In the reenactment/living history world most are packing away, drying out canvas, scraping mud off and generally putting everything to bed until next year’s season begins. However, if you have a craft there is always a project to finish, a new one to start, one on the back burner, more research, and always, more things to buy.
For me, it is also a time to look back on what you’ve made and achieved throughout the year. It’s easy to forget what you’ve been delving into and what new things have inspired you. I think my biggest inspiration this year has been to take a good look at the Bayeux Tapestry……embroidery.…but I guess it doesn’t have the same cudos! I’ve poured for hours over the different panels, looked closely at individual stitches, studied how the dye was maybe created for the yarns and have been blown away at how it has managed to survive at all! My project for next year is clear……no, not a copy but something smaller, much smaller, as I take some of the design elements and make them something different and an addition to my awning or tent.
Looking back over the different things I’ve tackled this year always surprises me. I’ve had heaps of fun with my Thursday carving buddies from the Via Beata project. I think we now have something like 5 different artworks on the go at present. So we are being kept busy which is brilliant. Thursday morning carving is a haven for my busy mind and always puts a smile on my face.
Spinning and fleece preparation is something that never ends. I keep promising myself I will clear the backlog of raw fleece before accepting generous offers of more but I always fail. Although it’s hard work I do enjoy working from a whole fleece straight off the sheep and you always learn so much as each one is different and each one will make a different yarn and take you on a different journey.
Not to mention the Flax and other plants that I grew this year. It was a challenging year as we had such high temperatures and almost no rain for three months. The flax was way shorter than usual but the Woad gave beautiful blues and the Weld some lovely yellow hues. Which brings us to the dyeing………
I have been so privileged to be part of the Stockholm & Leyden Papyri Dye Project all the details of which can be found here.
We were due to present our findings to the Dyes in History and Archaeology Conference this year but unfortunately we had to postpone until next year. However, this means we have another whole year to experiment! Plus we can add to our findings and do more studies so when we do get to present in Copenhagen next year it will be epic! I’ve learned so much about natural dyeing from this project and the wonderful people that are taking part.
A pause for thought, at the beauty of nature and how lucky I am to live where I do. The view is ever changing and always uplifting.
More projects than you can shake a stick at. This year I’ve tried to remember to document everything I’ve made even if it’s just one photo. It’s so easy to forget what has taken place over the months.
Phew! A busy year and I haven’t even mentioned Treehouse or visits to museums, the woods and to see my dearest 94 year old mum! I will let you draw breath and save that all for another post. Thanks for dropping by and sharing my year so far.