Saturday, November 10, 2012

Jet lag city

After arriving home I was a little unsure how I felt , as jet lag and zombiedom set in , after 30 or more hours without sleep, and 12 movies under my belt. I realized that I was actually home and the trip was already seeming like a lifetime away. It's been a week now and my body clock is still waking at 5 am wanting to sleep around 6 pm and eat at all manner of hours. But I'm sure that will pass- hopefully soon! I didn't think that jet lag would wipe me out so much! But then real life is harder to settle back into than I had imagined.

Home today!!!!!!!

It was the day of Halloween and I was busy sorting out my transport to Heathrow from Stansted. I caught a bus to Golders Green. To be picked up by felt artist Sue Pearl and be reunited with my extra luggage. We had some lunch and then headed to Heathrow. Golders Green was a lovely township filed with my images of what a traditional English village looked like, very different compared to the city part of London. I think having been bought up on a diet of BBC productions and images of Tudor villages- reality is harder to take. But Golders Green came close to what was in my head.
Once I was at Heathrow, Singapore airlines, decided to put me on an earlier flight - so much for the change of clothes and rearranging the suitcase. It was rush off to get a new lock for the second bag, run to get through passport control and customs, and then a short wait to board the flight for the 12 hour stint to Singapore.
Sadly my excitement of an earlier flight meaning I get home quicker, was quashed when on getting to Singapore i discovered that I had an 8 hour wait for the flight to Oz. grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!my ankles were cankels and throbbing, the only saving grace was free wifi and elevation of my ankles.

Last day

The time had gone so fast and we flew out late that night , so today was our last chance to utilise Jan and Jean to finish off work, and pack up. I was exhausted and decided that I needed to have a slack day and use my last chance to explore the landscape and actually look at what was around the masseria. So with camera in hand I headed off to the no of small stone lane ways that lead away from the masseria. On my adventures I discovered an old truli and wonderful aged doors, as well as multiple images of my favourite aged and twisted tree in the middle of a local field. I spent a lovely few hours walking down lane ways and taking hundreds of photos from landscapes, foliage, fields , trees and rusty wire. Even a mangled old chandelier thrown in the grass.
We spent our last few hours having an early dinner and savouring the last few hours of Mediterranean weather, before heading to the airport , and the dreaded Ryanair, and then on to Stansted airport, London. It was a very late night , and sadly because of the passport control, once I got through to the outer airport everyone had left, so I missed out on saying goodbye. And sadly headed to the Raddison Blue and a nights hopeful rest.

Day 4

Today we spent the day finishing our samples, playing with the embellisher, and free machining using layers of sticky wash away and Romeo to layout threads and create imagery , then hand stitching back into them to create textural effects. We utilised the whole day and well into the night to maximise our time and getting samples finished. Everyone's work was so different. Jan and Jean were very giving in their instruction, happy to help out without overwhelming your creativity but not hesitant to give a critical eye when needed, or advice on work that needed a lift etc.

Day three!

Today we worked in the morning and then we drove to lunch in a local township of Polignano del Mare. On the coastline . It was a nice lunch in a seafood restaurant that I had steak in , to avoid my seafood allergies. Mmmmmm!! First steak in months- not quite Aussie beef but a welcome meal!
Then we had a few hours to wander around the very old township , with the mission of finding ancient crumbling walls, peeling paint and other textures , we could translate into stitch. It is also an interesting place, built on cliffs I that are being slowly eroded by the violent seas , leaving interesting caves and rock walls. This area is renowned for the seafood that is freshly caught daily in the region. Sadly I couldn't eat most of it but it looked and small nice.
This towns architecture looked like its had a much more Spanish influence in the architecture, with Spanish style bell towers everywhere .

Puglia day 2

Today we started playing with translating our sketches into mini art works using ironon transfer mediums, and intense and other pigment based crayons, felt pens and watercolour paints, to create backgrounds. From this we had to work out ways to stitch over them using a twisted chain stitch taught to us by jean. The premise was to get us using only 1 stitch in a no of ways and a no. of different stitching mediums.
Today was also my 50th birthday and the girls surprised me with a mini party at dinner, with balloons and Rosa baked a gluten free cake. It was sweet and a nice end to the day.

