Month: August 2011

Whoops

Whew….what a day. First I would like to share this. I saw it on facebook today, but I have seen it before. "Those who have the gift of inspiration exude something that's difficult to pin down intellectually, yet is undeniably recognizable in how you feel in their presence!" ~ Wayne Dyer The people I have sat before and been overcome are:- Mother Theresa, when I was in my 50's The Dalai Lama, when I was in my mid 40's Father John in Madras India who ran an orphanage and Sister Mary Dymphna in Sri Lanka who left Ireland to be a Nun when she was 13. Gladys Alward when I was 15 and my friend Joan in Minnesota. More recently, I have to say I'm always inspired by my Teaching peers, that's why Houston is so exciting for me. That said, I had a really hectic day in preparation for a day of flights tomorrow. Destination Florida…. what for….? All will be revealed later. The mirrors ordered in Mexico for the hotel arrived today. I …

Who made these quilts?

Red, white, cute and about 81 years old. If the maker who spent hours stitching this by hand is still alive she would be around 100 years old now. This is a block on a quilt that I saw today at an Antique Mall. I really like this pattern too.I have one at home almost identical. The fabrics are most likely feed sacks and possibly old shirting with a plain pink as an accent. It is badly worn and almost irreparable. Each piece was meticulously sewn by hand. I wonder where it was sewn and under what circumstances. Yet it's very typical of the era. I think the colors and patterns are just delightful. I'm sure it was quite difficult to do. As I walked through the mall, the local church service was being broadcast through out the entire place and it reminded me of my Mum I think she would have joined in with her alto harmony if she had been there. I admit, I almost did too. The Ministers  deep south accent was …

In this format, the blog, I am almost preaching to the converted. Textiles, design, photography and art. So how did a Textile Artist such as I become involved in the decoration of a hotel. Well put quite simply it was given to me as a challenge and expectation. Trust me, challenge it is. Textiles are a 'malleable transmitter of ideas'. Malleable goes beyond the soft furnishings we encounter daily but they dominate our daily life as pleasurable things. My role at our hotel is to 'dress' the walls that our designer  wishes to keep pure and white. So we have a little conflict. The earliest forms of constructed dwellings were tent structures, nomadic habitations you could fold up and carry, and yes, they still exist today. I took the opportunity of purchasing two pieces of textile art for the hotel from the Tent Makers of Cairo when Jenny Bowker bought them to Birmingham for an exhibition. The large piece is appliqued by hand and made by the delightful man in the foreground. They just cut …

I want to be like them when I grow up.

I'm a little slack writing the blog right now, there are so many things to attend to. I spent a wonderful evening with a group of enthusiastic quilters out on the lake a few nights ago. We shared ideas, quilts and food…. what a way to spend an evening. Thank you ladies & thank you Mike for driving the boat. I mean, take a look at the picture below… this is a regular Thursday occurrence, and its hot so the people who live on the lake tie their pontoons together, share great food and as we drove past most of them were in the water floating on noodles, drinks in one hand and a smile on their face. I thought it was hilarious. (and delightful) wonderful reflections. I had the most wonderful afternoon in the nail spa that day too. A lady of advanced age came in with her friend for a pedicure and proceeded to entertain us all. She said she was 80 but looked as if she was in her 60's. First of …

Fabric

  Why is it that a stack of folded fabric evokes an emotion of warmth and well being. I hated washing diapers… (nappies) we call them. However, I took great pride in seeing them hanging on the line, I used to turn around after I hung them, and just look at them with pride…..the white catching the reflection of the sky and sun. I loved folding them, I liked seeing them in a pile. Its the same with a stack of fabric. Pure, unblemished and just waiting to be used. Fabric isn't just for quilting of course. It's very much part of our lives… we just can't do without it. 'Fabric is something we had for a very long time. We've clothed ourselves in it, shielded ourselves by it , and contained things with it..' The fabric of our life is twinned with the fabric we live with day in and day out. We take it for granted.

I strained my back lifting cases…so last night, I laid my body on the settee at 7.30 pm and woke with a start at 12 midnight …..wooow is it morning? The TV was blaring, Tripoli had fallen, they were still discussing  the earthquake in the East and the computer was talking to me. "It's 12.00" the dulcet voice says. I've spent most of the day at the hotel we're renovating …. checking, checking and double checking 'things'… the heavens opened and the water came pouring in…… happy days. There were people coming and going in all directions. The enjoyable part was spending time this evening looking at installations and wall textures..doing the illustrations of things I saw today. What on earth are these? Fabric bags hanging from the wall. I'm going to try them at home as a wall feature for the textile part of the Hotel. The drawing is strange, but the actual installation is fabulous. I'm quirky…. I have to have nice china and linen wherever I stay. SO, I take my own. …

Fabric.

"Is fabric an object, or a substance, or a material, or a tool? Our love of fabric is sometimes said to be a love of folds. Where, the fold may be perceived as a simple and readily accessible metaphor for how we are made and connected to the world."