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We visited the Paso Encardo (Crimson) Museum first, no pictures from this one but we did get to meet the embroiderers working in an upstairs room and in my very poor Spanish I was talking to them about what I had made as well and they were explaining their methods.
It was interesting to see the work in progress, I didn’t realise that so much work is still being done there, not realising the scale of the event. The majority of the work that we saw in the museums was from the 20th century and a lot of it was very recent.
The designs are drawn onto white cloth which was then laid over velvet, the design was then overlaid with strips of fluffy white cotton wadding which was couched down with tightly packed stitches, then the excess cloth was cut away.
I was surprised that they weren’t using gold for padding as I have previously seen it done with gold coloured felt as the gold threads are put straight on top of the white cotton.
They told us that it took 3000 hours to finish one of the capes and that includes the beautiful lifelike embroidered pictures that are surrounded by the goldwork.
The Paso Morado (Purple) museum was next which started off with the sort of things that we were expecting to see, beautiful clothes for the icons.
What we weren’t expecting was this a whole gallery of beautiful and amazing goldwork.
This piece was my favourite from that museum, not just the intricacy of the goldwork but the overall shape of the banner.
I have put some more pictures from this museum into the slideshow below.
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We then went to the Paso Azul (Blue) Museum a couple of minutes away which was housed in an Art Deco style house very similar to Casa Modernista in Novelda that we have visited a couple of times.
Not only was the display of capes fabulous but the building was beautiful, I loved all the newel post baubles which were all of a different style on the first two floors.
This museum was very different as they had a lot more of the horse rider’s cloaks and a lot more emphasis on the pictorial side of the work, still amazing goldwork but also Roman and Egyptian pictures and biblical scenes like this one in silk shaded embroidery.
If the first cloaks the women were making took 3000 hours I estimate about 8000 for this one looking at the size of it, just incredible.
This robe was also beautiful.
Again I have put more pictures into the slideshow below, apologies as some of the photos are not brilliant as all of it was obviously behind glass but you can get a sense of the amazing work.
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Will love you and leave you now as stitching is calling but will be back later in the week with the mind-blowing last museum, Thanks for visiting.
Is it sad that it gives me great pleasure to sit on a Saturday morning (looks like it is going to be a bit sunny as well – yippee!) and write blog posts?
Hope not as blogging does make me happy and I have been looking forward to sorting out my embroidery pictures from Lorca all week.
Am splitting them into two, maybe even 3 posts, as there are so many and the amount of work that has gone into these pieces I feel they need sharing with the stitchy bloggy world.
First some of the gorgeousness of the city itself. It is sadly famous for having a very bad earthquake in 2011 and they are still repairing a lot of the damage. What has been restored is gorgeous and those that are not beautiful old stone are painted mainly in white with a deep yellow trim.
These are some of the old mansions, the Casino and the town hall.
We spent some time wandering around and visiting churches and the castle as well. This picture from Google is a great aerial shot of the castle.
Lorca was important in the medieval period as it was on the border between Moorish and Christian Spain being halfway between Murcia (the city that I visited on the last trip to Spain) and Granada so this was a very well used castle – great views of the surrounding countryside as you can imagine.
It was a long walk up (and we got lost a bit) but a short one down as we found the way back through the very poor area just below the walls.
Stark contrast between the crumbling houses in the barrio and this church and seminary at the bottom of the hill. I am going to frame this photo and add it to my ‘beautiful buildings and blue sky’ collection of Spanish pictures!
We got the idea of going to Lorca from my brother and his partner who stayed there overnight on the way back from a trip to the mountains. They went to the tourist information and picked up a brochure that said four embroidery museums in the city and kindly thought of me :-)
It was also a very exciting trip as we did it all by bus from La Marina, these are the sort of things like I love doing and it made Mum and I feel very adventurous!
We also had some lovely food in cute little tapas bars like this one in a converted house where due to my poor Spanish I inadvertently ordered off the menu (luckily what I ordered was lovely and mostly non meat for Mum).
I thought he was just explaining what was available and so was nodding to say that I understood and he obviously thought I wanted it all – we had to stop him after the first two dishes and say we had enough!
Mum and I were expecting to see loveliness and knew that the embroidery was connected with the Easter festivals(Semana Santa – Holy Week) and we have seen a few of these before so were looking forward to some lovely robes for icons etc.
However we didn’t realise that the parades are four days of spectacle that includes chariots, Romans and their Gods, Egyptians and the Devil as well as usual icons of Jesus and the Virgin Mary.
Mum has lived in Spain for 11 years now and her sister for 24 and neither of them had heard of the event there so obviously a well-kept secret. So we know where we are going next Easter!
Here is a taster of the parade from some of local tourism web sites.
The four museums represent the four brotherhoods – Paso Encarnado (Crimson), Paso Morado (Purple), Paso Azul (Blue) and Paso Blanco (White).
The last two are the biggest and the ones with the most spectacular embroidery as they are the groups with horses as well as icons and robes for participants. This tourism web site gives details of locations of all four and the other attractions if you ever fancy a trip.
Since this is a very long post now I will finish (and go and have brunch, my other favourite thing about the weekend!) and be back tomorrow for goldwork loveliness the like of which I have never seen before.
Thanks for visiting.
I realised (as I was mulling over the design for my thank you gift for all those lovely comments) that I had not posted any pictures of the last giveaway I did for my 400th post or the last piece of stitching that I did for the sadly now defunct Seasonal Exchange.
So here they are. This is the needlecase that I made, Cat had requested deep colours and I had these fabrics in my scraps from making my medieval pattern fabric throw for the sofa (which I still have not finished the hand quilting on – ahem!) so I though I would combine my hexagon addiction with a little goldwork.
