Thursday, 2 October 2014

The last few months I have been...

When Gina told me yesterday that a mutual contact had asked if all was well with me, I realised how long it is since I last wrote a blog. Although I mainly 'do' Facebook these days I had thought I would try to write a monthly blog but I have failed. There are several reasons for this. Despite the possible evidence to to the contrary I have been going though a protracted blank phase of not being able to motivate myself to do anything. I have had an on-going problem of dizziness since last spring. An MRI scan could find nothing wrong, which is reassuring, but also no comfort when no remedy can be found. The ENT dept put it down to vestibular migraine - dizziness instead of / as well as a headache, but I'm not convinced as dizzy spells last days, even though they're not severe enough to stop me carry on with  daily tasks, I don't feel like doing a lot else.  Having read something on FB, it could be down to the iPad. The movement of the image on the screen apparently can effect some people, but I had mine a year before the trouble started.  I'm going to try to severely ration myself for a week or two to see if it helps. I've tried a food diary and stopped drinking red wine, but can't spot a trigger. A GP said it was down got me to try to figure it out. Sometimes I think it is tension, other times sinusitus. Of course the other factor is, having nothing else to think about. I'm trying to keep busy.. but. 
Now you know why I haven't been blogging, no one wants to read about someone's symptoms.  Anyway, since June I have been doing a lot of crocheting. This is productive, repetitive, creative, mindless and soothing.

I started with a couple of scarves. (Free pattern here)



and now I'm working on a blanket, 

it will be about 5 foot square when finished. I'm about three quarters way through. It is a ripple pattern. Here is a picture from a while back when I just got going on it. (For pattern see Attic24)



In July we had a bit of a crisis when Mungo went missing. Just in the peak of the hot weather he didn't come home for five nights.  I was so worried he'd got shut in someone's shed and would die of heat exhaustion.   I put out flyers and posters and rang every possible agency short of the FBI.  We were just contemplating picking up his bowls of dry food etc. but at 3.30am Mr T got up to visit the bathroom and heard this plaintive cry from the kitchen. There he was! He was very hungry, but otherwise fine. If only they could tell you where they'd been.


Meanwhile we have had our old conservatory replaced.  We had to find homes for all this 'junk'. We did get rid of some of it.
I'd mainly acquire a lot of the 'stuff' to camouflage a rather ugly, rotting lean-to, but grown rather fond of a lot of it. Not sure how it will fit into my lovely new pristine conservatory



We now have to decide what we're going to do with the inside.

On my creative side,  I'm treading water. I'm committed to creating a piece for Spectrum next February, but it has been dragging on.  I want to get it started, but here I am on the computer, and my brain is hurting. So bye for now, hope you are well and I'll try and catch up on your news too.
Hope you enjoying this wonderful weather too,  I had lunch in the garden today. It would be Mum's birthday, can't remember doing that before on the 2nd October.
Jill

Sunday, 15 June 2014

June - so far...

I think it would be sensible for me just to aim at writing a blog post every month. My time of the weekly or fortnightly blog seems to have past. Facebook has a lot to answer to for that and I know some of you will have seen some of these photos before.
 I started this blog with the aim of recording my creative journey and every now and then I come to a lay-bye. I seem to have been at the present one for some time. My engine is still ticking over, and I'm refuelling by acquiring a lot of source material.
My visit to the V&A in April is a case in point. I was interested in the iron work and I have created lots of sketchbook pages.

I was fascinated by the pattern on this 16th C French padlock (photographed in a glass cabinet),

and this 18th C German wrought iron gate - given a bit of treatment here.

I have been exploring cut-outs in my sketchbook ably helped by my new assistant.



Last week I went on a two day workshop at Art Van Go, Creating Original Designs with Kim Thittichai. I have had her book Experimental Textiles for some time, so I thought it would be good to work with this rather well know personality of the textile world.  She did not disappoint.  I had read about her courses and we did what she had written about, however it is such a different experience when you are working in a group with a tutor and a group, rather than trying to do things on your own. 

This is part of my "journey" painting which Kim uses as a starting point to create designs and printing blocks. Below are follow-ups I have been doing at home.


Above are expanded squares and below a second print block I have created from my "journey"


We made a positive and negative blocks.



Painting over the prints with procion dye to gives another effect. Next I shall try some textile samples.

Well that's it for now. I've just had to have a 'run' round the garden to entertain Mungo. He likes to play 'chase the stick' until it's time for a quick wash! I am left whirling a stick in a circle like a demented dervish while the cat watches me from the sidelines.


Thanks for popping in.
Jill



Tuesday, 20 May 2014

A bit of a wuss

I know, I know it has been ages since I last posted a blog. I will share some creative work with you… promise.

