Firstly the project, when it’s finished, is a beautiful, classy heart shaped brooch. It will look fabulous on any one of my tweed jackets this winter. Secondly (or really maybe firstly…because I am so impressed!) is the kit itself. It comes in a little calico bag with handles and on the front of the bag is a glossy image of the brooch on heavy card stock. One could remove it and have a nice little bag for storing things after the project is finished
But what’s inside is even better! When I met Jenny for the first time at the RSN, she shared with me that her instructions are so detailed and complete that others are afraid she’ll put herself out of the teaching market because her kits are so clear that she will be unnecessary. After looking through
her instructions (actually reading them if I’m honest – who reads instructions all the way through before they begin? me!) I do see their point. Her instructions are as close to having her standing next to you as is possible. The cover – again with a color photo – shows clearly where each of the different metal threads or beads will be used.
As you can see, her instructions are illustrated with hand drawn pictures. Sometimes I find drawn diagrams very hard to understand, especially in older embroidery books. Time has been taken to color them so they are easy to understand. There are diagrams for each step of the process, sometimes more than one diagram. She includes the direction the needle should go when couching down metal threads so your results will be lovely. Really, it’s like having her right next to you!
You might have noticed the pretty tag attached to the handle of the bag in the first photo. On the back of that tag is a list of everything you will find in the plastic bag inside the calico bag. It’s a list of goodies for any needleworker!
And here it is! Look at all those little packages of fun stuff: metal threads, cotton thread, felt padding, beads, the brooch pin and loads more. Maybe this is why she lists where all the threads are used on the front of the instructions booklet – there are so many fun things I got overwhelmed with what would be used where!
The needles that are included with the kit are carefully – lovingly I might say – put on the flannel page with pinked edges inside a prettily printed card cover. Inside the cover are the sizes of the needles next to the needles themselves so there is no confusion. Knowing that needles get lost, she has included two of each of the smaller ones.
My favourite bits are the teeny tiny pot of PVA glue and the equally teeny tiny heart shaped piece of bees wax. Just what’s needed to complete the kit and so nice to have included so I didn’t have to go in search of PVA glue!
If you can’t get to one of Jenny’s courses and you love metal thread work or stump work, then one of her kits is almost as good! In addition, she very clearly says on her site that, if you should have any trouble whatsoever, you can contact her via email or telephone and she will help.
Remember the Hampton Court RSN class I visited? Here are two photos of the project the students were working on. I’m not sure which I like best – the castle, the hillocks or the smiling sunshine at the top.
As you know, usually I’m not a kit person, but in her case, I’ve been converted! There are a few projects to do first, but the Hampton Court kit is certainly tempting! For now, I can’t wait to get started on my brooch!
What about you? Are you a kit person? Why or why not? Leave a comment…I’d love to hear from you!