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Saturday, 14 January 2017

How long is a generation?

I have been pondering this question for a few weeks as I see publicity for revivals of three theatrical / dance productions that I saw in 1982, 1990 and 1992 respectively. Two of these have been publicised as “ not seen on stage in the UK for a generation”.

All three of these stand out in my mind after all this time for different reasons, and it seems important to me to embrace these works again as we are in such troubled times as a species sharing this planet.

So I would encourage anyone reading this to go and see:

"Ghost Dances’ by Christopher Bruce, performed by Ballet Rambert, touring and at Sadler’s Wells, London. A first exposure for me to contemporary dance when I saw it in 1982 and a  production that has stayed with me -  for 34 years: music, movement, costumes all superb - tickets booked.

The Trackers of Oxyrhynchus” by Tony Harrison at the Finborough Theatre, London, on until 28th January.  This was my first exposure to performed verse in 1990 and I have never forgotten the experience. Brilliantly updated, and in this 50 seat setting, an intimate encounter with very physical theatre.

“Angels in America” by Tony Kushner at the National Theatre, London. Such a moving, but occasionally baffling, pair of plays when I saw them in 1992. They were staged in the Cottesloe, which then seated around 350 people. The new production will be in the Littleton, seating 890 people, therefore presumably all to be done on a much larger scale. It will be fascinating to see how well this play translates to 2016, particularly as it starts in April, 3 months after the start of Trump’s term of office.  The National box office have already warned that these tickets will sell out quickly.

And the drawing? Yes it continues:

Feather from the “nature table” that seemed to have been attacked by some sort of mite, leaving a big gap along the shaft. Pencil and ink pen.

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Serendipitous charcoal rubbing of the back of a section of last week’s collage of vases and jugs made me rub over the whole lot. Charcoal.

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Corn cob and husk, pencil and charcoal. I could not get my eye in for this at all. Too much going on , so I then focused on a tiny bit of one of the husks.

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Tip of a corn cob husk. Pencil. I was very pleased when I “saw” the hole in the husk and the light falling through that in to the cast shadow.

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Paint can, pencil. Two in one day as I knew it would be difficult to fit in drawing time the day after.

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Waiting for a break in the rain, to run to the Finborough Theatre. The reflective tray was very difficult. Pencil.

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And the sewing? There is another shirt underway - yes for my younger son, he hates boring clothes.

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Perfect placket, thanks to Off the Cuff.

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Cuffs with contrast inside fabric - amazing what I find in the fabric stash.

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Sunday, 8 January 2017

Hexagons and drawing

Like so many quilters, I have piles of hexagons pieced and waiting to incorporate in to a quilt.  As this is the start of another year, I have laid mine out again, in a different order that was last seen on here, 6 years ago!

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As with all hexagon quilts it needs more hexagons. Just as well I have Game of Thrones seasons 5 and 6 to watch as I really only stitch these in front of the television.

Drawing continues, favourite pincushion, pencil and watercolour crayon

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Artist’s model ( with lost foot) , pencil

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Is it still drawing if the “drawing” is done with a scalpel?  Collage, black paper and metallic pens

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Thursday, 5 January 2017

Attempting to draw for at least 10 minutes / day in 2017

Hand-carved spoon by Anna Casserley, charcoal

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Learning - charcoal is not the best medium for this scale of drawing

Fabric hexagons ( grandmother’s flower garden blocks), pencil

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Learning- a drawing always looks more accurate after you have not looked at it for at least 30 mins. Always have the eraser to hand before starting to draw.

Wax block and needle threader, pencil

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Learning - go over the margin/ border of the page if you have to

Pincushion  ( a favourite, bought at the Dansel Gallery many years ago)- pencil, watercolour crayon, pen, calligraphy ink

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Learning- try more colour and don’t be afraid of ink

Saturday, 31 December 2016

Last stitching of 2016 - and a diversion in to clothes making

A quilt to finish the year with. “ Proper” patchwork made from two worn out shirts,  a discarded calico curtain from a charity shop and backed with a fabric picked up at the bric a brac stall at a quilt show.

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No photos of the full quilt as the light is too low today.

I have not made many quilts this year as I have been diverted back to clothes making. My younger son has difficulty finding shirts to fit his narrow shoulders and long, slender frame so I volunteered to make him some. Unlike women’s clothing, there is a little choice in patterns for men’s shirts, but several bloggers use Burda 7045, however I anticipated having to make many pattern adjustments, after reading an account of making it here.

Commercial patterns are not like quilt patterns. They are never perfect and always have to be adapted to an individual  because human bodies are too variable. The instruction sheets frequently do not take account of modern sewing methods and advise cumbersome techniques and outdated interfacings.  There is so much help on the internet to address these commissions and I followed tutorials about shirts from here and here.

The test shirt, with cotton lawn, digitally printed,  bought several years ago from M Rosenberg and Son, went down well. 

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Version 2 is now cut out, with a longer armhole, removal of the darts on the front and a collar that extends further in to the open neck of the collar band. 2017 could be the year of the shirt.

Happy stitching everyone.

Friday, 30 December 2016

Grey, but rainbows to follow

So the day I decide to take my camera out is the one where the fog doesn’t lift

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but there are great textures to be seen up close

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Luckily the sun was shining when I took these photos of the back the heart quilt

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Friday, 23 December 2016

Christmas baking finished.....

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Thank you The Bountiful Hunter for teaching me this recipe and solving gift-giving for ever.

 Time to give them all away

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Merry Christmas all.