Friday, 21 December 2012

... let the festivities begin...

Well, our Christmas Countdown Competition has come to an end and all prize-winners notified.  We'd like to thank the dozens of you who wrote in with answers (mostly correct) and congratulate all those clever winner.  We enjoyed every minute of the Countdown, but receiving your festive and often very funny messages alongside the answers was a great plus for us.  We very much hope that everyone enjoyed looking for the answers and the winners will be receiving through the post their little prizes very soon. 

The winners were  - in Question/Day order:

Chris Legee
Janet Beardshaw
Judy Griffiths
Maggie Le May
Susan Clarke
Beverley Peach
Isabella simpson
Sally Cross
Georgina Favel
Julia Bond
Eva Polizzi
Robyn Phelps
Pennie Killingsworth
and Sara Miller

Thursday, 20 December 2012

... a grand finale.....

We were very surprised that so few people could find Rebecka Ryberg Skott's photograph yesterday because it was there on our website - the last picture on the Food and Drink slide show.  However, we do have a winner and that's the important thing, and tomorrow we will be announcing all 12 winners of our Christmas Countdown Competition.  In fact, there will be three winners to today's questions so 14 prizes in all.......

We have so enjoyed putting together this little quiz, and from the number of entrants and feedback we're getting so have lots of you.  Anyway, we hope in the process of looking for the answers that you have learned a little more about us and the Les Soeurs Anglaises venue, and that it has whetted your appetite to join us for one of the exciting workshops we are hosting next year.   If you have any questions we are always happy to answer them and we look forward to welcoming many of you.  

So, for the final time this festive season here is the three part question.... but a small caveat:  you will need to answer all three questions correctly and be amongst the first three to email them back to us in order to win one of our special prizes, which include a set of three Les Soeurs Anglaises Haberdashery Bags containing a magnet, unpicker and safety pins;  a little group of Jone Hallmark's handmade birds; and finally three vintage,  initialled French linen tea towels.

So here goes:

On which three of our 2013 workshop web pages will you find these quotes:
  1. “…..will demonstrate over the five days of the workshop how to weave together truly memorable and inspiring narratives.”  
  2. “I love to mix up ideas, techniques and materials to make quirky, personal objects of significance.” 
  3. "….initially experimenting with a variety of writing tools and using a series of exercise to explore techniques, participants will discover the joy of mark making."

Local ladies enjoying a cup of tea and Christmas cake whilst making their Les Soeurs Anglaises' angels.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

....penultimate perfect....

And, of course, the answer to yesterday's question, What was the name of Marion Foale’s partner in her famous fashion design business of the 1960s?, is Sally Tuffin.  Obviously a great number of you out there who were cutting a swathe stylistically back in the Swinging Sixties.....

One of the great things about hosting residential workshops is that we get to watch participants slowly emerge from their art and craft shells.  Even those who arrive declaring their working lives are “uncreative” or that they have “never picked up a needle”  are soon producing amazing work, thanks to the encouragement of the leaders and supportive atmosphere in the studio.   Some people have a background in the arts, with great experience either professionally or as an amateur, but in some ways arriving at a workshop with no preconceptions about the art/craft, or how a thing should or should not be done can be an advantage, and we are constantly bowled over by the imagination and creativity of the work "novices" take away with them.

In 2008 we had the great good fortune to have a photographer arrive for Julie Arkell’s workshop and she has been back, for one workshop or another, every year since and often using her various workshops as inspiration for stitching and photography.  From her first visit we fell in love with Rebecka Ryberg Skott and her hard-to-define but unforgettable photographs;   rising early and before the other participants in to order to make use of the quiet  and just the right light, she composes vintage childrens’ toys and books, memorabilia, found objects and natural props to tell her unique picture stories.  Sometimes they are funny, sometimes nostalgic but always executed with an acute eye for detail, colour and content.  (We have been trying to persuade her to take photographs for our LSA cook book, but she cannot be tempted to stray from her own journey).

Here are a few of our favorites - you may recognise some of them (which she has generously given us permission to use) from our website and blog   -  but find yours on Rebecka's own wonderful blog where she often twins photographs to the lyrics of a favourite song.

