Monday, December 26, 2011

The 2nd Day of Christmas

You'll have to make do with my old camera this post. I had to move the contents of a couple of rooms, and lost my charger in the process. I'm afraid it will be much quicker to just get a new one than hope to find it.

My favorite Christmas gift is this fruitcake.

Yes, I know, that's not very common, but you've never had this fruitcake. I said if I only get one gift, I hoped it was this. I love nuts, and this is hardly more than pecans held together with a little cake. And a couple of candied cherries, which is what Rufus is waiting for. ;)

I have been slowly working on my silk on linen needlework accessories.

This is not as easy as it looks, and I'm finding it very challenging. Nevertheless, when Tricia announced she was taking reservations for a new class to make a needlework casket, I couldn't get there fast enough. I have been wanting to make one for ages, and here's my chance. The class is in two parts, over three years, and includes a lot of threads and fibers manufactured exclusively for us. The hardware is all cast from some used on an actual casket. The 300 spaces were gone in just over a month, so I'm not the only one wanting to do this!

Needlework caskets were made in the 17th century by young girls, and consisted of embroidered panels covering a wooden box, which opened to reveal compartments, secret drawers, and sewing implements. They often contained vials of perfume, which dried your hands prior to beginning stitching.

Here's a link to a video of a casket at the Victoria and Albert Museum, made by Martha Edlin in 1671 when she was 11 years old!

And here is a link to more information and pictures of caskets.


Janet said...

Wow, what a chance of a lifetime to make the casket. It sounds incredible. The fruitcake looked delicious! We call that a stained glass cake here if it has glace fruits in it as well as the nuts.

Mary said...

Those are amazing! I can't imagine stitching one.

Heirlooms by Ashton House said...

Hope you had a merry Christmas, Lisa! The fruitcake looks yummy and it looks like you're off to a great start on your needlework accessory. Those needlework caskets are amazing! Thank you for sharing the photos of them. How fortunate that you're able to take a class on them, too!

taylorsoutback said...

How breathtaking - a work of art, indeed. When I see something like this, it makes me realize how precious needleworkers viewed their sewing accessories...a good needle was highly valued and our multiple packets of today would have been unheard of.

Looking forward to following you on this incredible will be gorgeous!

Heather said...

I love the needlework caskets. I was in such awe when I saw one in England several years ago and I have wanted to make one ever since. The one I saw had stump work on it and dated to the time of Henry the 8th. I will so enjoy following your progress.
Oh and I do love a good fruitcake!

Janet said...

What an educational blog. The caskets are beautiful and they were very talented girls.
Your stitchery looks beautiful.

Miriam said...

Wow, thank you for sharing. I have never seen such intricately embroidered caskets. Congratulations on getting a place in the class. I am looking forward to watching your progress.

Beautiful stitching so far.

We love fruitcake here too! :)

Dawn said...

Fabulous Post!
I was lucky enough to see some at the V&A. Amazing works of art and now you'll have one!
I have a couple of work boxes - but later period and more untilitarian.
I'm looking forward to your progress on this!

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