Well, that was a considerably longer blogging pause than I’d expected…

Something to do with a very busy Easter holiday, followed by a brutal three-day migraine – arrrgh!

Anyway, with a bit of luck, the flashing lights and sledgehammer in the brain, have now gone away and something akin to normal service is being restored.

So, since I was last here, I’ve worked on this…


Sometime around Easter I put the final stitches into this piece. I took this photo in the garden, and it’s made it look considerably brighter than it does in real life. I started this piece in the middle of winter and so it feels wrong to see it in strong light. It was born during the shortest days of the year, as I sat wrapped in blankets to keep warm. As I was making it, I kept thinking that actually it’s home should be a dining room, with flickering candle-light, because it truly glimmers and changes as light catches the metallic threads.

I deliberately avoided straight edges for a change. My intention is to play around a little with fraying the canvas before I mount it. I’m not at all sure how that will turn out, but we’ll see.

Once the purply tree (I’ll come up with a better title for it one of these days) was finished, I thought I’d have another go with my Nemesis – greens…

Am I the only person who has problems with getting greens right?

Anyway, this is where I’m at on that one…

2015-04-20 13.20.41

Umm. Well, we’ll see.

In other news…

I have had a mad spree, picking up a wonderful selection of Shakespeare authorship books – I’ve found that Oxfam book-shops are excellent places to ferret around in for these more obscure titles. We had a trip to Oxford one day, which was very useful – I wonder if it’s where the dons donate their surplus-to-requirement texts…

Then there was the afternoon in Berkhamsted Oxfam – not only a delight to find more Shakespeare related books, but also something I’ve wanted for a long time – a collection of the works of Thomas Traherne.

And finally, a marvellous day out in Hay-on-Wye (my favourite town in the world, oh yes, I’m not exaggerating!) – where I found yet more Shakespeare stuff.

I’m working my way through, so expect another Shakespearean post before too long.

And at last, we made it out on a few of history trips; a very cold and wet afternoon at Packwood House (which included a lot of chocolate), a return to Goodrich Castle, a fabulous afternoon at Skenfrith Castle and church, and a visit to Grosmont Castle. I’ll put the pictures up on The Mists of Time as soon as I can.

Skenfrith church was an extra special experience for me, as I hadn’t known about their fabulous Skenfrith Cope – a simply breath-taking piece of medieval ecclesiastical embroidery. Walking into a small local church and discovering that treasure was something I’ll never forget.

Having said that, the amazing light in the church did test my photography skills way beyond their limits, so nil point there, but in case you’re interested this is what I took…

2015-04-10 16.23.21 2015-04-10 16.29.33 2015-04-10 16.30.15

I just wish it was possible to know whose fingers made those stitches, and what their daily life was like…

Right, good to be back, lots of catching up to do.

Happy stitching!

16 thoughts on “Meanwhile…

  1. Welcome back, Anny! I’ve missed you in my in-box. I am sorry to hear about the migraines and glad you’re well again. Have you ever read the Joan Didion essay called “In Bed” about her experience with migraines?

    I love the winter piece that you photographed in the garden. And I’m looking forward to seeing what you do with fraying edges.

    1. Thank you! I hadn’t heard about Joan Didion, but I’m off to Google her right now – thank you.

      I’m not sure about the fraying, but I’m going to give it a go – I want to break free of the straight sides…

      1. I’ve just read the essay you mentioned – exactly right! I’m lucky not to have them anything as frequently as Joan, but I can agree with every aspect she describes. I think I’m at the stage of going with it, because there really isn’t any alternative, I too can’t function, even when the pain isn’t too bad, the brain/tongue/eyes/hands disconnect makes practically any activity useless. The thing that gets to me most is the sheer waste of time. It’s frustrating, but there are worse things in life…

  2. bet the makers of the Cope never thought that it would still be admired by the likes of us all these years later.
    i think the greens look good!

    1. It’s amazing that any of these textiles survive isn’t it – what a history they have. It just makes me tingle to think about the people who made it, and all the years it went through – I’d love to touch it!

  3. Strange – I was just wondering yesterday where you had got to and here you are! I absolutely love your purpley tree the colours and lines are beautiful. I cannot remember if I have been to Hay on Wye or Ross on Wye or both even. I have heard of Packwood house but not sure why – does it have a famous collection or garden?
    Hope the migraine is better now. x

    1. I know, I’ve said it before, but it’s always a mistake to make plans – I think the gods sit there having a jolly good laugh. Anyway, better now – thank you.

      Packwood House is one of my favourite places – managed by The National Trust. I especially love the tapestries and best of all, the Bargello dining room – now that would certainly give you a migraine if you spent too much time in there! But it is probably better known for it’s ‘sermon on the mount’ yew trees – quite impressive, although the last two times I’ve visited, you weren’t allowed to go through it – I guess the numbers are too great, but it does give you a different perspective.

  4. Welcome back indeed! The vibrant colours in you stitch pieces are always a joy – and this post is no exception. The purple tree is extraordinary! I love the movement and the sense of growth as well as the rich colour.
    And that cope – delicious … I wonder how many of the stitched textiles we all produce by the bag load will stand the test of time …

    1. So true – I’m amazed to see any item of that age still looking so good, but I’d love to know it’s story – just like the Lady and The Unicorn tapestries – their stories become part of their fascination.

  5. Welcome back Anny, glad to hear the migraine is better, sounds horrid, horrid, horrid. I hope they don’t visit too often.
    Your purply tree is absolutely sumptuous; rich colours and textures, it looks just scrummy!! I do agree with you about green – I love the colour, but think it’s hard to get a good selections of greens to stitch with – they never seem to capture the amazing variety of shades and tones in nature. I like what you are doing here though, look forward to seeing the result – have you tried blending different greens, or green and something else in the needle to see what happens? xx

    1. I look at the greens and wonder why they don’t sing together – I’m sure there’s sensible colour theory to explain it, but my gut feel just finds them difficult to combine – I’m much better at finding contrasts for them. Combining in needle is a good idea – I like that, it might yield interesting results.

  6. Your purply tree is beautiful, Anny, I love the colours. And any day that involves chocolate AND a historical place seems good to me! I have never heard of Skenfrith but those tapestries look incredible. Looking forward to hearing more about your visits. Meanwhile I hope you’re feeling much better!

    1. You’d love Skenfrith Jo – it’s wonderful – a tiny, picturesque village, with a castle right in the middle, at the edge of a beautiful river, with a superb church and to cap it all, an award winning pub/restaurant just over the road/river – doesn’t get much better than that!

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