Monday, 9 August 2010

Green Fingers

This weekend I visited an amazing garden as part of the Open Gardens Scheme. Behind an ordinary looking house we discovered an exotic wonderland full of bamboos, banana plants and palm trees. By now you will have gathered that my OH and I are both gardeners and love plants in all of their shapes and forms. I love the way that gardens feed all of our senses. As we sat in that garden on Saturday I was struck by how tranquil it was even though we were right in the centre of a town. The wind was sighing through the bamboo plants and everywhere we looked were vibrant colours and shapes. It had been raining a little bit earlier in the day and I could smell damp earth and scent from the flowers. My only dissapointment was that there were no herb or vegetable plants. I really believe that no garden is complete without at least a small herb bed, but obviously that is just my opinion!

The landscape architect Russell Page once said that "Green fingers are the extension of a verdant heart". I do hope that is true.

Flowers fascinate me and I have tried over the last few years to interpret them in my beadwork. This weekend when I wasn't wandering around gardens I was trying to create one in beads. I have been working on a collar for the last two weeks. At the moment I have just been experimenting with shapes and textures but my aim is to completely cover the necklace with flowers, leaves and tendrils. I might also include a butterfly or insect as I am enthralled by them too and they have their place in every beautiful garden. For once I have decided not to plan it too carefully but just to let it evolve. I can't wait to get home every evening to work on it. I will post more pictures as it evolves.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Happy Holidays

I have not updated this blog for a couple of weeks as I have been on holiday. I decided that I would not go near a computer for the whole time because if I did I would have been drawn into doing work and answering work related emails.

Friday 23rd and Saturday 24th July saw the final Textile Kaleidoscope exhibition, at least in its current form. The Thursday of that week was taken up with setting up the exhibition. It was totally exhausting hauling furniture around, not helped by the extremely humid weather. However it was an opportunity for the 9 of us to spend some quality time together and to admire each other's work. The exhibition went well but I was a little bit disappointed that numbers were down slightly compared to last year. Nevertheless we all received some lovely comments from the visitors and I got to meet someone who had actually read my blog! I was really surprised as according to my Stat Counter I have a very small number of followers, but it was great to meet her.

The event was overshadowed by the news that one of the Priory Beaders had been taken seriously ill. Sadly she died on the Saturday. She will be missed. Although in her mid 80's she was always out and about attending beading shows and beading classes. She lived her life to the full and was a joy to be with.

After the exhibition we had a small get together to mark the end of an era. We have all finished our beading classes now and our tutor Jane is moving on to pastures new. I will still see most of them at Priory Beaders but somehow it just won't be the same. Jane handed us each her feedback on our work and told us that we had all passed our NCFE Level 3. I felt a great sense of achievement at finishing my course. I am one of life's plodders, always have been and always will be. I remember being told by one of my lecturers when I was studying for my degree that I was an average student and that I would never 'set the world on fire'! I was upset at the time but have come to realise that he was right. I may never be a high flyer but I feel that I have achieved a lot over the last 6 years and feel really proud of myself.

The second week of my break from work was really quiet. I was happy to spend some time at home recovering. I am struggling physically a little bit at the moment with pains in my back and left leg. It is possibly a legacy from a bad fall that I had last year which left me walking with a stick for three months. I am due to have an MRI scan of my back soon so hopefully that will shed some light on what is causing the pain.

Last Saturday I went to Knit Nation at Imperial College in London with 'M' aka 'A Girl in Winter' and my OH who came along for the trip. 'M' and I spent a couple of hours wandering around the Marketplace drooling over the gorgeous hand dyed yarn on sale. We were a bit starstruck too as we saw Woolly Wormhead, Ysolda Teague and the founders of Ravelry, Jess and Casey. We had a good day ending up in a lovely pub found by my OH.

Now it is back to work and back to reality.