Tag Archives: inspiration

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

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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.

Crafts of India (1)

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IMG_2657When in Agra I visited a marble workshop where men worked day upon day creating marble masterpieces. They inlaid semi precious stones into the marble to make gorgeous tables coasters and hand carved elephants I couldn’t carry one in my hand luggage ( and neither could I afford it) but they were absolutely beautiful.

 

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Agra is also the home of the beautiful Wonder of the World known as The Taj Mahal I visited just after the dawn on a magical misty day. I am so very grateful to have had the opportunity.

 

 

 

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.

Change of plan, again!

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I’m nothing if not indecisive! I have thought this project through and gathered together the necessary. I’ve researched, upcycled and finally started to work on my future travel project. I don’t like it! I like the theory, I enjoyed the ideas book and I tried hard. However I don’t like it!

On review of my first hexigan ( which would be the first of many) it just doesn’t work. The beautiful Harris Tweed is too thick when folded over. It doesn’t sit well with the vintage embroidery and in short it doesn’t work! No amount of pressing will improve the look, but I haven’t abandoned it completely.

I adore the vintage embroidery which was worked by my Grandmother over fifty years ago. Don’t worry! I only cut up the cushion cover because a Grandchild tried to colour it in with a permanent Felt tip pen! So….. rethink, re trench and start again.

I did like the embroidery that I had done on the reverse of the hexigon so I intend to incorporate that into the “take two” project!

This is the second plan. I love the Harris Tweed that I’m going to use and I’m delighted to upcycle my Grandmother’s vintage embroidery.

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What are you reading?

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I couldn’t make my mind up which of these two books is my favourite. The book “A Trip around the Wool” is a great book and up there among my current favourites. It’s a bi lingual book in both French and English and beautifully illustrated. I’m just starting a project titled “52 Happy Memories of 2007”. The aim is to create an embroidered hexagon each week culminating in a 52 hexi quilt. I’m already falling behind so nothing new there.

The second book “Stitched Memories” by Tilly Rose is a glorious book sub titled “Telling a story through cloth and thread” which sits well alongside the other book. I’m using old embroideries and Harris Tweed to create my memory quilt. But lots more about that as it starts to come together.

Decorating

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One of the best things about this time is the decorations. Forget the dark days and add twinkle to your life with fairy lights. Get all wrapped up with recycled paper. Make your own cool wreath.

This wreath is so easy to make that even I can do it. I made it three Christmases ago. It squashes flat and fluffs out when the decs go up. It also ticks the recycling, upcycling and reusing boxes. Here’s how:

Take a wire coat hanger and bend and twist into a rough circle keeping the hook as,well, a hook.

Cut plastic bags into approximately 2 x 6 inch strips

Take each strip and knot around the wire

Keep going round the circle pushing the knotted strips close and tight.

When the circle is full fluff out the strips and trim if required.

Add decoration of choice or leave without

You can use coloured bags ( I used clear) and adapt for other occasions e.g. Halloween, Baby shower, wedding, Birthday etc.

Hook up the wreath. Stand back. Admire.

Happy decorating to you all dear reader!

Treat

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A friend in Craft Group lent me a book that she thought I’d like. She was right! I liked it so much that I didn’t read it. It’s a lovely book. OK I confess. I didn’t read it or even take too much of a peak. I bought my own copy immediately. I put my friend’s book to one side and shall return it as soon as possible! How mad is that? My own copy has arrived and I shall take it away with me next week to study in peace. Whoo Hoo!

Cruise Crafts Bargello Canvas Work

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I was delighted to discover that my Bargello canvas work was so popular on the latest cruise. Some ladies ( men were conspicuously absent!) were waiting, not so patiently, for the craft to be on offer. We had a small ” introductory ” project providing canvas, yarns and some samples, and they were off.

What fun it was to teach those who’d never done canvas work and to learn from skilled participants. The sample we made could be turned into a needle case or a glasses pouch. I hate making a sample that is of no use so always try to make a useful item. On a ship there are serious time constraints preventing us from making larger items. It is much better if the ladies can take home a completed project so that they go away feeling good.