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.


  1. What an informative post. Your brooches are sure to be a hit and what a tremendous amount of thought you put into them. Lovely :)

  2. A great post and I bet your brooches will be very popular. Hope you have a good week.

  3. Its all looking good, I think I love your little heart best

  4. Wow you have been busy!! The Halloween bunting is my favourite, such an original take on a traditional decoration :)

  5. I love medieval tapestries and love to visit the Toledo Museum of Art to just gaze and be amazed. Blessings to you from Marie @

  6. How beautiful. I can't wait to see more about that bunting. Thanks for sharing this with the Less Laundry, More Linking party. #ns

  7. Your work is gorgeous! Thank you for sharing your talents with us at Inspire Me Monday. I am featuring your Christmas Heart at this week's party at Create With Joy! :-)

  8. Thinking about the past and considering that they have very little technology, I am so amazed at how they were able to come up with such an idea as a tapestry. Goes to show how brilliant those people were during their time.

  9. Thinking about the past and considering that they have very little technology, I am so amazed at how they were able to come up with such an idea as a tapestry. Goes to show how brilliant those people were during their time.