Sunday, 28 June 2009

Ikea fabric

Had an unexpected trip to Ikea today due to another errand in that neck of the woods, don't normally go daytime on a weekend with it being a place for family outings and a bit frantic at the best of times. It was a sale too so really busy, however I did manage a good rummage in the fabric section and came away with these nice striped remnants and also the slightly more groovy patterned fabric. As I often find at Ikea, the fabric on display that you really want has usually all gone and I couldn't find some lovely fabric with birds on which I wanted.

Also found this fab cake tin in a Dala horse shape. I love the Swedish Dala horse image, it comes in many colours and patterns and here is the traditional red colour. I'm sure I'll have great fun when I get round to making the cake and decorating it.

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Gallery on the Wolds, Bainton

This evening was the preview of the Summer Open Exhibition at the Gallery on the Wolds, Bainton. I didn't know whether my 2 pieces had been accepted until I got there and I was delighted to see they were on display so I will post pictures here. One is an oil called Big Red Flower and the other is a fabric collage called My Secret Garden (named after one of my fave Depeche Mode tracks).

The quality of work on display was very good and I was pleased to see work by my old chum, that renowned designer and artist, David Smith.

This is the last pot!

I made that one last trip to York College this afternoon to pick up my very final pot. It is a long canoe shaped fruit dish. I think it looks quite tribal.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

New ERA brochure

I went to visit my friend Penny who is a potter the other day as she was having an exhibition on the red London bus at Burton Agnes Hall. The bus is great, she'd filled it with some amazing pots from her collection. I also got to see the new ERA brochure which I hadn't realised was out yet and it was really exciting to see I have a listing in there.

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Summer Solstice

I haven't been anywhere significant today (yet) to embrace the Summer Solstice, one the weather has looked a bit unpredictable and two I have been finishing the artwork which I will be entering into the Wolds Village exhibition next week.

So, to acknowledge today is actually Mid summer's Day, I am posting one of my railway style posters of a favourite stone circle of mine at Castlerigg in Cumbria.

Friday, 19 June 2009

My last ceramics class in York

That was more or less the end of the line for me with ceramics at York College last night. I was sad to be leaving, I've met some lovely people over the years and been able to progress my work under the guidance of our 'mad as a a box of frogs' teacher Catherine. (see Catherines groovy pots on her website.)

We had our leaving party then had a look at some of the students work in the gallery upstairs which is what the photos show, I really like the glass wall hanging.

I collected my last few pieces, the photo with a couple of figures in.
I also decided to glaze one final piece as we should be able to go back during the daytime next week to collect any last work before they close for summer.

I need to investigate whether there are any classes starting nearer to home next term.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

White choc, peanut butter & dark choc

I managed to make the choccie thing!

Pottery party tonight

As documented before, it's the end of an era, I'm finishing my third year pottery class tonight and all there is to do is pick up a few pieces so we are having a little party and taking in nibbles.

I have pinched this fantastic little savoury canape idea from Elizabeth over at Ryedale. So simple and basically just cooked asparagus wrapped in white bread 'sausage' shapes, chilled and then chopped into smaller segments.
If time allows I might make my white choc, peanut butter & dark choc slab if I have time for it to set.

Poetry postcards

I was in the library the other day and I found these nicely designed postcards on the leaflet rack, and best of all they were free!

They are BBC cards and they have created them for the BBC Poetry Season. I'm not sure how many there are to collect but definitely worth hunting out if you are in a library. The full poem is on the back of each card.

Monday, 15 June 2009

Fabric flower brooches & painting

Over the weekend I have been doing quite a few bits 'n' pieces with fabric. I have just finished these few flower and corsage brooches to list on Ebay.

I am also working on a piece of textile art to enter in the Wolds Gallery summer open exhibition which has to be finished by next weekend, if it turns out ok it may get a post on the blog. You can enter 2 pieces of art so I will submit the flower painting shown here which was one of my first attempts with oils I did a couple of years ago.

Saturday, 13 June 2009

Scarborough bathing belles

Saw this fab sculpture of a bathing belle on the pier near the lighthouse in Scarborough. Apparently this is a diving sculpture and there is a second one somewhere else which I didn't see. They had been commissioned to celebrate Scarborough being the first bathing resort in the country.

Ice cream in Scarborough

I had hoped to get my first garment cut out and stitched up at the sewing class this morning but we ended up running out of time, so next week we all start our stitching.

