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July 2011

FInished top and Thursday rainbows

Linen linen top for G
Linen top for Gracie 

I've managed to complete a WIP that has been hanging around for a good while now. This top I was originally making for myself in the loveliest linen but it turned out way too small though I followed the pattern size chart, so I finished it off for Gracie, eventually. She was very happy, in a jumping up and down sort of way, though the photo doesn't look like it. The top is an old Built By Wendy for Simplicity pattern (number 3835 but I can't see it on the Simplicity website). The applique is the Out On a Limb pattern here. If you get this Built by Wendy top pattern be warned, it runs very small. The one I made myself back in February is here.

Chasing the pot of gold
Chasing the pot of gold

Poppytalk Summer Colour week is rainbow today. Which technically isn't a colour it's multiple colours. My contributions you may have seen before. A rainbow from a few weeks ago; two photos I spliced together in Photoshop, not particularly well, but enough to get the full arc in there. If you click on it to enlarge the image you can just see a second full rainbow above the brighter one - this scene was over the field next to us. If I'd had the time and didn't have to get dinner on I think I would have high-tailed it after the pot of gold.

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Pans of watercolours

And another reissued image from a painting session in March. Those were the only two rainbows I could manage.

Happy Thursday, hope the sun shines on you.

Jx


A blue summer day

Some repeat images for the Poppytalk Summer Colours Week. It would be lovely to have time to take new images, especially as we've woken to a blue sky, but today is a little busy. I love blue and these are some of my favourites. 

Pot of aqua

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Bird warning

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Happy Wednesday to you!

Jx

 

 


In the pink

I had lots to show for the Poppytalk Summer Colours week pink day but we're offline again so I'm tapping this post out on my phone. We had a huge crack of lightning and the Internet went poof!

This is a peony from the garden, pinks in Fi's garden and a crochet WIP, although I don't know which order this Typepad app will put them in.

Hope you're having a great Tuesday!
Jx

PS, hope these images aren't blurry.

In the pink

In the pink

In the pink


Yellow and things

Vintage yellows
Yellow vintagy bits and pieces

The Poppytalk summer colour week, day one - yellow.  My yellows are vintage and they came from my bead pots, button drawers and jar of old buckles, hope I can manage the rest of the week :)

If you want to follow along, these are the colours and days:

June 27, Monday - Yellow
June 28, Tuesday - Pink
June 29, Wednesday - Blue
June 30, Thursday - Rainbow
July 01, Friday - Red

Our weather is a funny combination of extremes. Last week I was back in boots and cold again, then buckets of rain, yesterday it was 30+ and very humid, today the same. 

Dog show
Gracie (in the middle) showing Pippi

Yesterday was our village fete, the heat was incredible. Just look at all the tongues hanging out and panting going on in the fete dog show. Gracie entered Pippi in two of the competitions, don't ask if Pippi placed, let's just say she was robbed!

And now instead of yellow, here are a few greens and a slow.

Very slow slow worm
Slow worm on my walk this morning (he didn't walk, they have no legs)

This is only the second slow worm I've seen in 14 years of living here, it was quite big too. Slow worms are reptiles and can live very long lives, up to thirty years in the wild. They're protected here in the UK.

Green path
Going up hill though it looks like it's downhill

Another thick summer tree canopy. This morning this up hill climb was very hot. Funny perspective here, it's actually a fairly steep uphill path.

Pavement-terrarium
Pavement terrarium

And I spied more green when I was in Chichester last Wednesday. I love the countryside but I really love cities too, though while I'm in a city I still find myself looking for green.

Unexpected greens

Enjoy your week,

Jx


The finale

A fun project
Me & Alex

After a fun couple of weeks gearing up for the summer play at school the last performance was yesterday. We were plagued by torrents of rain and strong winds for much of the last week but in the end it all worked out fine. Dodging leaky patches in the marquee (tent) and taking hair dryers to glue and paint that wouldn't dry in time for rehearsals all became part of the memories that we'll enjoy looking back on. I might enjoy them more than others as I was only there part-time and I wasn't in the early morning hair dryer brigade ;)

Part of set

The play was based on Shakespear's Tempest but I only have a few photos from my phone. Bringing my good camera was forgotten on the list of more important things to remember. If I did have a camera I would have shown the other giant shells and the half a ship that was built behind me to the right.

What a fantastic and inspiring crew of people I was fortunate to get to be with over the last few weeks on this project. Seeing how each child was able to take part each in his or her own way was wonderful too.

