Tuesday, 13 April 2021

On the trail.....

 Seeing as we were (at last!!) allowed out of Wales yesterday...

...and it's been months and months since I had a "colour-fix"...

...we took off across the Severn Bridge into Somerset and Wiltshire...

...to do a bit of background history trailing...

...and some serious retail therapy!!


As you know...

...I am working on Selena's sampler...

...and I've been looking into the family history.

Her parents - Samuel & Mary Watts came to Blaenavon from Somerset/Wiltshire about 1840.

I say "about" because their son Thomas was born in Westbury Wiltshire in 1839...

...and Selena was born in Blaenavon 2 years later.


Samuel and Mary were married in Mary's local parish church in Nunney, Somerset in 1838.

This was our first stop yesterday.



A lovely old church dating back  400-500 years...
...and, no doubt, on a foundation much earlier than that because of the castle right opposite!



The interior is delightful...



...although I felt a bit sorry for the monuments shoved into a corner...
...and especially so for the poor guy put onto a windowsill!!





They have uncovered some rather early wall paintings too.






I left a lengthy note in their visitors book...
...and my copy of the marriage entry...just for their interest.




After Nunney we drove over to The Patchwork Rabbit at Bromham...

...where I had a SUBSTANTIAL dose of retail therapy!!!!! :-D

This bagful will keep me stitching for QUITE some time.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!


Back at Ty Mabon...

...I've done a few more bits with my Selena samplings...


This was the piece I showed last week...

...now mounted onto a patchwork of William Morris fabrics...

...and finished off with mother-of-pearl buttons.





Another piece was charted and stitched...
...the strawberry border and a few "doodles".





When I looked closely at one of Selena's trees...
...I noticed that they were stitched in blocks of four cross-stitches...
...but also had a larger cross - corner to corner- over the top.
It raises the surface and has a different look from the "normal" crosses around it.
I enjoyed playing with this one!



I am now charting trees and getting ready to stitch another couple of sample pieces.


Oh Happy Days!


I have such an amount of stuff that I want to get done over the next couple-or-so weeks...

...so I'm taking a bit of a blog-break until early May...

...when I should have quite a bit more to show.


Meanwhile...


Take care lovely folks...


See you in May


X C

Monday, 5 April 2021

April has arrived!!

 ...and, hopefully, "things" will begin returning to some kind of "normal....soon?


After my "BIG DECISION".....

...I have felt a lot "lighter"...

...and things are progressing much easier now.

I feel that I have done the right thing.


I introduced you to "Selena Watts" last week...

...my latest sampler purchase.




Here she is in full...and she's quite a size!

Stitched area 40cms x 52cms....on 25 count openweave linen with silk thread.

I know it is silk because I snaffled a couple of threads from the back...

...and burned them!

The little crusty bead at the end confirmed my original thoughts...silk it is.

The colours have faded and quite a lot of the thread has gone/perished.

The linen background fabric has survived extremely well though.

Quite what has happened to the silk ...I don't know. No moth holes.....


I have made a start on some charting.

Remember the wee doggy?




Well...

...I have done a small piece of that area this last week.



I have used DMC threads for now...

...and 25 count Zweigart Dublin raw linen.

I am pleased with the result thus far...

...but I've ordered some silk threads from Jean Oliver to do some larger samples...

...and the full reproduction.


I have decided to make a small-ish book to hold all of my working sample pieces.

I would like to think that Selena may have had something similar! :-)

She didn't live to a big age. The poor girl died at 21...

...but she must have done a good job of stitching (her sampler was done when she was 13)...

...because 5 years later, she is entered in the Census as being a "DressMaker".

Good for her!!


My book with Selena's name plate on the cover (although I think I'll stitch one instead)




Holes drilled in the spine to take signatures...




Plate of "Miss Attwood's School" on the back cover...

(Miss Frances Jane Attwood was a "School Mistress" in Blaenavon and can be found in the 1851 & 1861 Census. She married Thomas Griffiths and had one son called Thomas Gordon Griffiths. I haven't tracked down exactly which school this was...probably one of the Chapel schools as the main school had houses for school master and mistress....and Frances was living with her parents.)




Signatures made out of my "leather paper"




An old map of "Chapel Row" where Selena lived...




...and pages of the Census showing her name and occupation.






It is SUCH a fascinating project...

...and I just can't wait for the Gwent Archives to re-open so that I can find out more!!


I feel so close to this girl when I am sitting stitching pieces of her sampler....

...and the plan is to chart the piece in it's entirety...

...then donate the original to the Blaenavon Heritage Museum based in the old School building

next to St Peter's Church in Blaenavon.

Selena will be going home. :-)


Please come along with me on this journey...

...there will be lots of little bits of stitching and info as and when I find it!!


