Sunday, April 22, 2012

A Workshop with the Enchanting Julie Arkell!

Yesterday I met up with lovely sewers, crafters & bloggers to attend a workshop with Julie Arkell at Hope & Elvis.  I love workshops like this, its great to meet up with like minded up people, all of us dotty about fabrics, sewing and Julie Arkell!  I have loved Julie's work ever since I first laid eyes on her beautiful papier mache creatures, and was so inspired after her workshop, that I couldn't wait for her to come back to do another one!

Before we start have a little look around the studio..
 As usual Louise had laid out all the lovely fabrics for us to use
 Look at all these precious bits of special fabrics in the cute cot for us to rifle through x
 There's lots to see around the studio.  One of Louise's pieces by Julie Arkell
 The right royal tea area!  There were some delicious chocolate brownies and blondies to have with our tea!
A piece of Louise's hand embroidered art

A cup of coffee later and a quick look around the shop and then Julie arrived! We all waited excitedly to see her creations be unpacked carefully from her bags. One by one she got them out a made a display for us. Would you like to see? (Do click on the photos for a close up of her work).

 Beautiful Ephemera Brooches
 Fabric flower brooches with lovely long stems, (the steams are perfect to twirl around your fingers in a quiet moment Julie says!)
 More gorgeous flower brooches
Flower bouquet brooches, some made of suffolk puffs
 My favourite -Julie's creatures! Can you see Monsieur Lapin and his curly moustache?
 Tic-toc watches

 I love these tic-toc brooches
 More beautifully embroidered brooches
 One of Julie's latest pieces, a daisy chain which could be worn as a necklace or hair accessory like a tiara, soooo beautiful!
Another of my favourites, Julie's What-not bracelets made of precious little things!

 Julie showing us how to make a daisy for a daisy chain.
And finally her new"Make A Scene Brooches"
This was what she suggested we might like to make on the day. The idea is that you make several elements, like a tree, a toadstool, cloud, rabbit house, creature, flower or little lamb, and then choose several elements to make a scene to wear!  We loved this idea, and thinking about what we would wear sparked a debate about numbers and how many pieces should be worn at once, 3, 5 and 7 seemed to be everyone's preference, 2 was a definite no!

I was so engrossed once we started sewing and chatting that I didn't take any pictures until the end. Here are the pieces that I made on the day:

A Rabbit House

Here it is picture of my Rabbit House with my JA creature brooch "kindness" that I bought on the day

and I also made a 1940's inspired wool brooch ( I still need to finish some of the embroidery around the edge).

Here are some of the beautiful pieces made by other people on the day..

I loved this creature and look at her gorgeous purple leather handbag and purple shoes! 

This beautiful scene By Daisy Moon, (with her creature brooch by JA) can you see "Daisy made a tree" and "I am a summer cloud"!

I loved the fabrics that Anne from Angel Eden used for her cute butterfly and little woollen lamb!

Julie was taking a second workshop today and if you hop over to Hope & Elvis Facebook page I think Louise will definitely be posting more pics.

Julie currently has an exhibition at the Bluecoat Display Centre in Liverpool entitled "I've Dusted the Farmyard" and there are some super pictures on their Facebook page. The exhibition runs until 12th May and I would definitely love to go.

Just a little pic to end of my "treasures" that I've been assembling from my craft room, to make my own little what not inspired bracelet!


  1. Didn't we have a fabby day? I love your rabbit house and look forward to seeing you treasure bracelet. Thanks for the link

    1. Definitely! I am going to work on my scene this week, I can see it on display in a old frame I'm going to paint!

  2. It was great wasn't it such good fun. It was lovely to see you and have a chat and I forgot to say how much I liked your knitted Shalom. I left my camera behind yesterday so guess what I just had to go back to collect it today. Loved it and everyone made such fabulous items. Debs x your treasures are awesome. Makes me want to search around my pots and boxes and see what I can find.

    1. Thanks Debs! Bet you can definitely find some fab bits amongst your treasures!

  3. So many beautiful things to look at in this post. I love your cute little rabbit house. I have seen JA work before on another blog ages ago and I love those floral brooches. And the whatnot bracelets are just fab too!
    Lisa x

    1. Thanks Lisa! My husband looks at me in amazement when I go dotty over such things!

  4. Oh wow so jealous. I love going to Hope and Elvis and this workshops looks such fun!

    1. Thanks Lyn, might see you at a workshop soon!

  5. Thanks for sharing your wonderful day with us. I love your rabbit and her home and can't wait to see your "treasures" bracelet, Lucey x