Planet Textile Threads

December 07, 2016

Natalya Aikens

stitched paint strokes

Usually I stitch with a plan in mind. Meaning that I have seen in my minds eye what I want to achieve and I am stitching towards that vision. But sometimes.... just for the fun of it I want to stitch with no plan. Just meandering and enjoying the process, the colors and the texture that is being created.

For inspiration I'll pull out a picture and use my stitches to interpret that picture. I don't mean exactly, just the feeling of it. Like a moody autumnal landscape for example. I'll concentrate on the color, the direction of the vegetation.... This exercise is lots of fun to do with painting by famous artists. I'll open up a big heavy art book or print an image from the internet and try to capture the feeling of it with my stitches.

So where am I leading with all this? Well... I am trying to entice you to take a vacation with me. Yes. a vacation. In Ticino, that's in Switzerland. In August. I know it seems so far way, August and Switzerland. But August will be here in a blink of an eye and Switzerland is just a hop, skip and a jump away!
a detail of a Klimt
my stitchy interpretation
Picasso is fun to play with
fun to choose the fabrics and the stitches
Rothko's serenity is interpreted well in silk
simple is best
that's the hotel!

and that's the scenery!
So? Come stitch some paint strokes with me and enjoy the end of summer in Ticino!

by Natalya Aikens ( at December 07, 2016 01:28 PM

Neki Rivera

sometimes backs are more promising

                                               front                                                back

                                            front                                                    back
                                        front                                                               back

                                         front                                                            back

some are more interesting than others, but a good exercise nonetheless.
bigtime excercise formatting this post although blogger announces it as WYSIWYG  ಠ ಠ   ಠ ಠ                                                    

neki desu
Creative Commons License

by (neki desu) at December 07, 2016 11:34 AM

Sarah Ann Smith

Modern Winter Placemats and TableRunner

Last December at our local Coastal Quilters Christmas/Holiday meeting, we had a little game where you each bring a giftie, and end up with a different giftie.  I ended up with a lovely set of fat quarters in very “Quilt Modern” colors:  the red, white and gray winter themed ones.  I decided to add some new winter placemats and table runner made from the theme fabric using improvisational piecing. You can find the pattern at Janome America’s blog, here.

Modern Winter placemats and table runner.

Modern Winter placemats and table runner.

I added the solid red and dark gray fabrics.  I will advise you:  MEASURE YOUR TABLE FIRST.  I made the placemats first, rather oversized.  I had two of them bound.  Then I discovered they were too big, had to pick off the binding, cut them down (the instructions on the Janome site are for my final size), and re-do.  Erk.

Depending on the fabric you select as a feature fabric for the centers, you can adjust the size of the inner borders (or omit them entirely).  I had just a half yard of the feature print, so I needed to use smaller cuts and build them out.  If you buy a little more, then you can omit the inner border and strips.

An overhead

An overhead view of the table runner; I used the few remaining bits of the feature print and built them out with strips, then fit them together.  Can you say “liberal use of partial seams?”

Overhead view of placemat

Overhead view of placemat

My favorite way to do bindings is by machine.  My secret:  glue stick!   I only use the glue stick on things that will be washed (probably often), so I wouldn’t do this on a high-end art quilt, but for a baby or bed quilt or table linens?  You betcha!

stitching down the bindings on the Janome 9400

Stitching down the bindings on the Janome 9400.  Love that pull-out light!  I sew the binding to the back, wrap it to the front, then at the ironing board use glue stick on the seam allowance.  I press the binding down and it stays put–no pins!  no bumps!  no wiggling out of place! 

I used a blanket stitch, with the straight part in the “ditch” (just to the left of the dark gray binding), and the “zig” going onto the binding.

I used this stitch to finish the bindings, and used the mirror image button (above in yellow) so that the swing of the stitch goes to the right of the straight line (see the stitch as displayed at the left of the screen).

I used this stitch to finish the bindings, and used the mirror image button (above in yellow) so that the swing of the stitch goes to the right of the straight line (see the stitch as displayed at the left of the screen).

A closer view. The needle just barely misses the binding when going straight, then swings over onto the binding to hold it in place.

A closer view. The needle just barely misses the binding when going straight, then swings over onto the binding to hold it in place.

Back view of my quilting. I used a FMQ ruler (thicker than a cutting ruler) with the QO foot (this is not necessarily recommended, you really should use a proper

Back view of my quilting. I used a FMQ ruler (thicker than a cutting ruler) with the QO foot (this is not necessarily recommended, you really should use a proper “Ruler Foot” but I was extra careful) to do the straight line quilting across the strip sets, then used a squared off loop in the background of the feature fabric bits.

It must be good: it has passed the cat-sitting-on-it seal of approval!

It must be good: it has passed the cat-sitting-on-it seal of approval!





by Sarah Ann Smith at December 07, 2016 10:39 AM

December 06, 2016

Olga Norris

Recent and current reading ... and anticipations

Perhaps it is at this time of year that I most miss having a cat.
It is difficult to separate my recent four top fiction titles:
Helen Dunmore Exposure
Ali Smith Public Library and other stories
Graeme Macrae Burnet His bloody project
                                  The disappearance of Adele Bedeau
Close behind them comes Alison Moore's Death and the seaside.

Apart from the Ali Smith stories, the above are all mysteries of one kind or another, but in no way conventional.  I now read all fiction on the kindle, but despite it being quite a tome, I do regret not having bought my current bedtime reading as a physical book.  Peter Frankopan's The silk roads: a new history of the world I suspect will last me into 2017.  It is so extensive in its coverage, so dense with fact with so many footnotes, so demanding of mulling over, so interesting that I am reading it one meaty chapter at a time, with a light mystery novel in between.  I find that the mysteries help me to riddle out the chunks of the history which intrigue me most.  It's so compelling a read for me that it easily survives these intrusions.
The mystery stories have been novels by Sophie Hannah, Margery Allingham, Ngiao Marsh, and Jill Paton Walsh.

The Festive Season means a reading bonanza for me; a kind of hibernation from work and a dedication to devouring as much written material as possible.  Recommended by Marja-Leena Rathe when I wrote about my visit to the Tate Modern Georgia O'Keeffe exhibition I was fortunate enough to find in the UK a good second hand copy of Carr, O'Keeffe, Khalo: Places of their own which looks wondrously substantial. 
A recent visit to the Abstract Expressionists exhibition has also made me want to explore that aspect of art history in more detail, and has reminded me of a book I bought some time ago but was not until now ready to read.  That is Picasso and American Art which I shall read before embarking on the Royal Academy catalogue: Abstract Expressionism.

