Hello everyone

Hope that you have been enjoying the fantastic weather we have had this week in the UK, I was very glad that the high temperatures we had last week during the working part continued for the fun bit that was Tatton Medieval Festival.

I love this show, it is one of my all time faves for so many reasons, the venue is beautiful and only one hour from home and it is small enough to be friendly and be able to see everyone to say hello but large enough to have a nice market and beer tent and battle – essentials for a good re-enactment weekend ;-)

I bought some new mugs from Jim the potter, am saving the rest of my spends for the big market at Tewkesbury where a new belt and pouch are on the list.

Tatton Pottery

Tatton Pottery 3

We took my latest tent for its first outing, this is a new (bargain) that I bought at the end of last season.

Tatton new tent

I seem to buy new tents in response to extreme weather, the first (new to me) tent last year was after the icy hail storm at Rufford so we had somewhere to all shelter and this one was in response to the 38 degrees at Tewkesbury so we have some shade!

It worked very well, it is a great size tent for just me and Ellie as there is plenty of space for kit and room to stand up and get dressed in. And at only £40 almost brand new it was a great find – it had to be repaired due to a broken zip after it was first bought so Outdoor World were selling it cheap.

It was a really lovely weekend and not only that thanks to Jamie and Sam I have lots of photos to show you as Jamie very kindly posed for some costume pictures and Sam took lots of the battle.

Tatton Jamie soft kit

Tatton Jamie soft kit 2

Tatton Jamie soft kit 3

Jamie is wearing his very smart tunic showing the dagging on the sleeves, dagging was extra material to show how rich you were and was often lobed like this or oak leaf-shaped. He is also wearing his black hood or chaperon over the topic of the tunic and a bicocket hat. The tunic was made by Jackie from Cloak’d and Dagger’d.

As we were taking these pictures along came another very well dressed gent in later period costume (don’t know his real name but he was playing De Massey in the battle).

Tatton Jamie and De Massey

He is wearing a more fitted doublet with puffed sleeves and the later version of the chaperon when it evolved into a hat, complete with dagging and liripipe or tail. This style of outfit is around mid 1400s whereas Jamie’s is mid 1300s.

Here are the battle pics, love the one of Ellie in the smoke and the last couple that Jamie has put some filters on.

Tatton battle 2014

Tatton battle smoke

Andy and Rhys at Tatton

Ellie at Tatton battle

We are off to Spain this weekend – yippee more sun! Have loads more photos to post from various things which I may get chance to do before I go if not will have to have a serious blog update when I get back!

Have fun and thanks for visiting.

The first house on our recent tour was the very impressive Kingston Lacy. The house  dates from the 1600s but was remodelled in the Palladian style later.

NT Holiday June 2014 - House  KL

NT Holiday June 2014 - House 3 KL

NT Holiday June 2014 - House KL

It boasts the first plate-glass windows ever to be used in a public house and its owner used them to good effect to give the Italian style he was looking for.

NT Holiday June 2014 - view 1 KL

NT Holiday June 2014 - view 2 KL
These views reminded me of our trip to villas on Lake Como a couple of years ago.

In the drawing-room was this beautiful embroidered piano cover with a little sewing box on display at the other side of the room. I don’t know what the date was for this piece or who worked it, as is often sadly the case no information was known about it.

NT Holiday June 2014 -  KL

NT Holiday June 2014 - piano cover KL

NT Holiday June 2014 - sewing box KL

The owners enjoyed collecting pieces and architecture from their travels, a pair of doors had come from the Vatican and this ceiling had been brought from Spain.

NT Holiday June 2014 - Ceilings KL

There was another beautiful painted ceiling in another vaulted room.

NT Holiday June 2014 - Ceiling 2 KL

All very stunning and well worth a visit. I think the National Trust is fantastic value for money (I am not just saying that as Ellie works for them as I have been a member for years).

It only costs £58 for a year and not only do I get the pleasure of seeing all this amazing art and architecture I feel happy that I am helping in a small way to preserve and protect it.

Thanks for visiting and see you soon for more Trust loveliness!

Hello there

I am very excited to have just finished the first of many of Julie’s fabulous elephants, available from her web site  along with all the bunnies and the fox pattern (will have to knit one of those next).

She is a very lucky girl as she has 3 pretty dresses and the cutest little tail.

Eva elephant

Eva elephant 2

Eva elephant 4

Eva elephant 3

Eva elephant 5

Eva has gone to live with my cousin’s daughter where she will meet up with my first ever bunny Florence who is very much loved by her elder sister so hopefully they can play together.

