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As promised here are the pictures from Spain. This year we went to see the Easter parade of icons in Elche, a beautiful town just a short distance from my Mum’s that dates back to Roman times. The cathedral here is one of my favourites and I have posted pictures of it before here.
The parade was of two of the life-size icons, Jesus and the Virgin Mary, we joined the Virgin Mary parade at the cathedral and after about 3/4 hour of walking with this icon and the marching bands and people dressed in robes ,plus the beautiful ladies in their smart suits and Spanish headdresses and lace mantillas, we met up with the other parade of the same type but accompanying the Jesus icon.
Once again there was amazing goldwork, both on the flags that were carried but also on Mary’s robes. We have seen this icon before in the museum in the cathedral and her robes and crown are stunning.
The accompanying groups, all dressed in matching satin robes of different colours depending on the group, were giving sweets to the children which seems to be a feature of Spanish parades, most of them I have seen involve sweets given or thrown into the audience which makes them very popular with the kids!
The unique feature of the Easter parade is that they also throw religious pictures, these are small prints usually of the icons and were thrown from the cathedral at the start and from many of the apartments on the route. It was an amazing sight watching all these flutter down on the parade.
We also went to visit some cave houses near the town of Rojales again very near Mum’s – you can see the town from La Marina.
These are old houses that were once lived in but are now used for a range of artists from painting and ceramics to leather work. They were very cute and reminded me very much of the house in The Hobbit book and movie.
There was also a cave bar, a wonderful little place with lots of little rooms and a beer garden with a fab view of the mountains so we stopped and had a red wine with a view.
There was also this house just down the road from the cave houses that the owner has covered in shells and tiles, the place is the most amazing concoction involving bits that looks like a ship’s prow and others that look like castle battlements, all covered in tiny cockle shells and assorted tiles.
This is what I love about Spain, anywhere you go there is something a little bit bizarre but very interesting, it really is my kind of country!
We also went for a couple of walks, this one was at a local nature reserve with a brilliant view of my mountains and lots of birds to look at – and we saw a snake in one of the lakes!
And this is from one of our beach walks – looks just like a really expensive Caribbean holiday doesn’t it?
As always I had a lovely time and am really looking forward to going back in August.
Hope you enjoyed the photos and thanks for visiting.
Have had a brilliant weekend at our biggest event of the year which went ahead thankfully despite some initial uncertainty about whether the site would be ok , a great deal of mud, a very near escape for friends who were on the encampment nearest the river and the sterling efforts of all involved in organising the event. Thank you so much to everyone for what was possibly my best Tewkesbury ever.
I have always wanted to go to one of those festivals where mud is a central feature like Glastonbury and wear festival wellies so this weekend I got my chance. I bought a new pair of wellies on Thurs having only tried one on at the shop and it was not until Friday when we got there that I put both of them on to discover that I had two right feet lol! Had to just go with it as I did not have time to buy any others and managed ok.
Despite some rain most of the weekend was bright and sunny and we had an excellent time. This was my very good friend Kerry’s first time as a water carrier on the battlefield which she loved (despite the very loud cannon!) and it was great to catch up with lots of friends I had not seen since last year.
We went to the Abbey service on Sunday morning which was beautiful, it is a very wonderful place anyway but the service is ‘high church’ with incense and sung gospels, a fab choir and very moving.
Here is me outside the Abbey – I was in peasant dress all this weekend.
The slideshow is of various parts of the Abbey.
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Hope where you are is not affected by floods – will be back later in the week to share some more Tewkesbury with you and to update you on Ellie’s progress at Powis Castle.
Take care and thanks for visiting.
There were some really beautiful things on our recent trip to Italy so I thought I would do a post just about all the pretty textiles.
First of all some lace and stitched household items in a little shop in the very pretty village of Bellagio.Some of this lace comes from Venice, from the island of Burano.
Then we went to the town of Como which had a wonderful market and there was this stall with so many beautiful Swiss textiles, the Italian Lakes are very near the Swiss border and there was all sorts of beautiful table linen and little curtains for hanging at your chalet window.
