1471 all over again!

Apologies for my absence, I came back from Tewkesbury and had so many lovely pictures to show you and then changed internet service and it all went badly wrong so I have had no internet for a while.

Thankfully after much frustration with customer service phonelines, (no I cannot go to your web help pages to sort this out as I have no internet! No I cannot take a picture of the hub as I have no smartphone!), a lovely man came and fixed the problem this morning so I am back.

It was a brilliant Battle of Tewkesbury once again, very hot both days so we were melting but luckily everything went ahead and everyone had a fantastic time.Here are friends Richard and Dave off to battle.

Richard and Dave at Tewks - small

Here are me in the blue dress, Ellie in dark and light pink and Kerry just behind me in green marching onto the battle on Sunday.
Watercarrying at Tewks

Here is the prince escorting his mother, Margaret of Anjou onto the battlefield, the picture below is of her and the ladies of her court.

Tewks Prince and Queen - small

Tewks Queen's court

And here is Lord Somerset, one the main Lancastrain leaders and his contingent.

Rupert and Allan at Tewks-small

This is king marching onto the battlefield, our friend Dave’s banner is part of the party – the white with black stripe and diamonds, don’t they look magnificent all together!

Tewkesbury Dave's banner - small

Here is my friend Mike who I interviewed about guns at Tatton in action on the battlefield.

Mike Gunning at Tewksbury - small

The ladies’ costumes were once again stunning and thanks to the miracles of the internet, (i.e. other people’s Facebook posts), I have some lovely images for you.Here are the ladies of the court marching to the beheading.

Tewkesbury Trial procession - small

Tewkesbury trial 2

And here is the King and his entourage at the trial expressing disbelief at the rebel’s excuses.

This is my wonderfully talented friend Kat with the most gorgeous new head dress.She was kind enough to let me interview her for my research as well.

Tewks Kat Richard and Dave

Thank you so much to all of the people that take pictures of us in kit and share them, it is brilliant to have a record of events when we can’t have cameras with us.I don’t know everyone who took these as some were re-shared but thanks to Celtic Hammer for some of these.

My steam punk outfit for Saturday night worked well. I don’t have any really good pictures of it as by the time we had been to the beheading and to the beautiful Compline service at the church and got changed it was very dark. I will get some better pictures in daylight in August.

I did take some pictures of my own as I was out of kit on Sunday morning doing some more of my doctoral research so these are from various living history camps.

Tewks - encampment 1

Tewks - encampment 2

I was talking to and videoing lots of people just doing what they do at re-enactment, talking to the public, playing games, cooking, mending their kit.

Tewks - encampment 3

Tewks - encampment 4

Tewks - encampment 5

It was really lovely to just wander, re-enactors are a great bunch of people, so enthusiastic and I am loving doing the research with them.

I have another quiet weekend ahead so will be continuing with making bags and pouches for Sarah’s Yarndale stall as well as a present for one of my younger relatives. I have recently discovered Vikings and am enjoying binge watching that while stitching. Not as much pretty costume in that but some of it is very lovely, especially now we have got to the French court and I am really enjoying the series, particularly the women’s roles. Lagertha is my new hero, very impressed with her.

I found this lovely image of her on the web and this funny so thought I would leave you with these.

Largetha - Vikings

Lagertha - quoteTake care and thanks for visiting.

 

 

Happy reading, happy making!

Books make me so happy, I love reading and I am always buying more of them. Mostly from charity shops and often find real bargains, especially in the lovely National Trust second hand books shops.

I also love buying craft books that are either published by bloggers or promoted by them as then you know that you are getting something really well worth it and that you are helping someone who is really dedicated to what they do.

My birthday present book was one that was recommended by Sedef of Down Grapevine Lane  a while ago and I added it straight away to my wish list.

It is called Happy Flower Quilts by Atsuko Matsuyama  and it is very much a ‘me’ sort of book. So much cuteness and use of little flowery prints!

