You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘textiles’ category.

Well the trip to Florence with my lovely mother was fantastic!

I think this has to be my favourite city so far – the churches and palaces full of frescos and medieval art, the Uffizi Gallery with even more medieval art, the beautiful buildings and views over the Tuscan hills and the gorgeous food.

View from the Ponte Vecchio looking at the Arno River.

View from bridge

Some of the 80 ice cream flavours to choose from in the shop near our hotel.

Ice cream

I loved the display at this shop in one of the side streets, We came back with pasta, herbs and oils, yum, yum!

Fruit and veg

And there are also lovely shops if you are into that, personally I am not going to pay 10 times the price I can here for a pair of designer sandals but we did a little window shopping and marvelled at what some of the so-called fashions were priced at.

We stayed at the Albergo Firenze, another one of my fantastic finds from Expedia. Although it was rated only 2 star it was a gorgeous room, really good value for money and the location is excellent – 5 mins walk either way from the Palazzo Vecchio and the cathedral so exactly where you want to be.

Hotel

I have put a tiny selection of pics here and included many more in the slideshow below if you are interested.

Angel mosaics in the Baptistry.

Baptistry 8

Detail from one of the Madonnas in the Palazzo Vecchio.

Palazzo Madonna 2

Detail from one of the Annunciation frescos in the Santa Maria Novella church.

SMN angel detail

One of the chapel paintings from the same church.

SMN chapel with polyptych

We also saw some beautiful silver and goldwork, this was an altar piece frontal in the museum of the Santa Lorenzo church dating from the late 1700s.

Goldwork at St Lorenzo

Goldwork 2

Goldwork 3

Goldwork 4

Goldwork 5

I also loved this ceiling painting from the Plazzo Vecchio with its depiction of women spinning, weaving and sewing.

Palazzo ceiling crafts

Palazzo ceiling crafts 2

I had seen some of the fresco paintings from the churches before as many are in medieval costume books – look at these two beautiful gowns from frescos in the Santa Croche church.

SC Fresco - gown detail

SC Fresco - gown detail 2

Click to play this Smilebox scrapbook
Create your own scrapbook - Powered by Smilebox
Create your own free scrapbook

I have come back with loads of prints and a new icon with one of my favourite Madonnas by Filippo Lippi so have put up some new art in my bedroom to remind me of the trip!

Thanks for visiting and see you soon.

My lovely daughter Ellie has just sent me some further photos from Hardwick which I wanted to share with you.

The first two are of a painting of Arabella (or Arbella), Bess of Hardwick’s granddaughter, which hangs in the long gallery. This is a beautiful portrait and the detail on the sleeve is amazing.

Hardwick - Arabella 1

Hardwick - Arabella 2

This one is a ‘slip’ a tent stitched piece which has been appliqued onto a velvet background. This comes from the ‘Mary Queen of Scots bed’ although Mary never stayed at Hardwick but she may have slept in this bed as Bess’s fourth husband George Talbot the Earl of Shrewsbury was Mary’s jailor for a long time and Bess and Mary did spend time together sewing.

Hardwick MQoS Bed

The last three are of the volunteers at Hardwick on one of their recent costume days. Aren’t they wonderful. Ellie and I would love to do Tudor re-enactment, the costumes are so fantastic and it would mean I could wear some of my blackwork! We shall see what I have have time to do next year.

Hardwick - Costumes

Hardwick - Costume 2

Hardwick - Costume 3

Hope you have enjoyed these, thanks for visiting.

We have had a very, very lovely day today – not only going to Hardwick Hall for the day but because my lovely daughter Ellie works there had a brilliant ‘behind the scenes’ experience which was amazing.

Here is the Hall in the lovely sunlight – as a contemporary of Bess’s wrote when it was built – ‘more glass than wall’.

Hardwick - hall front

Hardwick - garden

Here are some pictures of what the public gets to see.

The beautiful velvet heraldic embroidery created by Bess of Hardwick herself,  the blue silk bed hangings, the Great Hall with its bed canopy.

