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29 October 2011

A Whine, Books and some Fun

Last chance to see ROCHFORD ART TRAIL - charity postcards still available - lots of lovely artwork throughout the town.
And now for a rant......  I went to visit one location yesterday to arrive just as art was being whisked out of the door.  I'm sorry but this makes me angry.  The Terms and Conditions clearly state how long the work has to be in place for - we all have to sign these - it IS a Contract.  So why do some think its OK not to comply?  Sure it might be more convenient to take down on this day rather than that - but TOUGH.  When you apply this information is known, its not a sudden thing - and if you don't want to follow what's on the schedule then don't apply - simple.  And on the off chance it was asked/agreed that work be removed earlier - then why not have a sign to apologise and say so.  Does make me mad when the Trail is quite new and its to help the town, the businesses, the artists, the community - hardly of the right spirit.... right growling over.

Finally I made it to the cheapy shop we have out of town, similar to a pound shop but more expensive - sells all sorts of junk must have items and I went to get next year's desk diary - huge expense of £1.  Sounds posh that we have a desk diary, but over the years its been invaluable.  Having only one car, its important to put down who is where and when, and I also write in all the post we get, that sounds particularly sad... but proving when something arrived has been invaluable in the past.  Anyway enough domestic - I stood there looking and decided to also buy a small A6 page a day diary for my textile life!!!  Again the grand outlet of £1.  I have never ever had a diary for my textile life alone.  Seems a bit pretentious - but just this week Chris from Material Girls has sent us the schedule for next year - lots on.  As you will have seen in previous postings, Sept/Oct has been mad for me and I had to draw up a timetable, which inc who needed the car when!   I do keep a monthly schedule pinned up, can't miss it.  That's easy to do because my ISP provides a calendar so I just print it off.  Its not quite a to do list, but I do flag up what's on the horizon as weekly or sometimes even couple of days, reminders.  Anyway I know I have things to put in my new textile diary as far away as next September.
Oh, and sneaking into view under the scissors above is a book cover I made yesterday.  Not that brilliantly as I didn't measure or pin it, or even clear enough space on the table to work properly, but it was a case of I MUST do this now, and I MUST not stop until its finished - otherwise I will struggle.  Its made in response to a challenge, to be shown off to the others on Tuesday.  And actually its been nice to do.  As in yes I have "proper" work to do and deadlines, but this has refreshed things, a bit of fun and helps recharge for the next phase.  And its also good to feel  the challenge was set and I've achieved it.

24 October 2011

Chatting, Tea, and Playing!!!

Rochford Art Trail is NOW ON. Take a look around, lots to see, including an anonymous postcard sale, for charity.

I went out for my Playday with my friend Mary. Its been absolutely eons since we've done this. We didn't get so much playing done, as by the time we have consumed tea, lunch, I put some bits on Mary's computer for her, and we watched a Jan Beaney/Jean Littlejohn dvd, we only managed the one sample!!!
Having been doing this creative stitchy lark for sometime now - very little seems to be new any more, product wise. Sounds pretentious but it does get a bit, seen that, done that, lots of the new books which come out, I take a look and realise, did that 10-15 years back. Or I know techniques, or products by another name.  But as they say there is very little new to be discovered, just probably better ways to design and use, and of course the skills and individuality involved. What keeps every artist of any kind going... the need to keep trying things.... to keep on scratching that creative itch. The "what if...."
So what did we play with, something that is new to us.... Aquabond 2... its the sticky dissolvable fabric - of course both of us have used many different types of dissolvable over the years - but the sticky has been around for a while, but we'd not tried.  First problem finding an edge to peel it off its paper, and then to stop it welding itself to everywhere, scissors, table top, fingers. I used the sticky as it was, sprinkling chips of fabric on it. This is the difference between the two of us. As I go for just testing what it will do, so I'm more interested in will it hold, chiffon, net, cotton - but Mary sees design in everything and carefully cut out and placed her fabric shapes. I used pinks, reds, oranges, colours I never use, with a lime green thread, again a combination that I wouldn't normally bother with - whereas Mary considered the tones of her autumn colours, swapping out things until she had a pleasing design. She put her piece into a hoop to free machine, whereas I did it flat with no other support, again I wanted to know if you could move it around without need for a hoop - and yes you can. We've made dissolvable sandwiches before, but there's still an element of things moving during assembly before stitching. So we were pleased with the ability to place a fabric and have it stay.  Now I want to play with placing paper - will it disintegrate when the sticky is washed out........ I'll let you know - but actually that idea also sounds appealing!!! Here's my sample - its not about design, or beautiful stitching, just about playing with a product, which, ironically.... you can no longer see!!!

