A Caravan of Sunflowers by Jules Woolford
On a pleasant evening in late spring, the road leads us through the lowland hills of Scotland. The lush green hedgerows are full of birdsong, and the roadside verges are dotted with gold and silver buttercups and daisies. A tang of wood smoke scents the air.
We hear voices in the distance, and the “clip clop’ of hooves; then we see a piebald cart horse being taken to pasture in the fields beyond.
Rounding a bend in the lane, we spy a gaily painted caravan at rest! A campfire has been set, and an old copper kettle hangs over it. Soon it will be boiling, ready to produce steaming mugs of hot tea for the travelers. Here they come, ready for dinner after a long day’s drive; their horse has been rubbed down and is already enjoying his meal of delicious hay.
Seeing us admiring their lovely old wagon, they wave, and invite us to stay for supper, stories and songs around the fire.
The Back Story:
It was a June evening. While exploring the beautiful hills of Galloway in Scotland, Jules saw her first Romani caravan or “vardo,” with a friendly piebald horse to pull it. A vardo is a traditional horse-drawn wagon used by the British Romani people from the mid-1800s to about 1920. These wagons were heavily decorated with beautiful carvings which often included flowers, vines and elaborate scrollwork.
The travelers Jules met were living out of the vardo through the summer. Their camp was set and a fire was burning, just like the Sunflower Caravan, and there was even a battered old kettle which had seen a lot of service over the years! It was a thrill for Jules as such sights were rare, even 30 years ago.
Today most of these lovely old caravans are used for show at the British Romani horse fairs held throughout the year. They are also very popular as holiday homes!
This is Jules' original painting, which inspired my Folk Art Fusion and embroidery designs.
We do hope you are enjoying this journey as much as we are! Remember, we would love to see your creativity and invite you to share your photos on The Raspberry Rabbits Facebook Page.
We have the e-pattern (PDF download) and wool kits available in the SHOP. So hop on over.
Don't forget, the pattern includes a FREE embroidery version for all our friends who love all forms of stitching. A special thank you to my dear friend, Babs Fullerton for stitching the embroidery version.
A million hugs of thanks for being a part of our family of friends. You have no idea how grateful we are to have you in our lives.
Your friends always,
Michelle, Jules and the Bunnies