Saturday, May 29, 2010

Art day - don't miss the glass dresses!

Today I decided to make the most of it being a Bank Holiday weekend to see some art in Liverpool. But unlike most poeple who would go and see one gallery or a single exhibition I seem to have turned it into an extreme sport....

I started with the exhibiton windows at the Liverpool Community College in Myrtle Street, as, being like shop windows they opened before the galleries. There were four artists displayed and I liked them all but two were hard to photo as the reflections on the glass of the street really interfered. I got better, although still not perfect photos of my second favourite - work by Karen Ball.

And I loved, loved, loved the cyanotopes by Sian Hughes

From there I walked over to the John Moores Liverpool University Art and Design school for the student show. Sadly disappointed. Two galleries of mostly tosh. ( In my subjective opinion). Is that what they get degrees for? One 'artist' had dropped a splotch of fountain pen ink on to water colour paper from an upstairs window. And framed it. Art? Discuss!

So I went to the 'proper' (I.e. din't start out as the Polytechnic)Liverpool University Gallery and took in the Breaking with Tradition: 100 years of theContemporary Art Society display.  They had some Bridget Riley wall paper designs and I thought I might finally appreciate them if I saw them with an explanation. But no - still just lines of colours to me!
The building itself is a good reason to go to this gallery though:

I then moved my car from its 'Aren't I the locally smart one' free parking space and drove though the tipping down rain into the city (only about 15 mins walk but way too wet) and parked it in the 'Yes I know I should have gone by train' exorbitant car park. That enabled me to still be fairly dry when I got to the Walker Art Gallery. I did very much like the Enamel work by Ruth Hall   but was absolutely transfixed by the glass dresses by Diane Dias-Leao.  There were no no photography signs but because of the light my photos do not do them justice and I'd rather - apart from the photos of the wall illustrations below- that you saw them well shot - so try this site. and the museum's own flikr site here

I think there are 16 in the exhibition and boy was I glad that I had taken my naff-but-so-good-to-the-feet -fishermans-stool-in-a-rucksack with sketching materials. I was there for ages. It is a good exercise to really look and see how she achived 16 dresses that all look like they belong together but are all different - changes of scale, of materials or shapes etc.
Whilst Iwas there I also breifly took in The Rise of Women Artists, an exhibit called From Sketch to Scuplture by Emma Roberts and a room of Tolouse-Lautrec prints.
Then I walked to the Bluecoat Galleries and looked at more mediocre stuff interspersed with some interetsing screen prints in the Global Studio exhibition.

Finally, to compensate for the fact that none of the gallery cafes had any cakes that were half as good as I could have made myself, I went to M&S food hall, bought some high quality chocolate biscuits and came home to start work on some samples based on the glass dresses.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Cycling for quilters

Come ride with me. One thing I am loving about working in one place (Okay, two but they are pretty close together) is that I am home in time to go straight out on my new bike. So, today I thought I'd take you with me and we could talk about quilty stuff as we go around - how would that be?

Now, I know this is not an auspicious start but bear with me. Cross over this junction which is two roads from my house and you get into much nicer territory with a dedicated bike lane along side the Rainford bypass and verges chock full of dandelions which of course reminds me of the very first Twelve by Twelve challenge.

Soon there are fields which reminded me of Elizabth Bririmelow's reversible field quilt and the time when I was standing in front of it in Wales and Dennis, looking at another of her quilts pronouced them' horrible'. Loudly. When she was standing right behind him. Time to move on.

Nature of course has colour lessons for us. You have to go a little further on to actually pass the rape seed fields but you can see them from the bypass.

And there are several copses of trees which remind me of Gerrie's Aspen quilts. After a while we will turn off down a side road. I wonder what is around the corner?

Lines, thats what.

Now this is not guerilla knitting but when I saw it I was reminded of the blog entry about these sweet smelling sexy looking knitting needles I read about just this morning.  I passed them over to move to the next blog regretful that I do not knit. But maybe I should do just a small piece to welcome myself around my cycle routes.
A little further on we have purple and yellow - the first time since those colours were announced as the new Twelve by Twelve themes that I have seen them in nature,

Now, despite that fact that we live in a former mining/ glass making northern Town we do actually have animals.and look - thats my estate up there. Am in fact semi-rural? That description might add a bit to the house we are trying to sell!

I am sure, absolutely convinced that I read about a project that Maggie Grey started whch involved burying or letting phone directories decay outisde for embroidery related purposes, but a quick search did not locate that. Am I making it up? In any event this Argos catolgue was under a hedegrow and had become quite beautifully altereted by the elements.

A little further on I found a scuplture in a field. Well, I think it was some kind of mechanical scarecrow contraption but it glinted in the evening sun and changed in quite compelling ways as the two set of blades moved differently

Just by taking the camera out I saw all kinds of things I would normally whizz past. So I hope you enjoyed coming with me. Maybe I could come along with you in your neighbourhoods soon?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Man thinking

I have been talking about the Bernina 830 and its embroidery machine capacity for some time now. It is the only thing ever Dennis has balked at me buying and to be fair it costs the price of a small car.Or a small kitchen for that matter. But, you know, the drip drip of attrition sometimes work and so every now and again I mention it. I mean, maybe he just doesn't understand what the thing does.

