Tuesday 30 July 2019

Summer exhibition.

Recently the weather in the UK has been very hot. I'm not complaining about the weather and in fact it works to my advantage. Lucy and I will be flying to India on Thursday and the temperatures are hotter than we normally have here. So our recent high temperatures have been excellent for preparing us for the weather in India. We are both very excited but as always before a flight I am beginning to get a little nervous. Having planned the stitching I'm taking with me I really need to get on with the serious business of deciding what clothes to pack. Have you ever found that when you need to get on with organising something there are a lot of other things that demand your attention or at that point, interest you more?

On Saturday I had planned to do some sewing but Kathryn wanted to go to the Summer Exhibition at The Royal Academy of Arts and since I have always enjoyed it I quickly agreed to the outing. As bad luck would have it I had injured my knee so I had my left knee strapped up and was walking with a stick. Not the perfect way to visit a busy exhibition but it made for a tiring but amusing experience. Every so often I would yelp with pain as my knee locked and consequently I was unable to move for a few minutes. I took several photos of the exhibits but at this exhibition there are over 1500 items on display. Some are high up on the walls and so difficult to photograph, but from the rest I tried to chose some items that to represent them all.

As many of us enjoy the friendship of our fur babies I thought you might like Blue Pipe Smoking Cat by Laura Ford. I think he's trying to play at being Sherlock Holmes,

and for the dog lovers.

The next one was one of my favourites. This Fabric shop on Ridley Road by Lucinda Rogers. It was made using ink, crayon and watercolour.

I rather liked this bear on a wheel. This version was large sized 

but there was also a small version in the entrance area. I think I like the small version better.

I also liked this bear's head but he definitely looks worse for wear, maybe he'd been in the bar for too long.

This picture by Anselm Kiefer received a lot of attention. People were standing in front of it for ages and it was certainly very powerful.

This one made me feel cooler. 

There was this piece of tapestry. Unfortunately it was high up and so difficult to photograph but I liked the colours..

Sometimes I don't know why things attract my attention but this one did. Maybe it's the orange colouring...I love orange.

There was a lot of detail in this piece. 

This year's exhibition had many pieces of animals and birds.

This one is called Seagulls.

Here is another piece with embroidery on it.

This bear was very cute.

The eagle is made using quilling.

The last two I nick-named home and garden. First is the home. I'm not sure if it's a cat or a dog on the man's lap.

I loved this final picture. It had a real outdoor feel

I'm sorry I didn't keep a record of the artists names. It's actually a miracle I had photos to show you as I forgot to take my camera but John, bless him, had put it in his bag. He knew I wanted to post some pictures on my blog. I enjoyed the exhibition but I didn't find it as enthralling as last year but that could have been because of the pain in my knee.

I did get a little stitching done on my tuffet.  When last I wrote I showed you the four pieces I'd already pieced.

I'd started on the next two sections but didn't finish them. This is how far I got.

I think that more work on the tuffet is going to have to wait until after our holiday.

I must try writing earlier in the morning. Currently I always do it at night and by the time I've finished I feel really tired. This means that I'm too tired to read a page or two of my book. At this rate I'll still be reading this book at Christmas.

I'll try and post again tomorrow but now I'm going to write my packing list. That way I should manage to remember everything I need to take.


Tuesday 23 July 2019

An outing and some stitching.

On Saturday we planned an outing to Lullingstone Castle and The World Garden. It wasn't just to visit the house and garden but to see the quilts on display. Region 2 of the Quilt Guild was having a quilt day and had moved from its usual venue to Lullingstone. We had heavy rain on Friday but Saturday was very warm and dry. We had a couple of chores to do first and then John and I headed off on our adventure. Our destination was about an hour and a quarter from our home. It was a nice drive and a chance to catch up as we haven't had much space for just the two of us this last week.

Lullinstone Castle is a manor house rather than a tradition looking castle. The present manor house and gatehouse were built in 1497 and it has been home to the same family ever since.

The quilts were on display in a marquee and also in the house. The marquee wasn't very big and when we went round it was quite crowded so taking pictures was difficult. However I managed to get this photo of an appliqued cat quilt

I also liked this quilt which incorporated applique, and piecing. There was so much to look at in this quilt. I particularly like the windmills at the four corners.

I only took a couple of other pictures of quilts and these were in the house. The space available for displaying the quilts was relatively small and many were not shown to their best advantage. Some had been positioned in front of the windows and the effective back lighting drained the colour from the fabric. With the big quilts there really wasn't room to stand back and look at the quilt. I liked this small piece which I think was one of the challenge pieces.

In the background you can see a quilt laid out on the floor and a jacket made with quilting. You couldn't get any closer to see these items and the room was quite dark.

I also really liked this small challenge piece that had been awarded 3rd place. My final photo was of a double wedding ring quilt so that I could be enthused to do some more work on my quilt. This was a huge quilt.

I took some photos of the grounds on John's camera and for some reason it added a sparkle effect. We don't know why as I didn't alter the settings and some later photos do not have this effect. The house is built  by a 15 acre lake.

We crossed the bridge over the weir.

and we discovered some large Roman snails. Roman snails are the largest species of snail in the UK growing to a width of 45 mm.