Hardwick - Bess velvet 1

Hardwick - Bess velvet 2

Hardwick - Blue silk bed

Hardwick - great hall

But we also got to go up on the roof! This is the top of the hall and the view from one of the small banqueting rooms that are in the towers.

Hardwick - Roof

Hardwick - Roof view

The best bit for me was going into the textile store rooms in the attic.Here are all the boxes with little pictures of the contents.

Hardwick - Textile store boxes

And here is Ellie opening one of the boxes for us.This contained a beautiful velvet hanging of flowers.

Hardwick - Ellie box

Hardwick - Flower velvet 1

Hardwick - Flower velvet 2

Another box had some more of the most wonderful of Bess’s heraldic pieces, here I am close up to this piece – no glass at all, heaven!!

Hardwick - Box velvet 1

Hardwick - Box velvet 2jpg

Hardwick - Box velvet 3

I feel very, very priviliged to have been able to do this – thank you Ellie!

And we were able to see the Gideon tapestries that have been away for conservation that she has been helping rehang – go and visit her blog for more details of this. The pictures below show the before and after effects of the cleaning.

Hardwick - Gideon 2

Hardwick - Gideon 1

A brilliant day – I loved it!

Take care all of you and thanks for visiting.

I am off to Florence on Sunday with my Mum so there may be some pictures of medieval art and churches when I get back – you never know!

Hello everyone

Well the snow has almost gone here in Yorkshire apart from bits on the hills, we have Spring flowers appearing and have had a couple of warm days recently so we are all feeling very happy!

One of my favourite parts of the China Nationalities Museum that I visited while in Beijing was the exhibition of needlework, this sign outside perfectly captures how I, (and it would seem the museum organisers), feel about stitching!

China Nationalities Museum Sign

There were themed displays of footwear (including the very sad lotus feet shoes for bound feet), bags, headwear and gifts – these little embroidered tokens of love and affection are called henbao.

China Nationalities Museum Henbao

China Nationalities Museum Boots

China Nationalities Museum Lotus feet shoes

I was interested to see cross stitch and patchwork in the bags as well as the more traditional Chinese silk embroidery.

China Nationalities Museum Cross Stitch bag

China Nationalities Museum Cross Stitch bag 2

China Nationalities Museum Cross Stitch bag 3

China Nationalities Museum Patchwork bag

There was also a section devoted to needlework tools – anyone remember these pincushions at the top of the photo?

My Nana had one when I was little (as well as the tomato one with the strawberry emery attached).

China Nationalities Museum Pincushion

In another part of the museum there were some displays of traditional Miao people costume, with beautiful silver headdresses and embroidered robes.

Each strand of the skirt is a separate piece joined with silver beads.

China Nationalities Museum Miao

China Nationalities Museum Miao 2

China Nationalities Museum Miao 3

China Nationalities Museum Miao 4

I have had a busy week craft wise, have finished and posted my Spring ornament for the Seasonal Exchange, part made two bags out of recycled denim and pillowcases and been to two knitting groups (though more drinking coffee and wine was done than actual knitting – as usual!)

And next week the season starts again! They joy of seeing all my re-enactment friends and camping and campfires and BBQs - I shall be so happy :-)

I must get around to putting up the events page for this year but next weekend we are at Bolsover Castle in Derbyshire - on Sat and Sun celebrating the victory of St George over the evil Dragon Knight! Please come and join us if you can.

Take care and thank you for visiting.

Hello everyone, I am very glad to be home from China, not that I didn’t have a lovely time, as always I was very well looked after and enjoyed myself, both doing the work bit and the few days I had after the teaching to visit some of Beijing’s famous places.

But I did miss my lovely hills and was really looking forward to coming home so I could go walking this weekend.

However it was snowing when I left China and I brought it back with me as we have had the most enormous snowfall over the last two days – it is up to my knees in my garden and we have been making the most of it.

Ellie and Jake have been here all weekend (Jake is home for Easter) and today Kerry , my brother Ben and his partner Amanda came over and we went sledging. We had great fun then came back for warm drinks and birthday cake (Ellie will be 22 next weekend so we celebrated early).

