Well dear friends some of you may remember that theTour de France 2014 started in Yorkshire, England. I’m not sure why or how to be honest, but Yorkshire sure made the most of the short lived fame! All along the route there are still flags,bunting and bicycles. The cycles have been dressed,painted,hung from walls, and placed in shop windows, roadside verges and anywhere else they could think of. Most of the bikes are painted yellow but today I stumbled across the best that I have seen.
This particular bike was in the church graveyard in the tiny village of Hardraw near Hawes North Yorkshire. It had been covered in crochet. There were tiny mice,daffodils, hedgehogs, leaves and a multitude of other country artifacts all lovingly crocheted in multi coloured yarns. The work that it had taken was huge and very impressive. It was leaning on the church notice board in the graveyard. I particularly like the fact that it rests amongst very old tomb stones in such a peaceful location.
In the same village (Hardraw) I visited the Focus on Felt Studio/gallery. This is owned and run by Andrea Hunter who specialises in original felt artwork. Her work is absolutely beautiful and depicts gorgeous landscapes and horses. It is hard to believe that the pictures are created from traditional felt work. Well worth a visit www focusonfelt.co.uk
Loom banding is a craze currently sweeping across Britain. I didn’t realise how popular it is until my Grandchildren turned up from around the UK with boxes of the darn things! We set up a tutorial on the dining room table so that they could teach the adults how to do it. It was great how seriously they took the teaching. They had obviously thought about it and structured the teaching in a very impressive thought through method. These loom bands are essential coloured or patterned elastic bands. They are either “woven” on the fingers or using a plastic loom. They talked about chains,fishtails and links. They also bought and swapped bands, clips and plastic charms. It certainly improves their eye hand co ordination and gives the adults some very quiet time.
Having all now dispersed around the country to their various homes I am so missing them. However, there are loom bands in the well of my car, down all my seating, in my Hoover and under all the furniture. Fond memories!
On our way home from a week by the beach we stopped for lunch in a garden centre and I spotted the above sign! It was very apt after a week in a caravan with 3 children. I took my three grandchildren, Daughter and Sis to New Quay in Wales. This is a pretty coastal village with picturesque harbour and lovely beaches. We had a hectic week with walks, swimming in pool, swimming in the sea (cold) and evening entertainment. Not to mention digging sand and building castles. Needless to say there was no private crafting time although I did lots of colouring and paper folding games. We watched a childrens’ movie every night and ate pancakes for breakfast. (An unusual treat for us)
We had never all holidayed together before and it was wonderful to see all my grandchildren playing together, although it is exhausting being “fair” and resolving disputes amicably! I hope that I created some lifelong memories and maybe one day they will say to their Grandchildren “I remember when I went to New Quay with my Nanna Barb…….”
I love my Monday Craft Group. It’s such a diverse group of ladies. There are spinners, quilters, sewers, knitters, stitches and those who visit for coffee and chat. Everyone is always so pleasant. We sort out the state of the nation, world politics, village gossip and life in general. We exchange magazines and patterns, recommend books and where the latest bargain is. If someone is stuck with a pattern there is always help at hand.if someone has completed something there is lots of admiration. So if you hear of a similar group go out and join in. Crafters are always such nice people. Honest!
let me know of YOUR favourite craft group.
This image was produced by the Craft Council and shows two Welsh ladies embroidering what I think is a bed cover.
I have enjoyed a book by Jen Jones titled “Welsh Quilts” which explains the history and background to the production of Welsh Quilts. Jen is a prolific collector and dealer in Welsh Quilts and has opened a Museum and shop in Lampeter, Wales. http://www.welshquilts.com Well worth a visit or even a detour into rural Wales.
In the book Jen describes itinerant quilters who travel from farm to farm making quilts for the farmers wife in under two weeks, earning roughly one pound. The quilter often sewed alone or had an apprentice. This girl was usually a farmer’s daughter for whom they would pay two pounds. She would travel with the quilter for a year whilst learning the craft.
The Royal Industries Bureau created and supported craft enterprises in Rural Wales in 1928. In areas of borderline poverty this project provided employment for rural women hand stitching hundreds of quilts. These quilts of very high quality were exported to Cardiff and London for the aristocracy to purchase. This continued until the Second World War.
Welsh quilts provide significant cultural history and are treasured,collected and enjoyed around the World.
Thanks to Jen Jones http://www.welshquilts.com