Monday, 30 September 2013

Scottish tapestries, Leigh Network brooches, another scrapbook cum journal page and a bit more.

Not had a that bad a week making-wise, as I finished most of what I wanted to (apart from my commission for blue embroidered fish - I'm a bit stuck at the moment).

My Mum and Dad brought me some postcards of the new tapestries at Stirling Castle, the favourite residence of Scottish King and Queens (click on the link to see the Castle's website. There's lots of info on the castle and it's residences). Over the past few years, weavers from West Dean Tapestry Studio have been creating a series of tapestries to be hung in the Queen's Inner Hall.

From the Hunt of the Unicorn tapestry
Picture copyright Historic Scotland

These tapestries, featuring a unicorn, are closely based on a set of seven held by the Metropolitan Museum of New York at its Cloisters Museum. The original tapestries were produced in the early 1500s in the Low Countries.Tapestries were extremely expensive and were prized by the wealthy elites of the European Renaissance. James V had two sets of tapestries featuring unicorns, so something similar may have hung on the castle.

I'd have loved to see how the tapestries were made as they're woven, as opposed to the tapestry that I have done which were needlepoint. It's on my list of things to study.

There's another set of new tapestries in Scotland, the Great Tapestry of Scotland, the brainchild of the author Alexander McCall Smith. Andrew Crummy designed the panels, which reflect the history of Scotland. The tapestry was worked, using a variety of needlework stitches, by volunteers. Currently, it is thought to be the longest tapestry in the world, with a length of 143 metres. In comparison, the Bayeux Tapestry is 70 metres in length. As the history of Scotland is still happening, the tapestry will continue to have panels added to it. For example, Andy Murray's Wimbledon win will be celebrated in tapestry.

Photo copyright The Great Tapestry of Scotland.

Unfortunately, I haven't had the chance to see the tapestry in real life, but I hope to explore the tapestry as part of my needlework learning. The book about the tapestry is on my Christmas wish list.

The first item on my completed list this week is a commission of five brooches from the Leigh Network. Faye Wylie has Leigh's Syndrome and when she tried to find a support group of other Leigh's sufferers she didn't find one so she set up the Leigh Network.

Leigh's Syndrome, like chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia, is a mitochondrial disease. 

She also designed the Leigh Network butterfly, which I have used for their brooches.

Photo: I've finished the commission I had from the @leighnetwork for five brooches with their logo. I hope to sell some through my website (with a donation to them) .The design of the butterfly represents different aspects of mitochondrial (mito) diseases.
  • At the top of the wings, yellow/red represents the neurological aspect of mito illnesses.
  • Green is the colour that represent mito and the shape are the cells.
  • Purple stripes represent other health issues that often come with a mitoillness such as epilepsy or dystonia.
  • The sun rise is to offer that hope that every new day brings in the research development.
  • The starry sky is also to bring hope and peace that a new day will bring positive development.
I hope to sell these brooches via my website soon, with profits going to the Leigh Network. 
I also finished:
  • a scrapbook cum journal page
  •  a Christmas heart
  • halloween bunting (this is just a sneaky peak as it'll be having its own post later in the week). 
I hope your week is a creative one.
P.S. Pop over to Handmade Harbour for more craftiness. I'll be linking with more blog parties too, you can see the buttons for these in the right-hand column of this blog.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

The sun is shining, a spot of knitting and a little embroidery.

Summer has decided to come back for a day so we had a little walk this morning along the prom. It was nice to have another day where you didn't need to wear a coat.

This week I've only managed to finish one thing, but I haven't been idle. I've done some more of the a longline gilet I started last year. I've nearly finished the left side.

I've started on one of the three embroidered fish I mentioned last week.

I did finish a couple of scrapbook cum journal pages this week, inspired by my little trip to Edinburgh.

The only bit of ephemera that I had from the trip was the parking ticket. The rest came from my little collection. 

As well as starting on the three fish, I started my make for next month's Get Crafty challenge. As next month is October, the subject is halloween. I've decided to make some cardboard bunting. So far I've made some papier mache medallions. I'll share some pictures when it's finished.

Talking about the monthly challenge, there's still plenty of time to enter the September challenge, you have till the end of the month. Anyone from anywhere can enter. The theme this month is weddings, you can enter two items if you have more than one idea. There's a prize for the best entry this month too. Pop over to the challenge website for more info.

I found a fab embroidery book in the Oxfam shop in Liverpool city centre. It's full of pictures of different types of embroidery from all around the world. There's so many juicy things in there, I'm going to give it it's own blog post.

I hope you all have a great week


P.S. Don't forget to pop over to Handmade Monday for more blogs to read. I also link to various other link parties. You can see the buttons for these in the right-hand column.



Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Old Town, Edinburgh in pictures.

As I had such a short time in Edinburgh last week, I didn't have time to visit the New Town as well as the Old. The Old Town, as suggested by its name, is the oldest part of Edinburgh and many medieval buildings, as well as the medieval street plan, have been preserved. The Castle is on top of a hill and most of the Old Town flows down from it towards Holyrood (where the Palace and the Scottish Parliament are). There are many steep streets, small alley ways and lots of steps! Buildings appear to have been built on top of each other and there are some that could almost be skyscrapers, built hundreds of years before those in the USA. There is one section of the town that did build on top of, and closed off, a whole section of streets because of plague. Some of these buildings can now be visited. 

If you're interested in more information about the history of Edinburgh, I'd start at the history of Edinburgh pages on Wikipedia.

Now for the pictures. A lot of these pictures are of buildings and bits of buildings that took my fancy and therefore I don't know the names of some of them.

The first pictures are of buildings in Blair Street. Look at those built out windows in  the second picture, there's a roof addition on the same building too.

The next five pictures are of buildings on the Royal Mile or High Street.

The next four pictures are taken from the back of a building on the High Street looking towards Cowgate (a great name isn't it?).

This picture is off the High Street looking towards St. Gile's Cathedral.

The next three photos are of buildings on Cockburn Street. You can't really see from these pictures but it is very steep. I was glad we were walking down rather than up!

Steps on Cockburn Street leading up towards the High Street.

This is the first photo of the Balmoral Hotel. The glass roof is over Waverley rail stations. 

Princes Street Gardens, this used to be, many hundreds+ years ago, a loch (Nor Loch). The railway line runs along the bottom of the depression.

Two views across Princes Street Gardens towards the Castle, the other large stone building is the Scottish National Gallery.

This last one is of the Scott Monument. There'll be more photos of this and other bits of Edinburgh in a future post.

I hope you've enjoyed seeing these photos.


More the Merrier Monday

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Shopping, a second go at crochet and a little trip.

 A lot of my raw materials comes from charity shops. They're a good source of vintage bedding (there's bucket loads of fabric in a king size duvet cover!), crocheted mats, wool, etc, though you can't guarantee a good haul every time you go. My regular haunt in New Brighton hasn't had much in it (for me) the past couple of weeks but this week I found yarn. Lots of it. There's some in the picture below, plus there was at least of a dozen more that stayed with my Mum. I also bought a stack of cross-stitching magazines and a couple of pillow cases. Not bad eh?


On Thursday, I went to Calico Laine's shop in Neston. I usually visit their Liscard shop, but their Neston one is a bit bigger and laid out differently, but I can't get there on public transport. This week we had access to a car so to Neston we went. Unfortunately, I was accompanied by my other half so I couldn't mooch around as much as I'd have done if I was on my own. I think I did manage to see everything though!

You can see what I bought in the picture below. One of the reasons I wanted to go there was to see things that aren't in the Liscard shop, but are on their website. When it comes to fabric you really do need to see what it looks and feels like.


On Friday I was on a day trip to Edinburgh and on the journey there and back I had a go at my first granny square. Earlier this year I had my first try of crochet and made a flower, but I have been wanting to do a granny square for a while, as I'd like a granny square blanket. 

Once I had mastered the triple crochet, it was quite straight forward.I started the square a few times until I had the hang of it. You can see my finished square below. It's a bit wonky and I think I missed a treble on the second ring, but it is my first one. For my second square, I'm aiming to keep it as neat as possible, so I'll keep redoing it till I get it right.

I didn't have long in Edinburgh, but I did take quite a few pictures, a couple of which are below. I'll share more of them in the week.

The Balmoral Hotel

Looking across the roof of Waverley station towards Edinburgh Castle

This building used to house The Scotsman newspaper, it's now a hotel.

On the making front this week, I've made a couple of Christmas decorations and done a bit more of my knitted sleeveless jerkin that I started in January 2011! I've had a commission for three of my decorated fish so I've also drawn the design for the embroidery for these. I've also drafted a design for a new sampler, even though I have another that's unfinished, along with the rest of the pile of TBCs (to be completed). My excuse is that I have to draft a design as soon as I get the idea, otherwise I'd forget!

Have a great week.


P.S. Don't forget to pop over to Handmade Monday to see what other bloggers have been up to in the past week. There's also a list of other blog parties I share with in the right-hand side column.

P.S.S. Don't forget that you still have plenty of time to enter this month's Creative Connections challenge. The theme is 'wedding' and the closing date is 30th September. If you'd like to join in go over to the monthly challenge blog.  More the Merrier Monday