Monday, 11 March 2013

Wendy Dolan II and catch ups

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 ;-)

22 comments:

The Crafty Mugwump said...

Julie, I was just sitting here listening to the wind howling down the chimney and longing for spring and some warmer weather.Your post reminded me of all the lovely times I used to spend in Cambridge Botanic gardens.It' years since I've been. I will put it on my to do list for this summer. I just wish it would hurry up!

Heather said...

What a fascinating and interesting post Julie. Lovely photos as usual full of texture, pattern and inspiration. As for that course in October - absence makes the heart grow fonder! Keep warm.

Corrine at sparkledaysstudio.com said...

Quote the tour July, from marvelous textures to fern and leaf. You never sit sround and wait for things to happen! xox

Su said...

Bletchly park looks a lovely place to visit, somewhere else to add to my ever growing list! I love Cambridge botanic gardens, it doesn't matter what time of year you go there's always something to see. Your course in Cornwall sounds wonderful :-)

Jackie said...

Julie...I do hope that the winds stop howling and that spring shows itself very soon for you.
Sending you warm thoughts and hugs, my friend...
Jackie

sharon young said...

What a great informative post, Julie, I've had a lovely time in bed this morning following all your links and enjoying your trips, thanks so much for taking the trouble to blog it all for us.

ju-north said...

You've been to some lovely and interesting places - the workshop sounds as if it is going to be wonderful!

Peneller said...

Love this post Julie. So many inspiring images and a week with Anne Griffiths to come! I know you will enjoy the workshop with her and can't wait to see what you produce.

Living to work - working to live said...

Bletchley Park is rather wonderful isn't it. One of my favourite museums.

Next time you are this way you should also pop into the Canal Museum at Stoke Bruerne - a few miles north of MK.

I like your blue door very much, btw.

Gina said...

Sounds as though you have had some lovely trips out. Despite being on my doorstep it is at least a couple of years since I last went to the Botanic Gardens and I've never been to Bletchley Park.

Lis said...

What a great post Julie with so many inspiring photos. I love the Botanic Gardens in Cambridge, their Winter Walk is stunning at this time of year (it was even featured on Gardeners' World this week). I've never been to Bletchley, didn't even think of it as a place to visit to be honest. I do now!

Lis said...

What a great post Julie with so many inspiring photos. I love the Botanic Gardens in Cambridge, their Winter Walk is stunning at this time of year (it was even featured on Gardeners' World this week). I've never been to Bletchley, didn't even think of it as a place to visit to be honest. I do now!

Angela said...

Wow some catch up Julie, you have been busy.I love your stonework picture and all your photos of texture.
We keep saying we'll got to Bletchley Park but never seem to get there.
I went for a walk yesterday afternoon it wasn't snowing when I left but another blizzard soon whipped up I was just glad it didn't last for long.

Emma said...

Lovely bits of stitching you've added. Lucky you to come 2nd in a win, enjoy the prize, read them then be able to pass them on. No hoarding!

the Botanics look great, I love the underside of the lamp - how did you find that? I saw Anne G on a Colouricious video, they were great.

Diane Kelsey said...

Such an impressive and informative blog. My husband and I love Cambridge and I'm sure he would be interested in Bletchley. I am booked on a workshop with Wendy in June, I cant wait!

pam said...

hanks for a lovely post - the stitching to the gate is really nice. I have never been to Bletchly Park me thinks we shall have to have a trip there. Oh a week in Cornwall not too much of a hardship for you!

Maggi said...

An inspirational post Julie. I love the way your Wendy Dolan piece is progressing. Congratulations on the giveaway win too

Clare Wassermann said...

What a lot of amazing images you have to work with here - overload?!

MargaretR said...

This is a really wonderful post Julie, thanks for sharing with us. Thought about you this morning as I passed your holiday home to go to the little shop on the hill:)

underatopazsky said...

We had snow this morning and when I turned on the radio, the presenter was reminding us that this time last year the temperature was in the 20s! Love the colour and texture of your door piece and such an evocative selection of photgraphs from Cambridge and Bletchley. :o)

Julie said...

Alex (underatopazsky), thank you, I'm pleased you enjoyed the images. & years ago we had a day like to day, grey and bitterly cold. I remember ti clearly as it was the day we got married :-) So maybe this winter isn't dragging on quite as long as we all feel.

Indigo Blue said...

I love this post. I come from just outside Cambridge so I am very familiar with it. There are many lovely buidling in the city. We watched Enigma last week and my husband would enjoy a visit to Bletchly. Thank you for posting I shall show it to him when he gets in tonight.
Hope you had a good Easter.