Thursday, 30 June 2011

Been 'n gone 'n Back Again!

Where does the time go?  I just cannot find enough hours in the day at the moment and it's not going to get any better any time soon.  But I'm not complaining.  Happily good things are happening at the moment.

Last week we had a lovely break away on the Isle of Wight, just off the south coast of England.  We went away with our local coach company so there was no driving to worry about and we could relax from the off.  And boy, did we need it.  Despite our earlier holiday in St Ives we both needed a good rest.  We stayed at the Melbourne Ardenlea Hotel and enjoyed using its pool which we had to ourselves each time we went in.  Very decadent!

We had a very leisurely week, which was just what I needed, but we did get out and about and of course, there were photo opportunities.

First port of call was Osborne House which was the favourite holiday home of Queen Victoria.  While our friends toured the house DH and I spent time in the gardens looking for patterns and textures. 

I think these dragons were friendly!

All around the terrace gardens were these beautiful ornate stands of  magnolia.

 Inspiration for quilting patterns?

I do like views through interesting shaped windows.  This was in the Swiss Cottage in the grounds of Osborne House.  The house was built for the children of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert but was  used by all the family.

Not wonderfully exciting but I have plans for this textured planking in Photoshop.

Equally this fern design on a garden bench is due for some playtime.

This beautiful beach in Shanklin was the scene of a pleasant couple of hours of beachcombing .  There had been many falls of the cliff face and as a result there are lots of different types of stone on the beach.

There is potential in these pics for some design work.

Not quite up to the standard of Alum Bay, the cliffs at Shanklin have distinctive layers of colour. 

Speaking of colour, how about this gorgeous stone? 

This beautiful shell is embedded in a large rock and it was about10" (25cms) across.  How many years had that been held unseen until the stone fell and shattered on the beach?

The highlight of the week, apart from having a lovely swimming pool to ourselves, was a reunion with my best friend from school!  I had not seen L since 1974!  Can you believe it?  We had kept in touch loosely for a while after I left school to come to college in Lincolnshire but life pulled us in different directions and although we each knew where the other was we never got round to meeting up until now when I decided to contact L as she lives near the Isle of Wight.

It was amazing to catch up and spend a delightful couple of hours over tea and cakes (and a beer for the men!) in a lovely cafe/pub.  The years fell away and we just picked up where we left off.  We both hope that it will not be another 37 years before we meet up again!  (don't think we've got that many years left!)

And finally, I am beside myself with excitement!!! Tomorrow I am off to Belstead House near Ipswich for a weekend in the company of very talented ladies and the most amazing tutor!  I am going to Contemporary Quilt Group Summer School and my classes are with Jo Budd who I have spoken about before.  Her colours are wonderfully subtle and she creates wonderful textures with her use of dyes and stitch:

 I wrote this about her exhibition at Festival of Quilts in 2007: 

"An artist called Jo Budd had an exhibition of large textiles which you can see in the background of this photo:
Her work is beautiful. I think work spanning different periods were on display here. The piece you can see here looked like very fine materials which had been dyed and had been stitched by hand to provide surface texture. The edges of the fabrics were frayed where they overlapped. I thought her work was inspirational with great textures and I will be looking into her work some more."  

It has taken me 4 years to get the chance to work with her and I am so looking forward to the weekend.  Mind you, I will probably be totally horizontal by the time I get back on Sunday evening.  Our schedule shows that the evening work session goes on till 21.45!  Eeeek!  Someone has mentioned wine though so there is some hope!  ;-)   I'll be back some time next week to show you what we get up to.


Su said...

Have a lovely time at Belstead - it's quite local to me and we use it for running teachers' courses. It's a lovely building in nice grounds (good food too!).

Heather said...

Lovely post Julie and wonderful photos - such a feast of texture and pattern. I love the Isle of Wight and we've been several times. How lovely to meet up with your school friend after so long. Enjoy your quilting weekend.

Maggi said...

Glad you had a good break Julie. Lots of inspirational photos. Have a great time at the Summer School and I hope that your four year wait was worth it. I do have to confess that I don't like her work at all so will be really interested to hear what she is like as a tutor.

Moogsmum said...

What wonderful photos of the Island! If you go there again you must let me know, as we're very close to the Southampton ferry terminal and not too far from the Portsmouth one! I'd have popped down to say hello :o)

I'm glad you had a relaxing time. I think it would be hard not to on the beautiful Isle of Wight. It's a different pace of life and is such a special place.


Lis said...

I loved joining you on your trip to IoW, some very inspiring photos too. Have a good time at Belstead, I look forward to seeing what you create.

Dosfishes at Sparkle Days Studios said...

Have a fantastic time. Wonderful patterns all, much inspiration for future projects here. xox Corrine

jan said...

Your holiday sounds lovely, with lots of great photo's. Enjoy your weekend I'm sure you'll have a great time.

MargaretR said...

What a lovely post Julie. Those photos are exceptional and how lovely to meet you best friend again after all those years. Enjoy your course with Jo budd!

pam said...

Oh so glad you had such a lovely break - you and DH deserved the rest. Enjoy Belstead and I look forward to seeing what you have done.

Gina said...

It sounds as though you had a lovely break. It's over twenty years since I've been to the Isle of Wight but I remember it was a very relaxed holiday. Have a super w/e with Jo Budd!


So glad you had a happy time in IOW with hubby (whose photos I have just admired) and meeting your special friend from school. Your photos are amazing and very interesting. A great source of inspiration for you. Of course, I have heard from you since you had time with Jo Budd but I shall look forward to any photos you may share from your summer school. I also want to ask you lots about it but will wait to see what you post first

Lots of love
Carolyn xx

katney said...

A retreat to Wight followed by a retreat. Sounds perfect.

Gail P said...

It's always lovely to "go" on holiday with you. Great photos and descriptions! XOXO

Emma said...

Give me a textured plank any day! Those last few sea pics had me drooling. Great to meet up with an old friend & enjoy your w/e. I'll go look her up

Angela said...

Sounds as though you had a great break and well deserved. Your photos are great, full of inspiration. Enjoy Belstead.

Anonymous said...

Fantastic textural and artistic photos!