But meanwhile here is a series of photos of  rescue cat Mungo trying to jump down from a two metre fence. Out neighbours' shed is on the other side and he happily jumps up there from the back of a garden seat. He doesn't want to jump down into the flowerbed where it is overgrown. I think he did it before when he could see bare earth to land on.  Earlier we heard him yowling from next door. He must have jumped down into their garden and I had to rescue him from the front. He cannot get to the road from our garden, but he can get through our neighbours' wrought iron gate.

It's a long way down

wobble wobble

I can do it!!

No I can't

This side?

Or this side?

I'll just hang on for a moment...

I'll head for the trees.

Was that a good idea?

I think it was!


From here he was able to make it to the compost bin…  no photos of that bit. He must have been going backwards and forwards for at least ten minutes.  How long will it be before he tries it again do you think?

I thought cats were meant to be sure footed, but he certainly isn't. We're more and more convinced he was an indoor cat before we got him.  It is great  to watch him thrive. A cat needs a bit of adventure. We still cannot get him weaned off a litter tray. He will use it outside, reluctantly, but he's obviously been 'saving up' for when we bring it in at bedtime!!

If you're still with me, thanks. I've been rather lax posting lately. Sometimes real life gets in the way. However I still love reading what everyone else has been doing, even if I don't comment. 
Have a lovely week.
Jill


Sunday, 13 April 2014

Out today

We've had our new cat Mungo for three weeks now, so he has been let out today.
 Yesterday he was remarkably grumpy!!


Today he's very happy.

I have been a bit creative. 
At the Spectrum exhibition Gina Ferrari had a bag she had made. She inspired me to make one of my own using fabric scraps. I had embroidered the paisley shapes on pink felt ages ago and knew that one day I would have a project that suited them.






I did have to buy some fabric for a lining.





'Spectrum' had a day out to the V&A.  I took my new bag. We were on a mission to do some research.


I was interested in the iron work, but a lot of the pieces in cases were difficult to photograph.


It is many years since I've been to the V&A so it was all a bit overwhelming. I'll share what I've been up to as a result of our visit next time.
What beautiful weather we've been having. We've had to water the veg. 
 I do hope you have a good week. See you soon.
Jill

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Hello

We just couldn't be without any longer. So on Sunday Mr T and I went to visit the brilliant Animals at Risk Shelter to have a look at who was there. Roaming around the immaculate garden must be a dozen or so residents who cannot be re-homed for various reasons, cats with illnesses, injuries or bad habits. Then there were the one year olds that had grown up at the shelter, various variations of white with black splodges. At the end of the garden we visited the lost or abandoned cats in individual runs and one of them - you can guess who, jumped down from his bed and immediately started rubbing himself around Mr T's finger poking through the wire. From then on there was no question of who was coming home with us - we had been chosen! We think we have named him Mungo, we cannot come up with anything else. References to T.S. Elliot and Mungo Jerry the early70's rock band. He was abandoned outside some flats which have been demolished. However he is well behaved and well mannered - well he has been so far.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Spectrum show

 Just a quick post to give you a glimpse of the exhibition which was put together on Monday. It is now on view in the shop until 5th April. We will be there on Saturday for a not so Private View, all are invited. The picture montage doesn't give it justice and there were a few minor adjustments to be made.


Since Laura Kemshall  posted a picture of my cushions on her blog, I have gained a few followers. So welcome and you are a good incentive for me to blog a bit more frequently, although you can find me on Facebook too. 
The prints were made of three paintings I did. I have all three up for sale in the exhibition. 
Meanwhile I managed to finish this piece for the show ...
and I have been stamping, stencilling and gelli printing fabric for another project.


I do hope some of you can make it on Saturday, 

Jill

Saturday, 8 March 2014

March catch up and invitation.

Busy, busy busy as we all seem to be, but here is a quick catch up on what's been going on…

On the 17th of February we celebrated our 35th wedding Anniversary with a casual get together with our friends.  Unfortunately my sister broke down on the M25 and had to be towed home so didn't make it.


 On Monday we are setting up at Art Van Go for Spectrum's exhibition.
I am a new member but have been invited to put in some of my work.

Hopefully there will be room for some of my cushions...



…and at long last I have finished this little piece.



Meanwhile I have been drawing goldfinches which we have lots of in our garden.

 And on my 'design wall' I have some hand dyed fabric and papers with an idea for an amaryllis inspired piece.  I want to do a bit of printing and stencilling before I begin.


I am coming to terms with the fact that I am a long term creator when it comes to finishing pieces, but that's fine. So this may be resolved next autumn!!

I spotted these two in the garden this afternoon - exploring the limitations of my phone camera, this is cropped quoted a bit, but the resolution is pretty good.
Shield bug and ladybird.

It would be lovely to see you at Art Van Go next Saturday for the Private View.  
Tea and cake will be served.
Otherwise, Art Van Go is always worth a visit so don't forget to pop into the exhibition while you're there.