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  1. So, in case you hadn't heard, Kates dress goes on display today at Buckingham Palace (you can see it and the state rooms of BP for a whopping £17.50!). Still not sure how much you will be able to see as you don't seem to be able to get very close, but it does look stunning in a rather exceptional setting:

    Kates dress on display     Kates shoes

    Apparently the Queen was heard to say she thought the lack of a head was spooky (images of the invisible man does spring to mind!) and she does in fact use the words horrid and horrible (it's at this point I feel very sorry for the person responsible for the mannequin)! You can see her doing just that here:

    Poor Kate, she obviously has to behave but it led me to wonder what she would really like to have said...

    Queen and Kate

    I will let you add your own caption!!!

  2. Lots of new stuff in the shop!

    Poppy kit contents

    Silk shaded poppy kit (see left)

    More needle sizes



    Shisha mirrors in various shapes and sizes

    Tracing paper packs for 'Prick and Pounce' design transfer method



    By the way, the alien plant life question has been answered; not infact alien at all, but Cyclamen seed heads!

  3. This post is nothing to do with art or embroidery (unless, of course I wanted to paint or stitch this!), but we found these weird plants in the garden the other day. They are disguised as stones! Keeping an eye on them to see what they do, but if anyone has any ideas as to what they might be, do let me know.

    Alien plants

    Having said that, the stones are great colours, this would make a good canvaswork or applique piece. You never know where inspiration will spring up from...

  4. So our first RSN Certificate programme classes started this week in Rugby and it feels great to be up and running!

    RugbyTown     Arnold House

    Rugby town centre and Arnold house

    The classes for this session are being held at Arnold house, right in the heart of Rugby town. As you can see from the picture above, it has lovely large windows! Nikki Jarvis is teaching the first two weeks and I popped along to help launch the new classes on Monday.

    Kathy and Nikki

     We had three new starters for Jacobean, with other students popping in and out over the next two weeks to work on other projects. Both Nikki and I are especially interested in the design aspect of embroidery and it was fabulous to see all three new students diving straight into the unknown and designing their own embroidery designs. Well done Kathy, Suzanne and Jane; what a great start!!



    Nikki (right) giving Kathy some pointers on her design.

    We already have students signed up for weekly classes in September but there are still places available. If you are interested in joining us you can find more information on the course including dates and venues at the Royal School of Needlework website. If you would like to see what we do, come along to the festival of Quilts at the NEC (August 11th-14th) and visit us on stand I24!

    Why come to Rugby?

    Rugby is a small market town situated in the heart of England. It is of course, the birth place of Rugby football so why not take the 'Pathway of Fame' tour around the town and learn all about the history of the game (just follow the bronze Rugby balls in the pavement!). What you may not know is that nearby in Dunchurch, the conspiritors of the gun powder plot waited at Guy Fawkes's house for news that Westminster had been destroyed. Rugby is also where in 1937, the first jet engine ran (courtesy of the Midlands' very own Frank Whittle) and where the hologram was invented by Hungarian scientist Dennis Gabor.

    Rugby has great transport links: it's 50 minutes from London and 40 minutes from Birmingham on the train, and is situated on the hub of the Midlands' motorway network with good access to the M1, M6, M40 and M42. Both Venues we will be teaching from are in the heart of Rugby town centre and the train station is within walking distance.

    We have lots of exciting things planned included a day class programme and visits out (we may be able to get you where no one else can! More on this later!) so come and learn some new skills, meet some new friends and join us on our creative adventure!


    Guy Fawkes is discovered under the house of Lords

  5. Well term has finished once again (doesn't the year go quickly?) and there has been some fantastic pieces of work. But don't take my word for it, go along and have a look for yourself! Certificate and Diploma students work will be on display in the studios of the Royal School of Needlework, at Hampton Court Palace. Admission is free (enter through the East Front Gardens). For dates and opening times visit my events page here.

    Alice box detail

    Alice in Wonderland box, detail. By Kei Shinano

    I have taught this course at Hampton Court Palace since 2006 and have had a great time, but things must move on and it's time to leave the mothership! I'm now off to start up the classes in Rugby alongside Nicola Jarvis, so I hope to see some of you in the Midlands this September. We also have a stand at the Festival of Quilts at the NEC in Birmingham (more details on the 'Events' page) where we hope to entice more unsuspecting future embroiderers! If you are in the area come and say hello (Stand I24)

    I just want to thank all my students for a great year, it's been a pleasure. I may be the one standing at the front of the class, but it's a two way dialogue: the environment is very inspiring and I have lots of ideas I want to try too! Watch this space...

    Basket of goodies

    Basket of end of term goodies!