Saturday, 23 February 2008

Not sure where the last few weeks have gone....

.... one thing for certain, I have made very little progress - actually, absolutely no progress with my hanging.

It's not that I've been completely idle!

I went to the Prism exhibition with my friend LB, which was great. Some really fantastic work. I've been going for a few years now, and I really enjoy seeing how people progress. There seemed to be lots of series of work this year, all for sale individually. They often make such an impact by being hung together, I think it is sad they get broken up.

We had our grandson Joey for a day. Joey is nearly 2, so no work that day. Although when my sons were little, I would probably have worked away merrily all day. I suppose that's the difference between being a parent and a grandparent. We probably only see Joey every other week, so when we do see him, we are happy to spend all our time with him.

I've been to a 'Pile and Slice' workshop. Great fun. Came away with 12 blocks, which are just waiting for me to do something with.

I started off with 12 x 12" blocks, which I divided into 2 piles of 6. Working with one pile at a time, you cut the pile in half, take the top piece from one side and put it on the bottom, then stitch each layer back together again. You keep repeating the process until you are happy. These were cut 5 times.

DH and I spent a day in Oxford, where I haven't been since I was a child. The reason for going was to see the Treasured Textiles exhibition at the Pitt Rivers Museum. Unfortunately we chose the wrong day. It's half term, and the museum was buzzing with childrens workshops, and I couldn't get near at least half of the exhibition, which was a bit frustrating. I was reduced to taking a few pictures.

First, a detail from a Chinese robe.

A beautifil Chinese child's jacket. This design is batik.

This is a detail of a quilted 'chapan' from Turkmenistan. A chapan is a robe worn by men on special occasions. It is the most beautiful colours, this doesn't show the indigo blue. The robe is pieced together from narrow panels of warp ikat silk, and quilted with tiny running stitches.

There are three or four pieces of mola work, which I had really wanted to see, but I couldn't get near them for the floor was completely covered by children making masks and helmets. DH volunteered to pick his way through and take a picture.

The exhibition is on for a few months, so I might suggest another visit. The museum itself is incedible - full of the most interesting stuff, including lots of textiles. Well worth a visit. This is a witch's ladder:

It was discovered in 1911 in the loft of an old lady who had lived in Wellington in Somerset. It is cock's feathers stuck into a rope and is thought to be a charm "for getting away the milk from neighbours' cows and causing peoples' deaths". Odd mixture, but what a fascinating thing.

From Oxford, we went to Swindon to see our new granddaughter, Emily Ellen, who is now 7 weeks old. Lots of lovely cuddles and some smiles. It is only the second time we have seen her, and how much she has grown.

So that accounts for 5 days, and apart from that, I have been concentrating on my sampler quilt, cos the class is moving in in March to trapunto - something else I haven't done.

I've been tagged by Celia (Cheshire Cheese), so next post..... also, I promised Celia I would blog about the book I'm doing about my hanging, so something else for the next post!

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Moving to France 2

Here's Gus. Put a box on the floor and he'll be in it in seconds - put a box on the floor in front of the fire and he won't move for hours!

He's nearly ready to go move to France. He's been chipped and he's had his rabies injection. He needs a blood test in a couple of weeks to make sure its taken, and then he can go. Taking him to the vets is a nightmare - he hates going in the car, but interestingly he doesn't make anything like as much fuss on the way home. I think he knows where he's going - the vet always does something nasty to him.
Details of houses have started to arrive, some look really interesting, and we're hoping to go over at the end of March / beginning of April to have a look.

Friday, 1 February 2008

Hanging 1

As promised, stuff about my hanging - it's one of my final assessment pieces.
The brief is to pretend you've been commissioned to make a hanging to show a sense of place. My place was easy. In my village, there is a restored ragstone quarry , which is now a public open space, and it is really interesting nature wise - especially the flora. I know it really well because a few years ago, I was involved in the practical conservation of the area.
I'm planning to do two vertical hangings to hang side by side - one is an ammonite (lots have been found in the quarry) and the other is based on a huge area of teasels.
I made lots of drawings of ammonites in Maidstone Museum, and one in particular really captured the spirit of an ammonite. So I scanned it into the computer, rotated it to vertical and then selected part of it, which I then printed out large. So here is the full size design, stuck up on the wall in my hall. It's about 5 foot tall, but I think I'm going to lengthen the bottom section of the ammonite, just to make it a better proportion.

Today I've been working on the background for the teasels. I've made a series of papers using brusho, salt crystals, torn paper masks and some "Creative Colour Sprays" which are advertised in the current issue of Stitch. (They arrived the day after I ordered them.)

Needless to say, they look much better than they do in the photos! So tomorrow I'm going to have a go at the full size background.

I'm beginning to think about how I'm going to turn them into textile pieces - I shall need to do lots of sampling.