feels like someone who is switched off when I get home.

Maybe I picked her up through observing my mother the primary head teacher? However, after my primary education I rarely saw Mum the teacher in action. I saw ‘ill at the end of term’, ‘tired at the end of the day’,’ sitting on the sofa reading’ gardener, sewing Mum, decorator and coking Mum etc. All who have definitely influenced me and have a place ‘at home’ with me .

‘Sitting at the table looking out’ is alien me, but becoming a nice habit






In my own skin / earthaddictart

I am on my own for a week whilst Jon is in America on a conference. I wrote recently about what ‘home’ means. It feels something different this week. I am not working at the moment, I have a routine which is punctuated by Jon’s rhythms- getting up, making tea, leaving, maybe we meet up, cooking eating, watching something together at 9pm, bed.

While he is not here, I feel slightly disembodied with the amount of time and space I can inhabit. His rhythms are gone, so I don’t have to get up or be awake at 6.30am, (today I am still in bed at 12.30pm) I am cut loose, free.

It feels odd, I have my own repetitive embodied experiences that I do when he is around, wake up check my IG account, Facebook and email, see Krysten for art Tuesday, skype my Oxford friends on Wednesday, am voluntary Receptionist wed pm.

I have done all those things this week but the time is muddled, I have been making art, had my hair cut, been out for coffee, but it feels like it is different, quieter, I am happy in my own skin. I open and shut the shutters, leaving the cushions on the floor, I leave my art equipment out and my crotchet squares can stay put as I leave the pattern to evolve rather than tidy up at 5pm.

I miss the physical contact and the verbal interaction, but I am not bored or lonely. I would hate it if he was away longer and would need to seek out more other regular contact .I think I could easily become a recluse.

One thing I do miss is the intellectual stimuli I got from doing my MA. But that would be there if Jon was around . My friend Deb is working on some pieces for an exhibition based on WW1 artefacts and a poem. She has been posting images and some text this morning which moved me. I made a WW1 kaleidoscope and poppy jewellery but is feels shallow in comparison to her barbed wire hearts

I think the thing I gain from being on my own is the time to be completely me and it is very quiet at the moment with a ringing in my ears.




Crotchet baby blankets and granny squares

I have been able to crotchet since junior school when the teachers decided that my class was all going to learn how to knit or crotchet. I loved it and it is part if me

Over the years I have made scarfs, soft toys and blankets. A baby in the family usually heralds a spate of making.

Once Jon suggested that made the Eiffel Tower and a Bugatti car as a bit of competitive play.( It was great fun, I think I was stuck in bed loosing babies at the time , it kept me occupied for hours ).

When I crotchet, I seem to knit the time or what ever is happening on the news or TV into the patterns, when I think about making, I can see where I was, in colour. I suspect it is because I have to sit still. The process reflects my art character, I love mixing bright colours and textures and I can’t read word based patterns so I make things up as it go along or copy from made items. Straight narrow scarfs are a nightmare because I can’t count.

I made rainbow blankets for Islah as a baby and then recently pink squares for her 3rd birthday. My friend Krysten loved Islah’s so much that I made her one. People seem to appreciate the home made aspect and my colour mixing. One friend said that it was so neat and tidy …..anyone that knows me will be amused that anything I have made is neat and tidy

I find it very addictive and love the fact that doing art everyday has strengthen ed my hands, so that I can make for hours again. Before we moved I thought my making days were over really, but now I am back. Below is my latest colour mixing for a blanket for me




Photographs out of the window

I have been taking lots of pictures through the windows of the flat lately. The light hadn’t been very good over the winter, so spring has been a revelation. I like how the light has been changing. I always wanted a period home and the proportion of the windows is pleasing. I like this aspect of my new home. I don’t know if I had become complacent about the windows in Abingdon, used to the view. Or didn’t find them aesthetically pleasing .The image through the windows didn’t feature large. I like windows and I particularly like the Georgian proportions, they have featured quite regularly in my doodles




Making Edinburgh ATC’s

Continuing the theme of home from an earlier post this week . I was excited to join a country/state themed ATC swap. It has been fun thinking up a way to represent my new home in a way that wasn’t too stereotypical.

Yesterday at a yard sale I found a couple of 1960’s ribbon catalogues


One page was full of clan ribbons, so I made copies and printed them out as an A4 sheet. I have a collection of letters cut out from magazines and I used these to collage words on to spaces. For example ‘Edinburgh’ is in ‘Midlothian’ , (which I didn’t know existed until I moved up) . ‘Haggis’ has become a regular weekly meal, especially the vegetation version with tatties, neeps and gravy.


I cut the pages to size, some layouts worked better than others, I added little versions of the Saltire or St Andrew’s flag and some have a silouhette of a highland terrier on! (Not tooo many stereotypes then ….)

