At the beginning of January we had a crochet session where myself and Anna Phillips attempted to turn everyone into crochet queens. Anna made up a great little easy pattern to crochet circles which could then be turned into a garland, or maybe a coaster if you stopped at just making one. We will be having another crochet meet up on March 15 so come along to that one, and because everyone seems keen I'll try and add more dates to the rest of the year.
St Dwynwen's Day Cards and a Mocktail
Last saturday (25th) was St Dwynwen's Day! I hope you all had cards and treats... we had a family drop-in card making session here in St Fagans National History Museum and we also did a bit of sewing too.
We will be doing something pretty similar for Valentine's Day on 8th and 9th of February.
And the mocktail?
That was for reading group! We were discussing 'Rules of Civility' by Amor Towles which is set in 1930s New York and therefore we had suitably 30s type refreshments - Shirley Temples and kit kats all round! (the kit-kat was introduced in 1937). Our next reading group meet up will be on 22 February where we'll be discussing Alan Hollinghurst's 'The Stranger's Child'. It's a big book, so you'd better start now.
Things I've been doing part two...
So part one of my epic sharing of photos with you looked at our summer art and craft activities. Part two is all about the food festival and a couple of craftivist sessions.
On a lovely sunny day up in the Italian gardens we had a picnic and took part in the Craftivist Collective project all about fashion. The project is all about how we love fashion and hate sweatshops, and as part of our event we talked about where we buy our clothes and what we can do to help the situation. It definitely made us all think more about ethical fashion and sustainability!
Another Craftivist project we've been a part of this year is the #imapiece jigsaw project. Earlier in the year we had a session where we made fabric jigsaw pieces embroidered with messages about global hunger and sent them to the craftivist collective to be a part of a huge installation. Just a couple of weeks ago we got a part of the installation back (300 pieces out of a whopping 700 or so) and exhibited it in St Fagans: National History Museum. We have also been adding to the installation ourselves, it will be up for a few days yet, so come and see it and let me know if you would like to add your own message.
For the food festival this year, myself and genius gardener Bernice made herbal teabags! Bernice picked and dried mint, lemon balm, fennel seeds and Elderflower from the gardens here in the museum and then we bought some teabags to fill and made little envelopes to put the teabags in for safe keeping, or as a sweet gift. We also made sure we had a pot of tea on the go all day and almost everyone liked our blend!
The last thing I wanted to tell you about is the Wedding Fayre that was held here a couple of weeks ago. You probably already know that you can get married here in St Fagans, either in the castle or in Oakdale. Well, now you can also have a hen afternoon tea party as well! as part of this tea party you can learn to dance, have hair and make-up done (vintage style), or get all crafy with me! The photos show what kind of things we could make... tissue pom-poms, name places, bunting... it will be lovely and I can't wait to take part!
That's all for today, but I do have some knit and sew group photos to share next time, and look out for half term halloween arts and crafts and quilt club on the 2nd and november. Happy Autumn!
Things I've been doing part one....
I've been taking photographs of all the activities I've been a part of, but keep forgetting to update the blog with them. Therefore this is going to have to be a two-parter as I have so much stuff to update you all with.
Ok. Let's go:
Our summer art cart activities included the super successful Iron Age shield making workshop. Ian (the celtic guy) and I spent two days running the workshop and we were really lucky to have volunteers on hand too as with all the glue, paint and celtic pattern designing it was pretty crazy. As you can see from the pictures, the finished results were just beautiful. I love the one that looks like maybe Chagall had a hand in it.
Artist Tracey Williams made the most wonderful house out of cardboard with visitors over the summer, inspired by our buildings on site. It was a lovely community project which I stupidly don't have any photos of!
I spent the rest of august doing a variety of art and craft workshops - we did some sketching of nature in the bird hide, made dragonflies out of wooden pegs and did gorgeous drawings and collages of the lily pads in the Italian Gardens with a bit of inspiration from Monet. We also did some sewing and made felt flower badges which were really popular.
If you took part in any of these activities, do you have any photographs you could share? and what did you think of our locations this year? was it fun going to the Italian gardens (I know I enjoyed it) or was it too far away from the main entrance? let me know!
what i've been up to...
I've been pretty quiet blog-wise but not work wise! Oriel 1 is now shut so I've been taking my art and craft activities further afield, trying out different locations on the site in St Fagans: National History Museum and going to Hay festival, Tafwyl, as well as doing some outreach work with schools.
Our quilting club is still going and our next meeting will be on 20 July and will be all day! from 11 until 1 and 2 until 4 (though you are welcome to just come along for some of it). I have also started up a knit and sew group, it's just a chance to come along and meet new people and exchange ideas and the next one of those is on 28 September from 11 until 1.
To keep up to date with what we're up to quilt and craft wise, have a look at our facebook page
We've also taken part in a few Craftivism projects and hope to do more of those over the next few months too. Again, there's a facebook page for that, although we don't just meet in the museum and take part in lots of other events!
