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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.
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.
Hello everyone and a very happy 2015, I know I am a bit late but this is my first post this year so I hope you all had a great time.
I have just finished reading a book called ‘A Different World’ by Mary Nichols , a very good story about World War 2 which is set partly in Warsaw so it was interesting to read about that side of the experiences of people under occupation.
It struck me that this was a good title for this week’s post as I am sitting here watching the snow fall in lovely Marsden and last weekend’s view was this from our picnic on the beach.
Not that I mind the snow (as long as I can get to work on Monday) as what better excuse is there for sitting with a fleecy blanket, some good TV (Game of Thrones Season 3) and some more hexagons!
Ooh and Ellen has said I can have some of the Baileys she inadvertently left after Christmas so I might be making myself a sneaky hot chocolate later :-)
I had a lovely time as always in Spain and really enjoyed the time I spent with Mum. I helped her choose a new sewing machine and was showing her how to cut out her first bit of quilting.
We also had great excitement as we found the quilt shop in Alicante which is the nearest we could find to where Mum lives (thank god for the miracles of the internet!).
The shop is called Patchwork and Quilting and we met the owner, a lovely lady called Ana Camara, who despite saying her English was not very good talked to us for about 20 minutes about her visits to England (one to the Festival of Quilts) and about all her shop.
She runs workshops as well as sells fabric so if you are every in the area do go and visit. This is a link to a map of the shop.
She has an excellent range of fabric and I was very pleased to find this yard of Robert Kaufman print which co-ordinates with the panel I bought from Harrogate.
I had a very relaxing time walking and cycling in the sunshine, admiring all the gardens and pretty flowers, this is one of my favourite gardens and gave me the inspiration for the cactus planting at my house (they are very tricky to weed though, lots of ouch!).
And this poinsettia bush looked really good in contrast with the purple bougainvillea next to it.
While we were in Alicante we came across this replica of a galleon which had amazing doors – I expect my pirate re-enactor friends would love to have trip out on this.
Right will get back to watching the snow fall and piecing hexis – am working a baby quilt for one of Ellie’s friends at the moment with the scrap stash that I bought from Simply Solids.
Will do a full tutorial post when it is finished but here is a preview – how cute are those cars!
Thanks for visiting!
Sorry for the lack of posts, I returned from lovely sunny Spain to lots of work and late nights so have not had time to post any pictures of the sun.
It was very warm, 30 degrees which is hot even for Spain so I had a fantastic week. I went to the beach three times and swam in the sea twice and had a couple of trips to the spa where the jacuzzi did my aching bones a world of good.
We had a lovely last day out and went back to the cave houses at Rojales which have been turned into artist’s studios.
There was a little craft fair on and some very cute animals enjoying the sunshine, I managed to get this cat to stay still for a picture.
I particularly liked this piece of art outside one of the caves.
I also managed to take some pictures inside the cave bar that we visited last time, some brilliant carvings in the rock walls in the style of Picasso.
Last time we were there we could see this amazing house just down the hill covered in shells and this time it was open so we got to have a look round. I don’t know who owns it or did all this work as the couple who were there didn’t speak English but it was a masterpiece.
Even one of the rooms had been decorated, not sure if all were like this inside but this one was open for us to look round.
This is why I love Spain, always the unexpected with a touch of slightly bizarre! Oh and the marvellous weather and cheap wine ;-)
Have not done a lot of crafting since returning but have been working on a couple of Christmas gifts and ornaments this weekend (hexi inspired of course) which I will share with you when they are finished.
Until next time take care 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.
Hello everyone and a belated Happy New Year.
I know it is supposed to be holly and ivy but I liked the way the cactus was growing with this ivy in Spain.
I hope you have had a lovely festive season, I did with lots of nice pressies including this beautiful tablecloth from my Mum which we used for our Christmas lunch.
I amused (or bewildered!) Jake by having no less than 4 Christmas table cloths and runners out over the two days- he thinks I am a little mad but I do like things to be pretty!
I have had a wonderful 2 weeks away, knitting, cycling and enjoying a new spa that has opened – Mum, my Aunt Maureen and I went twice for lots of lovely bubbles :-)
We had a picnic and a bbq on the beach as well which is a first for me, lots of people do take bbqs down to the beach especially on Christmas Day – here was my glass of bubbly at our New Year picnic and Mum enjoying the sun.
It was lovely and warm as usual so had lots of chance for walks as well and taking pictures of pretty plants.
