This was the view from my bedroom window when I rose this morning. I woke feeling refreshed, even though I had been awake for a couple of hours from about 3.30 am - partly due to two phone calls from Australia. I shall turn my phone to silent at night in future!
As we didn't begin until 1pm I went for a walk around the grounds before spending an hour or so working on my last Robins panel.
I will post photos of the landscape a few each day. It will be interesting to see if the Spring changes take effect in the week that we are here.
After lunch, we began our stitching. We are now a group of 12 students, split into two groups. For the next few days, my group is working with Nicola Jarvis on a Mountmellick Whitework project designed by Nicola. Next week we swap teachers, and my group will be working with Jenny Adin-Christie on a project of her design. I will not be posting much detail at the moment, as I don't want to spoil things for the other group. Both projects relate to work at Blackwell Arts and Craft House which we will visit next week.
The hotel is excellent for stitching. Our group is working in a lounge area with a large window and good natural light. The other group is in part of the dining area with big windows and great light. Philippa has also supplied lights, magnifiers and clamps. We are experimenting a bit to see what works best.
It is magic to be in a group so focused on learning, so willing to share with a teacher intent only of helping us understand and improve.
This is where I got to today. It is very fine work. My satin stitch has improved- still not brilliant but improved. I have never done Mountmellick embroidery but I am, of course, familiar with many of the stitches.
Before dinner, Nicola gave an illustrated talk on May Morris. One of the things I most appreciate about The Crewel Work Company Needlework Retreats is extending my knowledge of women who have pioneered or achieved in needlework, design and social change. It is a wonderful opportunity to understand our history in a broader context than the conventional.
|The door from my room to the outside terrace.|
We are now sitting in the lounge with tea and coffee. It's been a joyful day with laughter, conversation and learning.
Can't ask for more than that - with more to come!