22 October 2008



Craft Retreat was fabulous.

May I just say that again? Fabulous.

the cottage at SewJourn

After a Friday during which everything at work went pear shaped, beginning with a shock and awe announcement at my dawn meeting, followed by turmoil and rumour all day long, culminating with a press conference being held right outside my office window, I was very ready to hit the road and put it all behind me.

the studio

And how.

The venue was everything we could ask for and more - a light-filled cottage chock with handmade quilts, cushions, lots of little decorative touches without being cluttered, and stacks of quality craft mags and books to inspire. Then, a few steps away, a dedicated workshop/studio complete with large worktables and enough room for (ahem) several sewing machines and overlockers. Plus couches for the handsewers, embroiderers and knitters to recline upon. Add a cd player to the mix so one can sew to the crooning of Norah Jones or rock along with Absent Friends, and the setting was perfect.

birks and baskets

As per usual on these weekends the food was magnificent, the company inspiring and the laughter long and loud. Thanks so much to Sooz, Di, Janet, Sue and the blogless Maria, Catherine, Jill and SallyRose for such a great time.

blue chairs

One of the best things about craft weekend is seeing what others create, and while I am not so prolific as some people, nor as accomplished as others in my tailoring skills, I am proud to say that I managed to make myself a simple pair of wide leg pants (a la the Amy Butler Lounge Pants that are proliferating around the craft blogosphere in the past year) and two (two!) A-line skirts. My first two items were actually made out of old floral sheets from the op shop because I was too scared to cut into my 'real' fabric.

Photos to come soon of me draped in clothing made of old sheets. (Admit it, you can't wait).

nine women, nine coasters

At Sewjourn guests are invited to create and leave at the venue a coaster from the Last Minute Quilted Gifts (one of the many craft books left lying around to drool over inspire). Mine skidded into the collection at the very last minute and I'm guessing Jan will be pleased to hear it's not made from someone's old bed sheet. Can you tell which is mine?

No? Okay, behold, my VERY FIRST QUILTED ITEM.


I'm up for a whole quilt next I reckon. Oh and if you're related to me, you might be receiving custom made coasters for Christmas this year, such is my pride in my new prowess.

What a weekend! More photos here and on other peoples' flickrs of course.

Finally, this was the sight that greeted me as I pulled into the driveway on Sunday evening, happily exhausted.

I can even play football on my stilts

Son #2 on his new stilts.

Playing football.

Sigh ...


sueeeus said...

You lucky ladies, off for your fabulous craft weekends! Sigh. If only I didn't live across the planet!

BTW, I looked for your bread recipe on your blog and didn't find it -- that standard bread machine bread that you make all the time from memory?? I wonder if you could send me the recipe. I devoured that stuff whilst visiting, if you recall, diabetes and all. (And diabetes is gone now, wooHOO, so bring on the bread, I say!!) I do have a bread machine, as well, so some basic instructions would be very helpful as well, because I am a novice.

Sorry to hijack your comment block!!

CurlyPops said...

Now that sounds like the best weekend ever!

Michelle said...

what a great week end...and what i sight to come home too...breathtaking, i would gasp....

Stomper Girl said...

It sounds and looks divine.

Is he your violinist, young Pele-on-stilts? Because I reckon there's some busking money to be made from tricks on stilts...

Green Kitchen said...

You were there, too? How fun!

My oldest just learned those kind of stilts. Also, cool.

Sarah said...

I am very jealous of that craft weekend and have started planning one of my own.... We have stiltwalking going on at our house as well--has he played the violin while on stilts? It happened ONCE at our house and I took it away....gotta get that insurance rider on the violin :) Here's our stilt photo: http://maymomvt.blogspot.com/2008/06/standing-tall.html

bluemountainsmary said...

Gee the weekend sounds fantastic - I would just sit and read and absorb all that goodness and craftmaking and lovely company...

but only if I could also see the stilt walker playing football!

tut-tut said...

Sometimes, nothing is as satisfying as a well-oiled sewing machine.

I hope your work-related issues resolve successfully.

docwitch said...

You've just had what sounds like the ultimate fantasy weekend, (mine anyway).

Love your images, the studio is sublime, and the first photo with all the framed embroidery hoops has one of my recent fave fabric ranges - 'Blossom' by Urban Chiks for Moda! Gorgeous.

The stilts! I've come over all nostalgic. I lived on stilts when I was 9-10. Hardly took them off, and as a result I think I developed a kind of delusion that I am a strapping 6 ft 5er.

Hope the work situation improves, although, in these attritionist times, it has all gotten a bit insane, (I could be completely off the mark here though).

Badger said...

Well, that sounds just lovely. And I DO want to see the old-sheets-turned-clothing photos! Because I have ALL THESE OLD SHEETS, you see. I can't seem to stop buying them. And I have no idea what to do with them.

Elizabeth said...

How very fortunate you are to have these get togethers and at a retreat designed especially for this type of weekend.
All that creative energy in one room - inspiring!

shula said...

I'm curious about the business at work...

eurolush said...

What a fabulous escape from the real world. It looks like you've found a creative haven.

What a lucky girl you are.


I liked the tiny red stitches on your coaster.

And the stilts were pretty awesome, too.

underthebigbluesky said...

Big, big tables, more than the dining room one?
So jealous, it sounds like it was heavenly.

Doesn't everyone wear old sheets? Ha.

Lesley said...

God that sounds so appealing. I wonder if there's anything like that in WA ... maybe I could get something going next year ... hmmm
Loved your quilted coaster, by the way. Good colours.
Now you can make the stilt-walker some long, long pants to wear over his wooden legs!

M said...

Are those little boots on the end of those stilts? Hillarious!

Kylie said...

Sounds like a fantastic weekend was enjoyed by all - we are looking into heading there next year - it will be the place to be for craft minded people.

Fairlie said...

That looks like a fantastic weekend...although I'd be a bit like BMM if I was to go to something like that - I'd like to "just sit and read and absorb all that goodness and craftmaking and lovely company". I suppose that is more of a sponging weekend than a crafting one!

Poppy and Mei said...

Oh for a weekend like that!
You're one lucky lady.
And no, I can't wait to see your bed sheet creations...maybe we should start a "Bones Of Your Arse Chic" flickr pool? ;) XXxx

herhimnbryn said...

Sounds grand, your w/e.
Sounds horrendous your work, hope it resolves soon (0)

sewjourn said...

I saw your coaster when I was up there on Friday and it's great - onwards and upwards for quilted items from here on........