Tuesday, 8 July 2008

The House of Chaos

I am writing this blog under almost impossible circumstances as young Smudge has taken up residence. In an effort to keep him company and still get something done, I’m sitting on the sofa with my laptop. Not a good idea, as he is alternately attacking the mouse or jumping on the keyboard, chasing my moving fingers. I have just deleted a page of carriage returns. Clive once nodded off while typing a report on his laptop and when he woke up he had 64 pages of the letter S. Well, it was late evening.
If you wish to skip the cat part of the blog, textiles will resume at ***below.

In addition to the Smudge hassle I am not a well person as I have a nasty tummy bug. So this post will be written in intervals between rescuing the kitten and other necessary dashes.

We picked him up late yesterday afternoon - delayed due to one of the worst drives of my life. I was coming home from a Wessex Textiles meeting in Salisbury and went through a cloudburst. The roads turned to rivers - really scary. Took ages to get home and, boy, was I glad to get there. Picked up Clive and we collected and carried home our little treasure.
He seems to be satisfied with the equipment provided.

He has wrecked my house, terrified Stevens, chewed my Sebastian Faulkes paperback, attacked Clive’s beard, knocked over the furniture and caused chaos on an unimaginable scale - but he’s ever so cute!
The cats have sorted out their eating arrangements - he is eating Stevens’ chicken and she is eating his kitten food. They both seem happy with this.

On the plus side he has a fine eye for a photo opportunity, as you can see. He is eating well and is using the litter tray. He cried a little last night but seems fine this morning.

"If I stand on this handy embellisher machine I can eat my way through the wicker".

The biggest problem is that he keeps attacking Stevens - he puffs himself up, arches his back and runs sideways at her. He looks like a smallish dragon and I can see why she runs away. Stevens sits on the highest windowsill we have and looks at me reproachfully.

He does wear himself out quite quickly, so there is a brief respite - as you can see, below.

*** Stitchy bits

I see that lots has been written about the Urchfont open day. It really was wonderful and below are a couple of pics that you may not have seen. This you will have seen - Anna's wonderful rusty garment - find her on http://www.annanowicki.blogspot.com/

Janet Crowther and Lynn Horniblow were very brave to carry on with Val’s classes and she would, I know, be delighted with the results. I loved doing the Heirlooms C&G course as it is possible to do your own thing within the syllabus with just enough structure to make you concentrate on the research etc. I do hope this course runs on. I think this piece, below, is by Margaret Wester - apols if wrong. Don't know about the bottom one, but I loved the book.

Jane Wild has been on a painting holiday to Italy and brought some work to show us. Clive couldn’t wait to see it so he dashed off with Jane to her car to see her etchings. (Well, that's what they told me). I caught up later. Here’s a carved door interpreted in charcoal.

And then a further free exploration. Brilliant.

Jane had some of her 'Whispers' series on display at Urchfont. She is a member of Textiles 21 which meets at the college to allow members to progress their own work. I am hoping to join them - the thought of a weekend of just getting stuff done is appealing. Nothing to do with the Urchfont grub, of course!!
Thanks so much to all who responded to my last blog, asking for your views on blogging. This is to be made into a piece of work for the Cyber Fyber exhibition. Your replies made very interesting reading. Still time to leave a comment, if you haven’t yet done so. I do want this embroidery to contain a part of all of us - there is such a strong community feel to blogging.


jordi said...

I can't help but comment on Smudge.. I had a similarly colored little girl and she lived with me for 21 years .. you are in for it and I envy every minute.

artisbliss said...

What a wonderful post, Maggie. I giggled all the way through Smudge's adventures (feeling appropriately sorry for Stevens, of course), then oohed and ahhed at the gorgeous exhibit items. How inspiring!

Fran├žoise said...

This kitten is a beauty... Okay, the stitchy bits are very nice too, but Smudge is the star of your blog today!

SimpleEndeavors said...

Smudge is beautiful. All my life I had wonderful kitties until we realized our oldest son is seriously allergic to them. Luckily we found this out when our beloved Trouble died and we didn't have to make a decision between the cat or the son. Enjoy your feisty bit of fur and claws. I look forward to more wonderful pictures.


Unknown said...

Maggie, I'm not a great lover of cats but Smudge looks enough to make me change my mind!! What fun you are having!! Thanks for showing such a fantastic pic of my rusty costume! I was able to chat to the ladies from Textile 21 about the possiblity of joining them too and hope to attend their meeting in Oct to be vetted properly!!

Doreen G said...

What a beautiful kitten Smudge is Maggie and he seems quite at home already doesn't he.
I can relate to Clives falling asleep at the computer I do it quite often and end ap with lots of garble but not as many pages as he did.
Have also fallen asleep at the machine many years ago--woke up when the foot touched my finger.

Unknown said...

She is so cute!!!!! I agree with Fran├žoise about this one. She is the star today! About Cyber Fyber; that's a hard one. I didn't decide what I am going to send to the exhibition but I love to be a part of your art too; blogging really changes my life. I think blogland is more friendly than the real world. In real people don't always understand what I am doing and sometimes react a bit cool, in blogland I reach mostly like-minded people. That is a great relieve and this really keeps me going! Good luck with your piece for Cyber Fyber. I need some inspiration here too!

Wendy said...

I am not normally a cat lover, but I could snatch that little darling. Am looking forward to reading about his exploits in the future. Please give Stevens a special hug from her legion of readers.

arlee said...

I *am* definitely a cat person, with 4 of them ruling the Stately Barr Manor.
Have you tried embellishing yet with cat fur??? :} I figure since it gets in everything anyways......

Diana said...

BRILLIANT post, Maggie (it's inspired me to finally work out how to post here!) ... little Smudge is just too gorgeous for words. I hope you'll continue to tell us about him. Thanks also for showing us the inspirational work from Urchfont. I wish they did this course near me. Hope your poor tummy is better now.

chrissythreads said...

What a cutie!!!Smudge has me go all cat broody again but I think the family (which includes 2 cats and 2 dogs already) would go on mass protest so I'll just have to content myself with watching your blog. As for Cyber Fybre (which I think is a great idea and have done my swap with suzie)- blogging to me is reaching out to touch and be touched by like souls. In art we are often isolated by circumstances (or desire) but by blogging we have the chance to make contact with a whole world full of fellow artists - isn't that wonderful!
Hope your tummy is better sooon and lots of extra hugs to Stevens (& maybe just one little one for smudge)

Julie said...

Aaaaaaaaaw! What a gorgeous kitten! Thank you for the pleasure of enjoying smudge's antics. Isn't Anna's piece wonderful?

I hope you're soon feeling much better.

Unknown said...

oh I am in love, Smudge is gorgeous, our first ever cat was also called Smudge and was a real character, looks like yours is going to be one too.

Sarah said...

Our cat Flo is now 20 months old. She still attacks DH and sometimes runs up the curtains. But she is very cute and always gets away with it. LOL Have fun...

Judy said...

Hi! Maggie,

Love the cat bits, having raised a Lilac Tabby Siamese from a kitten I know the perils of moving fingers- loved the stitchy bits too.

Wabbit said...

I'm not even a cat person being more of a dog lover, but I'm not immune to Smudge's cuteness. Poor Stevens though... but I have to admit that a cat having its nose out of joint through being upstaged by a kitten is making me laugh. I'm surprised that the looks of reproach aren't as photogenic as Smudge is. He looks to be very much Siamese to me. Oh and love the textiles too! ;-))