Tuesday 30 April 2024

Last day in Wiltshire

On my last day in Wiltshire I had promised myself a visit to Caen Hill Locks on the Kennet & Avon Canal.  The satnav had another meltdown whereby the map on the dashboard screen showed the arrow (my car) to be driving through farmers' fields and not on the A road that I was on.  Despite this I managed to get to Devizes and eventually saw a sign for the Locks.

This was my first view as I walked from the car park.  At this point I made the (in hindsight) mad decision to walk the whole flight of locks.  Locks 22 to 50.  This point was lock 42.

And without checking the distance!

I walked downhill all the way to lock 22 spotting a heron on the way.

It was quite a cold day when I started out but then the sun came out and I got quite hot due to all the layers I was wearing.  But it was worth it to see all the locks.  I've been wanting to visit for at least 10 years.

It took me 2 hours to walk the 4.4 miles.  I was quite tired - to put it mildly.

I started my journey towards the Midlands with a slight detour to Adlestrop to take a photo of the station sign.  There's no longer a station there but the sign has been preserved.

This was because I have loved the poem Adlestrop by Edward Thomas since I was a child.

Then on to my final visit - Chastleton House.

Sadly I didn't take a photo of the front of the house.  This is the back.

Back to the car and the final miles back home.

Now for some stats:
4 days, 3 nights,
317 miles of driving
276 photographs
3 lunches with 3 different friends
one 4.4 mile walk
3 National Trust properties
2 hotels
and one very tired me when I got back.

However it was well worth it.

Now back to the textiles!

Thanks for joining me today

Saturday 27 April 2024

Lunch Crawl part 2

On my second day I drove the short distance from Lacock to Corsham.  It turned out that Corsham is also used for filming.  Apparently it featured in Poldark.  I wouldn't know since I don't watch it.  Anyway it's a fabulous place.

I met up with my friend Becca and after a coffee we went round the Bath Textiles exhibition.  Becca has this amazing piece hanging there.

After that we went off to lunch at The Flemish Weaver.  Then I went by myself to look round Corsham Court.  Sadly no photography was allowed so I can't show you the most phenomenal plasterwork ceiling.  It's the best such ceiling I have ever seen - and I've seen a great many.

After another night at the Sign of the Angel, I drove to Salisbury.  I had great problems with the satnav on my phone as it decided I was in Trowbridge when I was at least 15 miles south. In the end I had to phone Esther and she acted as the satnav to get me to her house.

We walked into Salisbury and went round the Cathedral.

We had lunch together and then Esther went off to do the school run and I went round Mompesson House.  

After getting soaking wet in a cloudburst I made my way back to my car and drove to my hotel.

So there we have it, three lunches in three days with three different friends.  Fabulous.

And there's still one day left of my little jaunt around Wiltshire.

Next time - no lunch, but a canal, a walk and another National Trust property.

Thanks for joining me

Tuesday 23 April 2024

Lunch Crawl around Wiltshire part 1

Last week I went away for four days.  On the first day I drove to The Bull at Hinton to meet my friend Helen for lunch.  We last got together at Festival of Quilts last August so we had quite a bit of catching up to do.

After lunch I drove to Lacock, where I arrived in time to go round Lacock Abbey and its photography museum.

The Cloisters

The Courtyard

Lots of Wild Garlic

Lacock Abbey

Next I checked into the Sign of the Angel - a restaurant with rooms.  It's a very quirky place.  The door to my room had gaps between the door and the frame and also in the door itself.


Sign of the Angel

The buildings opposite

There was a fabulous guest lounge which I made good use of.

Lacock is frequently used as a filming location for costume dramas like the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice amongst many other programmes.

I was hoping that by staying in the village I would be able to walk round after the visitors had gone and see it without people and cars.  I managed to walk round without the visitors, however there are far more poeple living in the village than I thought so there were lots of residents cars.  I tried my best to get car free photos.

I also went for a walk outside the village and found a really good place to photograph the Abbey.

So one lunch meeting down, and two to come.  Such fun.

Day 2 & 3 in my next post.

Thanks for joining me today.

Saturday 20 April 2024

Text in Textiles day 2

Another 9am start!

Julia had invited us to send photos of our work from day 1 and of previous work which we discussed.  Hearing Julia's comments about my work and other people's work was really inspiring.  Even when your work is totally different from another person's work, hearing suggestions for the way forward for them often sparks ideas for me.

On this second day we concentrated on using dissolvable fabric.  I handstitched 'in fetters' using backstitch and then went over it again with chain stitch.

The result was too heavy and thick for where I intended putting it on the smaller collage. So instead I wrote the words on tissue and chain stitched the words directly onto the fabric.

In conversation with Julia, she suggested I might add musical notation.  I drew the notes on acetate and laid it over.  Although the placement is random, the sizes are too regular so this needs more thought.

I also tried laying the acetate on top of the larger collage.  As before needs more thinking.

As I said at the beginning, hearing suggestions both for your own work and others, sparks ideas.  I have at least 3 ideas for pieces about dancing in fetters beyond my original idea.

This is one of the ideas based on the nonet I wrote.  I was thinking about making the links with wrapped cord but Julia suggested I might make it with metal chains.  Interesting.  A visit to B&Q looms!

Thanks for joining me today



Tuesday 16 April 2024

Text in Textiles day 1

At the weekend I did a Zoom workshop taught by Julia Triston called Text in Textiles.  Julia lives in Denmark so was working on Central European Time which is an hour ahead of BST.  So 9am here was an early start.  I haven't been dressed at that time for quite a while!!!!!

I got everything ready the night before.  Not usually so organised!!

We did a variety of warmup exercises.  We also made paper collages

and fabric ones.

We had each been asked to choose a word or a phrase to work with.  I chose 'dancing in fetters'.

I wrote dancing with a wide chisel nibbed marker on fabric.  I put mistyfuse on the back of the fabric and then cut it up into 3cm squares. I bonded these randomly on the fabric collage.

I wrote dancing on a piece of tissue and stitched it with straight stitch, using black embroidery thread.

I haven't shown you all the things we did as teaching is how Julia earns her living.  If you're interested in finding out more go to Julia's website.

I'll tell you about day 2 in my next post.

Thanks for joining me today