And the other newish thing that I've been involved with is the St Fagans book group (yep, there's a facebook page for that too) which meets every month (next meeting 20 july) to discuss novels that have links with the site or have links with Wales. We also invite speakers to come and give us some context for the books too - so, for instance, when we read 'The Rebecca Rioter' by Amy Dillwyn, Sioned Hughes (curator: Politics, Trade and Religion) talked to us about the Tollhouse in St Fagans, when we 'read' (I'm yet to finish it) 'For Whom the Bell Tolls' by Hemingway, Heulwen Thomas talked to us about the Welsh links with the Spanish Civil War, and last meeting when we disussed 'The Hill of Dreams' by Arhtur Machen, writer and Machenite Catherine Fisher talked to us about Machen's life and times. The current book we are reading is Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel and we'll then be joined by Dr Madeleine Gray who'll be giving her historical take on the novel whilst we visit the church.
If you are interested in getting involved with any of these things please let me know! my email address is firstname.lastname@example.org and I'd love to hear from you.
I have to get back to my crochet bunting now!
Plant mewn Amgeuddfeydd
Ar 31 Rhagfyr, caewyd yr orielau yn Sain Ffagan: Amgueddfa Werin Cymru er mwyn gwneud lle ar gyfer gofodau addysg ac oriel newydd sy’n rhan o waith ailddatblygu yr Amgueddfa a ariennir gan Gronfa Dreftadaeth y Loteri.Yn ystod project ‘Plant mewn Amgueddfeydd' diweddar, gofynnwyd i ddisgyblion o Ysgol Coed y Gof, Caerdydd, pa wrthrychau ddylai gael eu dangos yn yr orielau a pham.
Oriel 1: the final days....
Just in case you don't know - Oriel 1 will be closing on 31 December, so make sure you visit us before then, there's not much time!
The gallery is full of such great objects - my favourites are the good luck charms, the (previously) concealed shoe and the Victorian brooches and jewellery made with woven human hair.
I've pretty much finished my duties for the year! This month we've been busy making Christmas decorations - tissue paper pom poms, paperchains and christmas tree decorations made out of felt - it's been lots of fun.
Next year I'll be starting up two new things - a craft group for adults and a reading group for adults, and we'll also be carrying on with our old favourites - quilt club, craftivism, art cart... it's going to be great!
Wishing you a happy Christmas and wonderful new year!
best wishes, sian.
Craftivism at the Food Festival
Did you come to our food festival in September? I hope so as it was such a great event - look out for it next year if you didn't make it.
This summer the Craftivist Collective launched a jamming and sewing project which you can read all about right here and I thought that would fit in perfectly with the food festival, so that's what we did!
The idea is that you make some tomato jam (I am proud to say that I made some all by myself and it tasted good too) following a recipe from an amazing lady called Christine who lives in Africa. Then you embroider a message on a fabric jam lid - maybe something like 'if you don't grow, you don't change' or anything to do with food and global food issues. After you have embroidred your message, pop it on the top, secure it with ribbon and give your pretty jar of jam away! I think the giving it away is the most important part as you are sharing the message, you could give it to your MP or your local shop if you wanted, or just pass it along to friends and family, it all helps spread the word and provides an opportunity for talking about what you eat and where your food comes from.
The project is also linked in with Oxfam and their 'Grow' campaign, and we were lucky enough in St Fagans that Louise from Oxfam was able to come along and lend a hand - she also provided lots of leaflets for further information.
What do you think about the project? did you come to our drop in session? did you make the jam and did you pass your jam along to someone else? I'd love to know!
Summer art activities
How was your summer? it was pretty busy for me!
As usual we ran the art cart in Oriel 1 everyday throughout August and our focus this year was weaving. We mainly did paper plate weaving (or circular weaving) which proved to be really popular with all ages and looks really effective too - I am thinking of doing more of it for Halloween...but in black and orange of course.
Quite a few of the museum attendants helped run the art cart this year too and they also brought different ideas and skills along with them so that there was quite a variety of activities. Elen did some drop spinning with visitors and even showed them how to make their own drop spindle, and Elle showed everyone how to make amazing woven friendship bracelets using a circular piece of card.
In July Ian and I got together to plan and run a two day art activity in the Celtic Village. We decided to make Iron Age shields out of cardboard and to get the visiting children to decorate them with typical iron age patterns using stencils or their own designs.
The activity went really well and we were lucky that it fell on two beautiful sunny days (we were outside). It's definitely an activity we'll be running again
Come September and it was back to running sessions for visiting schools, I've written about my art session called 'Looking at Buildings' so won't go on about it again... just show you some pictures of wonderful drawings instead.
Then I took two weeks off work and went on holiday to San Francisco! and now I'm back and all inspired for more arts and crafts and workshops and everything! There are a few things coming up - the big draw this saturday and next (6+13 oct 2012), a couple of craftivist things (one this sunday 7th in gwdi hw which isn't directly linked with St Fagans, and one on the 20th of October as part of the Made in Roath festival whic is), and then it will be half term and time for Halloween!
phew, happy making!
looking at buildings with 'families learning together'
I met a lovely group this morning from 'families learning together' who took part in one of my looking at buildings sessions.
I sent them out to do some sketches and they came back with these beauties! We then turned the sketches in to 3d models and they were really wonderful!