30 September 2006

Work in progress - Phases of the Moon

Travels with Barbara - Piccadilly

We took in some culture - Rodin at the Royal Academyafter passing the Japanese sweet shop, going in, and choosing a Hakuunnohotori Bean Cake to try - it was beautifully packaged, delicious, not too sweet, and melt-in-the-mouth, definitely an indulgence. These are rather more elaborate (and expensive) than our bean cake."Wagashi are very low in fat and most are made without animal products."Silly handkerchiefs in the linen shop in Burlington Arcade.

Royal London is just round the corner from Piccadilly - this is St James Palace, where the Queen Mother lived. We couldn't remember who lives here now.
And this palace is rather newer --

Travels with Barbara - Chelsea

Start the day the greasy-spoon way --
And on, to the delights of the antique shops near Sloane Square --
Dames&dawgs everywherebut not allowed in theatres --Riding the buses and watching life on the streetsAnd you never know who might sit down beside you --

Travels with Barbara - Muswell Hill

Shoes were one of the themes running through our afternoon .This thrift-shop bag contains three pairs, all my size.
Dames&dawgs was a theme that ran throughout.Muswell Hill abounds in examples of Painted Chewing Gum Art - something that probably hasn't caught on in Vancouver yet.Turkish restaurant Bakko does a great tiramisu --

Weekend wanderings

Last weekend, that is - when Barbara, Emma and Helen were in town. We went down to Warren Street in search of a sculptors' materials show and came across this "design" shop which had all sorts of interesting stuff -- bowls made out of melted plastic soldiers, for instance --soft toys for children of all ages --and these decadent bunnies, which the photogenic Emma is giving the thumbs up --The knitted cupcakes looked good enough to eat --The sculptors' shop is called Tirantis and was an eye-opener in terms of tools and possibilities.
After meeting Thomas and grabbing some lunch at Borough Market - and being annoyed by the voracious, pestilential pigeons, aka "flying rats" - we walked along the river and stopped at a pub, where we saw this creature at work controlling them - literally, the cat among the pigeons --Locals (left) and tourists (right) enjoy a fine day --

Cornwall holidays

While visiting the Crossness Steam Engine during the open house weekend, I found some old (1930s) maps backed with linen, and had to buy several.

One Christmas we rented a tiny cottage near Tintagel (legendary home of King Arthur)
Can't remember the name of the hamlet - it was one of those many, many "Tre..." places. Delabole, England's oldest working slate mine, was just round the corner --
A few years later we went with friends in springtime and stayed at the Gurnard's Head Inn, south of St Ives.
You can walk over the fields - among cows - to Gurnard's Head, which is National Trust open land. This painting by Paul Lewin reminds me of the many wild flowers we saw there in May.
The views along the coast are fabulous. Can't find my own photos; this is from a kayaking site.

26 September 2006

Show'n'tell at London Quilters

Tricia's "Dark Star" consists of blocks supplied by other members - mostly brights but with the dark purple one fitted in too.
To quilt it, she sewed round the motif on the backing.
Emily's silk quilt has a velvet border and will be a wedding present.To help strengthen the joins, she used threads from the fabrics to make these stars, which look gorgeous on the back. The back is black with a central strip of turquoise.
The group project is a Dear Jane quilt, using 4 1/2" blocks.

23 September 2006

Thames Festival

An annual event at the South Bank, this year blessed by excellent weather. The boat race involves rowing for 22 miles, downstream with the tide, and has some "traditional" craft including dragon boats and viking ships --The South Bank was transformed into a huge street marketwith gorgeous food, like this Caribbean stall with fresh fruit salad and coconuts and bbq corn and chicken -- Plenty of street theatre - the Bash Street Kidsand Strangelings, who did amazing things with a bicycle, an endless supply of bananas,and a straightjacket -- always wearing those long-toed shoes --
Elsewhere, a sandcastle competition at the riversideand giant soap bubbles, which every kid and many tall dads wanted to touch

20 September 2006

Museum hopping

Last week Martha Ann and her friend Lisa, from North Carolina, were in town. We met up at the British Museum (they'd been to Sir John Soane's museum earlier that morning) and wandered round the Enlightenment galleries and then went to the Africa section. As you enter the Africa galleries you see this --
a textile made out of liquour bottle tops by El Anatsui - not exactly a cosy quilt, but a stunning work. We went on to the Percival David Foundation on Gordon Square -- three floors of chinese ceramics, including this ink pot with blossoms on the waves.Then a spot of lunch and a quick visit to the British Library - but no time to visit any charity shops ... they don't exactly abound in Bloomsbury.