You are currently browsing the monthly archive for January 2009.

My recent technical issues with the lovely PC I am currently working on (got to be polite or it might take offence and crash again!) have meant that I have been going through all of my web sites in Favourites and writing down those that I don’t want to lose if the PC finally bites the dust. Am hoping to be able to get new PC soon so am planning to transfer things over.

This means that all the sites are organised in my little book and I have finally got around to working out where some of the pictures I seen have come from! So I thought I would share some pics and their links with you so that you can go off and have an explore.

The first site Medieval Beads run by Jen Segrest has some amazing examples of beadwork through the ages. I hope she won’t mind if I show you a couple of examples from her wonderful collection.

A beautiful 15th century beaded piece

A beautiful 15th century beaded piece - copyright Jen Segrest 2009

Detail of the above beadwork

Detail of the above beadwork - copyright Jen Segreat 2009

This very talented lady collected all the pictures on this site and her accompanying Flickr picture collection and also makes wonderful beaded work and pincushions. Jen very kindly shares how to make the pincushions in these photo tutorials on Flickr. Here is an example of one of her cushions which you can buy through her Etsy store.

Some of Jen's pincushions

Some of Jen's pincushions

You can also buy a book of how to make some of her pincushions – this is going to be on my wish list for when I have time (right after I find the blog with the knitting pattern for making extra days in the week!).
The second site is another blog that I found by accident – a bit of late night surfing as you do! The blog is called Extreme Costuming and is run by Laura who makes costumes for her roles in the SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism) in the US and her volunteer work at various history projects. I hope that she won’t mind me showing you this picture from her site (the copyright is  V. Dye, 2006) but it shows the amazing quality of her work.
Redwork jacket made by Laura of Extreme Costuming

Redwork jacket made by Laura of Extreme Costuming

Not only is the embroidery fantastic but the research is as well – on this page of the blog she details the process and includes photos of original pieces from museums in Kent and  London. I am hugely impressed by everything this woman does!
As well as this jacket she has many other pieces on the blog such as superb coifs. Makes me really wish that I did Elizabethan re-enactment but then I have enough trouble keeping up with making the simpler costumes for our period!
This is what I love about the Internet. I know there are all those debates about whether it is a good thing or not but having access to all these blogs with all this embroidery, knitting and general wonderful stuff on can only be a good thing! It certainly makes me very happy :-).
 

One of my personal  heroines  (if you can have one who has been dead for just over 400 years) is Bess of Hardwick. Regular readers of this blog will know that I have been to her house, Hardwick Hall, many times to look at the embroidery there and have two fabulous books about the embroidery collection. My lovely children bought me another biography of her life for Xmas .

I admire Bess not only for her embroidery but also for being a powerful and successful woman in the Elizabethan era when that was not easy. I have just been watching the Tudors second series on DVD and it really brings it home to you how little say in their lives most women had.

So I was really pleased a couple of weeks ago to be able to visit Bess’s tomb , which is in Derby Cathedral. It was very special for me to be able to go and pay my respects to such a wonderful embroiderer.

The pictures below are of her tomb with close ups of the crown and dress.

The tomb in Derby Cathedral

The tomb in Derby Cathedral

The top of the effigy

The top of the effigy

Bess at prayer

Bess at prayer

Detail of head and crown

Detail of head and crown

Detail of front of dress

Detail of front of dress

For an overview of Bess’s life click here and the Hall itself is well worth a visit – there is a a link to the National Trust page giving details about opening times etc in the first part of this post.

I will leave you with a few pictures of the embroidery you can see on a visit to the hall – just a few of many wonderful things!

A bed canopy at Hardwick

A bed canopy at Hardwick

A stool cover showing a flower motif

A stool cover showing a flower motif

One of the marvellous heraldic pieces

One of the marvelous heraldic pieces

Yes I know it is a little bit late but had a house full of people when we got back and then have been laid up with the dreaded chest infection so have not had time to post since we returned from sunny Spain.

