Monday, 30 August 2010

New Lounge Curtains

I've had to alter my new lounge curtains, just take them up 8", and Archie and Mickey insisted on keeping an eye on proceedings, just a little too closely. I only had to turn my back for a minute...

Sunday, 29 August 2010

New Knitting Project

Finished winding my wool from hanks for a throw. Bought the kit from ColinetteYarns at last year's Knitting and Stitching show at Alexandra Palace. It will be a lovely lace throw with a zig-zag pattern. Whilst I love the different textures, the sari ribbon and the mohairs, I'm still not sure about the mohair at the bottom of the photo, I'm uneasy about the rusty oranges. Too clashy? I think I'll see if they do a more purply mohair and try subsituting it. The other colours I adore, the rich sea greens and the pinks

Friday, 20 August 2010

New ATCs

Made some ATCs for an Ancient Civilisations swap but they have been under wraps until now. I did a background of sea colours as the Minoans were an island people and the sea was very important to them for trade, food etc. I used acrylics and stamping ink. I then used designs from their pottery to decorate them by hand. I used to use all of these designs on my own ceramics many moons ago and I still love minoan pottery with a passion. I would so like a time machine so I could go and watch them working.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Another Day Trip Out

Yesterday I had a day out with friends and we first went down to the Watts Chapel in Compton. This was my second visit and it was still absolutely breathtaking. It was built by Mary Seton Watts in 1896 to commerate her husband, the pre-raphelite painter, G F Watts and for the people of Compton. It is stunning, so rich and full of texture and symbolism. It is well worth a visit if you are in the area. Above, I was lying on the floor trying to get a good shot of the ceiling.

The angels and most of the decoration inside, are moulded from gesso. Angels circle the chapel, some facing forwards, some backwards.

The outside is all carved terracotta, notice that the faces over the doorway are all different.

Outside in the graveyard there are some wonderful terracotta grave stones and I think this would have to be my favourite, beautiful scroll work shaped like a heart.

Just along the way is the Watts Gallery, unfortunately closed at the moment for refurbishment but the Tea Rooms are open and the food is brilliant. Tea is served in mis-matching vintage china and is a delight for the eyes. On the outside tables sit old vintage teapots with plants in them. The Tea Rooms have won awards and I for one, think they are richly deserved.

Then off we went to visit Guildford Cathedral, once used in the film the Omen. It is on an impressive sight, overlooking the city but after the exhuberent decoration of the Watts Chapel the cathedral was very plain but full of light.

Then onwards to Brookwood Cemetary which is vast, the biggest cemetary in England and possibly Europe. Unfortunately they are quite strict about photography and as we only decided to visit a few days ago there wasn't time to do a written request for a permit so no photos folks but I can say fabulous monuments, statues and mausoleums, even found a mosaiced grave stone so think I can safely say I will go back hopefully with a permit. We found the grave of Edith Thompson, the last woman to be hanged in England, her remains, together with other prisoners remains, were moved there when the prison wanted to expand. It was quite sad to see, tucked away in a corner. All in all a very interesting day.

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Oh my goodness

Has it really been nearly two weeks since I last blogged. Knew I'd been busy and stressed out but really ..... Have been doing some creative and nice things including working on some clothes hanger covers, trying out new colours, stripes and flowers etc.

Had a lovely time today, a friend came over and we had an art day, making and decorating a journal. The light is not good at the moment so I'll have to show you my progress tomorrow as photos just not up to scratch.

Also now off from work for two whole weeks - bliss and so, so needed. Planning to do lots of good things like knitting, painting, visiting cemetaries, exhibitions etc. So expect more frequent posts, lol.

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Day Trip to Oxford

Myself and some friends had a day out in Oxford on Friday, the aim was to visit the Pitt Rivers Museum which I came across in some literature I was researching for my dissertation some years ago. It's a collection of objects, all jostling for space in crammed cases, a veritable visual feast. Needless to say I took copious photos and have so many creative ideas I could live a hundred lifetimes and still not explore them all. I would have loved to take this buddha home with me.
Next we went on the Ashmolean Museum, via the Natural History Museum - worth a mention but not really my thing. The Ashmolean would have blown my socks off if I had been wearing them. I was close to tears of joy at turns, the sheer variety of works that I just didn't expect. I absolutely adore minoan pottery, the shapes, the decoration. What I wouldn't give to go back in time and chat around the kiln with some of those potters. My degree was in Ceramics and it just brought it flooding back.
The surprise of the day was the room of Italian art which for me was the highlight. I don't know much about it but I know what I like and I adored this piece by Bicci de Lorenzo, notice the fleeing mermaid, symbolising evil, (poor mermaids) as St Nicolas saves the ship.

These railings just stopped me in my tracks, I just love, love, love the colours and textures.

And finally sound advice, but unfortunately to shop was closed but I'll remember it for next time :)