Wednesday, June 30, 2010

She is like London buses...

... no posts for weeks and then two come together.

If you read my earlier post today you will know that officially I am not blogging about my new house prospects. So I will pretend that this post is simply about showing you Art as Inspiration and nothing whatsoever in any shape and form about commissioning a pice of art to go on the outside wall of my studio- to be.
And maybe another for the bathroom.

Julie Langan has a studio at Cedar Farm where we spend out Sunday mornings and her glass art is displayed around the complex both inside and outside. It is distinctly translateable to fabric which is maybe why I love it but then glass can go go in places where cotton would be destroyed.
You can see more of her art here.


I see that I have been absent from this blog for 22 days. How did that happen?

Well partly it has been that our Internet decided to play up for days on end. But mostly it has been that I am distracted. Look what is outside our house!
We even have somewhere to go that will accommodate a studio at the bottom of the garden - you can bet you will be hearing all about that as plans progress. I kind of don't want to jinx the whole deal by blogging too much about the details until contracts are signed. But by way of explanation of how this is distracting - in a fit of celebration I went out and scoured newsagents and now own the July issues of every single house magazine published in the UK. I am happily scouring them and ripping inspiration out and scrapbooking....basically moving house is just one huge shopping experience in all kind of stores I don't mormally think about.
But I have to say that some of the magazines are too aspirational even for me. I spotted a roll top bath. White and  very sleek I admit. But it cost £43,645!!!!

Not for me. But I am thinking  a spa bath......

Meanwhile one of the first things I think we shall do is rehang these baskets that are gracing our current home.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Look who has a new studio!

I probably mentioned in passing that we are househunting with a view to me getting a nice large studio space - or two if I separate out wet and dry activities. Well, of course these things do not happen all at once but a consequence of me not working from home anymore is that I do not need a full blown home study the way I used to. So, on Saturday at about 3pm I took a sudden notion........
This is how our third bedroom looked at 3pm, as I was half way through the 'half hour project' of moving a few things here and there. (Mostly law books into the boot of my car which I have long considered an extra room of the house.)
Still office related equipment as you can see, including a barristers gown on the door and Dennis' CD collection. At 3.01pm Operation New Studio began. That involved:
1. Taking every last thing out of the study and placing it in the second bedroom ( which already housed my stash and quilting book collection).
2. Taking half the things from the sewing space in my dining room downstairs up to the second bedroom ready to go in the study.
3. Starting to move all the CD's down as on the return trip the remainder from downstairs is brought up.
4. Leaving Dennis to rearrange CD's in the cabinets which once housed sewing items whilst I tackle the studio transformation.

This method results in a clean slate to work with and a frightening mess in the second bedroom spilling over into the first:

By 11pm it was still not finished but I gave up. Sunday I awoke and reaslied that this process is extremely good excercise for your gluteus maximus, especially, I suspect, the use of stepladders to replace books and boxes onto the very top shelves. We honoured our usual Sunday morning date at Cedar Farm but sitting on the sofa was hampered by the bottom ache! But the trip did mean I could buy some containers at the Potting Shed a small and up market gardening shop there and some plantpots at a large and downmarket garden centre on the route back. A little more work that afternoon and - voila!
 New studio!
The wicker baskets from Ikea mostly have threads in them

I have only shown you oblique glimpses of the cork board on the left as you enter as it has on it some Twelve by Twelve work for the latest purple and yellow challenge which is yet to be revealed. I also need to put up the second board (donated: thanks Mum!) and get up the courage to move the internet router downstairs and hope I do not mess up our connectivity. ( I think I should wait until Dennis finishes marking exams on line!) There is still a little stuff to sort out in the 'stash room' but as they are next to each other I guess I can now say I have a creative suite! Still smaller than I would like - the ironing  board  for example has to go up next door, for example but there is room on what was the desk for a ironing pad, and there is not much space to spread out,  but at least, pending sale, we can now eat at the dining room table without dismantling all my sewing arrangements. And I am hoping that with art stuff out to hand I do more sketchbook/ design work.

Now. Any creative ideas for what to do with a £400 stuff barrister's gown I no longer need?

Monday, June 07, 2010

Cupcakes and company

On Friday I  went to visit Working Mum on the Verge and her delightful daughter. (You know the kind - the daughter that can hold a sensible and interesting conversation, does not whinge and whine and can sit and eat a full meal at table. The only kind of child I like!) Working Mum and I have been friends since were eight. her family moved around the corner from mine, she came to my primary school and the teacher said we had to be friends. And so we were. I have photos of her as Aladdin in the school play and memories of her taking breaks from exam revision  to paint her nails with polka dots. We were even at the same University but lost touch after that as she moved to Manchester to begin her married life.
The reconnection is entirely internet based. By some weird co-incidence my room mate from my first year at University ended up working at Working Mum's school and reads my blog. WM and Roommate vaguely recognised each other, put the pieces together and so WM arrived as a commenter on my blog and I got to go and sample her cupcakes.  And talk to her daughter who has smart and unanswerable answers to visitors who ask stupid questions:
   "So why do you like horses so much?"
   "Becuase God just made me to like horses."

Then on arrival home Diane and I discovered the joys of Skype video calling and was able to oggle each others stash transatlantically for free. Better, I was sharing my plans to buy some Crazy Daisy china and Diane, in searching for a picture of the design as we talked,  found me a store in the Uk selling it at cheaper prices than any I had seen. You gotta love the internet!

PS: To Lurking Roommate: Did I drive you very mad that first year?

Friday, June 04, 2010

Accidental sketchbook

I have just signed up for the Sketchbook project .
I keep promising myself I shall do more sketchbook work, partly for fun partly for design training but somehow, apart from the cuttings and line diagrams I do regularly in a quilting journal I never get around to it. I am not confident with art skills and am always ambushed by the feeling that spending precious time on a book that no-one sees is a waste of time. That even though I know it not to be so. But you know - head and hearts do not always play nicely together.
But this project does not require any great talent but ensures that someone somewhere will probably look at my book.( Indeed I shall be blogging it so in due course I shall be pathetically begging you all to look at it!)
Just the push I needed.

I intended to choose the theme lines and grids as that seemed safe and doable.
But I seem to have accidentally ticked the box asking for a theme to be chosen randomly for me and I got 'The view from here'.
Hmmm... not bad - some ideas already based on the excited scribbles I made on scrap paper of the landscapes when flying into Queenstown, New Zealand whilst cursing myself for leaving the camera in the overhead locker. (Too late now: seatbelt signs on and  look at those fablulous lines and fissures.......!)
And I did want to do some sketchbook work based on the local museum which I see from my room here in Blackburn.
And the theme is only a starting point anyway......
Now, I have to wait for my book to come from the US.
Do you think this occasion justifies the buying of a box of oil pastels I don't really know how to use yet?