Monday, October 26, 2009

Queen for the Day, Beautiful Blackwork...and Yes, a Few More Halloween Memories!

Good morning!

Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend! We did, and we're tired this morning! We all woke up late today, but everybody got where they needed to be...just a little panic, that's all!

Let's just jump right in, shall we? I've got a few things for you today...first off, another fabulous new stamp set from Cornish Heritage Farms! Got mine on Friday, and played with it a bit yesterday. Here's the set:

Gorgeous images, aren't they?! Now here's my first effort with it--not sure I'm entirely happy with what I did, but I needed a birthday card, and it fits the person, so...! Next time, I think I'll go a bit more simple--not so busy...

As soon as I saw this set online, I fell in love with it! The first thing that came to my mind was Blackwork--ever heard of it? Here's a book I found years ago that I just love:

I LOVE needlework--always have--and this is a beautiful type of needlework with quite a history....

It's thought that Blackwork originated with the Moors, who introduced it to England in the during the Crusades. Chaucer mentions it in "The Canturbury Tales". It was made very popular during King Henry VIII's reign when his first queen, Catherine of Aragon, loved it, and wore many beautiful things embellished by it. There are many beautiful portraits painted during this time with the subject's clothing covered with exquisite blackwork.

A practical use for blackwork that I read about is a little less was thought to be used as a way to disguise the dirt on fancy cuffs, collars and hems. Hygiene was a little lacking in those days! It was also an inexpensive way for the poorer people to mimic all the fancy lace pieces the wealthy wore.

Interesting, isn't it? I refreshed my memory on this history while looking through my book here--I'm not a walking encyclopedia, I promise!

Here's a blackwork sampler I stitched back in 2003, using this book for my patterns. Thankfully I stitched the year at the bottom, or I wouldn't have remembered when I did it--the years are all starting to roll together, know what I mean?!

Still haven't gotten it framed yet...not much of a slacker, am I? Guess I'd better grab a 50% off framing coupon from Michael's! Now I feel like stitching.....!

To change the subject, I've got another Halloween card for you:

I love the Crafty Secrets image booklets--they make cardmaking SO much fun--and so easy! I love this image from their "Halloween" Images & Journal Notes booklet. Not too much more Halloween card-making time left, is there?!

To close up, just thought I'd add a few more family Halloween pictures--hope you don't mind--my family's enjoying this (my girls are just a LITTLE embarassed--not much!) These are from October 2000--where does the time go?

My daughter Chelsea as Cleopatra--isn't she beautiful? She was 10 this year...

Sarah as Jessie from Toy Story 2. Perfect, isn't it?! As soon as she saw the movie, she KNEW what she was going to be for Halloween that year--a character made just for her, she thought! She was 5 years old...
My sweet Annie the Princess...she loved wearing this dress as much as she could! She was 4 years old here...

The Campbell women having fun at a family Halloween party at our church. Fun memories!

Hope you're almost ready for all the Halloween fun this weekend--got all your costumes ready? I don't! Off to the fabric store today--I've gotta get cracking!
See you tomorrow!

Card details:
Royal Birthday: Stamps: Cornish Heritage Farms' "Royal Birthday". Cardstock: BBlack, Elegant Eggplant, textured gold (from Michaels', PTI White, Real Red. Ink: StazOn Black, Encore Gold, Vintage Photo. Other: lace, grosgrain, gold ribbon, gold glass glitter, crystal button, brass fan charm, Pearl Stickles, SU! watercolor pencils & crayons, EK gold metallic pen, dimensionals, sponge.
Halloween Greetings: Cardstock: BBlack, PTI White, Pumpkin Pie. Ink: Vintage Photo. Other: Crafty Secrets' "Halloween" Images & Journal Notes, black pompom trim, rickrack trim, gingham, silver glitter, glue pen, buttons, sponge.


  1. Your blackwork sampler is stunning! So we have one more thing in common - before cards I owned a needlework store. I *LOVE* thread! I've done blackwork but it was never my favorite medium. At the end (when I was still stitching) I had moved to goldwork and stumpwork. Someday I'll get back to it! But I love seeing your needlework too!

  2. Such a fun post! Love what you've done with Royal Birthday, and it was fun reading about blackwork (I'd heard of redwork, but not blackwork). Great Halloween card and pics, too!

  3. Another FUN FILLED posting ... awesome Julie!! Thanks so much for the history lesson ... I wasn't familiar with this type of needlework and your is amazing! Great job! Your cards are darling ... just love that birthday card using the CHF images! OH MY GOSH ... LOVE the family photos and the costumes are awesome! Of course your little red head is my favorite ... loved that Toy Story Movie series!! GREAT ideas!!

  4. So glad to take a break from the busyness of the day to come by and read your post. I have so enjoyed getting to know you through these specials walks down memory lane, along with the fabulous recipes and of course, crazy good paper crafts!

  5. great job with Royal Birthday, and the Crafty Secrets goodies, and ohmygosh that stitching! you're so talented!

  6. Julie, I am sooo impressed with your blackwork! I was so impressed with your Christmas wreath the other day that I purchased a set of those stamps on e-bay. What size block do you use? I haven't got any blocks at all so I will need to get some!

  7. Julie, I hadn't heard of blackwork before. What a fascinating history, and your sampler is gorgeous! And your cards as always are great. What fun family memories you've shared.

  8. Hi Julia

    Really enjoyed reading all your post and looking at the projects and pictures. The Blackwork is stunning - the Tudors are to my mind some of the most fascinating in our history and so nice to read all that you say.

    Thanks for your kind comments, not feeling brill so just lounging and doing a spot of blogging.

    B x

  9. Love the black background you used for the Royal Birthday card and the Halloween card is cute! Great blackwork - I never did get to grips with that kind of stitching but you really should get that framing sorted, no good leaving something lovely tucked away in a drawer! Cute pics of your girls in their costumes over the years too - TFS!

  10. such cute Halloween photo's :)
    I adore Crafty Secrets...too!

  11. Hi Julie!
    I just love reading your blog! It's like you're opening up your doors to let us in to peek at your family and your crafts! You're so welcoming on here! Your family is beautiful! My kids are right at the stage where your pictures are from. 5, 3 and 5 months. And I will be snapping away to keep those treasured memories forever!

    Thanks for sharing your wonderful life w/ all of us!
    And PS: your creations are simply amazing!!! You make the vintage genre proud! :)
    Erin Smetak