I really liked what these people had done in their ‘verde’ the public areas in between roads, isn’t this planting in the old tree roots nice?
We also visited a couple of our favourite local towns, Torrevieja for the 3 Kings parade and Elche for a bit of retail therapy and tapas and had a chance to see the large outdoor nativities called ‘belen’ that they have.
The Elche one was my favourite – the level of detail is amazing.
Back to wonderful. wet Yorkshire this week and still lots and lots of bunny knitting!
Thanks for visiting and see you soon.
I have been having a lovely time just recently, my visit to Spain was very nice, hot and sunny and very relaxing.
These are just a couple of the lovely little things from there, pretty flowers on one of my walks and delicious ice cream by the sea.
I have also been doing lots of knitting here and in Spain and am very proud to show you these very lovely little Xmas mini stockings that I have made.
They are from the very talented Julie at Little Cotton Rabbits ( they are one of her free patterns here) and I remember seeing them a few years ago and thinking that I would love to be able to knit them but did not have the skills at the time.
Well I am very pleased to have been able to make them now I have learnt how to do Fair Isle while knitting the bunny dresses.
I have also had a lovely little walk today, would have been longer but I slipped and fell in a large pile of mud so had to cut it short! This was the view of my favourite reservoir from the other side of the valley.
Hope that you have been having a good time whatever you have been doing and thanks for visiting.
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.
Hope that you are all well and happy.
Seems longer than week ago that I was in Spain with those lovely blue skis :-)
My Mum had surprise day trip planned for me, I thought that it was going to be a new museum of religious art or a fab church but it turned out to be this amazing art deco house in a little town called Novelda, about an hour away from where she lives in the mountains. She discovered it in a DK book that my brother and sister-in-law bought her and first went to visit it last October.
Spain has a lot of Art Deco and Modernist art and I have seen many very lovely things, mainly fabulous doors and ironwork but this was really special.
If you didn’t know it was there you would not really notice the house, the facade is lovely but it is tucked away in a little street in the centre of the town and from the front it looks to be quite a small property but it stretches back a long way and like many Spanish houses it has a Moorish influenced courtyard garden inside the house.
The wonderful thing about the house is that most of the rooms are furnished with original Art Deco furniture and it looks so lived in.
The house is called Casa Modernista and was built between 1900 and 1903 – the DK travel web site has info on location and times info . It is well worth a visit if you ever find yourself in the area.
After lunch (tapas at a lovely little cafe round the corner) we had a little wander around the town and the market and then set off to find a church, St Mary Magdelene’s Sanctury and castle that we could see from the town and that Mum went to on her last trip there. After a few false starts and lots of communing with the locals we found it and it was really beautiful.
As far as we could work out it was built in the early 1900s and reminded me very much of Gaudi’s Sagrada Famila that I was lucky enough to visit a few years ago in Barcelona – on a much smaller scale. A very interesting church and look at those wonderful blue skies! These pictures were taken on the 4th of January!
So back to reality this week, a busy week at work but I had knitting group and a lovely relaxing weekend crafting and cooking so it was not all bad ;-)
I have been working hard at creating new stock to take the craft centre, have some new heart ornaments made from recycled charity shop finds that I am just finishing off so will post them next weekend.
I have finished my hat – in beautiful James Brett variegated wool, this was an adaptation of a pattern that I had as a freebie booklet from a knitting mag. I changed the stocking stitch with Fair Isle main part for moss stitch with a stocking stitch crown when I realised how hard it was going it be to do the decreases for the crown shaping in moss stitch.
I am very pleased that it turned out so well and that I now have the confidence to play around with patterns like this. It is very warm and lovely and I just cast on for another one in the purple version of this wool.
This will be followed by matching scarves and possibly wristwarmers in both colourways , at some point in between everything else I want to do. I have still not managed to win the lottery so unfortunately crafting is still subsidiary to my day job – is just lucky I really enjoy what I do!
Exciting job related news – my next trip to China has been confirmed. I will be leaving for Beijing at the end of Feb for two weeks of teaching followed by a few days of exploring the city.I am so lucky, life is wonderful at the moment and I am so enjoying myself.
Like most of the rest of the UK it has been snowing overnight – not as much as I expected but here is the view from my window this morning.Hopefully it will last until the weekend when I can go for a walk on the snowy moors!
Hope that you have a good week ahead and thanks for visiting.