Aussie Postcards


Hi everyone

In this post we’re going to share some more postcards from the 2014 Creative Challenge to re-interpret WW1 silk postcards. These all have an Australian theme which makes them very special.

The first one is by Jenny Clayton and features wonderful kangaroos made from bullion knots. It’s called Lest We Forget:

2014 Creative Challenge Postcard 2 by Jenny Clayton

Detail 1 of 2014 Creative Challenge Postcard 2 by Jenny Clayton

Detail 2 of 2014 Creative Challenge Postcard 2 by Jenny Clayton

The next two are by Gail Haidon and feature Australian flora. The first has the poignant title of Mother Dear and is a beautiful study of eucalyptus flowers:

2014 Creative Challenge Postcard 2 by Gail Haidon

Detail 1 of 2014 Creative Challenge Postcard 2 by Gail Haidon

The second is Birthday Wishes and showcases the lovely Kangaroo Paw;

2014 Creative Challenge Postcard 3 by Gail Haidon

Detail 1 of 2014 Creative Challenge Postcard 3 by Gail Haidon

Detail 2 of 2014 Creative Challenge Postcard 3 by Gail Haidon

Here are Gail’s notes for the background to these two postcards:

Inspired by watercolours painted by WA artist Rosetta Kelly (1864-1963) in memory of her son, Cyril, and the final card that he sent home, written on his 20th birthday.

And the next awesome postcard by Jan Hure also explores the themes of peace, hope and reunion through eucalyptus flowers. It’s called We’ll Meet Again:

2014 Creative Challenge Postcard by Jan Hure

Detail 1 of 2014 Creative Challenge Postcard by Jan Hure

Detail 2 of 2014 Creative Challenge Postcard by Jan Hure

Jan describes her starting point for this design as follows:

Designed to reflect Australian themes in similar fashion to early ones depicting the nations the soldiers came from

Val Woodward has created this next postcard to evoke the very human emotion of hope for peace in the face of war and to celebrate the Australian Lighthorse:

2014 Creative Challenge Postcard by Val Woodward

Detail 1 of 2014 Creative Challenge Postcard by Val Woodward

Detail 2 of 2014 Creative Challenge Postcard by Val Woodward

Val is a horse lover and this card was inspired by a family memento:

Finding a postcard from Egypt, dated Jan 1916, written by my husband’s great-uncle to his sister reminded me of those serving in the Egyptian campaign, particularly the Australian Lighthorse. Horses are not often mentioned in the remembrance of WWI

This next postcard by Kathy Pascoe has a very Art Nouveau and emblematic feel to it. It’s great example of ‘less is more’ and is called Australia is Home.

2014 Creative Challenge Postcard by Kathy Pascoe

Detail 1 of 2014 Creative Challenge Postcard by Kathy Pascoe

Kathy’s creative inspiration came from both traditional and personal sources:

The idea came from silk cards on the Australian War Memorial website. I thought it was an opportunity to use one of the buttons I inherited.

Hope you enjoy these very meaningful and beautiful postcards.

Carmen

Looking over Shoulders 11

Hi everyone

Hope you’ve had a good week & have set aside some special time for yourself over the weekend.

Next Monday the Guild’s weekly meetings will start up again so I thought you might like to see the pics I took of people’s work during the last morning meeting for 2014. Believe it or not this is only  a sample of all the stitchy goodness that was going on. The photos were taken with my phone so they’re not up to Stewart Bath’s wonderful standard but hopefully they’ll be good enough to give you an idea of the work.

I’m going to share the work with in the order that I took the photos.

