Saturday, 31 October 2009

Pendle Witch

I've just found my favourite witch my friend bought me which is a proper made in Pendle, Pendle Witch. Most of my best ornaments live safely in boxes these days but this lovely little witch was close to hand and I thought she could do with a fly on her broomstick today of all days.

I went a bit mad and rummaged around to find a few more Halloween knick knacks I hadn't seen for a while!

All Hallows Eve - Samhain

Another All Hallows is here, marking the end of the old seasonal year and the beginning of the new when the veil between the worlds is thin and we traditionally light candles and lanterns to remember who or what has gone before.
I like to mark the day with seasonal treats and to also take stock of what I want to achieve in the coming year.

I have made some nibbles and also got some sweeties for popping round to a friends with this afternoon. I made my friend a pumpkin coaster seen here.


Friday, 30 October 2009

Illuminating York 23rd - 1st Nov

I went to the Illuminating York festival tonight which as the name suggest is a creative display of lights and some music. There were a few different light displays going on in the city centre but I found the best display was the Wall of Light in the Museum Gardens.

This was an interesting display beamed onto one of the historic buildings, it started off a bit like iTunes with the dancing laser lights and music to match but then it got a bit more interesting and cats eyes appeared which you can make out on my photo. Also owls appeared and a full moon but my camera was on too slow a shutter speed to capture that.
These are the best efforts I could get with my little snappy camera.

Sunday, 25 October 2009

More food for free

How lovely, my neighbour from one of the other cottages has brought a big bag of wind fallen apples today. I can see the apple trees from my office window and the sight of them being blown about and probably the fact that there would be too many for the neighbours to use had me longing for some. Apparently they were getting fed up of apple pies and what with the rats they've had to chuck a fair few away so for me to get some was a real treat.
I set to work right away on a crumble! (since been sampled and the apples were very nice).

Will have to consult my recipe books to see if I go down the apple pie route or be a bit more adventurous with some pickle of chutney.

Crafts in progress

I've had it confirmed that I have secured a craft stall at the Driffield School Christmas Craft Fair on Nov 29th and I'm busy producing stuff.
What you see here are some of my knitted and felted wool things.

Bottom picture are knitted flower brooches, middle pic are all made from recycled and felted wool scarves to make wrist cuffs and brooches and top picture, again recycled felted wool jumpers to make bangles. I'm quite pleased with the bangles as they are nice and light weight to wear and they feel sort of warm and appropriate for winter.

Gallery on the Wolds, & Kite

I did a days invigilating at the Art in the Garden exhibition on Friday which was a nice excuse to get away from the computer for a few hours and take a few crafty things to occupy me.

We had been asked to record numbers of visitors, the weather hadn't been great this week so a couple of days there had only been numbers of about 30. I was a bit luckier, slightly better weather and generally Fridays are busier so I recorded 68 visitors. Had a couple of people I know from networking groups and also had my parents call by and they brought me this lovely kite decoration from recent trip to Germany.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Hobbycraft is open!

Whilst visiting Hull, which doesn't exactly have a lot going for itself in the city centre other than the museums, I called into the new Hobbycraft store. This was definitely worth a look, I didn't have long enough in there but time enough to whizz round and see the great range of art & craft stuff so got a few bits n pieces!
There was a fantastic selection of wool, smallish range of fabric but they did have some Amy Butler designs and the upstairs was virtually full of art & framing supplies.

Post war Fabric Exhibition @ the Ferens

Yesterday I made a trip to the Ferens Art Gallery in Hull to see the Shirley Craven & Hull Traders exhibition which is on til Jan 3rd and well worth a visit if you appreciate colourful fabric!
This is an amazing collection of groovy textiles which capture all the exuberance of the swinging 60's in the handprinted fabrics.

Shirley Craven was herself a native of Hull. At the height of Hull Traders popularity in 1966 they branched out into furniture design creating some revolutionary pieces at the time.

The fabric designs were fab and had really kept their colour well for the age they were. I came away inspired.

Monday, 19 October 2009

Textile course - homework 3

A lot of this course at the moment is making sample swatches which are consisting of stitched bits of fabric and folded paper etc. Here are my latest test pieces. The bottom one is a patchwork of sweet wrappers, odd I know but it seems anything goes!

