What do you do when you visit a place on holiday? Do you just kick off your shoes and chill with a relaxing book? Or do you embrace what the area has to offer? Both ways of looking at a holiday are well worth doing, but I’m not a person who sits and just sits! I get itchy feet. I want to look around. Investigate. I’m not a person who reads avidly. It takes an age for me to read a book! So to sit and chill is hard work!!! I have to be doing. Ask Mr A who can sit with his books and papers until the cows come home. So when we get to go out I’m on a mission. Just a little mission. Poor Mr.A.!
I have a certain number of things I take with me. A bag – of course, what girl goes out without her handbag; my special sunglasses, wrap around – I left my clip-ons on a coffee table in Israel; my camera – big and bulky but I prefer taking photos with my camera than my phone; my phone – for my Instagram photos – yes I do both; and finally a notebook – sometimes I write down the name of a book or artist. Note that my purse is missing. Sometimes it comes to be used for the specific purchase, and sometimes it stays at the bottom of the bag. So it is just there!
We’re off! Love it!
For today’s venture we went on the road. Bodmin moor is full of little roads. Little roads that are one car width! Finding passing places becomes to be an art, especially when the roads have high verges. But the colours are amazing!
The road to Launceston has had a bit of a make over so we were soon whizzing along. Everything nicely stowed away. Camera poised at the ready for that snap. Buildings. Flowers. Trees. They have all been photographed before. This time I was looking for something different. We had stopped for a coffee – well you do when you’re on holiday, at the smuggler’s Jamaica Inn. Not quite as it used to be, but interesting. Poldark eat your heart out! It was in the smuggler’s museum that I spotted that something different.
Now why would you find a little textile elephant in a smuggler’s museum? I’ll leave that to your imagination. The key word for me is ‘textiles’. Look at that little elephant’s embroidery! All carefully worked. Satin and cotton. Flowers and patterns. Love it! I was hooked and on the look out. Another textile. Just an ordinary smock. An ordinary costume. History. Social history. But look. Look at that carefully worked yoke. Love it!
Oh was I over the moon! While Mr A was reading – he reads everything, which works out OK as he then answers my questions – I was skipping backwards and forwards. Peering this way. Peering that way. Trying to work out how they were made. How they were intricately stitched. Such a pretty pattern. I’m mad, I know, but textiles fascinate me. Old ones in particular. Oh I loved sorting the costume archive at CMJ, but I digress. Smocking! I have tried all sorts of needlework but smocking is something I have never tried.
Off we go – again!
Onwards we go! Launceston here we come. We had spied a small museum on the internet that we thought would be worth investigating. We were not wrong. Remember, textiles. Look at this beautiful coat that was in the entrance hall. Oh here we go again. Such workmanship. Such precision. Love it!
Another room. Another piece. A postcard this time. Same precision. Each stitch lovingly done.
Again, another room. Again another piece of stitching, being shown as someone actually doing it. A tableau. A beautiful dress. A cap. A tapestry or should I say needlepoint. A sewing box carefully open on the table. History. Social history. Love it yet again!
Bargello work. Florentine. A pattern I know well. But another room beckons. I am having fun! I know, I’m mad! Another series of something I know well. Tiny, teeny stitches. Tiny, teeny crosses. Samplers. All lined up in a row. Love it! One or two reflections…oops!
The symmetry. The patterns. The words. The fonts. Love it all!
Dreams! And yes love it!
But another room and my dream was almost complete. Beside the stunning wedding dress in one of my favourite colours – lilac, a quilt. A patchwork quilt. Squares. Triangles. Oblongs. Log cabin. Half triangles. Love it!
And then…., then…., then this….
One step up from the smuggler’s top. One step up in colour though not in size. One step up but the same. Smocking!! Love it!