Monday, 17 October 2016

Getting up to date . October 2016. Wandering around County Clare and The Knitting and Stitching Show in Dublin.

 There are some incredible textures along the cliffs in County Clare - so much to photograph and to draw.

 So . . .  the Knitting and Stitching Show at Ally Pally has come and gone - it was very busy and had some very beautiful exhibitions, some of which will be coming to the show in Dublin this week. 

The day after the show in London my best mate Claudia and I caught the ferry over to Rosslare. It was a long drive, but worth it. We stayed over night in Waterford and traveled over to West Clare the next day. I wanted Claudia to see the house I am buying in Kilbaha before we exchanged contracts. Claudia agrees the house is wonderful, though a bit remote. But that is part of it's charm. I will have to get used to allowing extra time for travel.

We had a few days to have a wander around the area. I love the weather here - you really do have 4 seasons in one day. I just love the light, and there are 30 minutes more daylight every day here on the West Coast. I just love it. I know there will be days of terrible wind and rain - but I will be all warm and snuggly in my house. 
I am not going to post any photos of the house until we get to exchange - which will hopefully be next week. At last!!

 Claudia on the rocks at Kilkee.

 I love the texture and strata of the rocks, just fabulous.

 The Bridges of Ross - not far from my house.


I will drive over to Dublin on Tuesday ready to collect the lovely Laura Strutt from the airport and we will move into our house in Dublin ready to set up for the show on Wednesday. I am very much looking forward to the show.
The show runs from Thursday 20th October - Sunday 23rd. 
Laura, Sharron and I will be on the Vlieseline stand F56, opposite Jan and Jean. We have moved - do come and find us. 
There are some particularly good exhibitions. Not least the exhibition of work of 25 years from Jan and Jean - it is FANTASTIC! 

2 other exhibitions that are traveling to Dublin are showcasing work by Alysn Midgelow Marsden and Anne Kelly, 2 great friends of mine.

It was great to see Alysn again at Ally Pally, her work is absolutely fascinating. The way she uses metal is brilliant. I think the work in her current exhibition is the best I have seen. There are some very interesting developments.

A few images from Alysn's show.

Anne Kelly's book Textile Nature has fast become a best seller. The diverse styles of work in the book are shown in her current exhibition. It is very exciting. There is even a full size shed to look in. It is great fun.

A few shots from Anne's exhibition at Ally Pally.

It will be great to see Anne and Alysn at the show in Dublin - Yeehaaa!!!! Here we come. Anne is on stand number TG 5 and Alysn is just across the way on stand TG 8. Do come to the show if you can, it is going to be fabulous.
Come and see us on stand F56

Hello Jill - not long now, hope you are having a fab time.
Hello Diana - will reply at some stage - love to you both.
Hello Tod - see you very soon. Make a note of the stand number.

 x x x

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Colouricious Textiles Holiday - Block Printing Jaipur. 20th - 30th September 2016

 One of the many breathtaking rooms upstairs at the Chomu Palace.

Well - what can you say when you have run out of words to describe something so wonderful?  I have just had one of the most amazing 10 days of my life - in Jaipur, India. It was a Block Printing Textile Holiday created and escorted by Jamie Malden of Colouricious.

I don't think I have ever felt so well looked after, excited or encouraged. Every single day was a remarkable one, full of colour, sounds, smells and sparkle. From the choice of hotel to the many workshops that were arranged for us, everything ran like clock work. Jamie was assisted on this holiday by the wonderful Puneet and his family. Puneet is Jamie's 'man in Jaipur'!! He fixes and arranges things and helps everything to run as closely as it is possible to clockwork precision.

First thing in the morning on our way to another fabulous block print workshop.

Most mornings saw us climbing into an air conditioned coach to explore an exciting workshop. While the holiday was full of block printing workshop opportunities, there was also time set aside for us to explore Jaipur if we wanted to. Jamie's only condition was that we went out in groups of 3. 
The group soon gelled and we were off to a flying start.

Several different block printing workshops had been arranged for us to take part in. Dabu and indigo dyeing, double, triple and quadruple block printing, metallic printing and so much more. It was all very exciting. Plus the opportunity to buy fabrics from the factories.

Our coach driver and his mate are very experienced and coped very professionally with all the mayhem on the roads - and their precious cargo. They gave us unlimited bottles of water every day. It was very important to drink a lot to avoid becoming dehydrated in the heat. some days it reached 37 degrees.

Here are few shots of the workshops . . .


