Monday, June 30, 2008

Kimono arrival

Just as I finished writing the last post there was a knock on the door. It was a parcel I thought would come in maybe a fortnights time. The most beautiful Uchicake or wedding Kimono that I bought in a rash moment on ebay (are there any other moments on ebay?). It far exceeded my expectations. The only problem is that I thought I would cut it up for on earth am I going to put the scissors to this beauty?

New cushion

I just finished this and thought you might like to see it..

It's a marvelous tapestry that a friend of a friend gave me ages ago to make into a cushion. It's taken me ages to find the right colour combination to put together. It's an unusual mix of orange yellow and blue. Aren't the owls amazing. She did the design herself, none of this buy it off the shelf business.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

More frocks

You asked for it Kelly. Here is the whole catalogue of dresses from beetle wings to Beatlemania. xx
Here is the oldest one complete with it's beetle wings.

I presumed everyone here in Harling would know what these beetles looked like but they don't have Christmas beetles here, so it was all the more exotic. Do they have these kinds of beetles in the States?

This lovely Kate Greenaway inspired dress in a transparent muslin from the 20's.
Val Dangerfields Mum's dress from the 40's. (The one I really wanted to try on)...
The wartime bride with sailor groom....
This beautiful wild flower garden behind them...
A sensational one from the 50's supposedly but it looked older to me...
Incredible bead work on this one.. here's a closer look.
This was the dress worn by our good friend Betty Wood in 1958, we put Richard's blue suede shoes next to it to evoke that rock & roll era...
My dubious bouquet next to it...don't tell anyone I've never done this kind of thing before...
One of the most recent dresses with a huge red velvet train. Hmmmm maybe we should consider renewing our vows and I could borrow this.
These are the mediaeval figures that I painted for the beginning of the display outside in the porch....Anne of Harling and her first husband welcome you into the Church. Don't look too closely.
In my next incarnation after this weekend ....
Making a 1950's floral number with absolutely no idea of what I was doing.
Cutting & pasting a lot of tiny pieces of fabric onto my mediaeval figures.
Making two batches of Lamingtons for the refreshment tent.
Stewarding for 2 hours on Saturday.
Ringing the bells for 4 services.
Attending & singing for two services on Saturday
Attending & singing for two services on Sunday (one evensong almost all in Latin).
Helping serve refreshments for 2 hours on Sunday.
Packing up the bouncy castle on Sunday after evensong.

I intend to come back as an Atheist.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

There is a wedding festival happening at East Harling this weekend and fur & feathers have been flying as bossy types jostle for space on the 'small village' ladder.
I Church sat on Tuesday and got a chance to see a few of the dresses that were in place already. Here is a photo of the most amazing one from the Norwich Textile association. It was made in 1900 from some much older fabric from the East India Company, probably Regency. Can you see what's embroidered on it? Christmas beetle wings. They are perfect, not tarnished in any way and probably over 100 years old. How ethereal & how permanent at the same time. I remember collecting tiny beetles once on the sand at Wilson's Prom after a storm, I kept them for years and years intending to sew them onto a dress, I'd heard it could be done but never seen the real thing.

Here are a couple more dresses, one from the twenties

and this one from the 40's. It's amazing to see old photos of the dresses and then see the real thing.

I'm throwing myself into the thick of it in a minute as I'm helping out by doing the flowers for the 1950's dress. Yikes.
I'll post more photos in a day or two when all the flowers are done.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Random thoughts

I haven't blogged for a whole week. Lots has been happening but there has not been much time to get it down on screen.
I thought I'd show you a couple of photos of Zebedee and his gorgeous Mumma Clarissa. He's doing well and is almost 2 years old now. Very Summery in his green outfit.

We went to a Summer Soltice party last night. It was amazing to be outside in light til 10 pm. Here's Zeb's dad Joe looking like the true hipster that he is.

And here..... Zebs Uncle Rob looking tres post-hippy chic.

We're not very good at staying up late any more so here is a more up to date photo of Ricardo relaxing in our new (to us) really comfy (and free) new chairs.
Lets hope my new best friends from here (Hi Mike) don't drop in to assess our taste.
I've been asked to make 20 cushions exclusively for Interior Selection and I can't wait to get stuck into it with the gorgeous fabrics that I got from there on Thursday.
I'll show you the fabrics just as soon as I can get some time to photograph them.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

The Iceni village

Ricardo has been reading a book from the library entitled 'The Boudiccan revolt'. It recalls the history of Boudicca the Queen of the Iceni who is reputed to be buried somewhere near where we live. We're talking 60AD in East Anglia when the fens were undrained, 'The Wash' a huge expanse of swamp and Ely still an island.
The Iceni king at the time, Prasutagas, Boudicca's husband, decided that it would be prudent to make his will leaving half of his property to the Roman emperor and half to Boudicca, his wife. When Prasutagas died, Roman officials decided to interpret his will as a submission to the Roman state, so they moved to appropriate all of the Iceni lands and disarm the tribe. Boudicca protested. The Romans had her flogged and her daughters were raped. This high handed treatment of an ostensible ally had predictable results. Queen Boudicca summoned the Iceni and the neighbouring Trinivantes tribe in revolt against Roman rule. They raised what is now Colchester (the seat of Rome in Britain) with an army numbering some 100,000 men, women and children and then moved on to sack Londinium (London). They were reputed to be a fearsome lot and many Romans chose to run rather than fight. In the end Rome gathered its forces & killed almost all of them, men women & children with their more disciplined fighting style.

Back in present day Norfolk we decided to find the reconstructed Iceni village that is about 3/4 of an hour drive away from here in a place called Cockley Cley. It was a slightly cool summers day but it didn't stop us from wandering around this pretty deserted place. It seems that an eccentric private collector Sir Peter Roberts, 3rd Baronet of Cockley Cley Hall, in the late ’60s and early ’70s. had a grand idea to reconstruct this village but the use of crappy modern building materials & synthetic fabric covered shop dummies make it a little dissapointing. However, the lake & nature walk nearby are wonderful with a quiet peace disturbed only by the odd coot & it's copper headed babies.
There is also a Church nearby that claims to be from the 7th century but as I researched this on the web for this post it became clear that this was a hoax & the church is probably from the 12th century.

Nevertheless we had a really lovely day out, a million miles away from sewing & hammering.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Coming up roses...

I can hardly sit still to type I'm so excited. I had to get up early to blog as I couldn't lie in bed any longer on this sunny morning filled with bird song.
I've been plugging away for ages lately on my website and on making cushions without much success. I needed a break. Last night after we got home tired & dusty from Church cleaning duties I got one , well two actually.
Let me explain. Last week my lovely friend Heather (Hi Heather) sent me a link to a website that's like a promotional site to link journalists & products together. The journalists search for stuff they like & the makers or suppliers upload photos of their stuff that they want promoted. (I'm not explaining it well but you'll get it soon). It's called Image Loft . If you click on that link you will see in the TOP right hand corner an orange cushion, THAT'S MY CUSHION. They emailed me last night to say....... "This week we have selected the Orange Striped Cushion out of the 13,000 images on Image Loft to be featured in this week’s Themed Category: A burst of Orange."....How bloody fantastic is that.
The other lucky break I'm trying not to get too carried away with yet but the words "Exclusive Range" come into it and this website has something to do with it. Cross your fingers, cross your toes, cross everything for me.
I've been so excited about Image Loft & the journalists who have already started to download photos that I've been sewing my fingers off. Here are some of the results.