20 May 2010

Open House

Every May and December, Brighton and Hove hosts the “Artists Open Houses” festival. Homes, gardens and studios across the city (and beyond) open their doors to the public over the weekend to show a huge range of arts and crafts produced by local people. This May, a staggering 243 venues opened their doors to passers by.

To be honest, I find it a mind boggling exercise to choose where to visit. Houses often show a number of artists work including paintings, prints, needlework, sculpture, crochet and knitting, jewellery and much, much more. The quality does of course vary and not everything will be to everyone’s taste. But this is part of the appeal and is a welcome change to mass produced, mainstream crap stuff that you often see for sale elsewhere. It’s a bit like having walk in Etsy stores with the added bonus of getting to look around other peoples homes!

So last Sunday I went to the shop and gallery of the Sussex Guild at Southover Grange in Lewes, having been seduced by the prints of Annie Soudain. I ended up buying three cards of her prints - but I would have loved to have taken home a full size original (one day!).
Annie was actually manning (womanning?) the shop so I managed to have a chat with her - a lovely and talented lady.

Southover Grange is a beautiful 17th century building with wonderful gardens. Across the lawn is a gateway into a floral garden through which runs the river Ouse.

It reminds me of The Secret Garden. I hadn't even known this place existed before and will definitely visit again (when the weather is nice).

I did take a couple of flower pictures, but they didn't come out too well, so I'll leave you with one of my favourite flowers:
Have a lovely weekend everyone!

03 May 2010

Ooh La La!

Where did April go? I have evidence that there was sunshine - some rare sunlight is creeping through the nets in the above picture. The last few days have been overcast with torrential rain (I would expect nothing else on a Bank Holiday). There's nothing quite as Springy as a pot of narcissi don't you think? I'm not a big fan of yellow, but this April it was a welcome visitor to my home.

  These cheery fellows (chrysanthemums?) lasted a good three weeks (oooh - I spy some crochet!)

Even with my blurry photos I love 'em!

But, perhaps even more exciting - pssssst, you will NEVER believe it, but today I found a project I liked the look of and did it! Yes, finished it! In ONE sitting no less.

Well, unless you're going to point out that in actual fact there is the matching pillow case to do....but you wouldn't be that mean to me now, would you?  The instructions are on Cassie's blog  and she has made them super easy to follow. Even better, she lists chocolate in the supplies - clever lady!

Cassie starts by showing how to make your own pillow case, fit for the purpose. I think I made life difficult for myself by using an existing case. I know, I know, this should have made it easier BUT - there was some stretch to the fabric in my pillow case and I didn't have the nice guide line that the hems would have given me (told you she was clever!). Still, I'm quite pleased with how it turned out, although the initial blanket stitching with a loooooong length of yarn was a pig. Really.

So pleased, that as you can see I took photos for you without first ironing it. I have to admit, I don't really do ironing....life's too short. But I would have. Honestly. Just for you.

There's also an "On The Edge"  flickr group where you can see lots of more colourful versions. I'm looking around now, wondering what else would like a crochet edging.....