Friday, 18 January 2008

English Tradition

Before I was so rudely interrupted by the "deadly dreadeds" I was going to tell you about our evening out on Monday. Close to where we live is the UK base of the University of Evansville. The college is housed in a beautiful old manor house called Harlaxton Manor a few miles from here. If you follow the Flickr link from Wikipedia you will find many beautiful photographs of this amazing building.

This extravagant building has a definite fairytale atmosphere about it and there are many tales locally of ghost sightings, mostly, I think because of the design of the building.

To get to the reason we were there, we went to see some traditional Morris Dancing and Clog Dancing held in the Ridgway or Great Hall, a very imposing room with a beautiful floor.

We were entertained by the Foresters Morris Men and the Greenwood Step Clog Dancers. The Morris Men were great fun and the gentleman in the blue waistcoat took great delight in hitting all the ladies on the head with a (dried) inflated ox bladder! Apparently anyone hit with it will fall pregnant within the twelve month! Stewart would be suing the hospital if that happened! lol It's probably not evident from the collage of photographs but they encouraged members of the audience (who were mostly students from the university) to join in.

This photograph is not the best but I loved this musicians coat made of strips of all sorts of fabric.

After the Morris dancing we moved to the conservatory for an exhibition of Step Clog Dancing which I really enjoyed. The poor ladies of the Greenwood Step Clog Dancing group were shivering when we went to join them but their dancing soon warmed them up. The dances were taken from Lancashire, Derbyshire and Welsh tradition and some of the steps were quite complicated. I used to enjoy Scottish Country Dancing at school and the tunes reminded me of those days. If you look at the photographs you should be able to see the metal tips to the clogs.

The evening was brought to a close with a plough play and a sword dance, both of which are pictured on the Foresters Morris Men site. The Plough Play was hilarious, but obviously wasn't controlled by any health and safety rules as part of it involved hurling brussel sprouts and potatoes at the assembled throng! As if that wasn't bad enough The Farmer character chose me to hurl a swede at!!!!! Thank goodness I had my wits about me and caught it before it connected with my teeth or smashed my camera! If he'd thrown it at my DH he would have been unconscious as he can't see out of one eye too well and misses catches.

I have managed to complete one swap this week. Going on from the embellisher post I did the other day I completed one postcard using the fabric I made on the embellisher

This card had quite a lot of angelina and organza in it but it's not showing up too well. The little stitched stars were done in metallic thread.

This card was made by scraping various texture mediums through a stencil with various shapes stars. Once dry paint was applied, then foiling and some peel off stars.

This final card was made with stamped stars, holographic and peel off stars. The background was painted first and salt applied but I didn't get the paint consistency right so the salt didn't have much effect - pain!

Blogger is now beginning to throw a hissy fit and putting big gaps in so I'll quit while I'm ahead. Thank you, everyone for your good wishes. They have certainly helped and, although I am still not out and about each day shows an improvement. My DH has been a star, doing all the cooking, washing and ironing this week. He's getting so good at it it seems a shame to deprive him of the job in future! LOL


Lesley said...

That looks like a fun night out Julie!! I love their costumes and the venue is beautiful. I almost sprayed coffee everywhere when I read the bit about the swede!!!

I hope you have a lovely, relaxing and much healthier weekend watching Mr Mixed Media do the chores ;)

Lesley x

sharon young said...

Hi Julie
What a grand night out, you ceraintly do go to some fun Do's!
Your star cards are lovely, your making me feel guilty, my embellisher hasn't been out of the cupboard for weeks!!
Now there's a thought, a whole new career for your DH LOL.
Thanks for dropping in on my blog, I couldn't resist putting up these pics of Ben, he looks so cool!
Good to see you back, nearly on form.
Take care.

Gina said...

What a fabulous night out and such brilliant costumes. Glad to see you back and to hear DH has been such a star.
Gina xx

PS I quite liked the picture of the "silly pink thing" but then guess I'm biased! Nice new pic of you though (I haven't worked out how to do that!)

Sharon said...

Wow, it sounds like you had a lot of fun. You certainly took some great pictures of the evening.

I love the cards! Wonderful.

Purple Missus said...

I kept thinking that at any minute now I am going to read that Stewart got up on the floor with the Morris Men **LOL**
Not too impressed with the swede incident though.
Postcards are fabulous - now I've got that song 'Starry, Starry Night' just going round and round in my head.

The Wittering Rainbow said...

I don't suppose you rent out your DH do you?? ! Julie, you are welcome to the snowdrops if you'd like them. Just send me an email with your snail mail address and I will pop them in the post sometime after 19th Feb. There's no need to send anything back or make anything unless you particularly want to. It's a pressy without obligation!! x Annabel

Becky Vigor said...

ooh, I do love morris dancers! And I want that rainbow coat!

B.T.Bear (esq.) said...

The bildin maykes me think ov Harry Potter! An I do luv those stars....


DeeMom said...

Sounds like A grand evening out...great pictures adn as always I really like the links to the history of it all