Scrap book Jottings

August, they say is the ‘silly month’ when editors and journalists scrape around for news, ‘Man bit Dog’ can become front page news!  Schools are out, Mothers seek to entertain their children, (we used to set off on our bikes with a packed lunch, sadly not possible in many areas now)’ Grandparents plan day outings or even spend time with the family on a ‘bucket and spade’ holiday; Robert has taken two of my grandchildren to Whipsnade Zoo to day and they, fortunately, couldn’t hope for better weather.
So, with, I imagine most people being bored with Brexit and Trump I should like to share some of my thoughts with you and share the Autumn class programme.
Firstly, and after all I am a devoted and  enthusiastic stitcher – what have I been doing?
This new technique of Shadow stitching – allowing the detail of a hand-painted canvas to show through a ‘veil’ of lacy stitches – has completely intrigued me.  I have just completed 2 designs, an Elderflower and a Lilac each with two different borders; having got the bug I am now working on a deep rich colour way of the Lilac (lilac does come in such wonderful colours) and for this one I am working just corners of 4 borders, same borders different colour schemes - so people can see the finished effect.
Recently I have had two interesting mornings exploring the possibilities of making the canvas, white, brown, colours or sprayed part of the finished design.  In other words stepping back from the hand-painted designs prepared for shadow stitching (see last blog) into less complicated – and expensive – ways of getting a new and different feel to one’s needlepoint.    These talks have been popular so I plan to do another one, the 16th October;  they are free but booking is essential as space is limited, let me know if you are interested.   They will be held here in Central London.
Clothing art is always something I have been frightened off, probably as making up stiff canvas worked panels into a full garment can be tricky (I am not good with a sharp needle!) however staying with my step daughter she suggested applique canvas work panels to attach to an existing denim jacket; the garment she had in mind is a wonderful lime green and coupled with her favourite flower – the Marguerite I am very excited.   We have also been able to find a company that will make mules as well as slippers.  Will keep you up to date with progress.
I have even written a detective story – how ‘silly’ can that be?  Of course it is to do with one of my designs and a new student who came to class.   Will post it shortly.
We still have our trip to Calabria in Southern Italy to look forward to;  on this trip so many of them have been on many occasions that ‘free stitching’ is preferred.   I check with everyone that they have everything they need stitch-wise – having just run out of a thread in the US I know how maddening that can be.    We always have one trip during our stay, this time they have requested Reggio de Calabria to see the Riace Bronzes sculptures; some years ago we visited these mega pieces while they were under conservation in the laboratory.    Now we shall enjoy them in the museum and see some of this coastal town.     Mimmo who has always been my trusted guide on these trips always gives us a most interesting day and an excellent lunch!
Sound incredible early to think about our trip to Tuscany next May, however some of you have already asked about it and I believe that there will be ‘returners’, out of the group; this year we only had two new girls!
Anyway I do have details if you are interested, the dates are 28 April - 5th May 2019; let me know if interested; with only accommodation for seven – places go fast.
I have already mentioned our trip to New Hampshire to visit my step daughter and her family; we had a lovely time, relaxed, swimming and with the AC even though it was as hot as London it was most comfortable.    We had a great visit to the Glass Flower Museum, part of the Harvard Natural History complex just outside Boston;  a mind blowing collection of accurate flowers, foliage and flower parts all made between 1860 and 1920s;  each flower bud, each minute leaf or tendril made from glass looking completely life-like.
As, in the past, I do like to share with you the exhibitions and museums I have both been to and enjoyed.    This museum – including their collection of prehistoric animals (absolutely enormous no wonder they didn’t survive) is definitely on my list of recommendations should you be able to get there.
In London we recently went to the Frida Kahlo exhibitor at the V&A, largely her eccentric clothes, head pieces and jewellery; interesting, tempted me to wear long skirts or trousers if only to disguise my compression stockings! But not necessarily a mecca for embroidery.
You probably remember my account of our visit to the Herb Museum in Sansepolcro in my last blog, I think it is still top of my list of favourites.
Do you, as I try to do, keep a Travel Suggestions file, just a record of places I hear or read about that sound of interest should we be in the area? ‘Sofa seat travelling’ with a trawl on Google will give you a taste of the place and its collection with you.


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