Sunday, June 26, 2011

Summers here and Lydiard Park

Its a wonderful sunny day today and very warm even though its only lunchtime. After the cloudy and rainy week it is quite welcome, as long as it does not get too hot.This is a photo of the everlasting sweet peas which originally came from my parents garden.... they need little tending other than tying up and watering and rarely get the dreaded black or white fly. Just my sort of plant.

In fact all the plants are coping well, and are making a wonderful show. So I suspect it will be the sort of day to sit out in the garden and enjoy a restful afternoon.

I shall be expected to perform a final fitting for the Irish Dance dress early afternoon, as I have made the " shawl" that hangs down the back. The next Feis is next weekend in Oxford, so it will be ready in time for the Feis.

I shall not be putting on the Celtic decorations and embroidery until after Oxford, as I do not want to rush it. I have made a lot of prototypes and samples and they will be available at today's fitting to decide which would look best.

This is a photo of the Walled garden at Lydiard Park... taken about 10 days ago. The lovely group of Stitchers.......Great Western Embroiderers.. have been invited to exhibit at Lydiard House again in 2012... an honour indeed.

We are calling the exhibition " Traditions" and so were invited to spend a day with Sophie and staff at Lydiard as a preparation to our work. We had access to all parts of Lydiard House and Park.. and the weather was wonderful. If you enlarge the above photo enough .... you may just glimpse the back of Jennifer sitting on her chair sketching the flowers.

The Church in Lydiard Park is St Mary's and they have just launched a fund to help restore this wonderful church. It is truly magnificent. It featured heavily in my work last time and also influenced John Piper when he visited the family at the house.

There is a good website about the history of the church and house here

You may recall this image from my wall hanging for the previous Exhibition we did. I was surprised that I had taken a photo of it again this time... obviously a strong influence for me.

After a wonderful lunch in the newly opened tea rooms. We met in the house with Sophie the curator and she had assembled some textiles that are not on view to the public for us to handle, sketch and photograph

The object above was really interesting in its construction... the beads had been attached to felt
to create the form, underneath there was evidence that it was actually a needle book.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Irish Dancing and flowers

My Granddaughter has been taking part in Irish dancing competitions for about 4 years and this year instead of birthday presents asked for money to help her buy an Irish dance competition dress. They are extremely expensive to make, but she is delighted with the outcome.

She also delighted me yesterday by visiting to show me the outfit. I have been asked to make the "shawl" that hangs at the back and the decorations and embroidery. An honour indeed.

I dashed out in the morning to pick up hubby's new meds, and when I returned this box was sat in my studio, having been delivered in my absence. Poor hubby thought I had a secret admirer.

No.... I assured him... I was intrigued though.... and then on reading the accompanying card found out.....these wonderful blooms had been sent by my very thoughtful and special Internet chums... thank you so much....I have to confess an emotional tear was shed.
Aren't they beautiful? I feel so lucky and so privileged to have such kind friends.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Carers week UK

(click on photo for more info on Parkinsons)

A very interesting if emotional week for me, when official offers of help have been discussed over the telephone all this week. It was not until yesterday when I took hubby for an emergency consultants appointment at the hospital that I realised it was Carers week see here. Might explain some of the activities going on.

I have been a carer for a long time..... but did not recognise the "title" as applying to myself. I struggled last week as I was not very well myself, and was so worried as my assistance is constantly needed.

My personal experience is that a medical diagnosis is made on the ill person.....( or in this case two separate diagnosis) and left to the carer to deal with. I had no idea that I could even ask for assistance. I thought that only those who were permanently in wheelchairs or in bed qualified for any help.

I think the reason I am talking so publicly about this is please do not struggle like I did/ have been/still am. Absolutely no-one will tell you about what to do, or what is right for you or the person you are looking after, or for you. You have to do everything yourself.

