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I hope that you have been having a lovely and happy week in this run up to the festive season. This has been my last week of teaching for the year so we have had some Christmas dos and I have now finished teaching for the next few weeks
I have been spending this weekend with my lovely friend Kerry, we had a very nice relaxing night in last night having a few glasses of wine and a catch up and today visited a Tudor house, Haddon Hall near Bakewell, that we have had on our wish list for while.
It was absolutely beautiful, not only was it a gorgeous day but the house itself was so lovely, a wonderful place with a great hall and plastered long gallery as well as a wonderful chapel with original wall paintings and the kitchens had been restored and really well interpreted.
Since Ellie started working for the National Trust I have paid even more attention to how things are displayed and labelled in the historic places I visit, listening to her has made me think more about all these issues about the visitor experience.
I think Haddon Hall have done a wonderful job, especially of the Christmas decorations – we loved them, see what you think in these pictures.
As well as all the Tudor things the drawing room had a lovely old hexagon quilt which I think dated from the 1920s.
Have not done a huge amount on the crafting front this week due to all the festive dos, had a lovely meal out with my Marsden Knitting group this week where we all exchanged hand-made ornies - need to take a good pic of the lovely ornie I got on my tree.
Still working on the knitted hat and on an Xmas gift for a family member. I finished another gift this week but can’t reveal that till after Xmas.
I am spending this week working from home then we go to Powis Castle for Xmas – am very excited and am hoping for snow! Jake has just arrived home for the holidays so we both have a few more dos this week then we shall be off!
Will post next weekend to wish you all a Merry Christmas – till then thanks for visiting.
As regular readers know my lovely daughter Ellie has just started a year-long internship with the National Trust at Powis Castle in Wales. She was asked by her boss to write a blog of her adventures this year and I have been meaning to post a link to it for a while.
I have just been reading through her recent posts and I know I am biased being her Mum but it is really good, full of loads of details about her work with such beautiful pics of all the objects.
The blog is called A View from my Attic - do please go and visit and leave a comment, as you know when starting a new blog it is lovely to make friends!
To tempt you here are a few pics of her walk to work that she sent me recently – she has inherited my love for photography and these are beautiful pics.Can I just say again how really proud I am of her. She worked so hard at Uni and it is so lovely to read about all the exciting things she is doing.
Ellie’s attic bedroom is one of these windows.
The castle in the background – I can’t wait to go and visit!
This is my favourite picture – what a beautiful gate!
I have had to buy a new camera this week, unfortunately the old one could not be mended and I can’t live without one! Will be testing it out this weekend, not going anywhere sadly but will take some garden pics as the clematis is looking very lovely!
Take care and thanks for visiting.
As well as the lovely battles there is also the market at Tewkesbury which is always the biggest and best re-enactors’ market of the season. My lovely friend Kerry bought me this new bag as a birthday present.It will hang from my belt.
It is from Phil Fraser’s stall - Phil also sells pewter badges and I bought some with my initials on.
I also treated myself to some more pilgrim badges from Lionheart Replicas - these are the Virgin and Child and St Albans badges.
The thing I love about buying things for re-enactment is that you almost always know who has actually made what you have bought. Some things are imported but most of the time you know the person that has made your boots, your sword and your drinking mug etc. In today’s mass market economy that is very special.
Thanks for visiting – see you soon.
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.
As promised here are some pics from our weekend away. This was a new show for us as it was the first time that the event had been staged and we had an excellent time. We did some activities for kids – knight’s training and joust and a short tournament. It was my first event with our new group Swords of Mercia and it went very well.
Here is a slideshow of some of the best bits.Thanks for visiting and see you soon.
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Well the very busy week at work did not go as planned as I have had an ear infection, not good for workload but this meant that there has much stitching been done and catching up on missed TV. One of the things I have been watching this week is a BBC series called Illuminations – The Private Lives of Medieval Kings which has had me drooling over the art.
