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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!
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.
I was interested to see cross stitch and patchwork in the bags as well as the more traditional Chinese silk embroidery.
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).
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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 ;-(
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.
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.
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.
Happy 2013 to you all!
I hope that you had a lovely festive season. We did, I arrived back from all my travels today and have just been sorting some pictures to show you.
We had a very nice time at Powis Castle with Ellie – it was a very quiet Christmas Day which was much appreciated, we got up late, opened presents, watched DVDs, went for a walk and played games and ate lots of chocolate!
I took some special Christmas themed pictures in the grounds of holly, mistletoe and deer (not reindeer as these are red deer but they still have impressive antlers) and some of the very interesting lichen on the trees.
It was very good and the castle looked so pretty all decorated with a fairy tale theme for Christmas! If you want to see more pictures of this go and visit Ellie’s blog post about the castle theme.
Our time in Cardiff was lovely if a bit wet! We visited the Doctor Who Experience which proved to me that I am still scared of the Daleks ( and there were no cushions to hide behind!) and Cardiff Castle and the St Fagan’s Museum of Welsh Life which was brilliant.
At St Fagan’s I particularly loved the terrace of miners’ cottages that were displayed to show living conditions between the 1850s and the 1980s, really interesting. Also the recreation of the medieval church paintings were great.
The pictures below show Ellie and my sister Jackie with Betsy, the car that my favourite Doctor, John Pertwee, used and some of the amazing decoration in Cardiff Castle.
It was remodelled in the late 1900s by William Burges for the 3rd Marquis of Bute and is a stunning medieval fantasy castle – I would so love to live there!
Ellie bought me the most amazing Xmas present which she got from an antique shop in Welshpool, these coasters date from 1908 and are very lovely, especially significant as there are so many peacocks at Powis Castle.
I can now show you the pincushion I made for my very good friend Kerry for Christmas. This is a Blackbirds Designs pattern called Wild Lillies which I have adapted and I made it for her as she has been such a good friend to me this year with all the help with my new house and keeping me sane! Thank you, it is much appreciated.
I have just got back from a lovely time in Spain with Mum, it was warm and sunny and she took me to visit a fabulous historic house which I will post about later in the week.
Take care and thanks for visiting.
Lovely daughter Ellie has been here for a few days so we have done lots of nice things. It has snowed here this week (not much) but enough to make the roads and pavements very icy when we went for a walk and to give the reservoirs this lovely winter scenery.
We went shopping while she was here and have I stocked us both up with new winter boots, fleecy pjs and fleecy throws to snuggle under when it is cold. The village is a few degrees colder than living near town, have cast on for a new snug fitting winter hat which should be finished soon to protect my ears from the cold wind!
This weekend we went on a little busman’s holiday trip to a local stately home Harewood House where we did a re-enactment event earlier in the summer.
Ellie was particularly interested in the way that they had displayed their kitchens as she has been working on the ones at Powis Castle and was very envious of their display of copperware and their model pies.You can read about what she has been doing in this post from her blog.
No pics allowed of the inside but we got some brilliant ones of the gardens. It was nearing sunset and there were beautiful clouds and setting sun from the terrace.
We followed that up with a visit to the Huddersfield Festival of Light celebration – we have been going to this for a number of years but this was the best yet.
Normally they have one big show focused around the theme of light but this year they had so many wonderful smaller events of lights, music and street theatre, it was really good.
They also had an excellent selection of food and drink stalls so we had mulled wine and cider and curry to keep us warm!
Below are some pictures of the wonderful light installation in the Parish Church Gardens which was beautiful and reminded me so much of campfires and fire jugglers at re-enactments and a snow globe which was part of a film projection set up.
I am still collecting vintage embroidery – here is my latest acquisition – the detail is amazing.
Have been busy crafting this week, along with the hat knitting I have finished the cushion covers to match the quilted Xmas sofa throw and finished a batch or Christmas ornaments to take up to the craft centre next weekend.
It will all slow down this week though as I have lots of Christmas events to got to – poor me!
Don’t forget to comment on my previous giveaway post by next Fri 14th.
Have a lovely week ahead 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.
Hello everyone , hope you are all well and happy. I am currently feeling tired but happy after a very busy first week of term, I must be getting old as I was very glad to see Friday . I have had a lovely time with my new group of students, they are very lively and I’m sure we will have a great year ahead.
