Thursday, 11 October 2012

It's Official...

I'm turning into a grumpy old woman.
 
I treated myself to day out at the Knitting and Stitching show today. Something I usually look forward to with relish... all those gorgeous fabrics and yarns and glorious exhibitions of innovative textiles. But somehow it just didn't do it for me this year. There was nothing I really wanted to buy... my purchases extended to four reels of thread, a box of machine needles and two pieces of wool felt! It was hot... it was too crowded... my back ached and after two hours I'd had enough. Even the quick cuppa I had before leaving cost me £1.70 for a tea bag dunked in hot water with UHT milk... which I had to drink standing up!
 
But there were some fabulous exhibitions and people whose work I had not seen before, so before you write me off as a complete misery moaner let me show you some of my favourites.
 
 
The first person I spotted when I entered the textile gallery was Fleur Oakes whose work is pictured above. She was showing the most exquisite little embroideries, beautifully displayed and in particular I loved her buttons.

 
Buttons were obviously very appealing to me today as it was the buttons of Alice Colson that attracted me to her stand as part of the Graduate Showcase. Beautiful machine embroidered fabrics, some of which she had used to cover buttons.

 
There were also some lovely group exhibitions and one of my favourites was by REVEAL. All of the work was beautiful but I especially liked the machine embroidery of Kerry Mosely,pictured above, combining stitch onto knitted wire. Some pieces looked like lace and other pieces were very figurative but all stunning.

 
The other exhibition which was totally eye catching was the fantastic display by Ann Small and Sue Walton called Jabberwocky. It was a fun, surreal tableau inspired by the imagination of Lewis Carroll. The work of both was brilliant but I was especially attracted to Sue Walton's felted pieces and neutral palette.

 
Another graduate whose work really caught my eye was Ayasha Wood whose beautiful colourful embroidery on traditionally tailored menswear was colourful, fun, lighthearted but exqusitely executed.

 
And last, but not least there was this brilliant cross stitch on an old metal van door. My kind of cross stitch!
 
So as you can see, there was actually plenty to see (and I've only picked a few of my favourites... there were others) and so the fact that I was grumpy was obviously just down to me. And I have come home inspired to stitch and work in my sketchbook, which is good... except I'm off teaching to North Yorkshire for a couple of days and then whizzing back down south to Oxted on Monday before back to my regular class on Tuesday and meeting up with a friend on Wednesday. Perhaps I should pencil in next Thursday for some stitching and sketching of my own? I'll be back when I've got a minute!

26 comments:

  1. Some beautiful things - I do so love the jacket! But why do all these fairs and shows have such overpriced and shockingly awful catering arrangements - I am sure that they would make more money with better facilities!

    Pomona x

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  2. Totally agree Gina, I usually go on the last day but wanted to see the Nancy Crow exhibition before going to her lecture at the V & A tomorrow.
    The seating arrangments were appalling, I had to resort to the floor!! Not good

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  3. I get grumpy in places like that too, but those exhibition pieces are stunning. I do miss being able to see that kind of thing

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  4. I felt rather like that last year, but I do the Harrogate version and they aren't quite the same.

    Loving the cross stitch door :D

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  5. I'm not going this year, maybe it's wise if the seating is that bad! I've a bad back/leg at the moment now I don't feel so bad there's always next year. I don't really need anything that I cant order on the internet a foot for the machine! You sound as though your feet aren't touching the floor at the moment Gina have a good time in Yorkshire.

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  6. love your photos Gina. some gorgeous and different examples of work. your grumpiness could be down to all sorts of things but at least you came away inspired.

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  7. If AP didn't do it for you, you clearly need a jolly good lunch, a decent exhibition and afternoon tea. Roll on the 19th....

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  8. I haven't attended the Dublin version of the show for a few years now, basically for the same reasons that made you grumpy with the addition of the fact that quite a lot of UK firms don't attend it!!One hundred miles in a bus with poor catering at the end just doesn't do it for me!
    That's my kind of cross stitch too. ;)
    Vivienne x

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  9. I have been grumpy for years and refuse to go to those shows now, I can't walk all that way around them anyway. Do try not to over-do it and make yourself unwell...

