Just Say NO Potion

I finished last week's #secretsofselfpreservation potion yesterday (and had completed the majority of it by Saturday evening), but it was a rather hectic weekend, hence why I'm only just blogging about it now.

I am gradually being contacted more about commissions, purchasing work, and doing arts events. It seems surprising somehow that people are parting with their cash for what I do, and it's hard not to a) be overwhelmed and b) say yes to every opportunity.

I am trying to remember that I am a finite resource with a salaried job and there is only so much I can do. It would be wonderful to say yes to every opportunity that appealed to me, whether it was paid or not, but I have to accept that I'm human! I need funds and I also need rest. Occasionally.

It is difficult sometimes, being an artist. You never really get a day off. Then again, that's your choice; you wouldn't do it if you didn't love it, and if you're like me and have a particularly over-active brain, getting those thoughts out into a physical entity can be very helpful, even necessary.

If you start to become a little more well known and success seems to be beckoning, you have to work harder and harder to maintain your standing; it snowballs and you have to hang on for dear life and put your nose to the grindstone.

But you also have to deal with the mundanities of day to day life. With the laundry. With feeding yourself. With feeding pets. With the basics that everyone has to do. And if, God forbid, you would like to occasionally have some down time or let off some steam, you will sometimes have to just say no.

Which is why last week's potion reads "You don't have to say YES to everything."

It's accompanied by the E17 Art Trail logo, as the Trail kicked off on May 30th. I have an exhibition at Venue 68, and this weekend hosted a couple of #secretsofselfpreservation embroidery workshops, which I will blog about over the next few days (I have quite a backlog!)

Remember you can get involved too, via the hashtag #secretsofselfpreservation, by writing about a simple way you plan to, or already do, take care of yourself. Alternatively, you can create your own embroidered (or written on paper) potion - just remember to include the hashtag #secretsofselfpreservation along with your snaps of it.

Stitch your #secretsofselfpreservation with me this Saturday 6th June

This Saturday 6th June 2015 I will be leading a free workshop in the living room of Venue 68 in the E17 Art Trail from 4pm.

I invite you to uncork my #secretsofselfpreservation self care potions, and stitch one small way you already do (or perhaps could) take good care of yourself, to take home as a message in a bottle and a reminder to practice better TLC.

To book your free place, email katerolison@googlemail.com

There are 8 places remaining for the workshop.

I hope to see you there!

Stitch For Survival: My E17 Art Trail 2015 Exhibition

Once again the yearly E17 Art Trail has rolled around. I am going to do the grand tour next weekend; I set up my exhibition earlier today; well, my "installation technician" (my mother) did most of the hard graft.

For last year's Trail I showed work as part of the Zoology exhibition at E17 Art House, which has since moved to bigger premises on Hoe Street and has some very intriguing exhibitions and events on for the Trail this year.

This time around, applying was a bit of a last minute affair, so I decided to exhibit in the bay window of my parents' house as I did in 2011 and 2012.

This year we decided to ditch the slightly "primary school" blue baize display board we'd used previously, and used white frame boards to display the embroideries on instead.

A wide variety of embroideries are on display, from pages and pocket contents from my artist's books On Being SoftBig Teeth and Milk Thistle, to embroideries from the zine I recently sold at DIY Cultures, Treasures For Your Troubles. My favourite of the #secretsofselfpreservations stitched thus far are exhibited too.

The theme this year seems to be whimsy; the exhibition is less in your face provocative than it has been in the past; more gently subversive, gently parodying the Romantic movement and its romanticisation of mental illness (particularly the Milk Thistle pages and pocket contents). I have really amassed work since 2011, and I feel the exhibition is far more cohesive and well presented than it has been in the past.

If you're local/in the area, please do pop by - the exhibition can be viewed from the front garden from today, Sunday 31st May, until Sunday 14th June, from 10am - 8pm daily.

Next Saturday 6th June I will be holding a #secretsofselfpreservation workshop stitching self care potions from 4pm in the living room; the workshop is limited to ten places, so please email katerolison@googlemail.com to book your place.

The details of my exhibition and workshop can be found here. I do hope you'll visit.


The 2014 E17 Art Trail is upon us! And very welcome it is too, after last year's hiatus. This year I am showing two embroideries as part of the Zoology exhibition at the wonderful little gallery and picture framers E17 Art House.

You might remember these two; a puffin I stitched for my parents' 50th birthdays (and is now finally framed, hooray!) and an ode on melancholyflowers with accompanying honey bee (that one's for sale).

