Wednesday, 17 March 2010

I'm Back

This picture is my work that I did at the last workshop I went to in Jersey. The workshop was with Fiona Kearns, I think she does have a website but I can't remember what it is called (I can - NLW!) and I haven't found her business card that she gave me. That could have something to do with the fact that I haven't unpacked yet.

This was really enjoyable to do. The idea is that you use just two stitches and embroider onto hessian freeform. It was very quick and fun to do, you didn't have to think too much - it suited me.

The next two photos were taken from the ferry as we left.

This is where we stayed. It's right next to the airport, we stayed here last year and didn't hear the planes landing and taking off but we did this year, although it wasn't overly intrusive.

One advantage of going self catering is the washing machine, this meant I didn't bring back a huge pile of washing. It did mean that Neil (after being shown how to use it) washed everything in sight. He became quite the little house-husband. One morning when I was running a little late to get to a workshop and therefore was in a hurry, so you would assume that any action I took would be pardoned wouldn't you. Well you can imagine my surprise when during the workshop my phone vibrated, I checked it and it told me I had a text message. I opened the message and this is what it said "You naughty girl I have just been into the bedroom". All I had done was empty the contents of my bag onto the bed so I could load it up with the things I needed for that day. Honestly you would have thought the world had ended. Well now he knows what it's like for all of us, except that we have to cope with things like that on a daily basis all I can say is welcome to the club.

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Local Wildlife

On Thursday I had two workshops booked. In the morning I was with Jean Littlejohn using the embellisher.

This is meant to be a field of daffodils but I got a bit carried away embellishing.

In the afternoon I made a book cover with Carol Coleman. We were expected to finish these including adding decoration to the cover and putting in the pages. This was a little ambitious especially for me as my machine wasn't working properly and I nearly gave up. Luckily though another machine was found and I did manage to get the edging completed.

Say hello to some local animals. The Jersey cows are so pretty and just look at this one with her spikey haircut. They don't all have hair like that she must be extra special.
These two ducks are very friendly.

They stayed with us for about 15 minutes, obviously long enough to realise they weren't going to be fed or they may have sensed that I had duck for lunch.
They didn't attempt to cross the threshold.

I have got one workshop left tomorrow afternoon and then we leave for home on Monday.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Jersey Workshops

We are having a lovely time here in Jersey. The sun has been shining ever since we arrived but the wind has been blowing as well and it's a cold wind. Out of the wind it's positively tropical.

This is where we have breakfast. A very nice cafe called Colleens and it's right on the beach.

Here are some photos of the view you get whilst eating your breakfast.

Yesterday I was at a workshop with Louise Gardiner . We started with line drawings (I hate drawing) for the first one we had to put our pen on the paper and draw a line whilst listening to music. The line had to have curves, zig zags, swirls, texture (created by dense and loose areas of marks) and anything else you chose to draw. We were not allowed to look at the paper though.
The second drawing had to be of the person opposite you. It had to be a continual line and again we couldn't look at the paper.
The third was again of the person sitting opposite and had to be drawn with the same rules but we had to concentrate on detail.
Then we took the third drawing and taped it to a piece of artist's canvas and using just black thread stitched over the lines and again this had to be a continual line. There was a lot of laughter and 'oh no's and 'oh dear's.
Next we used fabric paints to apply colour and then we could go back and do some more stitching using coloured threads.
Here are some of the results.

This is my picture of the lady opposite me, and she really doesn't look like this. She is a lovely lady with a sense of humour- how lucky am I.

Today I did a workshop with Jan Beaney and Jean Littlejohn
The first sample was made whilst working with Jean. We used sheer fabrics on the embellisher to make another fabric.
The whole workshop was about making another fabric from threads and other fabrics,the samples we made were all exercises from their new book Fragile Fabrics.

After embellishing we then added some hand stitches and were supposed to embellish them but I have decided to leave mine as it is and add some beads.

This next piece was made under Jan's supervision. Using thread and wool we made a grid by laying the threads on Aqua Bond and the covering with water soluble fabric. Next we had to make sure that all the threads were connected by stitching them. I chose to hand stitch mine but we could use the machine.

This is the front of my work. I made two grids one using thick thread and another one using a thin thread. I worked backstitch on my thick threads and where the thin ones crossed I tied them. I am now going to sew beads onto the thick threads where they cross before I dissolve away the soluble fabrics.

This is the back of my work which shows the grid.

Tomorrow I am doing workshops with Jean Littlejohn in the morning and Carol Coleman in the afternoon.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Naughty Chair AGAIN (but this time for Neil.....)

We arrived in Jersey yesterday evening after a somewhat adventurous trip.

For a bit of background, tidiness and organisation aren’t my strong points (although I get there in the end), but Neil’s life revolves around order, neatness and planning.

This explains why, at 9.15am on Friday, we set off with the car neatly packed (no magazines or sweeties strewn around the cabin) with a carefully planned itinerary that ended day 1 on the Eurotunnel car shuttle at 6.30pm before staying in France overnight. (An itinerary that was neatly typed and in a plastic wallet with all the relevant booking confirmations in chronological order behind).

Around 4pm (bang on schedule of course) we stopped on the M20 for a late lunch. Halfway through our meal Neil suddenly gasped, went pale, and announced that he had left our passports at home. After a frantic call to Eurotunnel who confirmed that, despite our supposed open-borders, we couldn’t travel on our driving licence, we hurriedly jumped back in the car for a 250 mile round trip back home.

The M25 and Dartford Tunnel had been congested on the way down, and on a Friday evening would only get worse, but fortunately Neil’s anorak-like knowledge of trains came to the rescue.

A quick drive to Ebbsfleet , fast train to St Pancras, across to Kings Cross for a train to Peterborough, pick-up passports from my dad, reverse the journey and we were back on the motorway in just over three hours and only a couple of hours behind schedule.

How can he be such an idiot and such a genius in the same crisis?!

Needless to say, he is going to pay for this…………………….

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Naughty Chair Again

Yesterday we had another City and Guilds meeting. It was a lovely day and I learnt a lot.

We had to make three samples Buttonholes, Prairie Points and Eyelets. Not quite sure why we had to make Prairie Points but the syllabus said so, so we did. Maybe it had something to do with the title for the lesson Edgings and Finishes.

Any way these are my Prairie Points. I free machined the fabric for the points before I cut it up.
I think they look very neat and I have to say it does make a nice edging. It would look great around a cushion.

This is my Eyelets sample and my favourite.

Last but not least are the Buttonholes. This is what they look like folded if you pull the two ends of fabric they open slightly and you have small tabs of fabric. They would make a great edging on a bodice, very Cleopatra.

Here they are with the fabric opened out, just to prove they are Buttonholes and that you really can do something creative with something so ordinary.

I have to tell you that even though it was a nice day and I learnt a lot and did all my samples like a good girl I still got sent to the naughty chair! I wasn't the only one being cheeky (only a little) but the only one sent to the chair. If any of the ladies are reading this and they know who they are you should be feeling a little bit sorry for me :-) I didn't go though.
Tomorrow we are off to Jersey for the Textile Showcase. I am really looking forward to a break, we have worked for the last two weeks without a day off. It will be nice to spend some time with Neil and not have to worry about what needs doing etc.
We are driving this time, well Neil is I may fall asleep. But it means we can take more luggage meaning my sewing , ie homework, ie hanging. Teacher has given me three weeks to get it finished ahhh! Neil is taking the lap top so I will let you know how I get on.