Happy Flower Quilts 1

I would have bought the book just on the strength of the Dresden pincushion pattern as I have still not got over how cute they are but there are so many other lovely ideas in here, especially for a person with lots of small female relatives! I love the sewing case with its spool patchwork designs.

I really like the 3D flower applique on this little purse and the Honey Bee block would be lovely as a bag design as well. The book comes with full size templates for everything and I can’t wait to have time to play with some of these designs.

I have finished all of my steampunk outfit and am off to Tewkesbury Medieval Festival this coming weekend where as well as enjoying dressing up I will be doing lots of research for my doctorate as it is the biggest event in Europe so I am planning to do lots of videoing of the wonderful things that people are doing.

Take care and thanks for visiting.

Man made splendour

We also visited Penrhyn Castle when we were in Wales which is a stunning mock castle built in the 1820s for the wealthy Pennant family who had made their fortune from slate.

Penrhyn Castle

It is even more impressive when you learn that it was only a holiday home, used for a couple of months a year.

My favourite areas were the great hall, built to look like a cathedral, the amazing staircase made of dark and light stone and the drawing room with its beautiful silk damask wallpaper.

Penrhyn Castle 3

Penrhyn Castle staircase

The Drawing Room at Penrhyn Castle, Gwynedd showing the oak chairs and sofa designed by Thomas Hopper and the dazzling silk lampas (brocade) and curtains

As with all the Trust properties that we visit I love looking for the details of the construction, like this wonderful door and the brass grille in the great hall that was part of the heating system. Such gorgeous work.

Penrhyn Castle 2

Penrhyn Castle 4

On a less grand, but equally lovely scale, we visited Plas Newydd, built beside the Menai Strait for the first Marquis of Angelsey who was a hero of the battle of Waterloo, again it was firstly used as a holiday home but later the family lived there full-time.

Plas Newdd house

This beautiful bedroom belonged to one of the women who lived there in the 1930s and it is just the sort of place that I could see myself actually living in.

Plas Newdd interior 2

Plas Newdd interior 1

I love the delicate fabrics on the bed, the beautiful printed wallpaper and the muslin spot fabric for the curtains and dressing table, so romantic!

There was lots of beautiful work on display at Erddig as well, stunning mirrors and furniture and some beautiful silk stitchery.

Erdigg interior 3

Erdigg interior 7

One of the best parts of the house for me were the housekeeper’s sitting room and the servants’ attic rooms, full of evidence of the sorts of stitching that the household staff would have been doing.

I love the way that these rooms look, a little shabby but so real, so unlike the grandeur of Penrhyn but just as interesting.

I have just had my birthday and my lovely children bought me lots of presents including a very nice quilting book so I will share that with you in my next post.

I am spending the weekend hand-stitching and watching TV, finishing off applying lace to lots of things for my steampunk outfit for next weekend and and working on some more embroidery for bags for Yarndale.

Hope that you all have a lovely weekend and thanks for visiting.

 

 

Natural beauty

Ellie and I have just come back from our long weekend camping in North Wales. Originally we were booked into a re-enactment at Conwy but our group had to cancel so we thought we would make the most of the opportunity for a visit to some of the National Trust properties in the area.We stayed at  Conwy Touring Park which was a lovely site with great views.

Since it was nice weather for most of the time we not only got to visit several properties but also go for a walk in the mountains in Snowdonia. We saw such beautiful places so I thought I would share some of them with you.

First we visited Erddig , which is a house that dates from the early 1700s and it has been beautifully restored after falling into a ruinous state in the 1960s. The formal gardens were gorgeous and I particularly loved the less formal borders with thistles, poppies and lilies.

Erddig 2

Erddig 3

Erddig 4

Erddig 1

On Saturday we drove into the Snowdonia National Park to an area known as Cwm Idwal which is also owned by the Trust.

Cwm Idwal 1

Cwm Idwal 2

It was a perfect day for walking, cloudy but not wet and the clouds added to the dramatic scenery. We had a brilliant walk round the lake and then a picnic by a waterfall, just perfect!

