It is freezing cold and wet today, so I have been sitting in front of my wood fire, putting the finishing touches to this piece. It’s all made from felted lambswool jumpers with machine and hand stitching. The back is red like the front with a split down it to allow insertion of the hot water bottle. The original idea was not this, due to a near fatal mistake. When cutting the embroidered piece to shape I omitted a seam allowance. How dumb was that?!! The only solution was to applique the whole, reshaped front piece to another bit of wool and so give a border effect. I think it worked.
As I called them as a child…..
I’ve just signed up for this……it looks like a fun thing to do, and raise some money for the Margaret Pratt Foundation at the same time.
The aim of the challenge is to make a hot water bottle cover, which will be exhibited in the gallery space at Open Drawer Art Textiles and Learning Centre from Friday July 5th, with a grand opening on Sunday July 7th from 2-4PM. The hotties are then given to the Margaret Pratt Foundation to auction and raise funds for research into organ transplant at the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne. If you are interested in participating, then click HERE for information.
OK – it’s just a nice blue pottery bowl. What’s sad about that? This….
This pottery bowl was one of four, bought over forty years ago, before marriage, before children, in a little corner shop in Faraday Street in Carlton. I now have only one remaining.
When I took it out of the cupboard yesterday and the side fell out in my hand, I felt a strong sense of sadness and loss. Perhaps silly I know, but I thought of all the memories it brought back. I remembered the tall girl with long blond hair who lived and walked the streets of Carlton in a long pink Indian caftan on weekends, and who bought bowls one Saturday morning, and taking four of them home with pleasure to her flat. As a potter I recall handling them and wondering about the clay used and how the lovely glaze had been obtained. I remember Sam the ginger cat, who occasionally had some milk in one. I think of all the meals of pasta which have been enjoyed by family and friends over the years, using these lovely hand made bowls in my favourite colour. I remember my son eating many breakfasts of Wheetbix or Iron man food from them. I remember the bowl filled with potpourri I tried to make, but which ended up a mouldy mess. I remember the many homes and kitchens in which they have lived. I remember………
The Castlemaine Guild is holding its biennial exhibition this weekend, with the opening on Saturday at 11 am. This year the exhibition is called Alchemy of Stitch and promises to be as good as usual, with a stall selling gorgeous handmade and embroidered gifts and other useful things. Do come along if you are in the area, enjoy the beautiful stitching that will be on show, some of which will be for sale, buy some lovely things at the stall and have a cup of tea with your friends!
My entries this year are only the folio and pieces worked for the Intermediate Canvas Certificate, and this. It’s a bit different, but I really like it! The pieced and embroidered (hand and machine) work measures about 12 inches square, and is my entry for the Alchemy of Stitch Challenge. I do not expect to win anything, but it was fun to do.
The Exhibition is being held at the Mt Alexander Golf Course Clubrooms, Wimble Street, Castlemaine. Saturday – Tuesday 10 am – 5 pm and Wednesday 10 am – 4 pm.
So beautiful. If you watch anything at all today. Watch this.
Marina Abramovic and Ulay started an intense love story in the 70s. When they felt the relationship was ending, they walked the Great Wall of China, each from one end, meeting for one last big hug in the middle and never seeing each other again.
At her 2010 MoMa show Marina shared a minute of silence with each stranger who sat in front of her. Ulay arrived without her knowing and this is what happened.
A very good friend had a huge Eucalyptus citriodora cut down recently as it had died, and she very kindly offered me the wood as the only heating in this house is from a slow combustion wood fire. I usually burn at least 12 cubic metres a year, so this is going to save me a lot of money for which I am very grateful. I laboured over the last week or so to bring four trailer loads of wood from her home to mine, and on Saturday my son met me there to collect the remaining logs that were too heavy for me to lift. This is the wood pile after three loads, and by the time it was finished I would estimate I had been given about 4-5 cubic metres of timber.
In a couple of hours my son converted the bigger pile of logs into this:-
Stacked in this clever way between the trees, the wood will dry out a bit more, and by winter time will be ready to keep me warm. What a good man that fellow is!
PS. A couple of readers have asked if Eucalyptus wood smells when it burns. The simple answer would be not really, it is dry and enclosed so what little smell there is goes up the chimney. It is the leaves that contain the oil that you might know, and one certainly smells that gorgeous scent when boiling the leaves for natural dyeing.
I find it hard to believe that I have been back from my Singapore trip for almost four weeks………where have the days gone? It is also difficult to get back into the routine of blogging, always a bit hit an miss on this site, but I had better make a start as the longer I leave it the harder it is…..
Suffice to say that my holiday was great, and I was very pleased with how this old bird managed the heat and the huge distances walked – I came home to our 14th floor apartment most days exhausted, but it was nothing a G&T plus a good night’s sleep could not fix and we were off to do more the next day. We visited the new Gardens by the Bay, saw the National Orchid Collection at the Botanic Gardens, did a little shopping along Orchard Road, visited China Town, Little India and Arab Street, went to the Museum of Eastern Civilization where we bumped into Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of Thailand, and travelled miles on the MTR, Singapore’s very efficient underground rail system. I found the people friendly and polite, and I was usually given a seat on the MTR if it was crowded by the local folk. (Incidentally, the MTR has a card payment system very similar to Victoria’s MYKI, the difference being that it is very cheap and it works.) We ate wonderful food from street hawker stalls, food courts, swish restaurants by the river, and we had high tea at Raffles Hotel on our last day. This was particularly poignant for me as I recall stories from my Father about going there in the late 1930′s when he was stationed in Singapore as a young RAF officer and very much part of the colonial ex-pat life. I could imagine him walking on the lovely marble verandahs or drinking in the Long Bar with friends.
Singapore impressed me by it’s slick sophistication and efficiency, it is becoming more and more modern with the demolition of old colonial buildings and constant construction of new multistory ones. The old parts are still there, but one needs to search for them and I was pleased to see a few old ones are being restored and renovated too. The economy is obviously buoyant, and it is a shopper’s paradise if one was so inclined. There are endless shopping malls where one could purchase anything one wanted at whatever price one could afford – cheaply or high end designer products. I would have liked to have bought a few things at the British India stores but made do instead with a visit to Marks and Spencers, Mustafa’s, Tangs and Robertson’s. I was particularly surprised to find a branch of Brunetti’s – a Melbourne coffee shop I know well. All in all, I did not buy much more than gifts for special folk at home and a couple of cheap Indian tops.
We also flew to Penang for a couple of nights, where we stayed in the Eastern and Oriental Hotel – built in 1885 and quite spectacular. I really liked Penang and would have liked to spend more time there, we really only had time to explore around Georgetown and did not get into the hills. It is much less modern, more third world and more fascinating in being able to see what it was like in earlier days. Again we walked miles, or travelled by the free bus around the town, it was less overcast and much hotter and at times quite a challenge but well worth the experience. One highlight was a tour of the 1880′s Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion which is still a private residence and B&B, so we could only see part of it. It was fascinating to learn about the various Peranakan cultures both in Indonesia and Singapore, and to see their art, textiles and different styles of food.
I took endless photographs, but they have turned out to be happy holiday snaps, rather than the good photos I was hoping for. When travelling with others there is little time to stop and think about a shot, as they have to stop and wait too. In addition I resorted to using my iPhone as I became fed up carrying my big heavy camera in the heat. I have not yet processed all the photos, but am hopeful that I shall have enough good ones for another Blurb book which will be a wonderful record of our trip. I cannot possible share them all here, but will post a few and I guess more on my photo blog over the next little while.. You may click on any photo for a larger image.