Now on to my second elephant – one day I might knit something else but these are too cute to stop!

Thanks for visiting.

Hello again

One of the parts of our visit to Kingston Lacy that I most enjoyed was seeing the laundry which they had furnished not only with the equipment used but also examples of the textiles as well, very exciting for me!

The house dates from the 1600s but the display was of the Victorian machines and textiles.

NT Holiday June 2014 -Sewing machines KL

NT Holiday June 2014 Lace 2 KL

NT Holiday June 2014 - Lace 1 KL

NT Holiday June 2014 - laundry

I love this huge roller mangle, I remember my Mum and Nana having washing machines with mangles on top when I was little and really loved having a go, would not have been so exciting to be a full-time laundry maid though.

NT Holiday June 2014 - mangle KL

NT Holiday June 2014 - children's clothes KL

NT Holiday June 2014 - irons KL

The drying cupboard was very interesting as well, I assume many large houses might have had something similar but have not seen one before, these racks slid into the cupboard which had heated pipes on the floor.

NT Holiday June 2014 -drying room KL

I also found some lovely textiles in the main house – what a surprise! Will save that and pictures of the house for the next post.

Thanks for visiting.

One of the things I really enjoy is seeing beautiful gardens and taking pictures of flowers.

I am waiting for my lilies to bloom here (and hoping that the sheep don’t eat them) and though I only have a small garden don’t miss the work involved in having more space and am quite happy to visit other gardens or just admire those all around me.

This is such a gorgeous time of year as all my favourite rhododendrons are in flower here in Marsden and all the gardens of the properties we visited this week were looking lovely.

These pictures were taken at Kingston Lacey  in Somerset.

NT Holiday June 2014 - garden KL 5

NT Holiday June 2014 - garden KL 7

NT Holiday June 2014 -Garden KL 1

NT Holiday June 2014 -Garden KL 2

NT Holiday June 2014 -Garden KL 3

NT Holiday June 2014 - garden KL 6

NT Holiday June 2014 - garden KL

They also had some very cute pigs to feed in the kitchen garden!

NT Holiday June 2014 - garden KL 8 pigs

And these were at Knightshayes in Devon.

NT Holiday June 2014 - Knightshayes garden 1

NT Holiday June 2014 - Knightshayes garden 2

NT Holiday June 2014 - Knightshayes garden 3

NT Holiday June 2014 - Knightshayes garden 4

NT Holiday June 2014 - Knightshayes garden 5

NT Holiday June 2014 - Knightshayes garden 6

NT Holiday June 2014 - Knightshayes garden 7

I love those water lilies, they just look so perfect they don’t look real.

Have spent part of the morning sorting out the 285 photos I took (don’t worry I won’t post them all!) and will have some lovely textiles to show you later in the weekend.

Thanks for visiting and hope the sun is shining where you are :-)

Hello there

Hope you are all well and happy. I am having a lovely time, having just got back from our week away of National Trust properties. More of that to come, saw some fab stuff as always and had a great time with my very brilliant friend Kerry.

I am very lucky to have someone who I have so much in common with, we have had a wonderful week of camping, mini pyjama parties in the Travelodges and seeing some beautiful stuff.

We started our trip with the Templecombe Medieval Pageant – way down South in a very lovely little village in Somerset. The eight hour journey was worth it as the event was excellent. I have not been to this one for 10 years but will be going again.

The sun shone all weekend (a miracle) and our water and cold flannels were much appreciated by the boys on the field.

For this event there is a mini fort that the boys attack and defend, we were inside on Saturday and outside on Sunday and it was great fun hiding behind the walls listening to the guys with the battering ram trying to get in.

Templecombe battle 2

Cooling the boys down before the battle.

Templecombe battle

Waiting inside the fort.

Templecombe battle 6

The battering ram.

Templecombe battle 4

Templecombe battle 5

At the end of the battle – me in the blue dress looking for survivors!

Templecombe battle 3

All these photos are courtesy of the brilliant Pat Patrick who comes along to events and takes so many lovely shots. It is great to have a record of the events like this and we all really appreciate it.

I also got to meet Maria, my friend Kat from re-enactment’s,  beautiful new baby and give her this bunny – who I have named Lavender.

Lavender bunny

I did some finishing while I was away and am very excited to have made my first elephant – again from Little Cotton Rabbits. Photos of her  to follow.