This is an epic post so grab a cuppa or glass of wine and a comfy chair…….and here we go………

In the front room Ann Lond was working on this Hardanger cream square

Hardanger Cream Square in progress stitched by Anne Lond

Maddalena Gustin is trying her hand at Hardanger under Bonnie Crawford‘s careful guidance. Here’s the piece she was working on

Hardanger Diamond in progress stitched by Magda Gustin

Bonnie herself was working on this cream and blue rectangular piece

Hardanger Blue and White Runner stitched by Bonnie Crawford

Avis Gesling’s Hardanger had a pop of colour in aqua and mauve

Hardanger Acqua and Mauve Piece in progress stitched by Avis Gesling

Detail 1 of Hardanger Acqua and Mauve Piece in Progress stitched by Avis Gesling

While Elizabeth Hooper was having fun stitching some purple hearts

Hardanger Purple Heart Piece in progress stitched by Elizabeth Hooper

Detail 1 of Hardnager Purple Heart Piece in Progress stitched by Elizabeth Hooper

Now something completely different – a Goldwork dragon being stitched by Pat Bootland 

Dragon Goldwork in Progress by Pat Bootland

Detail 1 of Dragon Goldwork by Pat Bootland

Across the table Carol Van Gelder was having fun working on this too cute wool blanket with monkeys

Wool Blanket with Monkeys in progress stitched by Carol Van GelderNear her Lesley Fusinato was finishing this Canvaswork Christmassy house

Canvaswork Xmas House in Progress stitched by Lesley Fusinato

and Floriana Basilisco‘s tapestry was also getting some finishing touches

Tapestry Fish in Progress by Floriana Basilisco

Lesley Jemesen had a lovely Hardanger runner in her hoop

Hardanger in Hoop stitched by Lesley Jemesen

While Evelyn Foster was stitching a vintage embroidery

Vintage Embroidery in Progress stitched by Evelyn Fosterand Helen Nastopoulos had a cross stitch underway

Cross Stitch in Progress stiched by Helen Nastopoulos

In the room down the corridor Margaret Cooper was working on this piece

Cross Stitch Horse in Progress stitched by Margaret CooperKathy Pascoe had a bright Janlynn wallhanging underway

Blue Cross Stitch Wallhanging in Progress stitched by Kathy Pascoe

and Gwynyth Peddey had made amazing progress with Harlech Castle since we last saw it

Harlech Castle Cross Stitch in Progress by Gwynyth Peddey

Margaret O’Beirne was working on an intriguing Macedonian style embroidery from a class with Alison Snepp

Macedonian Style Embroidery in Progress stitched by Margaret OBeirne

While Gail Haidon was cross stitching these fun owls that just make you smile

Cross Stitch Owls in Progress by Gail Haidon

and Jan Hure was working on a very different kind of bird – a gorgeous Or Nue Superb Parrot from last year’s class with Pat Bootland

Or Nue Superb Parrot in Progress by Jan Hure

 Libby Williams was hand stitching this quilt with appliqué in felted wool

Quilt with Applique in Progress by Libby Williams

Detail of Applique from Quilt by Libby Williams

Back in the front room Janice Brennan was crocheting

Crochet by Janice Brennan

Janice also showed us a cool granny blanket she’d made during Show & Tell which got a huge response to its awesomeness. This detail doesn’t do it justice but at least it gives you an idea of its beauty

Detail of Crochet Rug by Janice Brennan

Trish Hyland was stitching some elegant Hardanger

Hardanger Diamond in Progress stitched by Trish Hyland This Happiness Quilt by Anne Dowling got lots of oohs and aaahs at Show & Tell

Happiness Quilt made by Anne Dowling

Cecilia Skene was upcycling curtain fabric to create these awesome needlecases for her granddaughters

Needlecase in Progress by Cecilia Skene

Needlecase 2 in Progress by Cecilia Skene

Needlecase 3 in Progress by Cecilia Skene

Needlecases 4 in Progress by Cecilia Skeneand adding a scissors fob for each one

Scissors Fob by Cecilia Skene

This Canvaswork by Judy Barton Browne has a real pop of colour

Canvaswork stitched by Judy Barton Browne

Detail 1 of Canvaswork by Judy Barton Browne

Another vibrant piece was this Book Cover designed by Luba Tomaska. Luba’s doing the Stitch a Month classes and this is her sampler of stitches in progress.

