Christiane Sand Award

You may remember this little guy I made over a year ago. It was during the first lockdown in April 2020, and we had just started the coiling module at City Lit, when everything closed down.

However, our tutor Polly Pollock continued to have regular weekly Zoom meetings with the group, giving us advice and feedback on our coiling projects, the theme of which was animal markings. My piece was inspired by the radiated tortoise, a critically endangered species from Madagascar.

Fast forward to April 2021, when our college classes resumed in person. We were all asked to bring in our coiled pieces and sketchbooks for assessment.

A few weeks later I heard that I had been one of two students awarded the Christiane Sand City Lit Award for Coiling.

Christiane Sand first enrolled on the City Lit Creative Basketry course in September 2011. After completing it she was diagnosed with cancer and re-enrolled in 2015 as a therapeutic pursuit alongside her cancer treatments. For her coiling project she made a wolf basket, which she found challenging but ultimately rewarding. This is what led her husband Nigel Grant to set up two awards for students who produce outstanding work in the coiling module.

As you can imagine, I’m well chuffed! The prize is ยฃ250 to be spent on a basketry course, which will allow me to keep feeding my habit. ๐Ÿ™‚


Barbara Maynard Challenge Cup

I’m thrilled to announce that I have been awarded the Barbara Maynard Challenge Cup for 2020 by the Basketmakers’ Association.

Every year at its AGM the Basketmakers’ Association holds a competition for members and presents the winner with the Barbara Maynard Challenge Cup. However, because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the AGM was held online this year. So instead the committee decided to award it to a member whose work has really stood out on social media in the past six months. And that turned out to be me!

I feel really honoured to see my name alongside some great basketmakers, including Tim Johnson and one of my tutors at City Lit, John Page.

If you’d like to see the images that led to the award, head over to my Instagram feed. At least now I have a justification when ESP complains about me spending too much time on social media! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Versatile Blogger Award

In a previous incarnation I worked for the consumer organisation Which?, first on its travel magazine and then on its main magazine. Twenty years down the line we parted company, but I retain my suspicious attitude towards various marketing techniques and awards.

So when Patrice Taylor of posted a comment saying that she had nominated me for a Versatile Blogger Award, my antennae started twitching. Even more so when I read the rules of the award. “Nominate 15 more bloggers to receive the award” – doesn’t that sound like one of those chain letters that warns you will die if you don’t forward it NOW to 15 friends? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Patrice, if you are reading this, please don’t take offence. I googled around a bit more and found that even those who, like me, were initially a bit cynical, eventually concluded that the scheme is a harmless way of showing a bit of appreciation around the blogosphere and sharing some favourite links.

However, there are also other awards that seem to have very similar rules, like One Lovely Blog Award and the Very Inspiring Blogger Award, so I’m not altogether convinced. If everyone who is nominated nominates 15 more bloggers, how long will it be till everyone has an award?

I already provide links (see right-hand column) to considerably more than 15 textile blogs that I enjoy following – consider yourselves all honorary Versatile Bloggers. In a future post I’ll think about listing non-textile blogs that I read, just to add a bit of variety, if anyone is interested.

PS Sorry if I sound like an ungrateful cynical sourpuss!ย Patrice – thank you very much for your nomination: it is lovely to be appreciated. ๐Ÿ™‚ I really mean that.