Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Happy Christmas 2014

I thought I would end my first year of blogging with this picture below which is a collection of lovely things I have found over the last few months on the lead up to Christmas which are either hand made, are for a friend, remind me of friends or just nice finds. 

Happy Christmas to everyone who has visited and commented on my blog. 

Back row left to right

A lovely old, brown leather, collar box I found in an antique shop - this reminds me of new friends made in the STA and particularly Ann who is working on a piece that involves old collars.  

A picture of a bowl painted on linen by Cathy Cullis - a favourite of mine over the years - made a nice birthday present for my friend Rene.

The small jumping jack gypsy I found in Amor, a small gallery in Falmouth, and which led me on a trail whereby I found the pattern and instructions and made the Lord A Leaping (on the cotton reel) as this year’s contribution to my hand made Christmas decorations.

Two presents wrapped in green and red paper - I found these hand painted wrapping papers on one of my trips to Cornwall - wonder who the presents are for?

A cut paper Christmas card of a winter scene by Sue Blackwell which I found at the Devon Guild of  Craftsmen in Bovey Tracey.  www.sublackwell.co.uk

Front row left to right

Some fabric printed with rows and rows of tape measures - just couldn’t resist. 

Christmas reading - an old Modern Painters quarterly journal dated winter 1990/91 I found in a second hand book shop in Falmouth for 50p.  When I looked inside it had articles about Michael Rothenstein (a Bardfield artist), an advertisement for an exhibition of the work of Keith Vaughan who once lived in Toppesfield, an article on Gavin Fry and another article on the artist William Scott by Patrick Heron.  Some years ago my friend Rene sent me several post cards of his work and I made a collage with them.  All this and more in one magazine.  bookmark-online.co.uk

More Christmas reading - Extraordinary Sketchbook by Jane Stobart, also an ideal Christmas present for the arty type.  Jane Stobart is an artist-printmaker and features in the book along with numerous other, including Henry Moore.  This reminds me of my walking chums, Gill and Lynne, when we did a walk that took us through Perry Green and the Henry Moore Foundation.  www.henry-moore.org

A lovely illustrated diary full of little drawings by Edward Bawden, one of the Bardfield artists, which I bought from the Fry Art Gallery in Saffron Walden.  The diary can be for any year, you just add the month.  www.fryartgallery.org

A picture from my sketchbook that became my Christmas card this year and which I had printed through moo.com. 

All to the music of Leonard Cohen - perfect. 

All sitting on a beautiful old table cloth I bid for on eBay and which is too nice to cut up.

Happy Christmas 2014  

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Stand and Stare

A few weeks ago I was looking for an appropriate poem for a piece of work and was reminded of this one by William Henry Davies.


What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

Since finding this poem we have been on a flying visit to Cornwall to visit family, been ill with a bug, developed a food allergy (which food I still don’t know), done the Christmas shopping and written and posted all the Christmas cards and done a myriad of chores that needed sorting.  So today I thought I would do a bit of standing and staring and take a few pictures of what I have been stitching and drawing.

While in Cornwall I did a few more paintings in my sketchbook and took a few photograph of the landscape near where we were staying in St Just in Roseland which is a beautiful and very peaceful part of Cornwall.  We stayed in a lovely house called Pebbles where the living accommodation is upstairs because of the lovely view and the sleeping accommodation is downstairs.  I had also taken some fabrics and threads with me and took the opportunity to cover my sketchbook as you can see below.  

Since I have been home I have continued to work on the little landscape I started in November which definitely has a November feel to it.  It has been worked on "the edge" of a table cloth and you can see the little red laundry mark still on the corner.  I have been on eBay bidding for more old table clothes with a nice wide, double edge which is lovely to stitch on.  I like the idea of recycling and using old, damaged fabrics and giving them a new life.  This little landscape I think will be one of my Rolling Landscapes rather than a framed piece.