Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Desperate for a run around and some fresh air we headed off to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park yesterday, (well I had a bit of an ulterior motive, I wanted to see "Endangered Species" by the scottish artist Donna Wilson that was currently showing in the gallery!).

We hadn't been to the YSP before but were really impressed by the sculptures and the beautiful grounds. We started off having a look inside at the galleries, first work of Donna Wilson.

We spent a good while looking at this knitted landscape with knitted trees, creatures and rugs, so much to look at, so many different textures.

This was our favourite little fellow, isn't he cute

And him too...

We loved all the creatures.

I loved this one too.

Next we headed on to the cafe, where they served what we call "real food",  freshly made salads, soups and the like, even the chips were proper ones made from real potatoes.  I had a lovely feta and spinach tart and a fennel salad which was really good washed down with mint tea. 
Following lunch we headed downstairs, all of us were really intrigued by the work of spanish artist Jaume Plensa. Especially this 50 metre wall of poetry made of stainless steel letters which you were encouraged to stroke for the tinkling sound.

 The sculptures looked stunning against the blue sky.

Sui Jiango (Legacy Mantle) symbolizing Mao's legacy

Ten Seated Figures by Magdalena Abakanowicz
I was particularly drawn to this plump bottom on the rabbit!

As it was such a lovely day and so warm my two were running around in t-shirts I insisted on a good walk around the lake to burn off a bit of steam and so that we could walk across the stepping stone bridge.  Halfway round (but too far to go back), complaints of tiredness started, but the promise of an ice-cream at the end kept their legs going and we made it back up the hill to the carpark (much to my relief as they are too big to carry now!).

Donna Wilson's work is on display until 26th February, and a lovely bonus to a brilliant day out at the YSP.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Skiis for efficient landing of fairies in snow!

Today I finished my fairy that I started on my Samantha Bryan workshop just before christmas.

I stitched her teeny fairy shoes, added her beautiful goose feather wings and used dried leaves to make her skis (necessary of course for efficient landing of fairies in snow!).

Ta da!

Here she is in pride of place next to my Julie Arkell piece (The Day I Nearly Lost Lamby) whose been safely unpacked and put out on display that all our dusty renovations are over.

I think they look fab together, and I'm very proud of my dainty little fairy!

Our favourite christmas decs xx

Our nativity set

The most delicious white chocolate gingerbread decorations!

Beautiful French Mermaid

Felted acorn angel

Oh yes and he speaks too.. 
Our fireplace xx

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Take two six year olds, gingerbread and lots of white chocolate..

Mmm Gingerbread biscuits...
with White Chocolate Icing, White chocolate stars and mini marshmallows!

Warm melted white chocolate... Lick the spoon anyone?!

Next the Gingerbread House


Assembled with more white chocolate and royal icing..
Merry Christmas!!

Monday, December 19, 2011

A wonderful day in Fairyland

I was so lucky on Saturday to take part in what turned out to be my most favourite workshop ever (!), with the lovely Samatha Bryan, the mixed media artist behind the wonderful Brains Fairies, which was held at the brilliant workshops of Hope and Elvis. If you aren't familiar with Samantha's work I urge you to spend a few minutes and take a look at her gallery of wonderful fairies on her website, they are truly exquisite.

Samantha's pieces are inspired by Victorian Gadgetry and Invention, her fairies have wonderful devices to assist them in their day to day duties in Fairyland, including the Fairy Dust sprinkling aid, Special Flight Hats, Bottom Warming garments for Fairies (my favourite!), Fairy Flight Aids and so many more brilliant ideas and inventions!

Here are some examples of her work, there are so many more on her website.
Introducing Brains Aerodynamic Flight Hat for Fairies
Each Fairy is Beautifully made and the attention to detail is exquisite

Look at the sunflower seed earmuffs

Beautifully made tiny flying goggles

Teeny Tiny Mirror, Beautiful handstitched leather clothes
To make our own fairies, the first stage was to sculpt our Fairy Faces. We all made a few faces in different sizes in air drying clay so we could choose the one that best suited our fairy body.
 Then we made the bodies, arms and legs ...
  Painted the body

Throughout the day accompanied by suitably seasonal music, Louise kept us supplied with cups of tea, crumpets and festive bites, as our fairies gradually took shape.

 We cut out our fairy clothes from the so soft leather that Samantha had brought for us to choose from
Two fairy arms
We added our arms to our fairy body 

Then added our main body 

  And the scariest part for me not being very good at painting, creating the faces, now they were really started to take on their own personalities!
They soon started to take shape, here we are adding the teeny tiny fingers! 
Samantha brought lots of natural seed heads, pods, feathers and beans to use on our Fairies. 

 This is one of her example heads, the hat is an acorn cup!

We had so much fun and achieved so much in a day, but we had to wait to fully assemble our Fairies, as the center of the heads weren't dry enough in a day to attach them to the bodies.  I am finishing mine later today, stitching the teeny tiny shoes, attaching the wings, and hope to post her fully finished in the next couple of days!  

Samantha exhibits her pieces at galleries, if you ever get the chance to see them do go along, and she also runs workshops which as you can see are totally absorbing and inspiring!

(Can I also add that Louise has just released her workshop list for next spring and there are so many wonderful workshops to tempt, be sure to book quickly as they are always so popular! I will be!) xox