Me and this little critter are on our way to teach workshops at the Knitting & Stitching Show in Harrogate. Why not join me and make some little friends ...
I'm ready for 12 workshops over 4 days, teaching 7 different projects. My suitcase is HUGE and weighs a ton with all my materials and equipment. I have a tiny space left over for pajamas and a toothbrush.
I'm travelling by train, so I'm hoping for lots of participants as I'd rather not lug all those materials home again.
So exciting to receive in the post this morning, my copy of the book design project that I've been working on for the past few months for The Story Museum in Oxford www.storymuseum.org.uk
This is a Handbook for teachers which accompanies their schools programme and introduces 'a revolutionary way of delivering primary education ... children learn to be storytellers, retelling and improving stories from memory, and graduating with their own repertoire of stories to tell'.
I became involved in the project a little way in, but was able to develop and refine the design that had started to take shape. An initial short-run was printed this month, and the books have been used for a training course for teachers already. Museum director, Kim Pickin, is thrilled with the result and a long reprint should follow soon!
And I was very happy to receive this feedback from author Adam Guillain: "THANK YOU. It looks wonderful." Cheers Adam!
My final mission is to persuade my children's headteacher to get The Storytelling School in their school ... its a fantastic programme.
I love drawing maps. A long time ago at the start of my career I used to draw loads and loads of location maps for housebuilders such as Alfred McAlpine, Bellway and Bewley Homes. So its always a pleasure to get back into it and I was asked by the New Ashgate Gallery and shop to create a new map to use on their website and brochures.
The one-way system of Farnham is a challenge at the best of times (I have got myself lost more than once), but I have simplified the map and shown the key roads for finding both car parking and the Gallery and shown the directions of the one-way system with an inset.
A big thank you to Maiden Erlegh School for making me so welcome on Friday - everyone worked so hard! The students have been researching issues that are important to them, and we explored how to incorporate text into mixed media/textiles. We used Angelina fibre, silk fibre, Bondaweb and iron-on interfacing as well as recycled fabrics and papers.
This is the new book from Contemporary Quilt that launches at the Festival of Quilts at the Birmingham NEC on Thursday 16 August. Its a review of the last 10 years of exhibited work. I designed the book, page layouts and the cover, and worked with Hilary, Janet and Margaret who worked on the content: photographing, editing and the task of managing over 500 images and captions.
I'm also very happy to mention that my textile work appears a couple of times in the book too.
Looking forward to hearing feedback from the ladies on the Contemporary Quilt stand who will be selling the book over the next 4 days.
With a wide variety of media represented from painting to sculpture, I was very happy to see a textile piece winning the Feeling the pressure exhibition prize. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-17936982
While a detail of my piece was shown in the round-up at image 8:
My recycled denim cushion design has appeared ... EXCEPT the magazine publishers have gone into administration, so I have not been able to get hold of a copy (or receive payment or my sample back - boo). All I have found is this tiny thumbnail image.
I believe a few copies went out to subscribers and advertisers. If you have this issue and can either scan my feature and send it by email, or sell me your copy when you've read it - I would be VERY grateful.
I'm trying so hard to establish my career and (swallowing hard) ignoring the fact of my invoice and my sample, I could at the very least really do with having my feature in my portfolio.
Got my copy of the May issue with my recycled pendants and key tags article featured today. Busting with excitement! Made myself travel sick on the way home trying to read the whole issue in the car as I couldn't wait until I got home. Oops!
A big event is planned for Ascot, Sunninghill and Sunningdale to celebrate the Jubilee, and I'm pleased to say I was asked to design the flyer. It has just been distributed to schools so they can get busy over the Easter hols with their 'Design a MINI roof' competition. How cool is that? The winner will see their design on a real car at the event.
A detail of my piece 'Alice and Bob' which celebrates the background story of Alice and Bob in the history of cryptography. This was shown as part of the Secret Messages Exhibition held at Bletchley Park in association with the Quilters' Guild on 25th and 26th February. The exhibition was a great success and saw 1500 people through the doors on the first day alone!
My piece was contructed from recycled papers and a found silk scarf. Constructed with hand and machine stitch. I was intrigued by the mythology that has grown up around the mysterious relationship and secret messages that fly between Alice and Bob (A sends a message to B), and wanted to develop an ethereal piece. The typewritten texts that are visible through the layers include translations into Binary code, Enigma code and Morse code.
A French exchange girl came to stay with me when I was 11. The girl was very, very homesick and simply didn’t stop crying. My elder brother’s bi-lingual girlfriend had to be summoned over to speak to her in French (my skills hadn’t got much past “Bonjour, je m’appelle …”). I decided I would give her my favourite Pickled Onion Monster Munch – how could that fail to cheer her up I thought? But I only made things worse and the Monster Munch made her cry even more (even the Roast Beef flavour was no better if she couldn’t take the extreme of the Pickled Onion). Her horror was equivalent to the horror I felt when faced, six months later, with a tray of bubbling snails emerging from a French oven (but at least I didn’t cry).
I think this was the point where I began to understand that there were some things that are typically ‘British’. Crisps abroad are very disappointing and bland. You get salted, or occasionally some paprika (though admittedly they are catching up a little more these days). But over here – what a celebration of Britishness and diversity all rolled in to one. What other culture would have Cajun Squirrel, Builder’s Breakfast or Onion Bhaji flavour limited editions?
The technique used is essentially a crazy patchwork.
Also coming up in Sew Hip, is my article on making pendants and key rings from recycled scraps which will be featured in issue 39 (out at the end of March) and my denim jeans cushion with lettering applique which will be in issue 40 (out at the end of April).
There's still time to catch the last three weeks or so of Sabi Westoby's exhibition Filamental, until 24 March at The Courthouse, Thirsk.
Before the exhibition began, I designed Sabi's new website. Recently we've received some lovely feedback on the site:
"I love what you did for Sabi. The website is so clean and fresh and a delight to navigate." Hilary Gooding
"What a wonderful website, Sabi. Excellent presentation, easy to find one's way around and what brilliant work! I will want to look at it again and again." Hannelore Braunsberg
Thanks - its so good to hear that the website has been well received. And as a direct result of Sabi's site, I'm going to start designing a new website for author and quilt artist, Linda Seward. Watch this space.
Haven't got a date fixed yet, but I am delighted to have been asked to return to Baylis Court School in Slough again for another workshop day to inspire their textile students. The theme is 'Recycle' and the students have been exploring artists such as Cas Holmes, Natalie Chanin and Alison Willoughby.
Right up my street ... I can't wait. It was a lovely experience last year and the girls were really enthusiatic. The school is a Specialist Arts College and received an Outstanding Ofsted report in 2008.
I'm very pleased to be working with textile and mixed media artist Sabi Westoby on the design of her new website and publicity material for her new exhibition 'Filamental'.
The website design has come together really well and we're really pleased with it. And here is the poster design which shows details of Sabi's beautiful work:
Poster for Sabi Westoby, textile and paper works
The exhibition opens on 11 February in Thirsk, North Yorkshire and runs until 24 March. I'm just sorry its such a long way away from me here in Ascot. I hope you can visit, but if you are a long way away too, there is an extensive gallery of Sabi's work to be explored on the website.