I shall doubtless try to fit in Ian Rankin's latest Rebus book: Rather be the devil.  I do enjoy returning to Edinburgh, even to its underbelly!

by Olga Norris ( at December 06, 2016 09:42 PM

Margaret Cooter

Drawing Tuesday - RAF Museum, Hendon

The WWI hangars, with WWI planes, adjoin a building that was moved, brick by brick, from elsewhere on the site of what used to be the Grahame-White Aviation Company Limited (it ceased operations in 1924) -
I found myself in Claude Grahame-White's former office, upstairs, listening to a short talk about the man and his achievements. The only original thing in the room is the fireplace lintel, which has his initials carved in it -
He'd had some "Jacobean" furniture made for his office, and this reconstruction did, too - 2nd generation fake Jacobean furniture.

But it was the planes we were there for - my favourite (not that I've seen them all) is the Halifax bomber, pulled out of a Norwegian fjord in the 1970s, a casualty of the attempt to sink the Tirpitz -
It was decided not to attempt to restore it.

Up under the eaves is the control room of His Majesty's R33 airship, built in 1919 and dismantled in 1928-
Our outcomes -
Jo watched men working on a Messerschmitt Bf-109

by Janet K

by Joyce

by Janet B
Sue's medley includes a stealth bomber

My airport beacon, WWI vintage

by Margaret Cooter ( at December 06, 2016 08:05 PM

Gerrie Congdon

A Month of Remembering – In the Air


Photos taken from the plane last summer as we flew from Chicago to Syracuse to visit family and attend class reunion.

by Gerrie at December 06, 2016 06:57 PM

Neki Rivera

of hacks ii

the new uprights have already been installed- doing cartwheels \(^▽^)/

the new underslung beater was put in place by lil ol me, no big deal.

the new uprights house the sectional beam and an extra warp beam. lots of space for warps.

then yesterday i noticed that i was missing the plastic stud covering  solenoid rod number three. yes, the rods that when fired push forward touching the knife thus getting lifted.
 i had some pegs from the dobby chain lying around. dark colored hard plastic, longer than the original, but hackable. used the soldeting iron to make the hole to fit the rod and the pyrography tool to melt it to size and cut it.whew! then came some sanding and finally the stud is in place.
now i need to gather courage and turn on the loom electronics aka loom box to see if it survived the move, then check if the stud hack works. guess who's having champagne tonight?

the carpenter is a young guy and he's my new best friend.i love people with intellectual curiosity and he had me explain how the loom worked and asked intelligent questions.
so i showed him  my white yarns, then some of the dyed ones and my japanese shuttles.he really enjoyed the craftsmanship of the shuttles.
then he asked to see some of my work. i was in heaven!
 as he was leaving he noticed our art nouveau, actually more secessionen, armoire which i use as china closet.again curiosity and was such a refreshing visit.
and the loom looks great!☆ *(^∇^)*☆

neki desu
Creative Commons License

by (neki desu) at December 06, 2016 09:00 AM

December 05, 2016

Gerrie Congdon

A Month of Remembering – Best Book of 2016


I don’t read a lot anymore. I sometimes read at lunch time, but it takes me a while to get through a book. This book captured my interest and I could not put it down.

by Gerrie at December 05, 2016 11:42 PM

Rayna Gillman

Apologies - or explanations.

Thank you, dear readers, for having checked to see if I was ok.  True, I have not posted since I came back from Switzerland.  Short of time, I have been doing quickies on FaceBook and Instagram but there is really no content with those posts. I was home for a week between Switzerland and Paris; time to unpack, do laundry, and repack.

I have tried several times to post from my iPad, but since Blogger discontinued its app, it is impossible to post and edit properly.  So - since I have my computer with me, I have finally made some time (mid afternoon??) for a blogging break.

In the meantime, a bit of backtracking.  My class in Geneva was terrific - and I taught and lectured in French, which was very cool.  One  of the exercises I gave them was to use black, white, and one color to make a piece.  Here are some of the results.

My life has been hectic and my week in Paris was book-ended by funerals.  My visit to Paris was a belated condolence call to my cousin. I enjoyed spending the week with her and seeing the rest of my extended family.  Paris was chilly and gray for the most part, but we did go fabric shopping. Since I was in Africa last year, I have been collecting a variety of African fabrics -- and there are plenty in Paris. Have I used them yet? Of course not.

We also spent one day in the Marais - my most beloved neighborhood in the whole city.  It, too, was filled with color and pattern.
Le Marais is filled with wonderful shops, but this one stopped me cold.

I could have bought everything in the store.

But because I had only one little suitcase and one little budget, I came home with this one. 

Since I got home, I have been juggling and I have now juggled my way to West Palm Beach for the winter.  I have brought my entire stash and my old Bernina, in case I want to quilt something while I am here.  Today, I received a yummy piece of African batik from Judy Gula at  I have washed it and it is out on the porch, dripping onto the carpet as it dries. 

SO - that's the short version.  I am deliriously happy to be staying in one place -- although will be driving up to Savannah to attend QuiltCon for a couple of days at the end of February.  But I promise, you will hear from me before that!

by (Rayna) at December 05, 2016 08:59 PM

Terry Grant

Earrings and a little makeup

I thought this was finished and it has been hanging on my design wall for several weeks and every time I would walk past it I would think "it's flat—needs something" but I wasn't sure what. Yesterday morning as I was poking little earrings into my earlobes it hit me that my Mexican lady had no earrings. That just wouldn't happen, I reasoned, so I headed out to the studio to correct that oversight. Earrings actually helped, then I remembered how I put on my own earrings, check the mirror to make sure they look OK (I've been known to wear not-on-purpose mismatched earrings, or get distracted and walk away with only one—) and at that point think I might look even better (!) with a little lipstick or mascara. So I got out my colors and gave the whole piece a little mini color makeover.

