Monday, October 26, 2009

Subiaco Craft Fair

Sunday was a glorious spring day ... temperature up to 32C and everyone out and about enjoying the weather. We (me, mum and daughter) spent the day at the Subiaco Craft Fair at the UWA, Crawley. From what I can gather, it was the first time they'd had the fair at the Uni, and it was a great venue with loads of big tree's for shade and great areas for sitting and eating. Hope they have it again next year. A special thank you to the lovely lady at Timeless Jewellery for spending so much time and effort in helping us find a suitable necklace for mum's birthday. Despite all the efforts by mum to try and convince me she really didn't want it, I know she's chuffed to bits. Just got to convince hubby that I'll feel the same way if he buys me the funky green & blue necklace and earrings for Christmas - 2nd from the right.

The fair was all about good quality crafts and people's amazing inspiration and creativity.

Got a few nice bits for Christmas presents too, so that's taken a bit of pressure off.

On the way back to the carpark we had a walk along the river at Matilda Bay, with a view of Perth in the background, what you don't see in the photo are all the people enjoying family gatherings, picnics and barbecues. It was lovely to see everyone having a good time, and me ... well, I had a great day!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Beating Around The Bush 2009

I've just come back from Adelaide, where I attended the Beating Around the Bush international embroidery convention, presented by Country Bumpkin publications (of "Inspirations" magazine fame) and have to say, I had a ball!!!
The last one they held was in 2003, which I also went to, so it's been a long time between drinks and I've been patiently waiting and can tell you all ... it was worth it!
As always I love Adelaide .... its a city but still feels like a country town and has the most gorgeous buildings from its past, and you can't forget the Central Markets ... what a place! That was the first stop when we arrived .... had to get stocked up with fresh fruit, salads, bread and cheeses which kept us going for lunches for the week.

The convention was held at Unley High School, and as always CB pulled it all together brilliantly with buses collecting and returning us to our hotels each day. There were 78 classes to choose from and 30 tutors, some of who came from the other side of the world.
We were lucky enough to have Elizabeth Elvin, former Principal of the Royal School of Needlework, attend and her talk and slide show about the RSN was amazing.
And who could forget the wonderful bonnets, created to honour our convict women, as part of Christina Henri's "Roses from the Heart" project.
We also managed to squeeze in a day trip to the Barossa Valley. Although it was bitterly cold the scenery was well worth it, and the wines weren't bad either!

Lunch was lovely at Maggie Beer's Farm Shop where we had a pate picnic and the most yummy vanilla and elderflower icecream.
Despite wanting to do as many of the classes as possible, I could only pick 3 so decided to make the most of Tanja Berlin's visit from Canada and gain as much knowledge from her experience as possible. Tanja is RSN trained but now resides in Calgary, Canada. Anyone interested in threadpainting, white work, crewel work, blackwork, goldwork and much more should visit her website. I challenge anyone to visit her website and not sit there with mouths open in jaw-dropping amazement at her work.
Below is an example of one of her threadpainting projects .... I bought this kit and will attempt to stitch it at some point in time.
My first class was stitching a double sided bird which wasn't as daunting as it sounds; the second was threadpainting a gorgeous little rabbit; and the last class was learning blackwork and stitching a fuscia. All three are half done, and I'll post pics when I've completed them.

To whet your appetites, here are more works by a few other tutors that attended the convention.
This one is the most beautiful wool blanket with a mouse in a basket called "Rock-A-Bye Mousey", created by Angela Dower. Don't be deceived by the picture, the mouse and basket is about an A4 size on its own and photos just don't do it the justice it deserves.

Angela will be going online in 2010 with a website, but in the meantime you can contact her at Keep a look out for Angela's designs ... they're well worth it!

And then of course, there's one of my favourite tutors. Jenny McWhinney, and her whimsical wool threadpainting designs, such as the elephants below. This was part of a wool blanket that featured a wonderful lions head in the centre, with other African animals and people embroidered around it. I've done quite a few of Jenny's classes in the past and enjoyed every one of them.

As well as all the embroidery, wine tasting, market shopping, interactive forums and lectures, we also had a banquet dinner at the National Wine Centre overlooking the Botanic Gardens. I was fortunate to sit at a table with Tone Henningsen Hoie from Norway, and admire the national costumes Tone and her daughter wore for the evening. There were amazing.

I have to admit I was very teary the day I had to leave ... I'd had the most wonderful 9 days, doing what I love and mixing with like-minded people and making lots of new friendships. Who wouldn't be sad to leave that?!
Now I'm home again and back into textiles .... hand embroidery has been put aside for a while until I catch up on C&G homework, but I'm already saving for the next Beating Around the Bush in 2011 ... hope to see you there.