Sunday 23 September 2012

A wet and dreary Sunday.

The perfect overnight guest who brings her own bed and bedding!  She likes to organise the bedding herself and is most particular about it's arrangement which means lots of scrabbling and trampling before it is just right.  We had a lovely walk yesterday afternoon in sunshine but this morning we both got quite wet though Poppy minded less than I did.   I had hoped to do more gardening today but the moment I set foot outside the backdoor it started raining and hasn't stopped since.  Good job I made the most of yesterday and even sat outside knitting later in the day though I did need a jacket on.

It's hard to believe that only a few days ago we were down in Somerset enjoying beautiful sunshine, and this was the reason for our visit.    I had picked up this booklet from Nature in Art two or three weeks earlier, not thinking that we would actually be going to Somerset.  The booklets themselves are very interesting, and I love looking at all the different types of art people are producing.  As I was leafing through the pages I spotted my tutor's name - Viv White - and realised that she wasn't as far away from us as I had imagined.
She lives in a delightful cottage in a lovely rural location and her visitors are in for a treat - her walls were covered with wonderful pieces of work featuring various types of birds, animals and trees.  We were spoilt with tea, coffee and delicious homemade flapjacks.
I bought several cards - the one above is a photo of a larger piece which I fell in love with and there were others in similar vein but this was my favourite.
I am well stocked up with cards but usually can't bear to part with them so my stock is growing!
I love these willows and the subtly collaged background.
I seem to have blurred this photo - again the background is collaged and the willows are machine stitched.
This lovely fabric cover conceals an A6 drawing book which can be slipped out when full and a new one put in it's place.   I couldn't resist it and when I came to pay for it Viv very generously gave it to me saying she gave a little sketch book to her students. 

 I have slipped behind a bit with my coursework so a bit of wet weather will give me a chance to catch up.  At this time of year when we get a lovely day it seems such a waste to spend time indoors.

Hope you are somewhere warm and dry today - I could do with the heating on but will make myself wait one more week. 

Wednesday 19 September 2012

I've been to the seaside today!

We had driven down to Somerset for quite a different reason then realised how close we were to Burnham-on-Sea so decided to go and take a look.   Above is the island of Steepholme in the Bristol Channel with the coastline of South Wales in the far distance.
To our right was this unusual little lighthouse, said to be the only one of it's kind in the UK.
It is proper seaside because there is a pier as well!
And to our left is this view of the wonderful sandy beach stretching far into the distance again.  It was a glorious day but quite chilly and no-one was in the water as the tide was right out and the sand is soft and very dangerous.  One or two hardy people were high up on the beach with small children but everyone was well wrapped up against the chilly brisk breeze.
I liked these textures made by the sand, water, and lichen on a fabricated stone wall.
I love this little weathervane on top of one of the shelters along the promenade.
Two locals out for a stroll .................
.................... and one old dear enjoying the sun.    I'll tell you about why we went to Somerset next time.

Friday 14 September 2012

Hereford Open Studios.

There is a lovely textile exhibition at Weavers Gallery in Ledbury this week and I saw it yesterday.   This little stumpwork piece caught my eye as soon as I entered and represents one of the local mills and some of it's workers.   I think that is right - I was very short of time as our lunch order had been forgotten and we sat for ages before being served, using up precious time which could have been spent making notes of the artists' names and with details of their work.   As it is, I was in a flap in case we went over our parking time and can't remember who did what or why!   The piece above was mounted on a stretched canvas approx.9"x9" and I hope if my photo enlarges you will be able to see a bit more detail.  I love it and think it is delightful.
This piece is entitled 'The stones of Lindisfarne'.   I love these densely stitched stone shapes.
These two pieces are part of the same work and mounted side by side in a long box frame.  The dark shapes are small pieces of slate with holes drilled in them so they can be stitched down onto the backing.
This is the first page of a wonderful fabric book dedicated to the city of Worcester.  I just love it.
This is the beautifully stitched cover.
And this is another page.
This beautiful hand-dyed felt scarf was in a glass case which is why the picture is a little blurred.  The colours of all the exhibits are much richer and stronger than they appear here.  
Next time I visit an exhibition I will be more organised and take my brain with me as well as the camera.

I spent ages trying to find a pattern I liked and in the end was persuaded to buy this one as it was right for the wool I had chosen and easily adaptable to give me the result I was looking for.   Each one I liked had the wrong neckline, or fancy sleeves or some other feature which wasn't suitable.   I didn't want a big collar, or a deep ribbed welt, or a fitted waistline and I my jacket to be longer.
Can you believe that this is what I ended up with from that pattern?  It looked much better over the Tshirt top I wore under it yesterday.   This morning I was chilly and had a sweatshirt on which makes it look bulky.  The colours are much nicer in reality too and it's very comfortable - best of all I actually like it!   I asked for my head to be cut off by the way.  I don't think I have a career in modelling ahead of me - maybe I should have just hung it on a hanger and photographed it that way.

Friday 7 September 2012

A very pleasant day.

After doing the boring shopping bit yesterday morning we took a picnic lunch to this lovely spot by the river Avon near Tewkesbury.   It was so peaceful, the more so as the pub which is situated on the edge of the river here was closed for refurbishment.   What a good job we took our own food and hadn't planned to eat out!  I think that is Bredon Hill in the background.
There was quite a strong current running inspite of the calm weather, and the locals were very polite until we decided to share our crusts with them.  Then it was every duck for him/herself.  Some of them were quite aggresive even to the young ones and others kept tweaking my cardigan if I got a bit slack with the distribution of crusts.

I loved this glimpse of the river through the willow branches.
There are usually plenty of long boats and other craft to-ing and fro-ing but we didn't see any while we were there.
We drove home through Tewkesbury which was looking very festive dressed in it's gorgeous medieval banners.   I believe the designs are genuine ones relating to the coats of arms of various families in the town.
The one above is rather blurred - I think the windscreen needed cleaning! 
There are some really beautiful ones and each one is different.  My favourite ones were either hidden behind a traffic sign or I couldn't focus on them because of the moving traffic.

A short time ago I treated myself to a load of this yarn and am gradually turning it into a cardigan.

The colours are so soft yet almost glowing and much more interesting than they appear here.
It's coming along quite nicely and I look forward to completing it.   I just hope I don't look like a rainbow elephant when I wear it.

Tuesday 4 September 2012

Do you understand the word 'Scam'?

Those are the words my son advised me to say to the next caller - always with an Asian accent - asking if I want to save myself a lot of trouble with my computer.   I have lost count of the number of these calls I have received over the past few weeks, and have had three today.   My son dropped in on us just after the second one, so I tried his suggestion when the third call came and it worked like a charm - the caller disconnected immediately.  I'm sure I'm not the only person pestered with these calls and thought I would share what I hope is the way to stop them.  They are a scam, incase you don't know, though I'm probably the last person to find this out! 

No photos today.  Still busy gardening, sorting stuff out and watching the Paralympics.  No wonder I'm exhausted! 

I'll try to come up with something creative and interesting for my next post, but don't hold your breath!