Way, way back at the start of April I heard a rumour (I think it was on Facebook) that a couple of last minute spaces had appeared on a day workshop with the lovely Mrs Bertimus, at Hope and Elvis. I mentioned it to my sister, who said "why not?" And so, one Saturday morning in April we headed up the Motorway to take part in a day of "Stitchery Pokery".
Mrs Bertimus welcomed us all with a teacup of gorgeousness, there's mine, up above. Then she gave us a little introduction to herself, her art and what we were to do that day. We heard about image transfers, and machine stitchery and general stitchery pokery stuff.
Then we were free.
Free to delve into the boxes and cases and baskets of goodness that Louise has around the edges of her fabulous studio.
Free to mooch around Louise's personal studio space.
Free to look at the work of previous tutors, Jessie Chorley, Julie Arkell ...
...and Mr Finch. To name but three.
We could look at and be inspired by Mrs Bertimus' own work.
And we could chat to and learn from the lovely lady herself.
One of the themes of the day were Mrs Bertimus' Nanas. Some lovely ladies of a previous era, all dressed up to the nines, probably for a grand dav out. They made an appearance on our name badges and on lots of the pieces that we all made. I think some snuck into my bag and came home with me. Naughty Nanas!
These are the pieces I made on the day. Using image transfers, on blocks, and hand stitching and machine embroidery fabric pieces. So many new skills and techniques. I love a good workshop!!
There is a little bit of a corner shop set up at Hope and Elvis. And this dusty, spider webby, complete with dead spider and a broken handle, little brown case had to come home with me. Under my self-imposed thrifting rule - "I'll regret it if I don't buy it" rule, it was a must buy. Helen and I also had to buy a few pieces of blanket to continue our stitchery pokery. Mine is heading towards being a needle case, with the machine embroidered bird adorning the front.
And there you can see the replacement handle that I made for my little case - and the case is just the right size to hold my fabric scraps for the stitchery pokery yet to come.
At the end of the day Mrs Bertimus had us all put our pieces on one big table so we could look at all of the pieces that had been made. Helen and I put ours out together, her two are at the top, and my four below.
And there we have it, a grand day out with Mrs Bertimus. If you get the chance to play at Hope and Elvis - take it. And if Mrs Bertimus is there? All the better.
And a last word for Mrs B herself - If you find yourself wanting to go thrifting in Birmingham. The kettle will be on, and the biscuits will be out!