Friday, 25 November 2011

Ancient Strings and Fabulous Things

Jane Wild and I went to a fabulous workshop and concert based on Senegalese music, last Saturday. It was by a group called Ancient Strings and Fabulous Things led by Doudou Cissoko.

Doudou and percussionist Alicia Davies led the workshop which involved a bit of singing along to an instrument called a kora, some bashing of a pseudo calabash and ‘body percussion’ – aka clapping and slapping. It was huge fun. Here is a pic of Doudou. He has the kind of face that you want to paint.

Here he is with the kora – a twenty-one stringed instrument. The strings used to be made of hide but now they are strung with fishing line and the sound is amazing. Find out more at


Lynda Monk’s book 'Fabulous Surfaces' is flying off the shelves – just back from Harrogate where we took several orders and where Lynda is taking part in the Art and Artists section. I’ve been trying out her white spirit distressing techniques and they work amazingly well.

She’ll be providing free classes for everyone who has the book. Starting after Christmas, they should really cheer us up through chilly January. I was thinking of setting up a Facebook page so we could all see each other’s work, but I know that not everybody likes Facebook. We usually have a Yahoo group but I find it very tiresome to organise and it seems to attract nasty spam. How else could we do it? Your views are welcome.

Here are the winners of the ‘Fabulous Surfaces’ giveaway. Deb Jackson and Barbara Wilson have each won one of Lynda’s lovely hand-made books and Ann Aket and Cynthia Tanti have each won a copy of ‘Fabulous Surfaces'. I haven’t checked whether you’ve bought this book already but, if you have, choose another from the website.

Heather Martin and Esme Wright have each won one of my Birdie brooch cards. If you are a winner, please email me your snail mail address It would be so helpful, even if we already have your snail mail addy, as it’s quicker than getting Fee to look it up. She’s a bit busy posting books right now!

There were loads of packages of goodies – too many to mention here but you’ll know if you’ve got one.

Our decision to go to Harrogate was made rather late so we had trouble finding a hotel and wound up in a two bedroomed flat for almost the same price. It was very classy and great value for money. We’ll be going back there, I think.



I have lots more to tell but lunchtime is here so I’ll soon be back with the rest of it.


Heather said...

What a wonderful face Doudou has - so powerful and strong yet serene. The workshop sounds fascinating.
I'm thrilled to have won a Birdie brooch card - thankyou. I shall probably be mean and keep it for myself!
Congrats to all the other winners.
Your flat looks very inviting and comfortable.

Gill said...

Congratulations to all the lucky winners!!

Wabbit said...

What about just a Flickr group? You can post pics & comments and can just get the free account.

Heather said...

Thankyou so much Maggie - my Birdie arrived today. He was a little travel worn but I have nursed him back to fitness. I love his legs and feet, and the backing paper.