Better, I think.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

by Terry Grant ( at December 05, 2016 02:22 PM

Margaret Cooter

Art I like - Robert Kelly

It's that black-and-white thing, and the boldness, that drew me in -
Kelly has traveled throughout the United States, Europe, North Africa, the Near East, and Nepal. His work often incorporates unusual materials from his journeys, among them vintage posters and printed antique paper, obscured and layered in saturated pigments on a canvas faintly scored with irregular grids. Kelly’s paintings have been likened to palimpsests and his method described as one of building “meticulously on inhabited ground, layering materials, documents, and signs, covering them, wiping out their beauty, nearly, but allowing something of the labor and their languages to persist.” (via)

Thicket I (via)
Born in 1956, he's been painting full time since 1982 - before that he worked as a commercial photographer.
Tantra IV, 1998 (via)
A few months back he had a show in London (missed it!) -

Left, Mimesis CV, 2008; Right, Tropos V (via)

by Margaret Cooter ( at December 05, 2016 11:42 AM

Sarah Ann Smith

Janome 9400 review

As many of you know, I’ve been fortunate to be affiliated with Janome America for many years and sew on their great machines.   They’ve come out with a new top-of-the-line NON-embroidery machine, the 9400.  And as I have come to expect, they take something that is already really good and make it even better.  We’re getting close to perfect!   To see the machine on the Janome site, go here.

My newest sewing love, the Janome 9400!

My newest sewing love, the Janome 9400!  Notice the FABULOUS lighting?  I love the pull-out light, too!

Over the past few months I’ve been able to put the machine through its paces, making a knit top, finishing a set of quilted placemats, finishing a small bag with zipper, and (who me?) piecing several quilt tops.   The machine excelled at everything I threw at it!  The 9400 has taken many features from the top of the line embroidery and sewing 15000 machine, including that awesome light on the top left that slides out.  I think the design of it  on the 9400 is even better than on the 15000, as it curves a bit.

One of the first things I did was some class samples for my Easy-Peasy Inside-Out Bag….including installing a zipper.

Zipper insertion for my Easy-Peasy Inside-Out Bag class sample.   Notice how the zipper foot fits PERFECTLY, allowing me to use the zipper coil as a guide and getting the stitching **perfect** ?  I used plum stitching as a decorative accent on the right side of the zipper, and am now stitching the second side of the left half of the zipper.

Zipper insertion for my Easy-Peasy Inside-Out Bag class sample. Notice how the zipper foot fits PERFECTLY, allowing me to use the zipper coil as a guide and getting the stitching **perfect** ? I used plum stitching as a decorative accent on the right side of the zipper, and am now stitching the second side of the zipper.

A bigger challenge, for both me and the machine, was to make a new top.  I fell in love with the plum knit and bought it a year or so ago.   I also love the aqua top, which is showing its age.  I did a “rub off” which is where you make your own pattern using an existing garment.  You can trace (with garment on top of paper) or rub (with garment under paper) to feel the edges and create pattern pieces.  I extended the sleeves from 3/4 to full length, and am delighted at the machine and the results.

Success!  I actually made a KNIT garment.  The original shirt (purchased) is on the left. After making the pattern from that shirt, I made the plum one on the right.  I'll do a separate blogpost later this week with more info on how I did it and which stitches used.

Success! I actually made a KNIT garment. The original shirt (purchased) is on the left. After making the pattern from that shirt, I made the plum one on the right. I’ll do a separate blogpost later this week with more info on how I did it and which stitches used.

I also have done quite a lot of piecing.  I used the P foot which comes with the machine for my quarter inch seams, but decided to use the optional Clearview foot which I prefer.   In a second project (which I can’t share yet because it is a Christmas surprise) I was astounded at how accurate my results were; I am NOT a piecer, and the feed on the machine worked very well (until my attention wandered, at which point I simply cut the threads, went back to my oops and fixed it).

Using the ClearView foot for piecing

Using the ClearView foot for piecing.  I really like the red 1/8 and 1/4″ markings. This foot is available for both Janome’s  7mm and 9mm machines (the 7 and 9 refer to the maximum stitch width–you need to be sure you get the correct one to fit the “ankle” for your machine). Have I said how much I love it?

I also have been able to do both free-motion and walking foot quilting, though not as much yet as I would have liked.   I finished a set of placemats and table runner called Modern Winter, which I prepared for Janome’s blog.  You can find the pattern and information here.

Modern Winter placemats and table runner.

Modern Winter placemats and table runner. Instructions/pattern on the Janome site at the link.  

The one thing I keep trying to convince Janome to do is to create feet for the top of the line machines that is similar to the convertible FMQ (free motion quilting)  feet for the Janome 8900/8200 and similar which I think are the best quilting feet Janome makes.   In addition to the traditional “hopping” or darning foot used for free-motion quilting, the 9400, 15000, 12000 all have the QO and QC skimming FMQ feet which snap on to the ankle (which is really quick and easy).  However, these feet are clear plastic and not round.   They work great for most people’s purposes, but if you look at pretty much ALL quilting machines, the preferred and nearly universally available feet are metal CIRCLES.  The metal is stronger and can, therefore, be thinner, which affords greater visibility.  And by being a circle, you can echo quilt around (for example) an appliqué, then  continue with free motion without having to change feet.  This is a small quibble but one that is important to me.

The foot on the left is the Ruler Foot for the 8900, and the two bits on the right are the optional bottoms for FMQ, the open U (as Janome made it) and the circle (which Janome made closed, but I used my Dremel to open up a tiny bit)

The foot on the left is the Ruler Foot for the 8900, and the two bits on the right are the optional bottoms for FMQ, the open U (as Janome made it) and the circle (which Janome made closed, but I used my Dremel to open up a tiny bit).  I would LOVE these options for the top of the line Janome machines (9400, 12000 and 15000).

One of the

One of the really cool things about the 9400 (which came down to it from the 15000) is the snap on feature for some of the quilting feet.  In this image, you can see the echo quilting foot, the clear disc with red circles/lines, for the 9400 on the lower left.  It just pops on and off the ankle like regular feet–fast, easy and effective.  The other three in this image are from the bottom of the convertible FMQ foot for the 8900; you have to screw them on to the holder which is a small fuss.  

I was MOST impressed at International Quilt Festival, Houston, this year.  I introduced myself to the president of Janome America to say thank you for Janome’s continued support for the past decade-plus, and to ask about developing these feet for the 9400 and 15000 (and 12000).  He whipped out a notebook and took notes!   So as soon as I finish this post, I’m going to follow up with him with details I’ve been mulling over on how best to meet ALL needs for quilting–both hopping and skimming. Love Janome’s responsiveness!  He said he’d send the info to headquarters in Japan–can’t do more than that!

Although you can read it on Janome’s site, I’m adding some info about the features and accessories included on this machine.  Best of all, a lot of stores are offering “Holiday Incentives” on the price!

Janome 9400 Stitch Chart

Janome 9400 Stitch Chart…hooray, my favorite stitches are still here!