You may remember that a while ago I shared with you my latest purchase from my very talented friend Pat of Buckles Medieval Art and I promised to take some more pics if I could. Today we have had really lovely sunshine (which is very good as there was snow last night!) so I have been able to take some nice pics of my other bits of her art.
My first piece from Pat is a triptych – a three section religious painting, in this case of St Andrew and his fisherman.
I also have this beautiful painting hanging above my bed of Archangel Michael. She has painted one of my favourite castles Castle Coch in South Wales in the background. Castle Coch was rebuilt in the 19th century by the Marquis of Bute (who also at one point owned Cardiff Castle) and both buildings have some wonderful recreations of medieval decoration.Well worth a visit if you are in the area.
I also have a facsimile of a medieval bible from the 15th century which I bought as a real bargain some time ago from the Museum Selection (one of my fave catalogues) , here is a peek at one of the wonderful page decorations.
This is one of my favorite books – again another real bargain from Waterstones one day when I was in Leeds. It is available cheaply on Amazon as well at the moment at only £13 which is really good as it is huge book.
It has copies of illustrations from so many wonderful manuscripts including one of my all time favourites the Bedford Hours which was featured in the second episode of the Illuminations series.
I love looking at medieval art, as well as being great for research on costume and artefacts I just marvel at the wonderful richness of it all. I have so many ideas for embroidery designs based on all my lovely books and museum and church visits. All I need now is a few more hours each day to get them all down on paper!
Below is a pic of the finished Snow Poem piece, all I need now is a nice silver frame for it. It is very appropriate that I am able to post this today as Google informed me when I logged on that it was the 125th anniversary of the world’s largest snowflake today which was 15 inches across!
Now I am trying to decide on my next piece, maybe another snowflake or I might start one of the Spring Quaker ornies that I mentioned in the last post.
Hope you have all had a lovely week and have a nice week ahead of you. We have Ofsted coming to visit us at work, those of you who work in the education system may well know what that means! Suffice to say that there may be lots of need for stitching for sanity in the next few days!
Take care and see you all soon. Thanks for visiting.
I do hope you are surviving the freezing weather, wind rain and whatever else the heavens are throwing at you – roll on Spring, am bored of cold and wet now!
Way back in the Summer I ordered myself a little gift from my incredibly talented friend Pat Buckle who paints the most wonderful medieval pictures. Pat has recently started painting a new set of pictures depicting medieval trades so I ordered one of me as an embroiderer, in my blue dress. It arrived this week and isn’t it stunning!
It goes really well with the one I already have of me in my nun’s role as it is the same colours, I have them both on my mantlepiece in my bedroom where they look fantastic. I also have a large painting of the Archangel Michael fighting a dragon and a triptych of St Andrew (if we get any good light in the next few months I will try to take pics of these!).
Do go and visit Pat’s website and marvel at her talent, she is a genius and a very lovely lady as well!
I am off to Tatton Hall on Sunday for their Xmas Fair so will take some pretty pics and will see you later. Don’t forget to post on my blogaversary giveaway before then.
Thanks for visiting.
Well here I am back from a lovely 10 days in various fields – the weather was very kind to us (extremely hot at Berkeley thankfully so lots of visitors).
I have read a couple of articles in the newspapers recently about the art of glamping – glamorous camping – and as this is something we strive to do all the time thought I would share my tips with you.
Location of course is very important and we get to camp at all the best historic sites at the UK which makes for some fab picture opportunities – here is one of the tents at beautiful Ashby Castle.
Facilities at our campsites are usually a bit limited (portaloos and ‘glasgow showers’ aka baby wipes) but the sight of the sun setting over some of most gorgeous castles in the world make up for that.
But we do not stint on the other little luxuries in life – in particular a little tipple or two for round the campfire. As I am travelling by train I need to pack light so have found the perfect mini drinks to go.
That only holds about two glasses but is perfect for the train and as back up how about the weekend sized wine box – modelled here by me at our campsite in the Forest of Dean last week.
