Friday, 25 April 2014

To summarise a month...

It's been a busy few weeks... I finished a quilt:

In the spirit of all the Kaffe Fassett fabrics I used to make it, I went to his exhibition at the American Museum in Bath and my eyes jingled with all the patterns and colours:

I have been practising with my new camera, although my photography course hasn't started yet and I haven't gone on to the difficult settings so far:

I went to Paris. It was a challenge to remember not to do all the things I used to do pre-children and to keep it mostly child-friendly. There were fraught times and cross times, not to mention very very tired legs. But there were some special moments: beautiful macaroons in flavours that could not have been dreamed of by a tired English person (rose, mango, bergamot...), ice-creams heaving with authentic fruity flavours from Berthillon - roasted pineapple with basil anyone? - olfactory overload in Diptyque and an over-spend on a very grown-up perfume and several free samples for me and for children in a desperate attempt to stop them from touching everything in sight, fabulous breakfasts from a boulangerie in the Rue des Martyrs which included a brioche with pink pralines and a rose-scent, a lovely sunlit walk round the Menagerie in the Jardin des Plantes, and a wonderful lunch for everyone in the glorious Le Progres in Montmartre (it's not often that an 8 year old boy could be really happy with his choice of ox cheek stewed in wine with aromatic herbs, and egging his sister on to eat more of her lunch with the reward of a slice of yellow carrot - lovingly stewed with the cheek - after each completed mouthful). In the apartment we rented, there was a charming children's book called "En route pour la Tour Eiffel" by Iris de Mouy which covered a little girl's trip with her animal friends around Paris. It turned out that by Day 3 we had - coincidentally - seen almost everything featured in the book and the copy that we bought is going to turn into a very special and personal souvenir of our trip for us all.

The come-back to reality has not been an easy path but I am getting there. Busy with North Somerset Arts newsletter, PTA events and the drear of everyday life and argumentative tired children. Yesterday I tried something new. My good friend Laura organised a craft session with several friends and insisted it should include some printing. I was a bit stumped for inspiration until I realised this could include something textile-based rather than just paper. So I went off to buy a selection of lovely French fabric paints and started to wonder what printing onto felt might be like. I wasn't convinced it would be a success, but just to show willing I made some pieces of felt that looked a bit meadowy, in the hope that some printed flowers might do the trick on top. I had a vision of potato prints but this vision was not up to the mark and luckily Laura had thought to bring along some tiles and to explain mono printing: painting onto the tile and then pressing it onto the surface to be printed. So that is what I tried. What do you think?

I don't think I normally get on too well with paint; it's never really been my medium. But here I think  I quite like the ethereal quality of the printing. I now have to work out whether to add a little stitching as well to improve things, or whether to leave them alone.