Sunday, 29 April 2012

Stroud visit

Yesterday we visited this years Stroud International Textile Festival exhibition. It has a different flavour this year and mostly takes place in the Museum in the Park. Based on Pairings, two artists of different disciplines have collaborated to produce work for the exhibition.

The resulting exhibition is fascinating and worth a visit, unfortunately I forgot my camera but you can find info and pictures on the website. Reading the blogs of the participating artists as they discuss their working practices, thoughts and processes also makes fascinating reading. Some of the pairings, to my mind anyway, worked better than others, I didn't feel that some of the work really gelled.

Two of the pairings struck me as working particularly well Sharon Blakey and Isimi Samanidou used cloth and ceramic in an aesthetically pleasing way, their work complimenting each others perfectly. If these pieces had been for sale they would most definitely have been on my wish list.

The other collaboration that I felt worked particularly well was Dawn Mason and Nigel Hurlstone whose pieces used a limited palette of colours but was very effective in provoking thoughts of loss and sorrow. Nigel Hurlstone's large portraits being particularly striking and evocative.

The other artists involved were Alice Kettle, David Gates and Jane Webb: Kate Egan and Vanessa Cutler.: Annie Shaw and Shelly Goldsmith: Jane Keating and Jilly Morris: Janet Haigh and Rachel Kelly.


I have been hardening off my tomato plants though weather not ideal for this, but they are getting leggy.
Anyway put them out yesterday in a frame covered with fleece and went out for the day. When I came back the fleece had blown halfway down the garden and the tomatoes are looking very sad, not sure they will recover. The vagaries of our British weather. Had a night of high winds, rain and power cuts and the day seems to be going the same way. I think I have also lost the cucumber plants, they are still outside suffering I guess I'm going to have to brave the weather to see if I can save them.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012


Rotorua 5? detail
 Number 5 on the loom and yes the original colours of the branches and mud were purples.
Rotorua 3? detail

This was going to be part of the longer strip but decided it didn't want to be so I guess this is going to be number 3. These pieces don't look much until they are attached to the backing fabric. At the moment this is just lying on the mud dyed strip cloth and still needs finishing and attaching. The weavings are about 10 to 11 inches long and the finished pieces are about 6 x 15 inches.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Musings on life

I was in the garden this morning planting some new purchases and was thinking about writing up a list of new plants in my gardening journal which I always forget to do. Then I thought why not start another blog for garden notes, it seems to be easier to write when you are on the computer than get out a book.

This reminded me of a conversation I had over Easter about Kindles. At the moment when I buy a book, sometimes new sometimes from a charity shop, it gets read by at least three other people, sometimes more before it goes on my bookshelf or to a charity shop for others to enjoy. You can't lend your Kindle to somebody to read and neither can they then go to help a charity or get read by anybody else.

Our lives are becoming too technology based. My husband has all the letters his mother wrote during her lifetime, which create an amazing personal and historical record. What will happen in the future, our children won't have our memories, we don't keep e-mails, what happens to our blogs when we die, they get wiped off the computer and the face of the earth. Where will future generations historical perspective come from. Before writing was invented we can only really surmise on how people lived there lives, are we going back to this in the future and does it really matter.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Roturea tapestries

I have started a new tapestry based on photographs I took a few years ago in Rotorua, New Zealand. The  geothermal activity creates the most amazing colours and textures. I've already completed two pieces based on the pictures but those both sold before I had completed the series. There will probably be five altogether, four short ones and one long one.
My offspring left yesterday after we had eaten a lot of chocolate, how greedy we tend to be on holiday occasions. After very heavy rain (much needed) and hail, which woke me at 5 this morning the day has turned out to be beautiful. Helped my Mum plant a tree and a few other things and then came back and started digging my new flowerbed which has been on hold since last summer.

I am going to face up to the washing of extra sheets and housework at some stage but not while the weather is good.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Birch trees

Birch trees off the loom and tidied up. A bit flat looking at the moment. Now to work out how to add some depth. Do I attach them to the fixing batten and then try to curve them slightly or do I curve them first and then attach them to the batten?
I should take my own advise and work all this out before I start, though in this case that may not have helped.
First things first go out and buy velcro and batten.
This will be your last look, a preview two months before the rest of the world gets a look in.
Next time they turn up on here will be when the exhibition pictures are taken.
Happy Easter and happy weaving.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Birch trees

My birch trees are at last off the loom. Had a cutting off ceremony all by myself. Now on to the next stage of trimming off and working out how to put them together to create a sense of depth.

Monday, 2 April 2012

Flowers in the Garden

 The weather forecasters keep saying its going to get cold again but we have had another lovely bright sunny day here.

These are photos of new bulbs planted last autumn in my new narrow beds following the line of the patio and path.

Miniature tulips which close up when they lose the sun, I wasn't aware that tulips do that.


Kingcups with ladybirds
Below are kingcups which are actually in the pond but they are so profuse you cant see the water.

Ladybirds are in great abundance this year enjoying the early sun

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Progress birch trees

Although I haven't mentioned my birch tree tapestry in the last week I have actually been making progress. This is the last and main tree near completion. Its hard going to sit inside when its sunny out and the garden beckons.