Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Day I Dyed and Went To Heaven

On arriving at  Chateau Dumas late Sunday evening turning into the drive I was met with the most spectacular scene of the Chateau ablaze with lights. I was so excited to be finally here and couldn’t wait for the morning to arrive and get started.

The rest of the group were settled and having dinner and I could hear that they were already having a good time. Lizzie (the owner of the Chateau) is such a warm and welcoming person you were instantly made to feel at home.

Last year I did the woad-dyeing course at the chateau and this was an experience that I want to do again and again. When I saw that Lizzie was running a course combining Reinventing French textiles run by Ros Badger and a day woad -dyeing well I just had to go. The course runs for a week but other commitments would only allow me three days, but they were filled to capacity.

9am Monday morning finally came, we all gathered in the studio which is large room with soft greys and white walls and a beautiful hand painted design on the floor, large skylights and the although the day was overcast (the rest of the week was glorious) the room was so light and airy.

A spectacular sight met us with piles of vintage textiles, trimmings, templates, embroidery threads, vintage craft books, a table full of samples made by Ros, and Lizzie, bags made from vintage linen tea towels, covered coat hangers, patchwork hearts to name a few and we all immediately pounced on the table where we could use anything we wanted as Lizzie had provided us with a massive range of vintage pieces to choose from.

I had a rough Idea of what I wanted to do but then my brain went into overdrive and I found my self hopping from one thing to the other, bliss pure bliss. Tuesday, hang on what happened to Monday? The group was producing lots of wonderful items and Ros seemed to flit with ease from person to person offering help and advice if needed, she has an amazing eye for colour combinations. I loved the fact that everyone in the group were also genuinely interested in what other people were making and hints and tips were flying through the room and made the atmosphere really special.

I wanted to make a bag from an old linen skirt and added a beautiful fabric trim to the bottom and decided to line it with the same fabric, I was fiddling about with it and Ros came over and said “ love this bag” I told her this was to be the lining, and with a flash off she went and came back with the most sumptuous piece of green silk and this was added to the top. Ok now I have two bags, but you can never have enough bags, right!!!

Ok Wednesday is here and Denise and Annette are setting up the vats for the woad-dyeing and we are all scurrying about sorting out what we wanted to dip first. She then gave us an interesting talk on the history of woad, which although I heard it last year it was delivered with humour and fascinating facts.

I had a bag at home with lace trimmings, shells, and a few other bits and was furious with myself, yes I had forgotten to bring it with me (well there is always next year) if I am lucky enough!!! So after beating myself up decided just to enjoy watching what everyone else was dyeing, between that and popping back into the studio to make up one or two other things that took my fancy. 6pm came far to fast in my opinion, which meant that my lift back home was due any minute. I bade farewell to my new friends who were still up in the fairy park dyeing with pleasure. I have selected a few pictures and I personally can’t wait to hear what they got up to for their last two days………

I for one had the most fabulous three days, met some lovely people, made a few things that I never knew I could and if your looking for a crafty holiday in the South West of France then I can’t recommend it enough.

And finally Ros will be offering one lucky person the chance to win her handmade book which will be personalised by her own fair hand coming soon on my blog in the next few weeks.

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