May Misrule - oriel 1
The bank holiday weekend was busy with our May Misrule event. Lots and lots of things were going on, and I was in the gallery running art and craft sessions where we made Tudor ruffs and there were replica Tudor clothes available to try on.
More pictures of some of the decorated pockets we made last half term
I've picked some of my favourite past art and craft activities to make a photo collage. I hope you like it. Have you been to any of our craft activities in the gallery? what was your favourite thing you have made?
Don't forget this saturday is nature day! come by and make something wonderful.x
On 2 April we will be launching the Explore Nature project
There will be loads of different things going on so look out for more information on the blog and on twitter.
As part of the launch I will be running an art and craft session about all things birds! If you fancy doing a bit of sewing we will be making badges or fingerpuppets and for little ones we can make spinning thaumatropes.
Oh, in case you don't know what thaumatropes are (I didn't!) they are thoses circles of paper that usually have a picture of a bird on one side and a cage on the other and then when you twizzle them it looks like the bird is in the cage. As we are celebrating nature we won't be putting any drawings of birds in cages! but will be giving them the appearance of flight instead.
The sessions are suitable for families, but adults are also welcome to come and sew some badges or fingerpuppets with me!
Love spoons art cart
These images are from half term. We had a bit of a love theme and were looking at lovespoons, pockets and stay busks. We looked at all the kinds of patterns you find on lovespoons, from the usual hearts and commas, to horses and forks!
Lots of people took their work home, but quite a few added decorations to our large lovespoons that are pictured here. I have to admit that Tracey Williams did a lot of work on the spoons and made them much more beautiful than when they started out.
The next art activity i'm involved in will be part of the launch of our new Explore Nature project in Oriel 1
We had our third meeting of quilt club this saturday, we currently meet every two months with the next meeting being held on 7 May.
It's been really lovely to meet so many nice crafty people and do a bit of sewing and there's a nice mixture of beginners and more experienced quilters. We currently have space for some more people so please get in touch if you would like to come, meanwhile have a look at some photos which show what we have been working on.
And if you have been coming along, please email me photos of your work in progress!
Half term art cart
Art Cart starts tomorrow and the theme is love....
We will be looking at lovespoons, stay busks and tie on pockets and the kinds of symbols and patterns that are found on them. I have lots of A4 sheets for decorating and colouring, but i have also made four really large lovespoons that I need some fantastic art work for. Below is a picture of the sad white lovespoons - please help!!
After being inspired by our Quilting Club (next meeting is March 5th), I have been doing quite a lot of sewing. Over Christmas I got out the sewing machine and made about 8 bags, but mainly I've been concentrating on my quilt (see picture above). I've never quilted before (or sewn much really), so am learning as I go, and have been loving it.
This foray into sewing has meant that I've been spending lots of money on material and equipment and reading lots of books and articles. One of my favourite things I've found out is that on February 8th it's Hari-Kuyo festival in Japan. This festival gives people the chance to thank and appreciate the needles they have used in the past year by sticking them in to a big block of tofu! As one of the monks from the temple said in the article I read on the reuters website 'Sometimes there are painful things and secrets that women can't tell men, and they put these secrets into the pins and ask the gods to get rid of them.'
It made me wonder if there are any pins and needles or sewing customs in Wales (and the rest of the UK), does anyone know of any? In Oriel 1 we do have a charm bottle on display which has bent pins in it which is meant to protect the owner of the bottle from witchcraft, and of course, pins would be used with a voodoo doll or a poppet...
I had a look in Steve Roud's book 'The Penguin guide to the Superstitions of Britain and Ireland', and whereas there wasn't much about needles (other than if a needle breaks when you are sewing it will bring good fortune to the wearer of the article sewn) there are quite a few customs to do with pins. Pins used in the making of wedding dress are particularly lucky, you could also stick them into an onion as part of a love divination, but you shouldn't take pins on board a ship.
And back to quilting, and patchwork quilts in particular... 'If a lady completes one of these without assistance, she will never be married.'
Looking at Buildings
Pupils from Raglan VC Primary School took part in my Looking at Buildings session on Monday. Here are some pictures of just a few of the houses they made. I didn't get a chance to take photographs of all the buildings so if anyone at Raglan VC Primary School is reading this, please email me some more as everyone's building was looking so fantastic!
St Dwynwen's day cards
We will be making St Dwynwen's Day cards this saturday (drop in session in Oriel 1 at the usual times of 11 until 1 and 2 until 4). Am still working on the designs for our cards, so far I have tried and been happy with two different pop up cards, one with material, and one with felt. For those who are a bit more adventurous (or possibly the adults!) we will be making felt hearts - you could even add a little pocket to leave a love note!