Monday, 29 November 2010

A winner!

My, but it's Baltic here! I keep photographing Ben Sgritheal, but look at it, & us huddled in the dark under the hill ;)

Interesting ice tracks

The craft fair on Saturday was cancelled due to 'adverse weather' conditions - they might reschedule but I'm booked up! So instead my DH & I went to a print exhibition in the Isle Ornsay Hotel gallery An Talla Gearg. Pam Carter paints beautiful big vibrant pieces, travelling all over the Western Isles but based in Glasgow. She'd invited a jeweller & sculptor friend, a local leather maker & the next door tweed & jumpers shop to show with her & as I went to the opening instead of the fair I was asked if I'd like to add a couple of driftwood mirrors & some cards to the mix. So I did. My first few pieces in the local gallery! Something out of nothing ;)

So, to the winner. I was going to ask my dog but my kind & tolerant DH picked the winner instead as Tam would  surely have eaten the bit of paper.

Linda Stokes is the winner!

So, there we go. I won't be sending the leaves of course as I don't want to break any laws or get the package fumigated! Thanks for all the wonderful input, I really enjoyed my anniversary party & reading every one's ideas.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

A giveaway.

To celebrate 100 posts & one whole year, on Monday, I thought I'd join the giveaway movement. I am always amazed by people's generosity, what a kind lot you are, but I was thinking well, I can't give too much away, I need to use all my stash that I've carefully saved for well, maybe up to 14 or so years, for all the trillions of collage/hangings cushions & cuffs that I plan to make to earn my living, for, well, pretty much the rest of my life looking at the amount of stuff I've got! So, I do have a bit to share, after all.

There's some new fabric, a little bit of my painted fabric some new & recycled (carefully washed if a little crumpled) fabric & organza, a selection of found papers (the date on the Chinese paper is 1999, just before we left the metropolis of, well, anywhere but here really! Some of my papers, some yarn, a foot of inches, hemp & a bit of rust & eucalyptus leaves if you fancy a tiny bit of eco dyeing. There's a gift of one of my brooches which I hope you enjoy wearing or pinning up somewhere you can see it occaisonally.

I shall hopefully draw the winner on Monday 29th, at about noon, shortly before I go to work. Please leave a comment here just giving me an idea of what you would do with one of these things & if you're a follower I'll put you in twice. 

A whole year of chatting to the wide world; I've loved every minute of it!

I had a go a moon photography, I'll keep practicing ;) ! It's been amazing on the water these past few clear starry nights.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

A short post today

as I'm in recovery after the first of 4 Christmas Craft Fairs. It was a fabulous bright sunny day, if a little baltic. I wasn't in the outdoor marquee but I was in the little hallway which leads into the main room, & along with 2 other tables, in a howling gale of a draft which froze my right ear off! The fireplace which normally has a warm Christmassy real fire had recently been converted to gas & was no longer working. Never mind, we had carols sung from the garlanded staircase, just lovely & I could sing along disturbing nobody ;) I felt a sense of Christmas peace, especially having made a few sales, after rather last minute frenetic  preperation.

Some decorations; my painted papers stuck to recycled mount board & my painted fabric (from last year) stitched into a pretty odd shape. I added some creative mess this year but it didn't seem to make ay difference to sales. I haven't cracked the decorations market yet. I'll try some fabric circles with bits hanging off next. Does anybody else out there make decorations?

and some brooches

My cuffs did well so I need to make some more for next weekend, craft fair no 2.

I've abandoned my garden recently & as it was another beautiful day ( ;)  )I was able, as part of my 'recovery' (they're enjoyable if a bit draining these craft fairs) to do a bit of catch up weeding & listen to the garden birds who've returned from wherever they were blown to last week. The sun has just become so low in the sky it only peeps over the first hill at the back of the house at about 12.30 & by 2pm it's gone behind the second hill.  I can see the sun elsewhere  in  the village (if it's out of course!) but it becomes rather precious in the garden at this time of year. It gets high enough again mid January, I think. 

I came across this bouy rusting away on a gravel bed in the garden so as it's falling apart I think I'll wrap some fabric around it & try some more rust dyeing. I should have treated it when we found it to preserve it for longer but there's nothing like a bit of organic decay, things naturally moving on. It's that time of year.

Monday, 15 November 2010

My first mosaic! (with a little/lot of help from my DH!)

Altho of course they seem to be called tiles, why do we call them mosaics (a prettier word I guess)? Thanks for the Photoscape tip Linda & one day I will get to Flikr, thanks Heloise.

Talking of Heloise, I haven't yet mentioned her kind invitation to her home when I suggested we meet up when down in Oxford visiting my parents. It's lovely reading her posts as when she takes us on a 'walk' she sometimes covers my old stomping ground & I can reminisce all the way from up here. I was a little early so I took these.

I never see ladybirds up here so couldn't resist the one hiding in the rust. (yes, my lens needs a clean ;)

We chatted like we'd known each other for ages & altho I had my camera it didn't occur to me to 'document' our meeting, we were busy being friends having a coffee. At first I thought that might seem a little insulting & then I thought sometimes privacy needs to be respected. Having said that I love that I think whenI I'm out & about 'is this blogworthy?' We can choose to show & tell.... or not. She gave me a lovely package of bits & pieces, even some Latin text - now where have my old Latin textbooks gone....!

