Amazing. In 1964 Edward James donated the family 'home' to the Edward James Foundation, he loved art and he wanted to create a place and a community where arts and crafts where taught and preserved. (his passion was surrealism, which he introduced to England, he was a good friend of Dali and the house is full of great photos and artifacts. There are two lobster phones in a box frame, and the famous 'lips' sofa in the corridor!!)
I arrived late afternoon and immediately found refuge in my little room... a quiet and calm heaven with a huge window, an antique wardrobe, and the perfect knitting chair. Soft lights, no radio or tv. Peace. I unpacked and knitted for a while, drinking tea and listening to the silence around me (can you listen to silence? ... you know what I mean, I'm sure)
(I love this fabric...)
Before dinner I met up with Julie and the other 'students' in the bar, where we chatted and shared wine and stories.
After dinner we walked to our studio and the 'work' begin.
Julie is as delightful and lovely and quirky and fun as you'd imagine her to be:
She's full of stories about what inspires her and generous with her skills and instructions.
The work she brought with her was gorgeous
watches, big and small
and wonderful broches
displayed on old, frayed clothes.
She gave all of us a little parcel with tiny squares of vintage fabric and with those we were to make a 'scrap charm bracelet'...
This is mine, under construction
This night session ended far too soon and I was completely buzzing when I got back to my room!
"Mamma, why is my chin all rough" - No 3, age 41/2
"Well, darling you keep biting your lips and the cold air irritates the skin, that's why it feels rough, but don't worry we'll put some cream on tonight and it'll be soft again" - me age... well never mind
"Oh... I thought I was growing a beard"
Did I mention he's 4???
Sometimes there's simply isn't a good enough reply.
I was looking at the Mother's Day cards I received from the boys and all of them have made my portrait. The scary thing is that they're all quite far from the 'real' me, they've all portrayed somebody with flowing long hair, a long flowery dress, high heels and lots of jewellery...
Is it a failure on my behalf that I don't match their vision of what motherhood is supposed to look like? Seriously though... where did they get that image? (note to self: screen their television programs more attentively. Do Power Rangers have glamorous yummy mummies?)
These are in the shop right now
The latest issue of Selvedge has just landed on my doorstep. It's fab, and how couldn't it be... it's the 'Quilt' issue....
It's got great articles, it's a great eye-candy number
and has the instructions to make the cutest Easter chick...
No 3 is still burning up and sitting on my lap like a very very hot water bottle. He's scribbling on my note pads and moaning at the same time. He desperately needs to sleep but he's resisting it so much, any suggestions? (legal ones only please!)
In the meantime here are some brooches I made in the last few days, grabbing a minute here, a stitch there...
Just keep going. Just keep going. Just keep going. This is my mantra of the last few days... No 1 and No 2 recovered from their horrible virus only for N0 3 and Mr M to get it. Oh what fun.
I'm trying to hide in my little study as much as possible to escape the moaning and the bacteria, but it'll be a miracle if I don't get it. (Actually not eating for a few days will work really well for my winter wardrobe!!).
I finished the hand warmers. They were so quick to do! The pattern is called 'Fetching' from www.knitty.com, I used a 100% wool called Freedom Spirit. It's an English yarn by Twilley of Stamford. It's very very soft and they'll keep me warm this winter, whilst leaving my fingers free to wipe noses and mouth of snotty children. (I hate having to take off my gloves every five minutes).
I also made another little bag for my stall. I'm not an expert so I decided to keep the lines very simple but adding a detail to make it slightly different.
When we were in New York, Mr M and I browsed around a couple of flea markets and found a few odd vintage earrings/brooches that are perfect for this.
And some thrifted fabric for the lining complete the job