Sampler Book Cover in Progress by Luba Tomaska And last but not least is this amazing Or Nue Zebra design being stitched by Lorna Loveland also from the class with Pat Bootland

Or Nue Zebra in Progess by Lorna Loveland

Detail 1 of Or Nue Zebra in Progress by Lorna Loveland

Would you believe it’s her first Or Nue embroidery!

Enjoy!

Carmen

Postcards in Blue

Hi everyone

Hope you’re ready to see some more postcards from our 2014 Creative Challenge Stitching Love & Hope where members were asked to re-interpret WW1 silk postcards.

The four postcards featured in this post all have a common theme of blue flowers.

We’re going to start with a cool postcard of blue violets beautifully cross stitched by Janice Brennan:

2014 Creative Challenge Postcard by Janice Brennan

Detail 1 of 2014 Creative Challenge Postcard by Janice Brennan

Detail 2 of 2014 Creative Challenge Postcard by Janice Brennan

Now to Elvi McCann’s elegant postcard which features forget-me-nots in Brazilian embroidery. She’s adapted the design from Delma Moore’s The Book of Sunshine Treasures.

Elvi describes her inspiration as follows:

I was inspired by the story of how the forget-me-not flowers were named. It reminded me of mortally wounded soldiers in the battle field thinking of their loved ones, hoping they would not be forgotten.

On that very poignant note here are some photos of Elvi’s postcard:

2014 Creative Challenge Postcard by Elvi McCann

Detail 1 of 2014 Creative Challenge Postcard by Elvi McCann

Detail 2 of 2014 Creative Challenge Postcard by Elvi McCann

The next lovely postcard by Sarah Kimmorley features a charming basket design. Sarah’s postcard has a story as it’s based on a card sent from the front by one of her husband’s ancestors:

2014 Creative Challenge Postcard by Sarah  Kimmorley

Detail 1 of 2014 Creative Challenge Postcard by Sarah  Kimmorley -

Our fourth postcard is Gail Haidon’s delicate design which also features a basket of blue flowers. Gail’s background note on the postcard is:

Inspired by watercolours painted by WA artist Rosetta Kelly (1864-1963) in memory of her son, Cyril, and the final card that he sent home, written on his 20th birthday.

2014 Creative Challenge Postcard by Gail Haidon

Detail 1 of 2014 Creative Challenge by Gail Haidon

Detail 2 of 2014 Creative Challenge Postcard by Gail Haidon

Aren’t these cards just awesome?

Enjoy!

Carmen

 

Hydrangea Melody

Hi everyone

Today I’m sharing a really striking piece of wool embroidery beautifully stitched by Gail Haidon. You may remember Gail’s Bayeaux Tapestry panel featured here.

This particular design is called Hydrangea Melody and is from an Elsa Williams Heritage Collection Kit. I love the pop of colour from the blue and mauve shades:

Hydrangea Melody stitched by Gail Haldon

Detail 1 of Hydrangea Melody stitched by Gail Haldon

The blending of colours to create a dappled effect is just awesome. Not to mention the Whitework tablecloth.

Detail 2 of Hydrangea Melody stitched by Gail Haldon

Detail 3 of Hydrangea Melody stitched by Gail Haldon

Detail 4 of Hydrangea Melody stitched by Gail Haldon

And now for some close ups……

Detail 5 of Hydrangea Melody stitched by Gail Haldon

Detail 6 of Hydrangea Melody stitched by Gail Haldon

Enjoy!

Carmen

Gail and her Bayeux Tapestry Panel

Hi again

This is the story of how one of our members Gail Haidon came to stitch a panel of the Bayeux Tapestry. In this post I’m just the WordPress scribe so here’s how it happened in Gail’s own words:

” I am married to a wargamer who has an abiding love of history and particularly military history.  This has led to a large and constantly expanding library of history books together with board games and hundreds if not thousands of small model figures.

