No longer in the 57 club.

This weekend I began my membership of the 58 club. I’m not at all concerned about this but I may start twitching when it’s the 60 club that’s attained. Still, what can you do?

I had a lovely birthday weekend, with a mix of friends and family. On Saturday I went to Winterbourne Gardens with friends from our textile group Quatrefoil; we were lucky to have bright sunshine for a walk and then coffee and non-stop talking, we could have gone on all day. It’s a wonderful garden and house that’s close for all of us, and below is a photograph I took in one of the greenhouses during this year. I didn’t have my camera on this visit, unfortunately, but the greenhouses are beautiful all year, and they are building a new orchid house too. I must admit to liking the old one though, it was long, dim, sweaty and creepy, crammed with gorgeous plants trailing, clinging and hanging. The new one seems to be bigger though, so more botanical opportunities will result.


In the evening we were at another friend’s house, being fed, wonderful; many thanks J and T. I cook a lot so it’s excellent when someone else brings you food, and fills up your wine glass. In the days when you were fed on a ‘plane I loved it, those little trays with compartments; I realise this is beyond sad.

On Sunday we went to Baddesley Clinton, a National Trust moated house; I post about this property quite a lot, as I go several times a year, but like a birthday trip there as the house is decorated and I can indulge in a bit of Christmas schmaltz. And, there was another burst of sunshine for a walk. I very much appreciated this, I’m feeling light deprived at the moment I think. Here’s few shots of good old Baddesley below.




I love the dreamy colours in this last image, and would like it printed, I think, on some fabric. If I don’t get round to doing that I will use it in my Identity work, for the Art Textiles: Made in Britain show next year, which I’m working on at the moment [and for many future moments, it’s turning into a biggie.]  I have written a list of what I would like to include in my Identity artist’s book, some of which is featured below, which then sort of depressed me. I think I will go my usual route of doing exactly what I want rather than what I think I should; after all, where would we ever stop with identity when you start to list your life? So I will keep it intuitive.

I’ve made some more pages for the book, Shadow and Light. Here are some of them below, in progress.


This is the start of a couple of double page spreads about the coast, the sea, and many beach walks.



These are A3 sized photographs of  Welsh beaches I used to visit frequently, an image I took of pebbles, with silk then bondawebbed onto it, text and driftwood, all materials used to make the pages shown below.


Page 2 of the double page spread, with the rest of the book stacked behind, and page 1 below, being stitched.


Right, I’m off to finish these pages now.

12 thoughts on “No longer in the 57 club.

  1. Best wishes for your birthday Steph. I reached that other magic number that you mentioned last week and life goes on in the same old way so never fear! As ever I love the scale you work in. It is so bold and free. Those last two photos with such strong graphic shapes really pull you into the pages. That split image is so effective. So far it all looks like paper imagery that you’ll be stitching on. Is that right or is there fabric too but just not in the photos? This one looks like an idea that will keep on giving you inspiration for a while yet!

    1. Thanks Lesley, glad to know the next biggie isn’t that bad. These pages are nearly all paper, either photographs printed on photo paper and Khadi paper, with just a few pieces of fabric. As you have spotted there was much work with scissors, cutting all the images up and re-assembling. It is turning out to be quite a big book; I’m just going to let it!

  2. Happy Birthday Stephanie – it looks as though you had a great time!
    I’m joining the 58 club in a few months time – save me a seat!!

    1. Thanks Gill, it was a good weekend, a birthday at the weekend is always a treat. Next year, it’s on a Monday..
      You will be made very welcome in the 58 club, nice to have you join.

  3. I love the last two photos with their cut images – had me looking and looking again. Intuitive is, I’m sure, the best route always, though I often have to remind myself of that fact when I face exhibition expectations.
    PS The next decade should hold no fears, I assure you, as long as you’re lucky, so cross fingers and get ready to enjoy …

    1. Hi Margaret, that’s interesting and good that you found them engaging. It’s true that intuitive work needs a space of time. Whenever I get that I try to get down as much as possible so the more plod like finishing off work can be done later, either at a reasonable pace or under pressure. Doesn’t always work but it’s a plan, at least.
      Ah the future, who knows, carpe diem ‘eh?

  4. Happy happitty birthday to you…you spring chicken you! This year I turned 65 which qualified me for the pension in New Zealand. I LOVE getting older. It sure beats the alternative! You can do absolutely nothing about growing old but growing up is not going to happen in my lifetime. I leave being sensible to my kids now.
    Have you read Jenny Joseph’s poem called When I am an Old Woman? It is the one the red hat clubs are based on and I love it.
    I was recently diagnosed as pre diabetic and told my quack I was not having that…so I’ve joined a gym!! I go three days a week…I do 45 minutes of my own stuff before joining the oldies fitness group which is sort of a warm down…but the best thing is we all go straight to McDonalds after class because with the pension we get a Gold Card, and can get a free hot drink at McD’s upon showing it!
    Bring on old age I say! And celebrate your birthday for weeks to come…

    1. True, it is much better than the alternative Bonnie. I do know the poem, but I hadn’t heard about red hat clubs, I’ll look them up. Good re the gym, I’ve read exercise really does help control diabetes, and if you are pre that state, well, let’s hope you can knock it on the head. That’s the way to do it, never give in. And don’t eat the chips at Mc D’s [sorry, refuse to call them fries!]
      Love the idea of continuing celebration, should at least keep at it until Christmas.

      1. Oh no…not the chips! We all trundle in brandishing our cards and just have a drink and a chat! I’m sure they clear a table for us on Monday Wednesday and Friday!

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