John's Hobbies

I guess my hobbies are home computing and gardening (though the first doesn't always leave enough time for the second!). Oh, and I do collect British stamps. This isn't too difficult, thanks to the Royal Mail subscription service! And when it's sunny in the summer (unfortunately this doesn't happen too often) I follow the fortunes of Lancashire County Cricket Club at Old Trafford (the cricket ground, not the football one!).


Many years ago, on two occasions whilst on holiday in Cornwall, I came to appreciate the naive art of Joan Gillchrest, simply because they reminded me of my teenage years in the county - a true artists' paradise! The Wren Gallery in Burford, Oxfordshire has kept the flag flying for Joan since her death in 2008. It was as a result of visiting their memorial exhibition for Joan that I then became aware of the joyously humourous work of the Welsh naive artist Therese James, and I suppose my love of the Cornish coast warmed me to her sea themes. Following up the naive theme on the web, I came across the work of John Wetten Brown, a Glasgow artist, whose quirky paintings of fishing ports on the east coast of Scotland bring back happy memories of holidays there in years past. Imagine my surprise when the Wren Gallery included his works in a recent exhibition! Perhaps I've developed good taste in my dotage! or maybe I'm just naive!?

While celebrating a relative's birthday at a restaurant in Millbrook last year, my eye was taken to the decor, delightfully enhanced by a display of Victoria Ashworth's paintings on the walls. Definitely worth more than a second look. Victoria's studio is at Woodend Mill, Mossley, which houses a diverse artistic community. I like the fresh approach to the depiction of urban landscape themes in her work (though it was three coastal scenes which first attracted my attention!). From time to time the Woodend Mill Artists Group have an Open Studios Weekend - which is well worth a visit. That was how last year we came across Jacqui Symons' leaf monoprints, beautifully combining nature and creativity. Carol likes her origami box sculptures too!

Carol's Hobbies


What could be more relaxing than taking a needle, thread and a piece of Aida cloth and turning it into a beautiful picture? That's the wonder of cross-stitch! Compuserve's Fibercrafts Forum has a thriving Cross-Stitch section with sample patterns, pattern-making programs and lots of ENTHUSIASTS! There are also a lot of resources available on the Internet as well.

bulletClick here to visit the "Counted Cross Stitch, Needlework, and Stitchery Page" with its almost 1500 links!
bulletClick here to visit cross-stitching.com, home of The World of Cross Stitching, Cross Stitch Crazy, Cross Stitch Card Shop and Cross Stitch GOLD


Quilling is rolling up bits of paper and sticking them on cards in an attractive design. (That's John's definition!) CompuServe's Handcrafts Forum has a section on Papercrafts with some useful information and contacts. But there doesn't seem to be much information about quilling on the Internet yet. So far we've found Custom Quilling by Denise and The Quilling Guild. If you come across any more, let me know ...

3-D Decoupage

This involves cutting out parts of printed pictures (of which you need several copies) and mounting them on top of each other to give a three-dimensional effect.

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