There is a menagerie of talent and media on show; from cute to conceptual, wood engraving to soft sculpture.

Benevolent Mill matriarch Mo Morris shows some of my favourite works in the exhibition; adorably diddy, hand carved wood cuts.

I have a particular predilection for moths.

Bees are a popular subject at Zoology; this one makes good use of recycled materials, as well as being a bit monstrous.

I love the wry, knowing expression of this caged parrot.

This mouse spooked me a little; maybe it's something about its glassy stare? I wouldn't want to run into it in a dark alley!

One of these delightful animal alphabet prints by Build makes up the flyer for the exhibition; these were two of my favourites (who doesn't love mallards and narwhals?!)

These charming illustrations by Darren Hayman commemorate Walthamstow's recent past, and the lovable heroes of the Dog Track.

I told you I had a thing about moths (though I suspect this may be a butterfly), and the metamorphosis is melded perfectly.

This small but beautiful space is bursting with a zoo all its own, with a wide range of prices for art lovers and something to suit every taste whether you're buying or just travelling 'round the Trail. Don't miss it! The exhibition is on until the 28th June.

OOMK at the ICA

I missed OOMK zine‘s launch the other week as I was up in the Scottish Highlands, which is a real shame; it looked like a fab night!
However, I did make it down to the ICA on Saturday to pick up my copy of the zine. Page 28 features a little article on exhibiting in the E17 Art Trail by yours truly. When I first exhibited in the art trail two Septembers ago, I never would have dreamt that my experience would end up in a publication sold at the Institute of Contemporary Art! I almost feel like a “proper” artist.
OOMK (or “One Of My Kind”) zine “is a highly visual, handcrafted small-press publication. Our content largely pivots upon the imaginations, creativity and spirituality of women.” The theme of Issue 1 is Fabric, and the full colour zine is filled with textile art, collages, comics, and articles (including one by Betsy Greer, the coiner of “craftivism”). Get your hands on your own copy here.

Time flies when you have no funds

Sorry for falling off the face of the planet (or at least the small nugget of it which is this blog) recently. I've been rather busy. In the past month I've exhibited in the Art Trail, done a few "official" reviews for said Art Trail, graduated, started a new (paid!) job one day a week, helped to launch Significant Seams'/the Craftivist Collective's/Oxfam's GROW project, got a Poesie Grenadine Tumblr and Facebook page up and running,set up the Psychobitches Go Wild! Tumblr with my collaborator, and set up my Etsy shop (just waiting for my credit card to arrive and then it's good to go!) Phew!

There's still quite a lot of projects/stuff to do on the horizon, but I feel like I'm on top of things now, rested, and ready to take on the next few months. For a start, there's my hugely exciting group exhibition at Viktor Wynd, and the opening of my Etsy shop next week (fingers crossed!) A couple of exciting "businessy" ventures/arty projects are under discussion too, so fingers crossed for those as well.

So, now for a round-up of graduation photographs.

Here is the only decent capped and gowned photograph from graduation (and the mortarboard's still too small!):

My gorgeous grandparents rented a house near Falmouth for the week, and my Grandma was able to join my Dad and I at the ceremony.

With my favourite tutor - I may look unimpressed, but I assure you I wasn't! He's looking most profound and pensive, too:

A photograph of my ex-housemate Mark and I, in which we look like a colour-coordinated couple at a relative's wedding, taken by our friend Butler with a disposable camera.

And my family's favourite photograph of the lot:

I am trying to take that Love Heart's advice! 

100th Post

As well as blogging about the Trail, I am exhibiting in it again this year. And my, what a difference a year makes. This time last year, I was just getting properly well again, but this year, I am happy as well as healthy, and things really seem to be working out for me. I am so so thankful for that.

Setting up the exhibition yesterday morning:

The exhibition installed in our front window:

"Bellini Reception" to celebrate. ;)

P.S. This is my 100th post on Poesie Grenadine! I'm glad it's such a happy one.

To conclude, here's my most recent embroidery. If you'd like to purchase it, please let me know A.S.A.P. It's garnering a lot of attention already!

My first post for this year's E17 Art Trail!

Firstly, I must apologise for the number of posts/posts copied from other sources (but written by me) today. I've just been so busy lately! (Which is a very good thing for someone who's just graduated, but I feel I'm only going to get even busier from here-on.)

First things first before the main post: on Friday I got my degree results, aaaaand (drum roll...) I got a First! I'm absolutely ecstatic, it's like the final "Screw you!" to my Troubles.

