'If you make happiness your goal, then you're not going to get to it… The goal should be an interesting life."

Dorothy Rowe

Tuesday 26 March 2013


I have managed to finish my pieces for our Hanger Farm exhibition in good time - the hanging is next week, but they are being picked up tomorrow. Framing them proved a little more fraught than anticipated, and if I had known when I started what I know now, I would have got box frames, but they'll have to do.

'Glass Flower'. For some reason I cannot get a sharp photo of this one.

'Glass House'

 'Glass Circles'

All 'glass' because that is the name of the set of filters in iColorama which I used to design them.

Monday 25 March 2013


is over, much to my relief. What with the weather and other things, it was pretty stressful. And I didn't even have the energy for much in the way of retail therapy. :<(

Take my tip, and never stay in a hotel at the NEC when a boy band is playing there. All their fans' parents will decide to sit out the concert in the nearest hotel bar and they will test the food service to breaking point. And the parents' cars will cause far more traffic chaos than the snow.

Still, here is Moving On in wall hanging mode, and some people seem to have bought some of my postcards.

Now I'm moving on to Hanger Farm. The embroideries are finished and tomorrow I shall photograph and frame them. Then I shall have to think of something else to do!

Friday 22 March 2013

Birmingham or Bust!

On a day when you have to go somewhere, the last thing you want to read is a forecast of snow. Had we planned on going to the NEC show just for fun, we would probably have stayed at home, but as I'm stewarding early tomorrow, we decided we had to go for it.

I suggested quilts, hot drinks and a shovel. Wensleydale said OK to the flask, but then he would have made one anyway, and I got the quilts. He's lived in North Yorkshire where snow is snow, none of this namby pamby southern stuff. (He didn't actually say this, you realise, but he did gently imply I was over-reacting.)

So we set off. According to the Met Office, there was a yellow snow warning for 'north of the M4 corridor'. That's not a warning of yellow snow, you realise, it means 'be aware'. 

Here is the M4 corridor. The weather is doing what it was doing south of the M4 corridor...

i.e. raining.

We stopped at Cherwell Valley Services and I posted on FB that it was raining. At which point it turned to sleet.

Do you know how difficult it is to photograph sleet?

Just before the Warwick junction we got one of these. After which it improved a bit.

But not for long.

As the VHC would say 'uh-oh'.

I've never seen the M42 as slow moving as this. Locals may tell me I've been lucky.

A very welcome sight...

but not as welcome as this.

And now I'm off to have a very unhealthy meal and a couple of glasses of something white.

The forecast is for heavy snow, so it may be a little quiet at the show tomorrow.

Wednesday 20 March 2013

Over there!

A description of how I learned to love designing on Paddy on my long-neglected college blog, Paper, Plastic, String.

And an exploration of some of the things my second favourite app, iColorama, can do, on my photo blog, Cheese Snaps.

Thanks to my colleagues from neuf, 'Moving On' is now on display at the NEC. Please have a look at the Eastleigh College Stand if you are there. I shall be around on Saturday and Sunday mornings. 

Sunday 17 March 2013

Another one bites the dust.

My first piece  for Hanger Farm. It started as a sketch, inspired by a photo of a Boro cloth I found online, went through a cople of apps, was printed on some of Crafty Computer Paper's prepared for printing cotton, and got a backing of felt and some embroidery.

I am postponing framing it until I feel strong enough. Although I am feeling much much much better, cutting it down to size feels a bit too much for me at the moment.

The other two pieces will be radically different (probably), involving heavy embroidery on hand dyed silk. I've started the design process, but it's got to the 'it'll get worse before it gets better' stage, so I have left it till Tuesday when I can look at it with fresh eyes.

If the worst comes to the worst I have more of these apped images I could print out - do you it might be better to do three  consistent pieces anyway? What would you expect to see at a selling show?

Friday 15 March 2013

One down, three to go.

One is the book, off on the first stage of a rather roundabout journey to Birmingham. 

Two is this, the first of three (I hope) for Hanger Farm. Of course its only an eighth of the size of the book, but then I've only got a fortnight to make the three in!

It's one of my apped photos, printed on one of Crafty Computer Papers fabric sheets, and about to get a little light embroidery. (And I did press it before I started...)

I ddn't make it to the Contemporary Textile Workshop today, but tonight I'm feeling much better,  after a good night's sleep and one of those events which gets your adrenaline going. Odd that I feel much better when I'm cross... 

Tuesday 12 March 2013

Sorry to disappear...

but I've spent most of the last couple of weeks in bed, dealing with this ¥+~}%#€ flu. I have been wonderfully looked after by the sainted Wensleydale, despite him having (a bit milder) bout of the same thing.

When I have got out of bed I have had to force myself to pick up a needle to finish 'Moving On', but I'm delighted to say to is now done.
There are a few loose ends in these pictures, but they have now been dealt with.

Of course my original design was for a star book arrangement, like this, but now it's done I prefer the concertina. 

Tomorrow I have to assemble some sort of packaging for it, and then on Friday deliver it to one of the hanging committee who will take it up to Brum, to the show, where you can see it if you wish, together with the work of my fellow students in the graduate showcase. I shall be there on Saturday and Sunday so please come and say 'hello'.

In April we have an exhibition here, for which I have, as yet made nothing, so the pace isn't going to slacken any time soon!

However, we do have a holiday booked here soon, which we really really need. We haven't been before (we do know the area), but it looks wonderful. Just look at those quilts in the main bedroom! The owner, Julie Shackson, is an artist, and I came across the cottage via her website - her art is equally stunning. Just looking forward to a complete lack of deadlines,  and with any luck, a lack of coughing too!