I have created this blog to share my interest in all forms of stitching, quilting, sewing, knitting, medieval re-enactment and costume making – particularly my love of historical embroidery. I also love travelling,especially when it also involves any of my other interests.
As I mentioned in my last post we had our first show at Bolsover last weekend so I thought I would share some pics of that with you.
Here is Bev looking very lovely all dressed up for her morning role as a peasant – in this role she does calligraphy and takes part in the manorial court and the archery display – involving being ‘rescued’ by Robin Hood!
This is wonderful daughter Ellie all dressed up as Lady Rose – this pic was taken early in the morning by the kitchen awning where we cook and eat – you can see what a lovely day it was, really bright and sunny.
John Neville (in real life Mark) is one of our newest fighters and here he is in his lovely new surcoat and mantle (covering on top of the helmet).
This photo shows on the left our other new fighter William de Bouen (in real life Paul Martin) who has done a great job of painting the heraldry on his surcoat.
I managed to finish a new outfit just in time for the show – nothing radical but the old one was very faded and had shrunk – I was showing my ankles which is very frowned upon for a C14 nun!
Since it was a St George’s Day show we had the dragon – very well played by Luke who is being shot here during the archery display – he is very well padded!
My role during the tournament, which is the last part of the show is to make sure that all the knights have water, to keep an eye on the crowd in general to be alert for any issues and to make sure they all shout very loudly for their favourite knight!
We have another event coming up this weekend in South Wales at the Cosmeston Medieval Village which I am very excited about – check the Events 2009 page for details of that.
Tomorrow evening I am going to Bradley Wood Scout Camp site for the official opening of the building that I helped build as part of Project Nepal. Have not been able to get down to the site in recent months due to work and general family stuff so I am really looking forward to seeing everyone I went to Nepal with again.
Will post pics of both events some time next week.
We have had a lovely start to the new re-enactment season with our first show at Bolsover Castle. The weather was really good – we have all come back glowing with red noses – not bad for April! We had about 800 people attend today which is very good so thank you to everyone who came including my friend Ange and her partner Paul.
It was brilliant to be round the camp fire last night . It was a bit chilly last night but only to be expected this early in the year and I had the joy of cooking the first lot of bacon and sausage butties outdoors of the year. I absolutely love camping!!!!!!
My good friend Lady Bardolph was there (also known as Lyn) and I was really pleased to see her as she has been in hospital for a major operation so it was lovely to see her looking so well. She has a new medieval tent which she had made all the hangings and bed covers for and also had the most beautiful heraldic embroidery that she had done over winter.
This is Lady Bardolph in all her finery.
She is wearing a blue brocade underdress and a red velvet surcoat over that. Her head dress is a red velvet torque which you can see in detail below.
Below are pictures of hers and her husband’s heraldry in embroidery . These have been stitched on linen using mainly satin stitch – the detail is wonderful! These hang in her new tent.
Am off to bed very soon as am very pleasantly tired but very happy – have a busy week ahead at work and then we are off again on Friday to South Wales for another event over the Bank Holiday weekend. Have just put up my Events 2009 page – not complete yet but it does gives details of the Wales event and the next May Bank Holiday one so do visit and remember to come and say hello if you visit one of our shows!
I was lucky enough to go for a day to the recent EG conference in Sheffield. My lovely children paid for this as a Mothers’ Day present and I had a wonderful day out listening to talks about embroidery and having a visit to a Sheffield branch of the EG and to the Sheffield Cathedral. Sadly I forgot to take my camera but took a few pics using my phone which Ellie was kind enough to transfer for me.
The first talk was an illustrated lecture by Anthea Godfrey on embroidery as used in haute couture and had the most beautiful images of all sorts of techniques used on the catwalk. She teaches embroidery at the London College of Fashion Arts – I would love to be able to study there but will have to content myself at the moment with my local guild meetings and some day workshops!
After lunch we went to one of the local Sheffield Guilds for a talk by Diane Grant about ecclesiastical embroidery and the work of Beryl Dean. I have read a couple of Beryl’s books before and it was a very good talk illustrated with Beryl’s work throughout her lifetime. Below is an example from the 1950s, this piece is in the V and A museum and features a stylised disciple or maybe Jesus with a fish and net.
The guild members had also put on a small display of their work which was brilliant – one particular member called Marjorie Holford had done some Elizabethan sweetbags which I really liked – she had larger display of those at the main conference hall.
After that we went to Sheffield Cathedral which was treat in itself as I love visiting any church and had a special display of their ecclesiastical textiles which were very lovely. Most of the priest’s robes were quite modern but there were also some older pieces which I really love and I have put some pics of these below.
I must go back with my camera one day and get some shots of the cathedral.
I have been busy stitching a few gifts recently and have a couple of finishes to show. The first one is a blackwork scissor keep that I have been working on for a friend – I am making five of these in total.