Friday, 16 October 2009

Art in the Garden preview tonight

The exhibition preview is tonight between 6 & 8pm. I have submitted 3 of my digital collages as seen here which were created following my placement in the garden at Hunmanby Grange. I'm not sure if all my work has been selected as it was dependent on number of entries so all will be revealed this evening.
I can't wait to see what other people have been working on.

Monday, 12 October 2009

Textile course - homework 2

Just got time to record a bit of homework before taking it to class this afternoon.
We've been taking one of our abstracted maritime themes and making a canvas flag. The flag was to be embellished with stitching, paper, other bits n bobs you could find.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Packaging 1

I've decided I'll be doing some posts on the subject of packaging as it seems to come in and out of my life at different levels.

I used to work in reprographics for a small part of my career, the first place I did repro was a drinks can company and the second and final repro artist job I had was working on labels which I can honestly say I hated. Maybe not so much the labels but the place I worked was the most stressful, unpleasant place and I'll stop there as I'm feeling uncomfortable remembering it and 13 years have passed!

Anyway, despite the horrors of packaging it seems most of the work I currently do is labels but this time I'm on the nice end of it and I do the design & creative stuff with only a tiny bit of repro if required.
I also love looking at new labels and packaging in shops and have been known on occasion to buy something just for the packaging, purely for research purposes of course!

So the other day in the textiles class I was delighted to see a request on a handout we were given to tell us to look out for and collect unusual and unconventional wrappers and packaging and other such materials. I'm starting to appreciate how some label designs have an almost textile quality to them.
The photos are some recent purchases where the contents were enjoyed as much as the packs!

Also whilst on this subject, have you seen Sherbet Fountains are changing from the paper tube to a horrible new hygienic pack with a black plastic stopper over the licorice. I first read this on someones blog and I have seen the new packs but yesterday I found some of the old style ones in a local shop. I have to say that the ones on the photo I bought yesterday are out of date so bit naughty of the shop to have them on the shelves still, but I bought them anyway as I'm sure these are some of the last surviving packs we know and love from our childhood.

Monday, 5 October 2009

Centre for Alternative Technology

It's been a busy and very interesting weekend as I visited the Centre for Alternative Technology in mid Wales. It felt like a bit of a pilgrimage visiting CAT as I've heard such a lot about it from my straw bale building friend. It was also a good opportunity to fact find in readiness for one day having my own eco friendly house.

What an amazing place it was and situated in some lovely, almost alpine like scenery. From the centre car park you travel by a steep cliff railway up to the main site, this was hydro powered. The site itself is about 7 acres and packed with displays and demonstrations of solar, wind power, wave power, straw bale building, timber frame, recycling, organic gardening etc. Too much to mention so will put a link to the CAT website.
There's a great shop with a fantastic selection of books but not enough time to look at them.
My photos are fairly self explanatory, the slightly abstract one with coloured circles is recycled bottles pushed into a wall.

Whilst in this part of Wales, managed a quick look in the nearby town of Machynlleth which looked nice and had MOMA (Museum of Modern Art) but I didn't get to look as closing time was approaching.
As with most things, too much to do in too little time!

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Art in the Garden exhibition - 16 Oct

The artists who participated in this years Art in the Garden have just received the details about the exhibition and preview later in October so here is the poster for anyone who is interested in coming along.
If you need invites for the preview I have some so drop me a line as everyone is welcome.

I've nearly finished the 3 pieces I'm entering and I'm really looking forward to seeing other people's results.

Textile course - homework

2 weeks into the course and there are reports to write and bits of homework to do. I'm still finding it a bit weird getting back into a college & young persons environment but I need to do this and progress my textile skills so I'm trying to keep up with it.

For homework this week they asked us to do a bit of hand stitching with embellishments, anything we wanted loosely based on our maritime project. This is mine and guess what, it's called Shipping Forecast! I like the shipping forecast and I like text, symbols, maps, flags so I've put a few of those elements in it. I tried to give it the look of an old shipping map by staining the edges with tea, I've used beads for some major shipping ports and in the bottom left I just learnt how to do a reef knot on YouTube!