Thursday, 24 April 2014

Nature in Art

On Wednesday afternoon, although the weather was a bit showery, we went off to the Nature in Art Gallery near Gloucester as there was a textile exhibition by the Midland Textile Forum.  When we arrived there we found that there was also a display of bookbinding plus the 'Heart & Soul' pencil drawings by Gary Hodges to coincide with the launch of his book too.  Carole Bury was resident artist in the Studio and had an exhibition of her work whilst also demonstrating how she combines tissue paper and stitch.  Examples of her work can be seen on her website Carole Bury.  It was nice to see something so beautiful and original.

I also finally managed to get the last three doors outside at the weekend and sanded with the electric sander. They now need a bit of rubbing down with fine steelwool so that I can get them sealed and put back on.  What a difference it will make having doors on the rooms upstairs again!

Wightwick and Roses

As DH is on holiday this week we had a day out today and visited David Austin Roses and Wightwick Manor which are located fairly close to each other.  We had to purchase a rose of course and I came home with one of my favourite rugosa roses - Roseraie de l'Hay.  Although the roses were not out yet the garden was lovely to wander around.  Very peaceful and full of all kinds of birds: blackbirds, goldfinches, sparrows, swallows and peacocks.  There was a pair of skylarks singing their hearts out too.  The only let down was the cafe.  The service was very slow and they were really not overly busy.

This pavilion seemed to be the most popular place for the chattering, sociable sparrows who were making a lot of noise.
There are several peacocks at David Austin, but no peahens.  This one was making an incredible display, but was rather frightening too.

The chimneys at Wightwick were fascinating and such a design source when contrasted with the roof tiles and pitch of the roof.
  Lots of flowers too.  Snakeshead fritillaries naturally planted with erythroniums and bluebells in grass then these camasias planted as a carpet amongst pollarded willows.

This window was surrounded by a very small yellow climbing rose (Yellow Banksian I believe).  The house and its contents with all its Arts & Crafts influences was fantastic and the exhibition 'The Art of Embroidery' by Nicola Jarvis and friends in one of the outbuildings was an unexpected surprise.  Such beautiful stitchery and artwork.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Yorkshire Travelling Journal

I have been very bad at blogging of late so have found some images from last year's Yorkshire Travelling Journal that I can now post without giving away any secrets as all the contributors from last year have now had their YTJ's back and we have started again.  We have also grown in number from 7 contributors to 10 so, as we do a 6 weekly swap,  it will take us longer than a year this time to get our own YTJ's back.  A good excuse to meet up for dinner and a catchup I say!

Some YTJ's are landscape and some are portrait, but they are all A5 in size.  We do an inspirational page and a resolved page each time and then pass it on to the next person.

We have all had great fun completing them.  It is exciting to receive the next one when you have no idea what you are going to find inside it.  I, of course, am very lucky as I get mine in the post as I do not live in Yorkshire.  One other lucky person also gets theirs in the post from me.

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Wind Flowers

This must be my Easter Windflower as it is pierced with thorns!  Just to prove we have been 'Up North' this weekend the photo features Roseberry Topping in the background.

and another picture of the same thing - it looks a bit like a trapped bird.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Gruesome Garden Find

Whilst fastening the plants back up to the new fence in the front garden I came across this skeleton which i think may be the remains of a greenfinch.  It is tiny and very delicate and I have had an awful job getting a decent photograph of it.  I want to make some drawings but think I will need a magnifying glass to get the detail!  I did not find the rest of its body but perhaps when I find more dead bodies in the garden I should leave them to decompose.  Some of the shapes are so beautiful.

Wonder what a squirrel looks like as a skeleton?  Now there's a thought!  Think Mr Fox or Mrs Buzzard would be off with it before it became a bare skeleton.

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Creative Bookbinding

It seems like I have not been doing anything over the past few weeks ... but I have really.  I made this A5 size wrap around leather book out of old scrappy paper so that I can use it as an everyday sketchbook.  It was a panel from a charity shop leather jacket, lined with a piece of lovely handmade silk paper.  I did long stitch binding down the spine, but I am afraid it is not very neat and the cover flap is a bit lopsided.  I will make another one now I know what I am doing and try to perfect the technique a little.

At the bookbinding class on a Friday afternoons we have been making lots of little books and this week I completed a ribbon bound book using some rust printed watercolour paper. I used Alice Fox's method of strong tea to activate the rusting with old floor nails and washers from renovations to the house.

Nails and a washer fastened to the spine

The completed book
The book is probably A6 size.  I used one of the nails to fasten the cover with making a loop out of a doubled piece of watercolour paper, which I am not sure was a good idea.  Time will tell.

Tacket Binding
The previous week we made tacket bound books.  The blue silk paper one was the one I did in class and then this week at home I made a fabric one out of a piece of dyed blanket that I had in my stash, adding a plaited cord to keep it closed.  Trust scatty me - I have managed to forget to photograph the other book we have made recently, which was 'Secret Belgian Binding' and is one of my favourite types of binding.  A job for another day I think!