Friday, 3 July 2015

Lost in Bristol*

I might have a long term plan to cut back on various committments but it certainly hasn't started this week. On Wednesday it was our last meeting of Spectrum. I suppose it was a fairly relaxed day but a little odd in that any mention of the fact that this was our last meeting was mostly avoided... a bit of an elephant in the room really! The saving grace was that one of our members, Gill had a rather special birthday which provided a distraction, and obviously there was a cake... I can't let a birthday pass without baking a cake.  Although I do think I should have let the opportunity to eat chocolate dipped strawberries for breakfast pass me by!
 
 
Gradually everyone left and made their way home and I got in the car to drive all the way to Bristol, where I was giving a talk to The Bristol Quilters. I arrived in good time and thought I was doing well navigating my way through the Bristol streets at rush hour, without the benefit of a satnav... I have never got around to getting one. Then I realised I had made a wrong turn. I stopped, consulted my map and was working out where to go next when my phone rang and it was Jacob with a minor drama... Me: "I'm lost in Bristol, stopped on a busy road, I've got 20 minutes to find this hall... sorry can't deal with this right now!" A couple of U-turns later, I arrived at what I thought was the venue but the hall had a completely different name. I asked someone who didn't know... had a wander down the street and finally returned to spot several ladies of a certain age arriving at the hall. I had arrived!
 
 Jacob's problem had resolved, at least for the time being and I unpacked the contents of my car ready for my talk.


 
I talk about the various things that inspire my work and always bring along my "wig of cakes". At the point where I asked if there was anyone in the room who would like to model it for me, all 70+ women in the audience fell silent! So there was only one thing for it... and of course the moment it was on my head someone whipped out a camera!
 
I stayed with their chairman and the next morning followed her to a different venue where I was to be teaching a workshop... except we managed to lose each other on the way. And this time I didn't know where I was going so couldn't even look it up on the map. I took a guess at a junction and there was a hilarious moment when we passed each other going in opposite directions. Stephanie made some wild hand gestures that I took to mean I should turn around which I did, by which time she had disappeared again. She'd meant for me to stay put while she turned round because I was actually headed the right way. Eventually when I found her phone number on a scrap of paper at the bottom of my bag we were reunited and we got to the venue in plenty of time where I had a lovely day teaching ten ladies how to create newspaper backgrounds on fabric and then adding applique to the surface.
 
 
These are just a few of their finished pieces.
 


 
Most tried to tie in their newspaper headlines with their appliqued images and as ever the variety and skill was a delight.





 
It was a lovely workshop and I managed to find my way out of Bristol and back home without too much incident. And having had such a fun time I wondered whether my decision to cut back on my teaching has been a bit hasty... although a three hour journey home on motorways followed by all the unpacking of bags confirmed I've made the right decision.
 
* I owe the title of this blog post to my friend Anna who came up with it as I was recounting these stories to her this afternoon. We got together to be photographed for the local rag to advertise our forthcoming Open Studios. If you live in or near Cambridgeshire, full details can be found here:

18 comments:

  1. Sounds like an eventful time! I love the cake wig!!!And that chocolate cake...wow!!

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  2. You wear that wig well Gina :-) I'd have modeled it happily. I still rely on map reading skills but it can be a bit stressful when on your own. I am glad you got to where you needed to go in the end. I really love the last embroidery you show today. Have a great weekend. x

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  3. Well done! I can't read a map properly. Added to that I have no sense of direction.I still get lost at work (I work in a school) So I am happy you ended where you should have.
    Well done also for modelling your wig cake.

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  4. You're not the only one not to use a sat nav! Never even liked the idea, I love maps. Looking forward to a repeat of the cake modelling in September btw...

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  5. All the best trips have a little adventure along the way!
    That cake looks delicious!
    V x

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  6. What an adventure, so glad that you made it to both venues on time x

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  7. So pleased you got to all the venues in the end! Can't believe no-one volunteered to model the hat, I would have done :-)

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  8. Gina, your recounting of your recent travel adventures surely tell me that you're still keeping up a pace that awes me. As does the looks of that cake...how I would have loved to sample a slice...with one of those strawberries on the side, to be sure.

    Thank you for the link to the Open Studios. I've quite enjoyed scrolling through the pages and seeing what a fine variety of artists are taking part. I wish you a very successful OS and so wish that I could visit! Please pass along to Anna my compliments on her titling and printmaking talents.

    I've had a bit of a summer cold over the past few days, and have that as my excuse for feeling very lazy right now. Can't remember when I last took so many naps.

    xo

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  9. I love that 'appliqué on newsprint' technique - all the results are brilliant!
    Glad you had a good time x

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  10. Surely someone embroidered fish & chips ?

    Hope to get along to your open studio xx

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  11. Aah! Mobile phones - a blessing and a curse. It's all too easy for the offspring to phone when they have a dilemma and then to completely forget to phone when you want to know if they have arrived safely somewhere! Well done on navigating Bristol. I would get lost and I used to live there!

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  12. lol - Bristol is pretty confusing Gina. I've been lost there a few times as it's my local "big" city. look like everything came right in the end. (and hopefully Jacob too!)

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  13. I love the cake wig! As I am quite new to your blog, I hadn't read about it before, but what a great story about how it came about. I always get lost, I have no sense of direction, and even with a sat nav I usually get lost, so much so that I actually build in extra journey time for the inevitable wrong turns.....! X

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  14. I'm not happy with my satnav, it by-passed Knaresborough without asking me so we missed a lovely lunch in one of our favourite places. Your account had me laughing at the thought of you sailing past the lady going in the opposite direction. I'm glad it didn't turn into 'The Bermuda Triangle' of Bristol. The ladies didn't know what they were missing with the cupcake hat.

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  15. Wow Gina -- it sounds like you've had a wonderful adventure. And isn't it funny (or not) how those little son emergencies come at inconvenient times -- as if we don't have lives and are just waiting to work out the problem LOL. The student work is wonderful!

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  16. Gina, Bristol is my home town and it has changed radically in the past few years. Streets I knew so well now seem to have moved, so I can imagine how easy it was to lose your way! Glad you navigated it OK in the end. Every time I journey home is like a new adventure.... but loved reading about your course. Newspaper backgrounds sounds intriguing and the results look great. Sounds a fun weekend until you mentioned the three hour drive... I think you've made a good decision about the future and that comes across in the energy in this post. Onwards and upwards friend.

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  17. Time to get a SatNav methinks! (or have you got Google Maps on your phone? I've got it on my iPhone and it's brilliant).

    LOVE that wig of cakes!!!

    x

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  18. I wish I was as intrepid as you are, I get nervous at the thought of finding a different road to drive...

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