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Endearments to History

Summer can be a hectic period with travelling, visiting family, have family visitors, minding the grandchildren, (a favourite occupation), and with everything else that needs to be done around the houses and gardens. It is also the time of year when you can expect to find exciting stuff in many of the smaller galleries in the area. I finally got around to visiting the closest one, Kulturhuset “Heimen”, and was blown away with their current exhibition, which is in its last week, by the way.

 

 

I was especially taken by the collection of  works by textile artist Edith Bentdal Skjeggestad, which she has called “Endearments to History”.

 

 

Ms Skjeggestad has used lots of old lace, fragments of garments, table linen fabric and towels, and arranged the pieces so you get the illusion of a dress bodice or blouse, focusing on the area closest around the neck.

 

 

She has made use of many embroidery techniques to make each unique piece into a visual feast, with lots of details to study and admire. Just look at that fabulous smocked piece, for instance.

 

 

I was impressed by the embroidery made with thin, black thread. It gave the impression of a patterned fabric as well as a textured background, depending on the stitches.

 

 

The collages were set in deep, white, glass fronted frames, and bore titles such as “Flirt”, “Romance”, “Sadness”, “Nostalgia”, and “Longing”, all with lots of embellishments.

 

 

Most were definitely “female”, but there were also a few pieces like the one above, called “Wonderboy, white collar”. It made me almost feel sorry for the menfolk who had to dress so simply and monotonously, compared to all the beautiful lace, embroidery and pearls shown on the other pieces.

 

 

There was also a project called “The Embroideress’ Secrets”, which consisted of a large group of smaller, deep frames, or boxes. In these frames were shown small collages of different sewing equipment and small, exquisite, examples of handmade items connected with the different equipments. The reflections in the glass made it a bit difficult to photograph, but below are a few of the boxes:

 

 

Again, here were lots of details to study. I especially liked the small Russian doll showed with the red embroidery.

 

 

There are also works by other artists exhibited in the gallery, like these prints by Jertrud Eikås Eide and ceramics by Anne Lise Aarset. The sculptures by Aase Botnmark in the window are in this gallery on a permanent basis.

 

 

But the other exhibitions will be taken down this weekend. Just a few days left. Hurry if you want to see it.

🙂

Eldrid

 

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The Fantastic Seam Ripper

Grandson has finished his very colourful shirt, which has been in the works on and off for some months now. Last of all he sewed the button holes for the buttons.

Then he discovered what a wonderful instrument the seam ripper can be. It sheared open the button holes soooo easily. This was real fun.

A few minutes later, our test patch looked like this:

Too much fun to stop. Luckily, we have no shortage of fabric scraps to serve as test patches in this house.

🙂

Eldrid

“Kappakjolen” – the Story of a Dress

We have just celebrated my mothers 90th birthday this weekend, and during the festivities, an old family photograph turned up. Below I have cropped the photo so it just shows  a 7 or 8 years old me in the most beautiful dress I have ever owned.

My mother related the story of the dress, which for the most part I knew, but there were some new-to-me details. Anyway, here it is:

My parents had built their house close to my paternal grandparents’ home, and we moved in when I was two years old. At about the same time, an old chapel (bedehus) was taken from its original location and moved further into the valley, closer to the farms where we lived. My paternal grandmother, Helene, and neighbouring women formed a society with the aim of raising money for a new organ for the chapel. They organized bazaars and raffles, and my mother helped by making some of the prizes for the raffles. She made this dress and gave it to the society to use as a raffle prize. She made it out of a thin, white nylon fabric with tiny raised dots, using an old Bernina treadle machine, and at a time in life when she had 4 children aged 1 to 6, was expecting her 5th child, and still had no washing machine. How she mustered the time and energy I do not know. Just hemming all those ruffles would have taken forever.

My grandmother Helene won the dress at the raffle, and she gave it to me, probably because I was the right size for it at the time. Lucky me.

The first time I remember wearing it, was during the Christmas celebrations when I was 5. By then I was in a hospital in Oslo, 600 kilometres away from home, and alone, except for some distant relatives and friends visiting now and then. When it was decided that I would not be able to come home for Christmas, my parents sent the dress and a pair of not-quite-new shoes, which my father had made glossy and new-looking by applying some black lacquer, so I would have something nice to wear for the celebrations. I remember the nurses oohing and aahing over my dress, and I was very, very proud of it.

Later I remember wearing it to the Sunday school Christmas celebrations at the chapel, where there now was an organ, partly thanks to the dress that my mother made. We did not have a car (they were rationed till 1960), so my parents loaded the family on two kicksleds, two children on each seat, and one standing between the seat and the parent, who then kicked our way the 3 kilometres to the chapel. Once a storm blew up on our way home, and I can still remember the feeling of hails stinging my face as we crossed an open, boggy area before we got in between the trees. Of course we were all dressed as if we were going on a polar expedition, but the beautiful dress was underneath it all. So the first thing we did upon arriving, was to go downstairs to shed all the thick wool, put on our best shoes we had brought along, and then it was time for my mother to comb our hairs and put in the big bows (which I hated, by the way) before entering the big room. 60 years later I have been told by some of my contemporaries that they still remember that dress.

The photo above is the only one that exists of that dress, that I know of. I was then 7 or 8 years old, and the dress is already too small. Later it went to my two younger sisters, each in their turn. I am not sure what became of it after that, but it was probably passed on to some younger cousins, – that was how things were done back then. If so, I hope they enjoyed wearing it as much as I did.

