Tuesday, 24 May 2016

#savehomefires Posters and Flyers

As campaigning to save the wonderful Home Fires gathers apace we know that even now, as the petition heads towards the incredible 25,000 signature mark, there are many more fans of the show who have no idea what’s been going on. How on earth can we get their attention you may ask, well what better way than to continue to move the campaign from the virtual to the physical world. Many wonderful ‘Homies’ have already started to, in particular the fabulous Kitty in her ‘Great Paxford Road Trip’ – a very witty adventure to the picturesque village of Bunbury where the show is filmed. Our inspiring and lovely petition starter Kerryn has been eager to create a campaign poster, and accompanying flyers, that everyone can access and printout and I was more than happy to deploy my pigeons again towards this endeavour. Click on the links below to download the PDFs and print the A4 poster and two A5 flyers. When printing out use the standard A4 print settings, (not borderless), and it should work like a charm, if you encounter any problems just leave me a comment or contact me on twitter @loadofolbobbins and I’ll try to help. Don't forget to join in the fun on twitter and across social media with #savehomefires

UPDATE: We now have a fabulous competition running to win a rather gorgeous 1940s themed print for those who share pics of the posters up and about. Find out more details here.

A4 Poster

A5 Flyers


  All work is copyright Jessica Taylor 2016

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

#savehomefires an Epic Journey

It’s been an awfully long time since I ventured into the wilds of my personal blog, had to scare away a few spiders that had taken up residence, for whatever reason I have never quite settled in to blogging about myself on a regular basis, give me other people’s work to wax lyrical about and I’m yours, see my regular Mr X Stitch blog for further details. Now what’s so special about today you may be asking, are you sitting comfortably...well then I shall begin.

It all started 6 days ago when news had just broken that one of my favourite shows Home Fires had been rather unceremoniously cancelled for no reason that anyone can discern at this point. Immediately voicing my consternation and distress through the medium of Twitter I found I was not alone in my bewilderment. A petition was started, troops rallied and a movement born, the #savehomefires movement to be precise. We’re an eclectic determined bunch, women, men, dogs and even pigeons, (stay with me that’ll make sense later), have been brought together by the love of ‘our’ show.  As of writing this, our petition stands at over 18,000 signatures, we’ve received support from the mothership aka The Women’s Institute, mainstream press attention and trended at No. 4 on Twitter during a rather epic Twitterstorm on 15th May. All the way along during this rather wild and glorious ride the amazing cast and crew have stood right alongside us, we’re basically having one giant Home Fires love in, think Woodstock with more victory rolls and less nudity. 

What I find particularly troubling about this whole situation is the almost blanket dismissal of such a powerful drama that places an important focus on strong female characters, I mean let’s be honest, we’re not exactly embarrassed with a surfeit of strong female-led drama to begin with. I wish this was an isolated incident, but it’s almost as if some executives across all networks are saying ‘Well that was fun what’s the next craze we can latch on to’, let me say this quite plainly women are neither a trend or a fad, we are over half the world’s population. The female contribution to society is so often hushed up, written over or undervalued, and don’t believe for a second it’s because historically we haven’t achieved or are somehow lacking in talent, I direct you to the fabulous documentaries ‘The Ascent of Woman’ and ‘The Story of Women and Art’ created by Dr Amanda Foreman and Amanda Vickery respectively.

For those of you who may say it’s just a TV show, there are far more important things to worry about, I say to you with all due respect you're missing the point. It is often through shifts in cultural attitudes that we can effect greater social change. When all people are presented with are photoshopped cookie cutter ideas of female identity, that is what people, particularly young girls, will think that they’re expected to be. An image with no basis in reality and impossible to achieve, just look at what damage such expectations have already done. We’re not supposed to be all the same that’s kinda the joy of being on this planet, difference. I mean if we all looked the same it’d be like eating chocolate cake for every meal, a great novelty for 5 seconds but we’d all end up sick pretty damn sharpish.

Gender politics aside this is just a bloody good show. Acting, writing, design, cinematography, music etc. are all first class. You don’t have to just take my word for it, the show was consistently winning it’s time slot and averaging 5.9 million viewers, an advertiser’s dream no? If the response to #savehomefires has taught me anything it’s that quality programming shines through to everyone and networks like ITV take viewers like us for granted at their peril.

If you’re a fellow ‘homie’ who enjoyed this wonderful show you can sign the petition here and please do come on over to the Twitter party by sharing your own thoughts to #savehomefires and #HomeFires. There are also a growing number of communities across all social media platforms where you can join in the fun and make your voice heard.

