Wednesday, 30 June 2010


There was only heavenly feelings at the Welcome Collection picnic last Saturday. We unveiled our giant, embroidered snakes and ladders board, the design of which we took from the Hindu Vaishnava faith's Heaven and Hell game. The communities of Euston and Prick Your Finger, had embroidered squares with printed numbers and microscopic drawings of nutrients and bacteria. The game was a joy to play, and our giant die was a hit, as everyone seemed to be hit with it at some point during the day.
The Welcome Trust are going to take some proper detailed pictures of it, my quick snaps don't do it justice as there is / was so much to see, with kid's shouting 'la der, la der' and 'boo 'ing their way down the snakes. When one little girl standing on 4, threw a 4, 3 times, always moving up to 8 and sliding back down a snake to 4, we could understand her tears, as the boys were throwing scissor kicks of joy, clambering up ladders to nirvana. This game is fun to play and there is much depth to study. The game will be donated to Timeback, the Euston community centre with which we worked.
Although the last square is 72, this is not the goal. The goal is to reach square 68 which is the abode of Vishnu, the Hindu deity of maintenance of the universe. This is on the 8th level, which is above the 7 upper worlds defined in the Vedic cosmology. The 7 upper worlds are defined in the middle square of each row.
Other such groups are obvious in the definitions:
• • • •
the six internal foes: egotism, anger, greed, desire, jealousy, and pride called ùaóaripu.
three most auspicious rivers of India: The Ganges, Yamuna and Sarasvati.
elements of nature: sky, space, air, light, earth, ocean, fire.
the three qualities of nature: truth / light, action / passion, inert/darkness

The players take turns to throw the dice and keep moving ahead sequentially, and have to take the action as suggested on the square where their chip lands: climb a ladder or go down the body of the snake. If they go past 68, they need to get to 72, fall down to 51 and continue until they throw the exact number to reach 68. The player who reaches 68 first, wins the game.

Monday, 28 June 2010


Morning! We liked Libby Brooks's article. Follow the link below. The picture of my old spinning wheel just hours before I set fire to it, is not part of the article; I just felt like putting it up.

Friday, 25 June 2010


Tomorrow, Saturday, you are all invited picnic with us, the Welcome Collection, and the community of Euston. We will unveil our giant snakes and ladders board, which looks shamazing.
Didn't they do a good job with our sarnies on this poster?
The picnic is in Cumberland Market, Euston from 12-4pm. It's not far from Regents Park.
Remember the sun tan lotion, it's going to be very hot.
See you there!

Thursday, 17 June 2010


I am deeply saddened to hear that our friend Sebastian Horsley died yesterday. Sebastian inspired me to write, and I loved the way he made himself into an institution, by being a dandy, designing his clothes, making beautiful paintings - doing strange things. He just got on with what he had to do, constantly cutting against the grain, and asking questions we never dared. He gave us permission to speak and behave with with honesty and passion.

The phrase Prick Your Finger had been floating around in my head for a while, but it was when I wondered what I would tell Sebastian our shop was going to be called, that I realized that was it's name. I used to see Sebastian in Soho, in the Colony, or drinking hot chocolate with our mutual friend. He talked about death in a special way, and I kind of hoped he would out live us all, so that whenever we were frightened or saddened by death, he could be there, to slip us a quote, which might make us laugh and marvel at the power of nature and emotions.

You can read all about this tragic accident in the press.
He wore darkness, but I will remember Sebastian as being full of light and life, and sparks going off everywhere.

I'm have to go out now, so I will improve on this post later.
Big love to him and all his loved ones.


Please join us for 'Salon Bench Project - Bethnal Green' on Friday 2nd July, 3-6pm.
Salon Bench Project is the brain child of artist- curator Trevor Pitt and Kate Pemberton.
The Bethnal Green bench is one of eight benches being made by knitting groups across the UK, as part of 'The Knitting Salon'.
We are all asked to knit a 'plank' in Herdwick Moss Stitch, either at home alone, or in a gang at Prick Your Finger where we can discuss some hot topics and drink tea, taking it in turns to sit on the bench.
If you knit at home, Trevor explains,
"A plank is quite quick to knit, it's repetitive and relaxing and you can knock one out through two episodes of Corrie."
By adding planks we will be joining a nationwide gang, who we can meet as the benches tour the country.
Knitting packs are free, and if you can do knit and purl, you are most welcome.


