Saturday, 28 April 2012

Visit to
Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery 
with the largest public collection of Pre-Raphaelite Art in the world. Wonderful!

Most of my photos suffered from reflected light unfortunately!  
La Donna della Finestra. Dante Gabriel Rossetti.  Unfinished oil on canvas.

John Everett Millais, The Blind Girl.  1854-6.  Oil on canvas.

The Sorceress Medea, Gabriel Dante Rossetti.

Also well worth a look is the exhibition of 'The Staffordshire Hoard'.  Photographs aren't allowed.  There's a short informative film clip to sit and watch and on show are examples of fragments found at the site near Lichfield.  Visitors have the opportunity to handle a replica of a Saxon sword and dagger to experience their weight!

Currently on show too and 'a must to see' is
A journey through the textiles of West Africa, created by a team of young exhibition designers.  It explores the traditional and contemporary textiles and clothing which form an essential part of West African culture. 

31st. March - 2nd. September 2012.
Activities, events and talks - wax print bracelets, Adinkra printing, Kente cloth weaving and guided tours of the exhibition.

Example of Woven Cloth.

Using vibrant woven, printed, dyed and embroidered cloth from Ghana, Nigeria and Sierra Leone, the exhibition focuses on textile techniques and the ways in which clothing can communicate identity and individual style.

The colourful fabrics and exciting designs are a feast for the eyes!

The light and airy Edwardian Tearoom on the premises is to be recommended too.  The ambiance is friendly and both morning coffee and lunch were excellent!

Going back to the art on show - the paintings are amazing but don't you just love the frames too!

The museum has an array of worldwide textiles and fashion.  For example these 19th. century North American beaded moccasins.

and these 19th. century Tanana people beaded gloves.

The patterns on this barkcloth tablecloth from Polynesia are simply gorgeous.

These lovely bobbins are part of a display of English lacemaking.

There's much, much more to see of course.  I'm planning a return visit very soon!

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Back in the UK after an enjoyable but very wet journey up through France.

I managed to get some more wallhangings finished off before leaving the Ariege.  The Whirling Dervish figures are monoprints which have been hand painted after quilting.  The outer surround is hand dyed fabric and the background in the central panel is coloured after quilting with paintstick.  All is free motion quilted.

Here's a smaller version of the same figure.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Parfait - the blue skies are back!

Place Garrigou.

 Vers la vallée de Vicdessos.

                                   Tarascon sur Ariege with Mont Sédour in the background.

                                  On the left - La Halle aux Pommes de Terre.

Taken from the Castella, the high point of town.

Monday, 16 April 2012

Well, what a surprise to wake up to this morning after recent glorious weather- snow!

Looking along the Vicdessos valley.

Towards Col de Port.

From le petit jardin vers Vicdessos.

Looking south towards Andorra.

Looking north du pont en ville.

A snow-capped Mont Sédour with blossom and fresh spring leaves in the foreground! 
I hope the Egyptian vultures' nest is well sheltered!

Sunday, 15 April 2012

These amazing Zulu masks are the start of yet another collection of mine and ...............

during yesterday's visit to a local brocante I came across this chappy abandoned at the bottom of a box of mixed items.  'I'm not surprised' I hear you say!  I just had to buy him though to add to the mask collection.  I think he's rather cute!

  This pretty lady was also in the brocante and is a little easier on the eye, n'est-ce pas?

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Visit to Roquefixade.

The Chateau de Roquefixade, one of the famous Cathar castles, is perched on a pog high above the village but accessible on foot - with sturdy shoes and a little courage!
Above the chateau after a 5K circuitous hike taking in a chapel well-hidden in caves on the far side of the mountain.
The heat haze was threatening to envelope us!


L'église de Jean-Baptiste de Roquefixade is in the small village of Roquefixade itself well below the chateau and is undergoing painstaking restoration.

    The surrounding countryside is stunning and provides a wealth of photo opportunities.

                             A shaggy inkcap or lawyer's wig I believe!

Friday, 13 April 2012

Still on the lizard theme .........

This pair of quilts started off life as soya wax screen prints.  I've used hand stitch and fabric paint to add detail to the lizards and finished the pieces off with free motion quilting.

The hand dyed fabric shows through the 'holes' created by the soya wax, creating a visual link to the outer border/background.

         Another soya wax screenprinted lizard.  This time as a rectangular cushion.

                   The final lizard today - another soya wax screen print.