Told you the pigeons were with us! ;-)

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Hello again - A Letter in Mind

What can I say....time flies when your having fun?! After what can only be described as a “lengthy” absence I have returned. To kick off what will hopefully be a flourishing new blog. I thought I’d tell you all about an amazing exhibition that I was lucky to take part in recently.

As part of its 30th anniversary celebrations The National Brain Appeal put a call out for artists and designers to respond to the theme ‘A Letter in Mind’, presenting everyone with a simple white envelope as a starting point. The project culminated in a fantastic exhibition held at gallery@oxo, Oxo Tower Wharf. Each piece was displayed anonymously so it’s only now that I can finally reveal to you all which piece was mine, so here goes.....

Ta da! For those who don’t know much about me and my work I am rather passionate about history. My ongoing project, ‘Lost Voices’, is all about reconnecting abandoned images of people with their long-forgotten identities, giving them a voice through my work. So when starting to think about how I could respond to ‘A Letter in Mind’ I was immediately inspired to look at dementia and it’s relationship to memory.

To help evoke notions of the past I decided to age my envelope using the tried and tested, cover with tea and bake in the oven technique, (I knew all that treasure map making when I was little would come in handy one day!) I then managed to find a record of the brain waves of someone suffering with dementia and machine-stitched this onto my envelope to resemble writing on a postcard. Switching to hand embroidery for the rest of my piece I stitched the address, post mark and 1st class stamp.

I had the great joy of being able to visit the exhibition and was blown away by the amazing and diverse work on display. It is endlessly inspiring to see how such a large group of artists and designers have their own unique and powerful response to the same theme..... and who says there’s no such thing as an original idea!! Amongst the exhibitors I was a wee bit excited when I found out one of my personal art heroes, Grayson Perry, had contributed a piece. So not only did I get to take part in an awesome project but a personal life goal was achieved! I’d say that was win win all round. All the pieces featured in the exhibition can still be seen here and bought for just £80 each – with the money going to such a good cause, why not treat yourself to some beautiful and compelling art.

Friday, 14 March 2014

Coming Soon....

After a long absence my blog will soon be updated with all my latest adventures, until then feel free to take a look around my brand spanking new website here. Promise I'll be quicker than this guy with the update :)

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Just Vote

After a rather long absence from my blog, the impending local elections have spurred me on to compose this entry. By nature I am a passionate advocate for things I love, be it my art, my family, my genealogy and by no means least my politics. Those of you who follow me on Twitter are probably well aware of this, I’m not exactly the shy retiring type when BBC Question Time rolls around. I do not apologise for this, in fact it is a part of my character which I hold dear and am incredibly proud of. Before you all start to worry that what may now follow is a political diatribe about why you should or shouldn’t vote for this party or that party, you can stop, this isn’t what this is about. Those of you who find yourself curiously intrigued by my political leanings can pop on over to my Twitter feed, it should be plain for all to see. What I want to discuss in this post is the simple act of voting, that small mark on a piece of paper that carries with it such weight.

Before I dive headfirst in to this topic I want to furnish you all with a little context. When I first considered starting a blog I made the decision that I would stick to discussions about my art and the interests that inform it, such as genealogy and history. I thought if I started to just babble about absolutely anything with no sort of filter, confusion was sure to follow, both for me and for anyone who should happen to read it, (that’s what Twitter’s for!). Looking back at my previous posts I think I’ve stuck to this pretty well and although at first glance this post may seem like a departure, I would beg to differ and here’s why. Fundamental to my upbringing is the way my mum instilled the importance of political convictions. She did not preach or lecture to my sister or I, nor did she pressure us in to following in her political footsteps, it just so happened that it turned out that way. The strength of character that this freedom to think fostered in both my sister and I continued the line of strong women that is contained within both sides of my family tree. A family tree that has and continues to play a vital role in my working practice.  The very fact that I can type a sentence that contains the words “my working practice” is in no small part down to the introduction of a Woman’s right to Vote. A right which I’m passionate about and find myself enraged by when either due to political apathy or sheer laziness people do not exercise it. It is with this in mind that I am typing these words. I do not pretend to be some great political doyenne. I am no great philosopher or social commentator, but I do have an opinion. No more or less important than anybody else’s, but one I wish to share none the less, and for this moment in time my blog shall act as my soapbox.