I spent ages trying to decide what to buy (Jake got very bored at this point!) but ended up getting this beautiful table runner which I will use at Xmas.
I have a number of stitched red and white Xmas ornies with similar themes such as this one below so I thought the runner would look good on the lounge coffee table.
We visited a few (!) churches during the week and since it was Easter there were some icons on display including this one from a church in Mennagio with some gorgeous goldwork.
We also bought some lovely pasta, polenta and spices from a little deli in the same village – on the walls there were these large-scale kitchen cross stitch motifs which were beautifully framed.
Apologies that the picture is not very good, the light and the glare made it difficult to take nice pics but there were about 10 of these collections in the shop which must have taken such a long time.
On our day trip to Milan I came across a fab shop full of cross stitch and embroidery supplies and bought 3 sets of embroidery transfers, there are lots of different designs here including about 20 alphabets and very good value at only 3 euros per pack.
And from a little gift shop in Como not textiles but this cute display of table napkins which are another little addiction of mine, I was very good and didn’t buy any (have a few in stock already) but aren’t they so cute!
I do hope you are having a lovely weekend. I was supposed to be at a re-enactment event this weekend but have got a poorly back again so instead I am having a very nice relaxing weekend stitching and knitting and watching DVDs. Very blissful and the weather is sunny which is so nice to see after all our torrential rain.
I am currently working on the large cross stitch of the Chinese Emperor but am going to start another Spring ornie for me in the meantime as that is a long haul project and I want a quick finish inbetween.
Thanks for visiting and do have a very good week ahead.
As might have been expected I found some lovely things in China! I thought I would put these in a post rather than with the other pics I have been working on for a separate page so that they will appear in the tags at the side.
China is of course famous for silk and while in Guangzhou (which was formerly known as Canton) I went to the old 19th century area for a visit and found this beautiful piece of embroidery on silk in an antique shop there. There were many pieces to choose from but I bought the lion as that is a very traditional Chinese symbol. I love the bright colours and the detailed stitching. There were so many lovely things in the shop (that I could not afford) like caps and gowns and stitched shoes.
I also came across some lovely cross stitch kits – these were being sold by a street vendor on one of the bridges near the hotel I stayed at in Guangzhou and worked out at about £1 per kit so were a real bargain. I have just started stitching the Emperor one to remind me of the dressing up with Mo that I posted about last time.
The first group of people I worked with in the city of Shantou gave me a gift to say thanks at the end of the week which was very kind of them. I was thrilled when they gave me this beautiful set of local lace.There are about 12 of these in the set they gave me. They told me that lace making was brought to the area by missionaries in the 19th century so they thought the present was appropriate as it was a blend of West and East which was so lovely. They didn’t even realise when they chose this gift what a textile addict I am so it was perfect!
I was lucky enough to be taken out on a brilliant day’s tour of cultural sites when I was in Shantou. I spent most of my time in China teaching but had 3 rest days while I was there and the school I was working at took me to a historic house nearby where they had museum displays. This is part of a wedding carriage and is appliqued embroidery on silk.
Puppet theatre has a long tradition in Chinese culture and in the same museum there was a puppet theatre display with beautiful goldwork side panels.
I am still working on the rest of the pics to choose some for my page – I took so many so am spending a lot of time editing them and hope to post that at the weekend.
Thank you for visting and see you all soon.
I hope that you are all having a nice week. I have been taking some pictures at our recent re-enactment events and thought I would share them with you today. The last two events have been a little wet in places (lovely British weather!) but we have had a good time despite the rain.
We were at Ashby de La Zouche Castle in Leicestershire at the end of May – the castle ruins are really imposing and I took these shots on the Saturday evening when all the public had gone home, the first ones are of the tower and the latter ones what is left of the chapel, I love the ironwork on these pics. In the middle is Lord Percy’s tent with its pennants flying in the evening breeze.
