Thursday, 3 December 2009

Arabella's Winter Warmth

Last month I was asked to take part in the Winter Warmth Textile Exhibition at The Park Gallery in Falkirk.
Five of my Arabella Art-Accessory Bags would be on display and for sale amongst works of over 50 UK textile artists!

My own Arabella White-Tail Deer Bag, my mum and I went along to look at the art.
(Arabella needed a cup of tea to warm up, it was rather chilly!)

Four of my bags were on display behind glass in The Park Gallery just by the entrance.

They were all so excited to see me and little chirrups were made when we came in. Over 300 people attended on the opening day - goodness that was a lot! and the Arabellas had had plenty of people watching to do (it was very interesting they told me).

I had taken five with me and the Mule Deer Arabella was resting in the back room until space was made for her in one of the glass cabinets too.
That didn't take long because Arabella with the Cardinal and Forest was soon off to a new home!
Thanks to Karina, from the Gallery for selling her.
The Park Gallery opened quite a few years ago with a UK lottery funded grant and it is now in serious danger of being closed by the local council. They don't see the point of making art accessible to the masses and that is a pity because I was very impressed with the gallery and the use of space in this impressive exhibition.
Please take the time to sign this online petition so that the Gallery may remain open for future generations to enjoy where ever they come from.
The Park Gallery is located separate from the other exhibiton space being used in nearby Callendar House. It is wonderfully converted and purpose built from steadings and has just the right ambience to enjoy art of all disciplines.
Here are the five bags -

Arabella with Deer in Forest Glade

with details of a doe and red berries on the pocket.
All bags come with removeable straps so that they can be unique textile vessels on your shelf when not accompanying you to exhibitions.

Arabella with Raccoons, Bear Cub, Rabbit and Red Berries

both sides have different images, as do all the bags.

on this blue snowflake pocket is a cardinal and fir.
All bags have a metal snap hook on the haunches.

This is Arabella in White Blossoms and Waves. A very elegant sculpture!

there is a little bee on the pocket with blossom ruffles.

This is Arabella with an American Robin applique on cream damask.
Actually this bag is not in the exhibition but available in my etsy shop. It was made at the same time as these other bags.

the removeable handles have woollen brown and black tweed snap hook details and hand grips.

and this pocket has a delightful Robin with Selvedge!
What better way to count (spend) your time than with selvedge spots?

Arabella with North American Mule Deer. This side has the detailed pattern showing a mule deer in the distant firs and two white tails bounding across the clearing.

the other side shows the Mule Deer applique. There are removeable brown grip straps.

the pocket has another Mule Deer with friend behind. The applique antlers are very impressive from both sides. You can see the grey wool lining on them here.

and this is the Arabella bag that sold!
With the North American Red Cardinal and Forest on a snowy night. The straps are black and have red and white detailing.

this side also has a cardinal and an owl. The cardinal is up late and the owl is out early tonight!
On both sides by the chest are two recycled brown bear metal buttons.

and on the haunches is another one of the bear buttons.
They all have the frayed denim edging from when I gathered them off my brother's weathered jacket. The jacket has been round the world a few times so the bears are well travelled. Arabella has been hearing their endless tales.
On the pocket is more snow falling and the words 'A Wildlife Christmas'
After we had a look around The Park Gallery we made our way to the historic Callendar House for the other part of the exhibition.
It was just down the road and past some very old trees and is set in a 'park' that is landscaped year round. Dogs come to play and squirrels forage for food.

Inside a very tall room were more textile works of art.
Arabella immediately noticed the tiny baby carrots necklace and was about to open her mouth when I pulled her back!
'Arabella!' I exclaimed - those are chillis!! tut tut! and you're not meant to touch anything in the exhibiton that's why the other Arabellas are all behind glass because everyone instinctively reaches to touch your beautiful white faces.
Arabella went slightly red and sheepish. The Le Chilli Necklace is by Ode Marie.

My mum was very interested in these textile air jellyfish. The photo doesn't do them justice and they really were very impressive. They appeared so fragile as well. They are by Ruth Lee and it's called 'From the Deep' incorporatin hand frame and machine knitting.

Arabella had spotted a rich wall covering.
It was hard to pick the shades she liked the best as there were so many. I liked the rich blues at the top right. Arabella finally decided that she rather liked the carroty, um, er, orangey coloured bits.
It is called Canal by Louise Oppenheimer from Argyll.

