Wednesday 11 December 2019

Christmas Tree Festival 2019

This year my tree at St Laurence's Church Christmas Tree Festival is called 'The White Tree' and has, not surprisingly, only white ornaments, lights and tinsel.

Over the past year I have been making hardanger ornaments. In total I made over 30 and my dear friend in America sent over some she made for me, thank you Dusty.

The tree is completely white but the lights are showing blue on my photos. I loved doing this tree, especially the angel. I bought one from a charity shop and recovered her with white satin and hardanger.

The White Tree

Margaret, who organises all the church events asked me about hardanger and how long each ornament had taken. I made a few at a time so it was hard to tell but I guess each took between 4 and 5 hours. I sent Margaret an email with a bit of history I found online at Nordic Needle.

Hardanger Embroidery is named after a region in southwest Norway in the county of Hordaland by the Hardanger Fjord. However, it is thought to have originated from the Middle East. From there it spread to Europe with ties to the Reticella and Venetian needle laces. Reticella is a very geometric style with foundations in squares, diagonals, triangles, and arcs. Venetian lace dates from the 16th to the 19th century characterized by deep, acute-angled points stitched in separate pieces and linked together by a narrow band with buttonholing.
How did it get to Norway?
The Norwegians of this particular region were seafarers and traders, traveling to countries where they were introduced to new skills and ideas. Over time, the individual lace forms of cut and drawn work evolved into what we know today as Hardanger. Many of the locals were farmers and they grew the raw materials necessary to produce their cloth goods. Sheep provided the wool and linen was produced from flax. Both were woven into fabric. The linen was often left in a natural color. Various organic materials were used to dye the wool. One of the natural materials used was cudbear (a lichen that only grew in Norway and Sweden) which produced a very specific shade of purple. While today’s Hardanger fabric is usually a 22-count, these brave Norwegian ladies worked on 50-count linen! The Hardanger Embroidery was traditionally done white-on-white or ivory. The women used the designs for decorating linens, ecclesiastical pieces, clothing and aprons worn with the traditional folk costumes.
Last Saturday would have been my Dad's 93rd birthday so we went to church to place some roses and to my surprise Margaret has printed my email about this form of embroidery and put it in a frame next to my tree so everyone can read about it.
The lights were not on so it now looks white
I love taking part in this annual festival, the church always looks amazing with each one of the 60 real trees decorated by local businesses, charities and friends of the church all in different themes.

I already have plans for next year's tree, I'll be posting about my idea in the new year so keep reading, it may be something you'd like to join in with too.

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas 


Maggie said...

Your white tree looks really pretty Clare, well done with with making all the hardanger ornaments :-)

Mary said...

YOur Hardanager tree is stunning!! I love hardanger work. I have a tablecloth made by my husbands grandmother that I treasure and a fellow blogger made me a hardanger ornament that will have a front and center place on my tree this year. Do you get back all the ornaments you made?? Thanks for sharing the history of hardanger too!!

Katie said...

Just beautiful! Great job.

Vickie said...

This all white tree is just lovely Clare!

Cathy said...

Beautiful tree! I was going to ask if you were going to do it again next year. I'll look forward to seeing what the theme will be.

Rachel said...

This is going to sound obvious, but your white tree looks so pure. And how lovely to have 'non-traditional' ornaments decorating it for all to admire. Whatever your plans for your 2020 tree, this one is going to take some beating! :)

Christine said...

Your white tree looks stunning Clare

DUSTY said...

Your tree is gorgeous Clare and I enjoyed stitching for it !

Jo who can't think of a clever nickname said...

The tree looks stunning! What a nice idea to print out the information about hardanger too.
Looking forward to seeing what your theme is for next year.

Bethan said...

A beautiful tree. I love this tradition, and look forward to seeing what your theme is next year x

A Patchwork of Crafts said...

I was just commenting on the day 23 advent post about hardanger and oft thinking about giving it a try. I was wondering about the origin of the word, clicked on the link for the 24th,early I know naughty of me but fortuitous, to find your wonderful work and explanation. Thank you.

Astrids dragon said...

I know now that it's really not a blue light, but I really like the way it makes it look like it is! So many beautiful ornaments. I'm looking forward to hearing what you've come up with for next year.

yoyo said...

thanks this is good blog. white tablecloth