On my drive home the other night I got to thinking about energy. Its true to say that some of us have more of it than others but its what we do with it that matters. Some people manage to sap every last drop of positive energy you have, others seem to leave you brimming right to the top with excitement and happiness without you even exchanging more than a few words. Some people have it in bucket loads. I was lucky enough to spend a whole weekend with one of these people. Marna Lunt, mum of two little beauties, a wife, a daughter, an artist, a maker and one of these very special people whose enthusiasm is absolutely contagious.
Marna is on a mission to fill us all to the top with excitement over textiles, stitching and general sunshine and is doing this with her on-line workshop but also with her really special stitching retreats. I was one of eight lucky people to be one of her guinea pigs last weekend, to give her the opportunity to have a retreat 'run through' and to make sure everything was perfect for the big launch later on in the year. Marna submerged us in piles of fabrics, threads and haberdashery and patiently demonstrated lampshade and lantern making techniques teaching us the practical bits e.g. how to hand roll a lampshade and how to not stitch our work to our skirts. What she doesn't teach but somehow manages to do, in a sort of osmosis kind of way, is to bring what is the essence of Marna Lunt into your work. Its like magic!
Comfy seats to curl up in. Perfect with a slice of cake.
Elderflower champagne + straight stitches = no chance!
A few of Marna's amazing pieces.
My lampshade taking shape with the help of alcohol.
Catching up on stitches as soon as I woke up. Gorgeous view of the river.
Having shoveled down scrambled eggs and smoked slamon for breakfast at The Board Inn, it was stright down to the river where I took dozens of photos of plants.(Fear not, I won't bore you with them.)
I spend a lot of time with fabric and understood exactly what Marna meant when she told us to 'respond to the fabric'. But Marna's personality evokes a real a passion in your own work as she flits from student to student. It’s contagious and an absolute thrill to be around. There was a real mixture of abilities but by the end of the weekend we all felt that we could really rock this stitchery malarkey!
If having Marna for the weekend wasn't enough we were fed gorgeous, healthy(ish) feel-good food, vats of tea, cake, wine and puddings and even Elderflower champagne (thanks Annette). To relieve the stresses and tensions of sewing and eating (!) we were also given head, shoulder, back and hand massages by an amazing therapist, Amanda of Be You Holistic Beauty.
Above: Marna made the room look so beautiful. The perfect place to make art.
Below: My finished lampshade made under Marna's watchful eye.
You'll be seeing Marna on the telly (Make!Craft-Britain) in a couple of weeks on BBC4 where you can see her at work. So, if you are even a little bit interested in learning a new skill or just want to improve on your skills you must do one thing. Have a really good look at Marna's website and get a sprinkle of her magic. Marna Magic. If only I could bottle it.