Friday, 14 December 2012

Blogged Off

Here I am again with my last blog post of the year or possibly ever. I am beginning to feel a bit disillusioned with blogging. Here I sit, typing away whenever I can fit it in, when I am not sure if anyone ever reads this or is interested or even why they should be. I rarely get comments (except for the lovely Heather whose blog is one of my favorites) so maybe no one is reading it -so why should I do it? I don't know what I should be including on my blog now.

I like hearing about peoples lives and reading their blogs but I do tend to get a bit disheartened when I read some of them - a bit like those round robins you get at Christmas . I used to love catching up with what people I knew but didn't get to see very often- but now the only ones I get are the sort that say things like 'Tarquin has just been promoted to head of ICI and Jacincta has had her first birthday and has finally finished reading Lord of the Rings. Her nursery teachers think she is a prodigy and have requested she should be made ruler of the universe' . Whereas mine used to  include news like 'the cat has died and my main achievement this year has been to find out how to FedEx a parcel to Canada and the kitchen's falling apart'. Mind you I did get one the other day which said that she hoped the grandparents didn't die before her daughter's summer wedding as it might upset the seating plan. She was joking......I think. I've just given up sending letters in Cards.

Then there are those blogs that feature everything they have cooked - you know '50 ways to serve a courgette' . I couldn't do one of those blogs as I don't think people would be interested in '50 ways to serve a ready meal'. I have never seen the point in slaving away for hours when really my family only likes things that are in a pie or a burger and half the time don't even register the difference as they wolf it down. It took me ages to introduce pasta without them prodding at it superstitiously. I can cook (I even made my daughter's 21st cake which was completely demolished in 10 seconds flat) I just find it boring.

I would like to produce a lovely arty blog with quotes and deep discussions as there are lovely ones out there. But sometimes that makes my brain hurt and I can't stand too much 'pretentious artspeak' and quite frankly I just don't get the time to keep intellectualizing things - How do people do this? Do they have longer days than me? As I type I should really be tending to my daughter who has been sent home from work with a nose redder than Rudolph's and a cough that shakes the house like a mini earthquake, there's a pile of ironing threatening the record for England's highest peak, a whole block of paperwork to be sorted and the cat needs hauling out of the Christmas tree at 5 minute intervals . On top of that I really,really need to get on with my exhibition work (and that's what I really want to do)

 I started the blog to track my degree course so really I should perhaps just use it as an addendum to my website as it costs so much to update that regularly. Perhaps after Christmas I'll have a rethink, perhaps I can come up with a solution (and NOT facebook Miriam! I can't cope with anything else ,I am not computery clever like you).

I know you need 'a web presence'. That was how our Arts Officer got on  to me and asked me to place my work in our Arts Center Craft shop. (Yes I am now shopped full time in a proper commercial shop!!!!) but how to create one worth looking at, how to get the time to do it? Perhaps Santa will bring me the solution for Christmas.

 The Christmas Picture is of one of the decorations I made  - handmade felt and embroidery , they have sold quite well along with my mini Christmas trees. I would have liked to post one of the animals looking suitably festive but the Dog's developed a phobia to tinsel and keeps hiding and a cat hissing  with a mouth full of Christmas tree doesn't work somehow.So For now Merry Christmas to All- if anyone is actually out there- and if I do get left a solution under the tree I might be back in 2013.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Going,going, gone

So November and indeed the whole of 2012 is nearly over.
The Bridging Waters exhibition is now safely ensconced on the other side of the Atlantic. It took a bit of effort to get it there as computerization which is supposed to make things easier actually is a nightmare resulting in having to talk to a human being on the end of a phone anyway because this sort of export doesn't fit into a nice neat box (and even that doesn't always work hence 3 attempts to actually get the courier here). Still it wizzed across the pond without any hiccoughs and I can hand the baton onto our Canadian colleagues and their series of exhibitions in Winnipeg,New Brunswick and Vancover next year (when I sort out my side bar - when I get the time - I will put up the actual dates and venues). It has certainly been an experience and hopefully, overall. a good one for all concerned.

