Monday, May 11, 2009

RSN Intro to Embroidery

Before I get into the details of the class, I wanted to recap on Sunday. I know, a lot of you are all "get on with it, we want to know about the class already!" I've been holding you guys in suspense! But first, a Mothers' Day recap. My brother and I ended up taking the day in shifts. He visited in the early afternoon and I headed over in the late afternoon with my aforementioned cake and flowers. My mom insisted I not bring any food over but I felt quite bad that my brother being the highest form of a jerk and us having a fight, put a damper on her special day. I decided to head to the corner market and buy her some lottery tickets...both scratch-offs and regular draw lottery...and I slipped them in her mother's day card. My mom got the most enjoyment out of those tickets! I heard her squeal upon opening the card and she rushed (as rush as an almost 80 year old can get) to the kitchen table to do her scratch-offs. And you know what?! She won $60!! Wow! How come when I buy for myself I don't win one cent?! But she won $60 and she's all happy because she can "go get her hair done." So the day ended with mom being very happy and that's most important. I don't think I will be dealing with my brother in any way, shape or form until Thanksgiving...and only if I really must.

And now onto the class! On Thursday, I headed over to the nearby Hyatt to take an Intro to Embroidery Class that the Royal School of Needlework was hosting. I went ready to stitch for hours, loaded with a large bottle of water and a brown bag lunch. The teacher, Helen McCook, was so polite and friendly...and young!! OMG, it was the first time there was someone younger than me at a needlework event and the younger one was the teacher! I was amazed. There was also another student in her 20's and then the rest were older ladies. Everyone was very friendly and I had fun telling this lady from Maine about all the needlework shops in the area and where to get Ott-lites and what they were. It was funny. As usual, there was the one "rain on your parade" lady who sneered at everything and commented negatively about anything mentioned. Amazing! The ones who act like "know-it-alls" don't know anything and need the most help from the instructor. There was a lot of heavy sighing going on in her corner. I was able to focus on the fun ladies in the class and try to make my stitches right! This was the first time I actually embroidered and I think I did pretty ok for a first time. It makes me want to try my hand at those gorgeous pillowcases Staci is always making!

Oh my, well I'm getting carried away. When I arrived to the room, each place had a packet and it illustrated the class project with the supplies and an embroidery hoop to use. Below is the picture of the project to be stitched on black silk.
I never knew that you used muslin under the silk...I guess because muslin is a sturdier fabric than the silk? Not sure. Helen (the instructor) showed us various stitches by showing one or two students at a time and then moving on to the next pair of students. This allowed each student the time to try and master the stitch without fully relying on the written instructions. I thought this was a good technique. If you didn't understand, you just asked and she came round again to show you and let you know what you were doing wrong. By the end of the class, this was my progress. Not much but I'll get it done soon. ***Sorry for the bad photo and positioning. I rushed home at lunch to take pictures and didn't realize until posting it now.***
At lunch, I took a stroll through the other classrooms. Helen had some fantastic pieces of her own needlework on display and they were so inspiring (photos of samples not allowed). I wanted to see what else was there and everything was stunning. I felt particularly drawn to the silk shading, blackwork and goldwork. There was this one piece of a goldwork moth done in different shades of gold and copper that was downright jawdroppingly stunning! O-M-G!! If I was independantly wealthy, I would pack up and move to London to complete their 3-year needlework program.

I do have to admit that while I was there looking at the class samples, the one for the Beginner Goldwork was totally calling my name..."Valerie, you know you want to take the class and learn how to stitch me...take your credit card out of your wallet now...the class is tomorrow, you're off and can go!...Just do it..." It was very hard to resist the calling but I did. The classes weren't cheap! I think that the RSN is now planning yearly trips to San Francisco so I will keep that in mind to take classes in the future. I think I will look into their certification courses once I get a few classes under my belt. It would be fun to gain certification in some needlework form through the school and I think I can swing the two week certification course versus the three years in the UK. If only *I* could win the lottery! I'd be over there in a heartbeat!
I was very good and only bought this little packet of notecards with these embroidered pictures on them. But now, I am hugely coveting this embroidery hoop w/ seat stand. The $45 they were asking at the class sounded a little steep and I am a little broke this month. I figured I'd shop around. Imagine my surprise that the US shop was asking $75 for it!! I did some more research and found that it is a UK-based product and mainly only available in the UK. After some more research and currency conversion calculations, I found that I can purchase it for $25 with shipping. Whew!! For a bit, I thought I would have to race to the hotel and beg them to sell me one after hours! So I will wait a bit before making my order.

The class was fabulous. If you have an opportunity to take an RSN class, do it! I would strongly encourage it. I left feeling so incredibly happy and refreshed!

Well, time for me to bring this long-winded post to a close. Tomorrow is Stitchy Tuesday...remember to tune in.

Until next time...

**Edited to add...and I did manage to get the giveaway stitched item done last night. Woo!! I had to involve the boy to help me and I think I did good. That will go in the post tomorrow and will be revealed once Meari lets me know she received it! I managed two of three goals for my long stitchy weekend. Not bad...


Ann Marie said...

Um, could you get me some lottery tickets for my next birthday? Since you seem to have the magic touch and all. ;)

Carol R said...

Can you pop over here and buy my lotto tickets for me please?!

Great report on the RSN class. Maybe we should both sign up for the 3 year course at Hampton Court? What fun that would be!

Lisa said...

I am so glad that Mother's Day ended on a positive "squeal" for you & your mom. What a wonderful gift - a small price to pay for a gift "that gave again".
Anyway, sounds like you really enjoyed the RNS. Your progress on the one from your class is beautiful. I look forward to watching your progress on it. It would be fun to stitch on silk.
Have a great Tuesday!

Missy Ann said...

:swoon: I think I could cheerfully kill to attend one of those classes, maxing out the credit card is such a small thing. lol

CindyMae said...

I need some lotto tickets please!! Sounds like your class is going great!

Meari said...

OMG, Valerie... I have an embroider hoop seat stand almost exactly like that! My sister found it at a second hand shop several years ago. It's in wonderful condition.

I'm sooo glad your Mom had a great mother's day. LOL, she reminded me of my mom when she gets scratch off tickets!

Theresa said...

I'm glad to hear that your Mother's Day ended well~~

Your class sounded so interesting!!!! Your piece form the class is gorgeous~~~