Sunday, 15 February 2015

Hello



Well I'm in bed with the lurgie and thought it would be a perfect opportunity to touch base with my blog ! It's ideal as I am actually still and in one place with some time on my hands , so today is a day for resting , knitting , blogging as well as blowing my nose endlessly and taking cold remedies and feeling slightly sorry for myself !!
 
January has passed me by in a busy blur and my hands haven't stopped creating .
My Yorkshire mill mice have been the order of the day and the odd Mr Fox .


 
 
I was so excited some weeks ago when I found Mr Fox a little brass watch to adorn Mr Fox's plus fours .
 
 
I've being doing lots of tiny knitting too , Mrs mill mouse shawls .

 
In fact I've been keeping an eye out for little pieces that are interesting and help create the narrative of the little characters I make ,the aim of these little extras is to add interest or evoke a memory or feeling to my little textile sculptures.
 I really fell for these miniature replica brass scissors as soon as I saw them.

 
But when I took a trip to a local antique and collectors shop about a week ago I couldn't believe my luck !!
There I was pootling about the place I stumbled across a small chest on the floor tucked under a table , I nearly walked past it . A chest half full of old wooden textile bobbins and shuttles , I enquired to the price , hoping all the while that they would be a reasonable price .
When the lovely lady confirmed the price I was as giddy as kipper as |I could afford some , however I kept a cool calm exterior I didn't want her thinking she had a mad women in her shop . I had enough money on me to  purchased 10 , then I  left . However I did venture back with more cash in hand and went  back  to buy the lot . I just knew they would be perfect to accompany my Mill Mice . I was absolutely buzzing with excitement when I got them home but my find just got better ! I took the bobbins out of the bag to give them a good once over and I couldn't believe it . They had Salts. Saltaire engraved around the base of the bobbins. Well this could only mean one thing , that they were originally in use at Salt's Mill ( an old Victorian Textile Mill) in Saltaire just down the Valley , a place I love to visit often . I was so happy to have found some local history in these bobbins . I'm sure Sir Titus Salt would have approved of his bobbins accompanying my Yorkshire Mill Mice

 
I love these bobbins ......the way they look, the way they feel and the way they smell of old Industry .
I do think it's my own families ties with this industry that makes me so excited about such items ,
 
This week has been my mums birthday and it is her and her side of the family that have a long history with the wool Industry and I thought it would be apt to make her a Mr & Mrs Mill Mouse dedicate to her long departed mum and dad.
Come meet the family .......may I introduced my maternal Grandma Muriel ( she was my nana ) she is in her early twenties in this photo . My Maternal Grandad was Herbert , we think he is in his desert uniform in the photo , it was a picture sent home from when he was doing his army service in the second world war  . Muriel worked in the wool mills of Bradford as a spinner and weaver as did her daughter my mum and my Grandad was an engineers pattern maker so worked in a different sort of mill. My mum helped pick the mice and I'm going to pop some family history into the pieces for her , my mum also chose the sage green as she always remembers her mother wearing a sage green fitted suit , my Grandma made a lot of her own clothes as did many of her generation , she was always well turned out .  My Grandad always wore smart trousers a shirt and a cravat and he never left the house without his flat cap . This special couple will take a bit of time to finish and thank fully my mum is a patient person . But I will come by and share them with you when they are finished.

I am at the moment I am working on  my biggest batch of mill mice to date  , 22 in total ......so production is taking a while .


 
 
As you can also see my work area is very full , in fact I seem to be taking over more of the house as the weeks go by .
So Mr P and I have agreed I need a room dedicated to being used as a workshop/ Studio and as we have a dry very good sized cellar we have made the decision to covert it into my studio . This will be a lot of hard graft and we have to do most of it ourselves as we are doing it on a shoe string  . Hard work doesn't bother me though and I truly enjoy doing rooms up . As you can see there is a lot of clearing to do before we can start knocking it about and making it a nice space to be in .
 
My inquisitive nature got the better of me yesterday , so with a chisel and hammer in hand I started investigating the arched chimney breast and unearthed the Victorian brick work .
I love living in an old house . I can't wait for us to start putting our mark on this room .
 
It's been lovely to have the time to pop by today but now I'm wacked , it's lemsip & sleep for me now .
If your on half term hols have a fab time with the kids .
Thank you so much for calling by and ta ta for now .
Tracy xx