Sunday, 24 August 2014

Still Here- just!

This is just a quick post to say that I haven't abandoned the blogworld. The last few months have been quite fraught with family and health problems and because of this my creativity seems to be at a low ebb. I am hoping that soon I will be more sorted and I will be back but until then ....

Friday, 11 April 2014

Time Trips

It always seems rather a dichotomy that when you have lots of things going on that would be of interest to a blog reader that you never have time to actually blog about it- Such is my life at the moment , with about 4 different textile directions tearing at me.
Probably the most interesting for the blog reader at the moment is our next Material Girls exhibition. As usual with my group an initial simple idea has exploded and became much more involved. We are now tied very much into working with the National Trust to create an exhibition to accompany the refurbishment?expansion? recreation? of Rainham Hall in Essex and it is proving a fascinating venture. The trust have facilitated all sorts of meetings for the group and last Tuesday we met up with an expert in 18th century trade expert at the Docklands Museum. We were so lucky to be able to pick this lady's incredible bank of knowledge towards our research. Then on Wednesday it was back to the property to take another look around the garden they are creating for another part of the project. This weekend its a trip up to the National Maritime museum at Greenwich to track down images of 18th century ships, then off to the V&A after Easter, the Geffrye museum, Kensington Palace .... all in the name of research.
I am currently researching 18th century embroidery techniques and costume  in connection with all this and when I have a sample to tease you with I will. At the moment its all note taking, drawing and photographing.

But I do need to travel a little further back soon as I am about to undertake another small project which takes me back to 16th century Scotland . And then hopefully another which takes me to 1916 France...
But for now I must pop back to my time travel machine as I also live in hope that it will fast forward me to this evening with all the housework done!

Monday, 3 March 2014


My life always seems to be rushing from organised thing to another. People who know me will know that I do like to know exactly what I am getting myself into and I do like to be organised right down to the last dot. And for me that's no bad thing, I find it saves time in the long run and  there are few nasty surprises along the way. However, sometimes its quite nice to be a bit spontaneous, just to react to the moment or the surroundings.

Take for example Material Girls recent exhibition at Textiles in Focus. I tried to make sure I knew exactly how things would be placed, where the focal point would be and how the pieces would work displayed together. I tried to make sure that we had all the extra staging needed and that , as this might be this body of works only showing, it was displayed in a certain way. BUT we had never shown at this venue before so I had little idea of how our work would show in the space, exactly what the screens were like, etc... so it was a case of on the day just reacting to what we had. I think it worked, we had lots of positive comments and on the heels of this exhibition I have booked another venue in December - Gallery 50,Craft Arena, Billericay- because I thought the girls work looked so good it deserved another showing.

The exhibition -Tales and Textiles

Five items of my own pieces based on a Miao Creation Myth

Then there are the spontaneous outings. When we woke up on Saturday instead of horrid rain the sun shone but my DH insisted he was going to paint the kitchen ceiling so my DD, who was at a loose end, and I decided to pop up to the Tower of London. We go quite a bit as its only about 1hr away from us on the tube but we hadn't been for about 3 years. We spent a silly day doing the things we used to when she was young. getting in the way of the guardsmen (by accident of course) oohing over the crown jewels and trying to remember all those gory stories and locating  what had happened to who and where and when (I actually had a great,great,great, great ..... grandfather who was held in the Tower after the 2nd Battle of Worcester
  originally he was one of Cromwell's capts. but I think he swapped sides after Charles 1st got the chop). We also found that they have put lots of sculptures in to enhance their Menagerie at the Tower exhibition which I loved there are some pics of them on my facebook but I haven't managed to find out how to get them onto this computer yet ,bad Chrissy!. It really was a good day, So perhaps I should give spontaneity a bit bit more of a look in in future :)

Monday, 27 January 2014

Ring in the new

Just surfacing from helping to curate the show within a show at the Designer Craftsmen Exhibition at the Mall Galleries. It is always absolutely exhausting but totally satisfying and this year esp. so. The show looked great, we almost ran out of stock in the shop although we had over a thousand pieces, sales were excellent way up on last year and probably the nicest part of all was the comments we had from the public, gallery owners and everyone who was kind enough to visit (I have even had a couple of approaches by curators!). The SDC really are a talented bunch and the operation very slick I even received a cheque for my sales this morning (that's in less than 2 weeks!) so it will be choccy cakes all round tonight.
the shop about halfway prepared

My fishy felt quilt - sold within the first morning 

Some of my pictures also found new homes

Now its onto a new adventure.Textiles in Focus at Cottenham Cambridgeshire is just around the corner. I have almost finished my work for our Material Girls exhibition and have sorted out all the staging etc... so that's going to be exciting, Our Canadian work is pushing on to an extra venue thanks to the efforts of the Articulation girls and we (Material Girls) are just about to start our research for our project for a National Trust property which is pushing me in a completely new direction and I am really looking forward to furthering my studies of historical embroidery techniques, look out 2014 here we come!

