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Crazy Summer!

Attack of the knitted tentacles
Originally uploaded by MadeleineS.

Well I'm not so glad it's over but I am glad of the rest! This summer has been a real rollercoaster of craft/art things, day job things, family and friends things, educational things and a completely new thing on top!

So what was it all?

In June there was the Craft at Coburg exhibition, a trip to the Isle of May for a friend's birthday, the first ICMS workshop I've been responsible for in years, another birthday celebration, the Edinburgh International Film Festival and a couple of family trips to Perth.

In July I was still doing the day job while creating work for the Attack of the Knitted Tentacles exhibition (photo above), creating new cyanotype work (posts below), keeping on top of family commitments, birthday lunch for an aunt and going to lots of planning meetings. By this time I was wearing out and my body just started saying no when I tried to do things. I was really sad to pull out of a meeting that might have started the Works to Wear project moving again - we just need to get everyone together again.

Nevertheless the tentacles and monsters were arrayed in Transreal Fiction as planned on 1 August ready for their adoring public on 2 August. The show certainly attracted a lot of attention. The following weekend was Open Studios weekend a Coburg House - another bout of tidying and displaying followed by three days of welcoming the public to the studio. By this time the Edinburgh Festival was in full swing and a number of shows were attended - favourite by far was Company Gavin Robertson's 2010: a space oddity, a pastiche of every space movie cliche there is.

Then we had a celebration of Mike's sister's 60th birthday and her ongoing recovery from major illness. Halfway through the month and we got out of town at last. Dunbar Arts Trust organised a collaborative project to recreate Dunbar harbour in knitting and felting. The day after that I started a week at Edinburgh College of Art Summer School. After cancelling last year because of my hip operation I was delighted to at last be working with Jeanette Sendler improving my wet felting technique. In among all that I found time to visit the Danish Cultural Institute's exhibition of contemporary knitting and to drop in on the Ravelry Picnic on the Meadows.

The Book Festival was now taking our attention and we manage to squeeze in a few visits to this and to it's fringe at Wordpower bookshop. Wearing out again though and cancelling yet more engagements during this month just to have a lie down. I perked up enough to attend the Edinburgh launch of a new range of furniture at Craft House Concept and bought a small badge there with the motto of the year "Craft doesn't pay" written on it. The AGM of Craftscotland at the end of the month was really informative and inspiring - hope to build on ideas and contacts from that afternoon.

All through the months above I'd been working with friends towards the launch of a new craft networking and support organisation - Craft Reactor. After being tripped up by some unexpected red tape earlier in the summer, we finally launched the organisation on 31 August with a very lively tea party. Do visit the website and, if you like the sound of what we're doing, join up!

The end of the summer was signalled by the dismantling of the Attack of the Knitted Tentacles last Sunday. The beasts have slithered off to their own dimension and may aggregate themselves in different forms in the future.

Things are never totally quiet - more family stuff this week and more low-key crafty things and day-job-related socialising are planned in the next few weeks. Hopefully October will be quieter but somehow I doubt it...


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