🙂

Eldrid

 

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Information on this Year’s Quilt Festival in Suzdal

Since my earlier posts about the Quilt Festival in Suzdal has spread on the internet, many people have expressed a wish to go there to see this event for themselves, and to walk the famous Quilted Field.

Today Rimma Bybina, the organizer, sent me some information on this year’s festival, and I will share it here. Those of you who wish to know more about the Festival, the Quilted Field project and how to participate, can download the documents below.

Suzdal-2017.Quilted-Field-project

This link has information on the Quilted field project, why it was started, and how it is planned to be in the end:-).

How-to-participate-project-Quilted-field

If you wish to participate and make a quilt for the Quilted Field, here is how.

And lastly, if you would like to go there, the link below has detailed information on a guided tour to the Festival:

Quilt-tour-to-Russia-Suzdal-Aug-2017

As I have written several times before: my companions and I enjoyed ourselves very much on our trip last year, and I hope that I will be able to return some day. It was an unforgettable experience.

Here is a link to information in English on their website.

🙂

Eldrid

 

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Annual Spring Report 2017

It is interesting to look back on my previous spring reports to see how they vary from year to year. This year seems fairly normal.

Even though the crocuses were record early due to a mild winter, both March and April have been quite cold, so the pictures taken on May 1st is almost exactly like last year.

The woods have just the smallest hint of green to them, and this is mostly due to the last couple of days when the sun came out, and it is warming up. There is still snow in the mountains from the latest snowfall not many days ago.

The winter tyres have just been removed from the car, washed and are drying in the sun, and the summer tyres are on, – more than a week later than the general rules allow. However, they were needed just a few days ago.

The cherry tree has large buds, but no blooms yet. Just as well since there are few insects around.

The bulk of our daffodils are not out yet. The exception besides the early ones is the ones in sheltered spots and next to the south wall. The tulips by the south wall are also budding.

The flowering currant has been in bloom for some time, but the spiraea bush has just a hint of green around it, but no blooms yet. However, with the nice weather we are having now, it will not be long, I expect.

The sheep are enjoying the good weather too, although the lot in this photo were a bit worried. Someone with a dog, – on a leash, mind, as it should be this time of year, – was crossing the field below, so they ran for higher grounds. Lambs were separated from their mothers, so there was a lot of bleating and running around before the little ones got back to their respective guardians for a comforting suckle. Then all was well, and they could settle down and enjoy the glorious day.

 

And so do we. The weather forecast for the next week is glorious.

🙂

Eldrid

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Fashion Show in Suzdal

I mentioned in a previous post that I would post some photos from the Fashion Show in Suzdal, and finally, here they are.

The Fashion Show was held on a stage built in the middle of the town square, and was part of the entertainment on the annual Suzdal Day, which is celebrated on the second Saturday of August.

They kept going for almost two hours, as participants of all ages were showing more than a hundred different outfits. Because of the crowd of people in front of the stage, it was difficult to get up close, so I had to use the zoom a lot, which lessen the chance of getting clear shots.

Below are a few of the outfits. All the information from the stage was in Russian only, so sadly we missed out on a lot of the details. So I will not be able to inform on the names of the designers or wearers of the outfits, except for a few that I have picked up on later.

 

fashione10Nina Lee in her beautiful skirt and waistcoat.

fashione11I believe this is also one of Nina Lee’s creations.

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Ludmila Charest presents a collection of outfits made in a class with Xenia Dmitrieva. See also video clip below.

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Many of the dresses seemed to be inspired by folk costumes.

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Denim was popular, either as new fabric or re-purposed jeans. Note the bird theme.

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There were a few collections of children’s outfits. They were adorable, – all of them.

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A few of many, many skirts, coats and jackets.

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A collection of outfits in an old fashioned style, and with some patchwork details.

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This one got a lot of attention. The design was inspired by the town of Suzdal, with all its churches and bell towers,

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A couple of fanciful skirts, – very original. I liked them better and better each time I saw them around town during the following days.  There was a whole collection with similar dekor.

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Behind the scenes:  Cuddling the baby while waiting to enter the stage.

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“Backstage” was in reality at one of the sides of the stage, so while the participants were lining up waiting for their turn, some lucky persons got to photograph the outfits up close.

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Walking around the square after the show doing some shopping in one or more of the many booths, there were some interesting clothing items around to study and admire.

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Some video clips from the fashion show:

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Enjoy.

🙂

Eldrid

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Spring, or Winter, or Both

Or maybe we should call it “sprinter”?

Anyway, most of the winter has been quite mild, with a few cold spells in between. Lately we have had some nice weather with clear skies, frost, and some gorgeous evening skies.

sunset

Last week I took a look in our garden, and was very surprised when I saw these popping up everywhere:

crocus      I cannot remember the crocuses being so early before, – the sun had not even returned to our house and garden after the winter months when this photo was taken.

When driving to visit family this week, we also came across lots of these beside the road:

tussilagoColtsfoot (Tussilago) is a sure sign of spring.

On returning home in late afternoon, we had time to stop and take some photos as the sun was setting.

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tree

boatsThere were thin crusts of ice floating about on the surface of this fjord.

A bit later we came across this frozen lake:

hornelen

I went out of the car for a better view. It was our last evening of this spell of cold, nice weather. No wind, and all was quiet….

skating… except for a faint sound of a single pair of steel blades on ice, the occasional booming sound of the ice settling into the colder evening temperatures, and also peals of laughter ringing across the lake from the far shore where a group of people had fun on the ice.

skating2I was just able to glimpse some figures moving over there, – one is sitting on a kicksled, and the others skating along.

Now it is raining again, and the ice is probably gone.

🙂

Eldrid

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