William and Odo

Saxon

We have long cultivated a “live and let live” attitude to one another’s interests.  After all I have UFO’s (Unfinished Objects), and he has UFA’s (Unfinished Armies)!  Neither of us ever confesses just how many we have.

Many years ago, Ian obtained a copy of a book The Bayeux Tapestry: the complete tapestry in colour with introduction description and commentary by David M Wilson.

the-bayeux-tapestry

What was I thinking??

In an inexplicably weak moment I offered to embroider a replica of any part of the Tapestry he wanted thinking that I would have it ready for his 40th birthday.

Time wore on; I was going to have to (1) copy or trace a part of the Tapestry from the book, (2) decide whether to enlarge (the book shows the panels less than full scale), (3) source the linen, (4) select and source the correct weight and colour of the wool, (5) develop a legend of what stitches to use, with how and where to use them, and (6) get on with it!

I thought about it a bit but nothing happened.

Visiting Bayeux

Some time later we travelled overseas for almost three months and particularly in the UK, France and Belgium saw many battlefields and military museums such as:

Bosworth Field – site of the last significant battle of the Wars of the Roses

Culloden Moor – site of the final confrontation of the 1745 Jacobite Rising

Hastings/Battle – 1066 Battle of Hastings, Abbey and Battlefield site

The Somme, with the beautiful and sad countryside of the battlefields of the Western Front of World War 1, and where my great-uncle lies somewhere in an unknown grave

Bayeux – site of the Musée de la Tapisserie de Bayeux

bayeux-580x250

And many many others!

However, prior to that “big overseas trip” and knowing that a certain person was planning to see certain things I put my foot down and demanded that if I was going to be “dragged around half the battlefields of Europe” I was at least going to get to see the Bayeux Tapestry!

Bayeux Tapestry

Bayeux is an extremely pretty town in Normandy (northwestern France), and the tapestry (actually an embroidery) is beautifully displayed in its own museum.  There is a darkened, curved corridor with the Tapestry displayed at eye level in a way that people can get a really close look.

Copie-de-galerie-Tapisserie-de-Bayeux-avec-autorisation-speciale-de-la-ville-de-Bayeux_BD-580x250

It was amusing to see the number of people with faces squashed up against the glass, closely examining the stitching – surely some of them must have been embroiderers!  I felt sorry for the cleaners – there must be constant cleaning of finger, and nose(!) prints.  It can clearly be seen where areas of damage have been repaired and where different stitchers must have worked with looser and tighter stitching in different sections.

The Tapestry now is about 70 metres long with about fifty scenes embroidered on linen with coloured woollen yarns.  It is believed that it was commissioned by Bishop Odo (who was Bishop of Bayeux, and William the Conqueror’s half brother) for the Bayeux Cathedral, and probably made in a monastery in the south of England, not Bayeux, in the 1070’s.

In its almost 1,000 years of history it has miraculously survived having been rescued from being cut up for military wagon covers during the French Revolution and being confiscated for propaganda purposes prior to Napoleon’s planned invasion of Britain.  The Bayeux Council later displayed it damaging it in the process.  It is believed that at least two panels of the tapestry are missing at the end – up to another 6.4 metres. This missing area would probably have included William’s coronation and reign.

So how did I come to do my panel?  Well of course the last stop on leaving the museum is to go through the shop!  And lo and behold there were 1:1 scale kits with pre-printed linen, and coloured wools ready to go.

Bayeux Tapestry embroidery

Bayeux Tapestry Scene stitched by Gail Haidon

Stitching my Panel

So eventually it was back to Australia where I enthusiastically began.  I remember timing the first section I completed and estimating that there were about 240 hours of work to finish the entire kit.

Green bird on Bayeux panel stitched by Gail Haidon

Spear Thrower Detail from Bayeux Panel stitched by Gail Haidon

So time went by and as most embroiderers will know it grew in fits and starts spending periods in the cupboard with the other UFO’s.

