Mary Corbet

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I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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Are You Going?


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Last year, I made the over-hasty announcement that I would be attending Beating Around the Bush, 2012, down in Australia. Alas, for me, it was over-hasty, because I’m not going after all. At the time, I wasn’t aware of the various project deadlines that Country Bumpkin had to meet for marketing the event, and, having three teaching jobs in three different schools, I couldn’t meet the project deadlines by last January. So I had to renege. Life is like that.

Wouldn’t it be great to say, “Let’s meet in Adelaide and have a cuppa?” It would be so fun to meet you face to face and enjoy a real chat! And I think needlework events like Beating Around the Bush are a great way to connect with fellow stitchers and to enjoy that “community spirit” with a bunch of kindred spirits!

Beating Around the Bush, 2012, by Country Bumpkin

So, are you going to Beating Around the Bush in 2012? It looks like a really promising event, full of terrific classes with world-class tutors. There are some Gorgeous things in the line-up!

Off the bat, these are the things that caught my eye – but they are only the beginning! I’m tellin’ ya – there’s quite a line up!

Beating Around the Bush, 2012, by Country Bumpkin

Jenny Adin-Christie’s millefiori brooch is the first project that meets the eye as you peruse the PDF Brochure for BATB 2012 (the brochure is definitely worth browsing – even if you aren’t going, you’ll be inspired by the beautiful projects featured in the brochure – and it doesn’t cost anything to look!!)

Beating Around the Bush, 2012, by Country Bumpkin

Goldwork, anyone? Tanja Berlin’s classes are a great learning experience – she’s such a good teacher!

Beating Around the Bush, 2012, by Country Bumpkin

A gorgeous whitework sampler by Christine Bishop (who wrote Schwalm Embroidery: Techniques & Designs, which I reviewed quite a while ago.) There are all kinds of whitework techniques represented in the sampler. Fun!

Beating Around the Bush, 2012, by Country Bumpkin

For ribbon embroidery enthusiasts, this pomander by Hazel Blomkamp is stunning.

Beating Around the Bush, 2012, by Country Bumpkin

And her bead & metal thread Jacobean design in silver and black… it’s a knockout! I’m looking forward to Hazel’s book, Fresh Ideas for Jacobean Embroidery due out next year!

Beating Around the Bush, 2012, by Country Bumpkin

This is one of my favorite projects of Jan Kerton’s. Every time I look at this picture, it makes me happy. I’m not sure if it’s because Autumn is my favorite time of year, or if it’s because those acorns look so darned real… but I love this project. Jan’s website is Windflower Embroidery, and it’s definitely worth browsing through. (She has a free stitch guide on there!)

Beating Around the Bush, 2012, by Country Bumpkin

Trish – TRISH! Make more birds! I love Trish Burr’s birds. Actually, I love all her needlepainting projects. This little blue fellow is so sweet. And check out his spindly legs! Trish Burr announced on her blog the other day that she will be publishing more birds, and she’s taking requests on the subjects we’d like to see in needlepainting, so if you have ideas, feel free to dump them on her! (I think 200+ people should drop by her blog and request a sun conure! – go on, but don’t tell her I sent you!)

Beating Around the Bush, 2012, by Country Bumpkin

This briar rose and honeysuckle panel by Margaret Light epitomizes “surface embroidery” to me. It’s so pretty. It’s “just” embroidery. It’s just beautiful.

Beating Around the Bush, 2012, by Country Bumpkin

Jenny McWhinney’s designs are so cute, they’re almost edible. And Strawberry Jam is the perfect title for this piece – a blanket with frolicking bunnies and strawberries.

Beating Around the Bush, 2012, by Country Bumpkin

Betsy Morgan’s etui boxes are so fun – she’ll be teaching three different ones at BATB. They’re fully accessorized boxes, all cleverly constructed and (of course) stitched.

Beating Around the Bush, 2012, by Country Bumpkin

Susan O’Connor’s mirror project (above) is a lovely combination of illumination and embroidery – looks like a great project for learning not only the stitching, but a unique finish.

Ok, there are heaps of projects in the BATB, 2012 brochure, and you’re just going to have to browse through them on your own, because every page has yet another eye-catcher.

One more class that I think deserves special attention (it’s obviously the teacher in me speaking…)

Beating Around the Bush, 2012, by Country Bumpkin

Teaching without training is a difficult thing. Yes, it’s true, some people are natural teachers, but teacher training is essential if you want to be not only a good teacher, not only effective, but efficient. And in the needlework classroom, efficiency is a Big Deal. Jan Kerton will be teaching a class at BATB called “Teacher Training.” It’s for all teachers and aspiring teachers, regardless of experience level. I think this is a great idea! And if I could hop down there just for this class, I’d do it. Think about it: professional teachers in the academic world have to go through specific study and training before they’re bona fide, but they don’t just drop all their training once they have that diploma in hand – ongoing teacher training is not only required for the professional teacher, but it’s crucial for keeping that “teaching edge.” Good for Country Bumpkin for making a class like this available for needlework teachers!

