A Grand Day Out and 99% recycled.

I had a welcome day out with a good old bean of a friend yesterday to two National Trust properties near to Wolverhampton, Moseley Old Hall, an Elizabethan farmhouse famous for hiding and saving Charles II, and Wightwick Manor, a late 19th century Arts and Crafts gem of a house. The weather was fine, cake was eaten, much conversation was enjoyed. Both houses had second hand bookshops, which are appearing in most National trust properties these days, it seems, so I had the opportunity to buy a couple or four interesting bird books. I have donated many, and even sold a few books recently, and seem now to be re-filling the empty shelf space. This wasn’t the plan but hey ho, it’s good to keep things in circulation, be it books or money.

The gardens at Moseley Old Hall. This is a lovely old quince tree. I’ve decided I want an orchard, which is not going to be easy within a small over planted suburban garden. The medlar, below, was laden with fruit.

The knot garden there is one of my favourite places.

The vine arbour looked stunning, the leaves were a supernatural cerise/purple.

The old main gate and front path. We spotted a couple of rooms that were perfect for little studio spaces in the house too…

And just one of Wightwick, which is amazing inside too, especially for lovers of William Morris and the Pre- Raphaelites; many layers of pattern, texture, ceramics, stained glass, carvings, glorious carpets, central heating and a selection of cosy nooks to sit in, although some of the nooks were not much smaller than our lounge.

I’ve finished three recycled pieces of work, which may or may not be included in a book about using recycled materials in stitched textiles. In these pieces I have used only donated recycled fabrics, 100 year old Chinese newspaper, recycled pieces of my own embroideries, metal tomato paste tube, bark, an old tape measure, maps, used khadi paper, old wooden beads from an ancient childhood collection, and wallpaper. The fabrics were painted and printed with acrylics [ not recycled, or donated, unfortunately] and machine and hand stitch was added. The threads were a mix of old and new, but I couldn’t sat they were recycled, and some beads were new too. But on the whole, the pieces wouldn’t exist without old fabrics; it was a good creative exercise to be restricted in this way.

Hummingbirds I     70 x 50 cm.

A detail of the pink chappie.

Floating     88 x 80 cm.

Details of Floating.

Rainforest III     72 x 55 cm, with details below.

10 thoughts on “A Grand Day Out and 99% recycled.

  1. Hiya, the pot returneth! Such a fabo shape. Can you let me know next time you go visiting as you seem to have a knack with the weather! Such a glorious day yesterday and it is really awful here today. Your new work is getting ‘darker’ I think both in colour and content, maybe because of the darkening days? Still very interesting & full of wonderful content. I am attempting to amalgamate your workshop into my own personal work. Still have not made a bird though! I used to have 5 budgies! Might just have to come on a budgie making course! Hope you and yours are well x

    1. That pot will be around for a while yet! We were lucky with the weather mainly because we changed days at the last minute, as we spotted I had made a mistake about the opening times; so it is useful at times to be inept, you see. The work is probably a bit darker, but I hope there is still a fair amount of content celebrating biodiversity; I can’t resist the memento mori at times though. Now, you didn’t mention the budgies before; there’s no excuse, get those budgies into your work! Sx

      1. Hmmmm Budgies, I like the cage idea better, shape seems to be a sticking point, maybe movement is the way to go. Will you be going to AllyPally? I am there on Sunday to see Dale

      2. I’m not going this year, it’s a pity, I’ll miss it, but I may give Harrogate a go for a change. So you want to make a blurry budgie flying out of its cage; good idea, gets over the funny beak problem.

    1. Good for the creative brain, not so much for the figure…Love your blog Hilary, have attempted to list it on my sidebar; there is some sort of digital reluctance, but I will try again.

  2. What a marvellous fellow that bird in Rainforest lll is. I really like him Steph and would love an opportunity to study it in close up. I think your work has more depth than the pc screen is able to share with us. Great philosophy about the recycling too.

    1. I don’t want to boast but the work does have more depth and oomph in real life; this applies certainly to all textile work let alone other media though. I suppose a brilliant photographer would get more out of it; I will never be that! I had a look at the blog on an ipad and things look jollier, must be the way the screen is constructed. I suppose that’s why we should always try to see as much work as possible in real life. I hope that green man is out of his bag…

  3. Twas indeed a very jolly day Stephers – two stunning properties that I have not visited before and a real indulgence of pattern and ornament – lovely. Am completely overcome with the joy of also discovering second hand book shops along with buns at NT properties … my membership is looking the best bargain of the year. Love the work too and delighted to see the flyng lizards doing their stuff once more – H xx

    1. Buns and books, indeed. It was a very good day Hils, thanks for doing all that driving. The lizards say hello; they’re just about to be manouvered onto a thermofax screen, so they’ll be all over the place eventually.

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