The Lord Mayors show has been and gone. We are usually involved in this as my husband is a freeman and my father-in-law a liveryman of the Stationers company and we go to St.Brides church in Fleet Street to sort out refreshments. This year we decided to have a year where we just watched the show and then went back to Stationers Hall for lunch, and very welcome it was too as it was really cold even with smithfields handing out their lovely  cooked sausages.

Miriam.Jill and I also took a stall at the winter market at the Brentwood Road gallery to try and sell off some of the items we had made previously. Not a great success- I think I was the only one who sold stuff. The footfall is a bit rubbish but the stall was really cheap (£15 for the three of us) so it was worth a shot.

Also yesterday was my daughters 21st birthday. I wanted to put a photo on of her when she was tiny but that would make my life not worth living apparently. We celebrated at Simpsons in the Strand ( lovely lunch, gorgeous roast beef) and then rocked it out at 'Rock of Ages' at the Shaftesbury which was hilarious. I think she enjoyed herself and now shes all grown up.Where does the time go?

So thats probably about it for this year. December is already full to busting  and if we don't all disappear up the Mayan calender, January 2013 will kick off with me working at the Mall galleries getting the SDC show shop ready and the stop after that is 'Seeking Artemis'....but thats another story.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Oops October

I really meant to post more regularly but when I looked I realised that not only had I missed nearly all of September but that October was rapidly disappearing. I have no excuse except that the last month or so has been unbelievably busy.
I have been wrapping up the last of the Bridging Waters events- exhibitions, sales, talks etc... (I give the last talk on Thursday) so the work can be packed and sent on its next journey to Canada. 
Then there have been exhibitions to visit -in and out of London (I still have a whole list I need to get to before Christmas). The Knitting and Stitch show at Alexandra Palace - which was extremely enjoyable spending too much as usual, catching up with people but I was a bit underwhelmed by the exhibitions this year.There were several individual pieces in all of them that I admired but much that I had seen before and no single exhibition that made me go 'wow' as a whole. Still its all personal taste I suppose.
Then I have been getting to grips with the paperwork,rotas and practical side of organising the SDC shop in January. The Society of Designer Crafts Show will be at the Mall Galleries in London as normal in January  (11th-20th) and I can thoroughly recommend the show as a source of wonderful design and excellent skill. I can say this unbiased as although I am a licentiate I have nothing in the show as I haven't had time this year but I hope I will manage something for 2014. Instead I am one of the organisors of the shop within the show, which is certainly time consuming. Last year I helped which great fun but this year its up to us which is a bit different.
Having said that I am actually producing again now but haven't a lot to show you yet as its all work in progress- its a lot of work in progress, 6 large pieces for my exhibition in May, a body of work for Material Girls next show in 2014 and a separate body of work for the SDC.
Meanwhile -in my spare moments- I am rapidly producing my felty fishes and felty feathers for the Craft show above. If you are around do drop in.
Otherwise I will try and get back before the end of November .............

Thursday, 6 September 2012


Tick.tock,tick,tock... where is all the time going ? so much to do so little time.
I have just finished another piece of work the day before it was due to be exhibited, Argh!!!. Last year I was asked to submit my degree work for a gallery exhibition but just before this exhibition was due to take place the gallery manager left quite suddenly and they decided to close the gallery for the summer so no event. Once they had re-organised themselves they asked me to submit the work for an open exhibition called BASH- not quite so good because the previous exhibition was a solo show and this is a salon type event. Also I must admit I have sort of binned most of degree work now because I wasn't happy with it  but I did keep the 'pathway' so I said they could have that and I decided to make a more commercial piece to accompany it so hence the owl picture and the last minute rush.

But the whole of this summer seems to have been a bit of a rush and I have been feeling quite stressed out over various things .however, yesterday I went to the paralympics swimming and boy does that make you feel that you should stop moaning and suck it up! Quite incredible and we saw the Hynd boys swim- amazing. The whole event was really great and there was only one big red disappointment. I usually love Anish Kapoor's work , his pieces are among my favorite works of art, and for the last few years I've watched from my commute to see the 'Orbit' rising from the ground. I wasn't a fan as it went up but I hoped when completed I might love that as well.... but I didn't. Yes it is imposing and I expect the view is good from the top (didn't want to pay £25 to find out) but it just didn't move me. Oh well I suppose you can't win em all.
So tick,tock, tick,tock.... I'm packing again as I'm off to Lyme for Arts week but when I get back I'm going to settle back down and sort out my exhibition list, get on with some work and get busy with giving talks again but for now must rush......