Have a good week


x C

Monday, 29 March 2021

End of March.....

 ...and stitching interest continues!!


A little bitty different today though...

...in that the next few photos are of someone else's stitching.


I have purchased a couple of samplers...

...the first one was stitched in 1740...

...by a girl from near Kirkudbright.






Stitched on a fairly coarse linen background...

...this would have been green and red when new...

...but the red has gone fugitive!

I do KNOW it was red though...

...because she used another thread to finish this bit...

...and the colour was more fast.



I have some research to do on her...

...and will report back in due course :-)


The second one hails from "here"....

...as in "locally".


Stitched in 1855 in Blaenavon...

...it is in a bit of a sad state in places...

...but has the most charming wee doggies!!






Much of the stitching has suffered...
...but, as you know, I can be quite a determined lady...
....and it will be sorted out!! :-)


My bit of stitching this week...
...is a little "French inspired" piece from Blackbird Designs.
(Their book Oh La La! was a delightful purchase last week!!)




This, along with some others is destined to become a book of stitched "smalls"...

...I do loooooove "smalls"!!


Hope you are all safe and well


x C

Monday, 22 March 2021

finishes......and more W.I.Ps

 I have had an "odd" week...

...feeling very "odd" after that jab...

...which left me more than a bit weary until Wednesday/Thursday!!

But...

...the needles weren't abandoned for long...

...and, although my brain wasn't in gear much...

...I did manage to finish a number of my wee Pendules :-)






I will have sooooooo many of these done for (whisper it) Christmas...
...when they will be dangled from a garland that's attached to the centre beam in the living room!

I got this little darling done too...
...another Blackbird Designs...
...from their "Flea Market Souvenir".
(I have plans for this and a few more pieces :-)  )




And the W.I.P...
...Marion again...
...just a couple of trees and a few more flowers...
...but she's coming along...




It's nice here today...

...so it's lunch on the terrace again!


Have a great week lovely folks

 x C

Monday, 15 March 2021

W.I.Ps

 Plenty going on around here...

...but , strangely, not a lot to show for it!

Mostly fabric dyeing...

...and continuing to stitch "Marion"...





I also have dyed up some fine wool (1 ply weight) and some gorgeous silk...
....in a beautiful maroon-red.
You KNOW how I love stitching RED!! :-)
Plans are afoot (or a-needle)




Have my Covid jab on Saturday...

...and spent the whole of Sunday in bed feeling awful!!

Not a lot better today either...

...but at least I've had the darned thing now.


Keep safe and well folks


x C

Monday, 8 March 2021

Returning to the "traditional".......and enjoying every minute of it!!

 For quite a number of years now...

...I have experimented with various different techniques...

...some more successful than others!

This last 12 months though have found me returning to the more "traditional" kind of stitching...

...the one that started me off at the age of about 3 or 4...

...simple cross stitch.

You will have noticed that there has been quite a bit of it appearing on my blog in recent posts...

...and this week is no different :-)


I have finished a small piece called "Nebraska Prairie" by BlackBird Designs...

...changing a few of the colours...

...and intending to make it up into a needle-book rather than a pin-roll or wall piece.




It took a wee while as it was stitched using one thread on 18 count Aida...

...but my new pair of +4 magnifying specs work brilliantly!!!


I am also working on a piece from "Hands Across the Sea Samplers"...

...by Marion B Horsburgh (finished by her on April 9th 1866).

This is my "upstairs stitching" as I have it on a roller frame in my workroom.

I decided to dye the threads for this one...

...so the dye bags came out for a dozen or so skeins of fine cotton...

...and I got the results that I wanted...

...slightly mottled and "aged" looking :-)







I am so pleased with how they look on this 16 count Aida "aged" with a black/brown Bister mix.





Downstairs stitching is also progressing...

...and I'll show that next week!


Best wishes from Ty Mabon for now...


...keep safe and well lovely peeps.


x C

Sunday, 28 February 2021

February 2021 ~ week 4~ Spring is on the way!!

 It has been fairly glorious the last few days!!

So much so...

...that I decided that it is high time to gather some local inspiration for new work(shop) ideas :-)

Off we went...

...up REALLY narrow lanes...

...to make a visit to Patricio aka Patrishow Church and Holy Well.


The little stream is delightful...




...and folk have left so many offerings here.











Just a bit further up the (steep) hill is the church...








The locals were beautiful!!






I have now got a REAL problem...

...too many ideas going round and round in my head!!!


Back at Ty Mabon...

...stitching continues apace.


That little Valentine heart has now become a pendule...




I have also finished these tiny squares...
...but haven't decided how to make them up yet.





A new chart has been started...




...and the next Grove panel is in the hoop...waiting....




I do hope that Spring is on the way for you too...

...wherever you may be :-)


Take care


x C