Monday, 29 June 2015

Ten Years of Blogging - the fourth year, 2008/9

Year four of my blogging career started off with quite a number more of the blog awards, Helen M Stevens' 'Ornamental Pool' design being finished for my mother-in-law and her hub's 20th wedding and starting out on the band sampler that was to run in the background for the next year.

I finished up another pretty hardanger scatter cushion for friends' 20th wedding anniversary.

In September, and with only a day to go before the start of the programme, I decided to spread my embroidery and textiles wings and start the City & Guilds Level 3 certificate at Harrogate College.  Knowing that I mayn't be in the area longer than a year (as Sir was making obvious moves towards some time in Taiwan), I had originally hoped to fast track the course, but a combination of health problems and workload quickly put the kibosh on that little fantasy!

I got a fair number of samples worked, learned a lot of new techniques and got a chance to put some of the glut of Derwent pencils you saw in the third year's post to use.  I always felt that I was rather 'bottom of the class', but here are a few of the things I was pleased with.  I can see their merits better now there's nothing to compare them with.=D  You'll know what I mean, I'm sure!  C&G work dominated my blog for several months and I ended up having to buy quite a sizeable quantity of supplies needed for it.  That was quite frustrating as we were trying to save money for an impending international move and I had to keep buying in stuff to use once.  I think some of the class thought I was a complete cheapskate, but I felt other circumstances were more important, especially as it was becoming more and more evident that I wasn't going to be able to finish.

In the interests of improving my writing skills in Chinese and German, I started mirror blogs to this one in both languages.  However, I found it rather a pain to keep up to three blogs and the two satellite ones didn't last long.  I even tried to do post summaries in the other languages here, but it soon fell by the wayside.  Shame, really.  Maybe I should try something like that again sometime.

February saw the completion of the third of a set of lovely Derwentwater Designs cross stitch kits of British Birds.  I'd done the chaffinches and bluetits ones before and now I'd finally completed the triptych with the goldfinches.  I'd always meant those to be framed and hung in our bedroom, but I'm still waiting seven years on!  I hope it comes off in our next home.

In March we had a long weekend in Frankfurt, where I bought some French, Italian and Spanish embroidery magazines from the newsagents in the main railway station concourse (German railway stations are GREAT for international publications). Then in early April I took and passed my Music Theory grade 3 exam with 96% and a few days later saw the confirmation of my expectation of leaving the country in the form of the first sentence of an important letter shown here:

After that, naturally, it was all focus on that.

Then in late May/early June with me being was busy with exam invigilation, this was the only exhibit I could enter into the C&G students' end of year show.

It's an awful photo as I was using a poor, cheap camera that was only any good for outside shots because the one I'd been used to using (Sir's old one), had gone thoroughly kaputt.  Mercifully, our tenth wedding anniversary followed in June and I got a lovely new camera (which I'm still using - even still learning to use!), making blog photos much better quality again.

This is the sampler I mentioned at the top of this post, as far as I got during with it this blog year.  It wasn't finished up into the final bellpull until August 2009 (see Year 5)  I remember putting in the last stitches and doing the beading whilst invigilating in a special circumstances exams.  There were two invigilators and one exam candidate, so it wasn't exactly your standard environment!  Afterwards, the student told me it was the most relaxed exam she'd ever sat and then came over to have a look at what I'd been doing!!

That was a good job.  I got loads of things finished, some like this and some that were just low concentration, dull jobs (like filling in plain backgrounds) for exams with several people.

A big blogging highlight for me during this fourth year was getting a mention on Needle'n Thread when Mary featured my post Some Finishes.  One of the three projects I showcased in that post was the dragonfly you met in the Year 3 summary.  A friend had loved the stitchery when she saw it on my old, long-since defunct Webshots album, and I'd been looking for a way to give it to her.  She got engaged and Stitch magazine featured a casket project, so I braved the sewing machine, which my C&G teacher was forever teasing me for being hesitant with, and made it up as an engagement present (filled with chocolates) for her and her fiancé.
At their engagement party, I also handed over a card to another couple and snapped this shot of the initial reaction to it!LOL!=)

I'll leave you with Viv's jaw drop and see everyone again in tomorrow's Year 5 post.

Text and images © Elizabeth Braun 2015


D1-D2 said...

I love how you finished the dragonfly.

Rachel said...

The casket turned out beautifully - well done!
I don't think C&G courses necessarily suit everyone, but I'm sure it taught you a great deal you might not otherwise have got around to!

Jules Woolford said...

The casket looked terrific. And how prolific you've been!

Magpie's Mumblings said...

The City and Guilds course fascinates me but I know I would never be able to make a go of it. Having the attention span of a gnat wouldn't help me be a success and I also have a difficult time buying supplies that are only good for one or two uses. Running into that now with an online CQ class - the next module calls for investing in a couple of different forms of dyes which I know I will only use for the class and that won't see the light of day ever again. It's rather hard to stretch my budget for something that I won't make use of.

crazyQstitcher said...

Strangely I recall the Hardanger cushion but haven't seen any of the other posts before.

I love the Oriental garden.

zenuwpees said...

Toujours un plaisir de voire les broderies Marie-Claire