Key Features:

  • Top Loading Full Rotary Hook Bobbin System
  • 350 Built-In Stitches and 4 Alphabets
  • Superior Needle Threader
  • Cloth Guide Included
  • One-Step Needle Plate Conversion with 3 Included Plates
  • Detachable AcuFeed Flex Layered Fabric Feeding System
  • USB Port and Direct PC Connection
  • Stitch Composer Stitch Creation Software
  • Variable Zig Zag for Free Motion Quilting
  • Straight Stitch Needle Plate with Left Needle Position for 1/4″ Seam Foot
  • Professional HP Needle Plate and Foot
  • Advanced Plate Markings
  • Full Color LCD Touchscreen (4.4″ x 2.5″)
  • Sewing Applications On-Screen Support
  • Maximum Sewing Speed: 1,060 SPM
  • Full Intensity Lighting System with 9 White LED Lamps in 4 Locations
  • 11″ to the Right of the Needle
  • Retractable High Light

Included Accessories:

  • 1/4 Inch Seam Foot O
  • AcuFeed Flex™ Dual Feed Holder with AD Foot
  • Automatic Buttonhole Foot
  • Blind Hem Foot G
  • Button Sewing Foot
  • Cloth Guide
  • Darning Foot
  • Extra Large Foot Controller
  • Free Motion Quilting Closed Toe Foot
  • HP Plate and Foot Set
  • Open Toe Satin Stitch Foot
  • Overedge Foot M
  • Remote Thread Cutter Switch
  • Rolled Hem Foot
  • Satin Stitch Foot
  • Seam Ripper
  • Straight Stitch Needle Plate
  • Zig-Zag Foot
  • Zipper Foot E

So that’s my recap!  I’ll do a couple follow-up posts on the placemats and shirt projects.  Stay tuned!

by Sarah Ann Smith at December 05, 2016 09:28 AM

December 04, 2016

Gerrie Congdon

A Month of Remembering – Circles


I really enjoyed my online dye class with Elizabeth Barton. Here I was dyeing a gradation of gray to black.

by Gerrie at December 04, 2016 10:34 PM

Margaret Cooter

Sorting through the recipe box

Three magazine-boxes full of recipes, sorted through. I kept a handful - a few with Tony's written notes, and a few of my favourites of the many meals he made.


Tony came to be The Cook because of That Darn Old Cooker. The brown monster had been in the house since the 70s, and not only was it electric, not gas, but it had those old-fashioned spiral rings. Which had among them various sorts of slopes, so that pans heated only where they touched the ring, which was in a small amount of the available area. Sometimes you'd lift the pan and 3/4 of the ring would be glowing red - heat that should have transferred to the metal of the pan.

After a few years of battling with this, and making strong suggestions about New Cookers to no avail, I simply refused to cook any more. And Tony took over, first from the Waitrose recipe cards, then using the pictures (and shortness of list of ingredients) in the 101 Recipes books as a basis for choosing the dish. He often used the BBC Good Food website, printing out the recipes, some of them several times over the years, as I discovered when going through the printouts.

There came a time, was it 2009, when the kitchen needed repainting and it was decided to get a new cooker at last - "just to please you" may have been the words he used. What a treat to have a gas hob, and to have an accurate oven! By then his chefly repertoire was extensive - what pleasure to become aware of good smells wafting up to my weekend studio, followed by the arrival of a glass of wine and an estimate of when the meal would be ready. Ah there are things you miss ... chief among them, the cook ... but I don't miss That Old Cooker, not at all!

by Margaret Cooter ( at December 04, 2016 08:36 AM

December 03, 2016

Gerrie Congdon

A Month of Remembering – Favorite Photo of 2016

This one was hard. But, I chose this photo taken from the condo of Mt. St. Helen’s last February. I used the HD app on my iPhone. The beautiful sunlight illuminated the whole scene.


by Gerrie at December 03, 2016 06:20 PM

A Month of Remembering – Light

Dec 2nd didn’t get posted, I guess. This is sunset, Glacier National Park – May 2015



by Gerrie at December 03, 2016 06:17 PM

Sarah Ann Smith

Burning the Candle at Both Ends

Just a quick pop in to say hello, share my latest photo effort, and promise that I WILL blog about Houston and all the good stuff….just as soon as I get a couple more gifts made!

See below for more info.  Right click for larger view.

See below for more info. Right click for larger view.

I was bummed this was a “lot of work” theme as I had no time.  Eyes fell on a flyer.  Lightbulb ON!  Visit to Danica Candleworks in Rockport, Maine.  Lots of beautiful photos (think four tiers of candles at 6, 9, 13 and 16 inches in rainbow handing from their wicks on Shaker style pegs).  Yes, they do mail order!

Took 6 shots to get nearly the full spectrum (omitted the pale cream and the black/grey on the ends).  Tried Panorama merge in Photoshop.  No joy, probably because it couldn’t identify the overlap spots since it is all the same shapes.  Merged the photos manually.  Take pictures of flames against a cream wall to match the wall behind the hanging candles.  Spend way too much time isolating and inserting five different flames on all those wicks!!!! Insanity!  Mirror image the layers.  Add a grey banner to help disguise the merge (got it all lined up, but some of the candles bent as they were hanging at a slight angle, which looked weird).  Add the text.  Share on FB asking Portrait or Landscape?

Next morning, another lightbulb!   Use the landscape but add a “candle” to the text banner that reads upside down and right-ways while burning the candle at both ends.  Yep.  Welcome to my life!  If I had a lick of business savvy, I’d make this a poster and sell it.  My retirement up in flames LOL!  Of course, I’d need to tidy the edges of those flames, my PS is up to meticulous trimming, my attention span wasn’t last night!  Now I’m off to work on Eli’s college quilt (he told me ten days before leaving what he finally wanted, selected colors, etc, so at least he’ll have it for winter!) and some gifts.  Talk to you soon!

by Sarah Ann Smith at December 03, 2016 04:06 PM

Margaret Cooter

Walking by water

Waiting to change trains at Clapham Junction on a crisp and beautiful day ... watching the flickering shadows as the invisible people move along the platform -


Wednesday, 30 November 2016
Start time: 10:25
Easy 7.5 miles / 12.1 km
Group South Bank
A flat waterways walk following the Thames Path to Kew and Richmond Lock, crossing the Thames to have lunch at Isleworth - pub/picnic. Then the route is along the Capital Ring through Syon Park and the Grand Union Canal to finish at Boston Manor.
Along the path and through the leaves

Lots of rowers out on the water

Glimpse into Kew Gardens

Obelisk in the Old Deer Park marks the Kew meridian, at one time
used to officially set time (later taken over by Greenwich)

Photo-op for a glimpse of Isleworth

Crossing the river at Richmond Lock

In old Isleworth, "a small town of Saxon origin"

The sundial at All Saints Church was restored in 2013

Looking over the fence at Syon House

Interesting structure along the Grand Union Canal, part of Brentford Boatyard?

