Tutorial: Sunburst Picnic Blanket

you and mie

Hello!  Thanks for “traveling” with me to Japan last week :P.  I’m still officially on summer vacation, so although I have lots of things to show you, it’s going to take me awhile to get organized and back to blogging.  So here’s another guest post I did for Delia and Kojo‘s FANTASTIC series, Color Your Summer.  This is their 2nd year doing this series, I absolutely love it, and I hope they do it every summer from now until forever.  I can’t even tell you how thrilled I was when Delia asked me to be a part of this series.  Check out all the projects from this summer in this handy round up.

The project is a foldable picnic blanket, and if you get started now, yours can still get tons of use before summer is over and throughout the fall.  And if you do make a picnic…

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The Summer of ‘Marion’

Ahh. The beautiful Mistress Marion’s take on a wonderful Summer at Mary Arden’s Farm!


‘Tis the end of an era.

Okay, it was merely the end of a season, but still. Mary Arden’s Farm has closed its doors to the public for the winter months and I have found myself having to put away my ‘other self’ until the spring. No, I’ve not come down with a dual-personality or anything like that. I mean Mistress Marion, my Tudor alter-ego. Who is this ‘Marion’, I hear you cry? Well, to tell her story one must first venture to England, where we lay our scene, to the home of Master Adam Palmer and his household in Wilmcote, Warwickshire.

Mistress Marion with Jasper Tudor, who was not eaten for Thanksgiving. Mistress Marion with Jasper Tudor, who was not eaten for Thanksgiving.

The year is 1573. Mistress Marion is 24 and has been in service at Master Palmer’s house for almost 10 years now. Born in 1549 in Sheep-wash Town (Shipston on Stour, where modern-me currently lives) to a…

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Fig Leaf Wars


There were about 20 audience members who were slowly tempted out of the Blue Orange Theatre café in the Jewellery Quarter and into the theatre. On the night of the 2014 Brazilian World Cup Final they were doing pretty well for patrons. Although we were a small group it only increased the closeness between the audience and the man and lady dressed up as a giant penis and a giant vulva. The tagline was:

A human-sized walking Vagina and Penis are going to meet again for the first time. How will the meeting go? Will they meet each other’s expectations? What are they supposed to do and how will they know?

Dick timidly broke out of the shadows and came to chat to the audience about how excited (no pun intended) he was to be free. He’s usually attached to someone, and it was a while before Fanny came on-stage to tell us that they’d been having a fight for thousands of years.

Not only were Fanny (or the Vulva of Venus) and Dick representing individual lady parts and man parts, they were also representing those of everyone in the world. This created an easy bond, and slight uncomfortableness, (which I think we soon got over – through much giggling) with their audience.

Throughout the partly-improvised show the characters demonstrated the trials and tribulations, as well as the pleasures, of being human genitalia. This sincere and welcoming pair gave us a hilarious and open night out. They spoke with the audience about the relationship between genitalia, in the olden days, and wondered aloud why people turn the lights off to have sex. With tunes such as “Sexual Healing” and “Floating through Space” (it might be called that – I’m not really sure!) they took us on a sensitive journey around the most intimate regions of humanity. Fanny showed us how she felt about rape and Dick told us how many rapes go unreported.

Far from being an after-school special this was a very playful yet grown-up, real platform from which to discuss sexuality and how we are all going to afford to get up to Edinburgh to see them again.

Follow this Facebook link for more info: https://www.facebook.com/thefigleafwars/timeline


I can’t find the link to a great Huffpost article about what our brave cast members, Dick and Fanny, get up to when they’re not on-stage! It involves a man in Glasgow attacking Dick (AKA Chris Murray, in costume) and Fanny (AKA Joanne Tremarco, also in costume) saving him! If you find it please post the link!

Richard Long Pre-Preview

Richard Long
Richard Long

I felt very special going to the Richard Long Pre-Preview at The New Art Gallery Walsall. The Exhibition Spaces and The Fourth Floor now have Richard Long installations and images which are really cool.

Africa Footprints 1986 by Richard Long born 1945 (Copyright Tate)
Africa Footprints 1986 by Richard Long born 1945 (Copyright Tate)

His big installation is very playful – The walls are painted black and white diagonal steps. The artist has basically taken mud (from his home) and brought it to the gallery and smeared it all over the black wall. The spatter from the mud skips down the white part of the wall. He mentioned how the painting is an autobiography of himself, his gestures and that was evident in the way the marks were very similar because the way he moves is the way he moves – his physical signature.

There is another mud painting which was, ‘made for a contemporary art exhibition and auction sale in aid of African famine victims. The project was called ‘New Art New World.’ This piece makes me imagine Richard Long physically getting his feet all muddy and making the shape of Africa on a piece of paper. The action of that is very playful.

I went to see an Tim Johnson exhibition at the IKON a few months back and a painting called ‘Walk On’ (see the Image below) includes the footprints of Tim Johnson’s children like they’ve just walked all over the canvas. I really want to do that – I may have to do that soon!

Tim Johnson and Nava Chapman, 'Walk On', 2009, synthetic polymer paint on canvas, 150 x 180 cm
Tim Johnson and Nava Chapman, ‘Walk On’, 2009, synthetic polymer paint on canvas, 150 x 180 cm


The main ideas behind Richard Long’s work are about wayfaring and being in the moment. He also said that, when his works are photographed the isolation of the place and the fact that it might be 20 years ago or thousands of miles away is interesting. His work is made in isolation and then, if it’s good enough, he shares it. And even after a thousand years have past, the rocks he uses in his Artwork might still be there, even if they are no longer considered to be Art.

In relation to his Textworks, Long mentioned that he goes on walks and there is some work he does which involves looking at things – for e.g. he notes down the first time he sees a fox or an owl. He has then returned to that place and seen how the walk is different than before. I will try and find the link for a journal I read called ‘Lines’ which discussed Wayfaring which I think might relate to this. He also mentions how he had always wanted to be an Artist. Even when he wanted to be an Ornithologist (when he was young) the way he communicated that was through pictures of birds.

One last thought is that I thought it was funny that he said that Tribesmen would come up to him and look at what he was doing but not be very interested because they might not realise he was “making Art.” I thought it was interesting, for lack of a better word, to think about what they would consider Art to be and why it would be attractive to them, from a different cultural perspective.