Sunday, 31 August 2014

After the Craft Fair

Wow! I thought I was a late night trouper, with lots of experience at the Burwell Bash but these last two days of the Letheringsett Craft Fair have left me really, really shattered! Early nights both days and still I have been tired today. It's amazing how standing around for seven hours can tire you out!

                    Thanks Sue for this lovely photo of me - not the most photogenic of people!

However, I can say it was well worth it. We had fairly reasonable weather - lots of sunshine but with much cooler than usual temperatures for August. The open barn we set up our stalls in was a little windy at times, but on the whole it was a decent venue. The staff at Back to The Garden were very pleasant and set us up with a free tea/coffee making station in the shop, and also came round taking requests and bringing us drinks out to the stalls, which was jolly decent of them.

I made this little chap at the last minute on Friday, based on a Mexican folk style bird. I could have sold it several times over, and eventually it did go to a lovely little boy for his bedroom!

The bangles sold well, and I sold the little sampler with the lime green ric-rac down the side. The lower "Wingèd Heart " was repeatedly mistaken for an owl so I shall have to re-think the placement of the motifs!

Red Sanderson, who organised the event through North Norfolk Arts and Crafts had put a lot of thought and hard work into getting it up and running, and was there with us most of the time, checking things were ok, sussing out how things were going and being generally supportive.This was a new
venue for Red's events so it was an interesting exercise, with lots of lessons to be learned along the way. I had no idea there was so much to running a craft fair!

                             I have a commission for another of the top version of the Angel Panel

The small blue, red-bound  quilt folded over the towel stand at the front was purchased by lovely Jane-Ann, and is to be hung in her bedroom. To think that one of my quilts has joined the works of Janet Bolton, Mandy Patullo and other noted textile artists is very gratifying indeed!

There were more visitors on the Sunday, which was nice, as it makes the time go faster, and it is always lovely to chat to people who are interested in what you do, whether they buy or not. Most of us did pretty well, if not overwhelmingly so. I sold two quilts, a large wool/felt cushion, some bangles, some fat felt pin-cushions, a stitched sampler, a Mexican folk art style bird panel, and some post-cards. I was pretty pleased, I have to say. Also there was a lot of interest in the quilts, with two possible pending commissions, and a commission for three large wool/felt appliqued cushions. Well worth the two days of selling, plus the preparation, and of course, the hours and hours of designing and stitching and - finishing off - my least favourite part of the process!

My sewing table, covered with a round two dozen flower shapes already for appliquéd to three cushion fronts, should the tentative commission be firmed up. And if it doesn't, I have more stock for the next two craft fairs!

I know there are things I would do differently, and there things about my presentation which need a good tweaking, but I was pleased with the way the Textile Treasury stand looked. Thanks to lovely Nell Pols for her photographs, and to all my friends who toddled across county to come and see and support me - you know who you are! Big thanks too to Yvonne who came and helped out for both mornings - so good to have our company Yvonne, greatly appreciated. An especial thank you to my Other Half, Jim who packed all the stands and crates into his car - no room in my little Ford Ka once the quilts and cushions were in - and who helped set up, and take down at the end of Sunday. Thanks too to Red for giving me the opportunity to take part, let's do it again some time!!

Monday, 18 August 2014

Craft Fair at Letheringsett

Lest you think I have abandoned textiles entirely for a life of music and frivolity, here are a few photographs of some of the items I've been working on for the Craft Fair at Letheringsett this weekend.

First the details - Back to the Garden can be found very easily on the main road from Fakenham to Holt, and all the details are on the website above. Come along for a visit, have coffee, a snack or lunch - and there is also a food festival on at the same time as the craft fair.

As well as the bangles and pin-cushions, brooches and quilts, I have some new items, some of which I am rushing to finish!

                                    A woollen bag with felted wool appliqué decoration.

A new cushion using some of my dyed blanket. I made the buttons with felted wool and pelmet vilene.

                  A fourth "One Bird Upon a Hill" cushion, they are proving to be very popular!

                                           Folk art blooms and birds on this third cushion.

I made this little nursery cushion using reproduction "flour sack" fabrics, and the central panel contains a dozen genuine vintage Suffolk Puffs or "yo-yo's" as they are known in the States.

        And this is my latest Angel Panel, slightly smaller than the first one which has sold. I so enjoy         designing and stitching these panels - more in the pipe-line, but not in time for the craft fair!

It will be an early start on Saturday morning, though it is less than an hour's drive for me. I'm quite looking forward to it, and bless her cotton socks, Yvonne Autie rag-rug maker and silversmith extraordinaire, has volunteered to come and keep me company all day Saturday. I know several other friends have promised to pop up and see us, and I hope that my Norfolk blogging friends might be free to dash across-county and come and say hello. This is a new venue for North Norfolk Arts and Crafts, and I am very proud that Textile Treasury has been selected as one of the exhibitors, so do come along and help make it a success!

