Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Stumpwork Panel - Toovey's Auction

This is the last of the items that were in the auction that were 17th century pieces.  The piece was likely originally drawn by John Nelham's shop with the distinctive cartoosh around the center using the fleur-de-lis and the four flowers in the corners.

Lot 2902 Toovey's Auction June 14th, 2012

Monday, August 29, 2016

Silver Panel

You don't have to be a super needle and do tons of stumpwork to make something that is really stunning, in this case the embroidery is all tent stitch and gobelin in silver thread and the result is just elegant!

Lot 3266 Toovey's Auction June 14th, 2016

Sunday, August 28, 2016

17th Century Pillow

This beautiful panel has been conservation (?) remounted and made into a pillow.  The design is just beautiful!  This is one design I would love to trace and use, too bad for the curve of the pillow.  Would have to do some nifty drawing.

Lot 3277 Toovey's Auction June 14th, 2016

Friday, August 26, 2016

A Set of Sweet Bags

There were two sweet bags on this auction as well.  The first, lot 3272 had been repaired in its lifetime with new silk lining and strings.

Lot 3272 Toovey's Auction June 14th, 2016
Back of Lot 3272
The second sweet bag, lot 3273, has a cupid motif and impaled heart with what might be an eye above.  But it seems to have retained its original strings and tassels.

Lot 3273 Sweet Bag Toovey's Auction June 14th, 2016

Back of Lot 3273 Sweet Bag Toovey's Auction June 14th, 2016

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Front of a Casket - Never Finished?

This might have been from a casket that was being worked on but was never finished and mounted.  The silver background is lovely and could have made a really great piece.  I have several people working on caskets like this in the Cabinet of Curiosities course and I can't wait to see them finished!

Kinda wish I had known about this auction on time as this was a bit of a steal.

Lot 3268 Toovey's Auction - June 14th 2016

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Silk Wrapped Purl Panel - Toovey's Auction

The next item in the auction was a really wonderful panel done in silk wrapped purls and spangles.  If you go to the site, you can magnify the image so you can see the silk wrapped purls.  It would have been really amazing when it was originally done.

Lot 3265 Toovey's June 14th, 2016

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Toovey's Casket

There was an auction in June of a single collection and her (?) embroidery collection at Toovey's in Sussex.  There were many English embroideries of the 17th century there and you might want to scan a few of them, which I will post.

Lot 3264 June 14th, 2016 Auction Toovey's 
The first is a casket with an unusual edging treatment.  Perhaps something added or done later, as pictures of the inside weren't available and that usually tells the whole story.  But the embroidery on it was beautiful!

Lot 3264 June 14th, 2016 Auction Toovey's 

Lot 3264 June 14th, 2016 Auction Toovey's 

Lot 3264 June 14th, 2016 Auction Toovey's 

Lot 3264 June 14th, 2016 Auction Toovey's 

Monday, August 22, 2016

Lace Making in the Summer Olympics Closing

Ok - just watching the closing ceremonies and I was in fact... making lace.  So I look up and lo and behold it was surreal to see the dance number celebrating bobbin lace making with a huge pillow with pins in it and a 'dancing' lace doily on the floor plus dozens of ladies in large lace patterns.  AMAZING!

Giant bobbin lace pillow in the closing ceremonies!
You might be able to see it when the live stream opens on the official you tube channel if you missed it live:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qPBHNJVDH60

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Sunday at the MET - Video of Lecture/Embroidery Demonstration

Back in January, I was invited to speak and demonstrate embroidery at a symposium that celebrated the amazing work done at the Antonio Ratti Center of Textile Center and the Department of Textile Conservation.  I chose to work the Needlework Nibbles for the Frostings Boxes for the crowd and discuss the technology of gold thread embroidery as I was doing it, complete with photos of objects in the MET collection.

As I watched the video this morning (it was just posted) I had to laugh as it looks so effortless but that belies the two hours of work with the videographers that morning before the symposium choreographing every move I would make with my needle and adding verbal cues for them so they could move to the right places.  Something that is going on at my house right now with the robot crew who are making a series of how-to-build videos and they are learning how much work goes into a good and instructive video.  (I think they have more hilarious outtakes then finished clips so far!).

If you are interested in taking a bit to watch, my lecture/demonstration starts at the 1 hour 3 minute point with the end of Amelia Peck's talk and Melinda giving an intro.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Best Stitching Spot Ever

So back from vacation today and the whole family is up at 4 am with jet lag.  So I have already been productive and have orders printed.  They might get filled after filling the fridge and taking care of a few urgent things - like getting food and the all important milk for the caffeine.  (I am soooooo wanting caffeine right now...).

This bird will never
get pregnant.
From those who know me well, they know of my hilarious travel 'disasters', but this was a mild year.  I took many precautions to avoid previous disasters (a really full med kit this time - good thing as the wasps were big in Sweden and I took one of the Robot team kids with us as a guest just a day after he customized his face in a swimming pool accident).  I don't think I have more than other people - just travel ALOT more than most people so probabilities are not in my favor.  This time, I didn't take the computer to the island where the kids were fishing (Fish destroyed my work computer in 2014).  And I was careful to take out my meds and hand carry those.  But... I was handed the stuffed pink flamingo that was shipped with my pills stuffed into its gut by my friend this year, they had arrived finally at her house two days after I left in 2015.  That was my sister-in-laws solution to getting me those when the pharmacies in Europe refused to fill the prescription from my doctor to replace the supply from my missing luggage as those I had hand carried ran out.  But unfortunately the stuffed flamingo got stuck in a cargo strike in Italy and was always a country behind me.

