Thursday, 30 May 2013

London Antique Textiles, Vintage Costumes, Carpets & Tribal Art Fair

This fair is a must for anyone who is close enough to get to it and who loves textiles and collecting them. Even if you just love testing your knowledge of old or unusual textiles, then its surely worth the £5 entrance fee just to view such a wonderful selection.  Who knows, you may also get inspiration for your next City & Guilds piece!! The next London Antique Textiles, Vintage Costumes, Carpets & Tribal Art Fair is on Sunday 9th June 2013
The event promises genuine antique textiles, costumes and tribal art. In its twelfth year, now it gathers about fifty leading specialist dealers offering for sale a dazzling array of unrivalled antiques textiles, vintage costumes, aubussons, lace, fine linen, tapestries, quilts and tribal art.
More details online from;

Admission fee: £5.00 from 10.30am to 5pm
Early entry £10.00 from 9am to 10.30am

Olympia Hilton Hotel, 380 Kensington High Street, London W14 8NL

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

WorkSpace - good and bad points

Some of your will already know that I've been having work done at home.  It's now at the stage that I have had to make some decisions about my new workroom.  It got me thinking about what's vital, unessential and nice to have if possible. I also guess this will differ for everyone - I may think a music system is vital, but you may prefer to work in silence.

The first thing I noticed about my allotted room was that there was a lack of lighting (just one wall light and nothing else).  That has to come under the essential heading unless a miners head lantern is to be employed at all times. Probably spotlights to position as and where needed would be a plan. Next thing was flooring: carpet is not a practical item unless you're a very careful sewer and always pick up your stray cottons immediately (I'm not!!). Maybe a vinyl or laminate floor could be the answer. It's an area where we spend a lot of time, so being warm and comfortable are also important, as is good storage and lots of worktop space.

I could go on, but at this point I wondered if anyone had every devised a checklist for an 'ideal' workspace for those using a machine?  If you have or know of one, let me know.  I'd love to pass it on to others. To start everyone off, I found an interesting blog about it at

Friday, 10 May 2013

Textile Trail at Stroud this weekend

36 artists and designers are opening their doors on  11 & 12 and 18 & 19 MAY 2013

Now in the third year the Select Trail 2013 offers work from textile and contemporary craft makers who live and work in the glorious Stroud Valleys. You are assured of a warm welcome from the makers as they open their doors to their unique and private studios, and the individual artist-led exhibitions. For further info go to

You will discover artists who are passionate about their work. Meet them and talk to them about their work and the processes that are involved in the creation of the work. It is a wonderful opportunity to buy direct from the maker or commission an original piece for your home or as a gift. In an age of mass production what could be better than to own something that is original and bears the mark of the maker.
A unique brochure featuring original photos by John Ingledew is available free of charge by sending a stamps to the value of £1.50 to the SIT office: Stroud International Textiles, 49 Bisley Road, Stroud GL5 1HF
This unique and special opportunity to meet the artists, see where they create their work and buy direct or commission new work is not to be missed. further details from

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

It's good to keep in touch............Don't Procrastinate!

Procrastination - a fancy word to describe the condition of people who chronically postpone and put off things they know they should be doing – procrastinators in other words.

Procrastination is now a respectable subject for psychological study.  Believe it or not, there is actually an international conference run on procrastination  (I know what you're thinking, but no, it ran on schedule).  Apparently students are particularly prone to it because learning is often self-scheduled, performed alone and to exacting standards, all factors that enhance people's tendency to put things off – especially when working on creative subjects.  Most students (and tutors!) succumb occasionally. 

Oddly it seems to affect more gifted students. Procrastinators are sometimes perfectionists, putting work off because conditions aren't exactly right or assignments aren't as good as possible. Sound familiar?  And it can be difficult to overcome - in other words if you suffer then you've probably got it for life.

But there may be ways of managing it; realistic goal setting, planning, 'making a molehill out of a mountain' (breaking down a big task into a set of smaller ones), working out why you procrastinate (perfectionism, fear of failure, disappointing others and so on) and seeking help. Linking up with another student can help to keep you both on schedule. 

We sometimes hear from students who seem to have procrastinated for too long and lose all impetus to continue.  We'd like to hear from more so that we can help put them back on track and to this end, we're presently putting in place a much closer monitoring/contact support scheme for students who are just starting out on a course(nearly 50% of dropout occurs during the first module) as well as some less frequent but ongoing contacts when we haven't heard from someone for a while...............all this adds up to much more work for us, but also hopefully a better supported course experience for our students.  Any ideas on how to pair up people with course buddies would be appreciated..............bearing in mind the data protection limitations.