Friday, 21 February 2014

Textiles in Focus

Yesterday I drove up to Cottenham with a car loaded up with half The Material Girls work for the 'Tales and Textiles' Exhibition. Chris, Julie and myself set up the exhibition with the help of Chris and Julie's husbands. It went up really well, it is all Chris's work, she knows how she wants it staged and we just have to carry it out, that works well for us. When we do  an exhibition we do have a rough idea of how it's going to look before we get to the venue, all the work is taken to Chris's and so we know what work is going to be exhibited and the size etc.

I can show you what I've been spending a lot of my time working on…. my work is focused on Japan. I dyed the fabric for the quilt at a Janice Gunner summer school and I've used Sashiko threads for the hand stitching and I also used machine quilting to give the quilt texture.

I made an altered book, I've never been a big fan of altered books but sometimes it's good to break out of your comfort zone and try something different. To keep in the Japanese style I had a go at writing Haiku, you won't find much but I gave it a try and the Haiku is written on the Origami butterflies.

On Sunday I'll be back at the exhibition to steward and at the end of the show to take it down and bring it home with other Material Girls. Then it'll be all over until the next exhibition, but lots of things coming up, I'm working on my City and Guilds and always playing catch up. And the Material Girls will be starting research for the next exhibition so it'll be all go again soon.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Today I was at City and Guilds….

……class  chatting about all sorts of things as you do….. amongst some things we were talking about Janice's recent trip to Japan with a group of students and the blog she has started (you can read it here), Jillian said to me  'I look at your blog and you've not done anything since Barcelona!' Oh, dear how bad am I? Has life stopped, No I've just got out of the habit of blogging, I'm  making a commitment to blog at least once a month.

A few of the things that have happened since Barcelona, Christmas for one thing and followers of this blog will know that December is Birthday month in this family, so my whole family is now one year older……

I did get some lovely christmas and birthday presents, I won't bore you by telling you all of them but one thing that is getting very well used is a cookery book by Nigel Slater. I'm really enjoying trying a lot of the recipes, last night it was 'Liver and Bacon Ragu', I'm not really that keen on liver but it was delicious, so far theres not been a meal we've not enjoyed and nothing takes hours to cook, just the way I like it!  Another great gift was a huge umbrella that is fibre glass and is extra strong, now that is getting very well used when I take Betsy out for her walks, and it's not turned inside out yet, mind you I sometimes struggle to hold it in the gusting winds.

Dave and I decided last year not to buy each other Birthday presents and take a weekend break in January. So a couple of weekends ago I traveled up to London a met him when he finished work and we spent the weekend at a hotel near the Tower of London, and views of Tower Bridge (not from our room though)

View from our room

We were tourists in our own city, I arrived early and left my bag at the hotel, jumped on a bus and went to  the Paul Klee exhibition at the Tate Modern, lots of quilt inspiration. We'd booked tickets for Saturday to go to the Tower, a few enjoyable hours were spent looking at the crown jewels, and wandering through the towers and on the ramparts. We hadn't been there since the children were young.

 Luckily the weather was fine  for a short while, we jumped on a bus and went to Covent Garden  we used to go there a lot at the weekends but haven't been for ages. We had lunch at a Jamie Oliver restaurant and mooched (is that a word) around the stalls and shops, funnily enough we ended up by the 'London Graphic Centre'. No idea how that happened! Of course I didn't need much just a few bits, but I managed to leave the shop with a large carrier bag of must haves! Then to please Dave we went into 'Stanfords', their advertising says 'We have been an essential first port of call for adventure and armchair travellers alike for more than a century. Our roll-call of customers past and present includes such famous names as Amy Johnson, David Livingstone, Captain Robert Falcon Scott, Ernest Shackleton, Florence Nightingale, Ranulph Fiennes, Bill Bryson, Michael Palin, and even Sherlock Holmes.'

I'm not sure our next holiday is going to be upto the adventures that these people had, but at least we'll have a good map with us, to be honest Dave always goes here to buy maps when were going on our trips to America, more about our next American holiday nearer the time. 

Back to our London weekend, just as we arrived back at the hotel the weather changed and it poured with rain, on Sunday we planned to take an Open Top Bus ride, instead as it was still training we jumped on a train and took the twenty minute train journey home and on Monday Dave walked past the hotel on his way to work but it was fun being a tourist in our own city! As for the Open Top bus that'll have to wait for the better weather, if it ever comes!

Last Friday I met with some friends in town again and went to the Fashion and Textile Museum to see Artist Textiles Picasso to Warhol exhibition, I would recommend this exhibition really interesting work.

Below three images from the exhibition.

Oh well enough for now I think. But before I go I've not been 
completely off the blogging Facebook world, I've been updating the Material Girls sites and started a Facebook page if you'd like to take a look here it is if you enjoy what you see perhaps you'll like the page!