Thursday, 20 December 2012

Another fun lino printing class

Last month I held another lino cutting and printing class in my studio. Louise, Pippa and Nettie joined me for an introduction day. I'm really enjoying sharing my passion for lino cutting: I find the whole process exciting; from the designing, cutting, mixing inks, inking the block, choosing the paper and then that moment of lifting the corner of the paper......

Cutting your design takes a lot of concentration.
  Busy, busy, busy.....
Nettie's bamboo

Pippa's landscape.....

and Louise's winter tree. All different, all their own work and lovely results... very exciting!

Monday, 10 December 2012

New addition to my studio

I recently needed to move furniture around in my studio, to make room for a new addition.... here's a plan chest on the move... luckily I'm strong and I put felt pads on the base when I bought it, so that I could move it easily.

Here's the new arrival, on it's side in the hall - it was a bit of a struggle to get it this far!

Down the step and tipped upright.....

..... a lovely cabinet.....

and 33 drawers causing chaos around the house....

The cleaning process started enthusiastically.... it took over 2 hours to hoover, wash and polish the frame, then I began cleaning the drawers. All needed washing inside and out, the glass cleaning, some sticky sellotape deposits removed and then lots of polishing.

Luckily the cabinet arrived in the fortnight between my 2 Christmas open studios, which gave me a week to get it clean inbetween other committments and my studio tidied and ready for visitors. I'm not sure why these things always seem to happen when I'm under pressure.....

11 drawers clean, 22 to go....I couldn't resist putting a few things in, to encourage me to carry on cleaning (never my strong point!)

... only 5 more, yippee!

At last, all sparkling clean and in use. I just love it. Already I'm benefitting from knowing exactly where things are. Several drawers are awaiting contents; it's fun deciding how to organise everything.

I had been looking for something similiar for a year or so. It was rescued from a derelict electrical factory in Sheffield and was a much larger bank of drawers which were made into 2 cabinets. I really like the feeling of bringing an old, unloved piece back to life. It will be in constant use and already has been much admired.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

One quilt completed!

Some of you may remember that I decided to make a modern 'back' to my 1970's log cabin that I finally put together this year. I designed the new side to fit the old as closely as I could, and the width did exactly. I slip stitched the new to the old along the seam turnings to help it keep as one piece.

I then bound the edge with pieces of the modern fabric joined together.
So, from 1970's

to 2012.

I love the juxtaposition (great word and a family joke) of the old and new and it proves that it's worth getting an unfinished project out of the cupboard.

A recent ebay purchase was a vintage Ercol sofa; it needed new cushions and I had it covered in a warm purple. Here it is with some of my cushions on....

and with the new quilt.....

...which didn't quite match the new side lengthways (my square log cabins were obviously slightly wonky!), so I've filled the gap with a wedge of calico.

I'll use this to name and sign my quilt, so need to plan carefully, as it will be written in permanent pen!

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Findhorn experience

Last month I embarked on a new adventure; I travelled up to near Inverness to take part in an experience week at the Findhorn Foundation, a spiritual community, eco village and learning centre on the Moray Firth. I went 1st class (when I booked in advance this was cheaper than a normal ticket!) which was very comfortable with food and drink regularly offered. This, 3 changes, interesting scenery, a book and starting my journal about the week helped the 10 hour door to door trip pass ........ well, in 10 hours! 
My arrival at Cluny Hill, a Victorian building that was once a hotel.

Our group of 16 consisted of 4 English, 2 Americans, a Mexican, a Brazilian, an Italian, an Australian, 3 Dutch, 1 Swedish, 1 German and 1 English/Dane!! A truly international gathering of all ages, all with different reasons for being there. It was all very new to me, I practice Mindfulness and wanted to explore and deepen this aspect of my life. The week included activities to bring us together as a group, sacred dance, meditation, sharing sessions, talks about the community, Taize singing and 4 mornings of 'love in action',  ie. working in the community; I worked in the garden.

The entrance gate to the original garden at Findhorn.
Some eco houses at The Park

A house made from an old whiskey barrel!!

The Nature Sanctuary at The Park, a place for meditation.


An afternoon by Findhorn River.

Our group art work on the beautiful beach, my favourite place up there.

My part.....

The pebbles in the heart represent my family.

An amazing week of new experiences.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Norfolk break

Last month I joined my daughter and her family for a few days in a caravan at Hopton. I don't really 'do' caravans but it was fun spending time with my lovely family. Fun to wake up and have Barney running in to wake me up! The weather was kind, of course it was a bit windy and overnight it rained but otherwise it was sunny. We made it to the beach, I enjoyed taking some photos, maybe to inspire some future work.

Barney loved the sand

I was amused in the summer when my daughter was at Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge with Barney. As she went into a room the woman coming out said hello, you must be Anna's daughter; she(Rhiannon) follows my blog and recognised Barney! Fame at an early age!!

I know it's a while ago, but I loved the Knitting and Stitching Show and bought some fabrics for my next 2 quilts but I'm not allowing myself to start planning them until I've finished the 2 I'm doing now. Hopefully by the end of the year both will be completed! Here are some of my favourite pieces of work.

Ebb Tide by Glenys Grimwood

Liz Holliday's work on contours

Cuckmere Haven by Bridget Barber

and John Allen's Tin Mines

I went by coach with the Letchworth Settlement, a really easy way of getting to Ally Pally. So good to relax on the coach and chat rather than drive myself home.