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Mind the Gap

There has been a slight hiatus since my last post- for several reasons.
 I needed to get motoring on producing some work for the next two exhibitions  but my health went a bit dodgy which knocked the production back a bit. However, having overcome that I spent time watching the Olympics whilst turning out quantities of embellished felt fabric on my trusty machine whilst trying not to annoy the family viewing.
Digression no.1 - Hasn't the Olympics been fabulous? I'm not a great sports fan, can think of better ways of spending my time than running in circles, but the actual organisation and events have been great (except for the ticketing fiasco of course). I live about 30mins away from the Olympic park and have spent the last few years watching it rise and cursing the inconvenience when travelling up and down but I must say they have done a cracking job.I always very proud to be British but esp. at the moment. My one sadness was being unable to get any tickets in the draw or being able to afford any of the dearer later ones that went on sale but we have got tickets for the Paralympic swimming so I can't wait to go and see it all up close in a couple of weeks time.
Back to textile talk...
So the next exhibition (and last in the UK) of the Bridging Waters work is in Maldon,Essex in just over a weeks time and we had to produce a few extras for this one and having made my fabric I've been having fun creating various Felty Fish. Its so nice to create some frivolous bits for a change.
I don't really know this gallery and some of the other Material Girls are hanging this one as I am on holiday  but it brings me to
Digression no.2 - Being located in the suburbs of London on the border of East london and Essex people often say 'aren't you lucky being so near to London  galleries' and in a way that's true but we do fall into a gap when it comes to exhibiting our own work. Further into the country (side) there seem to be many interesting galleries and buildings and venues that will display work but here in the deepest suburbs there are very few and those we have are rapidly being either closed down or restricting hours. Our only other option is to show in London , which is wonderful BUT extremely expensive , I mean thousand of pounds!!! So does anyone else have this problem? and if so how do we solve it?
Back again
Having had fun with the fish I am also finishing up some more serious work for another exhibition in September and was getting on well with that until I had a close encounter with some pavement last week which has left me with bloody knees and more importantly with an aching shoulder meaning I can't stitch-so annoying.
Any how more on that work soon. Thanks for your comments on how to describe our work - seems Textile artist I will remain.

 And I meant to tell you all about the recent Art Trail but I'm afraid Mo has just won the 5000 meters !!!! and there's this man called Bolt soon to come on the track  and the cats attacking the washing so .......

Thursday, 19 July 2012

A Dilemma

Definition of Art - The use of skill and imagination in the creation of aesthetic objects, environments or experiences that can be shared with others
Definition of Craft - An occupation or trade requiring manual dexterity or artistic skill.

I have a problem and would like to invite your opinions. If you have followed this blog during the course of my degree you will know that I have been interested in the dilemma of what should be defined as art or what should be defined as craft, It was even central to my dissertation . Personally I came to the conclusion that although  craft is perceived as something of lower value than so called fine art many areas defined as craft contain exquisite pieces of 'art' so why on earth is there this distinction.
Now I am in the real world away from academia and over the last year I have been struggling as to where I should place myself and my work. I would love to keep fighting the fight to destroy this differentiation but practically I need to find my place.
I have been mixing with both the fine art world and the world of craft (by which I mean 'craft' of the highest quality, things that will be the antiques and treasures of the future) and I think I now know into which world I fit, am most comfortable. For me fine art now seems to be all about concept- about how well you can talk the talk rather than how beautiful or emotionally moving a piece is and to be brutal a lot about snobbery (has anyone been watching the latest 'Show me the Monet' program on BBC?. If I hear something degraded for being 'decorative' once more I shall throw something through the TV! Something doesn't have to be ugly, badly created or depressing to mean something to the artist or the audience.) To be quite honest when I am surrounded by the world of 'fine art' I get this niggling feeling of being trapped within 'the emperor's new clothes.
So obviously this is not my world - I feel my work has concept but I also like it to have beauty, I comment on the world in the way I see it and if people think that's a bit Disney, tough! But I also value skill and perfection of technique and when I mix with 'craftsmen' I see the same values. There is no pretense , no 'bullshit' basically just real passion . I like them more, they are real people who I am honored to be associated with - so after a year of soul searching this is my place. I know many will say you shouldn't define yourself ,be an artist. But real life isn't like that , the world will define you whatever so do you keep fighting this issue and stop producing because it effects your work or do you find peace and concentrate on moving your work forward.
Now for the dilemma for which I would like your input. It may seem a little thing but its bugging me. I need to get some more business cards printed but how should I now define myself for the client. Fellow craftsmen who work in other disciplines seem to be able to do this with much more ease - jewellery designer, ceramicist, blacksmith, furniture designer,etc... but what does someone who works with textiles call themselves. I am not a weaver, I work with fibre and stitch- so not a feltmaker .. If I call myself a textile craftsmen people think you make curtains? Any ideas? I feel if I can nail this it will be the last piece in the puzzle and allow me to move forward rather than waffling around as I have done for the past year. I need to move on.

