Monday, 28 February 2011

Paper Plains

I’m currently analysing the work of textile arts for my textile degree, and have chosen to explore the work of Helen Hallows.
Through the Storm

Helen works in a combination of collage, inks and stitch - I’ve seen her landscapes in a few local galleries in Derbyshire, and love the designs; the more you look at them the more you see, and the use of different pieces of paper; both textured and printed, includes maps, newspapers and ruled paper.  Combined together they create really interesting textures for scenery. I really like the way that the combination of papers are used to make up the field system in "Harvest", while "Quiet" is just so relaxing to look at..

Colin and I love Helens work and because it is so distinctive its easily recognisable as hers when we see it in a gallery.

I’d emailed Helen to see if she’d be kind enough to provide me some information about her work and her inspirations, in order to help me with my studies, and despite being both a busy artist and mum she got me back to me straight away, - If I could be half as talented, organised and kind I’d be very happy.



Sunday, 27 February 2011

Plastic Fantastic

I've just come back from The Cloud Nylon exhibition by Norah Fok.  The beautiful designs you can see here are handmade out of nylon filaments that are knitted, knotted or woven into shape, and then heated in water to keep the shape they've been manipulated into. Having tried to sew with nylon thread before amd thinking about how unruly it is, I can't begin to imagine how difficult it must be.
The top picture "Splash" represents the appearance of droplets of water falling and the crown is the shape they make as they hit the surface and bounce back; and if you're wondering how the balls are made; the nylon is knitted around a golf ball , heated in water, and then the golf ball removed. The colour in the Physalis below is added after they are made, the colour is built up in layers to avoid the frustration of hours of work being ruined by a colour thats incorrect.

I love the idea of something so beautiful and delicate coming from a recycled product, particularly one that we all dislike.   Jackie

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Bike and camera

Well I had to sort the puncture on the bike today and the size of the piece of glass in it was huge. Slime in my tyres is great, as it enabled me to carry on to work without stopping.
I read a book a while back about the history of the bike and it made you appreciate such technology as slime .  It's such a simple idea but worth it's weight in gold and it was such ideas as this that has given us such a great efficient and clean mode of transport.

Secondly I have come into the technology age in the camera market. I have bought a digital SLR.
This was because I dropped the camera last year on holiday and broke one of my lenses and I have been  putting of buying a new one. I also found that you cannot get black and white film processed anywhere on the high street.

I must say I did have a set back with the new camera as the thing wouldn't read the memory card . I took it back this morning and the Lads in the London Camera Exchange shop (Notttingham) were brilliant and couldn't do enough for me . Thanks a lot Lads.

Now I need to get out and take some pictures.


Friday, 18 February 2011

Bright Lights, Big City

Col and I aren't very good in cities - we normally get lost and cant wait to get out of them. However Nottingham, which is quite close to us, had its light night festival this weekend, it has a really nice carnival atmosphere with lots of street entertainment, fantastic installations and beautifully lit trees and buildings - The Nottingham portrayed in the headlines of the newspapers locally and nationally gives it a terrible reputation, but tonight it showed its self differently as a really relaxed and friendly place.  Jackie

Thursday, 17 February 2011

The big Yew turn

We celebrated the Governments Yew turn of the big forest sale by having a walk in my local wood. The power of the internet has really shown how passionate the nation is about their forest and woodland.
Hoorah!  My woodland is saved!
Colin's pulled the last of the parsnips out, only the leeks to go, and the garlic and winter onions are already doing well, as are the early broad beans,  hopefully we'll have another year of  being self sufficient on the vegetable front.  That said all of the early seedlings keep dying off, we really shouldnt get ill, it means all the seeds got neglected.
We've just been for our first runs, post flu (for Col) and post cold (for me)  - its amazing how quickly you can lose your fitness and how hard it can seem to run a couple of miles.
I'm playing about with my loom a bit more - I've got some lovely sari silks that are beautiful and should make my scarf look great.
Off to the Nottingham light night festival tomorrow, so hopefully will put up some more pictures after that


Friday, 11 February 2011

Always look on the bright side

I've always tried to make dull jobs fun - for instance playing "sock snap"  where I try and match the socks in the laundry as quickly as possible, thereby making a boring task more entertaining.

