27 January 2007

Layered up

But how to hold it together? I sprinkled bonding powder onto the base, but forgot to sprinkle more on the top before putting the larger (nylon) chiffon bits over it all.
Close up --It's going to need something to knock back some of that silveryness.

Crafty mathematicians

They crochet Lorenz manifolds

and have "knitting evenings" at their conferences!

26 January 2007


Will the layering tone down that sparkle?
Which is "better" - the bright blue net or the dark blue (and how will stitching affect this)?What happens when you manipulate the moon in Photoshop? It seems to have burned a hole in a tapestry...

24 January 2007

Looking at the moon

Before rescuing the big moon, or starting another, I need to see what the real moon looks like where better to look than the Astronomy Picture of the Day archive -- here are 20 full moons:

And who would have thought that the moon was so colourful? It's all thanks to Photoshop -- the how-to directions are here.
But for a purely artistic take on the moon, check out Bob Adams' quilts, like this detail:

Back to the drawing board...

New moon

Still working with the "moon" theme -- this time a big moon, scattering bits of fabric into a circular shape --
I'm working on a horizontal surface and it will be displayed vertically. So here's a pic looking straight down --
It seems to be very shiny! Seriously un-subtle. Perhaps a chiffon overlay will tone it down (not the peachy one after all) ---- or maybe now. Investigations and experiments continue; starting over is a distinct possibility.

23 January 2007

London Art Fair

It's big ---My favourite -- Rachel Merrington etches parts of old maps, overlaying the human environment onto the physical. The work is mounted in a deep frame, so shadows give another dimension. This piece is called Brancaster.And Qassim Alsaedy's "Poet's Gardens" - coloured pencils!

20 January 2007


A prezzie from Barbara -- postcards of the 1995 SAQA exhibition selected by Yoshiko Wada. (1995 -- was that in the days before the internet?) B. kindly says "I got half way through the packet and suddenly realized one could be yours!" -- which one, though? -- peeking out in the photo are some favourites, works by Patricia Kennedy-Zafred, Cheryl Springfels, Joan Schulze, Kiki Olsson, and Lois Morrison.

19 January 2007

Alas and alack

Woe is me -- my favourite breakfast plate slipped out of my fingers; goodbye ...

18 January 2007

Before and after

This is what I've been up to for the past month, along with the day job and "ordinary life" - producing this 40-page journal in its new format (right). Of course there's always something else that could be improved, but at some point it has to go off to the printer. The production cycle starts again in mid-March.

Then and now

A little bit of east London in 1682 -- and the sme bit (I think?) in 2000 --
The British Library has an exhibition of London in maps -- I trotted over one lunchtime (it's just round the corner from where I work) and didn't get into the exhibition itself, because the two big maps at the entrance were so fascinating.

12 January 2007

Take one shrunken sweater

What can you do with a favourite jumper that's gone into the washing machine by mistake? A couple of snips of the scissors will make the sleeves into chill-chasing gloves, for a start --And what's left will make a cosy hat (with a little concealment of the amputation) --

11 January 2007

Brick wall

Green Lanes

About 20 minutes' walk away is the Cypriot (Greek and Turkish both) area of Green Lanes -- lots of vivid vegetables on displayand many cafes showing what's for lunch - Amazing confections --
complemented by a liberal sprinkling of bling -
Work goes on: snipping -
and stitching -Layers of life -But what I went for was the big bakery --
and brought back brown bread and an apple pastry -

07 January 2007


It seemed that quilts weren't saying anything new to me. No doubt this was just as well -- I have journal-production fish to fry at the moment. In the workroom, the sewing surfaces are cleared and it's supposed to be all-go when the journal is out of the way. But ...

I encountered this frightening state of disillusion while looking through Quilted Planet, a 2005 publication found in a remainder shop. It's a historically and geographically comprehensive - and therefore, surface-skimming - survey of all manifestations of textiles, possibly pieced, of three layers held together by stitch. I still love the basic idea inherent in quilts - the creativity, focused labour, and the love (hopefully) of doing the work. Here are the images from the book whose whispered messages did get through to me. Distilling them and gathering them here has helped amplify them.

An 8th century (Buddhist) altar valance --
Chunghie Lee's "No Name Women '04" --Pauline Burbidge's "Feather Collection" --My favourite in the book, Katriina Flensburg's "Winter Half of the Year" (1993):
Helen Parrott's "Rivers VII" (1995) --
Dianne Firth's "Cosmos" 2003 (she is a landscape artist by profession) --Surprise choice: an Australian quilt from about 1930, by Mary Hannaford (rather "gee's bend"!) And this one by Lucy Boston (whose Green Knowe books I love) - made in 1974, when she was 82, by piecing over papers --In times of creative drought there are worse things to do than busily gathering all the scraps, make yardage -- towards something like this -- It's the act of Doing Something that gets those creative juices flowing again.

04 January 2007

Nice lunch, splodgy drawing

Today's (hasty) drawing-a-day. Judith and others on the cqgb list inspired me to colour some sketchbook pages, and to get out my neocolour aquarelles -- but I forgot that fountain pen ink is affected by water, much more than the colours!

The menu (splendid leftovers brought round by Thomas): lamb shank in a *hot* sauce, dhal, lemony cashew rice, onion raita.

A crisp clear new year's day

The view south from Alexandra Palace -- over the terraced streets of north London, and the terminal moraine left by the glaciers of the last Ice Age, to the West End (theatreland) and the City (old financial centre)
and Canary Wharf (new commercial centre) -- with the Surrey hills beyond.The first television transmission was from here in 1936.
My family got a television in 1962, and I got a colour tv in the very late 1980s (still have it; it still works).