I hope you all had a great weekend! I didn’t get any sewing done, because I spent Saturday working as an Ambassador at the Sewing and Craft Expo in Worcester, MA. Then Sunday we decided to take the kids to Newport RI and spend the day.
I have to tell you, I was really saddened by the state of the Sewing and Craft Expo. Considering that sewing seems to be undergoing a resurgence, it was so disappointing to see what is going on at the Expo. Mind you, I only had a day there, so perhaps there were things that I missed, but I don’t think so. There were far fewer vendors there this year than in years past. And there was a lot of non-sewing stuff (massagers, basement finishing). On the plus side, I did get to meet Jennifer Stern of J. Stern Designs. She is delightful, and she gave me a gift of her latest patterns. I’ll be reviewing them (with all appropriate disclaimers) soon, I hope.
I was the ambassador, which translates roughly into “ticket taker and classroom assistant” for three classes. One class was taught by Peggy Sagers. I love Peggy. She’s no-nonsense, opinionated and outspoken. Hmmmm – who does she remind me of? Her class was about debunking common sewing myths. While I didn’t agree with everything she said, I certainly agreed with most of it.
The other two classes were more craft oriented. Anyone who knows me knows that I tend to cast a gimlet eye at “craft” and many of the purveyors thereof. So it was an interesting lesson in self-restraint to sit through these classes. One was about machine embroidery. I know many of you love it, but I find machine embroidery to be a complete waste of thread. Sorry. That’s how I feel. The other class was about easy embellishment techniques. Okay – “easy” and “embellishment techniques” do not belong in the same sentence in my universe. If you are going to embellish something, it should be spectacular. Needle felting, fabric paints and cutesy appliqué? Sorry, not my bag. Don’t get offended. I’m just saying it isn’t for me. I feel the same way about free jazz, NASCAR and body piercings. I’d never tell someone else not to partake, but I school my facial expressions to keep them very bland, and make my grocery list in my head the entire time.
What I did enjoy about these classes was the unbridled enthusiasm of both the instructors. They brought the same sense of joy to their seminars that I try to bring to my garment sewing classes. And that’s what you’re paying for, right? The expertise and enthusiasm of the teacher. That was what kept me from running screaming from the room when they pulled out the refashioned, embroidered sweatshirts. Those have no place in ANY universe. Ever.
Sunday was fun. We packed the kids up early and headed to Newport, RI to spend the day. If you haven’t been to Newport and get the chance, I really recommend it. At the turn of the last century, it was the summer playground for the robber barons and New York society. My sons had never been there. We wanted to go to see the Doris Duke exhibit, Shop Like an Heiress at Rough Point, her Newport estate. Unfortunately, the estate was closed for a private event, so we went to Rosecliff instead. Rosecliff is most famous for being used as a setting for the 1974 Robert Redford film, “The Great Gatsby”. It was simply stunning. I had been there as a kid, but not in recent years. We picked a lovely day to visit. After taking the tour of the mansion, we went walking along the Cliff Walk, then headed into town for lunch and puttering about. Newport is built on a beautiful sheltered harbor, and the weather was warm enough that we didn’t need our jackets. On the way home, we stopped for dinner at Phyllis’ house. Most excellent salmon, Phyllis!
All in all, it was a lovely weekend. I’m waiting for my Marfys, so I am going to start working on the new Jalie Faux Wrap Top. It’s all cut out. I’ll review it once I have it finished.
Parting Shot: The boys and me at Rosecliff. I think it’s time to change my hair color. Stay tuned for that one…
Oh and see the handbag? It’s an Emmett McCarthy.