The last week has flown by in a blur I must admit. Firstly we celebrated my mothers 80th birthday early (i won't be there for her actual birthday) so we invited some of her friends from over the years ( not much family as we were immigrants and most of them are still in Europe) and I made all the food. Thankfully the weather obliged by not being too hot! Was trying to sew up a storm, but fell behind a plan I have to make an installation piece for ChArtres in early March, but I am determined to get there by hook or crook. Taught some classes at Open Drawer in Camberwell which were a lot of fun and then caught the plane to Geneva where I arrived yesterday to teach a class with a group near the Swiss French border. The snow was a bit of a shock to the system after the heat of the day when I left!
One of the workshops I taught at Open Drawer was stitching for the Aussie Bush Project ( and yes you can still order prints as I have brought them all with me- just order through my shop- though I could not fit the actual linocuts in the suitcase). This lovely piece was commenced by Robyn Steel-Stickland- I love the soft variegations in the thread used to create the banksia flower- it seems just right!
After my mothers party ( and I was house sitting for some friends also) it was back to Gelli and pack up everything for my trip - everything I wanted to bring would not fit in my suitcase.... I think I just need a home in France! My flowering gum just broke into flower the last days of being in Gelli- they are so pretty when they are in flower and this one is in my favourite colour!
The photo is the view from the back of my block-it dawned kind of misty but turned into a 34 degrees centigrade day.
And now in a small village in France near the Swiss border in the Haute Savoie, staying with my friend Chantal Guillermet a talented french textile artist and teaching with her group Saturday and then another group to which another talented friend Caroline Higgs belongs on Monday and then off to Le Triadou for some house sitting and intensive stitching. Nesta the dog will keep me moving with daily walks, but I really have to sew like the fury and write like the fury- so if I am quiet here you will know why!
Chantal and I went for a little walk yesterday- it was good to stretch my legs after 23 hours of flying and we walked up to the ruins of a medieval castle- not much left and my goodness is nature just so strong- how it even overwhelms massive stone walls!
The last image is a piece of traditional Bretonne embroidery that belonged to Chantal's grandfather family who came form around Quimper. The embroidery from Bretonne is different than embroidery in other parts of France and is distinctive for it's dense stitching and distinctive designs. The piece in the photo was executed on wool. We also talked about a wonderful workshop she did with Pascale Jaoeun who has taken Bretonne embroidery to another level adapting it into haute couture. I think I might do some exploring when I go to Nantes in April for Pour l'Amour du Fil.