Friday, 30 November 2007

I am so excited.

I am so excited. I have just heard that I have been accepted onto the course PG Certificate in Supporting the Dyslexic Learner in FE and HE at Middlesex University. The reason why I hadn’t got round to doing any stitching for the last few weeks is because, having no undergraduate degree, I had to write a 2500 word essay as part of the application process. I am really excited – a new career awaits!!
I did start my Christmas shopping on Wednesday, but this is all you get to see for now. No more details for now because, although, as far as I am aware, my family don't read my blog, they might just!

They are just wondering if it will be a white Christmas this year.

Monday, 26 November 2007

Three weeks since I last blogged.

Its been a very hectic three weeks and the sum total of my creativity has been one ATC, and that’s for a swap so I can’t put a photo of it here.

I did however manage a trip to London on Friday.

First stop was Falkiners Fine Papers in Southampton Row and I bought some book binding cloth.
The chocolate brown and burgundy ones are Japanese silk and have a gorgeous texture. Can’t wait to use them. I also bought some Japanese paper which is probably destined for a book cover.

The assistant in Falkiners was incredibly helpful. He even gave me a quick lesson on how to add the spacers to take the thickness of the photo when making a photo album and told me all about the different sort of glues that were used and their properties. I would recommend a visit there.

My friend Z and I had planned a trip to the V&A together but unfortunately she was ill. Hope you feel better soon Z. So I trotted along on my own and saw a number of exhibitions: Out of the Ordinary: Spectacular Craft, Booker Prize Special Book Bindings and Collaborators: UK Design for Performance (Theatre designs - sets, costumes and more). They were all quite fascinating and some particularly intriguing.

In Out of the Ordinary the spots of paint on a paint spattered table were actually mother of pearl inlaid, and the spots of paints on the dust sheets were stitched. Many visitors walked straight past them without looking closely. A little girl of about eight told me quite indignantly that she had seen five people walk past without looking. It did take her to point out to me, however, that the nails in the walls were actually studded with diamonds. How many of us just walk past something and take it at face value without looking closer?

In the evening I went to the lecture with Kaffee Fassett, well known for his riotous use of colours in knitwear.

He was a great speaker, charmed the audience and enthused about his work on the slides. Apparently, he came to the UK in 1964, as a painter, intending to stay for three months and is still here. A chance trip to Scotland with a friend changed his life. He was inspired by the colours of the landscape, and a trip to a mill saw him buying wools with such names as granite and lichen. At that time he didn’t even know how to knit but on the train home he encouraged a female passenger to give him a 20 minute lesson. Later a cleaning lady showed him how to knit patterns using lots of different colours and a new career was born. A number of women in the audience were wearing stunning knitted coats, obviously inspired by him. He continues to be heavily involved in patchwork quilts, needlepoint, mosaics and painting.

He sees inspiration everywhere. He recommends always finishing a project, even if you don't like it at the time. I should take heed of that. I am a great one for starting things.

On Saturday, I had a fabulous surprise. A knock on the door and there was a delivery man with a huge box … for me! I couldn’t wait to open it up and there inside was this gorgeous plant arrangement with thanks for help with The Dress.

I was absolutely stunned. I often take in flowers for neighbours, they are never for me. Even on my birthday, the huge bouquet in the arms of the delivery man was for next door!

Well its off to work now. I hope its not another three weeks before I have time to blog again. Looking forward to a two day course with Frances Pickering next week.

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Praise indeed!

I have managed at last to finish this book. The cover is made up of several layers. Using rust dyed fabric, I stitched lines with a twin needle, and threaded string through the channels. Names of people buried in the local churchyard were stitched along the lines, then painted Bondaweb, gold and copper foils were added, then lastly a layer of painted Tyvek. More stitching with a twin needle to emphasise the lines, and then zapped with a heatgun.

The pages have been stained with walnut ink and the edges painted in gold. The photo doesn't do justice really to the texture but my son actually commented Oh That's Nice! Praise indeed.

Saturday, 3 November 2007

Doesn't time fly. We have now been in our house two years and I just love living in the country. This stunning view of the trees across the fields caught my eye as I was out walking the dog the other day. Just a couple of the tops were bright red and really stood out against the others.

I don't know what this tree is called but the sun was shining through the leaves.

Daughter and I did get round to putting out a pumpkin for Halloween.

And we made some delicious Pumpkin soup but that got eaten before I could take a photo!

Once again I haven't had time to do any stitching, but I did venture into the tiny cemetery in the village, about 200 yards from the Church. Its on the main route into the village. When there is a funeral the whole village stops because the funeral party walks from the church to the cemetery and then stands in the narrow road by the entrance whilst prayers are said. If you are driving up the road at the time, the done thing is to stop (obviously), get out of the car and then stand there quietly too.

I have been intrigued by the work on the gravestones, the range of motifs from anchors, to flowers, crosses and my favourite one so far: a man's hand holding a lady's - how romantic.
I tried to move the ivy aside but it was well and truly attached. I intend to go back and look more closely for the names and dates but I vaguely remember that this is one where they have worn off.
My friend P gave me some gorgeous photos she had taken in Chagford, Devon, of a Celtic cross. Hubs was away the another night and I sat up in bed drawing and exploring the shapes in my sketchbook.

I have decided that my personal challenge is to explore how to take my drawings into stitch. Actually not just to explore, but really do it! This is where I struggle. I stay within the comfort zone of my sketch book and kid myself that its lack of time that stops me taking it further.

Off to give the dog her tranquillisers. There will be a lot of fireworks around and she hates them. One year, she tried to dig her way into the bathroom (no idea why the bathroom) and tore her pads on the carpet gripper.

She will be 13 next week. Can't walk very far now but is still great company.