Puglia day 1

The first day in Puglia , began with jan and jean giving an outline of the course and then we plunged headlong into the course.
First order of the day was to make viewing squares made from L shaped card. We were given he task of heading out around the masseria to find interesting textures and compositions that we could translate into embroideries. Our task was 10 small sketches with various textures and line forms. After multiple cries of "we can't draw!!! " we headed out. Jan showed ideas to get us started.
After an hour of finding imagery and simple sketching, we headed in for lunch and then spent the afternoon drooling over jan and jeans samples and doing tutorials on assorted techniques. It was a full day.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

P day (puglia adventure)

After a few minor disasters such as debit card being suspended, running out of credit on phone while trying to sort it out, and housekeeping barging in early in the morning as they thought I had left, waking me up in a panic, and the stress of ryanair and their horrenous excess baggage charges,but the day got better once my new felt artist friend Yulia arrived to take me to Stansted airport with a drop in to her home and studio on the way. Her friend and also felt artist Sue Pearl popped in , and we went for a pub lunch before heading to the airport. Sue kindly offered to mind my extra luggage while away, and take me to Heathrow on my return.
After I was dropped at Stansted and scraped in underweight by a smidge, I waited to meet up with Jan Beaney and Jean Littlejohn plus the other participants. We found a couple of the ladies and flew to Bari on the northern side of Italy and then a 1/2 hour drive to puglia in the dark , arriving at the Masseria at about 10ish at night. We were greated by Rosa, the housekeeper, and found the other 4 participants for our course awaiting our arrival. There were 12 of us in total including the tutors. I shared a room with a lovely older lady called Joy. We had a supper and intro to the venue and met all the participants - which included Ann from Houston, Elizabeth from Finland, myself and a mixture of girls from all over Britain. The morning light showed how lovely the property is! And how lovely the countryside is and very different from Tuscany in colour, stone and light. It is quite an arid landscape , it can't sustain livestock but does suit fruit trees and olives well.

The solo adventure begins!

After jeff and Lauren left I had 2 days and nights alone before flying to Puglia. I had decided that I would go to London tower to see more of Kendra Hastes wire work, but after adding the costs up- as most attractions around London aren't cheap plus a daily tube fare, and the weather was again dark and densely foggy. I decided to investigate the local area. I needed a light bag for my extra kilos of luggage and the concierge recommended a small local market. So I headed back towards Hoxton , found the bag I needed, along with fabrics, could have gotten loads of scarves and clothing cheap, but found a little DIY shop that sold amazing textured wallpapers. After chatting with the staff, they have me metre long samples of about 10 different ones- score!! And it was even free! From here I walked on to the Whitechapel gallery, which had interesting installations and I thought they had Damian Hursts Shark in resin ,but apparently it's rotting and leaking and no longer on display. From here I found Petticoat lane which has the most amazing African and Indian fabrics and I ended up back at Spital field markets, where I bought my top hat that I had wanted to buy but hadn't. Then with fading light and masses of traffic, I hurriedly walked back home. I wouldn't walk these areas at night.

Our last day together

This was our big moving day out of the basement flat in Hoxton, and then by mini cab to Marlin Apartments at Limehouse again. We left our bags there and used our Oyster cards for the last few times into London. We were all tired and generally not that excited as it was foggy and rainy and I can understand why they get sad syndrome, cause we had it bad. I did find my lifesize wire elephant by kendra haste at Liverpool station- very cool. I journeyed with jeff and Lauren through the tube stations helping carry baggage as many don't have lifts or escalators. In the end it was a rush to get them on the heathrow train and goodbyes were fleeting, which was probably good as I would have been a blubbering mess. So they flew home together.

Lavender hill and then the palace

This was our second last day together and jeff had worked out a plan for finding a model and sci fi shop, and then we were off to see the palace . It was a really wet foggy day. After a tube an train ride, then short walk , we found the shop and the characters that run it, and a saving grace was that there was a nice fabric shop next door, so that made my day. If only it was as light as silk. They had beautiful liberty fabrics by the mile. But I did get a few small pieces to add to the weight limit. We had coffee t a nice cafe and then bused and tubed to the palace. We met lauren, did the look around and then walked back through st James park. We loads of geese , ducks other birds and loads of crazy squirrels. It's sad that they going to kill around 20,0000 grey ones soon. I gather they aren't native and have overtaken red squirrel areas- but still I hate to see anything killed and they are cute but I imagine to the Brits it's the same as brush tail possums overrunning other species, still sad though!!!!