Thursday, November 25, 2010

Knitting And Stitching Show 2010 Part One

Finally I am back to blogging. I must first thank everyone who has left comforting words and kind messages about our family's recent loss. Many of you will have guessed that it was my father who passed away. He had become very sick over the final months and was suffering greatly. Mingled with our sense of loss is relief that that suffering is now over and he is at peace. He is hugely missed and has left an enormous hole in our family which is felt very keenly. He was 93 years old. He always wanted to see my latest artwork even though he could barely focus due to macular degeneration. When I am drawing now I often pause and wonder if he is looking over my shoulder. I hope he is and I hope he likes what he sees.

Christmas is fast approaching but I started the 2010 Christmas card design early which is just as well as I ended up doing two. The first one was the sheep drawing below which was rejected in favour of the graphic black hares. Pity as I thought the sheep were really cute. They are for my eldest brother's business Christmas cards which you may remember I do every year. The black hare design is a reworking of an original roundel which I did many years ago but the corn has been replaced by winter umbellifers and snow. Much more seasonal. Which do you prefer?



Well, the sketchbook time is passing quickly and I have a lot more pages to fill in before the sending off date. I had to completely deconstruct the book as the cahier paper was totally unsuitable even for my finest ink nib and as for paint... I rebound it with good quality, thick sketch paper and boy was the resewing fun! However, because I knew I would have difficulty filling so many of the original pages I decided to reduce them by about half. Also being better quality paper the book is probably thicker than the original anyway. I have also cheated a teeny weeny bit by using a lot of two page spreads. Below are two of the first drawings I did. My theme is "if you lived here" and I have interpreted it quite loosley in many cases. What do you think so far?



I fell in love with these wonderful coconut shell buttons at the K&SS this year. They are perfect for crafty projects and can be bought online from The Textile Garden here.



I found some delightful cows to act as models in October.

"Oh I wondered what was digging into me"

"Mmmm...yum - nice hard, dry, crispy twigs to eat"

"Mmm...it tastes even better with the leaves and berries on".


The fabulous Knitting And Stitching Show took place at Alexandra Palace in October. It was as wonderful as always and extremely well attended. I was there for 6 hours and still failed to see everything. I bought a couple of excellent books which I will tell you about in another post. A largish proportion of my time there is spent perusing the extensive book stands where you can leaf through all the latest offerings from the art and craft community. Oh if only I had the money and the space to store them...


Two lovely wall pieces which caught my eye were Jennifer Willis's Looking For The East below


and Elizabeth Brimelow's Machine Stitch Perspectives - a beautiful piece of textile work.


There were lots of well-known brand names exhibiting at the show.


Rowan's gorgeous fabric display was a big draw as always.


I really liked the explosion of colour that was Nel Whatmore's stand. Nel is a very well-known and popular artist and designer from North Yorkshire and has a finger in many creative and artistic pies. You can find more about her beautiful work on her website here and she also has a very colourful blog which you can access from her website.



I was very impressed with the standard of work by the Wessex Textile Artists at the show. Their room was delightfully arranged and very popular with the visitors. Here are three members to illustrate the standard but all the work displayed was fabulous. You can find the Wessex website here and if you click on members details you can see the individual artists.

Brenda Weeks's work was wonderfully vibrant and colourful. Her embroideries reminded me of exquisitely detailed Indian watercolours. She has a lovely website here with lots more images.



Ruby Lever's lovely embroidery hangings were mouthwatering and looked wonderful all displayed in a row. The colours were very subtle and understated and the stitching exquisite.



Aren't these just the most gorgeous embroideries? They are the very talented Maggie Hills Alotment Chickens and were very popular in the Wessex Textile Artists stand.



I have more photos from the show so I will post about it again next week.

46 comments:

~ Phyllis ~ said...

Dear Cathy,
I am so sorry for the loss of your Father. I had suspected that your Father had passed away. I know that this is a very difficult time for you. I hope that you can find comfort in knowing that he is no longer in pain.
You have been in my thoughts and prayers.
Hugs,
Phyllis

Dolores said...

My deepest condolences on the loss of your father.

Thank you for these. I love going to shows through someone else's eyes. Love the new header - even though there aren't any geese.

Penny said...

I am so glad you are back, I love your snippets of this and that. I lost my mother in September too, she was almost 98 and I do miss her, She always wanted to know what I was doing and sometimes I find it hard to remember that I cant go to see her.
I love both your cards, the rather ethereal quality of the sheep and the starkness of those wonderful hares. we have a few here but I have just done a large journey half way across Australia and we saw many many hares on our travels.

Jennifer Tetlow said...