Of course while sitting round the campfire suitable furniture is need to make sure spillage is avoided and my lovely friend Keith has just made all of the girls in the group some little wine tables. He is a builder and gets lots of wood from various sources to burn and turned up in July with boxes and boxes of little legs – some of which we burnt but others got turned into these – we have asked for footstools next!
When I met up with my sister in the Forest of Dean she showed me a very dinky little travel case that she had been given as a present so we had a little G and T to christen it.
I was catching up on blog reading last night and came across a post by the lovely Hen of Hen House about her recent holiday (July 29th 2010 post) in one of the glamping locations I was going to share with you. She stayed in an Airstream caravan on the Isle of Wight run by a company called Vintage Vacations. Check out these lovely pics!
They look fab if you want to re-enact the 1950s rather than the 1350s as we do and are very reasonable prices – I will store that up as a future holiday idea.
No more trips for a little while now so I will be spending the time gardening and doing various house sorting activities until our next weekend away. In between the lovely Yorkshire rain of course! Brief dry spell now so am off to do some pruning!
Thanks for visiting – see you soon.
I was lucky enough to go for a day to the recent EG conference in Sheffield. My lovely children paid for this as a Mothers’ Day present and I had a wonderful day out listening to talks about embroidery and having a visit to a Sheffield branch of the EG and to the Sheffield Cathedral. Sadly I forgot to take my camera but took a few pics using my phone which Ellie was kind enough to transfer for me.
The first talk was an illustrated lecture by Anthea Godfrey on embroidery as used in haute couture and had the most beautiful images of all sorts of techniques used on the catwalk. She teaches embroidery at the London College of Fashion Arts - I would love to be able to study there but will have to content myself at the moment with my local guild meetings and some day workshops!
After lunch we went to one of the local Sheffield Guilds for a talk by Diane Grant about ecclesiastical embroidery and the work of Beryl Dean. I have read a couple of Beryl’s books before and it was a very good talk illustrated with Beryl’s work throughout her lifetime. Below is an example from the 1950s, this piece is in the V and A museum and features a stylised disciple or maybe Jesus with a fish and net.
The guild members had also put on a small display of their work which was brilliant – one particular member called Marjorie Holford had done some Elizabethan sweetbags which I really liked – she had larger display of those at the main conference hall.
After that we went to Sheffield Cathedral which was treat in itself as I love visiting any church and had a special display of their ecclesiastical textiles which were very lovely. Most of the priest’s robes were quite modern but there were also some older pieces which I really love and I have put some pics of these below.
I must go back with my camera one day and get some shots of the cathedral.
I have been busy stitching a few gifts recently and have a couple of finishes to show. The first one is a blackwork scissor keep that I have been working on for a friend – I am making five of these in total.
The design is a motif from one of my Lesley Wilkins blackwork books.
I have the rest of the scissor keeps to finish but need to get on with sewing up a new nun’s outfit that I have cut out as we have our first re-enactment event this weekend. It is at Bolsover Castle in Derbyshire on Sunday from 10 – 4pm so if you are in the area do come along and say hello. I will be easy to spot being the only nun in the place! I am very excited that the season is starting again – nights under canvas and sitting round a real fire – bliss! Hopefully the weather will be as nice as it has been this past week.
Today we have had a day out with the medieval group to Uncle Roger’s – otherwise known as Roger of Lancaster’s Armourie. Roger is the brilliant guy who makes the swords and armour that our group use and he very kindly offered to host a day for us all to go and ‘fettle with the metal’ and make or mend armour. The lads were very happy to spend the day in his workshop surrounded by so many tools and Bev and I did a bit of embroidery, made cups of tea for everyone and Bev had made a fab chilli for lunch.
Here are some pics of the boys ‘ grand day out!
We all had a lovely day so big thanks to Roger. We always have a lot to do in the off season during the winter in terms of repairing and making new kit for re-enactment so this was a very useful day.