We spent last weekend at Tatton Park in Cheshire at an event, the person who plays the king at other events was there. I have previously posted pictures of his goldwork surcoat and heraldry and was able to take some pictures of the goldwork banners outside his tent on the way to the beer tent on Saturday night – isn’t this wonderful work!
I have previously posted pics of Lord and Lady Bardolph from our group in all their finery but this weekend they were going on to the field as archers so here they are looking very stylish in their padded jacks and helms!
Lord Bardolph’s jack is the one he wears under his armour which excuses its rather mucky state and both jacks are fine examples of quilting as a utilitarian craft – all the combatants wear some form of quilted armour on body, legs of head when fighting, either under armour or on its own.
Lastly a pic of what keeps us warm when it is wet and windy in a field , one of my favourite bits of re-enactment, the fire we sit round at night. I love watching the way the logs burn, it really is magic!
I will return at the weekend with crafting pics, both myself and Ellie have been busy so will catch up with you all then.
Thanks for visiting and have a nice week.
On one of my recent travels round the internet I was following a link from Constance’s lovely ‘Born in the Wrong Age’ blog (do go and visit she is an re-enactor in Australia who does fab needlework) and found this wonderful site full of members’ needlework projects from the West Kingdom of the Society of Creative Anachronism. The society operates worldwide though they seem to be most active in the US and their members produce the most wonderful examples of historical needlework.
To whet your appetite I hope they don’t mine but I have borrowed a few pics to show you the standard of work which is amazing. There are loads more on the site as well as lots of really good info and articles (click on the Articles link on the right hand menu on their site ) so do go and have a look.
All very,very talented ladies I’m sure you will agree.
I am having a quiet week at home doing lots of marking and listening to the rain! We are off this weekend to the wonderful Berkeley Castle where we have this as our view.
If you are near South Glos do come and visit – this link gives you details of the event. That is my lovely friend Keith in the pic on the top right of the web site, he only looks like that on the battlefield (or if someone pinches his mead round the campfire!)
Even if you are not coming pray for fine weather for us please – last year this was our wettest pitch and even though we don’t mind a bit of damp as we are hardy campers it puts off the paying public and that is a real shame for us and all the people who give up all their time and effort to organise these events. As I have mentioned before most of the events rely on unpaid volunteers for the organising and the hard work of providing facilities and without paying visitors they will not happen (someone has to pay for the portaloos!) . So here’s hoping for very good weather this year!
After that event we are off for a week camping in the Forest of Dean with my sister Jacky (did I mention that I love camping!) and then it is straight on to Ashby de La Zouche castle in Leicestershire for another weekend of camping (I love, love, love camping!!!) where our group are doing another show.
So the blog will be very quiet for a bit while I paddle in mud (no hopefully bask in the sun!) in a field somewhere and enjoy some lovely campfires and BBQs ( I also love BBQs!).
Thanks very much for visiting – see you all soon!
Well here I am listening to the Yorkshire rain (again) ready to post pics of our gloriously hot weekend at the Battle of Tewkesbury event. I am starting to think I only come home to get wet (and wonder at the speed the hedge is growing while I am away – must cut that this weekend!)
We had a fantastic weekend – one of the very best Tewkesbury events ever – very well organised (thanks to all the hard work of the crew), lovely weather – was very hot Sat morning for our trip round the market but did cool down for both battles. However our water giving services were much appreciated.Great fun both round the camp fire and in the beer tent – altogether fab!
As promised here are some pics from the market – we have medieval markets at most events but as Tewkesbury is the biggest event it also has the biggest and best market where you can purchase anything you want for your medieval lifestyle. There are lots of clothes sellers, fabric sellers (I was very good and didn’t get tempted!), armour, weapons etc but also some amazing craftspeople selling their wares.
You can buy buckets…
Mugs and jugs a plenty..
Beautiful glasses (not got any of these yet – not very safe taking these on the train!)
And of course lovely food and drink – this German wine and spirit seller was new this year – I passed on the 80% proof chilli vodka but did try the bilberry wine in the long-necked bottles here – very nice!