So there has been much celebrating (and much drinking), but I have also just begun my first paid work since graduating; writing the occasional post about the 2012 E17 Art Trail for the offical E17 Art Trail blog!

Here is my first effort:

Day One In Awesomestow

Hello Trailers! Here's the round-up of Day One of the E17 Art Trail from "the other" blogger, Kate.

First up on my rounds was Walthamstow Library, where the E17 Puppet Project were putting on a shadow show entitled "Tortoise and Hare". As the title suggest, this was a re-imagining of Aesop's famous fable.

The target audience for the show was children aged 3 - 8, but I just couldn't resist a shadow puppet show, especially one staged in the round in a library, with the "theatre" made up of curved children's book shelves!

Once I was sitting comfortably (and many of the children very comfortably, on cushions and beanbags), the show began. The "players" were full of enthusiasm and instantly had a captive and captivated audience. The show was narrated by a lazy lion, and there was a real sense of fun to the storytelling.

The re-telling of the famous tale centred around the Olympics and our Great British Summer of Sport, but the morals of the story were all present and correct, with a few new ones added too.There was even something for adults in the use of well-known sports-themed tunes. Walthamstow Market had a cameo role, complete with cries of "Paaaand a bowl!", which went down very well.

The shadow show will play again (to a packed house, I'm sure), on Saturday 8th and Sunday the 9th, at 10:30 and 11:30 showings.

I then marched over to Wood Street, narrowly avoiding the EDL march. I must say, despite the EDL's best attempts to stir things up, Walthamstow really did ourselves proud yesterday, showing our solidarity, vibrancy, and creativity in the face of fascism.

On a more positive note, my first stop in Wood Street was Folly and Frill in the Indoor Market, where Louise has set up a very special postbox. Art Trail artists Anja Jane, Paul Lindt, and Danny Cope were commissioned to turn some of their works into special post cards. For a small fee, visitors to Folly and Frill's Awesomestow Postbox can post a post card to a loved one, or write a message to be sent to someone special (or even themselves!) in one year's time! The idea is to start writing about and celebrating our local heritage, whilst taking the time to slow down and hand-write a message. Often a challenge nowadays!

 Folly and Frill is stocked to the rafters with postcards sent from in and around Walthamstow, framed so the original message can still be read. Also available are prints of local landmarks and areas of natural beauty.

Here I am posting myself a message scheduled to arrive in the future!

The final exhibition on my route was one which I might be ever-so-slightly prejudiced in favour of; Significant Seams's Celebrating the Significant, in Images In Frames on Wood Street. Not only am I currently interning at Significant Seams, but one of my embroidery pieces is featured in the exhibition!

As I said, I may be slightly prejudiced, but I was blown away by the talent on display in Images In Frames. So many mediums were represented; mosaic, quilting, painting, photography, embroidery, and soft sculpture.

The real star of the show, however, was Harriet Hammel's life-size kebab shop soft sculpture!

Well worth a visit and a marvel at. Honest!

Answers for the Art Trail

Kate Elisabeth Rolison - 'The Onion Cutters' Club'

I am really intrigued by Kate's literary inspired exhibition. Kate's exhibition (no. 61) will be in bay window of 61 Somers Road, she will also have some work on display the the group exhibit 'Celebrating the Significant'. As well as having artwork on the trail, she will also be doing a number of Art Trail reviews for the blog, so keep you eyes peeled and follow this space! 

Kate tells us about her exhibition this year, her Walthamstow perspective and gives insight into her artistic method:

1. Please tell us about the work you will be showing in the 2012 E17 Art Trail?
Last year in Somers Road I showed a mixture of deeply romantic and very cynical hand embroideries  and cross stitches. Some were on the subject of love and loss, and some on the pretensions of the art world (sorry if that ruffles anyone’s feathers!)
This year is, quite literally, a much sadder state of affairs; a number of embroideries grew out of a project on tears. The exhibition is entitled 'The Onion Cutters’ Club', and is inspired by a chapter in Gunter Grass’ novel 'The Tin Drum' (brilliant book by the way, check it out), in which characters meet in a dingy cellar nightclub to cut onions, cry, and share stories of sorrow. The story captivated me, and so I began collecting true stories of sadness and tears (though it’s not all doom and gloom – some are quite funny!)

