Happy World Embroidery Day!

To be honest I didn’t know it was World Embroidery Day today until one of the textile companies I subscribe to e-mailed me about it but it is, so many happy stitching returns to you all.

I was just about to start some new embroidery this evening so that is fortuitous. I have a new project that I will share with you in a bit. If you want to know more about World Embroidery Day you can find out more here. I particularly like the part of this description that says…

‘To embroider is a peaceful occupation. It can be traditional made from a common
remembrance, drawn designs, from a pattern, or from your own imagination. You embroider for joy, beauty, decoration and for the creation of identity.’ 

I am sure that all of us who embroider share those sentiments. The lovely Karen from ‘Did You Make That’ has recently taken up embroidery and talks about the different emotions different crafts give us in this post here. I love all of my crafts for different reasons, some can bring frustration as well as joy (the black velvet jacket that never was) but mostly they bring me peace and sanity in a frantic world.

I have been doing a little bit of crafting over the last few days, mainly as respite care from the increasingly frantic work on the doctorate which is due in exactly 2 months from today!

We have had some more people leave work under our latest voluntary redundancy scheme including my very best friend.We have worked together for 15 years and shared wonderful times together. I am very, very happy for them all as they  are off to enjoy retirement or adventures travelling the world but I am very sad to see them go so I made a couple of pouches as gifts for special friends.

Liberty star bag 1

Liberty star bag 2

Liberty star bag 3

These are from some of the blocks I made last year which have been waiting to be turned into something special and details of how to make the bags can be found in this tutorial here. The beautiful lace zips come from Buddly Crafts and I shall be ordering a little restock very soon.

Liberty block bag 1

Liberty block bag 2

The embroidery is part of a new hat for the Steampunk Asylum event in Lincoln over August Bank Holiday. I had contemplated making a new jacket but with the focus needed on the doctorate and a few minor household issues (one involving an expensive boiler repair!) decided that I needed something that would not add any stress.

So I am wearing the tablecloth jacket again but I am making a tea party hat to go with it. I had done some planning for this a while ago for another hat that I have not yet created but am well on the way with it.I loved wearing it last year with the sewing themed hat and it deserves more outings.

Steampunk event Alison 5

I will devote a whole post to the creation of the hat when it is completed but meanwhile here is a sneak preview of a very cute felt cupcake that will be part of the tea party. I have really enjoyed making these, as with the felt flowers it is a joy to work with all the lovely colours of felt and add little beads and embellishments. I used this tutorial to help me and found lots of different ideas and videos for all types of felt food.

Felt cake 1

Felt cake 2

In other exciting news with the help of my wonderful children we repainted the kitchen at the weekend and my daughter very enthusiastically Marie Kondoed the contents meaning I have far less clutter. I was very good and let lots of things go.

We also had a surprise visit from a herd of cows in the back lane. They were being escorted from a farm up the road when they made an unexpected right turn. This picture was taken as they were being escorted off the premises which is why is is a bit blurry. This is why I love living in Marsden, there is never a dull moment 🙂

Cows 1

Well I will love you and leave you and get on with some more of the hat, the embroidery is for a little sign that will say ‘everything stops for tea’ for the front. Take care, thanks for visiting and have a happy week whether you are embroidering or not.

 

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What a difference a week makes!

I am sitting here watching torrential rain fall, thinking back to last weekend when we had a beautifully sunny (but not too hot!) weekend at the Tewkesbury event. You’ve got to love England haven’t you, we have the most bizarre weather. It has been raining for two days now and doesn’t look remotely like July, meanwhile last weekend we all got sunburnt.

It was excellent weather for re-enactment, 22 degrees and cloudy so just perfect and we had really good fun as usual. I have got lots of pictures to show you, courtesy of my friend James, the wonderful Pat who takes thousands of photos at each event and posts them for us to use, and another person called Ferez Fee who posted some on Facebook as well. Thanks to everyone who shares pictures with us, it is much appreciated.

The costumes were amazing as always, the ladies looked fantastic, including Kerry in her beautiful Burgundian dress and henin. Here is a back shot of the gorgeous veil as we walked onto the battlefield on Saturday. The picture below shows her coming off the battlefield with another friend Nick who was marshalling.

Tewks 2019 4

 

 

Tewks 2019 9 - Ferez Fee

The photos below are courtesy of Ferez Fee and show the ladies in the King’s and Queen’s camps. I particularly love this one below as it has one of my favourite tapestries, the Lady and the Unicorn, as a backdrop. I have a small version of this in my lounge.

Tewks 2019 5 - Ferez Fee

Tewks 2019 4 - Ferez Fee

Tewks 2019 3

The picture above is of my friend Kat who was wearing her latest amazing head dress. For more pictures and information on its source you can visit her Facebook page here. She also has photos of her equally lovely outfit from Saturday.

One of my favourite photos, also by Ferez Fee,  is of Gwen who plays the Queen just relaxing in her tent with her embroidery by her side, so beautiful.

Tewks 2019 8 - Ferez Fee

There were also some wonderful costumes worn by the men. Here is the young Prince Edward in his tent before getting into armour. Pictures by Ferez Fee.

Tewks 2019 7 - Ferez Fee

I loved this outfit as well, such beautiful detail in every aspect.

Tewks 2019 6 - Ferez Fee

The king and his entourage looked suitably splendid, both on the battlefield with their heraldic surcoats and on their way to the abbey.

