Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Julie Arkell at Cowslip

Well last time we spoke I was very excited because I was off to Cowslip and the Make Do and Mend workshop.

Cowslip is the loveliest of venues and is a real sanctuary for me. It is the only place where these days I can sit and sew without feeling guilty about work or the children or housework, all things that, at home, take me away from sewing. My creative energies these days are spent making my website beautiful and sourcing lovely fabrics.  So, 2 days away from all this was bliss!

Firstly there was the wonderful Julie, an inspirational lady who I have been longing to meet.  She didn't disappoint and was every bit as lovely as I had heard she was.

I knew that another lovely lady was going to be there as well and I was really lucky to sit next to and spend some quality time with Hen.  We had a lot of fun together!  Do pop over to her blog and see her lovely photos of Cowslip.

When I arrived I was tapped on the back and when I turned round I was so surprised to see Pennie!  Pennie and I have know each other for about 7 years now and first met at Cowslip on the Janet Bolton Workshops. We went on to do 4 more workshops together.  She lives in Sussex and I in Devon so it was always so lovely to meet up every year and catch up.  Sadly I haven't been able to do the Janet Bolton workshop for a few years and  have missed her. I had no idea she was going to be there so it was a wonderful surprise and I enjoyed catching up with her news.

There was a charity event going on at the same time so I was asked to bring my fabrics and have a pop up shop at the farm along with Lizzie and Linda who were there with their beautiful French treasures.

So, on to the workshop.  Firstly there was Julie's beautiful work.  They were displayed on pieces of vintage children's clothing.

Her Tic Toc watches.  

and her whimisical creatures

The first day we made brooches based on WWII brooches that Julie had seen in the Imperial War Museum's exhibition, using wool, fabric and felt flowers.

This was my one.

After we had finished that we made fabric flowers based on a brooch Julie had made

The flowers were to look like they had come out of your Grannie's attic with a worn and washed, floppy look.

I started with a ragwort and then made a daisy and a poppy.  I can't tell you how time consuming these are. Julie makes it look easy!

I then added another flower and a label.

After ageing, they now look like this

They are still a work-in-progress and I have much to do to finish it.

I was constantly drawn to one of Juie's characters and kept coming back to it all weekend.  It had the word 'why?' embroidered on to her skirt. With her floral dress and red shoes she had to be mine. 

I had such a lovely time, Julie's advice and inspiration was priceless and if you ever get the opportunity to do a workshop with her I urge you to do one!

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10 comments: said...

Lovely Donna. I wish I had come. It sounds very restful and inspirational.

I love the pieces you made and look forward to seeing them for real. ;-).

BusyLizzie said...

Wow, Donna. You lucky girl. That looks like an amazing way to spend a weekend! xxx

hensteeth said...

So pleased to read you had such a wonderful time deserved it.

Gretel said...

Good to hear you got some down time to yourself, you work so hard - amazing workshop, I love Julie's work and your corsage is so pretty! What a lovely two days.

Jelly Jam said...

Wow, you lucky thing. This looks like an amazing weekend! How on earth did you decide which fabric to take?! I bet the other crafters were eyeing up your stash.

Grumpy Old Woman said...

Lovely post Donna and the pics are fab ...... so glad you had a great time - yes, you did deserve a weekend of 'me time' - you should do it more often xxxx

Hen said...

It was a top weekend, and I'm so glad you were there, the icing on the cake! Loving all my gorgeous fabrics. Your wild flowers turned out super. Now get making more stems and leaves, you know you want to!
Hen xxx

Diary of a Tinyholder said...

Thank you so much for putting this on your facebook page! How very kind of you to offer fabric. :-)

I'm really excited to see what people come up with. It's going to be so much fun sewing the bunting together.

It looks like you had a wonderful time at the workshop. :-)

Ticking stripes said...

Julie's workshops are a delight aren't they? I've been to a couple now. I'd love to try on eof the papier mache ones next...

two bones and a bagle said...

Fab post I have also attended a couple of courses - based a little further north than Cowslip at Hope and Elvis, Welbeck, Notts. She is attending next year - so is Janet Bolton whose courses are also fab.