Sunday, January 30, 2011

Moving back in time...

For the last three months, I've been planted in the 18th Century, reading Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series (so far) in order from book 1 through 7. I finished An Echo in the Bone at the end of last week. It all began when I bought her new graphic novel, Exile, (which views events from the first book from the perspective of a different character than the novel did), and then had the stress fracture in my hip that had me doing a lot of sitting. The books got me through. And made me very happy I live in the 21st Century!

Now I'm moving further back in time, to the early 17th Century. I've begun working on the Jacobean Crewel Independent Correspondence Course from EGA. My book arrived this week. (Is anyone else out there doing this course?)This is the sample project. I have a ways to go before getting there, though. And research to do--I love research. So, this week I've been looking at my crewel books to see what they say about Jacobean design--and where they got their information from (the ether, apparently, they don't list their source material!). I've been looking online for modern designs with a Jacobean flair, investigating natural dyes and what colors would have been available in and around 1600--I've even been exploring what years fall into the Jacobean era.

[It varies widely, I've learned. The Jacobean era is named after King James I who ruled from 1603 until 1625. James 1 belonged to the Stuart family as did his son and successor King Charles I reigning from 1625 until 1649 (until he met an untimely end). The term Jacobean era often refers to the period of both kings. Some take it even further, though, through the period of the Commonwealth (Cromwell and his cronies), through Charles II to King James II, encompassing the years 1603 to 1688.]

I get to do a stitch sampler. I received all three lessons at once so I can plan ahead and I've been thinking of how I want to organize my stitch sampler. A spot or band sampler, a more formal design, or perhaps (my current choice) a booklet with pages to be later bound together. (and, if a booklet, what shape, size, page stuff!) Or maybe pockets. I really like old-fashioned pockets (the tie around your waist, wear under your skirt type that Lucy Locket lost). So perhaps I could do a series of pockets. To be bound together as a book? Whaddya think?

And I'm thinking of topics for a short research paper. Like where did these designs come from? What influenced them? Were they the same everywhere? Why? What types of birds and animals and insects were depicted? Were the colors used in a realistic manner or not? Lots of fun questions. What items other than bed curtains used this style of embroidery--that's what I think of when I think of Jacobean crewel--bed curtains. (which leads to the question of why did they spend so much time and effort to decorate their bed?)


Rachel said...

This sounds fascinating - will you be blogging about it?

Lelia said...

I know next to nothing about crewel - so, feel free to share as you learn!

My son is reading that series,too. I forget which book he currently has in hand.

I've been tired all day - now wide awake. It isn't at all fair!!!

Kelly said...

I love the crewel project and would love to hear more about it.

I read the first in the series of books and have the second one waiting on my Kindle. Those are thick books. Impressive you got through seven.

GingerCat said...

I have read the entire Jamie & Clare series at least 5 times and I still love it. (I reread everything when a new book comes out.) I think that now there are 7 or 8 in the series and it keeps getting better.

I was sitting in the dentist office on day (several years ago) and this tiny little old lady (mid 80s) saw what I was reading and exclaimed "Don't you just love Jamie!" I almost fell out of my seat it was so cute/funny.

I am getting ready to load them on my Kindle as they ARE rather large books!