Finally, a few moments for some Alexandra Palace show-and-tell. Thanks for the Johnny well-wishes. It took 4 doctors, 2 nurses and 2 x-rays to confirm his arm isn't broken. And he's using it again. Phew. Just don't ask how many hours I've spent in medical establishments this week...
At least I had my mind pictures from Sunday to sustain me (if no real ones - photography was seriously frowned upon at many many exhibits, so I abandoned my camera and tried to commit everything to memory instead). My favourite new find of the show was Caren Garfen.
Her work was full of domestic motifs (toilets, irons, hoovers), silk screened onto cotton and hand embroidered with the finest of fine threads. It was the quiet, self deprecating wit that caught my eye, and the sense of a shared joke. Pinny-humour if you like. But such exquisite workmanship.
I think well known to others, but not to me was Julie Arkell. I'm filled with enthusiasm for papier mache - must get to ripping strips soon.
Her work is described in her book as 'very English'. I'm not too sure exactly what the commentator meant by that, but I love the colour pallete (bright, but slightly muted), the use of found objects and the whimsical with an edge, which prevents the pieces slipping over into cute.
Not that cute isn't good - Rebecca Shreeve's Quirkles were unashamedly cute, brought off with panache and the most gorgeous soft fabrics.
More grown up appeal from Clyde Olliver, who stitches on slate. Fabulous.
And the shopping, oh yeah, because there was plenty of that going on. And some pretty scary shoppers to contend with - there's nothing like a stash-builder with their quarry in sight for getting the elbows out! Some temptations, I could resist - a pumpkin teacosy kit, sadly beyond my skills and a great selection of Mini Boden fabrics, which would have sat and sat before I decided what to do with them.
But there was still a lot of shopping going on. I found some gorgeous linen thread and linen pieces by fog linen work sold through Selvedge objects.
Sashiko thread, from Euro Japan Links. I love the matte finish of this for embroidery.
Some yarn for a simple little hat project I want to try.
And a whole load of needle felting supplies. It's something I've been wanting to have a go at for ages, so when I saw a starter kit being demonstrated, I just had to have one. Believe me, I was all about lack of spending restraint that day! It's a good thing the cashpoint was out of action, or the damage to my bank account may have been severe.
And it wouldn't have been anywhere near as much fun without the redoubtable company of Caroline. In fact the only downer of the day was the absence of Monica who was stuck at home with her little barfers, chained to the washing machine. Why is it that time spent with blog-chums passes in the wink of an eye? It was only the tiredness of my feet which convinced me we had spent the entire day having fun. But we really did.