Thursday, 14 April 2011

History - Ancient and Modern

I had a most enjoyable day yesterday.  The large boy and I went "up the city" as we say round here.  My lovely LNS is closing soon and was having a big 40% off everything sale.  I made a list of the DMC I need for my next couple of projects and sent him to the stand to find which ones they had left (who said children aren't useful?) while I browsed the charts/fabric etc.

I tried to control myself but still ended up with more than I intended.  I'd not seen the Lesa Steele dragons before and they are lovely.  Samplers combined with dragons - what a combination!  I got three more of the Just Nan small squares, now I only have one more to collect and I have them all.  Plus a larger Just Nan.  The rest is mainly fabric, enough blue evenweave to stitch both dragon samplers and plenty of white/cream for whatever.  The mint green is pearlescent and so pretty, just right for Christmassy things.  Plus some beads, some Kreinik.  And a snowflake for no good reason.

RIP Timberhill Workbox - you will be missed.
Oh yes, and I bought the latest Cross Stitch Collection mag for the Joan Elliot Flower Fairy.

So that's the Modern History, now for the Ancient:-

After a delicious and nutritious meal in MacDs we went to a museum - Strangers' Hall.  This is a beautiful historic house in the centre of the city which dates back to the 14th Century.  It's been a museum since 1900 but was closed for a while at the end of the 20th Century.  Happily it has reopened now and I was able to relive my childhood visits with my own son.

The house is a maze of small rooms and staircases leading you round the entire house.  Each room is decorated for a different period in history from the Tudor Great Hall to the Victorian Nursery via the C17th Walnut Room and Georgian Dining Room.  Some of the textiles are original and some are reproductions.  One of the guides told me there is a sewing group who make them for the house (I must find out how to join in!).

You can read more about the history if you follow the link but here's a few of my favourites facts -

the Hall is called "Strangers' Hall" after Dutch, Walloon and Flemish refugee weavers who stayed there in the C16th.  They helped revive the ailing textile industry.

there is a painting showing 10 decades of a man's life with each decade represented by a different animal, lamb for a baby, kid for a 10 year old, lion for a soldier, fox for a wise man right through to a swan for the old man (his swan-song).

there is a wonderful toy room full of old toys including a Noah's Ark with every animal imaginable in a long line, 2 by 2.  This is displayed in EXACTLY the same way I remember it from my childhood although the toy room has been moved to the ground floor now.

I didn't have my camera but here are a couple of pages from the guide.  The bottom right picture is a detail from a sampler they have there by Hannah Hannant dated 1814.  Unfortunately I haven't been able to find anything about her at all!

Final picture - this was my week for joining in with the Mirabilia Board Mermaid SAL.  I say my week but it was actually 10 days as I never want to put her down!

 The top picture is more true to colour.  They were both taken in daylight but the closeup was taken by the window which seems to make the fabric very turquoise blue.  This time I finished stitching the top plume, the conch shell and the tail fin.  The gaps are for metallics and beads which I leave until last.  She is stitched on a 32 count Murano from The Crafty Kitten called Waterfall.

Tonight I promise faithfully to start my Art Nouveau Brunette Head which will be Number 4 on my 11 in '11 but keeps getting shunted in favour of more pushy projects which shout "STITCH ME NOOOOOOOOOW" more loudly.  Or is it just the voices in my head?!!


Dani - tkdchick said...

Great new stash, but its sad to hear another LNS is closing down!

Your mermiad is looking beautiful!

Jenny said...

Wow, that museum sounds fabulous! Thanks for sharing the photos from the guide with us.
I wish that I had a bellpull that actually works - pull and the maid comes running to vacuum, make the bed and take care of the laundry... Maybe in another (past) life?

Jenny said...

Oh and thanks so much for the comment you posted on my blog the other day! I have been trying to figure out how to e-mail you, but I'll just leave an extra comment here instead.
I would love to stitch the bird tile chart, thanks so much for offering; that was really sweet of you! No rush though.... I have more than enough stash to keep me entertained until I am 104. :-) Maybe was can even make a swap, that would be fun! I may have something saved away that you would like?

Mouse said...

oo which LNS is closing down :( love your stash haul and the mermaid is looking fab ...:)nice trip round the museum as well :) love mouse xxx

Toni said...

I love seeing stash photos, they lovely to look at. And I wish I could visit that Strangers' Hall.

Giovanna said...

Oooooh, your mermaid is gorgeous! And what lovely new stash - the dragon samplers look like great fun.

Joysze said...

Great stash you got there, Jo. Those trips are always so much fun.... so sorry to hear about the LNS closing though. :(

Strangers' Hall looks interesting.... definitely something hubby would be interested in.

You're flying right along with Mermie. Are you going to be stitching with us for the ISHW weekend? ;)

Gillie said...

Isn't it great to get comments? Thank you for yours. Also sad to hear about an Lns biting the dust - seems I've heard of a few in the last month or so. Up the city is the one I was married in!

Astrids dragon said...

Thanks so much for the dragon baby info - perfect for Nathan and then I can have it!

I love your goodies you bought, especially the dragon ones... wonder why?!

Your mermaid is looking great! I like them too and have one I need to start, as well as a few other things!

Jo who can't think of a clever nickname said...

Funnily enough, my dragon pictures are all in the boys' rooms! I have Sleeping Beauty in mine (Mirabilia, not hubby!). I also have 2 Rapunzels and a Cinderella waiting for a grand-daughter. Gonna be a long wait, even the large boy is only 8!