Lux, calme, et volupté

Heading home

by Margaret Cooter ( at December 03, 2016 11:49 AM

South Africa: art of a nation

The South Africa exhibition at the British Museum is introduced online by some nice little videos. 

I took notes and drew little pictures in my notebook, the pictures getting ever smaller and sketchier.... I don't have a clear grasp of South African history and the exhibition made me want to know more, to put it all into context. Kruger, Smuts, the Boer War ... so much that was so far away from where I went to school; we learned nothing about it. There were nine Xhosa frontier wars, for heaven's sake.

What sticks in my mind is the leather sandals made by Ghandi while imprisoned, and given to General Smuts on being set free; in 1939, as Ghandi celebrated his 70th birthday, Smuts wrote to him that he'd worn the sandals during many summers, and felt humble to be wearing the shoes of such a great man ... or something like that. 

Also, the ballot paper for the first election - I counted 19 parties, and for each the picture of the party's logo, and photo of the candidate. But even so, quite intimidating! People were so proud to be voting....
Partial 1994 election ballot (via)
There was old art and new art - a pebble collected by an Australopithicene, 3 million years ago, because it had accidental markings that made it resemble a human face; it was not a type of rock found in the neighbourhood. Think of that, 3 million years ago... the Makapansgat pebble -
The Makapansgat pebble - an example of early curiosity (via)
New art - lots of it, it swirls in my head and nothing singular appears. Ah, Karel Nel's work - the two ochre squares, red ochre and white ochre -
And conceptual artist Willem Boshoff's Bad Faith Chronicles (explained here) - 11 panels, each with a bible in one of South Africa's official languages -
Detail from Bad Faith Chronicles

by Margaret Cooter ( at December 03, 2016 09:58 AM

December 02, 2016

Olga Norris

Cold gold

Up towards the pavilion
Turning round to see the gallery building with the lovely Bruton dovecote on the horizon (reminding me of Scotland)
Once again our visit to Durslade FarmHauser and Wirth Somerset was in a winter-ish month.  And this week we were favoured with frost, ice, and glorious sunshine, so that the landscape and the garden were beautiful. 
I listed three pleasures in the previous post: the drive to Somerset, our brunch, and the exhibition of Louise Bourgeois prints.  The fourth pleasure was the garden at the back of the galleries.
The combination of frost in the shade, and sparkling gold in the intense sun was magical.
I am intrigued to find out what the plant which reminded me of cotton (above) really is.
I did not see any birds eating those seeds, but otherwise much feasting could be heard all around, the little birds only seen as they flitted through the seedheads.
It was lovely to find some silver amongst the gold.
The Christmas lights were being installed on the roof when we arrived, but I much preferred a small sign in the courtyard.

by Olga Norris ( at December 02, 2016 11:37 AM

Margaret Cooter

"Shoppers in Stuttgart are bathed in autumnal sunshine"

photo by Christoph Schmidt
Loved this photo in the Guardian's "eyewitness" section this week. And such a lyrical caption.

by Margaret Cooter ( at December 02, 2016 09:40 AM

Neki Rivera

harris,what else?

all about simple beauty.
have a great weekend

neki desu
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by (neki desu) at December 02, 2016 09:00 AM

December 01, 2016

Gerrie Congdon

A Month of Remembering – On the Table


I am participating in Susannah Conway’s December Reflections. I will blog a photo every day (hopefully). Today’s prompt is On The Table. I love this photo of our family Thanksgiving in 2015.The whole family was here and you can see that we were doing what we love to do – eating good food together. Feeling blessed to have this family.


by Gerrie at December 01, 2016 09:03 PM

Dijanne Cevaal

Time? Where does it go?

Last weekend we had an exhibition at the house of a friend of mine in Gembrook. So it was busy preparing everything and then it was over. Old friends dropped in, new friends were made and there were even some sales.

My Aussie Bush Panels will now also be available form the Sewing Connection in Pakenham. The Project will be shown at the Quilt and Craft Fairs around Australia and New Zealand, and I am negotiating for a venue in France for 2018. The exhibition will start it's touring life in May 2017. If  you are interested in joining the project- just  take a look at the Aussie Bush project page on my blog. Colours have started to dwindle a bit so I will be dyeing and printing a whole new batch in the  not too distant future. The fern below is from the project. it is all machine stitched  with Aurifil threads.

And then immediately outside of the window where I am staying at the moment  are the actual fern fronds that inspired the linocut.I must admit the "bush" linocuts have been inspired by the things I find in the Otways and down at my block. I really have started looking at the block differently since seeing the John Wolseley exhibition last year and I can start dreaming again about how the Otways can inspire my work. And there is some excitement too- some solar panels are going in next week to provide me with power for a bit of light and power for my laptop/phone. I will be adding to it when I can in order to be able to run my sewing machine as well. Plus I have to install a water tank somehow. I think I need to do a handyman course!

I will definitely be running my on-line linocutting course starting  at the end of the first week in January 2017. Just look at my last post for details- there is also a Paypal button for easy payment. The course  is pretty much work at your own pace and I tend to keep the FB page open after the  course has been delivered for discussion- as you can work at your own pace .

And I have been busy parcelling up all the Medieval Project so that the pieces can be back with their makers well before Christmas. There are still a few to send out- but the bulk of them have been sent out yesterday and today. Thank you so much for entrusting me with your work! They have seen a bit of France, quite a lot of Australia and the North Island of New Zealand- so they are well travelled!

by Dijanne Cevaal ( at December 01, 2016 04:21 PM

Neki Rivera

two more and it's done

making the warp chains for lampas 1:2 ratio. still sampling,but if i can get a series out of it better.
not only do i dislike sampling, but also i dislike ending with all those loose bits.
the central part is cotton hemp, two cotton  to one hemp. hope this does not present tension problems.
on the mundane side, ordered the nougat for xmas from the barcelona shop i always buy from.
took just a day and a half to get to my hands!

neki desu
Creative Commons License

by (neki desu) at December 01, 2016 09:00 AM

Margaret Cooter

Poetry Thursday - from Psalm 107, King James Version

JMW Turner, Ship in a Storm (via)

Psalm 107:23-31

23 They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters;
24 These see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep.
25 For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof.
26 They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble.
27 They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wit's end.
28 Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses.
29 He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.
30 Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven.
31 Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!

