Saturday, August 12, 2006

Busy, busy, busy!

It has been a busy time for me! The 3m lace has now been delivered, fitted with the most beautiful sterling silver aiglets by Gary Smedley. It is lovely, for all that it seemd to take an age to do! A fingerloop braid of this length needs a second person to help work it (namely my husband!) and we picked on of the hottest days all summer to do it. Never a great idea to fingerloop braid silk when its really hot; the silk tends to stick to my fingers. But, it was worth it in the end, and I'm sure it will look lovely with the wedding dress.

At the moment though, I have been really busy getting ready for the Bosworth Battlefield Anniversary Weekend. Elizabeth Benns and I will be there for the two days, promoting our book 'Tak V Bowes Departed: A 15th Century Braiding Manual Examined', and giving braiding demonstrations throughout the weekend. Do come along if you are in the area - the event itself is always good, well organised, and the Wars of the Roses Federation members always put on a good battle display. (And Leicestershire people always cheer Richard, and boo Henry! One day perhaps, Richard will win....!) There are usually quite a few traders there as well, and as the Battlefield Centre is currently undergoing some major changes and building work, it promises to be a good weekend. You will also be able to try some of the braids - we'll have wool on hand so that visitors can have a go, and of course, examples of braids used in both a medieval and modern context.

I have also been working on some embellishments for myself! I finally replaced my front room curtains and made the tassels and tie-backs for them. I've only been threatening to do this for months. I decided to go a bit mad with one of the tassels, and I really enjoyed making them.

Of the three tassels, two match and are made of silk over a form. The ruffs were interesting to make; the first time I had made these using wire, in the 18th/19th way of tassel-making. The skirts have two layers of silk - the bottom burgundy, whilst the top is a greyish/pink colour achieved with oak galls. The third tassel is quite mad - it is primarily silk, although the yellow pom-poms are worsted wool - I think that wool makes a much nicer pom-pom. The tie backs for the pair are fingerloop braids, whilst for the mad tassel, it is a traditional plied cord in two colours.

The other thing that is keeping me very occupied at the moment is the creation of kits incorporating textiles into jewellery making. The kits will have everything required to make the item (except any tools!) and I expect that the first ones will be available around the beginning of September. They will be available at Shop4Beads - a new online bead and findings shop.

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