Cwm Idwal 3

Cwm Idwal 4

Cwm Idwal 5

In the afternoon the sun came out which made the wonderful Bodnant Gardens look fantastic. The house is still in private ownership and the gardens that surround it are just gorgeous with the most beautiful views towards Snowdonia.

Bodnant 1

Bodnant 2

Bodnant 12

Bodnant 13

We really loved the hydrangea bushes, the heads were all at different stages of flowering and it was amazing to see the colours develop on these blue ones, so beautiful!

Bodnant 10

Bodnant 9

Bodnant 11

A great weekend and I will be back later in the week with some of the lovely interiors from these and the other places we visited.

Meanwhile I am working on some more Steampunk stuff as I want to update my outfit. We have been dressing up in the evenings at events and here is a picture taken by my lovely friend Silke at Tatton.

Alison Steampunk - Tatton - small

I love my top hat and am awaiting a new skirt, gloves and choker that will be delivered this week.I am decorating a pair of boots and velvet jacket with lace to add to my collection of outfits.

Take care and thanks for visiting.

 

 

Thank goodness for trees!

We British are never happy with the weather are we? After complaining all week about it raining and hoping for a dry weekend we then spent all of the Tatton event saying it was too hot.It did get up to about 30 degrees so there was a big difference between that and the grey wet weather earlier.

Thankfully we were camped near some very shady trees so spent a lot of the weekend in this beautiful spot, sitting catching up with friends before roasting on the battlefield.

Tatton - Trees 1

Tatton - Trees 2

Tatton - Trees 3

Tatton - Trees 4

I managed to do some interviews for my doctorate, among them the man who plays King Edward at Tewkesbury, Mike who is a gunner and a new member of a friend’s group, Sian, who was skinning and tanning rabbits.

This is beautiful tent belonging to Dave the king, the paintings on the hangings are done by his wife.He has very impressive fluted armour which looks wonderful on the battlefield.

Tatton - Kings Tent

Here is Mike with his flintlock, he is normally a hand-gunner in the battles and also has taken part in displays with larger guns as part of the gun crew.

Tatton - Mike with gun 1

Tatton - Mike with gun 2

Sian was skinning and cooking with the rabbits on Saturday and on Sunday the heat had meant that she was able to start the process of de-fleshing the skins to use the hide, normally that would take 3 days.

Tatton - Sian with rabbit skin 1

This is one of the larger skins from a previous tanning, it is so beautifully soft.

Tatton - Sian with rabbit skin 2

In this photo you can see the difference between the skins still with the flesh on them in the left of the picture and the finished skin. It was fascinating to watch her doing the whole process.

I know that I normally include some lovely costume pictures for you but it was so hot we were all dressed down for most of the time, here is our friend Dave in a fetching combination of medieval undergarments, sunnies, straw hat and trainers back at camp.

Tatton - Dave in soft kit

We had a lovely weekend and are really looking forward to next weekend when we are going camping in North Wales, just a little holiday for Ellie and I visiting some Trust properties though friends are at an event at Conwy Castle so may pop in and see them there.

Hope you have a great week ahead and thanks for visiting.

Family Heirlooms

During our recent craft evening at Rosemari’s house I was able to take some pictures of the things that she has been working on and with. She has inherited her grandmother’s sewing box containing a lot of unfinished items so for the last year has been working on this hexagon quilt which is now completed.

Rosemari's quilt

This is a Grandmother’s Flower Garden pattern with smaller flowers in between the flowers, a very apt pattern for an inherited quilt! This Pinterest page has lots more pictures of this type of pattern, they are so pretty and were really popular as a quilt pattern. There is some more information on the pattern and links to instructions here at Patterns from History.

The quilt is a fascinating mixture of fabrics and many of them had the backing cards still in them, I love vintage things like these, not just for the item but for the social history aspect of them as well. It has been really lovely to see the progress on this quilt.