"We who go down to the sea in ships" suddenly popped into my head in relation to the eye trouble last week. Having ready access to a specialist hospital is the secular version of "putting your trust in the Lord" - and having faith in the knowledge and skills of the staff. 

It was such a pleasure to look for and choose an image for this post. I had this one in mind (it's in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford) - the guy in the sky is St Nicholas, he of the many miracles -
Medieval art has many ships, and storms (and other delightful diversions). But when it comes to ships and storms, Turner wins, hands down.

by Margaret Cooter ( at December 01, 2016 08:18 AM

November 30, 2016

Olga Norris

Outing to an exhibition

Louise Bourgeois: Love and Kisses 2007 etching on paper 153x91.8cm
This morning was one of those glorious Autumn mornings: crisp frostiness with a sunny blue sky.  Below zero Celsius marked in the car, we set off south west towards Hauser and Wirth's gallery in Somerset to see an exhibition of Louise Bourgeois' works on paper: Turning Inwards.
It was early enough to be driving with hardly any traffic, enjoying as we have in years past the Wiltshire countryside in its crisp glory.  Some trees still holding onto russet leaves, others laden with berries, and crab apples shining in mythic gold - the drive there was pleasure number one.
On arrival we went first to have brunch - pleasure number two.
Then on to the exhibition, mostly of prints.  I was taken with so many aspects.  I am not a fan of all of Bourgeois' work.  My favourite of all are the cells which draw me viscerally.  These prints, however, I could have stayed with all day long.  They are shape and not colour, but shade, tone, strength of line, scumble, scratch, ... both deliberate and seeming accidental marks combine to make a mesmerising whole in each case. 
I love the size: the long slim format, sometimes doubled horizontally - sometimes with two sheets together, or even if whole.  The image at the top, Love and Kisses, shows two sheets side by side.  The bulbous interlocking forms as well as the long ribbons on this work are made up of short marks rather than long sweeps.  The pressure can be seen on each mark, somehow even more powerful than the full sweep of line shaping wholes on other works.  It is all so rewarding to examine closely.
We were lucky to have hardly any fellow viewers in the galleries, so could take time to peer closely and enjoy.  I found these images rewarding and inspirational.
The exhibition also included other work - a spider in the barn with the slits of light illuminating its twisting facets and casting fabulous shadows.  Other works on paper, and a delightful small bronze Topiary (below) which reminded me of votive Egyptian sculptures.
We were disappointed to find that we could not visit Alex Van Gelder's photographs of Bourgeois as there was a school group working in the building where they are displayed, but other than that it was a wondrous exhibition.

by Olga Norris ( at November 30, 2016 10:08 PM

Neki Rivera

and now decor

taking shape. don't want to go into gardening mode until the carpenter brings the uprights and i can set up the dobby loom.sigh.

some of my prized possessions are already up.
need more wall space!

 warping board up. you don't want to know the rig i used for the first warp  ಠ ಠ

neki desu
Creative Commons License

by (neki desu) at November 30, 2016 09:00 AM

Margaret Cooter

Is it time to break an old habit?

The sewing machine has been out on the table for a couple of weeks now, and I've used it to start some journal quilts. Having the laptop on the ironing board is working well -
During that time, papers seem to have built up into a few heaps. It's getting out of control.

Solution: simply consolidate the heaps -
 ... and deal with it "tomorrow".

Which dawned sunny and energising. I started sorting the papers -
Only to find there are still four heaps - how does that happen?!

Since doing the foundation art course (2009-10!) I've been saving all the explanatory bits of paper collected at exhibitions. Often they are useful in writing a blog post about the show ... but really, they serve no purpose beyond that. Why would I look at them again, unless to sort through and throw out?

Throwing them out can't be done wholesale. I'm in the habit of recording things, and have become lazy in not writing in my notebook, and not blogging every show I've seen. Some of these need to be pinned down. (Or ... do they ...)

Does it matter? Does all one's history need to be retrievable? something to ponder... At the moment it seems better to say less about more, eg one image and a link per exhibition, "for the record" - some, let's face it, are amusing for a moment but leave no other trace. Others, you tell yourself you'll visit them again and have a closer look and deeper think ... but you never do, somehow.

Lack of focus? Trying to do too much? Losing my way? Not sure ...

I love a clear desk and will be tackling those papers again today. Perhaps by sweeping them all into the bin, after all. Because I'd like to get the sewing machine back onto the table - this has caught my eye, or rather I've suddenly looked at it afresh ... it's been sitting right there beside the screen all the while -
Is this the final JQ for 2016? It's nearly the right size, just needs a nice border to get to 8"x10". It has orange and green bits, and can easily acquire purple. It's almost ready to go.

It's time to clear off not just the table, but that design board. If not now, when?

by Margaret Cooter ( at November 30, 2016 08:13 AM

November 29, 2016

Margaret Cooter

Drawing Tuesday - Natural History Museum

The Blue Zone at the Natural History Museum includes this gallery of mammals, especially whales -
It could certainly do with a good dusting! Just look at that grey layer on the head of the sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus). What makes the big head on this whale are the containers; the case holds spermaceti, which hardens to wax when cold, and below it is "a tissue-filled chamber that also contains high grade spermaceti oil.  The tissue and oil in this chamber are collectively called junk, but that name is unfortunate because of the high quality of oil that is rendered from the contents of the chamber" (via). For the whale, what does spermaceti do? - scientists still don't know; maybe it alters buoyancy. (A sperm whale eats, literally, a ton of food a day - 907kg of fish and squid.)

"Sperm whales were mainstays of whaling's 18th and 19th century heyday. A mythical albino sperm whale was immortalized in Herman Melville's Moby Dick, though Ahab's nemesis was apparently based on a real animal whalers called Mocha Dick. The animals were targeted for oil and ambergris, a substance that forms around squid beaks in a whale's stomach. Ambergris was (and remains) a very valuable substance once used in perfumes." (via)

But I digress; back to drawing. First, swimming with dolphins -
Then, skeleton of the right whale -
The North Atlantic right whales are very rare, only about 450 left in the whole world. Their big mouths are filled with plates of baleen, up to 8 feet long, which act as filters. The whale lifts its tongue, opens its mouth, fills it with water, closes its mouth, drops its tongue, and expels the water through the baleen, leaving the plankton and krill behind. Scientists don't know how the whale swallows. During breeding season they eat over a ton a day - 2600 pounds.

