Saturday, 19 May 2018


To celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary we had booked to go on a boat trip from Liverpool to Acton Bridge on a steamship called the Daniel Adamson.   Sadly the boat trip was cancelled but we decided to go to Liverpool anyway.

We drove up to Anderton in Cheshire and went up the Anderton Boat Lift.

Then we drove to our hotel in Liverpool.  At the last minute we had been able to get tickets for the Don McLean concert at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall.  We walked up through the city past these 'suitcases'.

We had dinner at The Philharmonic Dining Rooms which have the only Grade II listed Gents toilets.  Roger had to take this for me!

Then off to the concert.  I have always loved Don McLean so it was wonderful to see him live.  He played some songs we knew and songs we didn't and eventually, YES! - there was American Pie and Vincent.

So that was Sunday.  Now to Monday - our wedding anniversary.   We walked from the hotel to Albert Dock where we found the steamboat we had been due to go on.  They were trying to repair it.  We were invited on board and given a conducted tour.

Roger & I have different interests and I suppose one of the ways our marriage has lasted is that we respect those differences and don't feel we have to spend every minute together - even on our wedding anniversary trip.  So he went to look at all the boats in the dockyard and I went round Tate Liverpool.  This was a Mondrian which wasn't at all what I expected.

And this was an interactive piece which had to be closed down as people had been far too interactive and it had broken - so no lying down on a hammock for me!

We wandered along the dockside and went on a 50 minute tour on a Mersey Ferry.

The ferry has currently been 'razzle-dazzled' by Sir Peter Blake.

We got off the ferry at  Birkenhead and found a beautiful square with gardens and fabulous buildings.

We had lunch at a cafe with this view.

Returning to Liverpool on the next ferry, we went to the Slavery Museum and Maritime Museum together but after a short time I left Roger to the museums and I walked up to the Central Library to see a handmade book exhibition.  The Library itself is spectacular.

The curator opened this glass case so I could take a photo.

We met back up together and decided to go back to the hotel and get the car.  We drove out to Crosby Beach to see the Antony Gormley 'Another Place'.

We had a superb Turkish dinner and went back to the hotel.  What a lot we had crammed into our trip so far.

I think I'll save Tuesday for another post.  Well done, if you've got this far.

Thanks for joining me today.

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Another Textile Book

I really like the finished bird textile book so I thought I would make another one.  I didn't think the first one was particularly mixed media so I wanted to see if I could add more.

And of course I need a theme for the book.  Can you guess what it is!

 Well, of course it's Venice.   What else would it be!!!

I started by laying out bits of fabric, paper, painted Bondaweb and book page on the calico.

Eventually it ended up like this.

I machine stitched the bottom third of the fabric but forgot to take photo.  I did some handstitching on it at our Traverse weekend.

The next step was to machine again and this is what met me when I went into the craft room aka the dining room.

I was able to put sufficient away to be able to get the machine out.  Who am I kidding?  Nothing got put away, I just moved piles of stuff to make piles of stuff somewhere else!

 I machined around the bits of fabric I had bondawebbed on and then machined the spaces.

Sorry the photos aren't very clear when I'm trying to get the whole book in.  Here's a close up.

Instead of finishing the book with the turned in edges as last time, I left the frayed edges when I added the back.  Then I folded it and pin tucked the fold to make a zigzag book.

Here it is again showing the folds.

I still don't think it's sufficiently mixed media to be called a mixed media book.  I'm going to give some more thought and maybe make another one with beads and bits of metal.  And maybe some stencilling.   What do you think?

Thanks for joining me today.

Saturday, 12 May 2018

Textile groups update

As you know I belong to a mixed media and textile art group called Traverse.  We got together last weekend for our first meeting since we finished our Destinations theme.

Yesterday we revealed our new theme:

There are two ways to go with a theme - a technique-based route or a concept-based route.  I really want to go with the concept- based route but unfortunately it's much easier to think of techniques that fit with Revealed or its opposite Concealed.   However I have looked at all that comes to mind with the topic as well as looking for synonyms and antonyms.

I tried firstly to make lists of words.

Then I decided to try my usual method of mind mapping (or whatever it's called these days!).  The problem with any of this is that I've probably got enough ideas here for the rest of my life!  I only need a minimum of 3 pieces of work by March 2019.  Plus I have at least another 4 of these mind maps on other themes.

The ideas may be hidden now, but no doubt the right ones will reveal themselves.

I know!! You're allowed to groan.

So on to the next group!

Near & Far
I have joined an online group called Near & Far.  This is a Facebook-based group run by Chris Gray.  She hopes that we will have a gallery exhibition at some point.   The theme for this group is Maps & Journeys.  And guess what I'm doing!

That's right! Venice!

We each have to make a minimum of 3 pieces - one wearable, one useful and one decorative.  I am going to make a Venice-inspired dress, a sketchbook with a Venice-inspired cover and a scroll book as the decorative piece that will be some sort of imagined journey along the Grand Canal.   I have bought several books about secret Venice so watch this space!

And lastly

Art Textile Group
I am also signed up to join a new venture that Liske is setting up at Littleheath Barn Studio.

Liske's description: In the art textiles class we will use the seasons as our inspiration and the plan will be to work on a series of 4 collage style pieces using fabrics created on the course, and adding work from home to suit your skills! Input from the group will help the course evolve and we will have the chance to exhibit at Avoncroft at the end of the final term!

So of course I have to share this:

I think I'm going to be a bit busy for the next few months!

Thanks for joining me today