Tuesday, 31 August 2010

31/08/2010 Machine Embroidery Courses

We have often been asked if we’d do machine embroidery at C&G diploma and certificate level and have resisted, maintaining that it should be possible to bias the existing courses towards a machine embroidered delivery if that’s a student’s area of interest.

After realising that this was causing some disappointment because there are very few, if any, other places now delivering these qualifications,(and none that we know of by distance learning) we’ve decided to make them available.  We are just completing the modules and they will both be open to enrolments on our site from towards the end of next week………..it’ll be interesting to see how much interest they attract now that they’re finally available.

31/08/2010 Jeanette’s Doll Class

Just popping up a link to a video of the doll class run by Jeanette Ranson on Thursdays/Fridays.
Hope you enjoy it!

Friday, 27 August 2010

27/8/2010 Bank holiday weekend and new tray!

Yeah……….a whole three days off after today!  Now I’m one of the lucky people who generally really enjoy their job, but every now and then a little feet up time is very welcome.  What is everyone else up to over the long weekend?

Off at a tangent, I have a new toy today – ordered myself a lap desk from amazon at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Lap-Tray-Table-Flexi-Light/dp/B001G3TIO4/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=kitchen&qid=1282835489&sr=8-3 

I can’t believe how handy it is for the price (around £6.50).  I use it for the keyboard when typing, so I can move around more and not give myself back ache through bending over the keyboard.  I’m not sure what use it would be for crafts, as the light is a little too dim for close work, but the keyboard fits really well on it, whereas with ordinary lap trays it catches the raised edges – problem solved. It even has a well for keeping cans or beakers in (although I think that could be an invitation to a soaked keyboard party!)

Thursday, 26 August 2010

26/8/2010 Quilting Exhibition at the Centre

Lots of activity at the centre yesterday whilst the ladies from the leisure classes put up the quilts, pictures etc that they have made throughout the year.  The exhibition runs from today until the 3rd September, wed-Sat 11-4 if you want to pop along – its free.
We’ve put together a quick video on YouTube to let those who can’t attend have a flavour of what's there.  Apologies if we haven’t done them full justice.  Still getting used to this new camcorder + the editing suite!

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

25/8/2010 So many module, so little time!

I know its irritating to listen to someone complaining about how busy they are – but wow, its been a frantic week and its only Tuesday!  I want to know what happened to the traditionally ‘quiet’ time during the summer when we unfailingly had chance to update modules, work on new projects and generally catch up? Maybe this is the result of all the staycations in the uK this year? 

Two working full time just typing up feedback.  Strangely this week there have been 4 new students all of whom have opted for the postal option – now that’s quite unusual now.  Most of the new enrolments tend to request an online delivery.  However we have dutifully fired up the printers and a huge pile of ‘to posts’ is now waiting in the lobby……..if the weather wasn’t so awful that would be my excuse for an outing to the local post office, but with alternating torrential downpours and sunshine I think I may just leave it for a little while longer!!!

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

24/8/2010 Precious Exhibition

Marj and I really enjoyed our day out last Friday at the Precious exhibition at the platform gallery, Clitheroe.  It was based around the recycling of various materials and, whilst a couple of artists left me pretty unmoved, in general it was certainly worth a visit. 
If you get a chance to go its on until the 4th Sept, so do hurry!  I’m uplifting a couple of photos for you as a sort of ‘preview’. The flower is by Tracey Bush and Basketry by Mary Crabb

Friday, 20 August 2010

20/8/2010 Classic Stitches

I was really shocked to discover today that the Classic Stitches magazine has gone out of business.  What a shame. ………I’m noticing more and more that magazines (or books for that matter) based around wider embroidery techniques (meaning not just cross stitch) are becoming harder and harder to find. 

Don’t get me wrong – ideas books are great and I love some of the Sandra Meech and Jan Beaney inspirational ones, but at some point you just want to know exactly how to DO something and the sort of books that give general instruction across a range of techniques now seem quite rare.  Search Press tell me that the one we used for the embroidery course, The Encyclopaedia of Embroidery Techniques by Pauline Brown, aren’t good sellers – they sold less than 200 a year worldwide, which is quite a thought really (especially as SST must have bought most of those!!).  Still got my eye out for something similar – if you know of anything do let me know……….

Michel Tuffery Sculpture photo

This is my inspiration for the upcoming fish piece that I was mentioning in earler blogs - it's housed at Pataka Museum in New Zealand.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

19/8/2010 Fish Progress

A little, at any rate – so far they’ve made it from my mind into a sort of sketchy format from which they will wait a little longer for me to render them into textiles.  See photo just to prove I’m not fibbing!!
Before anything gets ‘rendered’ into textiles I so need to clear out my sewing room.  It’s a total tip at the moment .  Push anything on one end and something drops off another.  There are also two sacks of ‘stuff’ waiting to be transported to the charity shop and a large Swiss ball which is taking up a considerable amount of floor space. 
Must get on with it – I must, I must………………………..

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

18/8/2010 Yearly Bursary

We’ve been thinking whilst compiling this masters course that it would be a really nice idea to award one each year to a student who wished to carry on with their studies – not quite sure how we’d do this yet.  Anybody have any ideas?

It’s going really well, but as with all these things, progress tends to be slow at first.  However it is coming along nicely, so a few more sessions like yesterday and we should be ready to rumble!

Today is back to ‘business as usual’ with lots of sets of feedback for existing students.  We’re never short of things to do here at SST!

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

17/8/2010 Masters Course Stuff

Just started to work on the new masters course delivery – really exciting! 

