Wednesday, 11 September 2013

busy busy busy

I'm trying to get lots done at the moment, but have really been having fun researching my chosen topic for the City and Guilds summer sketchbook exercise. I chose insects, so have been doing all sorts, including two visits to the V&A, but am so busy I've not had time to photograph a lot of what I've been doing, so I can't show you just now. Must try harder!! I'm also really busy at work; working a full week, rather than my usual three and a half days so I'm quite tried and achy by the end of the week, but we've got our first City and Guilds meeting on Saturday. I'm really looking forward to seeing what everyone else has been doing over the summer break. Other topics included fleur de lis, chestnut trees, , snakes, circles .... and I forget the rest! It will be great fun.

As part of my research we went to Ellen Terry's house, Smallythe Place, where we saw the restored beetle wing dress that she wore as Lady Macbeth on the London Stage.

Real beetle wing cases attached to a crocheted sort of net in green over a deep green under dress. I ordered some via e-bay, or rather got Jen to order them. they arrived today and will be attached to a little trial piece inspired by this.

We also went to one of our favourite places, Great Dixter, where I hunted insects from plant to plant!

We have the pleasure of our yearly holiday in the Lakes appearing on the horizon as well. The year starts turning, trees begin to flush after the heat of the summer, the robins starts that plaintive "tick, tick" and there's a fluttery chill in the air. As that starts to happen, I get little moments of thinking, "here it comes"

Before that I've got an intensive week of training at work, then several intensive weeks delivering training when I get back. I may be a trifled wrung out by the end of it, but it's really interesting and better that taking up fretwork.

In the meantime, have a look at the resources on the V&A website - I just put in a search for "insects and embroidery". An amazing place to spend several hours researching - and then you come home and find that there's all these wonderful, and in some cases, quite high resolution images at the click of a button. Among my favourite were this wonderful little casket, a book cover with a triumphant butterfly, a cushion with squiggly caterpillars, another caterpillar in amongst the pin cushion pinks and an Art Nouveau table cover by Phoebe Anna Traquair.



  1. What a feast for the eyes! So many goodies - you may have wrecked my plans for this morning, I'm going to have to be super organised to stop myself sitting here and browsing...

    I took the girls to the V&A on Saturday, it was out first visit, and we were all three entranced, I've no doubt at all that we'll be going regularly.

  2. Oh my, very interested in those insect drawings .....
    Will you show them ..... ?

  3. Oh ladies all, thank you for comments and big apologies for not responding sooner. I'll try and get the insect images up soon ....