Sunday, 13 May 2018

A weekend of lace

I've spent both days this weekend in Peterborough for bobbin lace.  On Saturday I was in a Lace Guild day class to try Bruges Lace taught by Jacquie Tinch which was quite fun.  Quite an intensive day as we tried to finish each component so that we could learn how to do the next.  I finished the flower and the central filling but only one person got as far as starting the leaf.   This is a lace where you make various components such as leaves and flowers or baskets and then can join them together into larger motifs.  The Guild were selling commemorative bobbins for the day (which they call the Fringe) so I bought one as a keepsake.




Today I was back in Peterborough for the Makit Lace, Quilting and Needlework Fair, always a nice day out.  There seemed to be more quilting stalls and fewer lace stalls this year but as I do several hobbies, I always find plenty to look at. I also ran into several people I know from my various craft communities which was fun.  Here is my haul of loot:


The book is what some of my classmates were using yesterday so I will look forward to reading that.  The threads on the left are for making some more Bruges lace flowers and leaves.  The threads on the right are to use with the Lace Guild book I bought a few months ago with patterns for decorating christmas baubles.  The bits of coloured tatting and the hankie were secondhand bits for sale on the Lace Guild stand, I thought I could use the tatting to decorate cards or other things.  The bobbin is from Margaret Wall, I really like her work.  The two brooches (knitting and a sewing machine) were impulse buys, on the same stall as the divider pin next to them.

 It was all fun and afterwards DH drove us to Stamford where there was a little food fair in the meadow, and we had delicious homemade Punjab food for lunch.  There were also a lot of plant stalls and I found this pretty little pot of sedum-like alpines, mounded up like a cake (the smaller pot in the photo. The bigger pot is one I planted up myself a few weeks ago).




Then we went to a favourite bookstore and visited the antiques mall up the hill, where I bought this example of Victorian beadwork and woolwork, which was dated as circa 1870.  It's in really good condition. I wonder if originally (before the modern day framing) it was meant to be two panels of a tea cosy? Sorry about the reflections on the glass.  I don't think the mat is the right colour for it, I might have it changed. DH even suggested taking the panel out of the frame and turning it into a table runner with a middle part from fabric. I wonder if any of our stitchings will still be around in 150 years?


Do you remember this pincushion I bought at the Leeds City Museum gift shop?

This week I took the cushion off and gave the metal chair a spray of primer and thought about what to do with it.  I decided to go with a Swedish Gustavian look, so I washed over the grey primer with white, and recovered the cushion with a typical fresh blue gingham.  I quite like it now, what do you think? I'm keeping it in the living room on my sewing worktable as a handy place to stash needles.


This week in the evenings I've been sewing down the binding on my Indigo Bear's Paw quilt, I've done three side and I'm on the final side, so the pincushion has been useful when pausing in my work. When I get tired of that, I do some more rows on my Peerie Floores hat.  Strangely, although the picture shows a tight fitting beanie hat, mine has turned more into a slouchy loose hat which must be a guage issue.  It still looks nice.  I've switched to DPNs for the crown decreases.

I have spent time on the Japanese dollshouse this week, building the first floor landing stair railings but mostly cutting out palm leaves from green card for a little garden effect for the corner of the landing. This took ages and was a bit of a pain to construct as leaves kept pinging off every time I tried to adjust the stems, but I got there in the end.  I've just put it in the corner for the photo, the glue isn't dry  yet.  Once it's dry, I'll glue it into the corner then glue in the stair rail in front of it.


I've been spending some time the last few weeks starting to learn some Japanese, using a variety of online resources and a textbook called Japanese from Zero! 1.  Last time we went to Japan, we memorised some stock phrases to be polite/for emergencies, but this time I wondered if I could do a bit better.  It's a very complex language and my middle-aged memory is quite deficient so I doubt I am going to get very far.  With much repetition over the last few weeks I've learned to read basic Hirigana (one of the three writing systems) but not write them, and I've started to learn a few vocabulary words.  Forty years ago I could put in a few hours of study, easily memorise a whole bunch of stuff, ace the exam the next day, then forget it all within a few days.  Now I can watch a 20 minute video, understand it, but immediately forget all of it apart from 1 or 2 words.  DH says I should focus on having learnt the 1 or 2 words, but it feels like very slow going.  My track record is not good, I had many years of French growing up and hardly remember any of that either.  Yet I can remember how to do craft things that I learned 25 years ago and haven't done since?  My memory is obviously prioritising:  Crafts= might be useful.  Languages for countries I don't live in = not so much.

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