As you can see from the above, I had a pretty varied week at the Lebende Werkstatt Pilatushaus, Oberammergau! On my very first day, I met Beate Pietzsch. As I only ever knew her name (and she mine) without having a face to go with it, our actually meeting was kind of comical :). Ah, you're a stitcher too. What do you do? Japanese Embroidery. Oh, do you know that famous teacher Beate from Cologne? Yes, grin, that's me!
Beate was with an international group of fellow Japanese embroidery teachers. They meet each year at the home of one of them in Peißenberg. Amazingly, that's just around the corner from where I live. They ended up in the Pilatushaus by accident and did not know that it was 'my week' there. We had such a lovely conversation about embroidery, teaching embroidery and the established institutes of embroidery like the RSN and the JAC. Always nice to talk to people who are in the know :). For those of you who were unaware that you can learn Japanese Embroidery in Germany (and the Netherlands!) or if you just want to drool over some pretty embroidery: here is Beate's website.
By the way, I was working on Strawberry Fayre whilst in the Pilatushaus. Since I have given up doing exactely as the instructions say, it is actually quite pleasant stitching. And it will garuentee that I will end up with a unique version of the design. What doesn't help is the fact that I am running out of some of the threads and some of the beads. When Strawberry Fayre is finished, I will let Inspirations know that I find this quite unacceptable for a kit as pricey as this one was.
Next: Brexit. We always get a lot of nice visitors from the UK. That's how I met a lovely couple of British expats. They have been living in Germany for many years and didn't want the Brexit. It is heart-breaking to see how unsettling this whole Brexit is. Especially as no one seems to have a clue where it is heading. For istance: I've asked my pension plan what will happen to the nearly six years of pension payments me and my husband have made whilst living in Salisbury? The pension plan people say that everything will be allright. Aha. Will I need to pay extra fees over my future pension payments? Probably. And you call that 'everything will be allright'? I've tried to transfer the money to a pension plan in either Germany of the Netherlands. That didn't work. The British were blaming the Dutch/Germans and the Dutch/Germans were blaming the British. As soon as I left my native Netherlands, I learned that the European Union isn't there to help true Europeans that need to live in several European countries in order to have a job. No wonder the European Union has so little acceptance amongst 'normal' Europeans.
Then, two lovely elderly nuns visited the Pilatushaus. They were especially enchanted with my large embroidery based on the creation myth of a tribe of Indians from South America. As one of the ladies had worked as an embroideress of vestments, she loved my St. Laurence goldwork piece too. We had a great conversation on embroidery techniques and she was quite impressed with my skills. So lovely to get praise from a peer!
And last but not least, I was visited by two blind women, their female guide and a guide dog. I normally tell people off when they want to touch my embroidery, but in this case it was totally fine. The two ladies had great fun in touching those mini-embroidery hoops made by Dandelyne with the silk ribbon roses. Or touching the beaded strawberries (or raspberries?) with picots on Strawberry Fayre. And they had lots of questions about St. Laurence too. It was a very enriching experience for all of us! Even the dog had a good time sniffing my trestles :).
That's all for now! I have some pretty huge news next week. Two truely amazing opportunities have come my way and I am super excited. If you fear that you won't be able to sleep until my next blog post, you can have a peek at my upcoming events :).
Jessica M. Grimm
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