I know everyone is dying to know what I made at Craft Retreat so let's get it out of the way ... dadadaDAH!
Yes, it's a WONKY BOOK COVER!! I will be listing it in my Etsy shop shortly. The material is an old skirt given to me by my mother because, as she said, the material was too nice to throw away. The pattern is a lovely one adapted from the Meet Me at Mikes book and the wonkiness is by me, but in my defence I feel the instructions may have been aimed slightly above my level of True Crafty No-Idea-ness. I probably needed a bit more emphasis on the part about how I needed to join together the 2 pattern pieces provided by the book to make One Piece -with stickytape, no need to sew- BEFORE going anywhere near the fabric. However now that I know this, I think I will try another one, and not use excess fabric pieces OR interfacing. Stay tuned.
Once the sewing component of my craft retreat was completed, I took my tap shoes and a board and spent some time hammering away on the verandah, armed with my trusty iPod, which had been newly accesssorised with a sports armband and some ritzy diamante-studded earphones, thank you Nell and Elda. In amongst some general warming up and practise I finished off 2 Beginner routines and 2 Kiddy Routines. Every so often I would retreat into the house, not just to disrupt Suse and Eleanor but also to replenish myself with cups of tea, chocolate biscuits and some fireside warmth. During the evenings I also did most of a crossword and about 8 rows of knitting.
The work ethic at Craft Retreat was astonishing. Suzie would head for the studio at the crack of dawn and only came back to the house for meals and sleep. Ellen would be sitting chatting with us at dinner and suddenly get a faraway look in her eyes as she thought of something in the studio, and in the blink of an eye she'd be gone. Leslie kept threatening to have a nap and would go so far as to remove herself from the studio, only to reappear minutes later with a cup of coffee and a new project in mind. Eleanor worked studiously on her writing and homework and kept the homefire burning, Suse wrote her essay but still managed to sew a top, knit some shawl and spin some wool, Janet kept telling herself she needed to go slowly in front of the machine, then in the evening picked up her crochet and made the biggest and fastest granny square (a cushion cover I think) I've ever seen. Jenny and Magda revelled in the sheer bloody luxury of it; of leaving their work to eat a delicious meal prepared by someone else and coming back to find their projects exactly where they'd left them, of having time and resources and help and company and inspiration and chocolate.
In amongst all this output were the delicious meals (we catered one meal each and Oh! the joy of having to do nothing about dinner except show up to the table and eat - must be what it's like for everyone in my family except me), the excellent company and the pretty surrounds. Sometimes in my head I'd think of it as Craft Camp but it was far too posh to be confused with camping. For the first time ever in a holiday house I did not come home desperate for a good cup of tea because Sewjourn has a bone china teapot and bone china mugs, with white inside. Perfect.
I missed my boys and they missed me so it was lovely to come home. But there are plans afoot for more sewjourns.