Australian Miniature Artist, Bessie Golding

self miniature

DSC00866 Bess Golding


miniatures1 (1) The two miniatures on the left of the top photo were painted towards the end of Bess Goldings’ life.  My father is painted as a young boy in the bottom right miniature of the group of three.














This post is something different for me and perhaps I should have added it to the “Travel” Category as I shall be visiting Australia this year and I’m so excited about the whole event! But there is a reason why I am blogging a travel story before I travel.

One reason for our visit is that my paternal grandmother Bessie Golding lived and worked as a miniature artist in Melbourne Victoria.  I would love to find out if anyone knows of her work or even has an example hanging about somewhere! I know its a very long shot!

Bess Golding left England in 1914 with her two small children to follow her husband who had travelled ahead.  Sadly her husband died soon after she and the children arrived, and she was left to bring up her family alone. The small family lived in the Kew area of Melbourne, Victoria between the years 1914 to 1936, and moved to various addresses in Kew and Yarra whilst there.  My father attended the local Trinity School Kew.

She had many miniature commissions, and  in 1925 one from the Countess of Stradbroke in  Melbourne.  Bess also held several exhibitions of her work, one in the Oriental Hotel Collins Street alongside another artist Margaret F. McLean, and taught art at the Margaret College.

Bess Golding  made her living painting miniatures of children but was also was a good water colour artist.  Unfortunately I do not  have any of her water colours.  I know a few pieces of her work have gone through Australian sales rooms so I am really hoping I shall have some luck with this ” shot in the dark” as it were!

Since writing the above I have had a bit more information given to me by my youngest sister who has inherited my Grandmother’s artistic genes and knows far more about the subject than me!  Apparently Bess Golding was a contemporary of these three in who’s work she was especially interested: – MJ MacNally, Harold Herbert and Rowland Hilder.

I have also found this news clipping where Bessie is mentioned in paragraph 5.


Thank you


If there is anyone out there who can help, it would be amazing.

Two men went to mow, went to mow a meadow!

The Pond

The Pond

Natural planting

Natural planting

The Pond

The Pond










Yesterday was a gorgeous sunny day in Cambridgeshire and I went with a group of amateur gardeners on a visit to a local hall garden.

Wow I was blown away by the whole 50 acre site of pure blooming loveliness.Trees, shrubs and flowers all vying to be looking their best and the lawns were manicured to the extent that the head gardener begged forgiveness for a few fallen leaves from the huge oak standing in the middle.

As a result I pottered home to my little cottage garden and dug and mowed my heart out thinking ” that 50 acres was looked after by 2 men only, surely I can look after my little patch?”.  Well I tried hard but no gardening got done today after yesterdays exertions, every bone was aching.  I can dream and visit that garden again when it opens again in two years time!

One herbaceous border.

One herbaceous border.

Always read the instructions, or not…..

I have often come across errors when following dressmaking pattern instructions, and I guess they are bound to happen. But this one had me scratching my head till I decided to just stick with what I know and go my own way! Would not like to use this pattern if I was new to dressmaking.

What do you think about No 7 for attaching the collar?

Burda 2561

Burda 2561



Embroidery and Tapestry

I had an amazing time yesterday.

Now a visit to the British Library on the hottest day of the year so far, does not sound like an appealing prospect.  But I was entirely wrong and I recommend a visit to see Magna Carta (An Embroidery) before the exhibition closes on 24 July 2015.

To celebrate Magna Carta’s  800th anniversary this year,  the acclaimed British artist Cornelia Parker  has replicated in stitch the entire Wikipedia article on Magna Carta as it appeared on the document’s 799th anniversary.

