Sunday, 24 February 2013

Introduction to Embroidery, and teaching stuff

So over the past few months I have been hinting at a very exciting something coming up in the future. This is something I've wanted to do for the longest time, and I thought I'd share my feelings on why! But first, details of the course.

Dun dun du-dun dun duuuuh!

I will be teaching a hand embroidery class at Fred Aldous in Manchester for the wonderful people at Ministry of Craft.

In a three hour slot you will learn how to make this Russian Doll design on a classy tea towel, and take away two patterns for smaller Russian dolls to complete the set.

You will learn basic embroidery stitches, including backstitch and chain stitch, then progress up to daisy chain, blanket stitch and french knots.

The class costs £35 and you can reserve your place here.

So onto the philosophising! I'll begin at the beginning, when I was at School I decided to be a teacher, probably a secondary school teacher (because teaching teenagers for some reason didn't scare the bejesus out of me) and teach them English, possibly Drama. So I went to uni to do Literary Studies, Classic Civilisations and Drama. This was when the train became derailed slightly. I was put off teaching, I had exhausted my brain. I didn't want to go straight into teacher training, I wanted to do nothing, sit around all day and stare at the TV and not think about the future. This is something I've heard from alot of other people at university, that actually instead of motivating you to go forward you feel demotivated, lacking in energy and generally depressed by the end of it. Is this something you've encountered/ experienced? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

So I decided to take a couple of years off, whats the rush? I said, teaching will always be there, and what with the further study and the hell a lot of work involved when you get the job I just couldn't face it. So I worked, first in a fabric shop, where I learnt loads of new crafting skills, and then got into admin jobs (another thing loads of people from uni are now doing). I attempted to sew and sell stuff for a while, but realised that I don't like doing lots of the same item over and over, I don't have the patience for it. Also, selling to people who have that look in their eye (I could make that) became depressing. Therefore all power to those who manage this! I bow down to your patience and perseverance. If you do this, share your thoughts on how you manage it, I'd love to hear them.

And then I moved to Edinburgh, where I decided now was the time to apply for teacher training, so I became a Scout leader to gain experience. I also joined Granny Greens and started helping out on the workshop evenings, throwing in tidbits of help here and there, which then grew to become leading most of the workshops at the craft group by the time I'd left (bigging myself up here). Now I loved the teaching aspects of these (due to the aforementioned wanting to teach) but they took up a lot of my free time, especially Scouts. And it occurred to me that I enjoyed doing this more than I would teaching. I was doing the things I wanted to do, leading young people (Scouts) and teaching crafts!

So! In conclusion, my dream now is coming true, and I'm going to be teaching a classroom full of people the basic skills needing to embroider. I'm so excited, and can't wait to get started. I can do my day job, which gives me the perfect balance of money, challenge, and going home not thinking about work, and I can do extra projects which fulfil my need to teach. I hope I see some of you at the class.

A very excited Deborah

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Jellyfish, moving and a January lull

Apologies (again) for the delay in my post. I've been useless, attempting to get into the swing of things, and not really delving into anything. I think it's down to be a bit of wedding dress fever. As some of you know I'm getting married in November, and I'm going to (try to) make my wedding dress. I have plans, ideas, designs, colour choices et. al all floating around in my mind, but there's nothing I can do yet as I'm waiting for an important piece of the puzzle (can't give too much away). So I feel kind of guilty thinking about any other sewing projects, though I know there's nothing to be done I don't feel I 'should' do anything else!

However, I have joined in the Mathilde giveaway, as I have dreams of a black and large white spot New Look 6128 (I know, I'm obsessed, I also have plans (and fabric) for a black and red tartan one), paired with a black Mathilde blouse with white trimmings.

I got the Gertie book for Christmas, so I'm using my indecisive period to learn about special vintage techniques for my wedding dress, if a job's worth doing and all that.

We've also just moved into a house! A whole house with rooms, and my very own sewing room, so exciting :-) I'm still putting it all together but I'll be sure to let you know how it looks once it's a little bit more sorted. I'm thinking of getting the Expedit desk for sewing on, but not sure about how stable it will be during sewing, anyone had one/ got one/ got some suggestions?

These jellyfish were one of the first things to be put up when we moved in. They are the jellyfish crocheted in Kirsty's Handmade Home, the most recent series. What did everyone think of this series? Of course I love that there is a programme on about crafts, but I've usually found that I haven't ever really wanted to do anything on the programme before. Until now!

They were very easy to make, though you should be aware that in the instructions when it says 'thick' wool, it really means it, super chunky weight (like the light blue one) makes better spirals for the tentacles, and pushes the head into a proper dome, rather than laying flat. I'd love to see if anyone has also tried these jellyfish, and I'll show you some more of the house as we do it up!


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