Posts Tagged ‘activities’

DWP press office resort to hate language

The DWP Press office allowed its mask to slip briefly last week when it resorted to calling benefits payments ‘welfare hand-outs’ in a press release which later became the Daily Mail’s headline story.

In an update about the benefit cap on Thursday 9 January headlined “Benefits capped for 33,000 households” the DWP explained that:

‘The Benefits cap limits welfare hand-outs to £500 a week. . .’

The next day, in its front page lead, the Daily Mail regurgitated the DWP press release:

“More than 33,000 households have had their benefits slashed since handouts were capped at £500 a week.”

The term ‘hand-outs’ is a deeply derogatory one, invariably used by those wishing to encourage prejudice and hatred towards claimants.

For the DWP to use the term ‘hand-outs’ is a shocking departure from the measured language and impartiality the public have an absolute right to expect from civil servants whose wages are paid by public taxes, not by the tabloids or by propaganda peddling government ministers.

It is this sort of prejudicial language which fuels hatred of claimants. Is it any wonder that there is an increasing level of hate-crimes, fear and suicides – especially amongst sick and disabled people?

The only appropriate response from the DWP would be to send out a press release apologising for its inappropriate and inflammatory use of language.

So, if you are as disgusted as we are by the DWP’s language and by its response when challenged, please email your complaint to:

You might also want to forward a copy of your complaint to your MP, using the Write To Them website.

From: Benefits and


Spinster for a day

A spinster is a women who spins to make her bottom drawer, well I’m just spinning on my bottom!

top spindle

I attended a class on spinning run by Helen Neale, I had a thoroughly good time. We learned how to card, when to comb, how to use a spindle, lusted after some of them (see Turkish spindle below) used a wheel and plied!


I found I’m getting better on a spindle …

Turkish Spindle

but the wheel was torture for me – however others seemed to get it going from the start.

Perhaps this is a good as I will not hanker after one.

The activities applied in spinning can be practised in small sections ideal for me when I have only a few minutes of energy. Nothing is lost if the action is interrupted.

Helens next course is on Natural Dyes.

contact Helen at :


Preparation for Open Up …

Open Up Sheffield will be in May 2013. Saturday to Monday 4th to 6th and Saturday and Sunday 11th and 12th.

I’m thinking of applying. but first sort the Studio again. It’s amazing just how often I have to tidy  and sort.

The Before:                                                                The After:

Studio February 2013

Studio 2013

Books moved to upstairs study … awaiting sorting.

Photos taken for the brochure and website


Representations of weaving; printing, acrylic image and fused glass lamp cover.



glass for lamp

Now just the application to write, timetable to finalise and the creative impetus to find, easy ….. (ish)

An empty loom (but not for long)

An empty loom

I missed my weaving class this week due to a frozen shoulder!

Last week I was shown how to calculate and measure my warp threads, then wound them onto the warp frame.  I used two coloured threads to try a striped design. Sorry no pictures, may get them next week.

So, frozen shoulder notwithstanding (I’ve got two arms!) I thought I’d begin this procedure at home on my Kromski Harp, got this far and need help! I am using the same thread for the whole piece and am unsure how to proceed. Back to the net for assistance!

All help taken seriously thanks.

Stop the Serengeti Sell Off.

Dear friends,


At any moment, a big-game hunting corporation could sign a deal which would force up to 48,000 members of Africa’s famous Maasai tribe from their land to make way for wealthy Middle Eastern kings and princes to hunt lions and leopards. Experts say the Tanzanian President’s approval of the deal may be imminent, but if we act now, we can stop this sell-off of the Serengeti.

The last time this same corporation pushed the Maasai off their land to make way for rich hunters, people were beaten by the police, their homes were burnt to a cinder and their livestock died of starvation. But when a press controversy followed, Tanzanian President Kikwete reversed course and returned the Maasai to their land. This time, there hasn’t been a big press controversy yet, but we can change that and force Kikwete to stop the deal if we join our voices now.

If 150,000 of us sign, media outlets in Tanzania and around the world will be blitzed so President Kikwete gets the message to rethink this deadly deal. Sign the petition now and send to everyone:

The Maasai are semi-nomadic herders who have lived in Tanzania and Kenya for centuries, playing a critical role in preserving the delicate ecosystem. But to royal families from the United Arab Emirates, they’re an obstacle to luxurious animal shooting sprees. A deal to evict the Maasai to make way for rich foreign hunters is as bad for wildlife as it is for the communities it would destroy. While President Kikwete is talking to favoured local elites to sell them on the deal as good for development, the vast majority of people just want to keep the land that they know the President can take by decree.

President Kikwete knows that this deal would be controversial with Tanzania’s tourists — a critical source of national income — and is therefore trying to keep it from the public eye. In 2009, a similar royal landgrab in the area executed by the same corporation that is swooping in this time generated global media coverage that helped to roll it back. If we can generate the same level of attention, we know the pressure can work.

Weavers, Spinners and Dyers Guild

Spent a good few hours yesterday at the Hallamshire Weavers, Spinners and Dyers guild. What an eye opener!

Women with spinning machines, top whorls, bottom whorls, knitting needles, fleeces, roving, wool tops, a kumihimo loom, weavers of card, plastic and newspaper – A true cornucopia of skills, machines, creativity and knowledge.

Japanese Braiding – Kumihimo.


We were welcomed and engaged with – true skill sharing and comraderie.

My friend Vic and I are in possession of two fleeces, straight off the sheep – we came home with enough to do until the next meeting and then who knows we may learn to dye, or to spin … the worlds our whelk! (oysters are too costly)

You can follow our adventures and laugh with us!

Anish Kapoor at the YSP

      Anish Kapoor is one of Britain’s most distinguished artists. He has achieved international acclaim for his sensual and beguiling sculptures created using pigment, stone, stainless steel and wax, and his work is represented in major exhibitions, collections and public spaces across the globe.

The Longside Gallery at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park is home to a few pieces of Kapoor’s work.  It is absolutely breathtaking. A definite must see.

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