” A landmark in constitutional history and a foundation of the concept of the rule of law, Magna Carta is one of the most famous documents ever written.  What began life in the 13th centuary as a peace treaty between King John and his barons has come to be viewed as the great charter of civil liberties and it retains enormous symbolic power as an ancient defence of individual rights and freedoms”

The Wikipedia article on Magna Carta attracts more than 150,000 page views each month and is always being amended.  Magna Carta (An Embroidery) is a snapshot of where the debate is right now explains Parker  ‘Echoing the communal activity that resulted in the Bayeux Tapestry, but on this occasion placing more emphasis on the word rather than the image, I wanted to create an artwork that is a contemporary interpretation of Magna Carta”

The Wikipedia article was captured by Cornelia Parker  on 15 June 2014 and output it as a printed pattern on fabric. The fabric was divided into 87 sections and sent out around the country to be stitched by more than 200 people.  Eventually they were sewn back together by the Embroidery Studio at the Royal School of Needlework.  The finished piece is almost 13 metres long.

It is a really amazing piece of work, partly because so many people created it and the embroidery is not perfect!  There are however detailed pictures emblems and logos scattered along one side.  These have been stitched by highly accomplished members of the embroiderers Guild.


The version of Magna Carta issued by Henry 111

Magna Carta (An Embroidery)

The complete embroidery


A sample of the embroidered text from Wikipedia


Part of a series of articles on Monarchy


John of England signs Magna Carta, illustration from Cassell’s History of England (1902)


Pope Innocent 111 (d. 1216; mural 1219)


Jurist Edward Coke interpreted Magna Carta to apply not only to the protection of nobles but to all subjects of the crown equally.






My information has been taken from the information booklet ” Cornelia Parker Magna Carta (An Embroidery)

Now The Tapestry element.  Its a loose connection, or thread,  here!

I was taken to the Carole King Musical “Beautiful” at the Aldwych afterwards!  I sat there entirely mesmerised and immersed in my youth! And the Tapestry thing popped into my head.  I will always love all the Carole King music, what a talent, and the show did her music superb justice.

Another thing to do if you are in London soon!


Off my block!

Village Taverna

Village Taverna



Back from 10 wonderful days in  beautiful Crete with the family, and what a lovely break it was, lots of bracing swimming, and walking in the nearby gorge.

But to greet me home were the foam blocks that I promised to transform on May 11th, into two garden seats.  Not one to disappoint I set to,  feeling full of optimism after my 10 days off.  If anyone is contemplating this task do not be put off!  I was  advised to attack these 4 inch thick blocks with the serrated edge of the bread knife, dont do it!  Success came with a six inch filleting knife, a nice smooth cut.  It reminded me of filleting a very thick fish but instead of scales there were loads of  messy foam crumbs, but on the plus side no fishy smell.

I have also decided that it would be a mistake to cover the blocks  with the upholstery fabric directly on top, I have used a bed sheet as a liner as the foam clings to everything and it would be impossible to fit the blocks into their covers.

I am picking up my trusty Bernina tomorrow as she has had a break at the repair and servicing shop! Will get  these seats  finished by Wednesday with any luck, only hope they get used this summer.

Time off in Crete

imageThird visit to this beautiful Grecian Isle, the largest in the Med and definitely  my favourite. Spending 10 days with my two “children” and their partners and my grand daughter, it’s so wonderful to be all together and am feeling very lucky.

So in the heat what are we going to do today? Hit the mountains! Well the maps are out on the breakfast table on the shady balcony side of the house, will see what develops. Yesterday we lazed around the pool but the day before was a climb down the nearby gorge. A fantastic mornings effort rewarded by the stunning views and all the bright flowers. May is the month for freshness here. Previous visits have been at the tail end of the season in September when both the country and people are jaded it seemed.

My Monday Make

Today the weather is said to be reaching the late teens in temperature, oh wow! And it’s still only May!  Which has made me think I had better crack on with my next sewing request. new covers for an outside bench seat!

Not too much of a challenge technically, but whenever I attempt a new sewing project that comes straight from my little brain I get a little nervous!  I have some great cream canvas for the covers and think Velcro will suit as a closure! Any one who has any ideas are very welcome to suggest!

Foam blocks

Sitting softly