I had a nice relaxing weekend planned and I have been enjoying myself – once again surrounded by textiles. My local branch of the Embroiderers’ Guild were having their biennial exhibition on Saturday so after meeting at Lydia’s lovely yarn shop Spun for a couple of hours of the WI monthly craft session where I cast on for a new pair of wristwarmers I wended my way to that.( I love that word ‘wended’ don’t you – always sounds like something out of a fairytale!)
I have not been able to attend a meeting this year due to work pressures but it was very lovely to see everyone, eat nice cake and marvel at all the wonderful talent that is in the group. The slideshow below shows just a small selection of the fabulous work there was on display.
|Free picture slideshow generated with Smilebox|
I also bought a couple of books on historical textiles (bargain at £1 each) and added this little piece of needleace to my collection of textile creations.
Today we had the first full planning meeting for our new re-enactment group Swords of Mercia held at the Hardwick Inn, this is a lovely old pub – see pics below, in the grounds of the fantastic Hardwick Hall – once home to my heroine Bess.
Apart from a very nice lunch and a catch up we also organised lots of things about how the group will be run , I am to be secretary, booking us into events and also help with costume making and advice. We have until next year probably before we do our first show but I already have some fettling to do to make new hangings for the display tent we will use for talks.
I have finished the stitching on my Autumn exchange pice (no pics allowed as it is not be posted till 1st Nov) so as well as the wristwarmers I have started on another Xmas stitch – this is a Nordic inspired tree design from the Cross Stitcher mag I treated myself to yesterday.No pics yet as not much stitched.
So a busy week but a very nice one, have had great fun once again and am very much looking forward to the year ahead – both personally and professionally.
Hope that you all have a nice week ahead and see you soon. Thanks for visiting.
Hope that you are all having a nice weekend, I have been very busy with decorating since early this morning so have decided to have a nice sit down and do a post with a cup of tea before I go and cook.
Ellie has gone back to University – we helped her move in to her new house on Thursday and left her to unpack.She has got a bigger room this year which is good as she had a lot of stuff! It is a very nice house with a brand new kitchen (not at all like student digs in my day!) so I’m sure she will be very happy there.
I had a good journey back just sitting stitching another JBW Xmas ornie with a cup of tea, looking at the lovely views out of the train window now and again. It was a very lovely couple of hours and I really enjoyed it. I do love using trains, I’m sure that driving is very useful and I can see the advantages sometimes but I was very happy sitting and relaxing with my stitching and reading my book.I felt very peaceful and mellow, it was great!
I have treated myself this week to some new books that have been on my wish list on Amazon for a while so I thought that I would show you them (in the absence of any finished stitching – do have two Xmas ornie WIPs which should be done soon!) I do love reading – again another one of my fave things to do and am very sad that the book below is the last in the series at the moment. I started reading the Elm Creek Quilt series last year on the recommendation of a friend from knitting and I love them, they are a wonderful mix of quilting patterns, history and the story of the women who make the quilts.
This book as you have probably guessed is about the American Civil war and picks up the stories of the lives of some of the quilters in earlier books such as The Sugar Camp quilt and The Lost Quilter. I really hope that there are more planned for the future!
My other great pleasure is of course finding out more about the history of needlework and this is a book I have had on my wishlist for a long time, I noticed last week that there was a very cheap second – hand copy for sale so snapped it up. The book is a history of American Needlework written by Rose Wilder Lane, the daughter of Laura Ingalls Wilder of ‘Little House on the Prairie’ fame. It was Rose who encouraged Laura to write all her books, being a successful author herself and I can’t wait to get some time to study this in more depth.
Here is just a little taste of the lovely stuff inside, some red embroidery, traditional patchwork blocks and an applique quilt from the Brooklyn Museum.
My last treat is some new silk thread from The Silk Mill to stitch all these ornies with – an Xmas colour pack and some extra greens as they are having a 35% off sale until the 5th Sept – to good to miss. That has not arrived yet but will take a pic of it when it does for you so you can admire the silky loveliness!
Well I do hope you all have a lovely week ahead, we are gearing up for the start of a new term with Jake back at college this week, my new students will arrive the week after so it will be all go then, no time for being mellow but I will try to factor in lots and lots of stitching time!
Thanks for visiting.