Monday, 9 July 2012

There and Back Again

I've been on a little trip to Yorkshire. As this was the first break away from Hornchurch in over a year it was much needed but why is it by the time you've done the washing and the ironing, sorted out the house and generally caught up you feel like you need another holiday.
I've been to Yorkshire many times but I always like to experience something new if possible. So this time we went on a sailing ship out of Whitby, vistited a glorious Lavender Farm, revisited the scents of Castle Howard's Rose Garden, watched a Barn Owl hunting in the twilight, opened the front door of the cottage to be greeted by a Hare, saw an entire field filled with Herons (might be the weather had something to do with this- enough said) and were presented with the gift of a baby bunny by the enormous ex-stray tabby cat we befriended (fortunately it was alive and unharmed so we got it back to the field and gave the cat some ham instead, it didn't seem to mind.)
I also like to track down some interesting textiles. York Minster provided some lovely altar cloths and some beautiful work by their broiderers guild. Nunnington Hall some wonderful old samplers (sorry no pics - National Trust!) I also tracked down the quilt museum in York - I always get lost in York, don't know why esp. with all that Yorkshire blood coursing through my veins- but was extremely disappointed. Great Building and I know no major exhibition on at the moment but what there was there was deeply uninspiring £6 worth!
What I could do with a gallery like that locally - its makes me weep.
So now I'm back - lets see what comes next.
(Photos to follow when blogger decides to work again!)

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Now for something completely different

I haven't got a lot of textile work worth showing at present. Its not that I'm not producing- I'm working on 4 separate bodies of work at the moment but they are all in the very beginning stages so more on them when they are beginning to emerge - but yesterday was my birthday (I'm not telling you how old I was!) and we actually did something as a family.We 'apparated' down to Leavesden and entered the world of Harry Potter.

I would thoroughly recommend this as a day out even if you are not a Harry Potter fan (I am) if you enjoy seeing how films are made. There are a couple of real wow moments, from entering the great hall to standing staring in awe at the model of Hogwarts they used for filming. The level of detail employed in creating these sets and costumes is incredible and the whole operation is really slick - although I think they could do with more signage on getting there and some of the staff need to visit the Disney school of happiness,but other than that it was great. I would definitely visit again esp. if they expand it to include other films. I just wish the Butter Beer would stop repeating- hic!

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Onward ever onward

Personal life has rather interfered with my textile existence just recently but hopefully I am now moving forward again because I really need to be as I have a lot coming up.
Firstly our event at Horndon on the Hill went extremely well. A completely different adventure to anything we have previously undertaken and it gave the Bridging Waters work a different twist and brought in an audience that would not have ventured into a 'white cube' gallery space. We had great support from many friends and colleagues as well as people who were just passing by. The weather (absolutely glorious) and the homemade cake were a big help. Our demonstrators were wonderful with their demos full and a big thank you should go to Lynda Monk, Sara Impey, Helen Wilson, Juliet Bryson and Janette Bright (keep you eye out for these people when they are demonstrating or giving talks near you each was unique and fascinating) .And of course we Material Girls did pull our own weight with Margaret, Beverley and myself throwing in our own  demos. We even had one of our Canadian colleagues present ,Donna Clement, which was great.All the 'Girls' and their families worked their socks off as always, they really are a terrific bunch.
All together a very successful event but I think it will be a good three years before we 'do' another one because of our existing commitments plus the amount of work involved- my poor family virtually didn't eat in the preceding week!