THIS time, only one bag didn't make it back from France (luckily not the one with the butter) - but that means no hairbrushes or makeup in the house (it will be a REALLY bad hair day for me today) as well as my house key got lost (second item of business this morning after picking up vehicles from car body shops).  The most important thing that got lost is my supply of charcoal pills in my med kit I carry (that is in lost bag).  REALLY wish I had those on the plane - can't anticipate every disaster with something in hand.  One child decided to start being ill as soon as we hit Newfoundland and when the stewardesses handed me 25 barf bags and biohazard containers - I laughed at the overkill.  By the time he used his last in the taxi on the way home... I wasn't laughing anymore.  So third item of business - bread for the hungry sicky.  Fourth item - delivering teen to internship.   Oh and I just realized our toothbrushes are missing... Fifth item on list.

So it is with this harried morning I am anticipating (worst thing is not being able to start taking action here at 5am until stuff starts to open) that I think back to yesterday and this relaxing moment caught on film.  The reasons you go on vacation!!  This time we only visited two countries and then 'chevy chased' two more'.  So those main locations were long and relaxed (a first for us).  I actually got a lot of stitching in which again is a first for me during vacation since kids came along.  I won't tell you what I was stitching - as it is a surprise - but this view was AMAZING.

My husband has three things he optimizes for - Food, photo quality views and location near great food and photo quality views.  So this Paris location had it all and he quite outdid himself.  I would tell you exactly where this secret rental location is -  but I want to reserve it for the 3rd week in July for the next decade first!  Terrace outside our bedroom overlooking the Seine River with a view of the Eiffel Tower, Pantheon, Louvre, and Arc de Triomphe.  Whenever we weren't eating or on the hunt for more yummy food - I was sitting out here and stitching or gawking at the view.

Ahhhhh.... I will just try to stay in that happy place today as I rush around getting life rebooted...


Friday, August 12, 2016

The Winterthur Casket

On the Winterthur museum collections website is the lovely casket they have and an amazing number of photos!! 

Grab a cup of tea today or your lunch house and spend it going through the SIXTY FOUR details of the casket on the site, there for you to magnify.


Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Winterthur Collection Online

The collection at Winterthur has been going up online and there are many textile objects up now, especially things like quilts and samplers (www.museumcollection.winterthur.org).

One of the items with many photos is the sampler that is providing the source inspiration for a class and kit that I am developing for Winterthur for their October symposium.  The sampler, made by Mehitable Parson between 1698-1706 (assumed dates).  Mehitable was from Rowley, Massachusetts which is near and dear to me as part of the later Newburyport region of sampler making.  So it is fun to work with an object that is a direct decedent of the 17th century English tradition as it comes to the Colonies and then ends up morphing slowing into the 18th century pieces I have worked a lot with.

My sampler for the symposium is significantly smaller, including some of the bands on this piece in running stitch, counted bands, white work bands, and two of the squares of whitework.

I bring this up as the conference materials on their website shows the wrong sampler, yet it refers the correct sampler in the text!


Monday, August 8, 2016

A Lovely Casket at the V&A

Object number T.263 to E-1978
I first came upon this casket as a photo in a book that was taken in a conservation facility.  It took a great deal of tracking this piece down through friends in the field to finally find out that the person who conserved it finally donated it to the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Finally the casket is now up on their website and you can enjoy it.  The wonderful part of it is the inside!  While the picture I saw (and can't find when I want it!) is of both doors open, at least there is a photo online of one door open.  Object number T.263 to E-1978, it features an unusual exterior and interior design that contains allegories as well as scrolling floral vines with small figures.

There are many other pictures of the casket on the site, enjoy a cup of tea and study them today.

Object number T.263 to E-1978

Object number T.263 to E-1978

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Things I Have Loved and Lost

You aren't very often successful on the auction market when spectacular things come up.  This was just one of those items.  A would have been nice to have (so would a new car after my huge repair bill today!)

This was on Bonham's June 30-July 1, 2015 auction last year, a very long and amazing whitework band sampler.  Lot 624 - check it out and magnify many of the wonderful bands!  I call this kind of web surfing 'my daily yum'.  It certainly takes the edge off the news in the morning.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

17th Century Redwork Cloth

I have a think for redwork and blackwork - and this piece from Bonham's July 2015 auction just really tickles me.  The overall wide pattern is really made ingeniously and bears closer inspection.

Bonham's Lot 607 30 Jun - 1 Jul 2015 

It isn't until you look very close that you see the design is made of a serpentine design that is mirrored.  The serpentines a vine of oak leaves and acorns (can't go bad with that!) with a standing cupid as well as a lion about to attack a small man.  

If you go to the website, you can magnify the images well enough to chart the design.  Here is a blow up of the acorn border - which would be great on a sampler!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

A Beaded Casket?

Bonhams Lot 371&370
I was trolling auction sites and found these two items that sold consecutively and were likely from the same object!  From the shapes and sizes, they were likely part of a beaded casket.  The heavy beading  takes a toil on vertically mounted satins and they often fracture, so this is consistent.

I really love the way the beading was done on these pieces.  There is something very attractive about the areas where two colors were threaded, alternating, on the strand that was laid down on the surface and couched in place.