Louise has been looking for an environmentally friendly solution for replacing the printer ink cartridge for ages. We were quite happy buying them from 'Advantage', who buy up the old cartridges from the re-cycling, and refill them.
Last week, Louise was having a chat with the nice man at Advantage, about a cartridge problem , and the nice man said that he will no longer be able to supply us, because our printer is made by Cannon, who are buying up all their old cartridges and sending them to land fill.
The nice ink man then sent us a credit note, and we noticed what lovely hand writing he had. We will be sorry not to trade with him for the time being, but he can still fill cartridges from other companies.Naughty Cannon, perverse Cannon, dirty Cannon, we are disappointed in you.


We are delighted to tell you that John Paul Flintoff will be launching his book,
'Sew Your Own', here on 1st July.
It's a page turner I tell you.
Please come and celebrate it with us,
and see a display of his charming works.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010


We love this video! Thank you Harold!
We were chuffed to see it because when we proposed our Spark Plugs project for the Crafts Council, Clothes as Architecture, one of our inspirations was William Van Allen's costume of his Crysler Building for the Beaux Arts Ball in New York 1931. We loved the way he was so proud of his building.Well Harold Offeh hosted his own version- Margate's First Beaux Arts Ball, for 'Dead Season - Live Art' in Margate in March. We hope it can be part of our show. Why not host one in your city/ town/ village?

Saturday, 12 June 2010


We were blown away today when Tom came over with no. 30 of our snakes and ladders board for the Welcome Collection picnic blanket. No.30 sits on the printed microscopic drawing of beer.
In the most delicate flosses, Tom has stitched,
"Life is not all beer and skittles."
Check out his little beer like, french knot bubbles!

Friday, 11 June 2010


I done my back in. Standing up and lying down are fine, but sitting has been rather uncomfortable. I wouldn't normally talk about my health on the blog, because it's boring, but Zarah found this brilliant picture of Hollywood stars resting on boards without creasing their clothes. We are trying to rig up a similar situation with an ironing board.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010


Our Zarah has done a wonderful job of mending the Campbell family's baby blanket. The garter stitch edge needed completely re-knitting and there was some darning to do on the main piece. The blanket was knitted by Dr. Pick, the local GP in Ambleside in the Lake district. He learned to knit when he was in the Navy and was apparently was a big, tall man, with a beard, who drank too much and had an eye for the ladies. Everybody loved him and he would get drunk with people as they died, giving them a good send off. Mrs. Pick would get cross with him, and eventually gave him an ultimatum for his outrageous behavior. He had to behave or she would boot him out.
Dr. Pick decided that if he was to give up drinking, he'd better pick up his knitting, so he knitted this blanket for the Campbell baby, who was about to be born and become one of his patients. He made it in the Campbell tartan colours, blue and green.
The Campbells loved the blanket, hence they wanted to restore it. We hope that there are many more Campbell babies to use this blanket.


Does anyone dare to try this much loved knitting pattern with no picture?
Written in beautiful hand writing for a 38" bust, and well used, we can't bare to throw it away.
Yours if you want an adventure!


We had a lovely day yesterday catching up with our curators, and other artists from the Louder Than Bombs show at Stanley Picker Gallery in Kingston in March. Our meeting was at the Live Art Development Agency, who part curated the show, and the aim was to reflect on and discuss what happened. The legacy of our residency has been really good for us.

It's been beneficial performing our work in a Live Art context and relating our labor to the Joseph Beuys quote around which the show was based. The situation we created has given us a clearer vision as to how Prick Your Finger could grow in the years to come. Our research has given us more to write about, more images to brand ourselves with, and more reasons to get out into the world and make a difference. As Fugazi so rightfully sang, 'Cos what a difference a little difference would make.'

There's a lovely little film of us all and check out my Mother's hands on the spinning wheel, she's getting really good!

Each of the seven residencies were so different from each other, I do recommend taking a few minutes to surf through the images by clicking on the link below.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010


We weren't really sure who was the most handsome, shearer or ram at yesterday's sheep shearing at Stepney City Farm, Stepney, London. The sheep are more relaxed now they are naked for the summer season, so do visit them.
Heike and the farm crew aim to wash the gorgeous fleeces by the end of the week. Check out the farm timetable for felting workshops.
Thanks Heike for this wonderful photo!

Friday, 4 June 2010


Our Snakes and Ladder's board picnic blanket for the Welcome Collection Picnic is coming together! We printed microscopic pictures of food related substances behind the numbers and asked people to stitch whatever they like. 72 squares have been sent out and here are the first one's back. Grace made a splash in blue with no. 37 on the stomach acid.
Lisa Anne Auerbach (Yes, the Lisa Anne Auerbach) made instant karma on a moldy 29,
Diana pumped up the Vitamin B and 31,
Louise is embellishing 28 with little running stitches resembling tomato seeds,
I was a bit restrained on the corn, and Zarah knows just how to embroider beer....