Handmade Monday 89 – A Grand Day Out

Welcome to Handmade Monday, to take part or read lots of lovely creative blogs, pop across to Handmade Harbour

As part of the Unearth Your Creative Nature Course I’m currently doing, we were encouraged to go on an adventure in the coming week.  I blogged about week one on Thursday if you’d like to read more about what its about and why I’m doing it.

Spookily enough I was already booked on a very special day out with my Headway group last Monday – we were off to the V&A and as a group of people with disabilities we also got free admission to the ball gowns exhibition (no photo’s allowed 😦 ).  For me it was an adventure because its the first time I’ve been to London for fun since I was in my early 20’s, all other trips have been work orientated with no time for doing anything special sadly. Also I’d never been to the V&A before – so had no idea what to expect. It also turned into a bit more of an adventure when I was loaded in the minibus and Anita, the lovely member of staff driving us to London mentioned she’d forgotten exactly how to strap the wheelchair and me in! But with some help from one of the craft group and the decision that breathing was potentially less important than my becoming a human cannonball if we did an emergency stop, we managed! And duly set off.

Having thought about how to share my Adventure,  made some montages of the photo’s I took and will give you a glimpse into how I’m hoping they’ll inspire my work. When I blog later in the week I’ll also show you some V&A inspired artwork and doodles!

Inspiring Entrances

 I was amazed at the various entrance ways – from the ornate backdoor we slipped in, to the medieval masterpiece that led to the Medieval section.

I was so amazed and inspired by the stunning glass doodle – I want to move on into doing some free form pieces in knitting and crochet and this has given me some ideas of things I could try!

Fabulous Fashions

The fashion section is vast, so here’s a snipped of some of the pieces I loved! The necklace is silvered lace – I love crocheting vintage lace patterns and I’d tempted to have a go at using different threads and adding larger beads after viewing this piece.

The striped outfit is a fushion of knitting and fabric in one garment – this would add an extra dimension of texture and pattern to free form experiments.

The other garments inspired me in terms of shape and form – the cut of 30’s 40’s and 50’s dresses to give the impression of an hour glass figure contrasts with 20’s and 90’s style almost shapeless garments that hide the female form. I prefer the less shaped clothing for me but would love to create some fitted cardigans that create the hour glass look!

Inspiring Patterns

These patterns all said something to me. I could see a crochet blanket with micro granny squares contrasting with larger squares to create the look of the tiled floor.

The necklace was made of rows of tiny fret worked gold motifs and I could see a crochet version would make a stunning collar for evening wear.

I liked both the shapes created by the marigold fabric and the shape of the individual flowers – this could be the basis for an all over patterning or brooches.

The fret work just screamed crochet shawl at me – taking something hard like stone and softening it into yarn really appeals to me as a way of sharing beauty

Random Inspirations

I loved the simple lines and bold patterning of the green dress

The beaded bag has given me ideas for shape and form for unusual, vintage inspired purses

The turquoise ornament and the patterned floor both inspire crochet patterns for cushions or brooches.

The tapestries I chose because of the dedication of the makers who spent many years working on them in often unfavourable light yet still created things of beauty. A time when handmade was appreciated and the work that was required to create, understood.

Medievally Yours

The next section of photos are dedicated wholly to the medieval period. I love reading historical novels set in the mid to late medieval to tudor times. I find the nomadic lifestyle interesting and the need for decoration to be portable is inspiring in itself. Today how can we capture a snippet of home to take with us on our travels?

I also appreciate the beauty of the Christian art of that time, the intricate ivory carvings, jewelled bible covers, beautiful carvings and tapestries that told the stories of Christ in pictures to make them accessible to all. I know iconography is contraversial in the modern Christian Church and I appreciate the reasons behind it, but to me, the creativity of the artists was both an expression of their faith and an inspiration to the faith of others. Its also easy to think of the medieval as a time of starkness, but the stone work, windows and tapestries added much beauty and colour to their world. Secular tapestries also told stories and hid secret love affairs – they were the “hello” magazines of their day….. ideal for anyone with a love of modern soaps!

Medieval Marvels

I chose the balcony because I can imagine Romeo looking up at Juliet and because the patterns would make beautiful crochet panels . I’m experimenting with Carola Wijma’s Celtic Knot Squares  at present and think I could use the technique to create the end panels.

The stained glass is just something I love – I chose this piece for the colours it uses

The carved screen and ivory “book” just spoke to me in terms of intracy and skill – as well as an expression of the faith of both the creator of the pieces and those who later appreciated their beauty.

Trio of Tapestries

This trio of tapestries is a contrast between the secular and the religious.

I loved the dress of the lady in red

The 2 people in blue are secret lovers in the Burgundian Court as signified by his tears and the hearts on her dress.

The religious tapestry on the end is full of imagery but the latin writing would make its meaning hidden and mysterious too

Just for Fun!

These funky socks are medieval and I am going to make myself a pair as slippers for the winter!

24 thoughts on “Handmade Monday 89 – A Grand Day Out

  1. I love the V & A and can remember many a day browsing round for inspiration in my youth! a long, long time ago. So pleased you had a good day and enjoyed yourself, London can be so much fun and a nightmare at the same time.

    • Its lovely to browse and get inspired, one of my things when I first started crafting was a day out each month to seek inspirational things but its never really happened. However I’m hoping I can use this as the kick I need to make this a regular thing and find lots of yummy local places too!

  2. Lots and lots of lovely inspiration – looking forward to seeing the makes that have have been inspired by your trip. the socks are brilliant – as a lover of Birkies for most of the year these would be ideal for me! Hope you have a good week.

  3. Looks like you had a lovely day, I’ve been wanting to go the V&A but haven’t managed it yet. So many beautiful (& inspiring) things there.

    • I’m really glad I went, and I must admit if it hadn’t been an organised trip I probably wouldn’t have got there but have discovered its not too difficult a drive into London either so I think I’ll be going back as have a car full of “volunteers” to navigate already 🙂

  4. wow. I can certainly see why you chose the pieces that you did. It is funny how my eye is drawn to similar things. Seems like you have done a lot of the work for me!!! 😉 I am so glad that you didn’t become a human cannon ball and that you had such a lovely time. Thank so much for sharing.

  5. I can see I shall have to make a trip to the V&A one day. Interesting to hear you talk about micro granny squares. This is something I have been thinking about on and off for a while. The vision of you becoming a human canon ball made me smile. Glad it didn’t come true though!

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