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.
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!
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!!
These cushion covers were embroidered by my Nanna ( Grandmother) in circa 1950 They were embroidered using a variety of stitches and stranded silk threads.
The cushion covers were worked onto white linen and have to be stitched onto the cushion pad as there is no zip or fastening. They have been freshly laundered and had some running repairs today. They now have pride of place in my lounge and I adore them!
They are NOT for sale in my Etsy shop!
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.
I have a HUGE collection of vintage textiles which I adore but it is out of control! The grand plan is to put some ( a lot ) in my Etsy shop and send it to a new home. Basically I am lucky to live in a small cottage and need to make the space. If I carry on collecting I think the walls of the cottage may bow Or Hubs might start to object)
The grand sort may take some time! In the meantime I’m enjoying playing with the fabrics and seeking out locations to use for photo shoots.
Take a look at my shop ( not much stock as yet but watch this space!)
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!
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.
There was men weaving on “pit looms” the most exquisite silk saris. Their sons would often sit with them to learn the trade. The homes where this takes place, were frequently poorly lit. Interestingly they were also listening to cricket on the radio ( and India was winning!)This lady attempted to show us how to work Chiken stitch a traditional shadow stitch often worked on saris and pashminas. I tried hard but failed miserably!Market stalls were piled high with traditional textiles in eye popping colours.
Traditional crafts were apparent in the maintenance of buildings, contrasting with the poverty on the roadsides and city streets.
on my recent “Textile Treasure Hunt” to India I saw many people working long hours in often, difficult conditions. They were invariably pleasant, smiley and happy.
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?.
Making fishing nets , the whole family involved
Still working! This time assembling packets for sale Could be a knit and natter group
The Village water supply
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.