I still feel refreshed after my holiday & yes we had a pumpkin, only because members of my family came to visit that day. My Mum asked me to carve it & my Dad & I went for a lovely walk locally to gather foliage to add to it. I know it's mid November by now but I never was a punctual person!

So, I went to the Inchmore Gallery opening, to see myself hung! It was a beutifully presented exhibition, pieces of similar color put together, which gave it a lovely feel.

Mine are the bottom 2 of the pic above (I know, ignore the flash)

All the names of the artists are on the Inchmore Gallery website, a wonderful selection of work. So, our first mosaic tiles, a little tweeking needed but, I'm proud!

Fabulous & frosty this morning, beautiful & Baltic! Couldn't resist the little Wren ;)

Monday, 8 November 2010

Been doing some filing

& my wrist is nearly falling off! I do try & sort my photos as I go but the buid up is getting silly now. Then I thought I'd try a mosaic for my photos of Art in Woodstock - I got involved in changing a 50's type photo of a womans face into a mosaic using cat pics...interesting...but not what I wanted. Did some kind soul point me in the right direction of how to make a photo mosaic? I'm sorry, I've lost it in emails or comments.At the risk of loosing the use of my other wrist would you mind telling me again? Thanks!

A beautiful day in Woodstock, also a favorite place of my mother's so she didn't mind being worn out again. I was taken to meet a lovely, artisitc friend of hers then we visited 3 or 4 venues showing various artworks.

These beautiful ceramic mixed media pieces in the Woodstock Bookshop by Debbie Howard; she loves swallows on the wire too! Love that ceramic text.

I would have had any of these pieces in my garden. There were all over the Woodstock Museum's lovely  garden

as was the above by Rachel Ducker & Paul Mortimer, inspired by the work of Breast Cancer care. Amazing to feel the yearning coming off the figrue straining out of the ground. The pink ribbons were memorials.

 A little secret garden by St mary Magdalene

which was showing these beautiful hands by Sioux Blair-Jordan, woodcuts by Diana Johnson & paper sculpture by Kate Bufton. I was itching to draw hands & fold paper!

Hmmm, the flash isn't great but it's a record. These were for course work (sorry forgotten where for) by Laura Ralph in Hope House B&B. Lovely fabrics & mixed media. I hope I credited everyone correctly - I've got the brochure in front of me!

I came away from these wonderful displays inspired & feeling very much part of the art world. I used to drive my friend Lesley mad when trailing round exhibitions like this by saying "I could do that" to which her reply was, when she'd had enough "well, do it then!" So I did/am doing/will do!

Which leads me nicely on to delivering my work to Inchmore Gallery. I took 5 pieces & cards.

The first 3 are part of a series i started almost a year & a 1/2 ago, inspired by Ro Bruhn who I found while trawling the www & wanted to do a class with her, not realising she was all the way down under - inspiring, wonderful work. & Alisa Burke, another prolific & passionate woman & Cloth Paper Scissors (they're easy to find!) It started to come together thanks to all thse people. The top pink one was done specially as was the textile,  (you've seen the hearts before) I struggle with naming my pieces & as this was the first I've framed as opposed to sticking/stitching to bits of driftwood. it 's called Landscape 1. It could be 'from my window' There's a tiny bit of rock pool, Julie! I feel there are more of these to come - Jackie says we have shelves full of ideas in our mnds; we will pull some off.- & they are thanks to pouring over Quilting Arts mag & Workshop on the Web & the generosity of  this wonderful bog world.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Here I am

Home again! Had a fabulous week away. Nothing like a change of scenery to recharge the batteries. Of course, there's no better scenery than there is outside my door, but I don't have a stunning Acer tree in my garden - it would spend it's life in tatters. (I do have a couple of little ones 2' high, practically kept in an outside cupboard!)

I was able to sit on a little window seat, quietly gazing at these beautiful autumn colors with my coffee or breakfast. Very calming, especially necessary after a trip using a car, train, bus, plane coach & car to get to my parents house. (my mother has oft said it would have been easier if I'd moved to the States!)

One of my favorite places in the center of Oxford is the outdoor market. I've always loved trawling thru others castoffs, feeling I could give something that's precious to me a new life. I don't think I realised back then that it would become part of my artistic expression.

I forgot to ask how much the printer trays were, love those things! My Grandfather was a printer at the OUP (Oxford University Press) & his retirement job was at the Pitt Rivers museum, full of facinating things like shrunken heads that horrified me as a child! When I have a few more spare hours, I'll visit again with my sketch book. I mention my grandfather, as whenever I go to Oxford, the second main home in my life I feel so full of family, quite validating, really & I get such a feeling of quiet warm hugs.

Love the way they stack things around the maple trees & the pic 2 up is hat net from the 30's, I think. Beautiful things. I could have all those rugs, too!

My second favorite place is the Covered Market. I'm so at home here!

No wonder,I've been going there since my teenage years. & drinking in this cafe for over 30 years. Hasn't changed ONE bit!

A bike parked up against a facade, crumbling but incorporated into the framework of Oxford life. & the High (as in street).

A bit of a grey day brightened up by the inevitable buskers, old & young. I admit I sang along to the Jason Moran song & feltI I was listening to my youngest (yes, he has the hat, too!)

A lovely morning, wore out my patient mother!