So today I watched one of Linda Kemshall's vidoes on her Design Matters TV. She was making a pillow with an embroidered mackrel on it. Now Dennis likes fish. Too look at more than to eat, I mean, which is good when it comes to fish on cushions. So I call him over to see the fish. He likes it.
"And do you know how she did the fish?" I ask,ever so casually.
"Ha. Well maybe eventually. She bought it at the supermarket, photographed it and digitised it using embroidery software then used her embroidery machine to sew it. Isn't that good?"
"Don't even think about it."
"You are forever buying stash and not using it for months. I've just had to clean the stinking fridge out because you left rotting carrots in there. Don't even think about buying a fish then forgetting to digitise it for days afterwards."

This is what you get with a househusband. He needs to get out more.
Like to a sewing machine shop, say.

The nice things in life.

First, tonight I was able to enjoy a ride on my nice new bike. I am fortunate enough to finish work in time to still enjoy these bright evenings and to live on the edge of country so I can get out in open fields. (Thought not smart enough to take my camera to show you where I have been: next time

Secondly, today I finished this quilt. You can see the inspiration here.

Then, messing about on the internet I was suprised to learn that my little tootle around the lanes had worked off 340 calories. And even more pleased to find that the White Magnum in the freezer only had 237 calories. Good net result I'd say.

And no. It is no longer in the freezer!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

New Prayer Flag Project Blog

The new Prayer Flag Quilt Project Blog is up!
If you have not yet  got on board why not read more about it on the sidebar  and think about joining in?

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Making up my education

I was 8 in 1978 and not in the kind of family where eight year olds got taken to see American high school films.  In 1979 our TV blew up ( in the middle of Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, which was deemed suitable family viewing) and we didn't get a new one in the household until 1989. Accordingly there are certain gaps in my popular cultural knowledge.

Which is why I am, even as I write, watching for the very first time....

I am mesmerised. It is so bad!! Tell me - did people really dance like that?!
And how, if Betty Rizzo got her self knocked up did she get to be the First Lady?

And why, oh oh why on earth does she now have a facebook page?

Great Internet Mystery - help!

Yesterday my husband started to have problems with the Internet at home when using his laptop
He can send but not receive emails. He can get all websites he tried except Tiscali - which allows him access to  his web based email - and the BBC and one private blog I write. He can get my public blogs and all the blogs are with Blogger.

When I got home I found that  - using my laptop - my email worked perfectly in Outlook and web based ( my email is Talktalk but Talktalk now own Tiscali) But I could not get the BBC or Tiscali. I forgot to check the blog.

He says the situation is the same at home today but at work I can get both websites so it is not a problem with the sites.

Any ideas?

Not having access to the BBC website on election day is not a happy thing for my political news hound husband. And, I shall not be happy if I cannot use it to watch TV on demand to get away from the wall to wall election coverage which wil be on our real TV when I get home!

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Prayer flag challenge

Belatedly, let me alert you to fact that the 1st May saw the latest Twelve by Twelve reveal over at our blog. I love the interaction that goes with our process - this time I made these two quilts. When I made the strung and hanging mini quilts, I was thinking of abstracted lines of lava flow. But, in the context of me dedicating the quilts as a memorial to a recently deceased aquaintance, Terry commented that she saw Prayer Flags.

Then today I got an email from Joanne telling me she was thinking of making a prayerflag quilt in memory of someone she loved and lost. She said, "Do you think there are rules for prayer flag making?"

Now, I do not believe there are any rules for quilt making. Ok, I probably go with the three layers definition, but that's about it. So I was thinking - how many ways are there to make a prayer flag quilt and how many people would like to make one to remember someone they miss? And how may would like at least a virtual show of them to honour those people and maybe even in the future a physical collection shown somewhere?

So, I am going to find out.
Here is my prayer flag challenge and how to enter:

If you think this is a good idea please forward this link by email, tweet or carrier pigeon and put it on your blog whether or not you intend to participate yourself

1. First of all tell me that that you are interested in entering by emailing with the title PrayerFlag in the title. Assuming I get more than a couple responses I will start a blog for the quilt reveals.
2 Make a quilt of any size and any technique showing your interpretation of prayer flags.
3. When it is ready email me again to let me know and I will add you as an author to the blog.
4. You then go to the blog and add your photo and any description you wish to add such as the name of the person you are honouring and the technique you have used. If you wish to partcipate but are unsure how to do  this I can either give you instructions or you can email me the photo and details and I will blog for you.

There is no deadline for completing the quilt but I would appreciate your registration of interest email as it were, early on so I can gauge numbers.

If that works I will give consideration to organzing a physical show somewhere, some place, somehow, but no promises at the moment!

Monday, May 03, 2010

The half hour project.

Now that I am longer partially professionally itinerent and partly working from home, I don't need the law related things I used to have surrounding me in our home study. Removing them will allow a little more creativity zone to creep into the room. But a re-organisation all at once? Who needs that? So, I have instigated the Half Hour Project. Half and hour here, half an hour there and eventually....

The before: It had become a bit of a dumping ground over prevous days:

The after:

 Ok, I did a double session the first time around. And this was mainly achieved by moving the piles of stuff elsewhere: the Oxfam book shop pile.

The take to work pile...