Well I survived hanging my first Open Studio (or indeed show of any kind - I don't think holding the screws when we hung the quilts at FOQ last year counts!)
And I have to report, dear reader, that those two days were two of the most exhausting I have ever had.
And I also have to report that, despite there being three of us, we need to oomph and organisation of my good friends, Rob and Andy, who came up to help us hang. Without them I honestly do not know how we would have done it.
And it did not help my state of mind that my dear Dad - he of the artistic genes - died the day before we started to hang (but that is another story - let's just stick with the open studio for now).
So we three at Mix3d Stitch were like rabbits in the headlights - somewhat paralysed by the enormity of the task. But 2 men with step ladders and a hammer and a tape measure and we were rocking and rolling.
The space divided neatly into three areas (no forward planning there! ) so Yvonne took the 'living area', I took the 'dining area' and Jane took the 'Kitchen area'. And that works so brilliantly with our individual styles - Yvonne is more traditional I would say, my pieces and then Jane's more quirky 'folk' pieces. The work looks stunning hung and it all works so well with the other work.
Looking from my space down to Jane's.
Yvonne's work over the mantel piece.
Looking from my space into Yvonne's. Note a tension rod is ideal to hang a quilt forward in an alcove (for the observant, yes that is 'Horizons - al Zahara' back from it's travels)
Smaller pieces by Yvonne on the bureau.
Jane's stunning quilts.
Jane's end - and there is another bit of inspiration! Black zip boxes from IKEA are brilliant for smaller pieces to make them stand out. And that is not wall paper, but her printed cloth. But we all think it would make great tiles. Shout if you are interested - we can work wonders.
A few of my framed pieces.
Jane's 'Jarrow' quilt (paper on brown paper - my sort of quilt) sneaked into Yvonne's space.
And, to top it all off, we sold stuff on the Friday evening - that was completely unexpected I can tell you.
Then on Saturday we were open properly for our first OS.
Again, we had no idea how many to expect. Yes there is signage all over the place, yes I have been tweeting and Facebooking like mad (as have the main Open Studios organisers) and yes, my good friend Annabel of 'Through our Hands' did a lovely piece about us, but even so we still had no idea how it would go.
Well - what can I say? We had a steady stream of people all day, most of whom stayed at least 3/4 of an hour, studied the work, asked us lots of lovely questions, drank tea, ate Rhubarb and Date cake (Jane, we all need that recipe!) and generally were just lovely. And we sold more work - now that is a great endorsement.
And most special of all, our second visitor had travelled all the way from north London (we gave her husband tea and sat him in the garden) just to see us! She had read about us from Through our Hands. Now that is a heavy responsibility - but she was just lovely and, though a professional artist herself, was extremely complementary.
And we did it all again the following day!
And we are doing it all again this weekend too - and if the weather holds we might get the indigo vat out.
So if you are in the North Bucks area do pop in. We are open 11-5 both Saturday and Sunday. I cannot promise the Rhubarb and Date cake - we ate it all - but there will be tea and I am sure we can rustle up another cake!