I prefer the Winter Hares, though both are beautiful.

Chrissie said...

I'm sure your father will be approving and proud as he watches over you. I love the umbellifers with the black hares, but the sheep are very arresting too! Thank you for the photos of the KSS, which I sadly failed to get to this year.
take care x

Gillian said...

Hi Cathy - its great to see you back blogging. I love both your Christmas card designs - The sheep is especially sweet though. G

Cathy said...

Hi Phyllis, thanks very much. I know that you know exactly how things are after losing your mum recently. I feel quite happy to know that he is in a better place.

Cathy said...

Thanks very much Dolores. Do you recognise the style of the new header. I drew similar in a different colourway some time ago. A bit of blogger recycling..lol.

Cathy said...

Hello Penny, commiserations with you on the loss of your mum. She was an even greater age than my dad. I bet you have wonderful memories of her too though and you will always treasure them, just as I will of my dad.

Lucky you spotting hares on your journey. I can count on my fingers the number of live hares I have seen over my lifetime. I am very glad to be back to blogging. I have missed everyone.

Cathy said...

Thanks Jennifer. I loved doing that one as I really like graphic black and white work. A cheats linocut really...lol.

Cathy said...

Hi Chrissie. What a shame you didn't get to the show although to be quite honest I barely got there myself. I would have hated to have missed it though as I look forward to it all year. I have some more photos to share next week.

Cathy said...

Thanks Gillian. I am really glad to be back. I was away for two months in all. Will be around to catch up soon. Having new carpets laid for two days so the computer will be turned off till then.

sea-blue-sky & abstracts said...

Welcome back Cathy. Beautiful cards - the black hares card win, but the sheep are lovely too!

Glad that you are comforted by the thought of your dear, departed Dad looking over your shoulder while you work.

Like the coconut shell buttons a lot - I have two treasured different size coconut shell serving spoons, used at every opportunity. Have a good week. Lesley x

bunnits said...

So sorry to hear of your father's passing. Will keep the family in my prayers.

It is difficult to choose between the hares and the sheep, because I am a spinner and have pet rabbits! I really like them both.

Glad to have you back.

Cathy said...

Thanks Lesley. It is lovely to be back to blogging again. I have really missed it.

Cathy said...

Thanks Melissa. I see why you would like the hares and the sheep...lol.

ale balanzario said...

Hi Cathy, its good you have you back here, hope everything is ok and better.
Love both of your Christmas cards, like a little bit more the sheeps.
Thanks for sharing with all of us again your beautiful posts.
Ale

tammykingdon said...

So sorry for your loss, Cathy, it's always terrible to lose a parent even when it means their suffering is over. On a selfish note, it's good to have you back with your tempting 'collections'. That sheep picture is just exquisite and has the edge over the hares for me. It's a blessing we all have different favourites isn't it?

Crafty Green Poet said...

So sorry to hear about your Dad. Great to see you back and with so many gorgeous things to share. Your hares are delightful and so many beautiful embroideries etc.

andamento said...

Dear Cathy, so nice to be able to read new posts from you again, always a treat.
A difficult choice but I think I prefer the sheep design, though I do like the umbellifers in the hare card.
Sorry to hear about your Dad.
Anne.

Cathy said...

Thanks very much Ale. Nice to know that I was missed. I am very fond of those sheep too. The background is all cross hatched and took forever..lol.

Cathy said...

Hi Tammy, yes I would definitely agree with that statement. Different opinions on things including art make the world go round I think.

Cathy said...

Thanks Juliet. They are all from the one show and I could post about it for weeks but I will keep it just to the two posts I think.

Cathy said...

Thanks very much Anne. I think the sheep have edged in today in the popularity stakes. Glad to be back to posting again. I have missed it during my absence.

Omi said...

Lovely to see you back Cathy. I was so sorry to read of your loss and now I know who you lost and how dear he was to you I just want to wrap my arms around you. I love both your Christmas cards, not sure I can choose between them, you are very talented.

Hugs xxx

Caroline Gill said...

Thank you, Cathy, for paying a trip over to my Coastcard blog.

May I add my sincere condolences, too, on the loss of your father. Your artwork brings so much pleasure to so many of us - to those closest to you but also to those of us on the fringes.

Speaking of fringes, I gather much of your area is snowed in. It's bitter here in Wales, but warmer than last night as the gas man came this morning and restored heat to our radiators after a chilly 36 hours ...

Sheep or hares ... I find it totally impossible to choose between these compelling designs, Cathy. All I know is that I am extremely drawn to both of them.

Butterfly Works said...

I an so sorry about your Dad but I do think he's watching over you and is proud of your work....