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  10. I'm going tomorrow, and I'm worried now! I've been so busy and on my feet all day today I'm not sure I'm going to stay the distance, so thank you for giving me a heads up on what to go and see first - before my UHT tea and packed lunch, consumed while perching on the bottom of a pillar or squatting on the floor somewhere.

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  11. I'm going on Saturday as you know and I don't have any plans for shopping but I am hoping to see the exhibitions you've highlighted. I've got a list of the stands I want to see, especially the Nancy Crow and I'm only planning to stay for a few hours as I'll be on the way to Chichester for a hen party weekend. Travel safely and enjoy your meeting with your friend.

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  12. For the very reasons you mention I decided not to do any of the big shows this year. I am starting to feel overwhelmed and irritated by the crowds,to say nothing of the heat generated by so many people crushed together.However I also feel that I've missed something by not going - kind of 'out of the loop' if you know what I mean. I absolutely must do the Quilt Festival at least next year.

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  13. I was there today too and it really was too hot and too crowded. Loved the embroidered door too, but goodness me, there seemed to be an awful lot of tat as well.

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  14. Oh I LOVE the cross stitched van door!!!!

    I know JUST what you mean about these huge shows (does that make me a grumpy old woman also?). I wonder if we've been there, done that and made the t-shirt?! The pics from the exhibitions look brilliant, some consolation for your aching back, I hope.

    x

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  15. Thanks for the pictures Gina. I can't make it to Ally Pally this year, just haven't got the time. There was some impressive work on show going by your pictures, which confirms that I'm missing out. Hoping to make it to Harrogate next month. Enjoy Yorkshire.

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  16. Just as well I didn't even try to get there - I couldn't stand all day. Do you think that you weren't tempted to buy because you have most of what you need now for your own work? I get excited by the first glimpse of a well stocked stand or shop then find it hard to find something I really want.
    The exhibitions sound as if they more than made up for any disappointment.

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  17. It was definetly too hot and too crowded this year. I am worn out and my feet still hurt. Such a shame we didn't bump into each other.

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  18. I had hoped to go, but the date completely passed me by, so don't think I'll make it now. You are quite right that the crowds and heat can be overwhelming. So thanks Gina for bringing the show to us.

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  19. I told myself last year, having visited for many years before, that I would not be going again. I find there is nothing particularly new there in terms of product and to be honest, the whole crowd thing + terrible catering put me off enjoying anything else! There! I'm totally miserable too ; )

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  20. Also went yesterday with my girls, really looked forward to it. But poor catering no seats bl....y women with huge bags on wheels and heat did not do much for my temper either. Oh and don't mention the ditsy schoolgirls. ARggg.Oh and the increased entrance fee...
    yeah I am a grumpy old woman, its official.

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  21. I think you've picked the best of it to show us Gina. Thank you for that... and I didn't have to fight the crush at Ally Pally to enjoy it! That jacket is to die for. It's something I've seen done in other ways but it is always exciting to see the fabrics people choose to use and place together. I wish I had the courage to wear something individual like that. What a statement it would make. Enjoy your few days away although it sounds as hectic as usual. I left a comment on your 'proud mum' post but it bounced back to me saying your files were overloaded... see, you're just too popular by half... but rightly proud. What fabulous sons you've got.

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  22. What a coincidence. I was at the Knitting & Stitching show yesterday. And I came across the Open College of the Arts. I have been contemplating taking up a course in design. I stumbled upon your blog (thanks to Google) as I was searching for reviews on the college. So it feels like a circle!

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  23. Oh never mind Gina - the work you saw was lovely and hopefully will inspire you to do some sketching once you get some time. Hope Yorkshire went well and it was lovely to see you in here on Friday.

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  24. Love that jacket with the colourful embroidery - I would deffo wear that! Lucky you going to North Yorkshire - that'll take the grumps away. x Cathy

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  25. Oh dear, I don't think you're old enough to be a grumpy old woman!!Enjoy your trip to Yorkshire; busy times!!

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