Thanks for visiting and see you soon.

 

Hello there, we have just got back from a lovely (if wet as always) weekend at Ashby de la Zouche Castle where we were doing a show. Over a 1000 people braved the weather this Bank Holiday to come and see us which was very nice of them.

At least it was sunny on Saturday even if Sunday afternoon and packing the tents was a bit wet and cold :-(

The boys in the group have been working really hard all winter on their new kit so I thought you might like to see some pictures of them in their finery.

Luke has adapted his outfit to include chains that hold his horned great helm and his swords so that he can hang the helm from his back as he fights (he wears another smaller helm underneath to fight in).

Ashby 2014 Jamie and Luke

You can see the chains here on this picture of him and our newest member Jamie and again on a picture taken at the last show of all of our knights on the steps of Bolsover Castle. Thanks to Jamie for these next two photos.

Boys at Bolsover 1

This picture below was also taken at Bolsover and you can see more clearly the helmet that Mark our Dragon Knight was wearing for that show which had a St George’s day theme.

Paul in the blue is a wonderful artist and his costume has such detail on it, his belt has stamped and painted lions and the surcoat and shield are all hand painted.

Boys at Bolsover 2

Shane has got a lovely new helmet for this season (yes it does look a bit like a lemon squeezer!) and some new armour – this picture was taken by one of the visitors as I didn’t get chance to get close-ups due to the inclement weather but he has new arm and leg armour in a blue tint and a new armoured surcoat with plates inside it.

Shane in new armour

They were all looking very splendid and I was very proud of them ;-)

We have a packed summer ahead of us which is brilliant. This weekend we are off to Somerset for an event followed by our week visiting National Trust properties and then another two events to finish off June.

I am really looking forward to the months ahead, my teaching finished last week (just some large piles of marking to come) and my lovely group bought me some gift vouchers for a local wool shop which I am really looking forward to spending!

Just about to make up the first of my (no doubt many) Little Cotton Rabbits elephants and have lots and lots of projects planned for summer – going to make the most of the newly sorted craft room.

Take care and thanks for visiting.

Hello again, I hope that you have all had a good week.

I have been enjoying another weekend at home and our first at home BBQ of the year, my last weekend here for two weeks as I have shows then a holiday with my friend Kerry!

Last year we took the opportunity to travel round some of the National Trust properties down South after one of our shows and are doing the same again this year going to visit some places in Somerset, Dorset and Devon.

I am so happy that the season has started again, the joys of cooking bacon butties for breakfast outside the tent and meeting lots of lovely people – it is a great way to spend a weekend. Look at this lovely tent owned by one of our friends – wouldn’t you love to camp in this?

Sherwood event -tents 2

Sherwood event -tent detail

The theme of the first show this year was crime and punishment as it was in Sherwood Forest the home of Robin Hood and his band of merry men. We had another great weekend with really lovely weather so lots of people came to see us. It was just a small event with about 8 groups but there was plenty to see in the living history camps.

Sherwood event -tents 3

Sherwood event -tents 1

It was also a very significant first because Ellie came up in Kim and we drove all the way to re-enactment in the car! She did really well as we went on the motorway and she was not at all fazed (even when there was a big lorry trying to come into the lane). I am really proud of her and it was very lovely being driven all the way there (and back as well by my brilliant friend Kerry).

Because of having all this transport we were able to take the medieval tent and some stuff for the display which was a real luxury, am very happy in any tent but to have my medieval one is very special ;-)

We were camped with some friends who were doing weapons and armour talks all weekend and we did our usual headdress and embroidery talks which was a nice complement to their display.

Sherwood event -weapons

This picture shows the camp after the battle with the boys’ arming jacks and paraphernalia everywhere!

Sherwood event -kit

And we had the great excitement of a new recruit to the group at her first event. And not just a new recruit for the main group this is our new sister for our little watercarrying group. Here is Sadie all dressed up and ready to go for her first show.

Sherwood event -Sadie

Sadie works with Ellie at Hardwick and has been sword training for a while but decided she would like to join us as well and she really enjoyed herself, she will be coming to many of our future shows as well.

So here’s to many more sunny weekends to come – don’t really mind it raining during the week as long as it always dries up by Friday ;-)

Thanks for visiting and see you in a couple of weeks.

Our last trip while in Germany was to Rothenburg ob de Tauber, a gorgeous medieval walled town on the Romantic Road. Not only was the setting perfect, surrounded by forests and rolling hills and fields, but the town itself was so pretty.