Next thing on the horizon is participation in the first Romford Art Trail which is a completely new small body of work which will be shown in the church of St.Edward the Confessor in Romford Marketplace from 14th July  to  27th July 2012. Then the last stop in the UK for the Bridging Waters work is in Maldon in August.
In the meantime Material Girls are starting out on their next project, I have an exhibition in London next May which I need to do work for and I have also to produce a separate body of work for something else- its going to be a busy summer perhaps I should teach my family to cook!

Friday, 25 May 2012

Textiles on the Hill

The exhibition is ready to hang , the demonstrations are prepped, the shops are full of beautiful goodies, a Canadian colleague is on her way and even the cakes are baked. All is ready for Material Girls big event in Essex. So if you fancy  a nice trip out  and some real textile treats this weekend and live with striking distance of the Woolmarket at Horndon on the Hill in Essex we would love you to join us for this small celebration of all things wonderful in the textile world. See you there?

for full details and timetable of demonstrations visit

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Farewell my Friend

I can't believe that I am writing yet another post like this so soon after loosing my Lucy. May has not been a good month in my household for all sorts of reasons and I can't wait to see the back of it and then last night my lovely cavalier,Barney, passed away. He was the gentlest, kindest dog I have ever met. Never the brightest spark, bless him, there wasn't one bad bone in his body and he was a good friend to us all for so very long. He was very old and I know he had a long healthy life and with his doggy dementia and  increasing neurological problems over the last few months he was probably ready but I am going to miss him so much.we all will. So travel  well my old friend because if anyone deserves a place in doggy heaven you do xxx

Monday, 23 April 2012


I have always found it strange the way all our animal friends have arrived in our lives without us really looking for them and at the appropriate time. The last few years whilst we had Kit and Lucy I never heard of anyone with kittens looking for a home and yet  a month after we lost lovely Lucy we were offered kittens from 2 litters and on Saturday a new friend arrived in our lives. Its tiny,its black and white and it is full of mischief. Its really Kirsty's kitten but I am the designated baby sitter and boy is it a time waster as it loves a lap ....and food....and trouble. So you could say we have been truly 'Splodged' (that's its name and it seems appropriate somehow).

On a more serious textiley note - we  (Material Girls and Articulation) have just been featured in a double page spread in the re-launched Workbox magazine. Its a great article (the pics are fairly good - well you will have seen some of them before on my blog ha!ha!).Which means I need to get back to my sewing- now that should be fun!

Monday, 16 April 2012

Bridging Waters goes to Cambridge

This weekend I gave a short talk on the Articulated Materials:Bridging Waters project at Girton College,Cambridge. When I was originally asked to do this as part of the ERTF conference I did wonder if I would have enough to talk about as the project is only about a third of the way through its exhibition cycle in the UK but in the end I ran out of time with so much more to say. The response from the audience was very gratifying and I hope we might have encouraged a few more artists to brave working in collaboration with others from around the world as it is such a rewarding experience.

The next outing for Bridging Waters will be at the Textiles on the Hill event and we have been lucky enough to get a feature in Essex Life Magazine. So its back to finishing my felty fish items for the shop there so I can make a proper start on the work for my 2013 exhibition - which is a whole different 'kettle of fish' so to speak !

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Curiouser and Curiouser

Its been a strange couple of weeks. I feel like my life over the last year has been tipped up and tumbled down like the cards at the end of Alice in Wonderland.

The house seems really odd without a feline presence for the first time in 35 years. No purring from under the table, no unexpected paws grabbing you from under a discarded piece of fabric or gingery hairs having to be removed from my sewing.

Poor Barney dog is having so much trouble walking now that he can no longer join us on long walks in the woods. I spend half my life lifting him up from his tumbles (not so good for the back) or finding him when he gets lost in the garden but he doesn't seem to be in any pain just like a very old confused boy.

I'm also finding it still very strange to produce work that doesn't have to be justified to an assessor - just my own internal one and the viewer. I suppose its a matter of confidence , relying on your inner voice to say what is good,what works and what doesn't rather than an external one. But it still feels strange and I suppose I still miss the comfortable support of someone else's opinion (however annoying sometimes) and occasional approbation .
I still feel there have been too many endings recently and I'm craving new beginnings.

