Thursday, 1 April 2010

For Julie Arkell lovers!

Not sure where to start as it's been a hectic week and I want to share it all with you but I'm going to split it into two as this is going to be very picture heavy!

For a couple of years I've been looking for a Julie Arkell course that fell within my price range and despairing that I'd ever be able to afford one 'til I found she was holding a course at the workshop of Louise Presley of Hope and Elvis whose courses I attend a couple of times a year. So Sunday saw me packing my basket with a few bits in preparation. All we knew really was that we wouldn't be doing any papier mache (which was good for me as my earlier forays into that world had had a sticky ends with little to show for them!

When we arrived it was lovely to see Julie's things hanging around Louise's studio (The studio always looks good but it was looking particularly lovely with Julie's things around too).

There were about 15 of us in the group wandering around taking pictures and talking to Julie as we waited for the rest of the group to arrive (think some had forgotten about the clocks going forward)...

I love the way that Julie displays her brooches on vintage clothing...

So what were we going to make?

well we could make these lovely brooches inspired by one Julie had seen at the Imperial War Museum probably in the forties,

faux watches guaranteed to be correct twice a day!

I think for me the real stars are these rabbit inspired brooches and little brooches made from scrps of fabric too small to do anything with but too precious to throw out!

There were Julie's famous fabric rabbits made from socks and other discarded bits and pieces...

One of Julie's boxes of bits - delighfully faded and gorgeous - why buy new when we can all have a stab at something like this?

Julie herself was a lovely lady and I have to admire her style although I'm not sure I could get away with it. She even had a ticking stripes underkirt peeping out from under her dress, with one of her statement aprons over the top. She was so genuine and delighted in what we were making and even the bits and pieces that people had taken along with them...

More inspirational bits ...

Gorgeous little brooches...

Here Julie is admiring one of Louise's vintage fairisles...

Down to work (or should I say play) and we were all invited to make one of the forties style brooches. This was good for me as I'm not the most artistic although I'm very enthusiatic!

Once we had done that we were able to make whatever we liked based on Julie's work - more decisions!

One lady bought this lovely piece - "spilt jam" which quite by chance fitted the little wooden box which she had taken with her with it's well worn bit of dried heather in it! (She admitted to being a collector of Julie's work - lucky girl!)

In the end I decided on one of the little brooches - almost like a medal ribbon - assembled from some of the bits I'd taken with me, rather than starting something I wouldn't have time to finish (which often happens!). These are my two brooches on a background of my late father's slipover (from the forties). I've had this for years and now I know what to do with it! Thanks Julie!

If ever you get the chance to attend one of these events take it - its about so much more than what you come home with in your hands - its far more about inspiration you bring home with you and the ideas that subsequently flood your head! Hope you have enjoyed this selection from the day! Do tell me which piece you like best...

Love Wend


  1. Sounds great fun - I want to have a go myself now - you've inspired me! Those broches remind me of the milk top circles we used to make and join together to make bags back in the late 40's!

    Jane x

  2. I just love the brooches and the watches. Sounds like the most wonderful day to have experienced. Thanks for sharing it, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

  3. This sounds like great fun, I really love the forties style brooch, I would definitely wear it.
    Ann x

  4. That looks like an amazing event - I'd love to do something like that.

    Love what you made too.

  5. Oh me oh my I love it all and I want to do it all - AT ONCE!!!

  6. I was at one of Louises workshops the week before, it was great. Very inspirational!

    The brooches looks great.

    Vanessa x

  7. Oh Wow! It all looks so wonderful, I want to have a go NOW!!
    What an inspiring lady - just loved the ticking underskirt!

    Vicky x

  8. I liked all of it! She has such a unique style.

  9. That all sounds and looks so lovely!!

    Don't think i'm not going to post about our swap...i've got to wait until i can download my piccies off my mobile (my camera isn't working). will be posting next week. Happy Easter to you xxx

  10. What fun! Respectable grown-up make and do, and Julie looks like a lovely smiley woman.

  11. lovely little insight into the course and all the goodies...i really love the faux watches and their guarenteed time-keeping !
    sounds like you'd great fun. Your brooches are excellent it that your displaying it on your da's jumper ....a fine work of art indeed.

  12. That looks such fun - I have never heard of that lady before, sothanks for all the pics of her wonderful work.

  13. Oh I do love your ribbon brooch. And those faux wathces are just completely gorgeous.
    Lisa x

  14. It certainly looked a wonderful day!! I love the crafting, and inspiration, and would love to have a day of this!!
    I love the little floral brooch best!! You did a wonderful job, you're too modest!!
    Have a lovely Easter, hun : )

    Sharon xx

  15. Looks as if you all had a great day.
    Happy Easter.

  16. What a wonderful post! How fabulous to have spent the day with Julie. I'm feeling inspired just from reading all about your day...and looking at all your gorgeous photos. I love Julie's work. The brooches you made are fabulous. Katie x

  17. What a fabulous post...I prepared well before I read it, at my left hand a rather large slice of sponge cake at my right a large mug of tea decaffeinated(don't want to get over excited) a small packet of milk choc (large) have made my week thankyou. I love Julie Arkell, and your beautiful post made me feel like I had been with you having fun. I shall be back to read through again and again thankyou soooooo much xxxxxx
    Hugs Lynn xxxx

  18. Dear dear Wendy!
    What a lovely post about a very lovely and talented artist, Julie Arkell!
    Thank´s for sharing!
    I will be going for another five days workshop in Briançon in France this summer, with Julie.
    I spent a magic and totally unforgettable week there last summer!!!
    I will tell you everything about this summers workshop "Stitching, knitting and collecting", when I get back home again!
    Kindest regards

  19. Marigold Jame recommended I read this particular post and she was so right about it being inspirational. As someone with mountains of buttons I'm thinking of all the little brooches I could make but the faux watches are the best ever. What a fabulous idea. I've followed Julie from the early papier mache jewellery days. She has an original take on things and they always seem the right things to be making at the time. Glad you had such a fabulous day. Lesley.

  20. whooo! what a truly wonderful day - and i know that's true.

  21. I've been dithering about booking a course with Julie Arkell and you've helped me make my mind up to book it!

  22. I googled Julie Arkel and it brought me to you!! What a fabulous time you must have had, love the brooches you made and they look lovely on your dads slipover. Everything Julie makes is pure eye candy I must see about going on a course with her......soon!! Thanks for sharing what must have been a truly wonderful day and showing us all those pictures, Lucey xx