Friday, 24 April 2015

Ready-made projects

A while back a group of us planned a biggy "proper" exhibition, in a gallery and everything, and I started a series of work based on one of my husband's poems. Well then the others got cold feet, so we cancelled and my work was put in a box file and shelved.

Fast forward and I actually have three exhibitions coming up this year, with an urgent need for new work! And one of them (thankfully the last one, in November) is at the gallery we pulled out of previously. So after musing about what to start, but needing to start something, I pulled down my box file and just look what I found:

Sketchbook pages ready to be stitched and bound

Painted papers for collaging ideas


Musings on imagery and symbolism


Pattern pieces organised in folders

Bags of threads, fibres and fabrics

Tentative samples

Love this bit...on water soluble, but not yet dissolved.

This is virtually a kit! All I need to do is remember how I was going to get all these ideas to work together....and decide on a scale.....and actually start....again

Why is it that we get so far with things, and then just as they reach the point where they could be finished, or we reach that breakthrough moment, we shelve them? Anyone else find this?

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Soapy Stevens

Hello again! It's been a while, and as usual I've been busy, and taking photos the while, always with the intention of writing a blog post - but not actually writing it! (When I was in college, I used to think about writing or phoning home, and then when I did, Mother would say she had been thinking about it too - and writing letters in her head but never sitting down to put them on paper and post them. Actually, we're both the same now, and it's 24 years later!)

At the start of the holidays we had The Girls for a sleepover and a climbing party, to celebrate Girl's 14th birthday.

Then it was the exhibition in Seaford with my usual last-minute flurries of preparation. We had nearly 600 visitors in all, and everyone sold something - hooray! It was utterly lovely to spend time just sitting, either in the gallery or on the beach, without the guilt that I should be "doing" something.

Since the exhibition finished I've caught up on some gardening, and even done a bit of dressmaking. Remember when I made a sort of sack? This time I've made a voluminous blouse. My reasoning being the Japanese models in my dress books are so slight and willowy, I need to scale up and cut out a 12 not a 10. And then my seam allowances are probably a bit off too, so I keep ending up with large, shapeless bags. Comfy, but definitely bags! Just as well I don't teach dressmaking...

In news of sourdough, I have well and truly got this nailed, I can tell you. Look at that:

And the "crumb" shot:

And how about hot cross buns from the excess starter?! Genius! Ok, they were ready at 10pm on Easter Sunday so a little more work may be needed on the timings, but they were utterly delicious for breakfast!

And today yesterday I finally got round to making a batch of seaweed soap, something I've been meaning to do since last August. The packets of dried seaweed from the French health food shop have been sitting there waiting patiently, but I admit I chucked away my hand collected and "home dried" (ie laid out on a bin bag in the sun until crispy) seaweeds from the beach. 

It was all a bit of a palaver, involving multitudinous implements, pans and items of protective clothing, but the smell lingering in the house now is amazing, and no! It's not what you think! I used sweet geranium, bergamot and patchouli essential oils (and a touch of green clay). I can't wait until the four weeks is up and I can try it! 

* Two Way Stretch, 1960, starring Peter Sellers, Bernard Cribbins et al