Having enjoyed a walk by the lake we returned to the house and discovered an eagle.  I think it is a white tailed fish eagle. The guy from the eagle centre said I could hold her on my hand but I refused as she was a little grumpy about something.

Back on her perch she turned her back on her admiring audience and refused to move,

We had a lunch of a large and delicious sausage roll, a slice of cake and a cup of tea. After that we were ready to walk round the world garden. Different sections of the garden have plants from different areas of the world. In the Europe area of the garden we discovered this statue set in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea.

The curved blue crested wave was made by Will Jordan and Zeus and Europa were made by Marie Prett from glazed pottery,both are local artists. You can read more about the story of Zeus and Europa here We also spotted another installation in this Baobab tree which was in the Australia section of the garden. 

Apart from the main garden there was also a number of greenhouses. We didn't visit them all as it was way too hot and we were both tired. We did go round the cactus house and I took this picture.

The light in the greenhouse was a little different but I didn't alter the camera settings at all and this was how the picture came out.

They had a small garden shop and we bought a couple of plants before heading for home. It was a most enjoyable day out.

Once home I set up my machine and managed a few seams before I was forced to stop. What is it with visitors who drop in unexpectedly?  The stitching came a little later in the weekend and I'll tell you about that later.


Monday 15 July 2019

Meanderings and makings

It's Monday when a lot of people in blog land look at what they're working on this week. Several weeks ago I started my Tuffet. A tuffet according to Mr Google is either a tuft or clump of something or a footstool or low seat. My tuffet once made will be a low seat rather than a footstool. Not a footstool because I don't want folks putting their feet in their dirty outdoor shoes on it. The fabrics in the top are Kaffe Fassett and far too pretty to rest shoes on. Anyway my tuffet top is half made and so it's time to get to work on the other half. If you remember when I sorted my fabrics I divided them into 8 groups. Counting from the left the fabrics in the first group are the same as the fifth group, 2 and 6 are the same  and so are 3 and 7 and 4 and 8.

I've made four of the sections and have 4 more to make. These will need pressing before I stitch all 8 together as they've been squashed in a project box.

I fused the remaining 4 foundation pieces to the muslin. This took a little longer than needed as I had forgotten to write down the iron temperature I used last time. Eventually this was done and I was able to get on with the sewing. Again my brain played a few tricks and I couldn't remember how I had stitched the fabric to the foundation pieces but a quick read of the instructions and it all worked nicely. I will try to finish the four pieces off tomorrow and I can then post a picture.

On Saturday John and I went walking in London. We had started walking along the Regents canal path but we had about 6 miles to do to complete and join up some of the walks in the one area so we decided to do this on Saturday. The day was warm and dry, basically perfect for walking. We started at Limehouse Basin (again) Loads of walks have this as the starting point. It's a good job it's an interesting area. The basin was fairly full with various types and sizes of boats.

There was also quite a lot of algae here and along all of the water we passed today. The weather here  in London has been very hot and humid. As you can see there has been a lot of building in this area with more apartment blocks still under construction.

We followed the Regents Canal for a while . The coot family was lost amongst the green

and this lock was completely covered. You can make out the water level looking a bit like grass.

There were flowers. I loved the colour of these ones and they were so delicate.

In Victoria Park there were two sculptures that we saw. This one is titled Bird. I didn't get the name of the artist.

The second one was titled Skyscraper.

The pond also had a fun fountain and I liked the reflection on the water. The wind began to blow towards us so we got a little wet.

I also spotted this pagoda across the lake.

We stopped in Victoria Park to enjoy a tasty and refreshing coffee. Further on we rejoined the canal and later the Lea Navigation. All waterways would have originally had quite an industrial feel as it went through the city since they were used for transporting goods. Now many of the old warehouses and other buildings are being pulled down and new apartment blocks or offices are replacing them. You can see some yellow cranes in the background on another building site.

I had fun taking pictures of trees to get the amazing array of greens on display. I loved the bright green of this tree.

In several areas planters were filled with flowers, brightening up the community.

We came across some wooden sheep grazing happily.

At Three Mills we took time out to investigate the tide mills. A Tide mill is a water mill that is driven by the rise and fall of the tide. At one time in the past there were 76 such mills recorded in London.

At this point we walked between two parallel waterways, the Lea Navigation and the Limehouse Cut. The area between the two was quite narrow. There were a lot of wild flowers along the bank of the cut.

A little further on the Lea Navigation went off to the left and we crossed this bridge to follow the Limehouse Cut back to our starting point. The cut is the water to the right of the picture

Almost finished and John took time out to enjoy the view.

We also took a slight detour to visit The Grapes, a pub that is nearly 500 years old. It is steeped in history and to bring it up to date one of the leaseholders is Ian McKellen of Gandalf fame. We enjoyed a pint of beer before completing our walk

We walked around the sides of the basin that we hadn't walked before. Lots of accommodation and lots of boats, mostly canal boats.

As always we enjoyed our walk and it filled in bits of London that we hadn't visited before.

Tomorrow work during the day but I'm hoping to finish the tuffet pieces. I may be being a little over ambitious but I'll give it a go.

Since the alarm goes off early I'm off to bed. Take care.