All the workshops were well organised with lots of workers from the factories to help the group with their prints. We really had a wonderful time, everyone was so helpful. The factory workers were so lovely. I think we made an interesting change to their working day. Puneet was always on had to translate and Jamie was there to make sure everything ran smoothly.

We had many trips out and about, Jamie always adds a few treats as a surprise.
This factory wove rugs, block printed fabric - the building was as exciting as the work they produced.


In our spare time we had many opportunies to get out and about. One of the most regular destinations was Satguru's. an incredible Aladdin's cave of embroideries, pashmina, bed covers, bags . .  Everything was soooo tempting. This was the best shop to work with the tailors to get any clothes we wanted made up. Their finish and fit were perfect. Most of us came home with several outfits. I will be modelling some of mine this week at Ally Pally.

 Most of us spent a lot of time at the tailors, whilst the guys are very keen to make a sale, they do so with humour and get the message if you want to wander around on your own and not be bothered.

One of the highlights of the the holiday for me was the lunch and tour of the Chomu Palace Hotel. The decoration is beyond description.

We had a lovely lunch at this beautiful venue and then had a tour of the rooms upstairs.

Jamie encouraged us to get out and about around Jaipur, there were lots of jaunts out to the Babu Bazzar, Satguru's, local gardens . . . . We had great fun riding in tuks tuks, what should have been terrifying journeys in unbelievable traffic turned into hysterically funny adventures.


We tried several different means of transport on the holiday, the coach, tuk tuks, jeeps and  . . . elephants!!!

The holiday included a trip to the Amber Fort Palace. an amazing structure, high on a hill over looking beautiful gardens and in the distance - Jaipur.

Jamie had organised an elephant ride for everyone. This had been discussed with everyone in the group as several members of the group were concerned about the treatment of the elephants. We were told that the elephants only do 4 walks a day up to the fort and then go back to their compounds to rest, get washed and fed.

The Amber Fort is a remarkable place, an experience I will remember for the rest of my life.

One of the days out included a trip to the blue pottery, we were told how the pottery and glazes were made. a fascinating process including oxidisation. And yes, I have 2 pieces of the pottery being sent back tot he UK. I couldn't resist.

The Blue Pottery showroom.

The Jal Mahal palace was just down the road from our hotel. A very beautiful building - stunning.

I have taken so many photos of the holiday, I hope the few that I have space to show you give you some idea of the amazing, incredible and wonderful time we all had. I still can't believe I saw everything that I did.

A couple of shots taken from the coach as we traveled around.

The highlight of the holiday for me was our special farewell dinner. The group were collected from our hotel by a convoy of jeeps to go and see the elephants on the elephant farm and watch them getting washed and fed. . . .  and then . . . Have dinner at 1135ad - the amazing restaurant at the Amber Fort Palce.

Off out in the jeeps.

Watching the elephants getting a wash.

The Amber Fort Palace at night - so beautiful.

We all had a wonderful meal - in remarkable surroundings.

And ate off of solid silver silver platters, with solid silver silver cutlery and drinking beakers. Just an amazing experience.

Just writing this post I find it so hard to believe I saw all these amazing places, only last week.

While were were chatting amongst the group over breakfast one day, were were recommended to go and see Jantar Mantar.  Jantar Mantar is an Astronomical Observatory full of the most incredible and huge instruments I have ever seen. I don't understand the maths involved - but my goodness the constructed shapes are fascinating. The huge shapes, devoid of decoration were quite a relief from all the intricate and colourful things we had seen in the previous days.

Just remarkable forms.

I really need to write 2 or 3 posts on this amazing holiday, but time is against me - I just hope this post gives you a flavour of the wonderful, incredible and amazing time we all had. One of the best things about the holiday is all the new friends we made. Most of us will be keeping in touch. There is a day by day record of photos on my page on Facebook.  Just scroll down to see all the images - they started on the 20th September.

On the way back to the UK we changed planes at Mumbai. What a beautiful airport. Breathtaking architecture.

I can't recommend the Colouricious Textile Holidays enough - have a look at what is on offer -

The ceiling at Mubai airport.


So back to the real world - This week it is The Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace in London. I am about to scurry around and load the car ready to drive there and set up the stand with Laura and Sharron. 

We will be on the Vlieseline (new name for Vilene) stand - TG R3. 5 days of mayhem - wathc this space. Do come and say hello if you come to the show.
Hello Jill see you very soon 
Hi Diana - I will reply at some stage.
Hello Tod - see you soon in Diublin, will be good to have a catch up.

x x x