Normally I don’t get many pics of me on the battlefield but was looking on Facebook when I got back and was very excited to find a few of me. Here I am in the thick of the battle in my usual blue dress.Pictures taken by Helen Harris Beaumont.
I spotted this lovely pic of the King in his heraldic surcoat (look at the goldwork on that!)…
And was very excited to find the next pic has me and Ellie in the background!
It really is so wonderfully atmospheric with all the different colours of the heraldry and flags flying – especially at the end on Sunday where we all knelt on the battlefield before the King – brings a lump to your throat!
At the end of the battle the King fights the young Prince of Wales who is trying to take his throne…
…. and of course he wins – Hurrah for the House of York!
We stayed with my sister for a couple of days after the event and helped Ellen move into her new student house. I bought her some BBQ stuff as a house-warming pressie so she has promised to send me a pic of them in their lovely garden – hoping they are having better weather than we are!
Undaunted I have today refilled the freezer with Tesco’s finest BBQ wares so hopefully at some point this weekend – after the hedges have been cut – we will be out again enjoying the sunshine.
Hope you are having better weather – thanks for visiting.
I have just got back from the very first re-enactment event of the season hence the post title. We were at the very beautiful Bolsover Castle in Derbyshire for our St George’s Day show. I was only able to make the event from last night due to having to teach yesterday but at least I got my first fix of canvas and woodsmoke for the year!
We had a very lovely time – last night it was great fun sitting round the camp fire and catching up with everyone and today was very lovely and sunny with lots of very interested people visiting us and I got to tell them all about the headdresses and embroidery. The weather was really good up until 10 mins before the end when the heavens opened and we all got soaked! However we managed to finish the show.
I have a couple of pics from the event to share with you. In Jan this year we had an embroidery day here for the girls from the group and Kerry started a goldwork flower – well this her completed piece which is really brilliant – especially as it is her first ever goldwork.
Also took some more costume pics – the first two are of Lady Anne (aka Leanne) who normally dresses as a peasant but was dressed as a lady for most of this weekend in this gorgeous dress.
I had a busy week finishing all of the new costume as well as a very hectic work schedule but finally got everything done at 10.30 pm on Fri. As well as Jake’s clothes I am also making a few things for some of the guys in the group. This week I made a coif for Lord Bardolph (aka Paul).
Here is the original coif that I cut round to use as a pattern.
I then cut a number out and ended up handsewing this one due to the temperamental machine.
Have come back with an order for some brais for some of the other men in the group so will be cutting those out soon. Our next event is next weekend in South Wales at Cosmeston Medieval Village which I am really looking forward to as it such an amazing place.
We are planning a trip to Barry Island (to pay homage to the wonderful sitcom Gavin and Stacy) while we are there we will go to the funfair and have fish and chips and a paddle of course!
I will try and post again during the week as I have made good progress on the lacy purple scarf – just need to take some pics of the progress.
Hope you have all had a nice weekend and have a great week ahead.
Thanks for visiting.
Wonderful daughter Ellie’s birthday pressie to me this year was a trip out of my choice. I chose to go to York to visit the Minster and we were also hoping to go to the Quilt Museum as well but sadly it was closed so I will have to go back another time to do that.
We had a fab day out – it was great weather and we had a really nice train ride and lovely lunch in a little old pub and a good wander round the lovely shops in York after we went to the Minster – they have a Cath Kidston shop which was full of such cute things!
The Minster was amazing as I had expected with the usual abundance of embroidery! This piece was one of the first we saw – one of the finest and most detailed pieces I have ever seen.
There was no info with it but it depicts the Minster on the bottom right and two figures one of whom is being given a key detailed below.
At the back of one of the chapels was this more modern piece composed of a series of goldwork crowns – I couldn’t get any nearer to take close ups but it is really stunning.
The Minster Broderer’s Guild had done a series of panels based on animals found in the church – this is a detail of one of the many Lamb of God pictures to be found there.
The pic below shows some 13th century chests used for storing priests’ copes – note how they are shaped like the robes so they could be stored with the minimum of folds.
We also spotted this fab fruit basket in one of the gift shops near the Minster which we loved!