The inside of the case has felt in a deep red for the needles and I put a little hexagon pocket in as well for scissors, threaders etc. Apologies for the yellowness of the picture, this was November light in Yorkshire!
This was the last pincushion I made – the original gift got lost in the post and never arrived :-( so I made this little bird one instead.
It is an adaptation of a pattern from one of my cross stitch magazines, the original has NOEL on it and is a Christmas ornament but I liked the idea of an autumn bird looking for berries. It is backed with some of the same fabric left over from the throw.
I don’t know where I got the little acorn charm from but thought it was very cute and just right for this piece.
We have had more snow this week, I actually ended up with a snow day yesterday where despite mine and the bus driver’s valiant attempts to get us to town I arrived too late for where I was going so turned round and came home! Was very tempted to just sit under a fleecy blanket and stitch but I was good and got on with some marking.
Plans for this weekend are to try out some more quilting blocks and our February block of the month will be released soon as well!
Hope you have a nice weekend and thanks for visiting.
Hope everyone has had a good week. Here in the UK we have had our twice yearly, ‘oh my God it has snowed, panic, panic do not travel’, buses stopped and everyone suddenly appears dressed for the slopes at Klosters.
Other countries with real snow all winter must really laugh to see the reaction here and there have been lots of pictures on Facebook of people managing perfectly well on roads with 20 feet of snow either side.However they do have it more than we do and have the right equipment.
It has been very pretty though and this photo from the local news shows you the loveliness of it all. It has nearly all melted now leaving my garden looking worse for wear so will have to get out and give it a good tidy up.
I wanted to show you some of my pictures from our recent trip to the city of Murcia in Spain. Mum, my Aunt Maureen and I went on a coach trip there, it is about 40 km inland from where Mum lives and the drive alone was very lovely.
We often go on these coach trips as it is a great way to see the country, they are good value at about 10 to 15 euros each and it is a lovely day out with no hassle driving or parking.
I have been to Murcia twice before but never managed to get inside the cathedral. This time we did make it and to the cathedral museum, also the museum that houses the large statues that are paraded at Easter and to the Casino, which is the gentlemen’s club built in the late 1800s.
I have put together a slideshow of some of the best bits here.
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As always there was beautiful goldwork, some dating from the 1700s, in the cathedral and museum.
I have another trip to Spain planned in a couple of weeks and we are off to the city of Lorca where they have not one but FOUR religious embroidery museums – excited MOI – just a little bit :-)
As well as tapas in a very lovely bar that dated from the 1920s full of old pictures and posters of bullfights and a couple of stops for coffee and a little retail therapy (two very cute Moroccan style tea light holders – I know I don’t need any more candle holders but they are lovely!) we amused ourselves very nicely.
We also found these very cute little chocolate hedgehogs and had one each!
I am planning to hand stitch for the rest of the day, still working on the hexi cars, have changed my mind about the design so yesterday took apart all the stitching I have done this week so am starting again!
Have a lovely week ahead and thanks for visiting.
On our recent trip to Spain we visited the little mountain town of Novelda again – I have posted before about going to Casa Modernista and we went back to show that to Ellie and my Aunt Maureen.
The church was open this time as they were having a fiesta so I got to take some photos of the wonderful inside, like many Spanish churches it has a tiled blue roof and some restoration had been done on the stonework with new inserts into the pillars which were beautifully carved.
The rest of the town was very pretty as well with an unusual tower on the town hall and gorgeous Art Deco benches.
We also went to visit a small local museum where they store the Moors and Christians costumes for the re-enactments of the Reconquista that are held all over Spain.
A fab time as always, I do so love Spain, the people buildings and lifestyle, I am very lucky to be able to go so often and can never wait to return.
Thanks for visiting and see you soon.
Apologies for the lack of posts recently. A very hot and relaxing holiday in Spain followed by one of the best Tewkesbury weekends ever means that blogging time has been severely curtailed.
Anyway here I am with some costume stuff to share and battle pictures courtesy of Pat Patrick who does such a fab job at all events.
Firstly here are the fruits of the sewing weekend we had in Feb. You may remember this being cut out, well it turned into the outfit below that Kerry on the right is wearing.
The one that Ellie wears is a dress Kerry made some years ago. Apologies for the very non-authentic background, my Photoshop skills are not good enough to replace it!
They looked splendid walking round the market in the morning, even though it was very hot they made a sterling effort to look cool and elegant.
We had our newest member Sadie with us and she really enjoyed the battle. We spent a lot of time pointing out to her all the exciting bits, literally as Pat has captured!
You can just see us at the back of these photos – Sadie in green, Ellie in burgundy. me in blue and Kerry in brown, pointing out where our boys are fighting.
Even though it was really hot all day there was quite a rainstorm during the battle but the boys in armour never felt a thing! Here is the King and his retinue – look at that goldwork!
A very excellent time and can’t wait for more events. Now on with some further kit making, in the week before Tewkesbury I managed to make a shirt and brais and mend some hose and an arming jack, now on with an arming waistcoat and then I am going to make some kit for me!
Take care and thanks for visiting.
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.
Some of the 80 ice cream flavours to choose from in the shop near our hotel.
I loved the display at this shop in one of the side streets, We came back with pasta, herbs and oils, yum, yum!
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.
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.
Detail from one of the Madonnas in the Palazzo Vecchio.
Detail from one of the Annunciation frescos in the Santa Maria Novella church.
One of the chapel paintings from the same church.
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.
I also loved this ceiling painting from the Plazzo Vecchio with its depiction of women spinning, weaving and sewing.
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.
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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.
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’.
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.
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.
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.
And here is Ellie opening one of the boxes for us.This contained a beautiful velvet hanging of flowers.
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!!
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.
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!
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.