Rosemari has now decided to make a patchwork back to the quilt in the colours that will suit her bedroom decor so that it can be used which means she will have a great combination of her work and her grandmother’s.

The other thing she has are some embroidery cases containing stitching thread. The threads are not vintage but the cases are. This one is made of linen with beautiful embroidered flowers that are very similar in design to some of the ones I have on tablecloths and other vintage stash.

Rosemari's stitching roll 2

These embroideries were probably sold as transfers or given away free in magazines which explains why there are so many similar ones. With some of the ones that I have just been using for my log cabin blocks you can still see the blue outline of the transfer.

If you want to have a look at some more vintage motifs there are lots of sites that offer them for free, this one French Knots   has over 300 motifs to print off. The brilliant NeedlenThread site also has a vintage embroidery page with links. This site also has lots of other beautiful free embroidery patterns to print off.

Rosemari's stitching roll 3

Rosemari's stitching roll 4

Rosemari is now working on one of the embroideries that were left as well, it is about half completed and as you can see she has all the threads she needs for that and any more she wants to do.

Rosemari's stitching roll 1

It is lovely that she is able to carry on, not only the tradition of stitching but also her grandmother’s actual work. It makes them very special pieces.

I have been doing lots of embroidery myself over the weekend and have been having a lovely relaxing time, hope that you have had a nice weekend as well and thanks for visiting.

Little Pretties

I am very much looking forward to the weekend ahead, I have some time off in lieu of all the marking that I have been doing the last few weeks so have a four day weekend to look forward to 🙂

There will of course be much crafting and hopefully a couple of walks with Jake and Ted the dog. Hoping for some blue skies as we have had a dreadful week here, gales and cold wet weather, not at all summery.

However there has been distraction in the form of very pretty fabric being delivered. I was in need of more Liberty to widen my choice of patterns for the vintage log cabins so was very pleased to find some new suppliers of Liberty who offered different selections.

Liberty squares 1

This first set came from Zuzucrafts on Ebay who have lots of choice of colourways in their packs, this is a 5″ by 5″ scrap pack. Lots of gorgeous little prints!

Liberty squares 2

Then I found a mini charm pack of Liberty from Vickbmouth at Ebay. There are 50 squares in this pack and they are perfect for making the sorts of needle books and pincushions that I have done for Sarah for Yarndale.

Liberty charm pack 1

Liberty charm pack 2

Liberty charm pack 3

My final purchase for this week, though I really must stop buying fabric now 😉 ,was a scrap pack of Lecien fabrics, which I have taken a selection from for the picture below.

Lecien fabrics 1

I have wanted some of these ever since seeing them on Jenny of Elefantz’s blog. I am also planning to use these with some of the vintage embroidery for log cabins and they came from Pretty Fabrics and Trims.

They sent me a lovely personalised e-mail to confirm my order and then this little tag on the order, what great customer service. They asked me to share what I make with the scraps which I will do.

Lecien fabrics 3

I really love all of the small flower prints and may turn some of these into little house pincushions like the one in the first photo again as I gave away all the last ones to the girls at our recent craft evening.

Lecien fabrics 2

I have finished the Splendid Sampler block which I was embroidering, this was on my to do list for this year and I love the way that it has turned out.Excuse the photo quality, no light here this morning!

Elefantz Splendid Sampler completed 1

I altered the design slightly from the original which I posted about earlier and used variegated Cottage Garden hand dyed thread that I got from Quilted Hearts. This is being made into a hanging for my craft room.

I am currently stitching another one of Jenny’s designs in variegated thread as well, a gorgeous bird design which is one of her free designs from here. I will probably finish that over the weekend as her designs are so quick to do and so beautiful.I am hooked on Orange is the New Black on Netflix again, am half way through Season 4 in preparation for the new season which is released today.

So I do hope you all have plans for a lovely weekend as well, I am feeling very happy and relaxed at the moment, it has been a great year in my new role and I am looking forward to a summer full of fun stuff and lots of opportunity to use my new fabric!

Take care and thanks for visiting.