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Monday, September 27, 2010

And after Hampton Court....

I was given the privilege of visiting two, One hundred year old shops in London. The first was a boot shop where I saw them making shoes and developing shoe lathes. I was able to purchase a small piece of leather to make doll shoes from. It's a soft creamy tan color. I will hate to cut into it, but... it will make up beautiful shoes for one of my dolls, and come from that one hundred year old shop.
  Then a few doors down there was the second shop. A hat shop. Down stairs were the mens hats and I found a wonderful miniature wellington hat that looked like it would fit my ball jointed male doll. And yes it did... perfectly.

It's a little hard to see being that it's black but, I'll get a better picture later when I have made the suit/uniform that goes with that hat.
  And then there was the upstairs and the couture ladies hats. I have never seen such wonderful hats in all my life. Expensive...? Yes! but just so wonderful one couldn't resist. So I bought a hat. A beautiful gray feathered hat. And here it is.... in all it's glory!

I have never owned anything so over the top and so gorgeous. And I have the perfect gray suit to wear it with. Now I'll just have to have a reason to get all dressed up and show off my new hat. lol.
  So after that... my tour guide said he wouldn't take to the wine shop. lol... for fear I'd take the shop home with me. lol {not really but funny none the less}
  Then I had dinner with Owen and we had a good time talking about things and planned projects for the future. I am looking forward to this and the new book.
  After that I crawled into bed and left a wake up call for early, so I could get to my pick-up place for the last tour... Tomorrow is Stonehenge.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Windsor Castle & Hampton Court

On Saturday morning I went on tour to Windsor castle, where I got to see Queen Mary's dollhouse. I've seen pictures of it before but this was actually looking at it. It was made up of pieces by the actual authors and creators of the large size pieces. What I had not seen before was the garden at the lower section of the dollhouse. That was really something. Of course every part of the dollhouse was special to see. It was all behind glass, and taking pictures through glass meant dealing with glare from your flash, or the low light it was highlighted in. So most of what I took is not really good enough to show you so you can see it well.
  The rest of Windsor however did turn out well enough to view.

Then there was the afternoon and Hampton court. I have to say I loved Hampton court. Not the William and Mary part of it but the old Tudor part. I was in some of the areas where not a lot of people got to go, due to my embroidery classes at Hampton Court.
  So here I am sitting in a window alcove.

And there are 161 other pictures I took at Hampton court. I don't think I'll get them all uploaded here. lol. Not today at least.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Viewed upstairs at the V & A

I can share pictures I took of the costumes on display upstairs. However as I didn't use a flash {it would have reflected in the glass} some of these are a bit dark. I can't upload all of them due to space.
  I hope you can enjoy what I am able to upload.

There were a great deal more but space is limited. I tried to select a variety for you to enjoy. Others I couldn't upload due to the nature of the gown.

My trips to the V&A.

  Thursday morning I slept in. I needed it. Then in the afternoon I went to my first appointment with the Victoria and Albert Museum.
I had my second appointment on Friday.
  You go in through a special gate, where they take your picture and issue you a visitors pass. Then when the person you've come to meet arrives at the visitors desk, you follow them down halls, until you come to a locked door. Once inside, there are rows and rows of cabinets, where they have stored part of the collection for the V & A. There were several large boxes, that when opened revealed  beautiful gowns. I could not believe my luck, to have viewed a court gown by Worth. It was beautiful! So much hand done work. Something a lot of people don't know, is that couture gowns are done entirely by hand.
  I viewed 1870's style French Gowns, and then Gibson Girl styles the next day. So many people have asked me "How did you do this? {meaning how did I get into the back locked room}. I really don't know. But what I do know is... this was very, very special. They just don't give out appointments. I also know that the Textiles and fashion department will be closed from Nov. {this year} to the year 2013. I hope to have another set of appointments lined up for then. I have asked if I might come back, and was told yes.
  I can't give specifics here due to the fact I do plan on doing costume patterns for my dolls. Why would I give up information to someone, so they could claim it as their own?
  But I will tell you due to conservation techniques the fabric colors were just as bright as when made {Looking at the tiny pieces of fabric under the facings..}  Even if the gold and silver were tarnished and that was a given over time.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

It's not just Embroidery!

  As this was two different lessons on two completely different techniques, I will split it into two days.
 On Tuesday in the morning I got up and took a taxi out to Hampton Court. It was an hour away {I didn't realize it took so long to get around London}.
  I arrived at the visitors gate to the side of the main entrance and my Teacher Owen Davies was already there waiting for me to guide me through Hampton Court to where the class room was. He is a teacher with the Royal School of Needlework, based at Hampton court.
  A quick note- I took private classes, so I would have a one on one with the teachers. I wanted to come away with some real understanding of what I was learning. This is very pricy, so be prepared to pay. Starting at 60 pounds per hour. My lessons were about 3 hours each. So you can see where it would add up very quickly.This is Owen,
  Now, Owen co-wrote the book "Embroidered Knot Gardens" with Gill Holdsworth. You can find it on amazon. This is a three-dimensional stumpwork, canvas & ribbonwork type embroidery. When you are done, you will have a lovely little garden that won't give you hay fervor.
Or a little corner of your imaginary world,

This kind of embroidery lends it's self well to 1/12th scale miniatures.

I loved doing this, and as I had started on one sometime ago but didn't get the hang of it all, I wanted to take a class about it, never dreaming I'd be learning from Owen himself. We had so much fun, it just couldn't get any better then that.
  But it did. We had dinner together later that week, and drank a bottle of wine between us. lol.
Here we are at class.

If your interested get the book and try your hand at it. It's not really hard. Makes up into a wonderful 1/12th scale garden that's better then the plastic things one gets, or the little plaster type stiff bushes.
  Well that was my morning class. Filling in the holes I couldn't seem to get right, making a wonderful new friend, and what a way to start off the classes at Hampton court.
  Tomorrow is lost stitches with a lady who collects embroidery stitches that are on the verge of disappearing.