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.