And today's prize is an original limited edition print of Rebecka’s, "Shelter From the Storm"

Question No 11

On which of Les sours Anglaises' web pages will you find a photograph taken by Rebecka Ryberg Skott?   

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

... a few days to cast off.....

Well, that's more like it!  Correct answers came flooding in for yesterday's question:  For what celebration was Rosalind Wyatt commissioned to stitch on pashmina with the quote from Anais Ninn, “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom”.  The celebration was to commemorate a significant 25th wedding anniversary.  And what a lucky lady she was.

The name Marion Foale is instantly recognisable by style conscious knitters of a certain age.  Whilst still a student at the Royal College of Art, she achieved the honour of having one of her designs chosen for the Queen and more than thirty years on, she is still regularly zipping across the Atlantic to promote her hugely successful yarn and hand-knits businesses (Marion designs knits for Margaret Howell, amongst others, and her exquisite children's wear can currently be found in their shop in Central London).

So how flattered are we that Marion will be taking time out to run a workshop, Knitting Chapter and Verse,  for us next October!  A long way off you might think, but not surprisingly it is already filling up with knitting aficionados (and dilettantes) who appreciate a rare opportunity when they see it to learn from a master.  

So if you manage to be the first to answer correctly the question below, not only will you win one of Marion's exclusive scarves, but also a 10% reduction on her workshop with us - whilst places remain...

Question 10:

What was the name of Marion Foale’s partner in her famous fashion design business of the 1960s?  

Answer to:

Monday, 17 December 2012

... textural thoughts...

     Ah, ha!  Friday's question seems to have baffled many of you.  Either most stitchers don't tipple or the information was too well hidden in our blog.  Having said that, we did have a few correct answers to the question, "Who is the celebrated wine critic who participated in the Gastronmic Weekend at Les Soeurs Anglaises in 2007 in aid of The Cambodian Childrens Trust and what the age of the oldest Champagne served (year) at the event?   The answer was Jancis Robinson, and the year of the earliest Champagne drunk, 1964.

So we come to the lovely Rosalind Wyatt.   Rosalind is an award winning calligrapher who has turned her talent to stitching.  In September of next year she will conclude a two week residency at Les Soeurs Anglaises by leading a five day workshop called Text and Textiles. 
Rosalind's work is no less than thrilling, pushing the barriers of conventional calligraphy into new and exciting media and using our literary theme for 2013 as her spring-board, she will be showing participants at the workshop here how to transfer an extract from a favourite text onto an inherited or treasured textile, using a sublime hand stitching technique she herself has developed, and making the whole even greater than the parts..  

The lucky winner of today's question will win an original collage by Rosalind plus a 10% discount on her workshop with us. 

Question No9:

     For what celebration was Rosalind Wyatt commissioned to stitch on pashmina with the quote from Anais Ninn, “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom”

    Answer to:

Friday, 14 December 2012

...let's drink to that...

Yesterday's question was posted later than normal to give our American cousins a chance of winning. The answer to the question, in which city and on which street is Jessie Chorley's shop, is Columbia Road, London.

As participants you may be staying in a beautiful area of S W France, but part of the promise we give at Les Soeurs Anglaises is that not only will you learn or improve a skill you love, but that we will take you on a gastronomic journey through each day.

Whilst there is generally meat or fish on offer, our menus are culled from an array of influences from the Mediterranean to the Far East and are generally worked around delicious organic fruit and vegetables that arrive, whenever possible, fresh from our own potager (we scatter herbs and garlic around with abandon).  Mike Armitage, Katie's husband, ran the popular Interesting Wine Club in London for years and hand-picks all the wines served and if you take oenology a tad more seriously then you’ll be able to check out some of the wines from his fabulous cellar. 

Talking of wines brings us to our Question 8 and the prize will be a charming  hand made small fruit bowl made especially for us, with our hare motif (see below):

Who is the celebrated wine critic who participated in the Gastronmic Weekend at Les Soeurs Anglaises in 2007 in aid of The Cambodian Childrens Trust and what the age of the oldest Champagne served (year) at the event? 

answer to: