An elegant sufficiency

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

What a week!

This is the most hectic week I've had in ages: Mark's been in New York, having fun with friends and hearing great performances of music by his favourite Joachim Raff. I've been home, running here and there to meetings, all of which somehow involve my transporting great quantities of "stuff" in my car - computer equipment, bags of yarn and charity knitting, parcels of calendars and diaries and on one journey, overnight stuff. The days have been full, I've enjoyed going from one thing to another but I will be pleased when my diary suddenly empties after a conference this weekend coming up.

So in the odd free half hour here and there, what do I do but gather a few things from the garden and put a kind of arrangement on the table to make me feel like I'm still keeping it all together at home. It began witha few conkers I collected from the Waitrose car park, but needed a bit more and a bit more...

Of course, after only a couple of hours indoors, the conkers went very dull and lost their appeal so I replaced them with a few cobnuts I'd bought. So, the conker in the picture is a Penkridge treasure, as is the little crab apple. Aren't they fantastic? (even if it does scratch the furniture!)
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Clapotis finished

I finished the clapotis scarf the other night, but until now, haven't had time to blog about it. I followed the pattern exactly, made no changes and was appreciative of Liz's tip to download the Excel "Clapotis Row by Row" chart from the Clapotis Knitalong group to use. Thanks Liz!

The yarn is yummy - soft and lightweight with just the right amount of drape. It's Great Adirondack's Sireno and I knitted on 3.75 needles, which seemed comfortable.

I'm pleased with the end result, more so now I've blocked it. I don't think I'd knit it again, however, as I found it rather boring to knit. Took me a while to get into the flow, and then, once I had, I was bored.

Shame, because it really is a very attractive scarf and I think I'll wear it lots.

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Friday, September 22, 2006

Stroud Maternity Matters - the people agree

A while back I posted a piece about the plight of our local midwife-led maternity hospital, which was under threat of closure in spite of immense local and national support. Yesterday, following a lengthy consultation, we received the news that it will stay open.

Women in Stroud are so fortunate to have such an excellent facility in the community.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

I know it's time to slow down

..because it's now nearly 1pm and I just realised that I haven't brushed my hair this morning, almost 22 years since the last good excuse for such behaviour was born.

No-one has said anything, either. I wonder if they noticed? Maybe they simply thought it was better to say nothing...

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Baby Bunting

On Sunday, we are invited to a Christening celebration with friends. We ordered our present some time ago but only heard by email yesterday that it won't be here in time. Bleh! So, the bunting manufacture started and a short time later, 10 yards of it is done and ready to roll. The baby's name, Eleanor, appears midway along the stretch, but doesn't appear in the photograph. We think that perhaps she will enjoy bringing out the bunting on birthdays, or maybe she'll like to see it hanging in her bedroom when she's older.

Of course, big sister Rosie-Jane can't be left out, so I made her a small cushion with the same fabrics. There's a little secret pocket inside there too.

All far more fun than doing the ironing!

Monday, September 11, 2006

September sums




Add one year


Sloes are dripping from the trees in Gloucestershire this year. Mine came from the Bourton on the Water area and were picked for me (thanks Marjorie and Connie!)

Knitting projects on the go

I just downloaded Eunny Jang's Print o'the wave stole pattern having seen so many lovely examples here and there and as I did, I felt a pang of guilt - just how many projects do I have going right now, and do I need the distraction of another one?

So, here goes:

A pair of socks for Mark, started just before our holiday. One done and dusted, the other is progressing nicely. Pattern from Sensational Socks

A pair of socks for me, started ages ago, also from Sensational Socks. One sock done. SSS has set in and there's nothing on the needles.

The Liquorice Allsorts Mobius scarf. Tinked twice, still not quite right but nearly done. Can't be bothered to tink it again so it will have to do.

A Clapotis scarf in the maple-leaf Sireno silk/wool mix I bought at Webs. Have dropped two lines so far...a few more to go.

Nearly forgot, an ongoing project to knit Teeny Tiny Totes as Christmas presents. Three done, a few more to go!

Hmmm. Maybe enough already?

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Inspiration for something

Looking for the airport photos a minute ago, I came across this picture, taken in Niagara Falls. It was in the Casino shopping centre, part of the Swarovski shop front and I would have dearly loved to have been able to leap up there and take a rubbing. Couldn't tell if it was as three dimensional as it appears, or what material it was made from (fibreglass probably) - I was hurriedly searching for a Ladies loo at the time and was a little preoccupied! Posted by Picasa

Airport Art

Moving on from art in hotel rooms, todays post has examples of airport art which was similarly curious. I didn't find examples of "art" in a conventional form in a US airport at all, but in both Canadian departure areas we were soothed (?) by creative works.

I happen to be rather fond of cows. I like their curiosity and their calm approach to life and think the expressions on their angular faces are endearing. No surprises then, that I liked these digital screen images in Ottawa. Not sure of the thinking behind the choice, however. Maybe it was to instill the herd instinct to those passing through the airport? To offer a glimpse of green in a very grey building? Or maybe there was a dairy conference on at the time...

I support the people who campaigned for large-scale installations in the Toronto terminal, but wonder if my reaction to these works is typical? Certainly the blasts of colour amongst all the glass and stainless steel worked to relieve the sterility of the environment, but sitting waiting for a flight with these images in view was not the calm and peaceful experience that I'd hoped for. Such energy in those huge canvases, the way the paint had been swooshed around with very visible brushstrokes and the colours chosen; the predominance of red and the trickles of paint must surely provoke comment from travellers heading through that particular terminal? I've left in the sign for scale - these were huge, wall size pieces which dominated the area where we were sitting.

In spite of my leanings towards the non-representational, the colourful and art which provokes a reaction, I'll take the cows, thank you.

(Thank you, Blogger, for uploading three pictures at once, rather than having to write several entries as yesterday. What a pain you are at times...)

Friday, September 08, 2006

Hotel Art 7

Westin Boston. There was art on the walls, but come on, with a view like this, who'd look at the pictures? Posted by Picasa


Hotel Art 6

Franconia Inn, New Hampshire. Picture of a cemetery. Nice. If you like that kind of thing! Posted by Picasa


Hotel Art 5

Holiday Inn Express, Burlington VT. No art. Well, what did you expect for that price?!


Hotel Art 4

Lousy photo again - sorry about that. This time we're in an Inn in the Berkshires and this picture had a price tag on it. Our breakfast came with US flags flying, too. Posted by Picasa


Hotel Art 3

Westin Ottawa this time - a good local flavour I think, and the collage style picture looked interesting, but somehow these two didn't do a great deal for the room. Perhaps the lack of colour was just too safe a choice? Posted by Picasa


Thursday, September 07, 2006

Hotel Art 2

In stark contrast, this piece of art (apologies for the very poor photo!) was on the wall of the Ramada Fallsview Hotel, in Niagara Falls, Canada. It also claims to be a "boutique" hotel.  Posted by Picasa


Hotel Art 1

Whilst on holiday I took a series of photographs of the art on display. I think it reveals a good deal about the hotel and the image it hopes to communicate.

This piece was from the Soho Metropolitan, a "boutique" hotel in Toronto. Not exactly restful! It's one large canvas btw, separated by grey masked out strips and was about 4ft high and 6 or 7ft wide.

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