Sunday, 2 April 2017

Back home again

I was tempted to title this post 'I survived' but that seemed a bit unkind, lol.  It's good to be back home though.  I spent Monday to Friday in Scarborough on a lace course with Jean Leader, who was absolutely lovely and is a world renowned expert and author. I worked on three different samples during the week from her designs, and it was great to have help and advice when I needed it.  There were 12 women in the class, all much more advanced than me. Most of them were working floral Bedfordshire patterns but a couple were working floral Bucks Point designs.  Jean had brought along large portfolios of her own work which were all lovely plus antique examples.  I picked up some secondhand lace book bargains on the sale table and also acquired a painted bobbin commemorating the week. There were two other classes so there were about 40 people altogether plus a few husbands. As usual on these types of events, there were a number of shall we say characters, some of whom were a bit trying, but most people just look on the week as a holiday I think rather than as a school so it was all quite good natured.  The weather was fairly good so on our free afternoons we could enjoy walks to the nearby seaside plus I went into Scarborough for shopping with a friend.
On the beach at Scarborough, looking towards the castle on the hill


The workrooms were open all the time so you could do lace before breakfast and after supper if you wanted. Otherwise there wasn't a lot to do as the venue was fairly isolated and didn't have a bar, so it was a fairly quiet week.  This is a shot of our classroom - as you can see the light wasn't great but the hotel had provided glare-y little lights to help and most of us had also brought our own supplemental lights.


These are two of the samples I started.



I got on fairly well and didn't embarrass myself so all the preparation doing samples definitely paid off.  I doubt I will ever put in enough hours to be as accomplished as the other more advanced students but it was great to see what they were doing.

On one of the afternoons I visited the Sewing Centre on Aberdeen Walk in Scarborough which stocked an impressive amount of quilting fabric. Mostly lower end in terms of quality and price but a huge selection and usefully arranged by colour or by theme.  I came away with six half-metres, five of them in red to use as backgrounds for a Piece of Cake applique pattern I bought years ago that I might make some day, and a sixth that I just liked.


During the week I occasionally knit on my Fair isle Sock and I finished the first one on the train journey back, then cast on for the next one. It's a good fit.


When I got home I went straight out into the garden to see what had changed in my absence. Our pear tree is in bloom now and the magnolia is opening up its magnificent flowers.  Most of the tulips I planted in the autumn have not appeared, apart from the ones in containers which are just starting to open and promising to be very pretty. I underplanted with muscari which are looking very nice already. We put down more compost on the borders this weekend and also did a lot of hard work finishing off the digging on a massive hole where I am planning to plant a bamboo.  DH was traumatised in the past by a clump-forming bamboo which went rogue in our last garden, so has demanded preventative measures this time round. I bought some root barrier and we dug down as deep as we could manage, about 80cm all around, and put down the root barrier before backfilling. I'm going to order a Fargesia Robusta which is supposed to be pretty well behaved, and will grow tall in the corner to block the view from the next street into our new patio (if we ever get a new patio).

This is a picture when the hole was half-filled back in.

Today we went to visit Coton Manor Gardens, which is an absolutely lovely private garden around an old stone manor house. The sun was out and the spring blossom was looking lovely. We've bought season tickets and plan to go back several times over the season to see the garden developing. In a few weeks they will open their bluebell wood which is supposed to be stunning.


The dollshouse exhibition finally took place. I was disappointed that they didn't put all the sheds together so that my cuckoo in the nest would show up more.  So I couldn't get a good shot of the sheds. This is a general picture showing the mix of sheds (about 19 altogether) and decorated plastic bowls. I was the only person to put the bowl on its side (for my seaside scene). Two people put it upside down over their scene, but everyone else used it the right way up.  Attendance was not huge but they managed to make over £250 for charity so that's good. I bought a few small things at the sales tables which contributed to that.  It feels a bit anticlimatic after all my work to finish the shed and fishbowl, and now it's all over, but people liked my work which was nice.



1 comment:

Teresa said...

I loved seeing your lace work. Have always wanted to try this, but never found the time. All those bobbins intrigue me though and I wonder how you keep it straight.

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