Monday, 17 October 2011

Friends reunited

This week has not seen much creative activity. The reason? My good friend, Amy, has been visiting from Oregon where we met as grad students at the Oregon Institute of Marine Biology.

It's been a brilliant few days, and we've had eight whole years to catch up on. There's been a lot of talking, gossiping, laughing and silly accents. Some sightseeing, hiking and shopping. And a little crying too. She's gone now, and I miss her terribly, but it won't be eight years until I see her again.

Highlights of the week include a hike around Malham, taking in Janet's Foss, Gordale Scar and Malham Cove...

...cultural treasures like the Walker Gallery in Liverpool, Lancaster Castle and Speke Hall...

...and Bottom Drawer Quilters' biennial exhibition where we caught up with my Mum and saw some beautiful quilts.

Great week. Do I have to go back to work?

Monday, 3 October 2011

Flower power

I am a child of the seventies, and well versed in flares, shaggy hair and ponchos! I am so, so glad that I am a child, and not an adolescent, of the seventies. The shame of those stylistic choices, if they had indeed been choices. Luckily, I can blame my parents for my appalling pre-teen apparel. To illustrate my point, here's a photo of a six-year old me, rocking a bowl cut, some polyester slacks (which I am almost certain had ricrac around the bottom of the trouser legs) and a vivid T-shirt covered in large green apples with orange trim. In the background, note the patriotic Union Jack shopping bag! In the foreground, the first fossil I can remember finding - a piece of fossilised wood in the Libyan Desert.
and so another palaeontologist is born
Why the sudden seventies reminiscence? Well, it's twofold actually. This week, I spent a very enjoyable afternoon with a class of 25 six and seven year olds talking about fossils. They had wanted to meet a real, live palaeontologist and I was glad to oblige. I thought the photo above might encourage them to look for their own fossils, rather than thinking that it's something only professional fossil hunters do. They thought I was a boy, but other than that seemed quite inspired.

The second reason is that another big theme of the 70s was flower power, and I've been creating a whole garden of Japanese folded flowers (known as kanzashi) which I will turn into brooches to sell at the exhibition that I mentioned in a previous post. I still need to add brooch backs to most of them, but I am very happy with how they turned out.
Blooming marvelous!
Finally, I have also started quilting one of my unquilted tops. Here's a quick snap of what I've achieved so far. Freehand leafy swirls in the centre of the rectangular blocks and in the sashing. I still have to work out how to turn a corner. I'd better save that for an evening when I'm properly awake.