Saturday 31 May 2008

Sewing Machine Mania

I have been making decisions again. Following my L5 spinal disc injury in January I have been trying to recover - it now looks like I will never be able to lift very much weight, so I have reluctantly decided to let all the sewing machines go. I have always liked old machines, am not a collector (although I do own a few) and have restored them and sold them on for a long time. Shown above are a Wheeler and Wilson 9 from 1896 or thereabouts, and a Singer 29k15 Boot Patcher machine on a treadle. I have some rather more practical machines too, link and prices here
I'm sorry to see them go, but I am looking at quite a long term recovery here. I go for my MRI scan on Monday, to confirm the problem.. If it means surgery I do not quite know how I will manage...

And here's the little beast that did for my back....

Friday 16 May 2008

This is Doreen...

Life Class on Wednesday night. Great fun and some nice drawings. Here she is again in a slightly more negative light..

And one more...

All charcoal and pastel on paper...

Monday 12 May 2008

All Done...

And what a week. Probably my best Spring Exhibition since the first one, and I had a good time. On Saturday I had a visitation from Hannelore, who drove 140 miles each way to see the work, and took home a small piece she has wanted for ages, my Silken Roses:- Here in whole and in part

And my mermaids, which weren't in the show, went to a good home too. And right at the end of the day, the Green Man I made to replace the one I sold on Tuesday found an admirer and went home with her.

So I am happy but exhausted, and now I have to get on with some work..

Friday 9 May 2008

Update on Physiotherapy..

Nice man. Did all the tests my other chap did, asked lots of questions. Treated me mostly as an intelligent adult, which is nice. Confirmed the diagnosis - I have a trapped nerve on the L5 disc in my spine and consequent numbness and lack of function. I went home at 12. At 1 he rings me, asks a few more questions, tells me I am to be sent for an MRI scan - probably next week.. Such efficiency!

And then I had a good afternoon, sold a big kite

and a flag. And some books and other stuff...

And had a long talk with my friend in Silverdale.

And came home and had a very nice supper.

And made a webpage for my 2008 Journal quilts Here

Ah, it's a hard life (not)


I have spent the last few years collecting, fettling, and sending-on sewing machines for a charity that supports self-reliance projects in Africa and elsewhere
Much needed work from 2 perpectives - I hate to see old machines junked, and I do like the idea that someone in some dusty African village is working for their livelihood on a treadle or hand-crank machine very like the one I use every day..

In January, I went to collect a couple of machines from a house in Suffolk. I arrived late in the afternoon, to find a treadle and a handcrank, and no-one to help. And I injured my back. Again. Three times in 3 years is one too many.
I have reluctantly decided to give the machine collecting a rest for a while, and I'm off to see the senior physiotherapist this morning, for a referral for a possible MRI scan, as it isn't healing on its own.

In a way I'm relieved, as it's hard work with little reward apart from the satisfaction, but I will miss the things. Not that I am short of old machines...

And then back to running the Exhibition. Last 3 days, folks, and so far it has been a good one.
Image at the top is a detail from "Ancient and Modem", a piece I made to take to the Quilters' Guild conference this year and am showing in the exhibition. Half green-man, half robot, whole-cloth quilted. The green-man is on old linen, the robot on polyester satin.. £100

Thursday 8 May 2008

Comments and more pictures..

First, a painting - Garden Of Eden
This one sat on the easel for weeks, just as an underpainting, then fell out of the brush in an evening or two. Sometimes this happens - the thinking process seems to be a big part of the end result, almost unseen. Other times I find that a steady progress can be made on a piece, with no fits and starts. 24 inches square £275

Then another book - this one is called "Clearly An Alphabet" It has recycled tracing paper pages with remnants of text and lines on, and is filled with words associated with transparency, clarity, and see-through-ness. I have made a few Alphabets, some flow more easily than others, and this one was particularly gratifying to do. I finished with only one letter missing - J. (Jelly, of course, added later) The alphabet parts of these books are meant to be added to - I hope they will be evolutionary in their future lives...

Many thanks to all for comments on my postings over the last few days. I have been in Hibernation all Winter - lacking motivation and full of Sloth. Now the Spring has arrived; my HbA1c is 5.5; I have had a breakthrough on my acupuncture, and I feel like I may be able to Get On With It All....

Tuesday 6 May 2008

More Pictures from an Exhibition..

Sold my "Green Man - Oak and Ivy" today. He is going to Canada as a wedding present. Seems appropriate, as the green man is Fertility personified..
And I made another in a fit of industry. Photo when finished..

More of my Books below - sorry for the poor images, not up to my usual standard.
On the left is
40 The Hive

All manner of things beginning with B...
Found text, wooden box frame, glass, cutting.. £25

and on the right is

41 Apparent Places

Found text, wire, beads, hand-dyed linen thread; stitch, disassembling, assembling £47-50

Left to right:-

43 The Book of A
Found text, wire, hand-dyed linen thread; stitch, disassembling, assembling £47-50

44 An Ecclesiastical Abecedarium
Handmade paper, found text, handwritten alphabet text; stitch £15

42 Tassell Book
Found text, hand-dyed linen thread; stitch, disassembling, assembling £23

I think I may have to make some more of these...

Tree and Leaf...

..which is the title for my Spring Exhibition
Actually started on Saturday, but it has been rather a hardwork weekend and I haven't had time to sit down here before this. I had my usual panic about whether I would have enough work to fill the space and whether it was good enough and coherent enough, but it seems to look all right. The business next-door-but-one had a Grand Opening on Saturday, with much fanfare, big signs, loads of customers - so that didn't hurt. Then they decided not to open on Sunday or Bank Holiday Monday, so I've just spent 2 days apologising for them. Grrr

Anyway, the Big New Thing for me this time is my Artist's Books. I have made a Cabinet full and they are getting a great reaction - I thought that people would think they were silly, but they seem to be much appreciated. Whether anyone will buy one is another story..
Top image is a Japanese bound book in A3 size, image below is "Hanging Book"

"48 Hanging Book
Bamboo, pencils, found text, hand-dyed cotton thread; stitch, disassembling, assembling, suspension.. Approx 14 inches high £55"