Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Stitching travels

I just love to travel! I also love needlework! Combining those two joys is something I do from time to time. There are a few “stitchy” places on my current travel wish list.

The first one is the Christmas in Williamsburg Seminar that is done by Just Cross Stitch magazine. I’ve been to Williamsburg in the summer but have never seen it all glistening with snow and frost. I watch their website to see what the projects will be that year. They always have something wonderful to stitch. The teachers include people like Jackie du Plessis, Merry Cox and Eileen Bennett. This weekend is not inexpensive and usually falls on the first weekend of December. That makes is somewhat problematic for me right now as it is also the weekend of our EGA chapter’s luncheon.

The second trip on my travel wish list is somewhat of a cheater! It’s like making a list of things you need to do for the day and writing down, “Get out of bed,” just so you can have something to cross off the list. Okay, it really isn’t quite that bad, but almost! You see, I would love to go to the FrancesLehman Loeb Art Center at Vassar College to see their sampler collection. The cheat part is that Vassar is in my hometown so the next time I go back to see family it isn’t too terribly difficult or expensive to get there!

Now, getting you to see some of these samplers online is a little bit of a trick. First go to the Art Center Collection Database. You will see brief directions for accessing the database as a guest. Once you logon as a Guest you will come to a screen that has thumbnails and descriptions of their collection. Click on the Search at the top of the screen. You will see a little box that says Medium. Use the picklist to select Textile and then select Execute Search at the top of the screen. This will give you all of their textiles, many of which are samplers. It does take time for this to load, so be patient. They do not have photos of all of the samplers, but keep scrolling through the pages and you will see quite a number of them.

If you see something that interests you, click on View Full Record for details on the sampler and then View Full Image to see a larger photo. I have not linked directly to this search because you need to logon as a Guest on your computer and perform the search. The Guest status does eventually time out so if you come back to it on another day you will need to follow the steps once again.

I don’t know how easy it is to see any of these samplers so perhaps my “cheat” trip will turn out to be the most difficult of all to accomplish. I loved to hang out in the library at Vassar when I was in my teens, but I’ve never been inside the art gallery. If you want to learn more about these samplers a great place to check is the blog for the Hudson Valley Sampler Guild.

The last on this wish list is really a dream trip! I would love to go to the Royal School of Needlework and not only take a tour of their facilities, but I would also love to be a student there. They offer full degree programs as well as courses in specific techniques. Here’s the current brochure for their offerings.

They do have a couple of courses being offered in San Francisco later this year, but don’t you think being in England would be so much lovelier? For now I will have to be content with their line of Essential Stitch Guides. I have three of the four they have published to date. More are on their way this summer so I expect they will find their way into my library.

Now I just need to find a way to convince my husband that a trip to England cannot be complete without a class or two at the Royal School of Needlework!

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