 I stitched these stories, accompanied by illustrations, on to antique handkerchiefs which I stained with different shades of onion skin. Originally I planned on completing five or six of these, but my creative juices obviously wanted to get going on something different, and I only ended up with three!
Instead of the two remaining “Onion Cutters’ Club” handkerchiefs, I embarked on an entirely different project, that on the face of it, is charmingly (or sickeningly, depending on your tastes) twee. I began appropriating chintzily hand-embroidered and appliquéd home textiles, and embroidering them with rather unsettling messages. I derived this messages from my experiences of mental illness. But it’s not all doom and gloom there either; there’s plenty of tongue in cheek humour here, aiming to disarm the viewer and make them re-consider their preconceptions of people who suffer from mental ill health.
If I get ‘round to it in time, there will also be a couple of good ol’ (and slightly cheeky!) feminist phrases stitched up and on display too. I’m quite busy at the moment, as I’m also interning at Significant Seams, who are doing several events and exhibitions in the Art Trail, so fingers crossed I can get everything done in time!
2. Is this your first time in the Trail or are you an E17 Art Trail veteran?
Last year I exhibited a collection of embroideries “Literary Stitchery”, which was reviewed on this blog. I got lots of really positive feedback and met many other talented artists. It really got my creative juices flowing and kick-started my third and final year at art college – I would recommend exhibiting in the Art Trail to anyone, even if they don’t consider themselves as particularly “arty”. For one thing, it’s a wonderful way to get talking to your local community!

3. What are the challenges of getting everything ready for your Art Trail event?
As I mentioned above, juggling my internship at Significant Seams inWood Street Indoor Market, reviewing a bunch of exhibits in the Trail, looking for paid work AND trying to set up an Etsy shop for my embroideries will be quite a challenge! It’s definitely one I’m looking forward to though, and I do like being busy.

4. Do you remember the first artist that really influenced you? Does that artist’s influence still have an impact on your work?
Writing was my first love (my degree is in Performance Writing, which basically translates to writing about art/writing as art, and vice versa). It took me a while to grow as equally passionately obsessed about art, but I must say Grayson Perry has been a pretty consistent inspiration. I love the dense layers of detail and “busyness” of his work. My work is often pretty stripped back, apart from my recent artist’s book, “On Being Soft: A work in progress”, which was exhibited in the “Soft” textiles exhibition at The Mill. I also really admire Grayson’s nack for storytelling and capturing characters and dialogue. And of course, his studio is based in Walthamstow and his “Walthamstow Tapestry” is currently on display at the William Morris Gallery, which makes him a very apt inspiration!

5. The E17 Art trail has become bigger every year. Do you think it is because more artists are calling it home?
As house prices soar and the trendy East End pushes out further and further, “starving” artists are pushed to the, shall we say, slightly less fashionable East London boroughs, such as the wonderful Walthamstow.  This is resulting in a bit of a burgeoning, buzzing hive of creativity here in the ‘Stow, as I’ve learnt from becoming more deeply involved in the crafting community. It’s slightly under the radar (but maybe that’s a good thing), and very, very exciting. It’s a good place to be as a young artist in 2012.
6. What has E17 bestowed on you?
E17 has bestowed on me a love and tolerance of all cultures (and a very deep love for the food of those cultures!) It has also bestowed a chance to explore my creativity to the full and to reach out to the local community. Walthamstow often gets a bad press, but my experience of its community has been almost invariably positive, and incredibly inspiring.  But that’s just Awesomestow for you.

(Written by Hassan Vawda, co-reviewer of this year's E17 Art Trail)

The Knitter, the Stitcher, and the Quilter.

No, this is not a "walked into a bar" joke, or a Perraultian fairy tale.

It's all just in a day's work.

Today, a knitter (Debs), a quilter (Catherine), and a stitcher (me!), gathered to (hand)stitch together Walthamstow's Neighbourly Quilt.

Back in May I was just finishing off my first internship with Catherine at her Walthamstow-based Social Enterprise Significant Seams (I've just begun my second internship there).

My first jaunt at the Significant Seams Hub was based around a community arts project: the Neighbourly Quilt project featured here.

Significant Seams asked residents of E17 to hand in fabric squares decorated using various textile techniques, or attend a workshop to learn a technique with which to decorate their square. The theme of the square was to be either "something which makes good neighbours", or "something which I love about Walthamstow".

We received 68 patches in all; more than we expected, and more than our target!

Catherine and Debs had already spent a couple of sessions hand-stitching the quilt together, and now that I'm back from Scotland, I'm joining in too. Here's our handiwork:

Here's (rather) a few of my favourites:

One of Debs' beautiful pieces

"Art Lasts, Life Is Short"

You may notice that the blog has a new look. This is because I'm embarking on a new project, entitled On Being Soft (which it does say, though not very clearly, on the new blog header. Still, at least it looks soft! My wonderful ex-housemate Dini de-wonkyfied the higgeldy piggeldy hand-stitched text for me.)

