Thursday, October 22, 2015


Hi All,
Well, I'm back from teaching in London, England. What a fantastic trip! I met so many interesting people and saw a whole new place where, even though they all spoke English, I didn't know what they were saying half the time!

Here's my gracious & wonderful hostess, Ray Slater. (Sorry, Ray-- not the best picture of you!) She & husband Tim welcomed me into their home and unselfishly gave up a week of their lives to show me London. Ray is an extremely talented doll and textile artist. She is the author of "Cloth Doll for Textile Artists". (She's working on a new doll book, soon to be published in 2017).
  Yes, they still have red phone booths in downtown London!

And, they still ride around in red double-decker buses.

Guarding the House of Parliament.

After 3 days of shopping and sight-seeing, Ray drove me out to the city of Birmingham (an 8 hour trip by car!) to Aston Hall, where the 3-day class was to be given.
See the glassed-in room at the end of the building on the left? That's where we had tea every day. (Afternoon tea was my FAVORITE part of the day! So many delicious cakes & treats to eat with your tea!) Our classroom is that pale-colored building behind the glass room at the far left.

Aston Hall was built in the mid 1800's. Originally a private family estate (sort of a smaller version of Downton Abby), it became a small arts college. Now, still a part-time college, it also host outside venues, meetings, and weddings. They have about 20 rooms, and a very generous cooking staff that fed us all day long!

Aston Hall has several beautiful gardens, and I was surprised to see many flowers still in bloom while Autumn had set in. Here's a small view of the grounds.
Most days you'd see sheep gracing along the rolling hills down below.

The building has so much character -- literally! Here's a stone gargoyle watching over all.

I found this little fellow lurking below an archway.

And, here's his friend.

Here's our class, where these wonderful ladies are hard at work, making their "Opera Singer" doll.

 So many talented woman!

And, such good stitchers!

All of them are excellent doll-makers & dress-makers.

And, here are the some of the near-finished dolls at the end of class.

These English ladies were so appreciative, and worked so hard. They all learned new doll-making tips, and turn out wonderful dolls. They welcomed me, and made me feel at home. (They even taught me a thing-or-two in return!)

Thanks so much to everyone for making my trip such a wonderful experience. I will never forget it!!