Tewks 2019 12 Pat

Tewks 14 Pat

Tewks 2019 5

Tewks 2019 8

This is the only medieval event I am doing this year. A combination of other re-enactments like the WW2 ones, less this year events for our group and the doctorate have meant this is a very quiet summer for me so it was especially lovely to spend time with my friends. We had a new member join us for the event as well, Sam, and she really enjoyed it. Here are all the combatants and watercarriers off to battle with Sam, Ellie and Sadie in front of Symon and Shane.

Tewks 2019 1

This picture from Pat captures Symon and Shane in the battle and I have also got some wonderful ones from him of the gunners and gun smoke, it really does make it so atmospheric.

Tewks 2019 6

Tewks 2019 11 Pat

Tewks 2019 10 Pat

I had a new role this year, that of being a marshal which Kerry and I did on both days. I have been doing this at Tatton and Caldicot for a couple of years and really enjoyed it and it was lovely to be involved in a different way this year at Tewkesbury. You can just spot me at the back of this picture in my blue dress. Margaret of Anjou has just slapped Edward 4th at the start of the battle here.

Tewks 2019 9 Pat

I enjoyed talking to the crowd and watching all of the armies march on past us. It was amazing to see even though I know how many combatants there are it was still very impressive. I love to see the flags and hear the drums, it is just magic!

Tewks 2019 7

Tewks 2019 8 Pat

We managed to go to the beheading at the abbey and the beautiful Compline service this year which was wonderful.It is a candlelit service where the monks sing and it was a brilliant end to the day. Next year I will go in the parade as well, we have not been for a few years and there were many more floats this year including this wonderul dragon.

Tewks 2019 2

I luckily am staying in all day today so don’t have to venture out in the rain.  I am still working my way through lots of WIPs. I really need to be strict with myself before I start any new projects so today’s tasks are to finish a flower brooch and a pouch. Kerry is coming for a sewing day tomorrow and we will be sorting out a surcoat for an event she is attending in a couple of weeks.

I hope you are all having a good weekend and are not getting too soaked if you are in the UK. I was half planning a BBQ this weekend but think that will have to be postponed 😉 Take care and thanks for visiting.

 

Finding my people

Long time, no blog! I hope you have all been having fun while I have been away. I had a wonderful time at the Leeds International Medieval Congress, both in the sessions and in meeting wonderful people and socialising. It was so lovely to meet people who were interested in the same things that I am. I made some very useful contacts including some people who sent me their research which was very kind of them. It is brilliant to know that there are people out there interested in the same things that I am and I came home very enthused about my doctorate.

It was wonderful to be in such a lovely environment. I stayed in student halls which took me back a bit, though they were much more sophisticated than in my day, more like Travelodge rooms. Leeds University campus is very similar to ours with a mix of different period buildings and these were my favourite ones. Quite fitting given my interest in textiles as they were the Clothworkers’ Court.

IMC Buildings 1

IMC Buildings 2

IMC Buildings 7

In the lobby there was a display of dyeing samples. I can just imagine the workers in the local textile industry coming to have lectures all about the different processes.

I went to quite a few really interesting presentations on textiles as well as ones on pilgrim badges and manuscripts. In total I attended about 36 separate presentations so I had a very busy week.

One of the most fascinating was about how they make facsimile manuscripts. There was a presentation and display by a company based in Germany, Zeireis Facsimiles,  where they showed the very complex process which was really amazing. They had some gorgeous reproductions including one of Mary Stuart’s book of hours below in the velvet cover.

IMC 6 Manuscript

IMC 1 Manuscript

IMC 3 Manuscript

IMC 2 Manuscript

There were also displays every lunchtime from the Brotherton Library, which is based at Leeds University. Those were fascinating, though some were not as ornate as others, but just amazing that they have survived this long.

IMC 10 Manuscript

IMC 9 Manuscript

I would love to go over and look at some of the manuscripts there so will try and factor that in to some free time after completing the doctorate.One other interesting thing was that they hold the collection of drawings from one of the major sources we use for costume research for re-enactment, by Herbert Norris, so I would love to look at those.

On the last day there was a medieval market with displays and stalls including one of my favourite textile people, Tanya Bentham from Threads of Time. She has the most amazing embroidery on her blog, Opus Anglicanum.

IMC Market 10

I also saw the lovely Jim of Trinity Court Potteries who I buy all my medieval ware from as well as one of my favourite thread suppliers, the Mulberry Dyer, who were doing a rope making demonstration. There was also book binding and falconry, it was just like being at a re-enactment event!

IMC Market 9

IMC Market 1

IMC Market 8

The combat displays were done by a very good group called Three Swords, you might recognise the heraldry on this shield as Jamie in our group also portrays De Warrene.

IMC Market 6

IMC Market 7

I loved the outfits that the Eran ud Turan group were wearing, such amazing fabric! They have a blog here which I am going to devote some time to as they have information about all the wonderful places that I want to travel to when I retire.

I have had a busy week since getting back from the conference, I made a shirt for Jamie as well as doing lots of sorting out and catching up from being away for nearly three weeks and then was off to the wonderful Tewkesbury event for last weekend. I will post about that next time as I need to collect some more pictures of the event first.

In other news the boiler has been poorly, it is nearly fixed but it is going to be quite expensive so I am glad that I have not got much else planned to do this summer. Jake is off in London today sorting out his visa for Japan which is very exciting, fingers crossed all will go well and he can start getting the final arrangements made.

I hope you all have a good week ahead, I shall be mainly working on the doctorate with a bit of work admin thrown in but plan to have some time at the weekend to craft. I seem to have quite a long to do list and really need to decide on an outfit for Lincoln at the end of August.

Take care and thanks for visiting.