I felt severely underdressed and should really have been wearing traditional dress at least if not a Belle outfit, it really was like stepping back in time.

Bavaria 2014 Rotenburg 2

Not only was it gorgeous but there were so many lovely shops, food, gifts, weapons and armour (and embroidery and Christmas shops as I mentioned in my earlier post). We spent so much time shopping we didn’t get to see all of the town so would love to go back someday for longer.

Bavaria 2014 Rotenburg sausage shop
Bavaria 2014 Rotenburg 1

Bavaria 2014 Rotenburg 4

Bavaria 2014 Rotenburg 3

All of the shops and hotel had beautiful signs outside them as well, this was the weapons’ shop sign.

Bavaria 2014 Rotenburg weapons sign

Bavaria 2014 Rotenburg town hall

The wells in the town had all been decorated for Easter, these were all real eggs, hand painted and they looked beautiful.

Bavaria 2014 Rotenburg eggs 2

Bavaria 2014 Rotenburg eggs 1

Bavaria 2014 Rotenburg eggs 3

A wonderful sunny day out and a perfect end to our trip.

Thanks for visiting.

There will always be textiles wherever I go as not only are they important and many of the places I visit have them on display as part of the social history of the location but also I do sometimes seek them out ;-)

However this holiday I had some very pleasant surprises on the textile front as I found some when I wasn’t even looking for them :-)

The first nice surprise was this beautiful sampler which had been done by Margarete the lady who ran the hotel we stayed in Germany. She was in her 70s and the hotel has been in her family for over 100 years.

Bavaria 2014 Langenau sampler

I couldn’t help thinking that she must have had a pretty hard life, she was on duty about 15 hours a day when we were there and I hope that at some points they got to close the hotel and have a holiday themselves.

I like to imagine that she stitched this in her free time and it gave her pleasure and helped her relax, it is a beautifully stitched piece and she was obviously proud of it as it was hung in the bar area.

Then we had our unexpected trip to the Steiff Teddy Bear Museum  which was an optional trip on the holiday which the kids really wanted to go to. It was really good with a little interactive piece at the start that told you the history of the company followed by a room with lots of toys that you could touch (and sit on) then displays of the toys throughout the ages.

Bavaria 2014 Steiff sewing room

The company was started by Margarete Steiff who was a keen seamstress, she had polio as a child and never married but sewed children’s clothes then made her first toy, an elephant (by accident it was meant to be a pincushion but it got played with!).

She then went on to make teddies and all manner of other creatures. The above photo shows a reproduction of the sewing room that starts the interactive part.

One of the most interesting parts for me as I have been making toys recently (both knitted and have started a couple of fabric ones) was the workroom at the end where as well as staff working demonstrating the toys being made they had lots of patterns hung up and old photos showing the factory workers. There is a concise history of the Steiff business at this link if you are interested.

Bavaria 2014 Steiff patterns 1

Bavaria 2014 Steiff patterns 2

Bavaria 2014 Steiff machinists

Bavaria 2014 Steiff toymakers

Then when we went to Rothenburg we came across this shop selling hand embroidered textiles.

Bavaria 2014 Rotenburg embroidery shop

They employ over 500 home workers to do the embroidery so I had to go and support the local economy and all those lovely ladies didn’t I? The kids were very patient while I chose from hundreds of gorgeous things.

I bought these beautiful lavender filled whitework pillows for display in my kitchen and an embroidered runner for the Xmas table. As I reminded Jake I do only have 4 (he seemed to think that was too many last year – no idea why?). This one will go very nicely with my holly decorated dinner set).

Bavarian needlework -whitework 1

Bavarian needlework -whitework

Bavarian needlework -xmas cloth

Rothenburg is also famous for its Christmas shops (which I honestly didn’t know when I booked the trip kids) and so spent ages in the Christmas Village in the Kathe Wolfahrt shop which was amazing! No photos allowed inside but this is from their website and it actually looks like this.

Christmas shop Rothenburg

I bought 2 beautiful lace ornaments for the tree and a little heart that hangs in my kitchen.

Bavarian needlework -xmas ornies

Bavarian needlework - heart

A wonderful array of textile goodness to add to a lovely holiday – very happy.

More pictures to come of the town of Rothenburg, it is still raining here in Yorkshire so no alternative but to spend the day in crafting – how sad ;-)

Thanks for visiting.

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