I didn't know that when drawing -
Didn't quite manage to get the entire whale on the page ... but Janet K showed how to overcome the page-size limitation with her grey whale (another endangered species) -
and Carol tackled the grey whale too -
Joyce, Sue and Mags drew a huge coral (thanks to Najlaa for the photo) -



Mags writes about hers here

 Finally, elsewhere in the museum, Najlaa found a Red Powder Puff by the Bauer Brothers -
Afterwards I wandered around the museum and had some "close encounters of the bird kind" -
and noticed that only one of the old-style display cases was left in the Birds gallery; is it, too, doomed? -

by Margaret Cooter ( at November 29, 2016 08:06 PM

Terry Grant

Late Fall

You know I walk most days near a wetland area. And you know I take a lot of photos. I love the fall. I love the cooler temperatures and the changing colors and even the rain. In late November everything softens. The colors are more muted, the sky goes smeary and wet and the edges lose their crispness. We walk in all the weather, until the rain begins to soak in or the wind beats us up and then we retreat to our coffee and hang our wet jackets on the backs of our chairs and watch the storm through steamy windows. Summer seems long gone.

I am spending time in the studio, and watching the creek rise and fall. It gets dark early and I use little flashlight when I make my way back to the house.

I found the Prisma app for my iPad and marvel at what it finds in my photos, like the one I took of the egret.

Or this photo of red berries, that certainly don't have to stay red.

It's a little humbling to see how a smart machine can interpret my images in ways I sometimes hope to achieve by my own efforts. I'm not sure what to make of that...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

by Terry Grant ( at November 29, 2016 11:35 AM

Neki Rivera

last from this warp

lots of warp painting and gold thread.
what i learned:
i used the same grist for both background and tie down thread  along with a heavy and a fine weft to test what happens.the sleying was on the tight side, 20excm with a 20/2 yarn
the pattern  weaves  diffused. ok depending what you want. it works well if i am going to paint large areas of the warp, not so much if painting small or detailed patterns. in other words i don't think pattern on pattern with this set up  does not work.
i also learned that if i am away from the looms for long i get cranky.VERY.

neki desu
Creative Commons License

by (neki desu) at November 29, 2016 09:00 AM

November 28, 2016

Sarah Ann Smith

Sweet Sixteen for sale–warranty transfers!

Give yourself a gift this year!  Buy a nearly-new Sweet 16 sit-down machine at a bargain price (because I upgraded).  The price is a great discount and (I checked with Handiquilter) the remainder of the warranty (through August 2020) transfers to the new owner.

HQ Sweet Sixteen for Sale (Sept 2016), just under one year old, mint condition

HQ Sweet Sixteen for Sale (Sept 2016), just under one year old, mint condition.  Cat not included. This is the most recent version of the Sweet 16 and has the thread tension information (so it’s not a guessing game).  Does not have a stitch regulator, but it can easily be added (consult with your local Handiquilter dealer). Contact Sarah here,

About a year ago I took delivery of a wonderful machine:  the HQ Sweet 16 sit-down quilting machine.  It has both regular and ruler feet, all the regular parts.  In outstanding working order, well maintained, clean.  I’ve got all the original packing materials for transporting it to you.   I’m also including 14 M-class bobbins (empty) and a bunch of appropriate machine needles.  I will say the HQ dealer and tech support is OUTSTANDING.  I’ve decided to upgrade, and need to sell this one to make way for the next beastie.  MSRP is $5,599. For sale for $3750 plus shipping.  If you live within a 4 1/2 to 5  hour drive of Camden, Maine, I’ll deliver to your driveway free of charge!

Contact Sarah at the Contact Me page or comment on this post.  You can also find more information about this beauty on the Handiquilter site here and here.

Straight on view of HQ Sweet Sixteen for sale. Use the contact me page at for more info.

Straight on view of HQ Sweet Sixteen for sale. Leave a comment or use the contact me page at if you are seriously interested and have questions.  More pictures at end of blogpost.

Here are three quilts I have quilted on this beauty, so you can see the quality of the stitching:

Umbelliferous: Queen Anne's Lace No. 1, quilted on the Sweet Sixteen sit-down machine for sale.

Umbelliferous: Queen Anne’s Lace No. 1, quilted on the Sweet Sixteen sit-down machine for sale.

Detail showing quality of stitching, Umbelliferous: Queen Anne's Lace No. 1, (c) Sarah Ann

Detail showing quality of stitching, Umbelliferous: Queen Anne’s Lace No. 1, (c) Sarah Ann

My most recent project, Peony, done on the Sweet 16. ©

Milkweed No. 1, © Quilted on the Sweet 16 that is for sale.

Milkweed No. 1, © Quilted on the Sweet 16 that is for sale.

My most recent

My most recent work, Peony, quilted on the Sweet 16.  ©

Working on the lighter petals on the big peony quilt. It will finish about 45x55 I think.....depends on how much I trim off and/or turn to the back.

Working on the lighter petals on the big peony quilt. It will finish about 45×55 I think…..depends on how much I trim off and/or turn to the back.

Side view

Side view.

HQ Sweet Sixteen, less than a year old, for sale! Contact Sarah at the Contact Me page or comment on this post.

by Sarah Ann Smith at November 28, 2016 02:33 PM

Margaret Cooter

Two towers

Last week I had a chance of going to the top of the Gherkin, and it would have been silly to turn it down. the event was a private view of an exhibition of art from Cuba, a fundraiser for the Music Fund for Cuba, which is also supplying art materials to artist students there. 

From the 36th floor, London is a-twinkle with lights -

The Cheesgrater
Tower Bridge!

This week, having seen and taken a chance to book tickets (in May!) to go up the Post Office Tower, I went, with son, to spend 45 minutes looking at the view. The charity involved was RedR, "people and skills for disaster relief".

