Wednesday, February 20, 2008

A Day Out In London

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Today we had a chilly day out by Westminster Bridge, taking a tour on the London Duck and then a flight on theLondon Eye. The sun didn't manage to burn all the fog away, so we were grateful that we were allowed to postpone the flight by a few hours, by which time it was a little clearer and the sunset and pearly mist combined into a Turneresque atmosphere. It was all great fun - I never tire of the views over London from the Eye.

Sunday, February 17, 2008


You Are 83% Creative

You are an incredibly creative person. For you, there are no bounds or limits to your creativity.

Your next creation could be something very great... Or at least very cool!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Teaching Teachers

I recently had the wonderful opportunity to share some mixed media/textile techniques with a group of teachers in Swindon. With a given theme of People and Places, looking at methods of making puppets and postcards seemed appropriate, and getting colour to travel from place to place by transfer techniques. However, we had only two hours in which to do this, so it had to be a whistle stop tour.

I developed a template for glove puppets, which we could use to transfer individual designs made by painting and collage (my examples of which are pictured above), which then had scope for further embellishment. We also briefly touched on photo transfer using a Lazertran product which is printed by a computer ink jet printer, and considered the construction methods and materials to use for functional textile postcards. In the time we had, finished products were not possible,but some fabulous pieces of artwork were produced which would not need much more effort or time to transform into puppets and postcards. I sincerely hope I will see some finished results of what was started that day, and that the lovely ladies who came will have fun using them with their pupils.

The picture above shows beautiful artwork by Helen Flinders and Sarah Woodhead, shown here with their gracious permission. The photos do not do full justice to their work, unfortunately - too much of a rush at the end. My goodness, they were all such good students - and after a hard day in the classroom, too.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Material Madness

My younger daughter departed yesterday morning on a school art trip to Barcelona (lucky girl)and has kept us busy preparing for it, shopping for essentials and replacing lost EHICs. One item we could not find in the shops was a jacket, and the mother madness awoke as I decided if not available for money, then it would have to be for love. Wednesday last week I found a pattern very similar to a style she'd tried on in Monsoon, and with daughterly approval purchased some turquoise coating in Bristol. Then, as is my wont, I had a few poorly days. However, I got the pattern rescaled and cut out, covered the buttons and made a start.

Here she is, newly jacketed and suitcase at heel, about to get into my great friend Cath's car for a lift to the airport at about 7.30am.

The last stitches were made after the car had drawn up outside! She'd tried on the jacket and the front lining rucked up the skirt, so I had to unstitch it and just had time to tack up the lining hem before she stepped out the door. I had worked at the jacket all night, so was ready to crawl into bed for a few hours sleep through the morning before I needed to spring into action for other commitments.

The things we do for love!

Friday, February 01, 2008

Challenges Duly Risen To

Yesterday I completed the Artist Trading Cards and Quiltlet I presented in my previous post. They are now in the mail to Alis and Susan of the Unlimited Textiles yahoo group.



This month's swap theme on this group is Passion, for interpretation as a quiltlet and as a brooch. I feel inspired about this, and have started sketching, mentally and on paper, some beginning ideas.

Of course, I "cheated" by using this design work for my January Take it Further Challenge which was to be inspired by someone we admire. I have been far from my best this month so I think it's just about acceptable to kill two birds with one outcome in this way. February's challenge is "what I've lived long enough to remember" so these two themes will not dovetail so readily - so I can enjoy trips down Memory Lane and make forays into Passion as well.

I also downloaded instructions for the February bag project on the BQ List, which is a bit more involved than the January bag I made, but looks interesting and very attractive - indeed I think I got what Kandy would describe as a sneaky peek at the meeting of Great Western Embroiderers we both attended a couple of months ago. I will have to go and hunt through the fabric mountain to see what I can utilise this time around - there's still plenty of choice.

I have signed up to the Creative Every Day challenge as well. I guess the daily photo blog I started is contributing to this commitment as well. I'm still on my first Bayerische Sock and am ready to start the heel now. It's knitting that requires concentration and I'm resisting casting on another project for the moment so I don't get diverted from this one, but I may have to because there are certainly times I could be knitting when I don't feel up to working on this project. However, I have some handstitching coming in the swaps I've mentioned, I think, which may fulfil this function for a while without additionally diluting my project progress...

DH and I rose to the challenge of going out together more often "a deux" last night by going to see Atonement at the Bristol Showcase cinema. We'd missed it first time around, to my great regret, but the film's recent success in the Golden Globes seems to have granted it a limited second run before its imminent release as a DVD. It was wonderful: I'm so glad we got to see it on the big screen. Powerful story, fabulously shot and excellent music, too. Another good one. It did us good, even if it's meant I've spent the day in bed so far. Where will our next "date" take us?

The challenge I still have to really get my teeth into is working on the inspirations provided by our holiday in Marrakech, which is simmering away in my sub-conscious at the moment. I need to make a start on this because there was so much wonderful there. My friend Dale has put me onto a wonderful new-to-me blog, The House in Marrakesh to make me get nostalgic again - but not in an "I've lived long enough to remember" kind of way.

Oh well, time to get up, get dressed, get nose to the grindstone and get on with the day.