Monday, 23 December 2013

Grand Productions

December this year for me has been a series of different productions.
The kind you go to:-
From Here to Eternity, the new Tim Rice production which we went to see for my daughter's birthday, was absolutely fabulous!

Steeleye Span performing their  newish album 'Wintersmith' at our local theatre which me took me back to a happy place in my youth. Still great ,still rocking, Maddy Prior still rushing around the foyer like a young thing!

Leeds Castle at Christmas. More magical than it has felt for many years

Hogwarts! (oh alright then the Harry Potter tour at Warner Bros. Studios near Elstree) a second visit but this time in the snow. Just how magical is that.

The kind of production you do for work:-
And there has been an awful lot of that just recently.
Finalising, as part of the organising team, the details for the SDC exhibition after Christmas.

Finishing off my own work to go into the shop there.

Whilst still working hard on my pieces for the Material Girls exhibition at Cottenham in February.

And then there is the kind of production you do for your family and those you love this time of year:-

Putting on a 'do' and making a cake for your father-in- laws 90th birthday. ( a big deal for me as I don't actually like making cakes much but at least I made the Christmas cake at the same time)

and like women everywhere the grandest  production of all - getting ready for the Christmas celebration. Normally I am a bit 'bah humbug!' as I feel sad that we are such a tiny family but at least I have a family and friends and as they say in the Polar Express 'its not about the train, its deciding to get on board' or words to that effect. This year I am 'on board'  So Happy Christmas and 'God Bless us one and all'.

Monday, 18 November 2013

Tagging,poking and sharing - Oh My!

I am in a state of deep confusion. My darling daughter has been very unwell over the past few weeks but at the end of last week the treatment finally started to work and she is starting to feel better. Of course that also meant she started to feel bored and asked me if she could put me on Facebook. Now folk that know me also know I have always been quite resistant to the concept having been a mother observing the damage that can be done on the darned thing by teenagers.  But I caved in and let her put me on it (amazing what you will do to keep your offspring happy) and now I have this weird beast that keeps e-mailing me, I have also found that my daughter and OH have 'tagged' me in pictures that have turned up on my 'timeline' which is extremely traumatic as I really hate pictures of me. I have no idea what I am supposed to do with this Facebook thing or how to do it but I shall persevere , even if its only to keep junior happy.

Meanwhile back in the world I am more familiar with my colleagues on the other side of the pond have sent some pictures of our latest Bridging Waters exhibition in St.John, New Brunswick,Canada and very impressive it looks too! So thank you Rebecca of Articulation for sending these to me. Now I will share them with you....if that's the right jargon for a blog.... at least I'm not poking ,whatever that is.

Saturday, 9 November 2013


I know I have been missing from blogworld for quite some time now. Its not because there has been a lack of things to blog about but simply that there has been so much that I have had no time to do so!
I undertook a new 'part -time voluntary' position so you probably know what that means basically I have been swallowed whole by the computer for over a month now. I became the membership secretary of the Society of Designer Craftsmen at the beginning of October, mainly to help out our overwhelmed, lovely Chairperson, but although I have done this job before it has for branches of things such as the EG I haven't done it for an international organisation of professional craftspeople. Slightly more work than I naively anticipated. But I am slowly coming to grips with it all .
On top of that we have been sorting out the organisation of the SDC shop at the main exhibition which is held annually at the Mall Galleries in London , so more paperwork.
On a creative front I am trying to finish my own work for the shop at the Mall,  the Cottenham exhibition and I had to restock my section at our local arts centre. This part I love but its so time consuming and I am really excited about 2 upcoming exhibitions that will see my work going off in a completely new direction that I want to finish all this so I can start researching and sampling for that.
Meanwhile our Canadian exhibition embarks on its next( but not now final) exhibition this month . Details in the side panel and I will fill you in on its next lap soon. That work is more well traveled than I am!
So this is just a quick update to let you know that I am still here, no pics this time I'm afraid, I must rush- its Lord Mayors Show day and also the 10th anniversary of my mum's death so I have a lot of travelling around to do today. Will be back with a proper post soon.