I love both the cards; it would be hard to choose...

Love all the textiles you showed.....eye candy......

Hugs

deb said...

Hi Cathy, so lovely to have you back. Very sorry to hear about your Dad. Mine was only 63 when he died. An interesting post as usual. Personally, I love the sheep card (such gorgeous faces), and the pages from your sketchbook are such fun! Thank you for visiting my blog too. I have my camera back but am having trouble downloading photos - very frustrating!

Caroline said...

Hello Cathy, it's really good to have you back again. I'm sure you are still missing your Dad a lot but it will be comforting to think about him watching over you as you work. I do like both of your cards - the hares make a striking image - I'll go with them! I remember when I lived in Somerset, one of our cats used to watch the hares in the field next to us - too big for him, fortunately (he made do with rabbits!). Nice that you got to the show - those buttons are lovely - coconuts are incredibly useful - lots of handmade itmes fashioned from coconut to buy here!
Aren't those chickens wonderful? Thanks so much for sharing your trip!

Old World Primitives said...

Hi Cathy,
You have my deepest sympathies for the loss of your father. I dread the day that I, too, will go through such a loss. I am so glad that you are feeling better enough to get back to blogging again.

I really like both of your card designs, but I do prefer the black hares. I love your "if you lived here" drawings too! They are really creative and fun.

And now I am off to get lost in your mini-gallery of wonderful photos (I especially love the cows!) and art work by others that I always enjoy you sharing with us.

Hugs,
Stephanie

Possibilities, Etc. said...

I like the sheep - they seem to have more personality and feeling in their simplicity.

Cathy said...

Thanks very much Omi. Cyber hugs are very good too, and very welcome. I hope everything is good with you and yours.

Cathy said...

Thanks for your very kind comments Caroline, about dad and my cards. I had great fun drawing them both and I am glad everyone seems to like them. As for snow...brrrr...it is extremely cold because we have the added north wind to contend with. Usually the south-east gets away quite well but not this time.

Cathy said...

Thanks very much for that Nancy. I am glad that you have enjoyed the images I have chosen this past week. So many lovely things to drool over in the art and craft world.

Cathy said...

Hi Deb. Sorry to hear about your downloading problems. It seems to me that with computers and accessory things that once one problem is sorted out something else occurs to take its place. I hope you get yours sorted soon. I would be completely lost without my camera.

Cathy said...

Hi Caroline. Glad you like the show pictures. I have another set to upload this week. Lucky you to have lived near hares. That would be a dream home for me. A long range lens and lots of hares to photograph. What could be better? I am definitely going to do something with those buttons. I love them to bits.

Cathy said...

That is very kind of you Stephanie. For years I have dreaded the loss of either parent but when it actually happened it was the right time for him. He was more than ready to go, but it doesn't stop us missing him hugely. We will especially feel it this Christmas I think. The sketchbook project is amazing but quite tricky to think up new designs to fit the brief.

Cathy said...

Thanks very much Judy. I really love sheep and could draw them all the time. They are all different in their "sameness".

Chatters said...

Hi Cathy

I am so sorry about your Dad. I have not lost a parent but have lost my grandparents, I was very close to my Nana.

I am very glad you are back, I have missed reading your lovely posts and seeing you around blog land. I love your artworks of your Seasonal sheep and Hares. Both absolutely gorgeous. The Hares are really stunning but I think the sheep is my favourite of the pair. The textiles exhibition looks lovely. Liked the cow photos(-:

Lovely to see you

Cathy said...

Hi Amanda, thanks for that. I am really glad to be back to blogging again. I have missed everyone. I am pleased you enjoyed the artwork. I have another post now about the Knitting and Stitching Show. It wouldn't all fit into one post..lol.

Ellen Shipley said...

Hi Cathy,

I am a sheep person, but I must say the hares are striking. I love how you'd done them against the gray background! Wonderful.

ArtPropelled said...

So glad you are back Cathy! Hope your art helps you to move forward one day at a time. I am totally in love with the sheep. No contest!At first i thought they were embroidered.

Cathy said...

Thank you Ellen. I am a sheep and a hare person so I wouldn't like to choose which I prefer...lol.

Cathy said...

Hi Robyn. Art is a great healer as we all know and I must say I have been producing quite a lot more work lately than I usually do. I am pleased you like the sheep. There is something about sheep that always looks right whether it is on paper or fabric or ceramic or whatever.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to waken an older thread, but I found these images (the sheep and hare cards) on a google image search, and I would really love to order some for this year. Could you please tell me if they are available, and where?

Many thanks!

Beth

soldate60@gmail.com

Cathy said...

Thanks Beth. I have replied to you privately.