The weather was brilliant and we arrived early for our 1pm "flight". Cupcakes were to be served -
 Champagne goes quite well with cupcakes, in the right setting -
Splendid views, in the brilliant sunshine -
 The Shard in the background, the British Museum nearer to hand -
Looking northwest, past Regent's Park -
And you try to get "unusual" photos -

Suddenly, the un-hoped-for happened and the viewing area started revolving - that really was the icing on the cake -
On the way out everyone got a certificate of achievement! -
The charity raised over £40,000 with ticket sales and raffle.

by Margaret Cooter ( at November 28, 2016 11:47 AM

Recent exhibitions

Stumbled on Maria Nepomuceno at Victoria Miro in town - floor and wall based sculptural works incorporating clay vessels and straw braid weaving. The artist is Brazilian. It's on till 7 January (and the way the gallery's door opens is ... interesting ...) -

Really exciting - the colour, the shapes, the materials all working together - we stood in the middle of the room and whipped out our sketchbooks! In all the other exhibitions visited, I took no photos, reckoning they're likely to be on the gallery's website, or elsewhere online.

Abstract Expressionism at the RA - rather a lot of it, and not my favourite art movement ever. The "Violent Mark" room was great, Franz Kline and Robert Motherwell, and some artists new to me, Jack Tworkov and Conrad Marca-Relli (known for collage). Two huge Sam Francis paintings in another room caught my eye - well, they dominated the wall space, and were vivid orange and blue! Revelation of the day was David Smith's early sculptures, before all the 3D boys had to use big sheets of thick metal to be taken seriously.
Franz Kline, Vawdavitch, 1955

Robert Motherwell, Wall Painting No.III, 1953

Conrad Marco-Relli, The Passage (L-L-12-61), 1961
David Smith, Blackburn, Song of an Irish Blacksmith, 1949-50

Not sure if this one was in the show -
Hudson River Landscape, 1951
Richard Serra's drawings at Gagosian Davies Street, till Dec 17th (his sculptures are at the bigger space near King's Cross, till Feb 25th). The use of etching ink gives them a low-level rugged texture.

Ed Rusha's paintings at Gagosian Grosvenor Hill (till 17 Dec) are about form and size - the form of a word is fixed, but its scale is not - but this doesn't hold when words are arranged in a system, when they observe a scale in which the size of the word-as-image corresponds imperfectly to the size of the word-as-concept.
The camera came out again for the fun paintings by Holly Frean at Paul Smith's shop on Albermarle Street -
Sheep, dogs, baboons - go to her website for more images of her work

A detail

by Margaret Cooter ( at November 28, 2016 10:26 AM

Natalya Aikens

jump with me!

I'm excited to announce that I'll be participating once again as an artist in Creative JumpStart (CJS) 2017, run for the 6th time by Nathalie Kalbach. If you're not familiar with CJS, it's a one-of-a-kind online event to kick your creativity into high gear in January 2017. 

Learn techniques, discover new materials, and connect with other artists and crafters. 

Throughout January participants get access to 27 downloadable videos from 27 featured artists. I'm proud to be one of those artists, called “JumpStarters.” 

Head on over to Nathalie's site to sign up and for more details.

You get 27 videos for just $40 (USD) if you sign up before November 30th, 11:59 pm (EST), 2016. Afterwards it will be $45 until December 31st, 2016 before it goes to its normal sale price of $50. 

So what are you waiting for? Sign up here! 
PS Here's tiny teaser of my project...shhhh....

p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Arial; -webkit-text-stroke: #000000} p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; -webkit-text-stroke: #000000} p.p3 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 13.0px Arial; -webkit-text-stroke: #000000} span.s1 {font-kerning: none} span.s2 {font: 10.0px Arial; font-kerning: none} span.s3 {font-kerning: none; background-color: #fffb01} span.s4 {font: 12.0px Arial; font-kerning: none} span.s5 {font-kerning: none; color: #424242; -webkit-text-stroke: 0px #424242}

by Natalya Aikens ( at November 28, 2016 10:00 AM

November 27, 2016

Gerrie Congdon

A Good Thing


Some of my longtime readers know that I have two brilliant and talented daughters. Stephanie, who is mom to Mia and Miles, and her online partner, Maria, have written another book. This is the best one yet. A Year Between Friends is chock full of goodness. Yes, I am a biased Mom, but it is reall wonderful. It has crafts and recipes plus inspirational commentary via stories and letters that they have written to each other.

They are also both great photographers and their original claim to fame was the photo diptychs that they posted every day. The book has lots of beautiful full color photos, all done on film, not digital. (Click on photo for larger version.)



They are both really good cooks. They share many of their favorite recipes.


There are lots of doable crafts with great directions and photos. The yellow napkin above is a waxed napkin for wrapping brown bag items and is reusable. Directions are in the book. Steph is well known for her gorgeous wool and silk pine cones. She finally shares the directions.


There are natural dye instructions.


This would be a beautiful holiday gift for someone. You can order it HERE.

by Gerrie at November 27, 2016 11:55 PM

Natalya Aikens

city love affair again

This one took a while.... too many distractions.. too many new experiments... but I still loved it, so I finally finished it.

Presenting City Love Affair 4. My grandmothers vintage linen towel, a lot of vintage lace from oh so many sources, a TAP transfer, machine stitching and hand stitching. A portrait of a beautiful building belonging to a school I never went to, but might have if I had stayed in Russia.

sky and roof

not so little round window


details details
City Love Affair 4 © Natalya Aikens 2016
So different from the rest of the work I am doing right now, but yet such a part of me still.

by Natalya Aikens ( at November 27, 2016 08:41 AM

November 26, 2016

Margaret Cooter

Hospital art

While sitting in Moorfields Eye Hospital's 24-hour A&E, I spotted some art on the wall -
No information about whose work it might be, and it does look rather dull on that institutionally bare wall. There was a companion piece on another wall (try to ignore the reflections) -
I liked the wavy lines making different kinds of nets - or looking like an electromagnetic force field.

A day later, I'm in the vitreoretineal clinic, finding the pleasant surprise of prints by Albert Irvin (again, please overlook the reflections) -
black on black

Concordia II, 1997
Although there is a platemark (as with an etching plate), the marks go outside the embossed area; the flat areas of colour are the primary clue that these are screenprints, a surmise confirmed by a little research: he "had a short-lived foray into lithography in 1975. He then began a screenprinting career in 1980 with Advanced Graphics London. The collaborative approach of screenprinting, although a new and very different outlet from painting, still allowed Irvin to display many of his characteristic traits as an artist."

Art on the walls give something to think about while fretting about possible nasty outcomes. Fortunately for me, all the fretting turned out to have been wasted energy - thank goodness!

And thank goodness for the NHS and wonderful facilities like Moorfields.

by Margaret Cooter ( at November 26, 2016 10:34 PM

November 25, 2016

Neki Rivera

yamamoto speaks

have a great weekend.

neki desu
Creative Commons License

by (neki desu) at November 25, 2016 09:00 AM