 

Here's a small clip of the long final song, the cast had already departed the stage (this one rocked). The band was squashed into this corner, Tristan is at the back, far right in the percussion section on this last song.

I can't believe I only managed two crummy pictures and one short badly shot phone video. Maybe I can find some from a better organized person. 

We've woken up this morning to some sun! Hope you have too :)

Jx


The Days, a real Dynamic Duo

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Image from Pallant House, courtesy of Robin Day

We live on the border of Sussex, a county that has had more than its share of creative geniuses as residents. Robin and Lucienne Day were two that called Sussex home and yesterday I took myself to Chichester for the day to see the interiors exhibit dedicated to the pair at Pallant House, curated by Shanna Shelby.

Lucienne-Day-Calyx
Image from Pattern People

While the exhibit had a slim collection of Robin Day's furniture, the show had a great collection of Lucienne Day's pattern designs, including a set of dishes. Instead of becoming a painter, Lucienne's post-war sensibility led her to creating designs for utility though her sense of colour and stylized patterns had a very painterly effect. In fact, many of her designs, including her most popular Calyx pattern, wouldn't look out of place stretched on canvas and propped up in Kandinsky's studio.

Lucinene 2

And there were a few single colour patterns I'd never seen before, interesting because she's most associated with jolly, vibrant, post-war prints like the Calyx pattern on the chairs above.

Grey-&-white

The couple seemed to have a perfect partnership, each artist's designs enhancing the other though they rarely worked together on the same projects. They were incredibly prolific and were together nearly 70 years - both in their nineties when they passed away last year. 

Black-&-red

97_2Lg The Days' innovative designs brought both designers early career success, probably in part because they were aware of a changing market. Post war Britain needed uplifting design that was inexpensive to produce for the mass appeal. Though I warm more to his wood based furniture, Robin Day's polypropylene chairs are a perfect example of this idea and they were built to last; they're still used in schools and village halls the world over.


Photo above from the Design Museum

Polypropylene-chair
Robin Day's polypropylene chairs and Lucienne Day geometric designs

The textiles in the image above are also a perfect example of how well these designers stayed on top of their game in terms of interior movements. The hard-edge geometric designs followed the loosely influenced nature designs Lucienne had given her earlier pieces.

I'm so happy I managed to get there to see the exhibit, it ends this weekend. As I walked around this gem of a gallery I was reminded of two other artists, a contemporary Canadian couple who work successfully with similar mediums, think you might know who I mean :)

Pallant house
Pallant House, the 18th century residence now makes up part of the gallery

I wish I had time to tell you more about my big day out, like also seeing the Mervyn Peake Centenary exhibit, but I'll save it for later. At the moment I'm darting between play performances, violin recitals, summer concerts and sports days; I'm sure many of you are doing the same.

Hope to be back soon.

Jx

 


Tin inspiration

Tin-inspired

There is so little time to indulge myself in stitching at the moment but this is one of the things I am eager to get back to. This vintage tin came in a big bundle of goodies from clever, kind Kay; it's inspired some freeform, hand stitching and it will be interesting to see where it leads me. It will most likely be a slow project, perhaps something to dip in and out of over the summer holidays.

Hope the sun shines on you today and if it does send a little our way. Our outdoor summer play progress is getting very, very wet - even inside a huge tent!


My dad

My dad
Me and dad

Happy Father's day to my dad and to all the dads who teach their children to throw a baseball, change a tire, and that all the sh** life may throw them is "character building."

We love you, see you soon!

Jx


A sunny morning

Following our long, dry spring, summer has brought with it rain, and we need it - but not necessarily in the bucket fulls that have been falling for three days.

Waking to a little sun for a morning walk is a treat.

Happy Saturday :)

A sunny morning


Vintage petals

Vintage petals

On my never ending quest for space I was clearing a few things I thought I would wear but haven't, including this vintage silk dress. I love it but always feel like mutton when I try it on. As I was reaching for the giveaway bag I realized it won't be long before little G can wear it, so I mended the drooping flower, repaired loose stitches here and there and put it away for another day.

I can't believe how huge the peonies I planted just last year are. They're lovely and healthy with loads of blooms and the bunnies aren't interested in the slightest, no doubt that's the reason they're thriving. I adore them and their olden-days look.

Lots of rain is predicted for the week so I spent most of yesterday trimming hedges, battling stinging nettles (again) and cutting out brambles. And so you know, if you accidentally cut the power cable on your hedge trimmer while you're using it you get a shock and blow a fuse... just thought you might have wondered.

Happy Sunday :)