Monday, May 1, 2017

The Narrowboat - Block 5 of the Journey down Briarside Lane

Hello travelers!

We are delighted you have joined us on our next stop down Briarside Lane. This stop takes us to see The Narrowboat.

The Narrowboat – by Jules Woolford
On a fine summer afternoon, the lane runs straight alongside a tree-lined canal. Long ago this waterway was a alive with industry. We are walking along the towpath, where horses once pulled heavily-laden, narrowboats full of goods. Today, though, it’s just us and the wildlife that enjoys the peace and quiet, and tranquil beauty of the waterway. Ducks swim by with sleek heads bobbing, and swans glide past gracefully. Dragonflies swoop and dive above the water -- their iridescent wings glimmering in the sunshine.

Ahead of us, a narrowboat approaches. We can hear the engine chugging and a ‘swishing’ sound as it ploughs through the water. It is a merry little boat which someone has made into a home. We can see it is much loved. It’s brightly painted and transports its own, carefully tended garden on the roof. What a wonderful way to travel along the old waterways of Britain, seeing the countryside at such a gentle pace!

The Back Story
In the 18th century, canals were the freeway system of Britain and used to transport goods between towns. Originally horse-drawn like a wagon, many people lived and worked on narrowboats.

Named after the “narrow” channels by which they were designed to travel, it became common practice to paint ‘roses and castles’ on the fixtures and fittings of narrowboats.

Today these boats are mainly used for leisure purposes, although many people still choose to make them floating homes – but with many modern conveniences on board!

Some of Jules’ ancestors were canal structural engineers and boat owners in the 1700’s and 1800’s. Canals hold a special place in her heart. Since childhood, she’s lived near the Gloucestershire canal and always loves to see a narrowboat go by!

Here is Jules' original painting that inspired me. Isn't it beautiful? I have been having so much fun with these!!! I have received many emails regarding the purchase of prints of Jules' originals and I think once the journey is over, they would make a lovely set of note cards. What do you think? Should we talk her into it?

I got a little carried away again with stitching.

It's really hard not too. I think it adds so much detail and whimsy to plain wool. 

Remember, each design comes with a FREE embroidery version. A special thank you to my dear friend, Babs Fullerton for stitching all the embroidered versions. She had lots of fun with this one too! 

The PDF pattern, as well as, the wool kits are available in the Shop (CLICK HERE).

I still have some Valdani perle cotton thread kits available. They won't be around forever, so if you would like one, get it while the getting is good. ;)

Hugs and hoppy stitching to you. We are delighted you are part of our family.

Michelle, Jules and the Bunnies


Erica said...

It's beautiful! I would love to live on one! Well done to both you and Jules for truly inspirational work!

Margaret Stickland said...

So much stitching , but the detail is precious. When I was a wee child over 70 years ago there was a cartoon strip in the newspaper called 'Tugboat Annie" your stitching bought those memories to the surface thank you.

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Bravo to both of you. The details are DIVINE!!!!

Pieta Laker-Ratcliff said...

I was hoping there would be a narrowboat in the collection and now there is! It's beautiful and I love all the stitches. I would definitely love a set of note cards with Jules artwork.

Createology said...

Many world travelers are now enjoying "barge" vacations where they travel the canals of Europe. I adore this "Narrowboat" and all of your stitching. Traveling Briarside Lane has been lovely and I believe Jules' paintngs would definitely make lovely cards. Happy Month of May...

Rabbits' Guy said...

"Low bridge, everybody down. Low bridge 'cause we're comin' to a town. You'll always know your neighbor, you'll always ... tra la la ..."