Nellie"s Needles

Monday, March 24, 2014

"Smocking: Fabric Manipulation and Beyond" Exhibition

I'm recently back from a trip to California. One reason for it was to celebrate the opening of this exhibition at the Lacis Museum in Berkeley to which I had gifted most all of the smocked clothing and decorative items I had created.
There were two big receptions for this show. The first one on March 8th is described in Laci's newsletter as "a day LMLT will long remember.  With the coming of Sarah Douglas, Mimi Ahern and Nellie Durand, who hosted a delightful and lively interview with the many visitors, the future of smocking is secured, the techniques of fabric manipulation. an invitation to creativity, demonstrated by the works of these ladies some 35 years ago and by the works of today as submitted by the contributors to this exhibit."

The discussion session that included questions from the audience was my favorite part.

The exhibition is extensive. This is just a small portion ...
Go here to see a slide show of all the exhibited pieces. That is, all but the smocked dress worn by Anne Hathaway in Les Miserable. That garment is shown in a separate gallery and can be viewed with a museum person, because it is not allowed to be photographed. Otherwise, picture taking is welcome. I enjoyed meeting and talking to the many visitors at this reception as well as the Smocking Arts Guild of America events held during the next week.

I was thrilled for this opportunity to be with Sarah and Mimi after not seeing them since I "retired" from teaching and all SAGA activities well over twenty-two years ago. After the reception Sarah and I spent time at Mimi's home. She captured a photo of Sarah and me having a morning chat in her backyard. She's knitting and I'm working on a "crinkle quilt."
The other purpose of my trip was to visit our younger son's family. With them I saw a lot of the Bay area.
He, his wife and me above ... me with a grandson on a walk below. It wasn't difficult to take fairly long walks on top of those hills.

I was delighted to spend an afternoon watching my granddaughter play softball ... she's up to bat.

I got my feet in the ocean at the beach in Santa Cruz ..,
and had the opportunity to build a "faery house" with beach debris after a picnic lunch at another beach off Highway #1 on the drive to get there ...
It was a day trip that included my nephew from Nashville and his daughters who were visiting California on spring break. A few mornings later his girls and I built this faery house in the terrace garden of my son's house. Both structures are furnished with a table, bed, chair, and of course flowers in the one below. Wish I had taken photos before the roofs and doors were installed.

Speaking of terraced gardens, I was delighted to visit the awesome botanical gardens on the hillside above Berkeley ...

I had a wonderful time in California. If you plan to visit the Bay area, include a side trip to Lacis. This exhibition runs through October 4th and the shop sells every sort of needlework supply you could possibly imagine, which makes looking through the store very interesting. Here's a quote about the museum by the owner, Jules:
Our exhibits are designed to elicit,  capture and preserve memories. The task of the Museum is to not let us forget.

Jules Kliot, Director
and their location:
Lacis Museum of Lace and Textiles
2982 Adeline Street
Berkeley, CA  94703
and website: