Tag Archives: Holiday

Slow Sewing in Snowdonia

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As I said I recently spent a beautiful weekend in Plas Tan Y Bwlch with the North Wales Embroiderers Guild.

At first I was overwhelmed by the talent of the other Guild members, but then I decided that I can only learn from them. I learned a LOT.

There were three tutors on the weekend and we each chose to attend one “craft” There was screen printing, machine embroidery and Appliqué. I chose to stay in my comfort zone of appliqué.

Our tutor was particularly good as she showed slides of her journey through Uzbekistan and the textiles which are a specialty of that area. The Suzanis were very similar to the textiles that I saw in India.

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A Stitching Fest

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Recently I was fortunate to be able to go on a stitching fest. Imagine that! A whole weekend of stitching heaven! I went with the North Wales Embroiderers Guild to a beautiful Mansion called Plas Tan Y Bwlch. This C18 country mansion is now The Snowdonia National Park Centre and offers Accommodation and courses throughout the year. Each year The North Wales Embroiderers Guild hire the whole building, engage 3 specialist tutors and off we go!

http://www.plastanybwlch.com

http://www.embroiderersguild.com

I was so taken with the location that I took Hubs back for lunch in the tea room with the most spectacular views. Many other courses are on offer throughout the year including photography, walking in Snowdonia, art, Welsh history and much more.

I will tell you more about my slow stitching weekend ( and I am slow!)in the next blog. See you then!!

The difference a day makes

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What a difference a day makes! Today was sunny, bright and cheerful. There was a “start of the season” party on the sea front today. There was live music, RNLI (which we all hope we will never need!) children’s games and a display of plastic waste! The plastic was shocking and brought home how much plastic waste that there must be in the sea. Nothing better than visual aides!

I have also put another vintage cloth into my Etsy shop Visit noddfacrafts.etsy.com

This is a beautiful vintage linen tray cloth.

Scrap Booking

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Scrap booking is not a craft that I normally indulge in, but my recent Indian adventure inspired me to make a record of it. I had printed off a selection of my many photographs, bought some glue and off I went. I had purchased a beautiful note book whilst in India which is what I have used.

I collected waste silk from the dying process, ephemera from the hotels and Textile workshops and of course, photographs. All these have been added to the scrap book. I’m not quite finished because there has been much more work than I anticipated. Hubs is keen to reclaim the dining room table so complete I will. May be I could do another one on crafts??

There is a dining room table under here somewhere!

Crafts of India 3

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Whilst my trip to India was a wonderful adventure, I was extremely disappointed to find on arrival in Delhi that the block printing section had been removed from the itinerary ( as were most other people on the tour) The travel company “Colouriscious” had removed that leg of the holiday and no one realised until we arrived in Delhi. The remaining elements of the adventure however, were amazingly good.

We did see a small example of block printing when attending other workshops.

Used blocks covered in Indigo paint.

Cloth printed and partially embroidered. This fabric is destined to become a sari. When the embroidery is complete it will be washed in the river ( Which didn’t look too clean!) and dried in the sun. The washing removes the indigo print and leaves the white embroidery. It will become a beautiful, very white sari.

Bear with me! Only one more Textile Adventure blog to go!

Shopping in India

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Surajkund International Craft Fair reputed to be one of the largest in the World! It was huge! There was a great atmosphere with all ages visiting the annual fair. It felt completely safe with much friendly banter. We were the only white faces to be seen and obviously a spectacle of interest. We were constantly asked for permission for the locals to take selfies with us. I felt like a celebrity when even three policemen asked could they pose with me!

There was music everywhere, dance troupes at every corner and street food of every description.

I learned to barter which doesn’t sit easily with my shopping habit! I did, however buy pashminas, scarves and cushion covers!

It was the hottest day of the holiday but that added to the atmosphere of a never to be forgotten experience, in India.

The People of India

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I recently had a holiday to India when I visited Delhi, Varanasi, Lucknow and Agra. It was a fantastic trip aimed at learning about Indian textiles. The experience was wonderful, enhanced by the many people that I met en route. How do they do this?.

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IMG_2478Making fishing nets , the whole family involved

IMG_2498Still working! This time assembling packets for sale Could be a knit and natter group

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The Village water supply

Crafts of India (2)

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Rural India where artisans make fine hand knotted carpets. Here, in the village centre,the cows relax in the shade.

The village “pond” where clothes are washed and young men fish for dinner. In the foreground cow dung is drying in the sun, waiting to be used as fuel.

Young men dying the silk in cold water vats. The hanks of silk are dunked and rotated through the dye vats. The women stay at home and work in the fields.

“Boilers” waiting to be fired up to heat the hot water dying vats. Note the winding apparatus to place the hanks of silk on ready for dying.

Field of drying yarn hanks both silk and wool. Destined to become carpets. This region ( Bhadohi) employs 2.2 million rural artisans in a 100% export orientated industry.

The end product Beautiful silk carpets. Which incidentally, reached the UK within 10 Days.

The Colours of India

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Just about recovered from my jet lag and thought that I would share some memories with you.We visited Surajkund International Craft Fair where there was no shortage of colour, noise, smells and people. An amazing assault on the senses, but one that I wouldn’t have missed.Beautiful textiles at every angle There was silk,wool, and cotton in a rainbow of colours, hues and shades. It would have been very rude not to buy ! So I did! ( many times!),No “Political Correctness” hereNo Magnolia here!

The Indian Terracotta Army?

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Don’t you just love these Terracotta horses? We visited the Sanskrit Centre today. It is a museum and arts centre with three museums. The museums are dedicated to Terracotta (or pottery) Everyday art and Textiles. Sadly we could not take pictures of the inside and their beautiful textile display. Also they did not have post cards or photographs of the displays as it would not be in keeping with their philosophy of no commercialism.

There were artists in residence with accommodation available. We saw a potter making these clay horses and I met a photographer who was on a seven week sabbatical. A lovely place to retreat into crafts.

The exhibition of textiles was amazing and inspiring. Another Forget me not sort of a day.