Saturday, 28 April 2012

Stroud textiles

We went to the opening of an exhibition in Stroud last night, 'Conversations and Collaborations.'
A couple of our friends had their work on display.

Mary La Trobe Bateman OBE, patron for the Stroud International Textiles introduced Joanna Foster, who was opening the exhibition. Both women were wonderfully dressed, in lovely fabrics of bright, bold pattern. They were both in red and black and took a surprised look at each other when they first met in the gallery! There was such a crush of people at the opening speech that I could not get a photograph of them together. I caught up with Mary later to admire her wonderful jacket and her scarlet tights and shoes, which are sadly in the shadow in my photo and not displaying their vibrant colour.

Joanne Foster CBE is chair of The Crafts Council and President of the Oxfordshire Crafts Guild. You can see what a matching pair they made!

The gallery was awash with makers. Interestingly there was very little colour to be found in the artwork and installations, it was all very monochrome. But the makers themselves were arrayed in delicious fabrics, all colour and texture.
 Curator, Alice Kettle.
What did I wear?
I was rather monochrome myself. Gap grey cotton lawn blouse, LBD at least thirty years old!
Black tights and Duo suede shoes.
We drove to Stroud in the rain and we came back home in yet another downpour.
That's it, Im packing my bag. 
 I will not be visible on Visible Monday, I'm going in search of some sunshine before it starts to web between my toes. 

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

RWA exhibitions.

The Royal West of England Academy in Bristol is showing a varied selection of exhibitions at the moment and we went especially to see  'Eric Ravilious: Going Modern/Being British.'

Ravilious (1903 - 42) was an artist and a designer. I grew up with his imagery about me and constantly see the landscape through his eyes. Traveling in the car and glimpsing a roll of hillside or a stand of trees, I say, "Look, it's a Ravilious!"
The watercolours in the exhibition are displayed in subdued lighting to prevent damage so the images seen here are taken from the RWA spring magazine (with apologies for wobbles and  poor  colour.) Although his work is so familiar to me I knew nothing about the artist himself. The quiet serenity of his work and the restrained use of colour had made me think of him as an elderly artist and I was therefore shocked to read that he had died at the age of thirty-nine. He was working as a War Artist during the Second World War when the plane that he was traveling in was lost.
'Dangerous Work.'

Another RWA exhibition, that again I could not photograph, this time for copyright reasons, was 'Selling Dreams: One Hundred Years of Fashion Photography.'

This is a touring show from the V&A's collection using around sixty images to reflect the key themes in fashion photography throughout the last hundred years. This young woman was making notes on the fabulous Irving Penn photo.
I itched to use my camera for all you fashion bloggers; there were hats by Isle Bing in 1934 for the Style Crone, Bettina Jones wearing a Schiaparelli swimsuit in 1928 for Dash, and for me , David Bailey, one of the 'Terrible Three', photographing his girlfriend Jean Shrimpton at his parents' house, 91, Heigham Road in London in 1961 - my era!

Do log on to the V&A website if you would like to see the photos.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Visible Monday, Drought!

Drought!! What drought? It's been raining for days. We are thinking of building an ark. April showers do not properly describe the amount of rainfall that we are experiencing.
All my tubs and water barrels are full and overflowing.

I'm wearing my 'Bronte' riding mac of oiled cotton

and a Foster Maughan hat in the same fabric.

                           For Patti's Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style

Tuesday, 17 April 2012


We were away at the weekend visiting Cambridge, London and Oxford, staying with  family. Minimal packing was required for moving to different households. Although the sun shone, the wind cut through me like a knife. Thank goodness for the warmth of my pashmina!

From Christchurch College we walked down through the water meadows to the river. It was far too cold for anyone to be punting!

My pashmina is enormous, two metres in length and yet it is very light and folds up into the smallest space in my shoulder bag when not needed.
I wore a black mac by Claudie Pierlot with it's warm quilted lining and carried a brolly.
This is England!

For Patti at Not Dead Yet Style.
The other week this article appeared in the Metro paper. Now that's what I call bold!

Monday, 9 April 2012

Invisible Monday!

Our elder daughter has been home with us for the long Easter weekend - what a delight. Saturday was fine and we visited the small Somerset village of Mells and the cathedral city of Wells. (On share my garden.)
But today, just look at the weather, it has rained the whole day long. My water butts, emptied and cleaned last week, are full to overflowing.

Never mind, we stayed indoors and talked and talked until it was time to head to the station for the London train.
Both daughters are dark haired and dark eyed. They can carry off colours that defeat me. Beside them I look somewhat invisible.

I'm dressed for warmth today in a cashmere Boden cardigan and blouse, grey Gap trousers and a pair of socks from M&S.

The blouse is spotted cotton with a scallop trim. It's from this season's catalogue and I'm very pleased with it. The cardigan, in one of my favourite colours, is older. The buttons are stitched onto a velvet band - a very satisfying detail.
And there is a nice touch of detailing on the trousers as well. 

Every now and then it is great to be bone idle!
For Patti at Not Dead Yet Style.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Visible Monday, waistcoat.

I am very fond of waistcoats. My father had his clothes custom made, with several waistcoats in tartan wool. I 'borrowed' them to wear when I was an art student! They are such a warm and practical item of clothing, leaving your arms free for work.
I'm wearing this purple velvet one from Boden, the mail-order company. I like the masculine pinstriped fabric on the back.

The baby cord shirt is from Oasis, a hand-me-down from a daughter. 
One of Janet Haigh's enamel and beadwork brooches is pinned at the collar.

Toss off my clogs and lace up my boots and I'm all ready for a bit of manual work in the garden!

For Patti's Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Private View - people watching.

Himself has a couple of paintings in the Bath Society of Artists Open Exhibition and on Friday night we went with friends to the private view. The show has been moved forward this year because of the Olympics and the organizers were concerned that they might not get enough entries. They need not have feared, they received more than ever.
It is an open, mixed show, and because Bath is such a beautiful city it featured quite a bit in the artwork on display.

The people at the opening were as varied as the paintings and many of them just as colourful.
A great opportunity to people watch!
There were plenty of mayoral chains on display.

all sorts of hairstyles,

butterflies, flowers and stripes

                                    and a bit of gossip.
Himself and the Young and Fit studying the catalogue.

What do we think of it?

The men were cutting quite a sartorial dash - yellow pants, red berets, cravats, attitude!

( Last year's opening is on my June '11 posting 'Another Op'Nin Another Show!')

After the opening we went to Jamie's Italian for supper.

I ordered squid ink pasta and double checked with the young waiter that it wasn't going to be cooked in cream.
"Did he say,'No dearie'?" I asked Janet.
She gave me one of those looks. "He said, 'no dairy'", she replied.

What did I wear? 
Oska grey pin cord jacket, part of  a suit.
Grey wool trousers and suede ballet flats. 
White Nicole Farhi blouse.

The photos of my outfit were taken after midnight, when the coach had turned into a pumpkin and I was ready to tumble into bed.

Worn with grey pearl earings, a silver bracelet and amber necklace.

Ceramic Sunday.
I've been watering plants for my next door neighbour while she has been on holiday in France. She returned today, and, mindful of my gallstones, brought me a perfumed candle rather than an edible present - just the thing to post for Ceramic Sunday. 
Oh, but it smells good enough to eat!