Lately I've tried to put a more positive spin on where all of my taxes are going  -  My new idea is that everything around me is mine!  Its "my" library, "my" country park, "my" wood, "my" pavements, "my" canal etc.
It actually makes quite a difference to run around the  "my" country park, thinking that I own it.  All of a sudden its really important  to me, that I run over to "my" lake to check on "my" ducks, and thinking how lucky I am that I have "my" own personal rangers who are taking care of "my" woodland.
And more importantly I have "my" Library where they store all "my" books for me therefore giving me more room at "my" home. 
It's got to be worth a go!

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Things can only get better

The gas is sorted out, and Col is nearly better, we haven't had any more fires  AND our website is now up and running; - it was all quite stressful putting the website together (well it was for Col, we've never done one before), so it was all a bit of a fingers crossed and hope for the best.
Now all I've got to do is make some things to sell!

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Flame Retard(ent)

After reading Jac's blog entry, I thought I needed to put my side forward.

Its been an awkward few days being poorly -

First I'm screamed at for being ill, because she didn't recognise my hoarse voice and stupidly thought there was someone else in the house, even though all the doors had been locked, and I don't think many intruders would announce their presence with "Hello, I'm going to bed"

Secondly in an effort not to disturb Jac's sleep I decided I'd sleep on the sofa in the spare bedroom, which is far from ideal, and meant that I had to tuck myself up in an old sleeping bag.  I'd struggled to sleep most of the night, and was just about nodding off this morning, when I heard dulcet tones from the kitchen requesting my help quickly.  Emerging from groggy sleepiness, and unable to shout that I was on my way because my throat is to sore, I  became entangled in the said sleeping bag.  Of course Jac, completley unaware of my predicament, just shouted even more urgently.  When I eventually became untangled and made it downstairs to the kitchen, I found her stood there holding a brand new flaming kettle (proper flaming) looking not unlike Florence Nightingale holding a lamp, only not as calm.  Perhaps the funniest part was Jac saying I cant put it in water because its electric, when the electric parts are in the base unit and not the (still) flaming, and now melting bit that she was holding onto.

We're now sitting in the cold, kettleless and  waiting for the plumber to arrive, apparently the advice from British Gas to distinguish all naked flames and lit cigarettes was rather pertinent, as we have a massive gas leak under the concrete floor  - maybe thats why the gas bills have been getting higher, all things considered it looks like we've had a lucky escape.

Cooking with gas - not quite

Its a been a bit of a hair raising week for me this week
On Tuesday I heard a voice inside the house while I'd gone to the bathroom  - I screamed because I thought I'd got an intruder  -but it turned out to be poor Colin  who had come home poorly from work, and sounding so croaky that I didn't recognise his voice.

Today I scared myself again, very dramatically this time, by setting fire to the kettle  - its easier to do than you might think, especially when after years of having a gas kettle that goes on the hob, you change to an electric one, and  then use it when you are very tired and sleepy  -  yeah you can probably guess the rest   - What makes it that bit funnier, but only in retrospect, is that I was shouting to Colin that he needed to come quickly and help, but because last night he'd been so poorly coughing, he'd taken himself off to the spare room to sleep and wrapped himself up to keep warm in a sleeping bag  - consequently as I'm yelling "Colin, come quick",  poor poorly Colin was still trying to untangle himself from his sleeping bag.

Just as I'm thinking things can't get much worse  - they can  - we've just had a whiff of gas from near the gas meter - I can't imagine its anything too serious otherwise I think the whole house would have gone up in flames with the kettle incident, and to be honest the Emergency Gas Hotline advice of distinguish any cigarettes or naked flames seems a bit over the top all things considered, but we'll see eh

Oh and I've just managed to destroy some pictures in my sketch book when my box of pastels fell on top of them.

Somehow I don't think its a good idea to use the heat gun to distress any materials today