The germ of the idea for On Being Soft arose out of a call for artists for an exhibition titled Soft (see what I did there?) which will be shown at The Mill from the 21st June 'til the 15th July. The exhibition will be a collaborative effort between The Mill and Signficant Seams, where I am currently intern for the Neighbourly Quilt project.

In last year's E17 Art Trail, Significant Seams exhibited a Neighbourhood Quilt. E17 residents were invited to add a gold thumbprint indicating where they lived on this quilted map of Walthamstow. The quilt was then exhibited at The Mill.

The Neighbourhood Quilt

For this year's Art Trail we are asking Walthamstow residents to contribute a patch which celebrates what they love about Walthamstow, or what makes good neighbours; hence, the Neighbourly Quilt.

My patch for the Neighbourly Quilt

With my patch, I decided to celebrate both Walthamstow's green spaces and the (oft-mentioned on this blog) arts and crafts pioneer William Morris, who was born in Walthamstow.

I embroidered Morris' motto "Art lasts, life is short" on to an appliqued pollarded beech tree. In the Walthamstow woodland area of Epping Forest these ancient trees are numerous, and many are carved with graffiti stretching back over a number of years. I embroidered the motto as if it was etched into the tree's bark with a knife. This was my first go at applique and gave me a chance to try out blanket stitch and couching. The dark green hearts of the background fabric are the same colour as Waltham Forest's logo, and (I feel) add just the right amount of twee.

As completed patches come in, they are beginning to reflect the diversity of Walthamstow. Each portrays an individual narrative, which when sewn together as the quilt will tell a bigger story of our town.

My friend Lucy working on her patch

If you're a Waltham Forest based textile artist, working in any soft medium, watch this space for details of how to submit work for Soft.

A post on my new project, On Being Soft, to follow.

And Then We Came to the End

Alas, today was the last day of my exhibition in the E17 Art Trail. It's been a great experience and I'll definitely be doing it again next year. I've had some lovely feedback, it's brought me my first commission, and it was the perfect excuse for a tea party.

Final feedback:

"Lovely work - hours of work, wish I had the time. Make the most of it, good luck in your degree."

"I love your subversive stitchery. Brilliant. Could I commission something?"

"Made me laugh - and so well executed too (as all artists should be!)"

"Very glad we made it to your venue. Great idea for a body of work."

"Lovely idea. Where are all the snippets from? I'll be racking my brains trying to work them out tonight. Well executed."

"Really impressive and thought provoking (for me anyway)."

"It was amazing. I love the "stopper your heart" stitching. I think you are really talented and the WI are missing out on your talents."

"I love the details of the bottles and am amazed at the accuracy of the human heart stitching! I want one!"

Arting Around

Today my dear friend Kat (a talented artist in her own right) and I braved the wind and rain to take in some local culture on the E17 Art Trail. I'd had a brief wander round the Trail with family on Saturday and yesterday, and bought this upcycled dress from an eco pop-up shop on Forest Road:

I also took in painting, photography and illustration in the Ye Olde Rose and Crown pub on Hoe Street. Several illustrative pieces were based on films, including one on a speech from Brief Encounter, a favourite of mine and the basis for some soon-to-be-posted embroideries. The Mitre Art Studio was filled with beautiful lino prints and a couple of amusing pieces, a 50s dress printed with trashy images of lowbrow culture...

and a tiny diorama containing a toy zebra and "far-away" zebras, bearing the legend "This is very small... those are far away", borrowed from Father Ted!

Today we started off in Walthamstow Village on Orford Road, in Desire hair salon, where there was a selection of Modernist/Futurist-inspired leather works depicting Olympic sports by the Mon Seedin collective. The collective had really taken the "On Your Marks" Olympic theme of the Trail as their starting point.

Next on our trip was a collection of abstract paintings named The Journey, by artist Wendy Coley, displayed in the windows of the old Town Hall. Our favourite was the red and gold triptych:

After seeing all that Orford Road had to offer (unfortunately several exhibiting venues were shut) we wandered down to the Market, stopping off at Walthamstow Library to see London... Its People and Places, an exhibition of watercolours by Ron Bowman:

Watercolour of the Ancient House, Walthamstow, by Ron Bowman

Next on our list was Waterstones, which had several prints and a photographic essay on Morocco.

