There has been quite a lot happening this week, and so today is very much a day of rest. I'm writing this while sitting up in bed drinking coffee, and forcing myself not to get up and play with all the lovely things I'm going to tell you about.
I think I mentioned wooden printing blocks in a previous post. Well, the wonderful Colouricious website (http://colouricious.com) has fabulous things for textile artists and crafters. I got their email newsletter last week which gave details of a special offer this month - all their DVD workshops half price. I knew that tucked away in my emails was one from them when I signed up for the Colouricious Club (which is free) giving me 20% off my first order. This meant I could buy the DVDs for half price and get a further 20% off too. Needless to say it was a done deal; and since I was getting the 20% off it made sense to buy the wooden printing blocks I wanted at the same time. They were all delivered yesterday! Now you'll understand why I want to dash out to the studio shed and play.
At my art class on Tuesday evening I got to use the tutor's top quality Unison chalk pastels. This experiences reinforced the lesson learned that, with art materials, you get what you pay for. Even my limited talents can produce a better result with the right materials. These pastels are handmade in Tarset, Northumberland. The colours are wonderful, and the texture is creamy. If pastels are your medium of choice I definitely recommend you try these.
On Thursday at college I had the space to lay out all of the work I've done for the Line module to see where there are gaps to be filled, as well as checking on anything else that is needed for texture. I've almost completed the work needed for both. I'm both delighted to have almost finished, and sad that I won't have any more classes for months. I do have the level 2 course starting in September to look forward to.
Last but not least I went to the Embroiderer's Guild Regional Day yesterday. I met a lovely group of ladies and attended the talks by two professional Embroiderer's. The first speaker was Jenny Adin-Christie, who trained at the Royal School of Needlework. She was one of the 70 needle-women who worked on Kate Middleton's wedding dress. I've emailed Jenny to ask if I can put some photographs of her work here as I'm planning a blog post on her talk. The other speaker was Jane Smith of Japanese Embroidery UK. Her work is beautiful too, but I'm afraid I was so enchanted by Jenny that Jane's talk suffered by coming after lunch. Japanese embroidery is very traditional and has a set style. It looks stunning, but the materials are expensive and the time it takes to learn it properly was off-putting to most people. Do take a look at Jane's websites: www.nejiribana.co.uk and www.japaneseembroideryuk.com as you might want to try it.