19 October 2011

More Work on Display

As far as I know, I've just put up my last display of work, for the year. But.. as I've said before, there's always the "can you just..." request which pops out of the blue.
So today I've put up Rochford Art Trail work - although the trail doesn't start properly until Saturday. The people in Mendozas, are lovely, and I got a cuppa this morning too!
I've got some rather bad photos of it at the moment - the window is in full sun even at 10am, and we did suffer a bit with operator failure (me) - plus I had another appointment to get to. Will try to take some more on another day.
Monday I was at the ERTF committee meeting in Newmarket - its a long trek there and back, and attempting to use the brain in the gap in the middle!!! (That's the hard bit) I managed to get home with half an hour to spare before going off to the Trail Launch Party.
I am so very tired now, the hustle and bustle of Sept/Oct's diary is almost at an end. Its easy to say, I don't want such a full on schedule again, or things which don't involve physical distance - but that's not how life happens - its has all been achieved. Just need to realise its a balance between the times when nothing happens and everything happens. Make sure the supply of post-it notes, and highlighter pens are in hand, teach the cat how to cook meals, and everything will be fine.
The 2012 schedule is building already. Of course my display at Braintree Hospital continues until the end of March. The Material Girls have 3 venues to display the Articulated Materials Bridging Waters Exhibition. Art Trails of course, hopefully, will exist again next year (and some new ventures on that front are pending) - so I will apply for 2 in my own right - and there's potential to be involved in another 2 via various organisations. I've still to buy the house diary - and now I have things to add already for September!!
But..... at some point this afternoon, I will stop, for tea and cake - sorry I bought a single cake for one - so no, I'm not sharing!!!

12 October 2011

Slowing Down and Keeping the Pace!!!

I am soooooo tired now. The pace is now slowing down art wise, and I’ve time for the exhaustion to hit. I feel like I’ve driven miles too, roads I’ve not been on for 3-4 years and now twice in a little over a week. My suitcase is back now from Norwich, with grateful thanks to Kirsten. Actually it set me thinking – I know as always, after the event. I chose the suitcase because of all the meaning and interpretation of my ideas. And also because it was not like one big panel – which you have to make in its entirety. With a collection of small objects, if life got in the way, there would be fewer, and more, if time permitted. But until the exhibition end I had also not thought of the obvious, especially for another person collecting on my behalf. It was a suitcase, so everything fitted inside it, easy to collect and transport for whomever. Note to self – remember this for any future distance events, lightweight, ease of transportation also a factor.
I am pleased to say that two of my small art works were sold. It is re-assuring to know you make something which another enjoys. Affirms its OK to carry on trying! If anything I make, which can be seen on my website, appeals, do get in touch.
So at the moment I’m down to the one exhibition at Braintree Hospital – but next week set up Rochford Art Trail.
The Sept/Oct immediacy may have slowed, but I’ve still plenty in hand either as a deadline to reach or as a fun task. My Embroiderers’ Guild Branch have an event to make and apply for in January. The Material Girls of course have their exhibition next February, and I’m busy making for that. Already I need to start thinking of Burnham Art Trail, which although not until the end of June, has submission also in February. The Material Girls have further projects simmering for next year – which will be revealed on their blog/website when finalised. Good job I already have my personal diary for 2012 – need the house diary now, to prebook custody of the car!! Added into the immediate diary are the fun tasks of making something with my little stitch group before the next meeting (oops about 2 weeks away)…. and a ‘play day’ with a friend. Its been a very long time since we’ve had one of those. Then it will be the ERTF Conference on Colour.

