Installing the Masters Show

I have spent the last two weeks frantically trying to get everything ready for the masters show (which opens this Friday, 19th August at 6pm) and preparing for assessment.  Assessment is over, just the external assessor to meet tomorrow so I have  been able to concentrate on the work I am presenting in the end of year show.

Almost done, just a bit of individual tweaking and a few extra shared jobs (such as getting the drinks and snacks for the opening evening).

Back into University tomorrow with the deadline looming!

Perthshire Open Studios

I am starting to prepare for POS (3-11 September 2016).  I have a venue number (71) and am on the Blue Route.  Its quite exciting and daunting at the same time – I have never opened my studio up to public view before (yes, I know its really a shed!).  Lets hope the weather is better than in this picture because I want to have my current den/finger knitting project open for visitors to work on.

my shed


I just returned from a visit to Rotterdam where I and three other students on my course met up with some students from Lille University in France.  We took part in a workshop inspired by work currently being shown by our  course tutors – Tracy MacKenna and Edwin Janssen.

The first thing to say is that Rotterdam is a surprising city.  Before I went I had visions of an industrial city and port that had had to rebuild itself after it was flattened during the Second World War.  What I didn’t expect was the sheer imagination put into that redevelopment.

Two main things I noticed – firstly, buildings had their own style, it was very mixed styles throughout the centre, but it worked well.  The second thing was that most buildings were multiple use – people lived in the same buildings as shops and offices were housed – see this picture of the market hall which was surrounded by flats which arched over the top of the very colourful central hall.

market hall rotterdam
Market Hall, Rotterdam

The result was a lively, vibrant city centre

There was interesting architecture everywhere we looked.  We stayed at the Stay Okay Hostel which was in the ‘Cube Houses’ just across the square from the market hall and the railway station.

cube houses rotterdam 2

cube houses rotterdam 3

Look at the building next to them.   Around almost every corner is interesting architecture.  Plus lots of public art.


Scottish Quilt Championships 2015

These are held every year in Edinburgh and I visit it whenever I can.  This year I managed to visit on the Saturday (26 September) with my camera and a list of goodies I want to buy if I got the chance.

However, I felt quite disappointed.  There was not the same buzz as usual and for a Saturday afternoon it was very quiet – in previous years I have avoided the Saturday because it was so busy it took the fun away.  This year was very different.  There was not the same range of sellers and many of the ones that were there were selling the same kind of fabrics, kits and gadgets.  Although I did manage to get hold of some of the things on my list, I didn’t spend as much as I thought I would.  There weren’t really any of those gadgets that catch us all out – the things that we didn’t know we needed until we see them on one of these stalls!

The quilts on the other hand were as wonderful as they always are.  Although there didn’t feel as if there were quite as many as usual what there was was of a very high standard.

This one by Hazel Ryder caught my eye – I suppose because of the name I have given this blog and because I am a cat owner.  It basically sums up a cat’s attitude to its own comfort.

She who must be obeyed

Craft Scotland Conference 2015

I attended this conference on Friday 2nd October at the Glasgow School of Art.   It was organised by Craft Scotland which is a body that acts as a platform for the wider craft industry in Scotland from individual makers through to funding bodies and educators.

I’m not quite sure what I expected as this was my first time despite being involved with crafts for many years.  However, I was very pleasantly surprised – it was well organised with a good selection of speakers, all makers of one kind or another.  What I found  interesting was that despite their very different practices they all seemed to have similar ideas about seeing how items could be used differently or using unusual items within their art/craft practice.

In the afternoon there were breakout sessions that ended up being a lot of fun. This is the ‘vehicle’ my group created using various items including a serving tray, a bracelet and a plastic funnel among other things.

craft scotland car

It was a long day, but well worth going.  I plan to attend again next year.