Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Away away!

we've reached the week that is The Lakes at last. Tomorrow we toodle off to Buxton for a couple of nights, then on to Langdale for our yearly pilgrimage. I'm hoping we'll go to Eyam Hall, Craft Centre and Village while we are in Buxton; it's close by and looks well worth a visit. But the holiday proper starts when we get to our "lodge" in the valley below Langdale Pikes. It is just the best time of year for me; my pleasure in Autumn increased by the wonderful Lakeland scenery. I'm nowhere near fit enough to do many of the more uppy downy walks (though I always hope to be fitter next year), but the area is just so lovely and so removed from the day to day that just being there is a delight.

I'l be taking various bits of stitching to play with, a couple of sketchbooks and some books on shibori to find some ideas to explore over the coming Studio 11 year. I've also got a couple of "serious" reading books (Iron Age and Mesopotamia!) and an iPad stocked with 6 library books, along with a couple of recent treats from Batsford - Colour in Art Quilts by Janet Twinn and Mark Making in Textile Art by Helen Parrott, both wonderful books with delightfully textiley covers. I always end up taking more things to do than I actually achieve, but it would be so annoying not to have the very things I want when it's all at the other end of the country!

Toodle Pip!

Monday, 15 September 2014

Starting to flow

I've been stitching this on and off, little bits at a time, since City and Guilds. It was a trial piece for the dragonfly bag, which never took flight. A piece of shibori, roughly printed with a wave thermofax that I was trialing, layered with organza and stitched over to test the feel and mechanics, then put to one side. I took it in at the start of this Studio 11 year, stumped and stuck. I aim to echo the organza in the lower section with stitch, endeavouring to mimic the shimmer of organza by using analogous colours and occasional changes of stitch direction.
Christine pointed out that the stitching in the top panel was taking over! I'd done a trial wing cell pattern with an interlaced stitch, then sort of forgotten about it, ceased to see it.
I've taken it off, and suddenly I start to see where to go. Not there yet, but much more balanced, I've cropped the edges as well, in this image

Thank you Christine

In the meantime, I'm still to'ing and fro'ing sorting out Cecil's house, salvaging things to decide about later, dealing appropriately with what's left. It's quite gruelling, my third trip Thursday to Sunday last week, but then there are revelations, a little collection of miniature china that I remember from my childhood, nestled in a drawer

They are all cracked and battered, but I clearly recall the thrill of finding them, as a solitary child, staying with her Aunt in this mysterious dwelling with it's hexagonal kitchen, uppy downy stairs, bowls of pot pourri, nooks and crannies. These speak to me of explorations and discoveries in quiet houses, where a clock ticks and the sounds of birds drift in through windows. I was often alone, but not often lonely. In my mind's eye, I was usually half away in Narnia, or the world of E Nesbit, and around me these little ladies, Cecil, Mum, Ganna, lived their quiet lives.

Friday, 5 September 2014

Studio 11 year three

But first, a pile of sketchbooks for Gina. These in preparation for my first Studio 11 workshop of the new year. A selection of the ones I've used in between times doing other things, like moving. Cecil here, and clearing her place - several more visits to go, but she really is worth it.

These sketchbooks come along with this untidy assortment of half thought out bits of fabric, and my feather from last year, which I want to talk about with Christine, who is a treasure :-)

 Oh, the pleasure, a whole day just to be creative. 

And then it was today, and I went to Eastbourne and had a delightful day with Christine, our first workshop of the year. 

Lots of good talk, lots of good advice, lots of fun. I'd had no time to do much preparation, for obvious reasons, but I did have a bit of time yesterday evening sketching and thinking Down in the Dell

so today had focus, and I have a bit of a plan (my dear heart says you have to have one of them, so you can change it).

And here is where I got to today, with my sketchbooks; imagine a whole day in the company of good people, sketching with intent, what delight! 

(with apologies for poor quality pictures)

Remember the dragonfly?

Worked on anew

Elements extracted,

when I was reminded of this, another image of dragonfly downs

which was part of where I got to with my designing last year

I'm intrigued by how often the Downs find their way into my design process. I've lived one end or the other all my life.

And to add to today's pleasure, we had friends from Gina's way with us today. It was a lovely day .... thank you :-)