With my 'President of West Country Embroiderers' hat on, I went to visit Swindon branch. I am going to try to drop in on as many branches as I can when I am 'Ite and abite', giving talks etc.
Swindon is a very lively branch, led by Maggie Harris - a talented lady. They are a big branch with two groups - one which meets to do their own work and one has a monthly workshop. Very often it is Maggie and her talented second-in-command Margaret who lead these, although they do have some great tutors as well.
The day I visited they were mono-printing with acrylics. Here is Maggie, showing how it is done.
Maggie and Margaret made a great team. They had lots of samples to show and were awesomely well organised. Maggie and I used to run in-service training for teachers a few years ago (OK, quite a few years ago) so I know she is a great teacher. The end results were exciting and also gave good ideas for mark making.
If you live in England's West Country and you'd like to find a friendly local group, do check out www.westcountryembroiderers.co.uk to find a group near you.
On the way home we popped into a National Trust for a cuppa.
The gardens were in very good shape for the straggle end of summer and there was some
spectacular autumn stuff going on. How about this colour combination?
I am having such an interesting time with the next d4daisy book Approaches to Stitch:Six Artists. We have settled on that as the final name, having had Six of the Best as a working title. The work is coming in and it is exquisite. Don't panic if you are one of the artists - not deadline time yet. More on www.d4daisy.com
At the same time I am working on my next book, with Sam Packer and Paula Watkins. It is all about cutting - from simple punches to the Sissix-type die cutters and the sewing machine knife attachments. Here is part of a book using mixed media with a punch. So it is all go on the d4daisy front.
Smudge has been the star of a Facebook video, doing a 'Strictly' style dance as he goes through his tunnel catflap. He does have a little trouble with it and it is good for his exercise regime. So far, it has also stopped him bringing in livestock. Until yesterday evening when Clive was out. He makes an odd noise - like a ventriloquist - when his mouth is full of mouse, so I knew what was going on. I managed to prise open the jaws of hell and rescue it but it didn't look well so, in desperation, I popped it in the compost caddy with a brick on top. We opened it next morning expecting an ex-mouse but it had eaten all the compost and was very lively. So Clive had to take the bin for a walk down to the fields. Ruddy cat.
Thanks for comments - I did enjoy Chloe's work, too. Definitely a class act.