We came upon it on the way to visit a gorgeous Elizabethan estate. Elizabeth I lived here from infancy till she became queen. Unfortunately there was some educational program going on inside for school children so we could only see it from the exterior. This smidgen of roof line will give you the idea.
My friend Marlene lives in a beautiful part of London near the famous Hampstead Heath. Isn't a charming house? It was here that Marlene and I had our wonderful play day with the other artists who belong to the ColourFX Textile Group with her. Alicia Merrett, Christine Restall, Claire Crocker, Margaret Jarvie & Stefanie Rickard did gelatin plate printing and batik. We also ate and yakked. Here are Christine and Alicia. Alicia is gelatin printing in the background. Missing is Linda Colsh who wished she could have zipped over from Brussels for the occasion. We worked with a variety of textile and acrylic paints - whatever we had with us. Doing batik with paints gives you a different effect from working with dyes. You need to dilute the paint with lots of water, but even so, frequently the other side of the cloth will look different (sometimes much better) than the side you're painting on. Herewith, a couple of my sample pieces from play day. This one started with white fabric, unusual for me. I batik'd with one of the tjaps I bought in Paris. These are from a piece that has so many nice bits that I don't know where to start. Brush, and Marlene's potato masher - LOL.
Just to change the pace a bit: we spent one day with Marty's British cousins. (My husband's mother was a Brit.) I discovered them on the Internet about two years ago: their grandmothers were sisters. One of those miraculous things that happen when you do a family search. We went to England to meet them for the first time in April '04 and we saw them again last week for the second time. It was love at first and second sight and we all feel as though we have known each other forever. No spring chickens, these 3 men. But oh, so happy to see each other. Their grandmothers were sisters: can you see the genes? Ok - enough of this idle chit-chat. I will leave you with a picture of the "real" London or you won't believe that we were really there. Big Ben/Parliament. Spectacular from any angle or distance. Unfortunately, I can't look at it without hearing Chevvy Chase's voice from the movie "Family Vacation." Funny as hell but ruined the building for me forever. Next time, if you are REALLY lucky, I will post some pictures of lovely West Orange, NJ. (just kidding)