Then we came across these fabulous textile blocks! Could stare at (and touch) them all day long.
They are by Anita Hutchison. Ofcourse we never laid a finger or paw on them.

We were nearing the last of the exhibits when Arabella caught sight of these amazing bird brooches by Ode Marie (the chilli necklace lady!). They were awfully dashing and we all loved their cute little crests.
Arabella said her chest was just the right size to have one pinned on and I agreed but we really needed a cup of tea and cake so we popped into the super tea room by the Park Gallery.

We all had Early Grey tea. After our sandwiches I had a slice of the most delicious, freshly baked moist orange cake. Baked there daily! and my mum had warm clootie dumpling also made there. Clootie dumpling is a moist fruit pudding from Scotland. A wee bit goes a long way!
Arabella can't wait to go back at the end of December when the exhibition finishes for another cup of tea and cake! I said to her that would only happen if all the bags aren't already sold!
She crossed her paws! (I'm not sure for which!)
Don't forget to enter the raffle on my blog to win one of 5 great rabbit prizes with all money going to the Rabbit and Guinea Pig Welfare in Rugby, England, Wesley's old rescue.
Let your friends know too - they may be glad of the chance to win a piece of original art made with love and help the animals at the same time. Only two weeks left.
Thank you!


  1. Love Arabella & her buddies ... darling creations. Glad you had a lovely time.
    TTFN ~ Marydon
    Our new blog is ~
    Please follow us there. Enter our GIVEAWAY also.

  2. What a lovely post. Arabella sure gets around, doesn't she? I signed the petition to keep the gallery open. It's a lovely place to visit. I love Earl Grey tea too ;-)

    Those bunny bags are fantastic! They sure are attention getters and then when people ask about them, it's a good time to mention the bunny rescue...I love it ;-)

    Have a wonderful day,

  3. Love your blogging style, Annette! Your bags all look amazing together in their wee glass display cabinet. These jellyfish look rather fantastic too - would love to take a trip across to Falkirk for the day before the exhibition finished & take a look. Perhaps Max & Molly could come along & go for a nice walk in the nearby park... My favourite bag of yours is definitely the 'American robin' one - she is on my Xmas wishlist ;-)

  4. HOW DELiGHTFUL annette :)

    Your storytelling is so upbeat and fun... and i LOVE the Arabella bags... one day i shall fall in love with one that will be -my own- Looking forward to it !

  5. thank you Marydon for your lovely comments and also for your blog giveaway. Lovely new blog!

    Thanks for signing it Doris. I hope it is saved. The single room in Callendar House is not big enough to hold UK national exhibitions and the gallery is a super place!
    Arabella agrees :)

    Thank you Jane (shucks!) Hope you make it there. It's on till the end of December and the park is huge - lots of dogs were there playing in the grounds. It's very picturesque!
    I hope your Christmas wishes come true :)
    (I have a wish list also!)

  6. Your Arabella bags are awesome. Love them!

  7. Love your new bags
    so special :-)
    Have a wonderful day !!

  8. beautiful, fun post! congrats to you and Arabella on the lovely show!!! ;0) Love your wonderfully unique and adorable creations!
    Michele, Mosie, Tala, and Whiskey

  9. Thank you for the lovely tale with Arabella - she is quite a bunny travelling companion, isn't she? I had to laugh at the chilli adventure... that was really close, LOL!
    I signed the petition, of course - why is that when council administrations want to cut costs it is almost always something that the community profits from that has to pay for it?
    Fingers crossed...!
    In the meantime, good luck with the sales on Etsy and with the raffle - winter is always the hardest time for the rescues, let's hope in mild temperatures for this winter!

  10. thank you Nicole - glad you enjoyed the read!

    and Bridget - thanks!

    glad you like them Anya! did Kareltje see them too?

    thanks Michele, cuddles to the furs :)

    thanks Gabriella! the councils all seem to have the same shortsightedness. Such a pity (and a flaw!) - but.... fingers crossed!
    and yes, lets hope for a mild winter for the rescues - but a good one for the polar bears so they can get out on the ice for a long awaited meal!

  11. You are as daft as a brush :D loving your stories and looks like a great day out for all of you

  12. Love the bunny bag with the robin. They are my most favorite birds to watch in the yard and they tell me that spring is coming! They follow me on the lawn mower and grab up the yummy worms and things the mower stirs up. The Calender house? Gorgeous!

  13. I enjoyed reading this Annette! Your bags are great, and I hope they will find happy homes. It looks like you had a great day out, and it was great seeing the picture of your lovely Mum!


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