If you haven’t visited Country Bumpkin’s website lately or browsed through the BATB brochure, hopefully you’ll be able to take some time to do that! Look at it this way: even if you can’t go, you’ll certainly be inspired by what you see – and maybe you’ll find some ideas to play with in your own stitching.

And hey, if nothing else, you can always dream …!

(But really, are you going? I’d love to hear what classes you’re taking!We could all live vicariously through you!)


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(15) Comments

  1. I sooooooooo want to go. I too had “announced” I would go. Then these pesky kids get in the way. Was pretty sure youngest DD would be getting married, still not sure. So I feel like life is on hold. Then with the new baby coming and, and, and, and……The list goes on. Next time we will go and meet for that cuppa.

  2. Couldn’t possibly afford to go, sadly. I really need something that will re-fire my stitchcraft enthusiasm!

    Thanks a lot for sharing the programme details with us, Mary. There are some glorious things there.

  3. Hi Mary–

    I’m not going to BATB, but I AM going to the Koala Conventions seminar in Brisbane at the end of June.

    My husband and I are going to celebrate our 20th anniversary with a trip to Australia (our third), and I though as long as I’m going, I should take in a seminar. I’m taking two classes, one in Chinese-style double sided embroidery, and the other in Brazilian embroidery, but a different style than is typically taught here.

    If anyone wants to check out the Koala Convention website, here is the link:


    Carol S.

  4. Oh how I wish I could go! Every year I devour the BATB catalog, and wish. This event just seems to keep getting better!

    From the classes you highlighted above, I’d love to see an adaptation of Jan Kerton’s oak tree in the beautiful box you showed us yesterday. Hint, hint…

  5. No, I am not going. A thread company should step up to the plate and sponsor your trip because you do so much to promote the art of embroidery.

  6. No, not going, but I was lucky enough to go in 2009. The most difficult thing about BATB is deciding which classes to take as they are all so lovely. Maybe we could convince them to come to the US, like the Koala Convention will be in 2013.

  7. Oh my goodness, these projects are so stunning and so beautiful. How I wish I could go. And how I wish BATB would come to the USA! Is there anything here in the US that compares to this? Mary, how about if you organize a BATB seminar? HEE HEE!

  8. After reading some of your comments I’m not sure if I should write my comment because I am going to Beating Around the Bush. I live in Spain and I have been saving for 2 years now as I will be killing two birds with one stone. A long lost friend, who I haven’t seen for 12 years, lives I Adelaide and this is one occasion that I couldn’t let go by.

    I won’t be there everyday but yes 3 of them and I will be doing Jenny-Adin Christie’s stumpwork and an embroidery course on linen (I can’t remember what it’s called).

    I intend to take as many photos as possible and meet as many of these fabulous teachers, such as Trish Burr – who I did an online course with – and Tanya Berlin.

    But surely I am not the only one going who reads your emails religiously every day.

    This goes out to the other ladies going – maybe we could meet up!!!!!!

    This is going to be a holiday of a lifetime.


  9. Mary, if you were going, I’d go! I’d love to do a monogram class with you. Maybe an online one, since we can’t meat in Australia in April?
    Fingers crossed,

  10. I thought you were going to be there, Mary, but when the program came out, I was disappointed you weren’t on it. 🙁 Maybe next time! I have a sister in Adelaide, and I was hoping to combine a family visit and some luscious needlework and finally meeting you in person! This “virtual cuppa” every morning is fun, but I think we’d have a blast over some real drinks! 🙂 Are you going to Koala Conventions in 2013? May have to save for that instead!

    Thanks for everything, Mary! You’ve been such a help with my goldwork sampler! Almost done, yippee. Will send pics soon!

    Hugs, Val

  11. I’m thinking about going, Mary. I wasn’t very interested in it until I saw your post. Hadn’t really bothered to look at each and every offering. Two things I’d like to learn: needlepainting with Trish Burr, I agree that bird is to dye for, and Hazel Blomcamp’s Jacobean piece. I thought it was blue but I see it is black. Either way is fine with me! It’s gorgeous! Thanks for pointing out the lovelies!

  12. Oh, Mary, I was so disappointed when I found out you aren’t going. I’m not sure if I’ll make it to this one. I thought I would and the projects are drool-worthy, but I’ll probably delay until next time. Any chance you’ll show up the Koala Convention when they come to the US? I heard they have a convention on each coast. I’d probably go to the west coast one. What about you?

  13. Hey, Mary, even if you don’t go as a teacher would you consider going as a student? You could plan a “coffee date” on the side or something and we could meet up with you! An after hours meet and greet? I’d be happy to host you if you want to see some of Australia before or afterwards! Just let me know! Juls

  14. No, I’m not going! I’d love to, the projects are gorgeous. Thanks for the link to Hazel Blomkamp’s upcoming book. I put it on my list, too!


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