The right to vote has and continues to be fought for worldwide, so for those of us lucky to have been freely given this right to flippantly toss it aside with a simple “I can’t be bothered” or “I don’t do politics” is both insulting and scandalous. Lets not kid ourselves folks, people have died for this, they’re still dying. The ability to put pencil to paper and have your voice heard and count for something, anything is no small thing. It is not trivial, nor should it be taken for granted and brushed aside. Now for those of you who find yourself disenchanted with politics and politicians in general I understand if you feel frustrated by the choice you face at the polling station. The important thing is that you actually make it there, whether you vote for a mainstream party, some guy dressed as a pirate sporting an eyepatch, or even spoil your ballot in protest, just make sure you make a mark on that piece of paper.

Quite frankly if you can’t be bothered to put one foot in front of the other and make your way to a polling station on Thursday 3rd May you loose the right to complain about pretty much anything, whether you like it or not politics plays a part in everything we do, no matter what walk of life you’re from. So why don’t you do yourself a favour and vote, then you can gripe and grumble to your hearts content. I can’t always promise I’ll agree, but I can promise I’ll respect you enough to listen.

Saturday, 31 December 2011

Crafty New Year

My absence of late has been down to anything but laziness......I promise. Amongst other things Christmas season has been upon us (just in case you hadn’t noticed) and like a fair few of us creative folk I have started a somewhat foolhardy tradition of making all of my presents. In principle you may think this sounds like an inspired choice that can only bring joyful things to one and all, you’d be wrong. I embrace Christmas with the best of them, in fact you could say that I over embrace it and find myself disappearing in a tangle of wool and fabric. In fact it’s becoming increasingly obvious to me that this little tradition could do with a bit of a rethink, next years key words will be strategy and discipline. I shall be channeling my inner drill sergeant, I have military ancestry so that should be a cinch. My creative eyes are far bigger than my two arms will allow, the sooner I start the great Christmas make the longer it seems to go on for. However I am pleased to say that it wasn’t all bad, all gifts were received with smiles and the occasional squeal, always a treat for the old ego. Let us make a date to meet here again this time next year and see if I’ve got a handle on this planning malarkey.

As a wee festive treat, hopefully, here’s a selection of what my elvish self has been up to:

With the close of 2011 fast approaching I look back on what I’ve done and for the first time in a while I feel like I can look back with a real sense of achievement. So all of you folk, old and new, that have geed me along this year, ta very much like! Hope I’ve helped a few of you folks too. As I look ahead at the shenanigans that 2012 could bring I’m feeling grand and hope you all have a good New Years. As I toast the new year along with all this excitement, as I always do I shall be slightly freaking out that with a flicker of the second hand I am suddenly in a whole different year, always does a slight number on me that does!

Friday, 18 November 2011

Letter Lucky Dip 3

254292 Capt M. Walker RAMC
126 I.B.G.H (B.T)
c/o 21 A.B.P.O
India Command

Dear Spike,
                   How is your ankle? Why did you not go sick with it? Don’t you trust the medical profession? If it was a sprain you could have had some local anaesthetic injected + saved yourself all the pain. Why is it that things start happening when you’re around? On second thoughts, you don’t have to tell me.
  I am glad that you have found such a nice family . Jean sounds very intriguing. Don’t tell me you are scared of a mere female. I have visions of your becoming a pukka sahib in the very near future.
I have just had a letter from home telling me that my brother, who has been in the M.E. Italy for nearly four years has arrived back in UK. It’s the best news I could have had. Now I can stop worrying about my mother worrying about my brother!


I am now the only exile of the family.
  I have been out dancing twice this week, an ‘tripping the light fantastic’ again tomorrow night. Well, it may not be light but it’s certainly fantastic. I found myself on the floor with a jitterbug fan (Gee, I nearly wrote it.) He gave me quite a turn in more ways than one! I was at a Sergeants’ Mess dance on Wednesday + was shown round the mess + bar. The whole thing was made out of packing cases the effect in ‘Ye Olde Pubbe’ style was marvellous. The upper part of the walls seemed to be pannelled. There was a lovely bar in the other room with a barrel on the counter + beautifully made high + low stools. At the side were some high backed long seats + they even had a dart board_ I nearly forgot the brick fireplace. You would have loved it.


Bertha is still here but works in the Surgical Div. now. We still share a room but I don’t see her so often now.
  I was Orderly dog last Saturday + during my tour of duties. I superintended the dispatch of a cobra. It had crawled into one of the operating theatres + when the boys had it covered, it reared up on its hind legs, its hood came out_ So did I p.d.q. Great Shakes, I didn’t like it!
  Well, this is another poor effort but you don’t seem to mind.
  I am awaiting the next instalment of your adventures. Look after yourself.