We’re compiling 3 modules with different themes – something along the lines of Poetry in Motion for the first, Highways and Byways for the second and Memories are made of this for the third.  The titles may change if we think of something catchier, but meanwhile this is what we’re working with.

Each module will end with a completed piece – lets face it, once someone has completed either a certificate or a diploma or both, they have probably had enough of just sampling for a while, not to mention colour theory or line drawing……………….just guessing here!!

Mmmm – love days like this when there’s chance to do some really ‘blue sky’ thinking.

Monday, 16 August 2010

16/8/2010 September Start

I really don’t know where the summer has gone to (what summer!!?).

I’ve been emailing and speaking to onsite tutors today who will be starting back in a couple of weeks time about course sequencing, delivery, content etc ………………every year we review how the C&G delivery went last year and if there is any way we can improve this year.  It’s never been known for some form of alteration not to be made.  I guess that’s all part of trying to do the best for our students.

This year we’re thinking of pushing harder and longer on the Research for Design for the diploma students – we find this front ended approach seems to benefit most.  Poor lambs – they don’t know what they’re in for!!! I’ve just been compiling lists for the first couple of sessions which include wallpaper lining paper and twigs…………….!!

Thursday, 12 August 2010

12/8/2010 Thinking about Fish

I found some lovely photos last night from my trip to New Zealand last year – they’re of a fish sculpture/carving in local wood. Amazing thing – at least 10 feet tall and so textural with a really ‘immediate’ feeling about them, as though the artist got up that morning and just went to work on them without hesitating about the design, method, finish etc. I was so impressed with them at the time and felt I could translate some aspects of them into textiles.

Time to come up with some further ideas/sketches, I think…………………

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

11/8/10 New Book for courses

Well I’ve spent an interesting morning looking at new needlework books, as one of the ones we use for our certificate courses has just been removed from print. There;s one just ready for publishing by Dorling Kindersley caught my eye – unfortunately its not available until 1st September, but I’ve placed my order at Amazon! Trouble is it has no Search facility on it, but I’ve contacted DK to ask if I could see a rush………..maybe they’ll take pity on me!

Do you remember the days when we all went to book shops to look through the stock? In some ways very limiting, as the choice wasn’t always there, but ooohh – wasn’t it nice to feel the book in your hands, see every page, smell the new print……….I’m getting all nostalgic now!

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

10/8/2010 Them New IT Blues…….sing along now!

OK – the morning of truth.  Not the moment, cos it will take us longer than a moment to figure out how everything works after Steve’s new installation at the weekend.  Monday I was on my own in the office, so there was no need to investigate the new equipment, but today the rest of the ‘team’ are in and there will be no hiding place.

What’s the password for this – can’t access the server…….you all know the tune, so feel free to hum along now…………..

Monday, 9 August 2010

Noisy Weekend – 9/8/2010

OK – now for a moan.  I’ll get it out of the way quickly, I promised!

I’m grouchy cos I’ve had very little sleep this weekend – the next door neighbours have gone to their villa in Spain(!) again – which is great news as it SHOULD be really quiet for once.  Bad news is they have left their teenage daughter + boyfriend/s behind who seems to have burglar alarm fixations(soooo glad I’m not that age anymore – horrible!). which we’ve kinda become accustomed to (well after at least 20 times over the last 10 days, you do, don’t you?!!).  Now, day time is irritating, but late at night and 3am on Sunday morning just isn’t funny, especially when it carries on going off for 20 mins, then goes off them comes back on 30 mins later and the cycle is repeated and repeated.  What is it that is so intellectually challenging about JUST NOT SETTING IT WHEN YOU KNOW IT’S FAULTY??? 

Right moaning over and regular service resumed………the morning ahead is to do with post, email and master plans (that’s for new Master Class courses, not world domination, although now I come to think about it……….!)

Also I have to put my thinking cap on over the new homepage and work out enty and landing pages. Does anyone reading this notice that there is very little in that schedule to do with actual hands-on textiles?

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Sunday 8th August – New Office ‘n’ Stuff

Steve, our tech support has been here all afternoon, setting up a new computer for our new colleague, Marj.  It’s much needed – we’re getting fed up of sharing – but of course it means someone has to be here with Steve whilst it all happens.  Sunday tends to be the day of choice for any office alterations so that business can carry on as usual during the week.

This means that I’m here,  making drinks, supplying kitkats, finding discs, locating plugs, sockets, cables etc etc. Sooooo glad the sun hasn’t been out today……………….

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Weekend? What Weekend?!!

The new designs for the site have just come in from our web designer, Steve.

We all really like them, but now the thought has to go into how the new homepage will link to the rest of the site and how it will affect the navigation.  I feel a weekend of checking and testing coming on!

There will also be a new look to the gallery and news parts of the site, with areas for photos and also for videos, which is new.  It’ll be lovely to see them up and running shortly…………..

Friday, 6 August 2010

6th August 2010 – Working on PhD

Well another busy day – I have promised myself that I’ll get up to date with all the socail networking stuff and have redesigned this blog, posted on facebook and twitter – phew! 

Chatted to Helen from a new magazine called CLOTH – she sent me a copy in the post last week and I wasn’t too impressed with the less than glossy exterior, until I read a little futher and realised that its actually printed on recycled paper with vegetable dyes.  It also has lots of young and trendy ideas in it and a sort of picture progression on quite a few techniques.  Only published quarterley and kept by a few retailers and not available in the large chains such as WH Smith.  You can catch them online if you want to have a look at cloth magazine

Now I REALLY need to get on with this PhD writing up – today was the D day (deadline day) self-imposed, but I still don’t like to miss it……………my bottom is starting to take on the shape of this chair!!