Saturday, July 23, 2011

Down the years

I was just browsing through a gallery of Antique Samplers....lots from Scotland and England, very beautiful and detailed and oh so colourful.  Britain was pretty dour in the early 19th Century and times were hard, particularly in Scotland.  But here were little girls learning their letters and numbers and their stitches and creating lasting and now absolutely prized craft works that have long outlived them. The items they made were quite common in their day - most girls did them, but it is because they have survived and thus are rare, but also because they are stitched with care and skill and have created their own simple radiance.  But this applies to a lot of the things that I see every time I read craft blogs...love and care and a wish to create something lasting and good and beautiful.  Ok we blog because we want to share our work with others, or want to show off, or want the lovely admiring comments....if we are honest with ourselves, this is true to varying degrees for each of us.

Maybe that is why I stitch...cooking meals and cleaning the house...and even (dare I say it) raising children is not something that last too long.  Meals and clean houses do not last for (sometimes) more than a minute  or two.  Children go off and take responsibility for their own lives, but really your influence on the world, through them, only last your lifetime and perhaps a little beyond.  But a beautiful heirloom is another matter.....I know many of you will say that children influence and contribute long after you are gone, and I pray that mine will.  But mine seem to have grown  up so quickly - quicker and quicker every year!  (Oh dear maudlin again!)

But excuse my total lack of modesty I would like someone to go a Museum (in person or online) in generations to come and see a sampler or a quilt or some cross stitch that I have finished and say "Oh isn't that lovely!!!"  I doubt that the little girls ever imagined that their work would outlast them...maybe they just want to get it finished so they could get on with something else.   Craft is something that gives pleasure while you are doing it - there are moments when this is not strictly true (unpicking springs to mind) - craft also gives you pleasure when you complete something, when you get admiring comments and when your kids find some forgotten finished piece in a drawer after you are gone - or if by some miracle it ends up in the Sampler Room of the V&A (Well we can dream can't we!!!!!)

I should probably go and do some stitching after all that I have just said......

Here is the link

http://www.antiquesamplers.org

This girl could be a relative of mine Jannet Bruce 1775 Edinburgh

Mary Donaldson aged 12 1814 Peebles

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Chaos Theory is at hand Little Leaf

I have not blogged recently, but have been reading others blogs....you know how one leads to another and to another and to another.  So many people write so well....one woman's story of her grandmother had tears rolling down my face...all those lives out there, so different from my own - lives that are moving along steadily - or is it randomly.  Can we plan anything...should we plan anything?  Maybe Chaos Theory has its good points, or is that just an excuse to abrogate all responsibility for our lives and just float along like a little leaf on the surface of the waters of the world.  If you are wondering IS THIS WOMAN DRUNK - no sadly I am not...just a bit maudlin....it is very cold and very windy and very grey...and I should be vacuuming the entire house and folding clean clothes and thinking about dinner, even though I have just finished breakfast.  My life feels rather like Chaos Fact, rather than Theory....trying to keep all the balls in the air at once - but they are getting a bit wayward and I think I just dropped one and it rolled under the sofa....Mr Hoover is calling.

Have a good day - may we all relax into Chaos Theory and not plan too much and just hope for the best!!!  I am picturing myself as a floating leaf.....

Friday, July 8, 2011

Next Big Plan

When the Quilting Queen and the Crafty Princess and I were at the Craft Show we saw the Needlework Tour people.  I have been past their stall every year for years...and always get their lovely brochure...and daydream.  But this time with aiding and abetting from the Quilting Queen we are going in 2013.  The tour starts in London and there are two or three different itineraries....and because it is so far (literally the other side of the world from Sydney) and because it costs so much to get there, we decided that we would do two tours combined.  The Stitches and Stately Homes Tours - Tours A and B, England Scotland and Ireland and then Southwest England and France.....will cost me a bomb but will love every minute of it.  History and stitching PERFECT.  And 5 days off in London in between....happy days.

Maybe we could organise a stitching day in Hyde Park or Kew Garden or Trafalgar Square.....got to save up now.  So no more buying of stash....will definitely have the stash whittled down by September 2013

 http://www.needleworktours.com.au/index.htm

Here is the link which has the itineraries and lovely lovely pictures.


 And of course the food......


June was completely disorganised!!!

Hello to all my sisters and brothers of the stitch.....I am embarrassed by the length of my absence - missed June altogether.  I seem to have been very busy....but for the life of me cannot tell you what I have done.  Have done some stitching and some knitting, but nothing finished....lots of going to work, and lots of house cleaning (well that is a down and out lie....there was the bare minimum of house cleaning.  Just enough to stop the health inspectors arriving!) 

BUT WAIT....the Crafty Princess and I did go to the Ball!!!!....well the Craft Show at Darling Harbour in Sydney.  Huge barn of a place filled with TEMPTATION!!  But as we had promised to the lovely boys from Stitch it All, I managed to show them the finished Wedding Sampler.....the Princess on the other hand was NEARLY finished....but not quite.
We also met the Quilting Queen - my friend Coral there....she escaped from work early and met us there for lunch.

Stupidly went to the Show saying to myself that I would not buy anything....had enough stuff to fuel my craft projects for the rest of my life....and if I ran out I could cadge some from the Princess, who has enough for 15 lifetimes!!  But of course I did buy stuff - a full metre of linen from the Lovely Boys, a quilt pattern, some silk thread for my dear little sampler (am now completely addicted to these) and worst of all some beads got me sucked in.  LIKE I NEED ANOTHER CRAFT LIKE A HUGE HOLE IN THE SIDE OF MY HEAD!!!  But what can you do, the lovely green and blue glass beads just spoke to me, like charming little pets that beg wordlessly to come home with you......YOU ALL KNOW WHAT I MEAN.


And also bought a very lovely Ink Circles pattern and a kit for Christmas Ornaments that I am going to share 50/50 with Mel from work....another one the Crafty Princess and I have infected with the cross stitch bug.





You notice that the Ornament kit is on special - I rationalised it very well with that....see lovely orange sticker!!


The Ink Circles pattern was done in lovely variegated golden thread - not sure what I will use but I think I will do it on a more traditional natural linen background.




 I only bought enough fabric to do the central medallion....see I can show restraint....sometime and only in small amounts...but it is restraint nonetheless!!
This is the lovely sampler....with bees and butterflies and flowers and lovely blue and pink silks....ooooooooooooooooooooohhh!