It's almost the middle of March and we are all shivering and watching the snow spiralling around outside as a wicked northerly wind whips it into a frenzy. What is going on? This winter has gone on long enough and I for one am longing for the promised warmer days of Spring. This is the third month that we have had to err on the side of caution and cancel our quilt group meeting this evening. Come on Spring! Don't be shy!
All these cold temperatures make it very tempting to stay indoors and play at being creative. I've added some more free machining to the piece I started at Wendy Dolan's workshop last month.
I havn't added a lot to it, just some touches of orange and suggestions of the stony path in front of the doors. I now need to explore Wendy's techniques some more, maybe in an abstract way but I have a feeling I need to rearrange my workspaces for what I have in mind.
I had a lovely surprise the other day. I had entered a little giveaway online on Dionne Swift's facebook page and had a message that, as the original winner had not been in contact the prize fell to me.
This was the prize, eight back issues of Embroidery magazine which have some excellent articles in on textile artists. I had a lovely time browsing all the magazines had to offer and then thought I should put a thank you note on Dionne's page. When I tracked back to find the original post I discovered that I know the original winner and had some contact details for her so these magazines will soon be in the post on their way to Susan Devonport. Don't you just love the stitching on the cover of the topmost magazine in the image above? The artist is Eleri Mills and I love the vigour of her stitchmarks.
While I'm in a catching up mood I'll show you a few photos from a couple of trips out we took in February. The first trip was on a coach to Cambridge on a bright but chilly. We decided to spend our time in Cambridge Botanic Gardens and despite the dormant season there was plenty to see and inspire.
This apple tree is a direct descendent of Isaac Newton's apple tree at Woolsthorpe by Colsterworth which is less than 10 miles from where we live.
Not sure if you get the scale but I think this stand of trees may come from one root stock. If not, they certainly gave that impression.
The underside of a lamp in one of the glass houses.
My DH caught this impression of a leaf on a glasshouse floor.
This lake looks beautiful but the surface is deceptive. The watery surface hides ice beneath.
These wonderfully textured etched panels decorate the outside wall of the cafeteria and were created by Norman Ackroyd on a theme 'Galapagos'
This is the old Addenbrookes hospital opposite the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge and I enjoyed the geometric designs on the fascia. The young men in the picture were enjoying 'Parkour' somersaulting over the car trap and jumping over the adjacent flat rooves. Not for the faint hearted!
Our second trip, on a snowy day, was to Bletchley Park, the secret home of code breaking in the second World War and the birthplace of the modern computer. I had been eager to see Bletchley since the Quilters Guild staged an exhibition of over 100 quilts there in 2012. I just wish I had seen the original exhibition. I've discovered a blog post about it here .
This lovely quilt hangs in the entrance to Bletchley Hall and was made by a member of the only family that lived on site throughout the Hall's use in the war. It describes the site and has morse code stitched into the path that winds around. Sadly it is displayed behind perspex so the reflections get in the way.
As well as its emotive history Bletchley held plenty of inspiration.
I would love to go back to Bletchley again, maybe in the summertime, as there is so much to see and not all the exhibits were open on the day we went. It's most famous 'son' was Alan Turing who is viewed as the father of computer science and artificial intelligence. Despite his enormous contribution to the war effort and to computing he was badly served by society of the day and found guilty of homosexuality and died by his own hand, maybe accidentally, in 1954, weeks before his 42nd birthday. Gordon Brown made a public apology for his treatment in 2009 but a pardon is still awaited. You can read more about him here
And finally! Just by chance I came across Anne Griffiths on facebook and became beside myself with excitement when I saw a workshop she offers down in Cornwall. Having looked at the students' work from the most recent workshop I couldn't resist booking on the next one which is in October. Can you imagine? A whole week to indulge everything beachy and textiley in the glorious Cornish countryside with like minded artists and a lovely teacher! I shouldn't wish the year away but......I can't wait! I wanted to spend this year exploring mark making and design and this should be the icing on the cake! Pity my poor DH, home alone, again!
OK I'll shut up now ;-)