On the June bank holiday, after a couple of days in delirium I was admitted to the Mercy hospital with cellulitis from nettle stings and pond water, my lower leg was twice it’s normal girth, I could barely see my toes. Working with nettle fibres was a way of getting the connection back after the hiatus.

Nettles and Time

I have begun again with the task of extracting the fibres from the nettle.

Rumplestiltskin comes to mind

First one softens the stalk, pounding gently with stone or other blunt object

Then one splits open the stalk

The nettle kindly likes to separate into a few long strips, often about four sections

Pull a strip away

Next one extracts the pith the woody hull from inside that is not fibrous

You bend back the bark and crack the pith then you can remove it in inch long segments, here it is tempting to think this is useful fibre but it is not.

Then you have long strips of green bark, the bark is fibrous but tough

On the inside of the bark are the fine nettle fibres, they are white or palest of green

Best to dry the fibres now to allow for shrinkage, a couple of hours will do

Then soak, for a while, short or long, if longer than a day change the water every once in a while

i am not sure what comes out in the water, it could be good stuff I have read that the venomous formic acid in nettles is good some how in textiles (will get back on this one) so best not to oversoak

Soaking swells up the inner fibres, it makes them easier to see and easier to pull away from the bark, still it’s a long process

I am outdoors in the late summer sun and so I lay the fibres out on the bare skin of my thigh, they stick to my skin, holding them in place in the breeze till they dry and want to fly away

A rhythm builds this way.

Some fibres still have bark attached, the good ones are fine as grandmother’s hair

I twist the fibres

I twist them again

This stops time

The rate of production is too slow to be significant on any grand scale

Making strands

Making twine

I will not be adding much to the things of the world in this way

Time expands internally, takes on another dimension

Stills the world outside

I am in touch

The ancestors are around

How else would the girl in the story have conjured the name of that taskmaster goblin

from my blog Narratives with Nature on Glen2Creek

Nettles and time Wednesday 25.08.2021

Hullabaloo! Offaly’s Children’s Arts Festival

Weds 28 – Sat 31 October 2020


Hogie’s Grand Adventures with Julie Forrester

Create your own worlds, invent characters, draw, make and model scenery and props.
Animate your fabulous characters and stories on a smart phone or tablet.
Add music and voices to bring your world to life.
See animations about Hogie Hedgehog and Morphella to get inspired and then follow the tutorials to make your own.


Now Get Set Up and Learn the Basics
Watch the tutorials then set up your space and shoot!

Package 1 – BASICS and CUTOUTS
Starting package for all age groups
Learn the basics of stop motion animation and set up your studio. Make cut out characters create a home for them and let them play! Remember to take 50 – 300 photographs and make tiny movements to make your action smooth.

see the basics – Move & Shoot


Set Up Your Workspace and try a “Cut Out” Stop Motion Animation

Package 2 – CLAYMATION
suitable for 6-8 year olds …..and older
Make a blobby face, move its eyes and mouth – think about all the things a face can do, now think about things a face can’t do! You can make anything happen! Experiment with character expression and movement using plasticine or modelling clay.

Watch the tutorials then set up your space and shoot!


[suitable for 8-12 year olds and over]
For those who like to draw!
Animate with charcoal draw / erase / redraw / erase and redraw and….

See the paper blacken and lighten as Hogie comes to life
Watch the tutorials then set up your space and shoot!

Upload to your instagram, Youtube or Vimeo or other

Don’t forget to tag

# hullabaloo and @julforres

*(~_~)* We’d love to see your creations <@,,@>

A world with seals, the nub of magic and the encounter with other….

After an encounter with a seal (who visited my dreams and cured my aching sacrum) I am strongly feeling the presence of these graceful creatures… the synchronicity of finding this conversation lights up my world, magic as a way of perceiving differently….

Contains the line:

“…David do you mean that that rock literally spoke to you?”

and more here: