Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Part III of Across the Pond - The Samplers

Hi ya! I must say, I am enjoying writing Part III of this adventure. As you know, I am a textile artist, author and instructor. I simply love inspiring creativity in my students. 

Well, this teacher was truly inspired by the incredible embroidery work that was on display at the Montacute House. Talk about perfect timing for my trip!

Here is a mirror featuring incredible stumpwork. 






I love the chair cushion and

look at this duvet cover!



I'm going to let the rest of the photos speak for themselves. Below each photo is a description. Be sure and check out the dates! It simply blows my mind how old these are. 














































I hope you enjoyed this creative journey. I'll see you back here next week with a tour of Stourhead and the Manor House in the Cotswolds. 

Light, love and hugs,
Michelle and the bunnies

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

The Sights - Part II of Across the Pond

Hi my friend! As promised I am back this week with the second part of my journey across the pond to England. So let's go for a stroll through some magnificent pieces of architecture and gardens shall we?

Our first adventure took us to Bath. We rode a train there and it was such a fun ride through the countryside. Bath is an incredibly beautiful city and seeing the ancient Roman Baths was a sight to behold.

What was truly amazing is standing somewhere that is was so old. The temple was built between 60-70 AD. The pure genius of people then to create something like this simply blows my mind.








The city is rich with architecture, shopping and lovely restaurants. Here Sallieann stands beside a postbox. Isn't it pretty? They make our postboxes look rather dumpy. LOL! These are still in use as a lady walked up and dropped her letter inside!


People here in the states told me that the food in England was not very good. Well, I do believe they were fibbing as everything I had was amazing and being a vegetarian, the choices were plentiful. This is what I had at "The Ivy" in Bath. It is a vegetarian shepherds pie. The center is an eggplant stuffed with quinoa. Then the herb, mashed potatoes cover all sorts of root veggies in a scrumptious gravy. This veggie girl was in happy land!


We went into a cute little shop and I saw this pillow. It described my feelings about England perfectly. ;)



Bath was the closest thing to mainstream "tourist" attraction that we did. What's wonderful about visiting somewhere with local people is that you can discover things off the beaten path.

Our next journey took us to one of the National Trust properties,  Montacute House, which is a late Elizabethan mansion and garden in South Somerset. It was built in 1598 by Sir Edward Phelips and it is one of the few prodigy houses to survive almost unchanged from the Elizabethan era. Let me just say that it was absolutely stunning!




Not only the house, but the gardens as well. Everything is so lush and green.




Jules knows just about every flower, tree, grass and creature around. She is an excellent tour guide.


Jules and I collaborated on a project in 2017 called Briarside Lane in which there was a project called the "Pudding House."


Jules gave me a painting and I created this wool and embroidery version.


It was so much fun to stand in the actual place that inspired Jules! Talk about walking into your art! :)



All the detail that went into building this mansion. I'm a total architectural geek, so I soaked up every last detail.


This is the view looking out across the gardens. Way down in that open area was once a Roman road. Now the sheep are the only ones on the road.


Speaking of sheep, I tried so hard to get close to the sheep. I wanted to pet them! Sallieann still laughs that I went running out into a field after them. Jules has it on video. They weren't having any part of this crazy American bunny lady though. Nope, not, go away woman! LOL!




This is looking inside a hedge. Magical isn't it?


This is the hedge!


The trees, oh the trees! This is a Chestnut tree. Blight killed these trees here in the US, so it was a special treat to see one.


And the chestnuts!

I would love to have one of these in my yard. So sad that we don't have them anymore.


Inside the house, I was amazed by the details in all the furniture. Nothing pressboard, MDF or made in China here. Solid, strong, real and absolutely beautiful. The green on this bench was so lovely.


All the intricately carved wood. Everything has a story to tell.


From the wall mouldings,


to the exquisite carvings on this bed, the details on the trunk,


to the framed portraits,

historic books

and the stained glass coat of arms window panes, the details took my breath away.




It made me think about how disposable everything is now. How much is wasted, consumed, destroyed and made so cheaply. Looking at things like this, that are hundreds of years old, I pondered the waste in the world today.

This was fun to see the all the royals during the time of this mansion.


Beth had a nice chat with these folks.


We had coffees and lunch at a charming cafe on the property. I had the most incredible soup and the bread. Their bread is nothing like our bread. I rarely eat bread here as it makes me fat and fluffy. I ate bread there almost every day and not one bit of trouble. The girls told me it's because our bread is loaded with sugar and chemicals where theirs is not. Natural food. Hmmm... what a nice concept. ;)

The last bit of Montacute house that I want to show you is this model, which is quite large if you scale it to the table in the far right. This model was made for the filming of Wallace and Gromit the Curse of the Were Rabbit.


Talk about details!


You know I loved it with the bunnies everywhere! When we got home that evening, we all watched the movie.


And so I will leave you with one of my favorite clips. See ya back here next week for part III of this adventure.

Michelle


Quilts from Houston 2019

Hi ya! I never got around to posting about Houston when I was there teaching the end of October. I tell ya, the fall was a total blur with...