I have a habit of losing track of time. It may be an age thing, it may be because I don’t go out to work. Sometimes it’s because of the dreaded MS fatigue. Whatever the reason for it I forget to tend to this blog, then I suddenly discover that I haven’t published a post for over 2 months. So here goes – a whistle stop tour of the last 2 months.
February started off reasonably well, however I did a silly thing when we went to have a look at my son’s first choice university for the day. It involved a trip across to the west by car, which was fine. When we got there I should have used my mobility scooter, but instead I thought I could manage with just my walking stick. BIG mistake. I spent the drive home exhausted and in pain. My legs ached for the next week, and I had a recurrence of the dizziness and nausea that had ruined my Christmas Eve. Sometimes we learn the hard way, and this was one of those times. It took a lot of massage plus acupuncture to get me functioning again. Most of February and the beginning of March were a write-off. I did manage to submit my application for funding to the Arts Council, and I honestly think the stress of getting that in on time compounded the problem.
With help I managed to pull myself around long enough to get down to the Wyboston Lakes Hotel for the Stitch Retreat I’d been looking forward to for almost a year. It was fantastic, and I learned so much from Jan Beaney and Jean Littlejohn. If you get the opportunity to do a workshop with them grab it with both hands. This is one of the samples I completed
I was extremely tired when I got home on the Monday evening, and spent most of Tuesday in bed. I did manage to get up, washed and dressed to attend the Nortumberland Adult Learner Achievement Awards 2015/16 ceremony. I knew that I had been nominated and shortlisted for an award, however it wasn’t until my name was read out on the night that I knew I had won in the Languages, Literature, Arts and Culture category. I was amazed, and very proud to be a winner.
The following day things just got even better – I received notification from the Arts Council England that my application was successful, and they have awarded me the full amount I had applied for. This means that my community arts project in Blyth can go ahead, culminating in an exhibition in August to coincide with the visit to the town of the Tall Ships Regatta in August. I have three artists working with me to deliver the project, and for health reasons they will be delivering the majority of the workshops for me. I know my limitations which is why I recruited a great team of likeminded artists so that the project will be a success. We start off with a mentoring session on 4th April, from which the community workshops can be developed. We are all so excited to have Maggie Hickman Smith to mentor us that I think me might burst! We’ve started batting ideas around and can’t wait to get things underway.
In the meantime I’ve been practising the layered texture technique I learned from Jan and Jean, and I’ve put together a mini photo tutorial on my Facebook page. Here are the steps:
The best way to do this when you are experimenting is by using very small squares, no bigger than 5cm x 5cm. Jan and Jean were very clear about the need to try, test, and practise techniques before launching into a full size project. The samples above are inspired by ice. If you have any questions please contact me, and if you have a go I’d love to see what you make.
So that’s it, we’re all caught up now. See you again in April.