Friday, 31 July 2015

TSG Summer School

Just had a wonderful three and a half days away at Farncombe Estate on the Textile Study Group Summer School.  It was a bit overwhelming and extremely long hours but oh so enjoyable.  The talk given by Jan Miller, Mary Sleigh and Shelley Rhodes on the Wednesday evening just topped off everything nicely.  There was chance to shop too.  The Silk Route were on site throughout and Art Van Go visited all day on Tuesday.  Lots of lovely food, excellent tutors and accommodation and outstanding surroundings .....
Deckchairs for lounging in were everywhere, unfortunately the weather was not conducive to this activity until the final day.

 A view towards Bredon Hill in the foreground and the Malverns in the background.

One of the more talented members of the group with Mary Sleigh produced the fantastic vessels above.

 Another one played with found objects of various kinds.  Her table was covered with them.

 Below - the things that look like caterpillars are catkins.
My companion from Worcestershire produced this seed box, complete with handmade seeds, which is more than I can say for what I was doing!  As usual, mine is still to finish and I am feeling pretty useless at the moment.  I will try and finish it and post it on my blog.  I promise.

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Avoidance Procedure

When I have things to do I do not want to do I start doing things I should not be doing ... such as doodling and tidying stuff into my many sketchbooks ....

I save cuttings of things I like and they generate quite a pile if I am not careful ....

Like lots of people I love all large black birds.  Afraid my jackdaw drawing is not very good but it gave me chance to play with the graphitint crayons that I have not used much.

I also adore sparrows and this one was from a photograph I took at the Welsh Botanic Gardens when we visited earlier this month.

Not a lot you can say about this one!  It was a postcard from a friend who had been to see puffins so she sent me a rather amusing postcard of a gannett, which I have now drawn using a Derwent Graphitint graphic pen.  Discovered it was capable of lots more than I thought and worked a bit like pencil does. You can darken it by adding more layers.

WHAT SHOULD I BE DOING YOU MIGHT ASK?  Sorting and packing the stuff for the TSG Summer School at Farncombe is the answer.  I have several piles of things I might need dotted around the house.  They now need to get into boxes or a bag ready to be transported.  I have suddenly got the 'dithers' and wonder what on earth I have let myself in for.

Friday, 24 July 2015

A bit of a day out

Managed to go to Cirencester on Wednesday this week to get some paper from the lovely art shop there.  It meant I had chance to go and see the New Brewery Arts Exhibition which features lots of hares - 'The Names of the Hare'.  Some by Jackie Morris and unusually for her there are three pencil drawings on huge sheets of paper.  Very nice indeed.

On the way back I called at Nature in Art at Twigworth and Richard Box was there as the Artist in Residence in the room next to the cafe.  In the garden was Flora Metallica by Ruth Moillet.

The best feature of my visit, however, was the 'Elizabeth Gray: 70 Years of Art' exhibition which had been extended until 26 July.  What a very talented and versatile lady.


I had almost forgotten about these pictures taken when we went to the Welsh Botanic Gardens.  There was an exhibition all about fungi and it was enhanced by an exhibition of embroidered ones made by a group called 'Stitching Bs' who meet in the garden on the first Wednesday of each month.

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Saturday's Relaxation

I needed a rest on Saturday so DH and I went off to Brockhampton Estate in the afternoon.  What a treasure it was.

 Hinge on the church door

 View of the farmhouse
 Handle on the church door
 Gatehouse over the moat
And .... oh what a discovery ..... they had a copy of this 1919 book in the kitchen, which is the very same one that Linda Kemshall  has been amusing us all with by publishing extracts on her blog.  Children visiting the kitchen were beguiled by the lady podding broad beans.  It seemed that most had no idea where broad beans came from!  The older visitors - children of the '50's - found the parlour most interesting with it's copies of Dandy, treddle sewing machine and 2 early radios.

Art in Action

Spent Thursday and Friday at Art in Action and again had a 'Grand' time.  We managed to catch 'Twelfth Night' with the Oxford Shakespeare Company and Jazz with Isobel Saunders & Dave Colton in the ampitheatre, which was an added bonus.

Este MacLeod

Bridget Bailey

Part of the alphabet created by Becky Crow
 Chia-Shan Lee makes thread from newspaper and then knits and crochets it into textile work

Amanda Wright's work always makes me want to pick up my needle and get stitching.  Her pieces are mainly birds and fish and some are so quirky.  She lives with her husband, Daniel, who is a ceramicist, in St Davids, Pembrokeshire

There is always so much to see, and even over two days it is difficult to get round everything. I loved the textiles of Roanna Wells, prints by Sue Brown (who runs classes in Cheltenham), paintings by Sarah Holliday and the pieces using paper and tissue paper created by Jackie Devereux.

Where to start ......

Over the past few days I have had a friend to stay and we have done so many fantastic things.  We went to Compton Verney last Wednesday to see the current exhibition 'The Arts & Craft House Then and Now' plus a wonderful silversmithing exhibition - 'The Hart Silversmiths - A Living Tradition'.  We started off outside and came across this ...

She is the 'Kern Baby' created by Faye Claridge.  You can see the height of her when compared to my diminutive friend who just happened to walk into frame.  The Kern Baby is 5 metres high, my friend is around 5ft!

Bad Hair Day? Her hair would originally have had ears of corn but they have all gone now and the stalks are all that remain.
Next was the William Morris Wild Flower Meadow created by Dan Pearson and designed on the 'Trellis' wallpaper pattern.

Last but not least I found a couple of textured things to inspire me

some kind of dandelion clock

Bejewelled home of a Tunnel Spider

Monday, 13 July 2015

Llanelli Wetland Centre

We stopped off here for a cup of coffee on Wednesday last week and what a treat it was. We only planned to have a break for half an hour and stayed most of the afternoon.

 Woven willow walk which leads to the Boardwalk Hide on the edge of the lagoon
 Heron's Wind Hige which overlooks the deep water lake in the wild part of the reserve
 What wonderful textures....
 Lots of lichen growing on the trees and
 lots and lots of orchids growing in the wild part of the reserve.
This little chap was in the churchyard of the town where we stayed for the night.

Friday, 10 July 2015


had a couple of nights away this week and we visited the National Botanic Garden of Wales.  What a wonderful place.

 This is the outside of the dome.  It has oblong windows unlike the Eden Project ones.

 I found a bug house in one of the gardens

and even some textile mushrooms.  I will post pictures of these another day, but could not resist the notice in Welsh and its translation into English

There was also lots of sculpture and this lovely chap was one of the pieces.