After all that art it was back to mine for a well-earned bacon sarnie. There's still a couple of exhibits I'd like to squeeze in seeing, including Dr. Knit and the Knitting Laboratory...

...Paintings in Tea, Alcohol and Ink by Carne Griffiths, and the most bizarre and disturbing listing of this year, Tears of Blood, in which, apparently, "tears of blood run down the faces of cats as they emerge from beautiful or dramatic scenery"!


More on the E17 Art Trail

My work has been featured on the E17 Art Trail blog:

DAY THREE, "Don't be an artschool arsehole"

"I have always associated cross stitch with pricked fingers and a feeling of frustration from knotted thread that won't go through the eye of the needle. However, Kate Rolison's exhibit Literary Stitchery made me forget these memories and my prejudiced view that an embroidery exhibition would be annoyingly twee. Kate, who hails from the 'Stow and is a student at University College Falmouth, has stitched wryly amusing phrases that play with the idea of the tortured artist/writer and the pretentious art school student. "Don't be an artschool arsehole" is beautifully stitched and illustrated. Here are a few pictures, but you can see more and follow the progress of her project here. Literary Stitchery is on show in the window of 61 Somers Road so do peer in."

Some more feedback on my exhibition from the wonderful people of Walthamstow:

"Loved the mix of contemporary ideas with vintage lace/crochet and embroidery. I dabble a bit in embroidery but you've inspired me to add some "wordage" next time. Cheers!"

"Loved the humour - especially "He's just at artschool."

"Loved these a lot - great to see textile art on the trail. Well done."

"Loved it - beautifully executed, but also subversive and laugh-out-loud funny!"

"Kate - your work is amazing - both technically and creatively."

"I love the use of old table cloths, doilies, laces etc and I love the embroidery work. Not so sure about the text. Not sure if the words add anything good to the piece. Do keep using text but see if it is necessary."

"Charming combination of modern sentiment and old-world material."

"I really enjoyed your work, it's clever and skilful. I like the use of old place mats and needlework. Thank you for showing it. Please let me know of future projects."

"Love your wit, skill and craft! Congratulations, do add me to your mailing list - good luck with your show and thanks for letting us see your work."

And lastly some comments from my granddad to go alongside those from my grandma:

"You should get "A's" for all your "D's" - design, delicate needlework and drive to get your thoughts translated into your display. Very well done."

E17 Art Trail Exhibition

Literary Stitchery

"Literary Stitchery is a selection of modern text-based stitched works in cross stitch and hand embroidery sewn by Kate Rolison, a student at University College Falmouth but hailing from 'The Stow'.

Subverting the twee tradition of the medium, Literary Stitchery utilises punning and play on words, together with images rendered in stitch, to create a playful collection of embroidery.

Kate studies Performance Writing at University College Falmouth. Thus far, the course has involved spending considerable lengths of time inside a tree, amongst other things."

Today was the opening of my front-window exhibition as part of the E17 Art Trail, "Literary Stitchery", showcasing previous stitched works and a few pieces from The Cure For Love project. To celebrate I had a small tea party with family and friends.

We had goat's cheese and watercress and red onion and cheddar sandwiches, as well as asparagus and mayonnaise and home-made smoked salmon paté rolls, followed by four-nut chocolate brownies, vegan chocolate chip cookies, and clotted cream and strawberry jam scones, washed down with white wine and tea. It was the perfect excuse for me to wear a new tea dress!

Some visitors left comments about the exhibition:

"These are brilliant - love the way the "new" embroidery and the found pieces come together. Good luck with your degree!"

"Love all the birds in your embroidery - really intricate and lovely and strong messages."

"The detail in all your work is amazing! My favourite piece is "Stopper Your Heart" because of the intricacy. Well done!"

"I am in love with the embroidery work you have created. The themes of love and loss and the concept of the tortured artist really relates to my current work and is inspiring. Being able to convey these themes in such an elaborate way is also inspiring. I especially love the embroidery work for "Brief Encounter" and the embroidery work for "You had dishwater eyes..." Can't wait for you to produce more."

"Really lovely detail on each piece. Especially liked "Don't be an art school arsehole" and the owl, it's lovely! Detail on "Brief Encounter" is amazing too. Very impressed!"

 And finally one from my Grandma:

"A lovely surprise when we arrived to see the professional display of your embroidery. Your work has really improved and is so intricate. I especially like the "Brief Encounter" one. I'm sure you will go on improving and I feel very proud of you."