Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Stitching stuff

Thanks for showing some of my current work on your blog Maggie, and the workshop you gave us was great fun. I shall really have to get working hard on the sketchbook and ideas now, as confirmation has just arrived that the Exhibition at Steam Museum is confirmed for February and March next year. I am very pleased and excited at the prospect.

This is one of my self - made printing blocks, repeatedly printed through scrim, the results are great fun. I am enjoying this.

Talking about Exhibitions, managed to get the exhibition hung this morning at Wantage, and before we had finished a lot of interested public were looking round. Wonderful. The Museum have requested a "meet the artists" session. So I shall be there this Saturday, pop in if you are around.

(This is Margaret's work.)

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Review of the week

Machine stitched through my thumb today, after cleaning, oiling and putting a new needle in the machine. Ouch! In retrospect it was probably a good thing I had a new needle at least it was sharp and went straight through. However I suspect it was a result of a frantic stitching weekend... more later.

It was a lovely week, last week, celebrating my Aunts 90th birthday on the Sunday ( see my photo blog) was the commencement of all the excitements. It was delightful to see her again and looking so well, and two of my cousins managed to be at the party too.

Monday was a day preparing for my talk to the Swindon Branch of the Embroiderers Guild, and testing the digital projector and am very pleased to report it works well. Lovley group of people.

Tuesday was a workshop with Maggie, it was good to catch up with all the gossip again. Fantastic days on Thursday and Friday, visiting schools and moderating the Art and Design exams. I feel so privileged to have seen some wonderful work.

Friday I spent frantically stitching in preparation for the weekend at Urchfont. I have really had trouble with the design work for this exhibition. Everything kept going wrong, you know how it is sometimes, anyway finally on Friday morning it came together. Went off to Urchfont and managed to dodge the rush hour bank holiday traffic, so arrived early. I immediately set up the sewing machine and machined almost non stop until Saturday lunchtime and then hung the work for the exhibition before lunch.... really cutting it fine.

A hanging basket will be positioned in the centre...... however I will be stitching some more this week and going back this weekend to finish the installation. When I hung the work it was brilliant sunshine and the shadows were to die for.... by time I got the camera out the sky had clouded over and was threatening rain, also it was incredibly windy, so the work has some rather discreet fishing line to keep it in place.

If you fancy having a look at the Art in the Garden Exhibition at Urchfont, it is viewable until September 30th 2008. All the work is outside, and amongst the scultpures and stone masons and woodworkers are now 6 textile artists work. Really exciting. We had the private view on Saturday evening between 5 and 7pm, and I was thrilled that Jane Lemon came along, it was good to catch up on all the news and to meet Jenny, who had accompanied her. Lesley, one of the Friends of Urchfont Manor has organised the exhibition for Urchfont and does a magnificent job. Funds raised from the commission on sales goes to the upkeep of the gardens. A worthwhile cause. Catalogues of the work for sale are available at reception.

This is Rita's piece of work. hanging outside the coach house. I will take some more pictures next weekend, when hopefully it will not be raining so heavily!

Met some lovely people this weekend and I also met Jean who visits my blog..... hope I am forgiven now I have updated !

Urchfont are having their Open Day on 6th July 2008 so let me know if you can make it... maybe we can meet up for a cup of tea.

Tomorrow is a Bank Holiday and rain is promised.. so I might spend the day machining again. Tuesday I am hanging an Exhibition at Wantage Museum.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

300th post

Wednesday February 15th 2006 was the day, with encouragement from some Internet chums, I started blogging and I must confess I never thought it would last. I had never indulged in the daily diary activity, as a child or adult, and thought that a blog was something similar. So I have proved myself wrong and have clocked up 300 posts......amazing.

Diaries tend to remain a fairly private activity and not designed to be viewed by others, whereas a blog can be viewed by all who look for, stumble upon, or follow links to the blog. Isn't the internet wonderful for allowing us an insight into other textile artists worlds. I love visiting other peoples' blogs. I have learned so much about the everyday life of different countries, cultures and regions within the Uk.
Another aspect I have really come to enjoy is the comments left from fellow bloggers. Always a joy.
As a family we recorded family events with photos, an activity I inherited from my father. For a blog to work for me, it has to have lots of photographs. To my mind, this post has too much writing so far!

Looking back over this blog - I have really enjoyed the activity and am always so surprised that anyone visits and reads my ramblings......let alone comment. So please keep visiting and commenting , you are very welcome.

