Between now and the end of October there are free-wheeling machine embroidery workshops taking place both in Ely at Sew Much To Do, 01353 664000, and here at Rook Head Quarters. During Open Studios in July several people asked if I would run workshops from home so I have arranged a couple of dates in October, one for zippy bags and one for lampshades with 3 spaces available on each. Come along with your sewing machine for a day of free wheeling embroidery; I will make you good coffee, reasonable tea and endeavour to provide cake. Bring lunch! Dates below.
Saturday 29 September 2018
Sew Much To Do, Ely, 10am – 4pm
Free machine embroidery lampshades.
Saturday 6 October 2018
Speculating Rook HQ, 10am – 4pm
£60, maximum of 3 people.
Free-machine embroidery zippy bags
Saturday October 13th 2018
Sew Much To Do, Ely 10am – 4pm
Free-machine zippy bags
Monday October 15th 2018
Speculating Rook HQ 10am – 4pm
Free-machine embroidery Lampshades
£70, 30cm lampshade kit included. Maximum of 3 people
please contact me for further details 07854 045576, firstname.lastname@example.org
Hello there! I thought it was time we caught up. It’s been ages but let’s talk specifically of the last 100 days.
Throughout the lockdown I have done no baking, very little cleaning, hardly any reading and insufficient stitching. I have walked for miles with the hound, transformed a small part of the garden and enjoyed the green that is the rest, chatted to the new neighbours, bought tasty fruit and veg from the ‘little fruit and veg stall’ created by the other neighbours, eaten delicious fish from Ian the Fish who arrives in his van from Grimsby every Wednesday, and organised the plan chest – a rare event but one that revealed rewarding forgotten treasures.
I have missed sitting in the Old Fire Engine House garden drinking coffee with friends enormously, visiting galleries, auctions and the ability to search for old pieces of linen, silk and velvet in unexpected places but I expect one day these things will return.
Are you still with me? I am prone to ramble – the point is dates are starting to reappear on the calendar and order slowly restored. This weekend is the start of Cambridge Open Windows; ordinarily July is a month of Open Studios when I do a lot of dusting (ignoring the plan chest) and you come to visit but this year is different. This year artists are showing work in windows all over the country which means you are still able to see what they’ve been making whilst remaining safely distanced.
Back at home with the folks after a tremendous week of cushion dealing at Ely Cathedral Flower Festival 2018. And not just cushions, a new range of screen printed, embroidered textiles in the form of light shades and footstools has been launched and warmly received by all the curious and discerning customers this week. As promised bespoke orders are now being taken.
Rook customers, as well as being both curious and discerning bring with them unusual and challenging requests, gifts of wool blankets, chocolate, strong coffee, fudge and quotes.
And the quotes…
walking past – a double take – ‘they’re slightly more appealing than taxidermy’
and late in the day after a number of hours in the increasing heat of the craft marquee a fellow stall holder on my shiny new footstools… ’almost worth getting gout for’
In the future I will be offering a discount for gout sufferers.
Now order must be restored in the workroom ready for July’s Cambridge Open Studios. Download the app and come on over, I will be here with the whippet and new work. See you soon.
The troops have rallied – surviving on emergency rations for days.
The hoover gave up – the new hoover looks scared
Rewards for prolonged period of self-sufficiency so far: new soap dish
Indulgence required before household rebellion.
On my calendar today is written ‘To The Beach’ in pen. Following Christmas fairs on two consecutive weekends and many weeks of preparation a sea breeze was calling.
Ely Cathedral Christmas Gift and Food Fair was a tremendous event. The blue cotton drill hereditary cash bag, handed to me by my wonderful grandparents around 1985 following its retirement from the Alcester WI cake stall, was aired and back in use (an entreprenurial spirit was always encouraged).
And yesterday Histon Handmade, a contemporary design and craft fair with 14 other makers, over 750 visitors, old friends and new, and just 3 cushions left at the end of the day. Happy stats!
The order book is full and there are busy days ahead but today Well-next-the-Sea with a kite.
The show at Craftco in September was a wonderful experience – thank you to all who visited and the great feedback. Who knew hanging cushions on the wall could be so satisfying?
Stitchery workshops are being recieved with enthusiasm. For the most recent I decided zippy bags would a good idea, not sure all participants agreed… with 10 minutes to go and a second attempt to insert a zip a voice called out ‘I’ve never had children but I imagine it’s something like this!’
More workshops in January, zips optional.
Right now, today, this minute and all minutes between now and Nov 17, I am making work for Ely Cathedral Christmas Fair and Histon Handmade. I have progressed from the calm stage through the denial stage to the batshit crazy stage. Not pretty.