Dog and Goat on Bayeux Panel stitched by Gail Haidon

Bird 2 from Bayeux Panel stitched by Gail Haidon

The pre-printed outlines must have been transferred from a photograph that included some creases so I had to embroider over some lines that do not exist on the original.  I eventually used a quilting frame rather than embroidery hoop to more conveniently hold the fabric.  Ian’s book was invaluable in showing the exact stitching as sometimes the instructions in the kit left a bit to be desired.

Two Birds of Prey on Bayeux Panel stitched by Gail Haidon

Cat on Bayeux Panel stitched by Gail Haidon

Bayeux Stitch

I learned a new stitch, “Bayeux stitch”, a laid and couched stitch which is an Anglo-Saxon variation of an ancient technique known as laidwork.  Although this is great for securely covering large areas I have sworn that I will never embroider another horse’s backside as long as I live!

Here’s what the stitch looks like:

Griffon on Bayeux Tapestry stitched by Gail Haidon

Griffon 2 on Bayeux Panel stitched by Gail Haidon

Dog 2 from Bayeux Panel stitched by Gail Haidon

Horse from Bayeux Tapestry

Bayeux Tapestry Horse stitched by Gail Haidon

The UK Embroiderers’ Guild has a useful guide to Bayeux Stitch which you can find here

Ian’s 40th birthday came and went and if he occasionally felt like complaining I would offer to teach him how to embroider!  I started to joke that if he was lucky he might receive it for his 90th birthday!  He actually received it in time for his 50th so I think it “only” took about 12 years from start to finish.

Two Horses on Bayeux Panel stitched by Gail Haidon

Military History of this Panel

And the reasons for selecting this particular panel?  Ian tells me that it documents a change in military tactics for cavalry in the early medieval period – from using spears overarm to underarm.  The cavalry using their spears overarm are Bretons:

Overarm Spears in Bayeux Panel stitched by Gail Haidon

and those underarm are Normans:

Cavalrymen leading Charge in Bayeux Panel stitched by Gail Haidon

The Norman infantryman leading the panel is unique and very special because he’s the only archer on the entire Bayeux Tapestry wearing chain mail. For this reason it’s believed that he may actually be a crossbowman.

Archer from Bayeux Panel stitched by Gail Haidon

Crossbows were very new technology at the time and those designing the Tapestry might not have known what they looked like. Although he’s not depicted with a crossbow scholars have noted that his arrow quiver is shown being carried on his hip as a crossbowman would have done.

The other archer is also shown with a bow but he’s carrying his arrows on his back – the standard protocol of the time:

Archer 2 on Bayeux Panel stitched by Gail Haidon

So there you are a famous historical embroidery complete with mysteries and differences of opinion about it and a number of replicas around the world.  Surely an excuse for another trip or two?

Gail”

Textiles in the Gold of the Incas Exhibition at National Gallery of Australia

On Saturday I went to see this exhibition and an unexpected delight were the stunning textiles. Some weaving and embroidery on show is around 2000 years old but retains its rich colouring. The extraordinary state of preservation of the textiles is due to the very arid desert conditions and the funerary rituals which saw mummies buried in deep shafts.

Here’s an example from the NGA website – the mantle with flying figures from the Paracas culture (700BC – 200 AD):

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You can see more examples and information here

For those of you interested in textiles, fashion and military history there’s going to be an interesting talk at the NGA on 22 March at 2.0 p.m. in the Fairfax Theatre. It’s called Fashion & War :Textiles & Clothing after the Incas & the Spanish Conquest of Peru and the speaker will be Dr Denise Rall from Southern Cross University. Denise is also a member of the Lismore & District group of the NSW Embroiderers’ Guild. You can read more about Denise here. Her book FASHION AND WAR in popular culture will be on sale from the gallery bookshop.

Enjoy!

Carmen