The beautiful man

The beautiful man

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Actually made something

Not quite a hat, but a solution to a problem. Walking fast five miles a day my head gets cold, then as I warm up I roast but my ears freeze! A friend has been making lots of glamorous fur head cuffs, they look horrendous on me so I hunted out my knitting needles and some wool I bought three years ago at Knitting & Stitching Show, for that urgent knitting project....... Two hours later - I am a very slow knitter -  I had something that doesn't look too bad, I don't see anyone on my walk! More importantly I actually made something hurray.

A Stitch in Time........

I remember a certain sense of surprise and an 'I am not a very good houseperson' when my cousin mentioned her mending basket in conversation. I have a tendency to mend with flurry, just as we were supposed to be on our way school (boys school trouser hems) or even on a train or car on the way there. Not a great advocate of making do and mending. So in light of the new year resolution and a house spring clean I did venture down the mending route, and it was very therapeutic, not least having needle and thread in my hand once more.

More tidying and more running stitch------------

Kantha work 1998

Looking at these I cannot remember what it felt to make them. I did two pieces, the other was made into a cushion and given as a gift. The simple rhythm of the stitch, the fineness of the stitch, the fabric soft and fluid, how many hours did it take? They create new thoughts and reflections.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

New Year's Resolutions......

I am not a great resolution person, too many years creating regimental lists of things to give up and not sticking to them. I liked the idea that one should take something up for New Year instead. On reading Guardian columnist Rebecca Smithers article on using her wardrobe more effectively in 2012, and following my own research into the Rag Trade maybe it was time for me to do the same. Take on the challenge to work with the clothes that I have and the mounds of fabric I have squirreled away for that rainy day and return to those halcyon days of creating an outfit not buying one. This has been spurned on even more so when observing family members doing just that Ags' sewing projects and new family members and that youthful exuberance of creating clothes from material that cost a £1 Miss Sabina.

So the question remains as to whether I can resist the lure of that paper bag of happiness, even when visiting the wonders of Cos. Having wondered through the High Street recently I don't think this will be a problem I always feel swamped and almost panicked by the sheer plethora of items, too much choice and my brain does say 'landfill'. Gosh  Lucy Siegle has done her job well! So along with trying to work out my hat route for 2012 I will try and work out the clothing route also and hunt out my old Vogue patterns, I do have the fabric........

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Grim up North......

...hardly, in the stunning wintry sunsets that we are having. Mill towns and valleys shrouded in the frost; monuments to long lost soldiers, all aid in contemplation and inspiration.

West Park

Ford Madox Brown

My first teaching practice was to deliver the contextual studies(art history) module, as someone who had limited artist knowledge and all self taught, I had a crash course in the Art & Design Timeline. One I found particularly fascinating at that juncture was the pre-raphaelites and the work of Madox Brown and Rossetti, wistful romance with dark undertones of a society hiding reality. Manchester Art Gallery are housing the first complete exhibition of Madox Brown's work since 1964 and it is breathtaking, but only 10 days left to catch it.

The Irish Girl


Oliver Madox Brown - Liverpool Walker Gallery

Youthful fascinations

What student household didn't have a pack of tarot cards somewhere. Always a fascination when your future looks so open yet holds few clues, to have someone come forth with those clues, those answers. As an 18 year old aspiring to be the lawyer from 'Hill Street Blues', tarot seemed a must and after I did have my cards read and was told I could have the talent, well naivety knew no bounds, I was hooked. Thankfully it didn't last long, it was intriguing to come across a new exhibition at MMU of a range of artists interpreting the tarot deck.

Susan Hiller

Monday, 16 January 2012

Frosty Start

My favourite kind of day, icy cold, everything tinged with white and the sun slowly licking away the frost, yet where its tendrils don't get to the frost just gets longer and more complex. A good way to start the day, a meditative walk with a few photos from my phone along the way.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Happy Memories : MA October 2011

Jane Clowes, Sarah Burgess, Fiona Wilson & moi

with our MA Textiles tutor Melanie Miller

Christmas Gift Inspiration

As you may have gathered from many of my blog posts, books are a passion of mine and they thrill and warm the soul, new ideas, knowledge sharing and new processes to intrigue and stretch the brain.

Thank you Father Christmas especially for the 'Book of Cakes'. Inspiration to continue the family tradition for one member.

Use or archive

A donation of bag of threads a few years ago, they have sat waiting for that special project, but such a one rarely arises, or if it does one juggles with ones conscience. These threads will never be made again. The stories that they contain are enticing, where were they bought, what item of clothing were they used to mend, redesign or newly make for that special occasion or the new season. The thrill of the variety of spools and makes as opposed to the few to choose from now and of lesser quality often. The colour range just that shade different. So should they be donated to an archive? Left in a glass cabinet for me to smile at when I pass? Or used to sew a cushion or scarf or even a hat?

Objects to hold dear

Strange what objects we hold dear and how this manifests it in locking them in cupboards (archives)or somewhere safe for a rainy day so they are not enjoyed as they were meant. The beautiful cup and tea pot made for me, and received with a slight glisten in the eye a few Christmases ago, really does need to be used for my morning mint tea, to celebrate family, love and simple pleasures in life......