Thank you Ellie for such a fab pressie! I had a wonderful day and I am very lucky to have such lovely kids who give me such thoughtful pressies all the time.
We are away this weekend in South Wales for the last show of the season at Caldicot Castle – please keep your fingers crossed for good weather for us last year this event got cancelled at the very last minute due to the site being flooded which was not good news for anyone!
Term starts on Monday with a new group of students to welcome to the wonderful world of teaching and then Ellie is off to University next Friday!
She has had all her joining info re the course and the modules she will be doing and yesterday got details of all of the entertainment planned for the first week of term so is busy working out her new social calendar. We will be going down with her on Friday so I will post next week when I can as it is likely to be a very busy one!
As you know on my travels I like to look for textile arts of all forms and the recent trip to Berkeley Castle for the re-enactment event was no exception and there were some excellent examples there.
We arrrived on Thursday for a very, very wet pitch – soaked to the skin by the time we got the tent up but we dried off and had a lovely if a little damp weekend as it also rained heavily on Sun as we were packing up. It is a fantastic castle which has been in the same family for over 900 years and we were lucky enough to be camped in the meadows with this view.
It is always a real shame when wet weather happens as the organisers of the events (in this case the lovely Plantagenet Events people) put such an effort into doing this and without paying members of the public turning up they will not happen. I know that it is not the same coming to an event when the weather is not good but can I make a plea to all you out there to not let a bit of rain put you off coming to something – you will still have a great time .
We pull out all the stops to make sure that things go ahead as planned and things will only be cancelled as a last resort if it is really unsafe to go ahead.The people that run these events do not do it to make a vast profit and a couple of bad events can bankrupt them, they do it for the love of keeping our history alive. As participants we do it all for free, we receive no expenses at all for the bigger events and fund all our own costumes, travel and kit (hence the need for the day job!). So please come along – you may be a bit damp but you’ll still have a good time and if you stay indoors every time it rains in England you’d never get out!
We had intended to go round the castle on Fri but it was shut so instead went to the Edward Jenner museum which is located in Berkeley Village right next to the castle in the doctor’s old house. It was a very interesting museum indeed – I knew the story of how he experimented with inoculation having learnt it at school but there were lots of original exhibits relating to his life and family including these two touching examples of stitching.
This is what I love about stitching – it is everywhere from the most ordinary places to the biggest palaces and it still absolutely fascinating me that so much work has been done by so many people that we will never know anything about. I would love to know more about the people (women?) who made these items but sadly nothing is usually recorded.
We then visited the 13th century St Mary’s Church which is between Edward Jenner’s house and the castle. There was some lovely goldwork on the altar frontal and banner.
There was also a very lovely effigy on the tomb of Thomas 8th Lord of Berkeley and his Lady Katherine dated 1361.
Ellie and I were admiring the headress and discussing what type it was ( a nebule or goffered headdress ) and I remarked that my friend Kat had made one similar which was on her web site. When we came out of the church who should we bump into but Kat, Richard and Isabella who had come to look at the same effigy before going to the event!
We had a very good tour round the castle itself on Saturday – the grounds were really lovely and I took lots of flower pics which I intend to use as the basis for some embroidery projects later on.
Sadly you couldn’t take any photos inside the castle as there was the most amazing embroidered bedspread and pillow slips made for Elizabeth 1st on display. Couldn’t find any pics of it on the web either so you will just have to go and see for yourself!
We have just come back from another event at Ashby de la Zouche Castle – a mixed weekend in terms of weather with rain all day on Sat (big thanks to the 120 people who came to see us in that!) and glorious sunshine all day Sunday so we got to pack the tents away dry!
I will leave you with a lovely picture from Tewkesbury this year with yet more embroidery and lots of shiny armour. This is us on the battlefield under the very fine goldwork banner of the Duke of Gloucester (aka Rob).
You can just see my head and hand on the right of the pic giving water to Dave . This pic was taken by someone called fac man who has a Flickr site with more pics if you want to see more of the event and the armour!