Wednesday, August 31, 2005

I Heart Crazy Patchwork

lavender heart
Originally uploaded by Flyingsquid.

Another Heart

purple heart 1
Originally uploaded by Flyingsquid.

This was the first one I made.

Heart 3

purple heart 2
Originally uploaded by Flyingsquid.

I haven't put up any crafty posts for some time, so here's what I've been working on since getting back from Scotland. While goofing off at work web-surfing, I stumbled across Chains Of Hearts on Yahoo. It's a group for swapping 6" crazy hearts. I'd never done crazy patchwork before, but I had all the materials and embroidery threads, so I couldn't resist joining.

These are the first three I've made. The embroidery toys are happy to be played with again!

Monday, August 29, 2005

One Last Post About Worldcon

Originally uploaded by Flyingsquid.

Because, after all, I shouldn't leave out the parties. The above was taken at the Xerps party, easily the best I went to. Also the only one not held in a large, brightly-lit function room. I don't know, I find it hard to get into a party mood in bright light.

They've got my vote for 2010!

Monday, August 22, 2005

And Then The Convention

Right, enough about the sightseeing. What we really went to Glasgow for was Worldcon (the World Science Fiction Convention, for those who don't know) after all. It was fantastic, and huge, and exhausting, and for the whole week afterwards, I kept checking my watch every hour, wondering where I had to be now.

I probably did too much. I know I tried to, but Trev did (mostly) succeed in making me pause for things like food. I am awed, and informed, and inspired, most especially to actually send more stories out. I do have a confession to make. I went with the intention of trying to meet editors. There were certainly enough of them present. I chickened out.

I can think of two reasons for this. One is that I get very shy among large crowds of strangers - and there were about 4,000 people at this thing. Of whom I knew, oh, maybe a dozen, at a generous estimate. But that's not the main reason. Really, it's the fear that if I go up to an editor (most of whom seem to be men my father's age) and say "Hi, I've written a book" they'll give me a slightly disbelieving look and say something along the lines of "Have you? That's nice dear."

I know I'm not giving them a fair chance here. It's just that when I used to tell people I was Chair of London Quilters (which I was for two years, stepping down a year or so ago) I'd get such looks of astonishment and disbelief that I've been forced to conclude that I look a) far too young to be/have done any such thing, and/or b) too flaky.

I'm reminded of when my mother, at around this same age, ran for City Council or some such thing, and failed to get taken at all seriously, for much the same reasons. Of course, looking flaky might not be so detrimental to a writer.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Music Room

music room
Originally uploaded by Flyingsquid.

I walked in here and was instantly nine years old again. Don't go bringing any little girls in here. You'll never pry them out.

What you're looking at is the piano, incidentally.

Dining Room

dining room
Originally uploaded by Flyingsquid.

This was Trev's favourite room at House for an Art Lover. It's impressive, but I prefer the dining room at Mackintosh's own house, with its more subdued colour scheme. The end wall, seen at the right in the photo, has a large painting of pink roses on a bright blue, to my eye clashing, background. I couldn't help wondering a teeny bit if it was really what Mackintosh had intended.

It has the same inhabited feeling as the Mackintosh House. I kept expecting someone in period costume to walk in and be startled at our outlandish appearance.

House for an Art Lover

House for an Art Lover
Originally uploaded by Flyingsquid.

House for an Art Lover was designed by Mackintosh, but not built until the 1990s. If the Mackintosh House is a dimension-warp, this one is a time-warp. This is my favourite view of the exterior, looking towards the front entrance.

I Want To Live Here

Mackintosh house
Originally uploaded by Flyingsquid.

Looks pretty surreal, doesn't it? This is the outside of the Mackintosh's own house, which has materialised inside the Hunterian Museum in such a way that bits (such as the front door and windows) stick out.

Despite being interdimensionally entwined with an art museum, the place feels lived-in. You expect the Mackintoshes to walk in at any moment.

Once again, I have no interior photos, but the Hunterian Museum has a virtual tour .

I mean it about wanting to live here.

Art School

Originally uploaded by Flyingsquid.

Our Mackintosh Feast began with the Glasgow School of Art. Most of my photos of the outside didn't come out very well - this one is the best. The GSA's website has a virtual tour with some good pictures of the inside.

Have I mentioned yet that I have a new favourite architect? You have to take a guided tour here, which turns out to be a very good thing, or at least it does if your guide is as good as ours was.

Trev and I both agreed that it must be inspirational to study here. I mentioned to my boss (who is from Glasgow) that we'd been, and he said that in fact, he has taken classes there, and it was. You can imagine my envy!

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

The Same Machine But With Motion-Blur

machine blur
Originally uploaded by Flyingsquid.

Marbles Wanted

Originally uploaded by Flyingsquid.

This giant marble machine was my favourite thing at the Science Museum. For an idea of scale, the balls are about six inches in diameter.

I want one.

science museum

science museum
Originally uploaded by Flyingsquid.

This is probably the best photo of the whole trip. We went to the science museum on our first day in Glasgow. It's pretty much geared for children, so we had fun being ten again.

We also saw Charlie and the Chocolate Factory on the Imax screen. I am now forever spoiled for watching movies in normal cinemas.

*spoiler alert*

Neil Gaiman says on his journal that the new Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is really Willy Wonka's story, not Charlie's. He's right. It's also a fantastic movie. (The real show-stealer is Deep Roy, as the oompa-loompas.)

Saturday, August 13, 2005


As some of you may know, the reason for the long break in posts is that I've been up in Glasgow, at the 63rd World Science Fiction Convention. The con was terrific, and we managed to fit in some sight-seeing as well, including lots of Charles Rennie Mackintosh architecture. The detail above is from the back wall of the Scotland Street School.

There won't be as many pictures up here as I would have liked - I'm still getting to know the digital camera, so while many things came out better than I would have expected, pretty much all of the low-light ones came out too blurry for even Photoshop to rescue. Clearly, I need to experiment more with the manual settings.