The design is a motif from one of my Lesley Wilkins blackwork books.
I have the rest of the scissor keeps to finish but need to get on with sewing up a new nun’s outfit that I have cut out as we have our first re-enactment event this weekend. It is at Bolsover Castle in Derbyshire on Sunday from 10 – 4pm so if you are in the area do come along and say hello. I will be easy to spot being the only nun in the place! I am very excited that the season is starting again – nights under canvas and sitting round a real fire – bliss! Hopefully the weather will be as nice as it has been this past week.
While we were in Paris last week we made a trip to the flea market at St Ouen. This was always on Ellie’s to do list and due to the Versailles Palace being unfortunately shut on the Monday we made it and it was a little piece of textile heaven!
It was a very interesting experience generally- it is a huge market with lots of modern stalls and a big second hand market with everything from very expensive antique furniture to people sitting by the road with what looks like piles of the most random junk.
The textiles are wonderful! There were lots of costume dealers and three or four who specialised in antique textiles which were amazing. The first stall had the most amazing collection of whitework and lace goods including loads of baby clothes obviously late Victorian and early 20th century.
She did have some pieces of cross stitch as you can see in the red pile of stitching near the middle of the pic but most was work like the two pics below.
There were a couple of other stalls which made me want to win the lottery immediately – this one below had literally stacks of goldwork and huge embroideries everywhere – lots of Ottoman garments and ecclesiastical vestments.
I really wanted to rescue all these poor things and give them a loving home but sadly did not have the funds!
These were some more pices outside one of the other stalls – just sitting there. The thing that makes me sad is that I know just how long it takes to make pieces like this and is is tragic to see them being unloved and unwanted. At least the people reading this will appreciate them!
If you ever want to go the nearest Metro stop is Porte de Clignancourt and there is a map at the Metro stop and signs once you get outside – look for Marche aux Puces.
Apologies for the lack of recent posts – we have been away on a little holiday and I have some pics of that to share with you. It was a special birthday treat for Ellie for her 18th and we went with my Mum to Disneyland for 3 days followed by 3 days in Paris.
We had a great time – weather was very good after the first day and we really enjoyed everything. Went on loads of rides – some very scary like Crush’s Coaster and Armageddon and saw lots of parades including of course lots of Disney princesses for Ellie.
It was Mum’s first time in Paris so we did a lot of the sights – me and the kids have been a few times before though not for a few years – this was actually our 4th trip to Disneyland Paris – we are all big Disney fans and are planning more trips in the future – on our own and with grandkids (the kids have promised me lots of these!).
I have been busy since we got back – we celebrated Mum’s birthday before she went back to Spain with a lovely meal out with us, my brother Ben and his girlfriend Amanda. I gave her the crazy patchwork bag that I have been working on which she thankfully really liked. Ellen gave her a goldwork picture that she started for her about 18 months ago.
I have really enjoyed making this project – I got the inspiration from Barbara at Embroiderers’ Guild who makes the most amazing crazy patchwork tea cosies. She was going to lead a workshop on this in Feb which got cancelled due to the bad snow we had then but since I had all the stash for the project I decided to do it anyway on my own.
I have really enjoyed the unstructured and experimental aspects of the work as I normally do very controlled and counted pieces but I liked just letting the project evolve and seeing where it took me. I am particularly pleased with the little embroidery embellishments which I think look very pretty and I found some lovely buttons to add to it.
Mum with the completed bag
I have had a very productive day today – have spent most of it in the garden as it has been gloriously sunny here. Was going to do lots of sewing making a new nun’s outfit but it was too hot to stay in the conservatory where I normally sew – I did get the outfit cut out later on but spent a lovely afternoon tidying up and refilling the pond – the garden now looks lovely ready for summer.
Have lots of other pics to post this week of various textile treats so will get round to that later in the week. Meanwhile off to finish stitching a baby card for a new arrival.
Wonderful daughter Ellie was 18 on Monday so on Tues we went out for a meal with Ben (my brother) , his partner Amanda and me, Jake and 3 of Ellie’s friends Hannah, Charlotte and Kate. We had a very lovely meal at one of my favourite restaurants – it is just down the road from where I work and we go there a lot for leaving dos and general celebrations.
My friend Val’s son Oliver is raising money to go to Peru next year to do some voluntary work. He is doing lots of different things but one of his ideas was a promise auction where he and his friend Tommy who is also going sold their services for various tasks like baking, ironing, DIY ect. So I paid him to make Ellie’s cake and they did a fab job. Here she is with the cake at the restaurant.
I wish her every happiness in the world and am so proud of her. She has had a lot to cope with in the past year, whilst doing A levels and she has been fab all the way through – so has Jake. We are off to Disneyland Paris on Tues for her birthday treat and she thoroughly deserves a very special time. They have both been so supportive all the time to me and they are great!