After writing about how Scotland could never be home like Oxfordshire, I got a kick out of messing about with Scottish imagery, and words . I write Edinburgh and Scotland down all the time because of all the snail mail I send, it felt nice making and being repetitive with themes but not making 25 copies of exactly the same piece

My iPhone Apps

I am completely addicted to Instagram, and posting my photos in any shape or form.
The Apps I use all the time are Autostitch, Instagram, Snapseed and reflection

On IG to date I have 1.124 posts, 512 followers and I am following 80 people. I only really started being obsessed about them, well it, when we moved to Scotland. I used it as a tool before to display work. Now it is a way of having electronic interaction because most my friends bodies are not in the imm eadiate vicinity.

I had to think about that last sentence, I didn’t want to offend any electronic friends ……

I use IG as a tool, I am teaching on it occasionally. I can post video, animation, grids of pics, step by step photos of work, manipulate images in conjunction with applications to my hearts content. I am also posting journal pages, arranging art swaps, commenting on people’s work, entering into written dialogue. Collaborating, having a laugh, learning about baby Zebra finches, sharing what people’s family’s get up to, learning about weather in different parts of the world, looking at what people eat, what other people are teaching, art making, sewing, visiting, photographing, entering competitions, ATC, post cards and journal swaps
Learning bookbinding and crafting vocabulary. Discussing health issues, sending electronic cards, well wishes and congratulations, considerations, the list goes on and on

Screen dump from my photo feed from the last few days


This shows from top left
The view from the lounge/ guest bedroom window

A grid of photos of my crotchet blanket manipulated in iPhone applications

A reflection pattern of said blanket

Jon wrapped up in blanket, watching the TV

A pattern based on flower ATC’s for a swap

A pat which shows the happy mail I received from Eden

Sunlight and the kitchen window

Patterns made from kitchen window views from different days and weather

Bedroom window

Dundas St showing rain and threatening Storm

Some lettering that caught my eye outside a pub

I am having an out the window phase …….


We have been in Edinburgh for 10 months, for half that time I have had a bad ankle. The first 5 months I walked and walked and walked, acquainting my self with the city. It was all so alien, I photographed the views from our 4th floor rented flat and got to know my art skills again on a different level.

When I visited down South, my body ached and felt punched with the sense of loss.

Since February, we have moved into our flat, I can bash holes in walls, and put up shelves. We have subterranean views and my foot is slowly getting better.

Last week I visited the IOW and Hamble with family. I have long associations with both, having visited on a weekly basis for years sailing on my parents boat.

I loved the knowing, every way I turned, it felt like I had an awareness of being there again and again and again. I could see views and turns in the road, on different days, seasons, times of the day. The layers of knowing over 50 years can’t be replicated in Scotland, it will never truly feel like home.

What is home? My sofa? My bed? Jon?
As a concept I can call the flat in Edinburgh home, but my body tells me otherwise when I visit the south of England and I experience the embodiment of having lived there


My objects

I have been thinking about objects and what I remember about them over the years, I wrote a list if things recently here they are

Rabbit -bought by my aunt before I was born called peter strange shape big head and tail tended to drop off got ew eyes and tail sewed on for my brother being born, I hated the button eyes . He had square yellow foam that kept coming out of the hole where his tail should have been
mrs Tiggywinkle record
Peter Rabbit song
The bald twit lion
Wooden chicken thing
Orange Habitat light
Dad’s Racing bike
Brown gingham dress with daisies
Pink dressing gown when I had chicken pox
Mums ceramic jars with the silver rim
Red javelin jacket and yellow wellies 1977
Play deck sandals
Red kicker boots
Monkey boots
Chanel No5
Red plastic hair clips
Blue Parker pen
Silver foot necklace
dark side of the moon
Red tricycle
Mums red coat
Bags of farm buildings in a net bag
Stamp hinges
Crotchet hook
Granny square
Blue John necklace
Red bubble car
Army jacket
Flouresent pink fingerless gloves
My 6th form sketch books
Grandad’s tins
A safety pin – punk
Sewing box homemade picnic basket
Swallows and amazons
Caravan in crickieth
A fossil- sailing, Godwins ( the name of the house I grew up in) had a gravel path path and Alm bay
Hilman super minx estate
Little Spanish boat
Red swimming costume with White stars
Swimming badges
Aran sweaters – holiday with Dad in France Chris Worallo and now
Skipping hoop
Marbles kissing boys
Large log kidding boys
the apple tree in South Ave
Ginger tabby cat
Black flared velvet trousers
Green tights
Rotring pen
Slide rule
Scientific calculator
Pair of glasses
Persian carpet
Food processor 1950’s
Vacuum cleaner
Glass bottles Blewbury
The Carpenters
Yellow brick road, the wizard of Oz and Elton John
Red shoes fairy tales Dorothy
Christmas with Mum book

Spike Milligan silly verses for kids.

Doodling with Ben

Wedding dress

My picture of Charlie Holly South of France
My painting of Holly
A teddy bear
Taffy the dog
Amstrad word processor
Floppy disc
My first mobile phone
Pair of black leggings
A sharpie pen
Deb’s meditation hut
Frankincense and myrrh candles
A second hand bead
Toilet roll centres a blue peter badge
Comic book pictures
Goose feather down pillow