05 October 2011

Rochford Art Trail

Its still busy busy.... but walking pace now, not headless chicken!!!  I've made my postcard for the Art Trail charity sales - will deliver that tomorrow.   Can't show this to you as its anonymous - hope someone likes it enough to buy.  To be displayed at Venue 15. 
You will see from the map I'm at Venue 17 - same place I was at last year.  If you are lucky there is on-street parking right outside, but only for an hour, the parking in the square is also free, but only an hour.  But there's a tiny (pay and display) car park almost opposite my venue (accessed via a one way system) or the main (pay and display) car park accessed via Locks Hill.  Tuesdays its Market Day, so no parking at all in the square.  Juliet Bryson is also in the same Venue as last year - 4, and she has her work on the poster which is in the righthand menu.  Please click on it to be taken through to the Art Trail website.
Next task is to sort out work and means of display.... well, may be next task is to make a cuppa!!!

03 October 2011

ERTF Stewarding

Today meant an early start. Up to Norwich to steward at the ERTF Concepts and Meanings Exhibition. I now live almost at the bottom of Essex, not far from Southend – but Norfolk is my home county. It turned into a very long day. I was 30 minutes late due to a bus being on fire, on a long bypass, with no turn offs, so wait we did. Coming home was just as bad, passed one accident and then immediately queued to pass another, another 30 minute wait. All the years living down here, rarely encounter such delays, but at both ends of the journey…. exhausted now.
Back to the plot. When I picked out the day for stewarding it was more a case of, I can’t do this day or that, and my Mother goes out on these days – so unless I cancel something then the choice of when I can steward comes down to only around 2 days out of the whole exhibition duration. However, the significance of today’s date didn’t dawn until about a week before the Exhibition opened.
Today would have been my Grandmother’s birthday.
102, although her own Grandmother lived beyond this age, alas she did not. It has significance for me because of what I’m doing on this day… showing off stitched work. My Gran had great influence over my stitch life – we sewed together since before I started school – and I spent almost every Saturday with her until I married, when we would sit and sew after lunch. When I embarked upon City & Guilds studies Gran sent me a letter wishing me well, sadly she died unexpectedly just as I completed Part 1. I think she would have been pleased to see me with work on show. So an exhibition in my home city….
Him indoors (Norwich born) came with me today, so that he could go and fetch my Mother and bring her for a look around. She lives in my home town about 15 miles out of Norwich. Not sure what she thought of it, she didn't say much - don't think she really 'gets' textile art.  Although she knits, its for practical purposes.
So here's my piece - thought it could have an outing at last, given the exhibition is part way through.  Did you guess what my disguised photo was of - it was actually this, closed. So a real sneak

The piece is called "Secrets from the Attic" - a made up scenario, a case of treasures which meant something to someone... but what do they signify?  I was going to add an explanation letter, as if from the owner to another generation, but then I thought not, its for the viewer to look and wonder what - just as many of us have done when we've come across artefacts from our own families.  The case belongs to Elspeth - and that's where the first mystery begins......
BTW those 15 tasks?  I've still got to make the Trail Postcard, but otherwise that list is done - and yes, I've bought chocolate, but not eaten it yet!!

02 October 2011

New Gallery on Website

At last I've added a new gallery page to my website   Under "Gallery" is a new section entitled Small Art Works.  I've chosen a slideshow presentation, there are images plus close up details, but no information as such - as that is the nature of this presentation, with so many I thought being able to flick through was better.  But I welcome you to ask if you have any questions.
These pieces, so far, are what I generally term as "Postcards" - in no way should this be considered as a casual term.  Each piece has hours of work, multiple (hidden) layers, and are stand alone art pieces in their own right.  However, I have deliberately made them with a high quality cartridge paper backing.  This has my name, series and website details printed on it - just two lines.  Each one is approximately 8" x 6" so you can frame if desired.  But it means you can add yor own message to the piece - particularly helpful if its a gift.  Sending through the post however, is entirely at your own risk.
At the moment, 12 were sent to the ERTF Concepts and Meanings Exhibition and there are 11 on display at Braintree Community Hospital (see previous post).
If you would like any information about these, and other pieces on my website, do please use the Contact on my website, or email me by following the link to be found via my Profile in the righthand menu, here on the blog.