Cord for macrame

I am learning macrame and I’ve been looking for cord that would work well for a macrame plant holder project. It needs to be fairly thick, flexible and not too resistant to being knotted and flexed, and strong enough to hold a pot of earth which may be watered.

A plant holder project requires eight strands of 3 metres of cord.

In a DIY store in a retail park in Newhaven, I measured out 30 metres of red rope in an aisle of B&Q and then searched for an assistant who had a pair of scissors. I’ll go back another time for some lengths of the other types of rope, but I am trying to force myself to finish one project before buying materials for the next.

This large scale rope (in the photo below) is tethering a passenger ferry to the quayside at Dieppe. The port of Dieppe is a four hour crossing directly from Newhaven.

At the ferry dock, there is a cluster of concrete shapes. They look like letter press glyphs, rubber stamps inked up with a green seaweed colour or lengths of extruded clay.

Cotton grass

This cotton grass is growing wild on the South Yorkshire moors.

This cotton grass is growing wild on the South Yorkshire moors. It’s habitat is acid bogs and it thrives in the Arctic tundra. The cotton strands are too short to weave into fabric but the tussocks, the fluffy heads, have been used as candle wicks or as a filling. Records show that it was used to stuff pillows in Suffolk.


Cotton in landscape


I have used this white rocky substance recently in the making of two things; home made base cream and silver jewellery. Here it is on display in the Natural History Museum.


For the cosmetic, a teaspoon of powdered borax, dissolved in water, turns a melted mixture of cocoa butter, bees wax, almond oil and wheat germ oil in to a white cream.

In silver smithing, a hard stick of borax is ground down in a dish at the same time being mixed with water. We painted this milky liquid on to the small areas of silver that would be stuck together. A tiny piece of solder was balanced on joint and we torched it with a heat gun until the silver glowed rose and the solder ran liquid.

The face cream recipe was from a Neals Yard book and the silver smithing taught by Lara Mathers at The Papered Parlour


Peak District quarry

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The bed rock of the Peak District was formed 300 million years ago, close to the equator where the Carribbean is now. Imagine the clear water of a shallow warm sea, teeming with starfish and shellfish like creatures. In vast numbers and over 20 millions years, the remains of these creatures and microorganisms settled on the sea bed and slowly hardened to become the thick bed of limestone. The bed of limestone was shifted by the deep movements of the earth to where it is now.

The tors are sandstone, created as the sea and rivers met at a delta and deposited sand and mud, on top of the limestone. This rock was used to make millstones.