New Directions – 1



Daisies1I’m blogging again. My hemoglobin got the better of me in the past few days for which the only remedy was sleep and a blood transfusion, but as usual during this break I’ve come back refreshed, finding that my creative life has taken a new direction while I was asleep and there are new experiences and contacts which I hadn’t thought of previously. It’s exciting when you can see a timeline progressing under its own steam. For me a new timeline started on Groundhog Day – February 2, no particular significance except for the new direction.

My book “Practical Weaving” has now gone to the publisher and will be released at the end of the year by Bloomsbury. In the finishing off, I contacted Fiona Doubleday who I’ve known for years to get permission to use a photo of her daughter Molly taken some 10 years ago when she was learning to weave.

Fiona and I had collaborated before when she lived on Arran and ran the Arran Trading Post. She sold my natural dyed rainbow wool and Weavelets as we christened my small works woven on willow hoops provided by Basket Maker Julie Gurr. Julie now looks after my container garden with just the right understanding of how I want to look. We’re plotting and planning for this year  to add some new herbs and flowers. Last years plants and shrubs are thriving.

Julie studies meditation as does Fiona, but they didn’t know this until I was thinking out loud on my phone call to Fiona and realised that she and Julie have at least two interests in common. Then along came Liz McCulloch who I’ve known for a few years when we met at a course at the hospital on managing long-term illness. Fiona was planning her first workshop in flower arranging and the week before, I was having lunch with Liz and she confided that she had signed up for a flower arranging course (with Fiona) and she was feeling a bit nervous because she didn’t know Fiona and she wasn’t sure she’d be good enough. I was able to reassure her on both counts and her stunning flower arrangement was a much sought after raffle prize at yesterday’s Butterfly Tea.

Which brings us nicely back to the timeline, represented here by the daisy chain which I use on my website to show how single incidents loop together to form a recognisable chain. Another bit of synchronicity occurred when Fiona and I, quite independently watched “Mary and Martha” with Pam Ferris and Hilary Swank which was shown on Comic Relief. I won’t spoil the story because the film is out on DVD, but both Fiona and I had the  knee jerk reaction “No more deaths from malaria.” Fiona contacted the Butterfly Project which raises money for nets for children in Zambia and the Arran Project was born.

So from one routine phone call, one  friendship was revived, three new local liaisons became possible, one anti-malaria project was started, a new studio was opened, and a Butterfly Tea and Cakes Afternoon brought 31 people together to raise £200 – enough to buy 40 nets.

One local young woman is filming the whole of the Project which runs to October and 2 very talented young Doubleday bakers baked 78 cupcakes which were appreciated by all.

We don’t know yet where the Butterfly journey will take us, but if it multiplies at the rate we experienced yesterday, we can encourage others to get involved and decrease the death rate of children from that pesky disease.


Fiona’s Blog: Scottish Island Mum

Butterfly Tree Project

About lynngrayross

A mother and grandmother with over 40 years of experience in textile arts. Author of "Handweaving: the Basics" published by Bloomsbury UK. Available to purchase from

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