I went to see some lovely things while in Beijing, the Forbidden Palace and the Summer Palace and a temple as well as Tianamen Square and the National Museum.

One of my favourite visits was to the China Museum of Nationalities which is very similar to other open air museums we have visited in the past, such as St Fagan’s near Cardiff that we went to at Christmas.

The museum is a collection of buildings that have been brought from all parts of China to represent all the 56 different ethnic groups that make up the Chinese population along with exhibitions of costume, crafts etc and costumed interpreters who perform dances, music etc from all the different groups.

There was loads of lovely embroidery and I just want to show you a little bit of this. These were in the Tibetan area and they are all part of the decorations that are used on hair braid embellishments that the women wear.

You can see the way they wear them in the first pic and below are just some of the beautiful work along with an amazing embroidered hanging.Really wish I had more luggage space as I could have brought some much more home with me!

China Nationalities Museum Braids

China Nationalities Museum Braids 2

China Nationalities Museum Braids 3

China Nationalities Museum Braids 4

China Nationalities Museum Embroidery

The museum is very near the Olympic park and other business areas and this picture shows the contrast between China old and new.The pagoda is part of the museum and the unusually shaped modern tower is the IBM tower.

China Nationalities Museum Old and New

I am off to Spain tomorrow to spend a lovely long time with my Mum – it is currently 21 degrees there so will be a little bit of change from the Arctic conditions here!

Take care and will be back with more China pics on my return. Thanks for visiting.

Hello there

Just one last quick post before I go – I have been given permission by Ellie, my lovely daughter, to finally tell you her good news.

She went for an interview a couple of weeks ago and has got a new job!

She has been working as an intern as a Conservation Assistant at Powis Castle for the National Trust but she now has  a paid job as a Conservation Assistant at none other than Hardwick Hall in Derbyshire!

This is one of my all time favourite places and is the reason why I will always be a member of the National Trust.

I posted about Bess of Hardwick a few years ago and you can read that post here.

The collection of Elizabethan era textiles and paintings here is fantastic and she is very, very excited as you can imagine. She starts in a couple of weeks.

Just look at this place – Powis was wonderful to work at but this is so amazing.

Hardwick Hall

We are very, very proud of her!

Well I have finally got my stall at Standedge Loft Space  and my membership as a designer maker. Am very pleased as I have wanted to sell things for a while and also it is a great way of supporting a local craft centre. My little stall looks very cute and I have got some nice feedback already.

Standedge craft stall

Standedge loft

Standedge membership

Standedge stall

It is a lovely space and I am looking forward to being able to spend more time there, especially over the summer.

There was a craft market this weekend and I bought this lovely fabric from my new friend Helen from my local knitting group. I am making a quilt for a friend’s baby and have used some of this fabric to add to my stash for that.

Material goods fabric

She and her friend Lucy run a fabric store called Material Goods in the next village – here is their card and link to their online store.

Material goods card

I have also been out for  a few walks over the weekend – there is still a bit of snow up on the hills and lots of sheep!

Feb snowy walks

Feb walk reservoir

Feb walk sheep

Feb walk snow path

I got my Winter Exchange this week from Kathy - isn’t it lovely – as soon as my partner has got hers I can post the stitching that I have done.

Winter Exchange Biscornu

I am planning lots of lovely walks this week as I am on holiday! There will be lots of crafting too and some nice nights out catching up with friends. Ellie has been here for all of last week and Jake is here this week so I am being very social!

Thanks very much for visiting.

Hello everyone

Hope you are all ok, I have had a very busy week and am so looking forward to Thurs as that is the start of some time off work!!!

Am very excited and have lots of big plans for the week. I will be doing a little bit of decorating, lots of walking (hopefully, subject to the weather) and lots of crafting.

And then it is only one more week after that until I go to China again – how time flies, my mouth is already watering at the thought of all that lovely,lovely food!

