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.