We had lovely time – it was mostly very warm and sunny and we had a couple of visits to the beach and a few bike rides. Also did Karaoke with my cousin Joanne which we really enjoyed – Ellie and I did a couple of  rockin’ Meatloaf duets!

Have got a couple of pics of the seaside bit -

Kids and Granny Pat on La Marina beach

Kids and Granny Pat on La Marina beach

The pic below was taken on Xmas day where we had a very nice picnic and Granny Pat and I shared a bottle of Cava to celebrate the festive season.
Us on the beach Xmas Day

Us on the beach Xmas Day

And we paddled of course as is traditional now. I do love Spain , it has a very unique atmosphere and I love visiting as well as being there to see my family. These are a few of the things that I really love about the place.
Ice cream – the Spanish really do ice cream properly, they have loads of fab ice cream parlour cafes where as well as brill coffee you can choose from about 50 flavours – not only does it taste good it is all so prettily presented with each flavour decorated – so much better than the bricks of Walls Neopolitan that we grew up with. This is taken in one of my favourite places on the seafront at Torrevieja where we went on Christmas Eve.
Ice cream!!

Ice cream!!

Tapas – I love little bits and nibbles and what I really like about all the bars are the little sandwich tapas that they have , this one is salmon and cheese with a glass of red -yours for 2 Euros in a little backstreet bar in Bendorm.
Yummy tapas

Yummy tapas

To counteract all that eating and drinking you need some exercise and one of the things I like most to do in Spain is go cycling. This is Jake in one of my favourite places to cycle, the scrubland just about 5 mins ride from my little Spanish house. It is a big off road paradise (much easier on the bones than the Annapurnas!) with the most wonderful views of the mountains and sea.

Jake off road

Jake off road

I also love the weather of course , that pic above was taken on Dec 23rd – look at that sun! Nothing like Yorkshire.

This pic below is the view from my little house the morning after we arrived,  the 22nd Dec – you can’t tell but you can see the sea through the gap in the houses – fab!

View on a sunny December morning

View on a sunny December morning

I also love the fact that the Spanish do Xmas very traditionally – there are lots of lights and all the beautiful large scale nativity scenes – the Belen. This is the church square in Torrevieja.

Torrevieja Church all lit up

Torrevieja Church all lit up

They have a celebration on Christmas Eve called Papa Noel where Santa (0r in Torrevieja a whole train of them!) comes into town and gives the children sweets or presents. Most of the children dress in Santa outfits – this little girl was waiting to see him all dressed up looking very cute.

Girl in her Santa outfit

Girl in her Santa outfit

Sandcastles – I remember building some pretty good stuff as a kid on the beach at Weston Super Mare – boats and cars etc but the Spanish sand artists are amazing – this was one on the beach in Benidorm this Xmas.

Amazing sandcastle

Amazing sandcastle

We came back to the UK on the 30th and spent New Year with my sister, her two kids and cute dog. New Year’s Eve we had my brother Ben and his girlfriend Amanda round and our neighbours.

This is Ellie with Isabelle, our neighbours’ beautiful granddaughter, who was with us for a bit on New Year’s Eve before she got sleepy.

Ellie and Isabelle

Ellie and Isabelle

Do not have any other good pics from New Year’s Eve sadly as old camera does not like taking pics in low light – new camera has been written off by the menders and they have sent vouchers towards a new one so will be sorting that out soon – will try very hard not to get this one wet – but will buy insurance as a precaution!!! However do have a very cute picture of Buffy my sister’s dog who behaved very well on her first visit here.

Buffy

Buffy

Well I hope that you have all had a good festive season and are looking forward to 2009. It has been a very sad year for lots of close friends with lots of heartache and we have had our share of traumas here but I am confident that the future will be so much better.

I am very, very  lucky. I also have the most fabulous kids in the world and fantastic friends and work colleagues who have been so supportive – couldn’t have done it without you guys, thank you all! Wishing you all the best for the coming year.

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