Saturday, 30 November 2013

Letter from over the Indian Ocean

I can’t believe that I am now in the air once more heading to New Zealand. I have spent 7 weeks in the UK, visiting groups to talk and teach, I had a stand at the Knitting and Stitching Show in Harrogate and have been helping out (or sticking my oar in) at the Beetroot Tree. 

I have to thank my Mum and Dad as ever, for allowing me to disrupt their already busy routines. I am sure that they are ready for their house guest to leave after all of the the added complications of my coming and going, eating at odd times, taking one of the cars at regular intervals, extra washing, ironing and cleaning. It is a lesson for me to remember – you never stop being a parent. All parents are told this at an early stage in their family’s development. I think perhaps it is only when your own children are older, when they could be independent being at an age when, as a child or young adult yourself, you image yourself to be on a separate trajectory from your parents and can’t imagine why they should have concerns for you and certainly should not need to suggest or impose upon your behaviours, that you begin to realise what it means to ‘never stop being a parent’. My children are now at that stage and I fully comprehend the sensation that they will always be my children to help and support. This makes me truly grateful for the hospitality and generosity my parents continue to give.

Mum and Dad, getting into the Christmas spirit

It seems to have been a trip especially full of making work. So much for much in the way of social catch up, this trip has seen me spend a huge amount of time creating work. There were three workshops to make the samples for, all of the work to show at the Knitting and Stitching Show, then 50 Christmas cards and an embroidery to commemorate my the Golden Wedding Anniversary of my parents (to keep this secret, this had to be completed after going to bed at night and during the evenings after the Knitting and Stitching Show had closed each day). 

Happy Golden Wedding

I continue to hope that on future trips I will be a lady of leisure between engagements and enjoy more cultural experiences. Dream on!
The third week in November is the Knitting and Stitching Show in Harrogate. On the first day the weather was trying to snow, and having been snowed in at this show three years ago I was slightly apprehensive, but it soon became obvious that the ground was too wet to allow any snow to settle. The trees have turned to their proper, and stunning, autumn colours, beautiful gold, copper and red. 

The exhibitions are always stunning, a real treat. Where else in the country can you find such a concentration of exhibits including original artists work, from well known textile artists to new graduates, historical and cultural displays, and vast knowledge and art supplies in one place?
The main exhibitions this year included work by Dorothy Caldwell, Sue Chapman, Viv Prideaux, Bobby Britnell and Ruth Issett, Jan Beaney  and Jean Littlejohn, a display of historical and new crewel work by Phillipa of the Crewelwork Company.

One of the pleasures of shows is catching up with friends and acquaintances, both artists, business owners and visitors. Here are just a few ...

Jean Draper helped by Hilary Hollingworth. Jean's new book 'Structure for Stitch' is fabulous - get your copy here

Jan and Jean, as always accompanied by their better halves!

Recognisably stitched by Jan Beaney

Intricate surfaces by Jean Littlejohn

Michelle Gillam Hull is also a regular exhibitor at the Beetroot Tree, see her work ...
Ruth Issett, also with better half, Chaz.

Val Holmes giving the game away. Not that we always have a bottle on the go, but it helps!

Viv and Kev from Art Van Go. Smiling even at the last!
 My little corner looked like this:

Using every inch of space on the small stand!

And to see more of the new work, look out for images on 'alysnsburntofferings', or visit the exhibition at the Beetroot Tree where they are on display until the 4th January.

My last couple of days in the UK were spent helping Paul at the Beetroot Tree to set the Christmas exhibition. Called 'By Invitation'. I have chosen to invite two of my favourite textile artists, Matthew Harris and Vivian Prideaux. This was during the set up:

Setting up 'by invitation' at the Beetroot Tree

Starting to take shape

Once back on kiwi soil I am hoping for a bit of family time. Both of my girls will have finished school for the year and will have time for some social activities (this often involves me taking them shopping for ‘essential’ items such as party clothes). The summer months in NZ are also a time for festivals and celebrations which we enjoyed last year and look forward to again. Christmas is just around the corner. Let us hope for another lovely long dry hot summer. 

I return to the UK early in July 2014 for another ‘tour’, taking in Norwich, Wales, Hertfordshire, various dates in the Midlands including the huge Quilt Show at the NEC in August. 

See you then,

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