Allow me to introduce you, ladies and gentlemen, to the enormous purple wheelie suitcase of DOOOOOM…
And what, I hear you ask, in voices trembling with dread anticipation, is inside the enormous purple wheelie suitcase of DOOOOOM!
Well, it was this, actually…
Not me, obviously, and the tent and table were provided by the organiser, but kirtle, gown, accessories, chair, trestles, embroidery frame, tablecloth, hanging, the labours and two ladies were all in there along with the smaller finished pieces. There’s even a cushion, the Tristram one, under my bum. Not that Tristram prevented me from getting serious bottom fatigue by Monday.
The truly miraculous part is not how much I managed to get into one suitcase, but the fact that for once I actually remembered to take photos!
I was at the Tower of London for three days, demonstrating Tudor embroidery for the coronation celebrations of Anne Boleyn. I’m by no means a nervous driver, but didn’t fancy trying to navigate the centre of London, so john made a collapsible chair, Gareth made pack able trestles and a frame that fit in the case, and i got the train instead.
Accommodation problems seemed to be the theme if the weekend. All of the tents were brand spanking new and several collapsed on Saturday, luckily not mine! Id never heard of heritage tents before, but they did look a bit flimsy compared with the past tents ones I’m used too. Also, I’d been planning to stay at our friend Matt’s place whilst he and roger were on holiday, but then Cuan, the house sitter, couldn’t get in because the lock broke. Cuan very gallantly went stay with his boyfriend for the weekend and gave me his place, but it was all very worrying for a while ( I took Cuan homemade lasagne, so his chivalry did not go unrewarded)
I will get some proper pictures of my new gown later this week, but I was glad I’d made it because it was a bit nippy on Monday – typical bank holiday weather, in other words! Many people were interested in my homemade medieval specs, all of them, of course far too polite to say how ugly they are!
It might sound petty and a bit daft, but the thing I really missed in the tent was fresh flowers. Normally I bring some from my garden ( if I’m not at home to enjoy them I might as well cut them) or I buy something, but not only are flowers scarily expensive in London I didn’t have a spare jug to put them in.
I also made a small supply of biccies for myself, alas not enough to share as is my usual habit because I couldn’t carry much, which meant that every time I popped behind the curtain I thought, ” ooh! Biccies!”
I took the ladies for display because although they’re a little old fashioned by the 1530s I’m sure king henry must have been familiar with the originals, coming as they did from the old Palace of Westminster, and they were good talking points because they depict kingly virtues. I’ve been fancying working on some late c15th/ early c16 th century pieces for a while though, so if more work comes from this I’ll definitely indulge in something.
The piece I was demonstrating was of course the book cover with the slips I’ve been working on
It worked well as a demo piece. I had a separate scrap of velvet for people to touch, telling them to make the most of it because the likes you don’t normally get to touch anything that expensive. With kids I was telling them the story of the origins of the order of the garter and asking if they knew who the current head if the order was- cue much parental eye rolling for the ones who still didn’t guess even after I’d told them it was that nice old granny with the big house on the mall who likes her corgis!
I think this one will stay as demo though, and I’ll do another for the actual book I want covered( probably the same) because not only did I get this one a smidge wonky when I was talking and sewing the slips down, but when I worked the slips I experimented and did them on silk instead of linen. It really hasn’t held tension as well as I would have liked. It’s probably one of those things that will only ever bother me.
UPDATE, I think they missed me, they’re helping me unpack