Thursday, October 30, 2008

Please Remind Me

Edited to delete my pity party. I thought about what Deborah (real name, not posting name) would advise me to do if she had commented, and then I did it.

I'm fine now, but the comments were nice, so I'm leaving them.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

At the National Gallery

This week I volunteered to help with a school trip to the National Gallery.
It was a nice trip: the girls were well-behaved and all I had to do was ensure they got to see a range of paintings and accompany them on a talk. There were some proper teachers who did the boring things like getting them to clear up the lunch room.

One of the things I enjoyed was being able to bore tell a new set of people about the things I find interesting. So instead of walking through a room with four paintings based on the four elements, we stopped and I gave a precis of the ideas about earth, air, fire and water.

"You don't go to a library and expect to read all the books in one visit" said the speaker at the start of the talk. She compared art galleries, museums, zoos and libraries as collections of things to study, and made the point that studying each of them took a bit of time.
One painting she took us to see was "Bacchus and Ariadne" by Titian. While we were looking at it, she explained that if one of the figures is looking at the painting's viewer, it was like an invitation to join in. Although one of the characters is looking out, the painting next to it had the sitter staring at us.
Man with a quilted sleeve
The man looks sideways at me, a clear invitation: he is ignoring the painter, and with that quizzical look of his, is trying to engage me in his activity. I was in two minds as to whether to buy the postcard, until I saw the name of the painting : "man with a quilted sleeve".

Another painting we were taken to see was "An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump": she couldn't have chosen a painting that was of more relevance to me. The contrast between the dark background and the candle lit circle of participants was much greater in real life. After the talk we went back to have another look at it, and I explained to some of the girls about eighteenth century understanding of air, and the role of the traveling lecturer.

The other picture I particularly liked (not in her talk) was 'Still Life: An Allegory of the Vanities of Human Life'. Again this captured some of my interests, the idea of a curiosity cabinet, an un-themed collection of things that were interesting.

Monday, October 20, 2008

My little pot

My little pot continues to grow. This was it on Saturday:

fabric pot
The slow progress is not really a reflection of how complex it is/isn't, more a reflection of doing it in small occasional bursts.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Going round in circles

I made two circles yesterday.

Crochet pot scrubber thing from a plastic bag:

Start of a fabric pot using the book and cord I brought on Sunday at Ally Pally:

(At some point I'll put all the other Ally Pally photos up.)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Pictures from Ally Pally

Some people only take photos inside Alexander Palace, but when I left the building on Sunday the views were so stunning, I had to take some pictures. It was clear enough to see the hills on the far side of London - the North Downs in Surrey perhaps?

views across London
views across London
views across London

I was struck by the linear forms of the tower blocks in the distance. They don't show up well in these little versions, but click on them for the full size versions. I think the sunlight was reflecting off them, making them so bright and clear.

views across London
views across London
views across London

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Next Sunday - 12th October - the green stripy bag in my profile picture, my ravelry name badge and a badge with my blog name will all be accompanying me and the rest of my knitting group to Ally Pally. Please say "hi".

Friday, October 10, 2008

Exam Done and Box Contents!

These are the three items I selected from the box swop organised by Trash.
square of

The pompom maker in the middle was one of the first things I saw when I opened the box and it was something I wanted. Then I saw the squares, and I really wanted them: I've been collecting 6.5"ish squares for ages, for a background project I'm doing some of the time. The Jungle Babies pattern looks like it will be fun to do.

All of the fabric squares:
square of

My exam was on Wednesday, and there were four questions I felt confident abut answering, which is always nice. I spent most of the time writing, which is good in an essay paper. I think I showed enough breadth of knowledge, but depth? Not sure about. Results in December, fingers crossed.

I have done nothing for the last two days, since the exam. Well, apart from read the odd blog, and done some washing. I have a huge backlog of stuff to do, but I haven't even really thought about it. I feel like I've just been washed up on the beach, having being swimming frantically for the shore, only occasionally coming up for air. Now, I know I'll have to go into the forest at some point soon, and start building a shelter and foraging for food, and doing all the things one does when washed up on a distant island. But right now, I'm lying on the beach, resting until I can summon the energy to get on with them.

I will be going to the Knitting and Stitching show on Sunday. Just off to check whether anyone has blogged about it yet.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

The Box Landed on my Doorstep

square of

Organised by Trash. Sent on by Kate.

More later...