Of course the Bridging Waters project is going very well so far. (so much so that I am thinking of orgainsing something bigger next time) The 2nd part 'Textiles on the Hill' is only a few weeks away.(see the Material Girls website). This event is a completely new departure - I am learning to delegate as it isn't just an exhibition but shops,demos, catering and coordinating lots of publicity for other textile things in Essex. Learning to let go is quite a learning curve and the rest of Material Girls are always spot on with what they undertake so its not really that difficult.

I've begun to work on my pieces for the Crypt but have hit a bit of a glitch as I have hurt my back which means I can't make more of the fabric I need on the embellisher this week (annoying!) and I can't start on the embroidery as I'm waiting to be sent the threads I need. So instead I have been making little bits for the Textiles on the Hill shop and have disappeared under a pile of little 'Felty Fishes' as I call them. Its extremely strange to be doing this sort of stitching again.

There is something else I will be letting go of in the very near future-something I have clung unto for far too long.
So perhaps instead of thinking of all things as endings perhaps I should change my mindset and think of them like Eastertime as a new beginning and be more like Alice prepared to just fall down the rabbit hole and see where it leads- who knows it could be to Wonderland.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Bye bye Lucy Lou

Lucy was a little cat with a big attitude. For nearly 17 years she ruled the roost and kept the household menagerie in order- human and animal. Her spirit always burned brightly but her body finally failed her and she slipped away. I would like to think that at the gates of pussy cat heaven her ginger tom brother is waiting saying 'come on sis, hurry up I've found the perfect spot for us to lie in the sunshine'. Travel swiftly lovely Lucy- we'll miss you

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Bridging Waters in Full Flow

The first exhibition of the Bridging Waters tour has now been completed and has proved even more successful than envisaged. The gallery staff commented on the good footfall and the visitor comments have been great. But of course this was just the first leg so to speak. The next time the work will be on view is as part of an event Material Girls are holding at the Woolmarket, Horndon on the Hill in Essex in May. Not only will you be able to see the exhibition - given a completely different context in this surrounding but there will be all sorts of other goodies happening including demonstrations from colleagues Lynda Monk, Sara Impey, Juliet Bryson, Janette Bright and Helen Wilson and of course some of the Material Girls. There will also be the opportunity to by textile art, supplies and learn about how you can get involved in textile art of all sorts in the East Anglia/East London Area amongst other things so look out for more info coming soon.
Of course there is nothing like experiencing the work in the flesh but above is just a hint of what the exhibition looked like at the Brentwood Road Gallery and the pieces I exhibited.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

What a swell party it was

Thursday saw the opening of the first of our Material Girls/ Articulation collaborative exhibitions here in the UK . The Private view was a resounding success with attendances by the deputy Mayor and our local arts supremo, lots of friends, relatives and colleagues.
The Girls had all produced excellent work as usual and the display was outstanding. The only sadness was that none of our Canadian colleagues could be with us on the night. Finally the Girls presented me with a gorgeous bouquet of flowers which was really appreciated.
The exhibition runs for one more week at the Brentwood Road Gallery and then its next viewing will be at 'Textiles on the Hill' , a weekend event Material Girls are organising in May which will include not only the exhibition but so much more. So as they say there's no rest for the wicked. Keep tuned for more info. on this event in the near future.

Friday, 17 February 2012

Come and See

We are under starters orders with the first of the Bridging Waters exhibition. We 'hang' on Monday and open on Weds (22nd) It appears to have caught the imagination of the local press and we are hoping that this might feed the fight to get Textile Art registered in the minds of people as worthy of a place in the world of fine art. If you can't make this exhibition there will be some more opportunities to see the work whilst it is in the UK the next being as part of a textile weekend we are staging at the Woolmarket in Horndon On the Hill,Essex at the end of May. We hope this will be a free, fun event which will include not only the exhibition, but demonstrations, supplies, textile art for sale and info about what is going on in the world of textiles- all trying to raise the profile and get more people involved. And of course there will be tea and cake! Keep your eyes peeled for more information.
If you want to know more about any of the exhibitions visit ;- or and come and enjoy this transatlantic collaboration.

