Friday, 27 March 2009

Hat exhibition at the V&A

Yesterday I went to the V&A to see the Hats Anthology by Stephen Jones exhibition, which runs till May 31st, thanks to a very timely post by Gina. I had a wonderful time, it was a superb exhibition with hats on show from every possible inspirational source you could think of, as well as some wonderful classics from the V&A archives.

I spent 1 1/2 hours just soaking it all up and as there was no photography allowed I was forced to try and sketch the ones I liked. A great challenge and one that I really enjoyed, so I thought I'd share the results with you.

And this what the bottom one actually looked like, I managed to buy a PC.

Another PC

I managed to find this pic on the net as the hat was so difficult to sketch but I really loved it, it's so quirky.

The hat in the centre of this page was my favourite and as I couldn't find a post card I had to buy the book that accompanied the show, shame!!

Another internet sourced image.

It was a great opportunity to have a 'me day' and enjoy the whole experience without having to rush, I even had time to spend about an hour in their lovely bookshop.

If you want to know more about the designer there are several video interviews here

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Mother's day

I had a lovely Mother's day on Sunday with my family and felt thoroughly spoilt. It actually started on Saturday with a lovely card from my DS with a very sweet message that made my day.
On Sunday morning I met up with 2 of my DD's (my DD1 was at a church service where her son was singing in the chior) at a local garden centre, and was treated to a full English breakfast, by my DD3, which is most unusual for me, as I'm a toast and marmalade person, normally. I had a pressies and cards, one of which was this lovely embroidered note book from my DD2, I can't believe how intricate and beautiful the embroidery is.

You might notice the absence of the box for the Lint chocs, I never could resist these.

After we's spent a couple of hours chatting and eating we all went our separate ways and my OH and I decided to head for the sea, or nearly. We went to a place called Hamble that's near Southampton and is more of an estuary than the seaside.
It was very busy but I did mange to get a few shots. Last time we were there it was winter and very quiet, on that occasion I actually managed a sketch, but this time it was too busy.

There's a little ferry that takes you to the other side of the river and it's Pink, as are all the others in the fleet and all their little sheds etc, very unusual.

As the tide was out I managed to get a few textural shots, as you do.

Before we went for a walk we went into the village as I'd spotted this shop on the way in, I couldn't beleive the embroidery on these shirts. Unfortunately the reflections on the windows were really difficult to avoid, but I hope you'll get the idea.

We decided to leave Hamble in the early afternoon as it was so busy, and headed off to Winchester Hill to have our dinner in Rosie, looking out over the fields. By the time we'd finished the sun was setting, so we moved a bit further down the hill and took some shots of it setting behing the trees.

What a great day!! I read somewhere that you call such days, 'memory days', I like that. And best of all I get to catch up with my DD1 on Thursday for another pressie, so it'll be nearly a week of Mother's Day, can't be bad :-)

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Bethany's work

As I can't show my current work at the moment I thought I'd show you some of Bethany's, (one of my GDs) instead. These pieces are bout 2-3 years old and I'm ashamed to say have been in my possession for about a year and a half waiting for me to get around to photograph them, bad Nanny!

Anyway the quilt was Bethany's first attempt at FME, her next quilt won her 3rd place in the 12'-16's at the FOQ 2006.

The Winny the Poo cushion followed on from quilt number one, I think! And the little bag was made for a long forgotten party, how time fly's!

And this is her latest project, view B, in a gorgeous midnight blue taffeta, it's for our DS's and his DF's wedding in August.

We had a great evening's catch up yesterday putting the finishing touches to the dress. We hadn't been able to get together for a while, due to our busy lives and coursework, so there was lots to talk about while we stitched, not least the Japanese pop scene of which I am now an expert ( not LOL). I couldn't decide if our meet made me feel 19 again or 79!!! I think the latter, the former was just plain wishful thinking.

And just a PS to make you jealous. My OH took a day off work today to enjoy the sunshine and we went to one of our favourite places the Arundel wetland centre and I spent a very happy couple of hours working in my sketch book in this lovely living willow arbour.

I just couldn't resist taking time off from the project to have a go at sketching in this beautiful hidden garden, especially as it has the most wonderful inviting seat.

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Finished at last!!!!!

Well the C&G is finally finished and the CD has been sent for the final assessment, yippee!!!!!!!!!!!!!

As some of you know there were grave doubts as to whether I would finish it, and to be honest, without the wonderful support of my family, friends, and my tutors I would never have done it.

I received wonderful help and support from so many generous bloggers, who gave me great sound advice and I'm very grateful.

It's a bit of a flat finish as there is no exhibition or final finishing get together, as some of you will already know, Opus have sadly stopped operating as a school for textile arts. But a huge thank you to all those tutors and administrators who stepped into the breach and rescued those of us who were about to qualify.

