Am still working on this piece. It includes print on fabric, spun and dyed wool, machine and hand stitching. It's taking quite a while, but I'm hoping I can get it completed and to the framers in time for the 'Woolgathering' exhibition next month at Westgate Studios.
This is one of the bird boxes that Jon and I made a couple of years ago. One is hanging outside the living room window, and can be seen from the sofa in the sitting room, and was inhabited this spring; another is attached to a tree in the front garden; and this one has yet to find a home! Now that autumn's here, and the leaves are falling, I'm hoping to find the perfect spot for it. Somewhere I can observe it, in case it becomes a home for new bird families. Being able to watch the birds fly to and fro this spring, as they fed their chicks, was wonderful. And all from the comfort of my sofa! I didn't paint up to the entrance hole of the box, as birds sometimes peck to enlarge it, and make it more comfortable for themselves. Depending on the paint used (I used acrylics) this can poison the birds. So I decided to play it safe, and leave a gap. The birds need all the help we can give them. I've just heard on the news this week about thousands and thousands of birds drowning in the North Sea. Land birds such as robin and thrushes, somehow lost their bearings, and ended up out at sea, and were found drowned by sailors. Boats out to sea, found themselves used as perches by birds, who were exhausted, and needed to rest, before flying off again, desperate to find land. See this for photos.
Whitby Museum is a treasure-trove of fascinating objects. It's a 'proper' museum; none of this 'interactive' stuff here! Above is a photo of a woven/knitted outfit on display, taken on a visit years ago now. It seems fitting to include it here, as I'm working on a City & Guilds qualification in creative textiles. Nothing as elaborate as this, thankfully! We're creating mostly samples. It's taking up a lot of my time though, so I expect my blogging will lessen over the term/s. And of course, my socks knitting continues. Still not near to turning the heel, which is where I'll need some help. There's the upcoming exhibition to prepare for too; 'Woolgathering', at Westgate Studios, in November. So I'm kept pretty busy at the moment. I've been out tidying up some of the garden; had baked apple tonight from my apple tree. A bad harvest this year, hardly any apples; but then everywhere has had bad harvests, with the weird weather. Sitting in my home studio over the weekend, I spotted a squirrel lolloping along the fence outside. S/he did a stop-over at my birdtable, to collect anything the birds hadn't taken. Unlike some people, I don't mind squirrels on my birdtable. I don't have gangs of them. And there's plenty of berries around at the moment for birds and squirrels alike. Good harvests there then!
'One day I'll be waiting there, No empty bench in Soho Square'
Kirsty would've been 53 on 10th October, next Wednesday. And I for one will be raising a glass to celebrate her life. I was lucky to see her twice; once in St George's Hall, Bradford, where there was no trace of her famous stage-fright. And a second time at Leeds. Where after the gig, we hung around like stage door Johnnies, and managed to get taken into the dressing room, and actually meet and chat to Kirsty. Well, I say 'chat'....in fact we stood there gobsmacked, while she kindly tried to talk to us about how we thought the gig had gone, and what had the sound quality been like....She was warm, engaging, very down-to-earth, and 'normal'. Not at all 'starry' or up herself. She was lovely. And everyone who knew her, or worked with her, tell the same story. Today, friends and family and fans, have visited Soho Square, to celebrate Kirsty's life and music. There is a bench (photo above) with a plaque engraved with the lyrics from her song 'Soho Square', from the album 'Titanic Days'. Her albums/CD's have all been remastered, and re-released. So if you've not heard the beauty and wit that is a Kirsty MacColl song, or heard her sing, apart from the 'Fairytale of New York' xmas song with The Pogues, then go out and purchase any, or all of them! You have a treat in store! I don't normally try to persuade people to buy music, as it's such a personal thing. But Kirsty was wonderful, and I feel cheated that I won't get to hear any more of her songs. She created girl-group choirs out of her voice, overtracked and layered up. A one-woman 'Beach Boys' sound. We miss you Kirsty. Happy Birthday.
I've begun to knit my very first pair of socks. This is the first sock. I'm using up some old wool, as I'm expecting to make lots of mistakes. This is the rib; I'm starting the sock at the top of the rib, and working down the foot. I'm not looking forward to turning the heel; it looks pretty complicated. I think I'll be getting some assistance with that! Everyone is ribbing (!) me about how I'm a bit late to be knitting socks for Xmas presents! Ha, how right they are. Perhaps for next Xmas?
Looking out the lighthouse window to the groynes on the beach.
I love the way the colours come together at Spurn. The greens, browns, greys, blues, are a soft background that the lighthouse structure frames and focuses.
To stand in the lighthouse, was to experience the overlap of the outside world and the inside of the building. And the rust particles and peeling of paint of the lighthouse structure, emphasised my sense of dilapidation, and things being worn away. Just as the sea pounds the Spurn peninsula, wearing the pebbles to sand. Everything is shifting at Spurn, all is in motion.
My busy week, ended with a special day on Saturday. My friends Paul and Paula got married in Wakefield. It was a fantastic day, bright and sunny, and full of lurve! And they hired an old 1950's bus, on which everyone travelled to the reception, in fine style. I couldn't resist photographing the metal balls on the back of the seats!
Paul and Paula after they'd got married, outside the church.
Inside the old bus; decorated with bouquets of flowers throughout. What a way to travel!