Monday, 6 February 2012

Dust of Snow

I have felt a bit like I am running and getting no where at the moment textile wise. So much so that recently I have even been questioning why I bother and if I should go on.
With the big exhibitions coming up it has been hard work - not with creating, I haven't had a lot of time for that and I think that's been the problem.Whenever I have had time I have had to 'do' something else usually connected with paperwork. Also since finishing the degree I feel my textile work is now expected to take a back seat to other areas in life. But I didn't do all those years not to try and take my work forward.
Two things have happened just recently which have helped.
About a week ago we (ERTF) had a study day on Scandinavian textiles at the house of one of our members (Kirsten Yeates) who has an extensive collection. They beautiful and delicate and must have been produced under quite difficult circumstances sometimes. They were made with love and you could feel it and it made me realise just how much I love these things, being in the company of like minded people and learning.
Secondly yesterday I was bashing the snow off the olive tree in the garden when a large pigeon landed on the Acer and covered me with snow and it made me think of the Robert Frost Poem

The way a crow
shook down on me
the dust of snow
from a Hemlock tree

has given my heart
a change of mood
and staved some part
of a day I had rued.

It made me laugh - it was beautiful out there, it made me want to go in and sew something snowy and magical. So I will start to structure my time again properly and treat creating as an essential part of my daily routine again as it used to be and hang the paperwork!what is it they say 'a little less conversation. a little more action please'

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Hacked Off

This may seem ironic that I am using a computer blog to have a moan about computers but I am using this just to alert people that my e-mail account was recently hacked by spammers. As I expect that most people that read my blog are people I know and, therefore, have their e-mail addresses just a warning to only open e-mails that you would be expecting from me. It has taken me ages to sort this out today and hopefully this is all now secure again and I hope these people that do this sort of thing get exactly what they deserve. But its just another occasion when technology has caused problems and totally disrupted my day.

There are times when I really hate all this modern technology. Now don't get me wrong I know exactly what it was like to live without many modern conveniences and we should be grateful. I know what it was like to live with no indoor plumbing, bathing in a tin bath heating water on a range , cold outdoor loos, not having access to a washing machine until 1978, washing sheets in a bath and using a mangle or not knowing what central heating was until 1979 when it was often a case of scraping the inside of the bedroom window to see out- I know it was no picnic (although it does mean I am a dab hand at plucking chickens, removing shot from fowl and can dig a great drainage ditch for sewage!). I still wouldn't know what to do with a tumble dryer or a dishwasher and I know computers can be useful but they really seem to have taken over our lives. If there is a power cut -the world stops, people panic. We have almost gotten too reliant so bring back balance! send me a letter not an e-mail occasionally, don't expect me to be on the end of a mobile 24/7. - just allow for 5 minutes peace away from all this madness. I'm off to mediate.

Friday, 20 January 2012

Sailing into 2012- new year,new challenges

Gosh- Half way through January already.
My textile year started with a bang as I spent time helping out setting up the 'shop within the show' at the Society of Designer Craftsmen exhibition in the Mall gallery in London. They have such beautiful work there that it was a bit scary putting the shop together and handling exquisite pieces of glass and ceramics as well as all the textiles and jewelry etc... Still I learnt an awful lot about display and the commercial world and am looking forward to being part of it all next year.

I was also lucky enough to have a one to one mentoring session with Deidre Hawken , she of the exquisite hats. This is something that the SDC offers its new licentiates and it was really useful as I start to venture out into the real world.

Still no time to relax as our first 'Bridging Waters' exhibition looms large, only a month away now. The work has all arrived over from 'Articulation' in Canada- this was a bit nerve racking as whilst it was out of our hands somewhere over the Atlantic you are never sure if its going to land all in one piece. Fortunately it arrived safely and I think it will all make a stunning show.

Even before this exhibition has started I am deep in preparations for the next showing which will be at a textile event we are holding in an Essex village in May with an emphasis on ' spreading the love of textiles' so watch this space or the Material Girls website
( and blog for more details.

Its all very exciting but I feel like the many mentioned swan - all serene on the surface and paddling like crazy below the water line. Still talking about paddling I had just better go and check my elderly spaniel hasn't fallen in the pond again- he's gone very quiet! bye for now