It wasn't until I had to collate all the work for the final assessment that I realised just how much ground I'd covered and how much I'd learnt. C&G is a great skills based course and the nature of it is to teach you processes by which you can interpret the ideas in your head. I spent so much of this course kicking against the ordered exercises that I didn't realise that the process was embedding itself in my brain, despite my best efforts to thwart it.

My proof of this presented itself when I started working on my next project, this time on my own without the exercises to prompt me, and I found that I was doing what I've done for the past 2 1/2 years without even realising it.

That brings me neatly to my next challenge.

A few weeks ago Pippa asked me if I was going to enter the Charles Henry Froyle Trust Stitched textiles competition. Well I'd never heard of it, but decided to enter anyway and posted off four pics of my C&G work plus one close up, and to my utter amazement I made it into the finalists list. Now my new project is to create a piece on the theme of Freedom, so that'll keep me busy till August. And as finalist I will also have a Master Class with Alice Kettle, fantastic.

Unfortunately I won't be able to show you my progress as the piece will go on exhibition in September, with the sketch books as well.

To finish up I thought I'd show you my favourite piece of the whole course and the story behind it, my apologies to those who might have seen it on my web site when I had it up and running.

The story behind the gauntle is as:

It has been designed to impart power to the wearer. It has strength and magic within the entwining snake. However the wearer must be careful to use the power wisely. If not the false fragility and beauty of the dangerous and carnivorous dragonfly will become transparent and his true aggressive and predatory nature will be revealed.
The wearer must wear the gauntlet with pride and strength and only use its protective devices when mortal danger threatens.

I did a photoshoot with one of my GD's, Bethany, some of you will have seen her on my blog and Ben acting out a little tableau in the woods. I had visions of them being the backdrop to my exhibition in The Mall, where Opus held the Pathways exhibition for the C&G students, so I thought I'd show it here instead.

So once again a big thank you to all who helped me get this far :-)

Tuesday, 10 March 2009


Thank you so much for all the lovely comments wishing Ben a speedy recovery. Thank goodness he's well on the mend now and feeling very bored, but apparently he did manage to make some wonderful Easter biscuits today all by himself. I wished I'd had telephone tasting.
Unfortunately Rosie (our Dub) is porely again, this time it's a hole in the exhaust, so I couldn't go and fetch Ben as planned for a studio day :-( it'll probably have to be the Easter holls now.

And now to some Mummyboasting, please excuse me but it was a very exciting occasion.

Some of you will know that our DS is an editor for BBC2 Wales and recently he was asked to take time out from his usual job of editing sport to work on a new children's series called Telly Tales. It's a series of Myths, legends and tales from around the world, "A mix of animation and live action where children help create the artwork and play all the characters. A mix of multi-layered pop-up book and magical stage play."

The series had a premier in Cardiff, where all the actors and the series makers had a great night out, which sounded very swish. And yesterday the first program went out on BBC CBeebies with our DS's name on the credits, so you can imagine the excitement on seeing his name on National TV.

If you interested you can see the episode here. This is the Welsh version as BBC 2 cut off the credits.

Ok boast over, and as I hate putting up a past without pics, I thought I'd show you the finished wall hanging that started here.

I'm just going back to have a another look at the i player, aren't we mummies sad.

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Wounded soldier

My blogging activity has been put on hold for a few days as we had a bit of a trauma at the weekend when Ben, one of or GS's, some of you will already know him as he sometimes comes and works in the studios with me, was rushed into hospital on Saturday night with suspect appendicitis.

The pains continued through the night and consequently he had to have it removed on Sunday afternoon, poor chap.
So Nanny and Granddad took his baby brother out for a hike, and as my DD doesn't use a push chair we had to get our heads round using one of her sister's baby carriers. It was very successful as you can see, Finlay was almost asleep at this point and finally dropped off and slept all the way home, about 45 minutes walk.
Granddad's not really Mr. Grumpy, he's just not used to being in front of the camera and not behind.

Anyway, Ben's home again now and making a good recovery with the aid of a new 'all singing all dancing' TV and the loan of an X-box plus games.

As things had returned to near normal I decided it was OK for me to make my planned visit to the Prism exhibition in London today. Imagine my surprise when I was looking at a particularly poweful piece of work and I recognised a fellow blogger's name, Gina. There are some great pics of the hanging on her blog and it's well worth a look.

Unforunately I can't show you any of the pics I took because although I bought a photography permit I had to sign a form not to show them on the internet. It was a very interesting exhibition with lots of variety in the work.

Speaking of varied work, those of us on the Calendar Girl group have once again been over taxing the little grey cells this month with another inspirational image, this time supplied by Sandy

Val sent me this wonderful interpretation which is in pride of place on my pin board and catches the light beautifully when the sun shines.

This was my interpretation this month and if you want to know the thinking behind it , I've recorded it here.

I'm looking forward to picking up my blogging habits again next week and will hopefully be able to post up some creative stuff, at last. It's taken me 3 weeks just to photograph all the work and collate it for a Remote Monitoring Report.