I've been fancying a trip to the 50's ice cream parlour (The Harbour Bar or Alonzis) in Scarborough so a nice sunny day like today seemed a good idea. However given that it would be busy the trip was planned for late afternoon an hour before closing and I think I timed it well.
Hadn't been in there since probably the early 70's and it was just the same, lots of yellow & red formica and mirrors, jelly & ice-cream shake signs, a real nostalgia trip.

I had a chocolate sundae and some fizzy water to wash it down with. I think the ice-cream was the squirty machine stuff (not quite my thing), but the homemade chocolate sauce was nice and it was a fun seasidey thing to do.

Friday, 12 June 2009

Penultimate pottery

Just one session to go and the pottery class was a bit quiet last night as there's not a lot you can do other than glaze a few final things in the hope that they get fired in the next 7 days. There's a hint of sadness as I won't be able to return as I've completed the 3 year course so I'm investigating whether there are any other courses in the area for next term. I don't like the thought of not being able to play with clay.

I did make one last fruit bowl last night which won't get glazed unless I find another class but hopefully it will be fired. I collected the work seen here, a leaf joss stick holder, the 4 muramic wall plaques and the Ben Arnup style vase.

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Fabric shop in York

On my way to pottery class I nipped into the centre of York to look for the fabric shop I had heard mentioned at the sewing class last week (Gillies on Peter Lane). I found it tucked down a snickleway and it was definitely worth the visit, lots of nice patterned, plain & plaid fabrics to choose from. 
I bought this selection.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Sorting out wool stash

It seemed a good time to sort my wool out as I'm too busy with other things at the moment, although I have plans to start crocheting circles for a cardigan. Anyway due to the many different carrier bags and bin bags with bits of wool in and which I can't see what colours I've got, I had an idea.

I am a big fan of the vacuum bags and they have proved invaluable here to store clothes and blankets which I don't want nasty crawly things (which there are plenty of) getting into. I thought it would work equally well to put my wool in. It will shrink it down to size a bit, I can see exactly what I've got and it keeps it clean til I need it.

The smaller of the bags is some of my favourite and most expensive wool. The wool I probably look and drool at and never feel worthy of using!

Monday, 8 June 2009

Art in the garden - NGS

Yesterday was my day residency at one of the open gardens as part of the NGS.
The weather forecast the day before had been quite clear that it was going to rain and generally be unpleasant for June. With that I mind I packed the car with stuff for all possibilities. Took paints, pencils, laptop, camera, waterproofs etc and set off for Hunmanby which is home to the Wold Top Brewery.

It was certainly windy up there on the Wold top but didn't see a drop of rain all day and it was one of those occasions where I was pleased they got the forecast wrong.
The gardens were delightful, plenty of nooks & crannies, tranquil areas with water features, lovely wild flowers & poppies, infact so many inspiring things I was spoilt for choice.

I took plenty of photos and started the day with a digital illustration which I continued until the laptop battery ran down. Then moved on to aqua pencils for a few sketches. The public were quite interested in what we were doing (there were 3 ERA members), I sold quite a few cards I had with me, the brewery shifted quite a bit of beer so all in all it was a successful day. Pretty exhausting too!

Friday, 5 June 2009

Hornsea pot has appeared!

Last night at pottery I was all set to stick up my 'disappearing pot' poster when I noticed it had miraculously appeared on the finished display shelf. What a relief, I won't know where it's been but I have it at last, not brilliant & a bit patchy but when I use it for the intended purpose (it's a ceramic candle cube) I will have fond memories of the pottery class.

Also out of the kiln was a cat which I made years ago in Beverley and never got to glaze him so he is finally finished.

Only 2 classes left and we have finished 'making' and are doing final glazes.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009


Growing flowers, other than a few poppies & wild flowers I'm partial to is something of a pointless exercise, I much prefer to channel my energies into growing food but that isn't possible in a rented cottage.

However a few months ago I did stick some pansies in a tub to cheer the place up and they are at their best right now and even smell good too. I fear the changeable weather at the weekend might batter them so I have picked a few to press.

Monday, 1 June 2009

Favourite Feta Salad

This warm weather has definitely got me in full blown salad eating mode. As much as I like my feta with tomatoes, basil & olives, I discovered this combination last year which has become my favourite.

It's very much a green & white salad and varies a bit with what I have available but the general idea is fine green beans, soya beans (fresh or frozen), lettuce or rocket, crumbled feta, toasted and chopped almonds (these really make it), I also add a bit of cucumber, some mung bean sprouts I had and then the dressing is olive oil & lemon juice with lots of chopped mint in it. The mint is essential, it really isn't the same without the mint or the almonds I've found.