Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Time to Myself

The last two years have been so hectic with work and health things, and then selling my shed, that I decided to take a little time out from working and just sitting and being still. That didn't last for too long, as I seem to be incapable of  sitting  still. So gradually stitching drew me back and  some visiting of friends and a few sights- but not too many because the idea was to be still.

I have been staying in a friends mobile at Royan- and the weather was not too great, but on the other hand it gave me time to procrastinate and try a bit of this and try a bit of that and go for a few walks when the weather improved.

Then I went to visit another friend who lives  near La Rochelle and of course we visited the town and port, and the wonderful Aquarium. Sea Creatures are weird and wonderful, hard to believe that they are creatures at all sometimes, but they are,and the colours, luminosity and movements simply mesmerising. It gave me lots of food for thought not only as inspiration but also about how we must do better to protect this amazing planet that we live on, despite the best intentions of big corporations to destroy as much as they can so that life itself becomes endangered. And people seem to be totally blinkered to the fact that this is happening - you only have to look and see.

I  got enthused to finish a linocut I had been working on that was made by Jacinta da Costa from Boneca de Atauro whilst I was there in february and that got me back into some sort of stitching rhythm.

I then started on the  Lady Without  A Donkey linocut I made last year for the Berry Retreat. The idea was that people would work on them and we would mount an exhibition of finished pieces at the Berry Retreat this year ( August 17-18 2019 ) and perhaps travel it to other venues that might be interested.

There is still a chance to buy a linocut  printed fabric as I have the prints with me and I can send them here from France. I have a good selection of colours  and if you are interested just message me. The cost of the panel is $25 Aus inclusive of postage and the panel is hand printed on hand dyed fabric and measures approx 25cms x 40 cms. You still have time!!

Traveller's Blanket Online Class

I have had quite a number of requests as to when I am running this online class again and have decided that I will run it again starting on Monday 17 June 2019. The class consists of the delivery of pdf files  delivered on a fortnightly basis ( 4 lessons in all) with ideas and descriptions, dyeing instructions if you are so inclined and stitching ideas, and all sorts of other information and the setting up of a private facebook group for discussion and sharing of progress. You work entirely at your own pace as this is not something you can finish in a week. It is a contemplative process, and one that slows greatly and yet many people who have started blankets have finished them because there is so much of them invested in the piece. By this I mean you are encouraged to think of something you may which  to tell or illustrate but with stitch and cloth and as  it grows it seems to take on all  sorts of meaning- each finished piece that I have seen has been very special and also very beautiful- it does not matter if you want to  make your stitching simple.

I have put a Paypal button  on this blog post to pay for the class which is $75 Aus but if you are in Australia and would like to pay by way of bank transfer please message me and I will give you details. There is also a brief class description of you would like some further information.

Friday, May 03, 2019

Back in France

What a whirlwind these past few weeks have been, in fact  I was exhausted and am having a few days of doing nothing much at all, not even stitching. Only the  week before last we  were saying goodbye to the women of Boneca de Atauro and we ate  our last meal at a boat on the Yarra River. Melbourne with it's night lights and many people out and about on a warm autumn evening was like going to a giant party. The women loved their last days of tourist things but were also tired from  the busyness of AQC and being outside their own language. Cannot wait to see the women again!

Almost immediately after I had to pack my suitcase for France to attend Pour l'Amour du Fil, where i was a guest exhibitor and was also doing some teaching. After checking in and waiting  for several hours at the boarding gate we were told at 12.30 am that our flight had been cancelled for technical reasons. Whilst I  was glad to not be on board a flight with technical difficulties, it did mean processing 800 odd people for hotels, taxis and replacement flights by the airline, which took quite some time and I did not get home until 4 am to sleep for a few hours and turn around to go back to the airport. Fortunately they were able to get me on a flight which  got me to Paris on set up day, so I had some hope of actually setting up at the event in Nantes. The first day of the event was super busy with many visitors and I had to teach a full class in the afternoon.

I did actually manage to finish my wellness blanket on the day of my flight to France. I had to leave some captions out as my piece of blue cloth was not quite long enough. I think I will make a booklet of sorts to accompany the blanket as the captions that were left over were mostly about the creative process more than anything. After the Exhibition we took our time to drive back to Moux and visited friends, Caroline Higgs near la Rochelle, and Jane Rollason in the Charentes .The weather was pretty good so it was most enjoyable being on the coast and visiting Ile de Re.

I always love looking at different modes of transport- walking biking and sailing!

Piled rock mounds made by who knows whom, but a lovely contrast to the deep blue of the sea. It was also limited to a small part of the coast near the light house in attempt I  suppose to limit people  making them everywhere. And below the lovely ruins of the  Abbaye des Chapentiers, a silent order of monks who tilled the surrounding fields.

The two photos below are of a small village, Montolieu  to the east of Carcassonne known as a book village. As it is the beginning of the tourist season not all shops were open and I had hoped there might have been some indie publishers or bookmakers. We did visit a paper mill and inevitably I did buy some paper to make I hope a hand made book ( I have making books on my to do list- in fact on my doing list!)

Some bookish owls installed in a tree! And a rustic vignette.

And I finished my latest Blackwoods Dancing piece, i really like the pink hills in the background- a colour that happened because I did not have quite the right colour in my bag of threads awhile ago.