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Post-Burwell Post

Well here it is, very very late. I just could not get my thoughts together to write this post. Also I haven't been able to lay my hands on many of the other photographs I know were taken so there are fewer than last year. Starting from the top - the new Melodeon Class Tutor, Andy Cutting, taken at stupid o'clock in the morning, by the lovely CAroline Creasey, whistle player and One Night Stand Band Leader. Thanks for the photo, Caroline.I had a great time learning melodeon, instead of fiddle tunes. I think we brought so much away from the workshops it will take time to sort out just what little nuggets of gold, as well as the tunes, we were given. We were all chuffed to hear from Stephen that the melodeon class is back next year and "Mr Cutting has it in his diary" !

Of course, it was strange not being in the fiddle class - and I did get some "good natured " flack from Jock and Tola (above) . Fortunately Stephen had allocated me to Jock's Mixed Band so I did get to spend time being tutored -after a fashion- by the lovely Mr Tyldsley. The photo below is our Mixed Band about to perform, the night of the Tutors' Concert.

On Monday, coffee break saw the presentation of a lovely cake by the Burwell Staff for Emily's 21st birthday, and here we are, after Gina (Emily's mum) gave her the bag I had made as an 'extra' birthday present. When Gina commissioned this I was a bit worried as you never really know how things will be received unless they have chosen it themselves, but Em seemed very pleased, so PHEW all round!

On Tuesday we had Games Night, which began out in the garden with silly games like rolling a tennis ball down very long plastic piping. Sadly the Blindfolded Sheepherding was not on the agenda this year - poor new students, al 21 of them, have missed a treat! When it got dark, Games Night moved indoors and the  Team Ceilidhs began. Below is one team, with the obligatory photo of "Clive Dancing" (There has to be one each year, along with one of "Stephen Sleeping".

Another obligatory shot is one of Ellie and Dave. This year I have relented and not published the "Sleazy Shot" to save their blushes. (It wasn't really, honestly, Burwell isn't like that.)

Another theme this year was the logo tee-shirts. Here is Nicky demonstrating his feminist streak - and good for him!

Dom, AKA "Rear of the Year" displaying his personal mantra on his manly chest.

"Seldom......" Ah now, you had to be there. Andy is here giving his Maiden Speech, or actually, giving his tutor's critique of Clive's One Night Stand Band. He began with the word "Seldom...." and paused. It had been a side-splitting performance, and really, that pause said it all. He then launched into a brilliant spiel which had us all nearly in tears of laughter.

Brian Finnegan pausing before launching into his Mixed Band performance. It was a very special Burwell this year, Brian's 20th, and we celebrated in style, and a wonderful video show created by Ellie, depicting 20 years worth of Brian photographs and accomplishments. It is true to say that without Brian's ongoing efforts and support, Burwell Bash would not be happening today. It was a wonderful and emotional evening, which later included the Tutors' concert.

I have to explain this photograph, Jock and I are NOT the worse for wear, honestly. We are preparing to play for our Team Ceilidh, and the photographer caught one of those split seconds when your face is all over the place! Our team took as the theme of the dance The Commonwealth Games - which were running concurrently. We had  barn dancing in the style of synchronised swimming, dancing  in the style of discus throwing, in the style of tandem bike racing, and probably others which I have forgotten. I know Jock and I played The Oyster Girl on repeat for about eight minutes. It was gloriously funny, and Stephen did say it was the best ceilidh he had ever seen. Ironic? Stephen? Anyway, great fun.

The next few photos are of our One Night Stand Band. We played the 'given tune' to our own arrangement, then Blanche led us with a new version of the Kinks' song Lola - now renamed - TOLA.

Impossible to play melodeon throughout the entire song so I abandoned my box and took up the shaky eggs, channeling the spirit of my lovely Burwell friend Debs who couldn't join us this year. Debs is an expert eggs shaker, and I hope I did her justice!

Below, Tola as the realisation struck him. The audience, needless to say, were well ahead of him, and it was priceless watching his face as we swung into T..o..l..a  TOLA!

So, a very different Burwell this year, 21 new students, and some 'old stalwarts' who couldn't join us this year which was sad, a new instrument class and new tutor ..... but the Burwell Bash is bigger than the sum of its parts, and, as I say every year, this was the best Burwell Bash ever! I know there are lots more photos out there, but I simply couldn't put all of mine on and there are some I haven't even seen yet. Oh, and a few excellent unofficial videos happened this year too. One of which is on Jock's phone ...... allegedly .......