I had a welcome day out with a good old bean of a friend yesterday to two National Trust properties near to Wolverhampton, Moseley Old Hall, an Elizabethan farmhouse famous for hiding and saving Charles II, and Wightwick Manor, a late 19th century Arts and Crafts gem of a house. The weather was fine, cake was eaten, much conversation was enjoyed. Both houses had second hand bookshops, which are appearing in most National trust properties these days, it seems, so I had the opportunity to buy a couple or four interesting bird books. I have donated many, and even sold a few books recently, and seem now to be re-filling the empty shelf space. This wasn’t the plan but hey ho, it’s good to keep things in circulation, be it books or money.
The gardens at Moseley Old Hall. This is a lovely old quince tree. I’ve decided I want an orchard, which is not going to be easy within a small over planted suburban garden. The medlar, below, was laden with fruit.
And just one of Wightwick, which is amazing inside too, especially for lovers of William Morris and the Pre- Raphaelites; many layers of pattern, texture, ceramics, stained glass, carvings, glorious carpets, central heating and a selection of cosy nooks to sit in, although some of the nooks were not much smaller than our lounge.
I’ve finished three recycled pieces of work, which may or may not be included in a book about using recycled materials in stitched textiles. In these pieces I have used only donated recycled fabrics, 100 year old Chinese newspaper, recycled pieces of my own embroideries, metal tomato paste tube, bark, an old tape measure, maps, used khadi paper, old wooden beads from an ancient childhood collection, and wallpaper. The fabrics were painted and printed with acrylics [ not recycled, or donated, unfortunately] and machine and hand stitch was added. The threads were a mix of old and new, but I couldn’t sat they were recycled, and some beads were new too. But on the whole, the pieces wouldn’t exist without old fabrics; it was a good creative exercise to be restricted in this way.