In true diary fashion a record of the todays events (with photo) .

Rather a hectic start to the day, as we are having the outside of the house re-painted. So lots of garden furniture to move out of the way, to enable the ladders to reach the upper windows.

Lovely afternoon though with the Great Western Embroiderers, we were playing with the automatic patterns available on the sewing machine.
Shirley has also designed a badge for us all, and explained how she had digitised and stitched it out on her machine. We had great fun. Probably as a result of the wonderful warm weather we are experiencing, numbers attending the meeting were down. I suspect they were all in their gardens. Weather is glorious at the moment.... just right for painting the house.
After I got back home, unpacked the car, and made a pot of tea for the workers. I realised I had not seen Herr Schnauzer for a while. Then to my horror discovered someone had left the back gate open. He had decided to take himself for a walk, after extensive searching found him again. So am really relieved, as he has no traffic sense whatsoever! Phew! Needless to say he is fast asleep after his adventure. Me? I was a nervous wreck!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Maggie's Magic

Thanks Hippopip for your recommendation, and I shall certainly try and get back to the Stroud Festival this week to have a look at Clare Lane's work. We were in a bit of a rush, the other day as a meeting beckoning us in the Forest of Dean. It was great to meet you, today at Marlborough too. It is always such fun to meet fellow bloggers, so thanks for introducing yourself to me.

The other Maggie very kindly mentioned, when we met at Marlborough today, that she had missed my blogging, as I explained there is a good reason. If you pop over to my Photo blog.. I think the photos replace the words. As you will gather it has been a bit hectic around here, and for the foreseeable future, I can see no let up in sight. Who was it who asked " what will you do with all your time when you retire?" What time! How did I ever manage to fit work in as well?

One of the great advantages of early retirement is, I can go and listen to some wonderful talks and it was good to meet up with my chum Maggie and her hubby Clive at Marlborough Branch of the Embroiderers Guild. Maggie was giving a talk on Computers, Friend or Foe. As always Maggie was very inspirational and entertaining, and was ably assisted by Clive on the computer.

Maggie, Clive and I met up a number of years ago, when we were on the first committee of the CTDG, and I was lucky enough to do some tandem teaching with her to West Country teachers. We had great fun, except we had to carry the machines up to the 3rd floor of my school..... no reach my artroom. No laptops then either.
I really enjoyed Maggie's talk today, pulling together so many ideas and as always enthusing the audience to have a go. It was wonderful to see her textiles in the flesh, instead of photos in a book or on the blog. Talking about books... Maggie has a new one coming out ,its gone to press, and is due out very soon. I succumbed and have pre-ordered, it looks wonderful. Very exciting!
(Maggie posing with her new book)
I am very lucky in that I can also attend Maggie's workshop at Marlborough next Tuesday, its an all day event. It will be different to be on the student's side of the teachers desk. I know we will have lots of fun.

Clive won't be needed next Tuesday as it s a stitchery workshop, we will miss you Clive.

(Clive packing the goodies)
Really think Maggie should make you a lovely smiley face badge, Clive, with the words "Happy to help"

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Stroud and the Forest of Dean

On the way to the Forest of Dean today, Gill and I decided to stop at a craft centre we happened to come across on the journey to Coleford . I had hitched a lift with Gill, and as we were running a little early, we had time to call in. Here is the view from the Car Park of the centre. Isn't it idyllic, if you enlarge the photo ( click on it) you will see the top of a thatched cottage and the thatchers' signature is a fish. Quite unusual, I thought.

Gill and I met up in Stroud and after a delicious lunch in a local hostelry, we wandered along to the International Textile Festival. An Exhibition had caught Gill's eye, it was called Make Do and Mend. It was an installation, and had a First world war aura. However it was advertised as "Alice in Wonderland " world. It was quite a small exhibiting space, but the 7 artists exhibiting had worked well together. The entrance was particularly inviting.

The Exhibition is running until Saturday.. so go along if you are in the area.

We then sauntered along to the Subscription Rooms and viewed the Ikat weaving on display. An added attraction there was a bookstore with very specialised textile books. Have to say Gill and I were very restrained, as neither of us added to our vast collection of books. Think that is a first for both of us.

It was certainly really inspiring to discuss the exhibitions with a like minded textile chum. Most enjoyable, thanks Gill.