I think if another person says to me there is information on this website or here is a leaflet........ I will scream out load ---- I do not want information ... I want help in sorting it all out!. What I actually needed was some one to look at us and after discussion say... here is what you need and here is what we can do for you as an organisation.. and I will get X and X and X to phone you with these areas they can help with. Are you happy with that. As a society we are so frightened of taking responsibility for helping others and are always offering opportunities to pass on information but not actually doing anything. Perhaps I am guilty of this too... by writing this post.

I was so lucky in finding that wonderful person on the end of the telephone at my Local council.. and to her I say a huge thank you....... a number of phone calls have happened since she became involved.....I am still waiting for any real physical help to materialise.... but I do know the ball is rolling, and all this could take up to 6 weeks to get going.

In the meantime I just hope I can still handle the situation. Thank goodness I have my stitching and art to keep me sane.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Good for you ! Improves your health!

Well its official, creativity is good for you, it improves your health. Read this article in the Daily Mail for confirmation ( here), but I think we knew that anyway... didn't we?

My daughter has certainly been creative and using my studio a great deal. She has agreed to take a Sales table at the local School Fete this Saturday........ and has been making lots of "goodies" and I get the job of sewing the buttons on! Also helping at the stall on the day will be a task for me.

I really hope it goes well, that the sun shines and she sells out of all the lovely pin cushions, cards, lap quilts, cushions, bags and brooches she has hand made. I wish her well in her creative endeavour.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Flowers from a thoughtful friend

These beautiful flowers were a big surprise from a very thoughtful friend. It has been a very hard few weeks for me, but these have really cheered me up. Thank you so much... I know you will read this, just want you to know how much I appreciate the good wishes.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Stitching.......and Japanese textiles

I have been machine stitching onto my hand dyed fabrics.. just loved moving the colours with stitch.

Not sure exactly how I am going to use the result yet... might end up as a book cover.

Had the monthly branch meeting of the Embroiderers Guild at Marlborough today..... a very thought provoking talk about Japanese Textiles by Jennifer Hughes. Jennifer showed us some wonderful original textiles - this first one is stencilled and so is the second one below.

Then here are some examples of tie and dye.. some pieces of fabric have been tied but not dyed...... lots of indigo as well.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Beginnings and Endings

I have had an enjoyable week by revisiting my painting on fabrics experiments.
This is quite a large quilt, well in length anyway, and I am not totally sure about the best way of mounting this for exhibition purposes. I think it may need a large frame on the back for support.
The good weather has helped the process of painting with dye, as the drying times have been halved. In theory this could mean I can do twice as much work... but my brain does not quite work like that.

Completed Journal quilts for the Contemporary Quilt Groups challenge 2011. Feb - May

These are the first 4 of 12 - the challenge for these 4 was to use circles. The fabrics are hand dyed, and then I appliqued the shapes and used lot of quilting as a surface texture. They are individual, but I prefer them together in this chequerboard pattern which accentuates the complemetary colours. At the moment they do not have any bindings.... when the challenge is complete we are given the details for binding by the organiser. Its now time to think about the next 4 Journal quilts.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

There are times......when.........

It turned out to be one of those days.... My haircut was booked 9 weeks ago.. and an extra week (to my normal 8) was added as hairdresser was having a well deserved holiday in Malta. No problem... except it turns out he is still in Malta today.
Malcolm took pity on me as I could no longer see. The fringe had overtaken the glasses, so he kindly cut the fringe, and bless his cotton socks... would not take any money for it. However I shall have to phone again on Tuesday when my hairdresser is back.. we hope!

So I decided to use up the rest of the time I had purchased at the parking meter, to go and visit the Art Gallery in Old Town... and I was well rewarded. The Gallery is still showing some of my favourite works... a Lowery and a Sickert Drawing and my all time favourite by Gillian Ayres. Here are the details.........

and here is a photo of the painting taken at an angle to try and show the surface texture Gillian has achieved with the paint..... but if you want to see it for real... go to the gallery. Well worth the trip in my humble opinion.

Amazing use of colour and paint......just love it.