Sunday, 30 October 2011


At one of my stitching groups we did a workshop between us on how to make a vessel, this is Textile Artist speak for a container.

I started this one by sticking parcel tape round a small space hopper. Other more sensible people chose smaller objects to work on. Once the object is securely covered we had to cut it off the base in 2 halves and then stick them back together.

On this shiny brown bandaging we then glued tissue, lace and fabric. Perhaps over aspirational we attempted to make it quite fragile and maybe see thru in places.

Next we cut it off the parcel tape in 2 sections

My mistake was to join these 2 halves and then try to stitch, battering the poor sphere horribly, would have been easier to stitch before joining them.

There is still stitching to do but only when I am feeling patient and gentle.

I would like to make a Grayson Perry like pot with appropriately contemporary comments and pics on it.

I hope to go and see his show at the British Museum soon maybe that will give me the impetus..

I am also doodling with this Woman under a Waterfall and when Ma visits I add a few flowers to the garden to deflect me from matricide.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

plots & nots

It hailed today, very heavily.
As I hear it Bangkok and Dublin have been flooded, not two cities that have much else in common, I would have thought.
Retired Person is quite happy as the garden needed watering, but he would prefer if his potter down for his evening pint was in the dry. This exercise used to include Hattie the dog, now he plods bravely down the hill on his own.
We are going to France on the Euro Star for a birthday outing soon and when we get back there will be a serious search for a puppy and kitten.
Just read the new Ian Rankin, quite good, probably better than the previous book; down loaded it for half price onto the Kindle, at least it won't have to balance precariously on the book shelves for ever after. I am supposed to be distributing extraneous books around town but don't seem to get round to it somehow.
I see they are going to do the Million Book Give Away again. I suppose it is a good idea, except I seem to have read most of them, and so have the people I know.
Apparently they asked Harper Lee for permission to set her book free, as it won top of the vote, however she didn't reply. They put it down to her old age, 85. Hmmmm I guess some 85ers are older than others. My mother at 90+ would have replied in an instant, and at length, to any query.

Instead they are using Jane Austen's P&P, presumably they didn't use a Ouija board to ask permission.

Had a visit from D this week, she used to clean our house weekly, until she slipped into clinical depression. See what too much housework does to you. I maintain unhealthy chaos with the occasional dusting just to maintain my own health.

D disappeared into the NHS after some months refusing to leave the house or brush her hair.

They took her away, were patient for 6 weeks then gave her a bath and cut her matted hair off. She is a stubborn woman however and spent some months refusing to respond.

So nothing for it but ECT. Gulp.

She told me cheerily that it was all to no avail, but on the 18th [!] shock session her mind started to clear. Of course her memory isn't so good.

They continue to plug her in, but she is now allowed home on leave

Listening to someone being jolly about their anguish, at length, is not easy, in fact it is totally distressing.

More difficult for D, no doubt.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

travels with my daughter

Daughter has beaten the monsoon dampening Bangkok and returned home to drier Nevada.

She says there were few visitors this time of year so she got to go on the trips solo with just a guide, and thus ended up driving the elephant from the front seat.

She climbed over 2000 tall stone steps to greet the Buddha above the city.

Bangkok is apparently dirty, hot and humid, and has too many pasty faced Europeans sporting beautiful young Thai women on their arms.

Most of the city was under water, but the bit she was staying on was frequented by bankers and such who had the high ground, to keep their feet dry. No change there then.

The islands and the people outside Bangers were lovely however and friendly. probably i will never be able to verify, long haul - not tempted.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Chain Reaction strikes again

This is the Hat of sighs, made by my clever friend Frances and stitched with worries by moi. I have put it in the exhibition with a copy of Elizabeth Parker's sampler [in the V&A] She was a maid in the 19th century I think, to a household in Fairlight [near my lovely Hastings] and was assaulted by the would seems. She didn't know what to do, felt guilty in the way that victims can do and thought she would go to hell.

Frances made the hat and I stitched phrases round it [easy bit], as if they were buzzing her head. Don't ask what, I have forgotten and now I can't read them on the photo. Apparently the local paper has picked up on the show so maybe Elizabeth will make it into the news. Poor lass.

I love this vessel Carol made, why didn't I think of it!

We have had good remarks so far for the show, so fingers crossed we all make a fortune

Monday, 10 October 2011

exotic aromas

On Saturday I went to the Knit and Stitch show at Alexander palace, three Huge Halls filled to the gunnels with knitters and stitchers. A bitterly cold morning became tropical as we grazed around munching on the exotics on show and transferred much dosh to the stall holders in exchange for fripperies and other urgently needed magic potions.

Some lovely work on exhibition to marvel at. Beryl Dean's ecclesiastical gold work was by turns amazing and traditional. We were forbidden to photo but the piece I liked best [above] was a poster of her work from some august cathedral or other so I could snap it.

Gwen Hedley

has been making series of these strange little votive offerings for some time. They had all sold before I got to them, £20 - £30 each, I am not surprised. They are 3" _ 4" maybe long and I reckon could be worn also as brooches. I suspect they are more difficult to make successfully than one would think. Of course they are donated gravitas by being displayed on a wall amongst other Art, context is so influential when ever it may be a case of the emperor's new clothes.

I was also very taken with these two long hangings of textured patches of old? fabrics, about six foot long each, somehow they were very resonant of something subtle. dunno that one could buy one to hang in the home somehow. Maybe they need to be shown only on Gallery walls. Or maybe I haven't got a big enough house..........or maybe I don't live in a subtle enough way.

Anyway it did me good to get away from Death Row for a day, tho unhappily there is still an aroma of dying cat around, and not in a subtle way.

Friday, 7 October 2011

death row

Feeling miserable as Agamemnon [left] has gone to join Bubble in that big cat heaven in the sky. She won't be too pleased as her big brother did bully her rather.
He hasn't been eating well, and last week he stopped altogether, we waited for nature to take its course but nature wasn't feeling compassionate so we took him to the vet this afternoon, who of course pronounced - cancer.
I am sick of holding beloved animals whilst they go to their last sleep.
We have a row down the hedge of 4 cats and 2 dogs with Clara the chicken safely ensconced on the other side of the garden.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

textile show

The Gaiety Girls are prancing at Dragon Hall in Norfolk. I stewarded on Sunday, one of those hot days that no-one in their senses would want to be inside, so we didn't have many visitors. At least I got a lot of uninterrupted stitching done.