Sunday 26 June 2011

a day off

first day off since June 13th
[ie not travelling or teaching]
pootled around the Tower Grove Farmer's Market
bought blueberries for tomorrow's traintrip

there were lots of dogs
catching up on the week's news

some of them looked like bears

there are other bears in St Louis

later i went in search of the oldest skyscraper in the whirled
the Wainwright building
designed by Louis Sullivan
i nearly wrote "the first skyscraper"
but i understand the Tower of Babylon has that reputation
unfortunately it's no longer with us.

some of the detailing reminds me of Hiapo

St Louis has quite a collection of architectural artefacts
including of course The Arch
designed by Eero Saarinen

but i didn't expect to find a monument to Schiller

in the park children splashed in the fountain

and then there are other unexpected delights

i swing by Riverbend to try the other gumbo
even better than the first
retreating to my helltell just in time
to watch a splendid lightning show 
from my comfy nest on the sofa 

tomorrow i'll be taking the train

Saturday 25 June 2011

it's a wrap, folks

this sample by Pat Vivod

time to head west again
we've wrapped up [literally]
folks have packed a last bundle each
"for tomorrow"

they were a great bunch
gathered from all over the country
from California and Arizona in the west to
Pennsylvania and Virginia in the East
Colorado and Kansas as well as 
Missouri, Illinois and Louisiana

it was the first 'adult' intensive to be held at the Craft Alliance
and i suspect it won't be the last
the organisation is located in a wonderful district
extraordinary buildings and exciting possibilities
 wish i'd had more time to wander about there...

i was a bit

photo [and below] by Nikki Jackson

one thing i can tell you about St Louis
in Soulard
serves the best gumbo i've tasted away from home

Thursday 23 June 2011

of fieldwork and flowers

it's surprising how many bundles can be packed into one pot...

here in St Louis
some people are finding delight in the colour to be obtained from pavement weeds
others have different needs


before class this morning
a visit was paid to flower alley
amidst racks of roses
embankments of eucalyptus
and piles of paeonies

we discover Bob Baisch

who generously showered us with flowers
[and quite a lot of leaves]

Wednesday 22 June 2011

meet me in St Louis

i was in the woods

and now i'm in St Louis

perched in a room overlooking the old Union Station

the evening light here is beautiful

the architecture is amazing

there are some things they prefer you not to do

and interesting things underfoot

squirrels scamper in the parks and fireflies dance in the twilight.

in our class we have students from all over the US gathering at Craft Alliance for four days of dyeing and stitching.

oddly i was so busy with them today that i completely forgot to take photos...


ps. a few people kindly made notes about the exhibition of my work at the Katherine Nash Gallery [showing until the end of June]

here are some links

Wen Redmond

Deidre Adams

Lesley Turner

and the latter also put up some nice images of the Minneapolis windfall cloth

Tuesday 21 June 2011

near osceola, wisconsin

the view from our workspace last week was enchanting

and a few rather interesting miracles happened there...

Monday 13 June 2011

the cocktail recipe

for those who missed the most important part of the talk i gave at Surface Design
here it is

the recipe for my new cocktail - invented out of necessity when the tonic tide was ebbing after store hours -
and for which i still have to dream up an appropriate name -
more on that later

in a chilled glass
slosh a bit of Bombay gin
a healthy splash of Concord Grape Juice [sugar free, of course]
squeeze in a wedge of fresh lime
and then drop the squozed bit into the glass as well
throw in a few rocks
top up with tonic [Schweppes for preference]
muddle a bit

feel free to contribute to naming suggestions...

Sunday 12 June 2011

making the most of what your accommodation has to offer

i bought a piece of silk from a non-Beautiful Silks vendor
in my defence
i'm a long way from home
i hadn't tried silk broadcloth before 
[Marion, if you're reading this, i'm bringing you a sample]

Friday 10 June 2011

at a confluence

quite a few people from elsewhere are meeting in Minneapolis at the moment
for the Surface Design conference
16 very nice ones [from all over the US, Canada and even Norway]
kindly joined me for a five day journey

our windfall walks were a little limited
it was extremely hot outside [mid 90s]
but that didn't break our stride for a moment

Deidre Adams has written about the class here
and you can visit her website here

Friday 3 June 2011


walked old haunts gathering splendid windfalls
followed trails and found amusing and useful treasure
went to favourite caff for a sit down
and because it has nice big tables where you can spread out and do stuff

made bundles while sipping at africanos
had amusing conversations with other patrons


a guitarist wanders in, gets coffee, begins to warm up his guitar
minutes later he is joined by friend with ukelele
[i twitch, not, in general, being enamoured of ukelele]
the two begin to play
and it is like heaven
their repertoire is B I G
mostly they play swing with a haunting gypsy lilt to it
presently the ukelele player takes the lead
improvises exquisitely on Gershwin's "embraceable you"
the woman working on her laptop to my left
begins to sing sotto voce
i wish she would sing louder
she has the voice of an angel
my inner hyperactive mutters about spending time indoors
when outside there are things to be done
i tell the inner voice to be quiet and stay listening
they play for an hour and a bit

i take another walk

much later
at sunset
i sit in a favourite spot 
out of the wind on those lovely steps in the aquatic park

and make more bundles
somewhere up behind me
someone begins to blow a tenor sax
very, very beautifully.
my cup runneth over 

and then when i think it really doesn't get much better than this
i find a heart
in San Francisco

if you lost one*, let me know
[or just sing it in the shower]

*like this one, i mean
[i hung it on a glass for the snap...was too dark in the park]