Not much to show you this week on the crafting front due to working until stupid o’clock most evenings this week.

I did make these phone cases this week, I have so many ideas for things to make just can’t wait for my crafting week!

Phone cover 4

Phone cover 5

Decided to do a little stitch for me as well as so much of my output leaves the house and this lovely heart design will go very nicely in my kitchen. It is a very nice easy stitch so good for when I am tired and falling asleep in front of the TV!

The pattern comes from the Just Cross Stitch magazine Jan/Feb 2013 Issue and is called Heart Swirls. This is my new subscription mag for this year.

Heart cross stitch 1

Heart cross stitch 2

Have fun whatever you are doing and see you soon. Thanks for visiting.

Hello there

Hope you are all well and happy, thank you for your lovely comments on my new things.

I have been busy this weekend adding to the stock as I have made a couple of new items, these are phone covers. The top one I am going to keep as I made a bit of an error with the lining ;-(

Phone cover 3

Phone cover 2

Phone cover 1

The crochet on that one is from a large piece which contains about 30 of these flower motifs – I used some of a similar design and different colour last year to make a handbag which I blogged about here. So I have plenty more to make other items.

The other phone case used one of  the smaller motifs from the tablecloth that I have used for the hearts and the Kindle cover I made. I think I have got about 6 items out of that tablecloth already and still have loads of motifs left.

I acquired a new tablecloth this weekend, this one is cross stitched so I am looking forward to making some bigger items from that – I am thinking maybe toilet bags.

Cross stitch table cloth Feb 1

Cross stitch table cloth Feb 2

I am feeling very well at the moment – touch wood my dodgy back is behaving itself and I went on a really lovely strenuous walk yesterday literally to the top of my little world. It was a glorious day, very blustery and still icy as you can see from the foliage pictures below.

Binn Moor walk 1

Binn Moor walk 2

Binn Moor walk 3

Binn Moor walk 4

Binn Moor walk 5

It was wonderful to be up so high looking down on the reservoirs.My house is just at the bottom right of this view.

I have just finished a stitch for the Winter Exchange - more will be revealed when it has reached its destination and nearly finished another version of the variegated wool hat. Have so many lovely projects I would like to do next don’t know where to start :-)

Right am off and now for a wander and when I come back more crafting – what a lovely life!

Thanks for visiting.

Hello everyone

Hope you didn’t suffer too much disruption because of snow last week, here in the UK we had a massive snowfall and there was the usual chaos and complaints about how badly we manage snow!

I got into work ok (the joys of being a non car driver) but this was the front of the house last Monday!

Snow in garden

I have been working on my lastest range of upcycled things for my craft stall at Standedge. These are the full set of hearts – I found this very cute cake stand in Cardiff over Xmas and thought it would be perfect for displaying my stock.

Hearts on stand

I have been making Kindle / e-book covers out of the charity fabric and vintage embroidery and some old clothing.

I am really pleased with the way that they have turned out, especially with my machine applique. I did want to get better  at machine work and am pleased that I have managed to be neat in the stitching round the hearts.

Kindle covers

Kindle covers 2

Kindle covers 3

Kindle covers 4

Kindle covers 5

Kindle covers 6

Kindle covers 7

This coming weekend I will be working on some phone covers.

My lovely friend Kerry came to stay this weekend – we had a very nice trip to Oakwell Hall  where there was still very deep snow on Saturday but heavy rainfall overnight meant that our walk on Sunday along the valley was full of flooded rivers and rushing water under bridges.

It was amazing to see especially compared to the last time I went there a couple of months ago which you can see in this post.

The second photo on that previous post was taken at the same spot as this one below.

We had a lovely time and are looking forward to doing the same walk when it is drier and we can cross the streams to get further up the valley.

Snow melt

Snow melt 2

Snow melt 3

Snow melt 4

Snow melt 5

Hope that you are not suffering too much from the weather, take care and thanks for visiting.

July 2014
M T W T F S S
« Jun    
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031  

Blog Stats

  • 201,402 hits
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 98 other followers