Is all about Silk Road Journals
I’ve needed something to keep myself busy recently, to take my mind off things. I think I showed you the beginning of this project, back in March.
It’s the handles of a tote bag. I put it to one side, did a bit of crochet instead.
Then sewed the body of the bag.
This weekend I plucked up the courage to rivet the handles to the bag – scary as I’ve never done it before and they had to be in exactly the right position.
Not bad for me, I’m not keen on measuring, I’d rather do things by eye.
I added some pretty danglies.
Because it’s a simple sack, I decided to make this to put bits and bobs in today.
So here it is, my first attempt at a leather bag. I could never have done this without my friend Lindy’s help, she is a really good leather worker, I’m just a dabbler, especially where tools are involved.
Leatherwork today, got very sore fingers!
I need some new crochet now!
Yesterday, for my LPTH I posted a photo of some wicker garden decorations. Several people wondered about their size and purpose, so I thought I should show you some more.
These fish are about a foot long and on stems of perhaps three foot. Aren’t they adorable? They’d look great beside a pond. Yesterdays mystical birds are taller, on stems of six foot, to sway gently in the breeze. in a tall border perhaps. Which do you prefer?
Whenever I go to Bridport Art’s Centre for a craft fair, I meet a lovely lady called Marcia, she makes buttons, Dorset buttons. Here she is concentrating on the tiny stitches.
Marcia has been making Dorset buttons for about 8 years, but the craft, known as ‘Buttony’ began in 1669, in a small Shaftesbury workshop, belonging to Abraham Case. The buttons with names like High Tops, and Dorset Knob became the most popular ones in England in the 17th and 18th centuries, spreading to Europe and even to the colonies. I’d be interested to know if anyone in Australia, Canada or the United States have ever come across them, Ruth perhaps?
As demand for buttons increased, so the cottage industry grew, with many farm working families finding that they could earn more money, without the drudge of hard labour on the land.
In 1851, at the Great Exhibition, the Button making machine was introduced. This struck a fatal blow to the workers, some chose to emigrate to the colonies, those that remained suffered dreadful hardship.
The skills of Buttony have not been lost, they are still being skilfully and artfully made by people like Marcia. She makes the Blandford Cartwheel design among others, and has brought their beauty into the 21st century, making them into lovely bracelets, earrings, brooches and cuff-links. She’s also created an ammonite shape alongside the usual round. Here is some of her work.
And what could be nicer than a bold cartwheel brooch adorning a beret?
Marcia says, ‘As a farmer’s daughter myself, the realisation of what these peoples must have suffered, is my inspiration to be part of a growing interest in bringing this beautiful craft to the attention of the modern world.’
Thank you Marcia for your enthusiasm about Buttony and your lovely company!
Montacute House is Somerset has an exhibition of some of the 300 samplers collected by Doctor Douglas Goodhart since the 1950’s. The good doctor gathered together an internationally important collection, dating back to the 16th century.
I visited Montacute for one of my birthmonth days out last weekend, not knowing they were there. Had I known I might just have taken a tripod, because flash photography was not allowed, hence the quality of these photos is disappointing, but you can get an idea of how beautiful they are.
As some of you know I love mermaids, and I’m not the only one here, so this is my favourite.
And this last one is so precious, see the date?
I think it fits the bill for pure.
It began with a walk on the beach at Beer, and a photo
Followed by an edit using Pixlr Express, to make a collage.
Which appeared on my blog and then sat in a dusty computer folder for months.
Then I felt a need and found some paper
I cropped and printed the collage and stuck it to some card, the size of a shorthand notebook
I ironed on some plastic coating. It would have been easier if I’d done that before, but hey, sometimes you have to learn the hard way!
With a little help from a friend with way more skill and experience than I have, thank you Lindy, I stitched it all together with Coptic stitch.
So now I have a new notebook that’s very light, created to my own specifications, that no one else has.