A brief history of Croyland Abbey

Extract taken from Croyland Abbey Flower Festival 2009 Programme.

Guthlac (pron. Guth-luck) the son of a Mercian nobleman arrived on the island of Croyland on 24th August, St Bartholomew’s day in A.D. 699, having journeyed from Repton to Cambridge, Cambridge to Thorney and then by boat to Croyland.

He came to Croyland to live the life of a hermit. At this point in his life he felt that he was being attacked by demons and fiends. He had a vision in which Saint Bartholomew came to and gave him a whip which which to drive the devils off the island. For this reason the Abbey’s coat of arms contains three whips to symbolise Gthlac and three knives to symbolise Saint Bartholomew, who, it is said, was martyred by being skinned alive.

The first Abbey, which was dedicated on Saint Bartholomew’s day in A.D.716, was made of wood and had a reed roof. It was burned down by the Danes [Comment: those pesky Danes!] in A.D.850. A few monks survived this attack by hiding in the reed beds. The second Abbey was pulled down after being damaged by fire and an earthquake. What is present today is the result of the third rebuilding.

The destruction of the Abbey church and the other monastic buildings began after Henry VIII disolved the Abbey in 1539. What we see today is only the North side of the former Abbey church. This aisle survived because it was the portion of the Abbey church set aside for the use of the townspeople. As such it had been walled off from the main part of the Abbey church well before 1539. over the porch is a room called the Parvise in which the priests of the Abbey once lived.

The bell ropes are amongst the longest in England [Comment: which rings out every Friday evening]. The 15th century channel screens contains traces of the original guilding and colouring and some carvings. The new rooms completed in 2006 give extra space in which to explain our history and provide hospitality to our visitors.

Sometimes I just love a bit of local history!

Croyland Abbey Flower Festival 2009

Every year the Abbey hosts an amazing flower display and I am ashamed to say that in all the years we have been living here it was the first time we visited, even though it is literally on our doorstep.

So the ‘Crayons’ family dragged ourselves away from the computers, some of us kicking and screaming. I am so glad we did, because we got to see some fabulous work by the local ladies, the theme this year was Shakespeare and I was pleasantly surprised by the quality and effort that was put into the work.

It was also the first time I had really seen the inside the Abbey when it wasn’t dark and cold (normally visit during winter time) and loved the atmosphere. We are very lucky to live near such a historic landmark and should really make more of an effort to take advantage of it!

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Commissioned invitations

The spaces for the next Made by Artisans fair in Peterborough is now pretty much fully booked up.

I am just so thrilled with the artists attending. I can pretty say that the quality is just outstanding and I hope that we have a good variety to interest everyone.

The next stage is the marketing and PR to the public and to the media. I have consulted with my PR guru and she has advised me on a game plan to lure in the interest of all those media lovies.

I have commissioned some original artwork and will be designing and sending out a beautiful invitation. I have already seen some sample mock ups of the invites and very excited. Will post some sneaky previews once the design has been agreed with the artist.

This is a flyer for the event which will be distributed as a little A6 handout.

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Promote at every possible opportunity

I have recently been obbessed with stationery, decorative papers and packaging, so much so that my friends are probably a little sick of hearing me harp on and on about using the back of business cards to promote. It doesn’t help that a little gift wrapping boutique has opened 100 yards down the road from me (more about that another time).

I have been working on business card designs for a couple of clients and I do like the idea of Moo cards because they give you the opportunity to use up to 50 different images on the back of your cards. But, that comes at a cost. I think we worked it out to around 31ish pence per card for their standard 50 cards. For that sort of money I would only be giving them to family and friends!

So here I am harping on about the different ideas you could do yourself for the back, not just limited to printed images, you could create little artwork or illustrations, use beautiful papers with textures or even use photographs. I gave a client one of my cards yesterday which I had decorated with some textured raised suede effect papers and it made him stop and ask me about it.

Anyway, photography friend turns around and tells me “hmmm, I am not convinced.”

Sometimes actions speak louder than words (or nagging aka ‘life coaching’)…

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Stylish laptop accessories

I happen to be in a computer store today and noticed these from the corner of my eye. I just love the shape and the fact that it is rigid like a bucket, but obviously more stylish. It was a good decent size and also has two compartments and side pockets. I no longer have my Powerbook, but I can see it being an art bag for all those crafty bits and bobs.

Am I obbessed with handbags? Oh god yeah.

UK Artist Diary 2010

A heads up for everyone.

There are a team of crafters, designers and artists getting together to create a UK Diary with contributions from artists around the country. This is being organised under the UKhandmade umbrella. If you would like to be involved in the planning and organisation (contributions will follow later) and have relevant skills (print, pr, marketing, design etc.) please contact Ann (Snowdrops and Daisies) via UKHandmade.

Littlerobot

I have a very talented friend. She is a designer and programmer by day and by candlelight she creates the most amazing artwork (I am not at all jealous!).

It’s hard to describe the Littlerobot collection, it’s a mixture of paintings, drawings, sketches and handcrafted toys that have a surreal, ethereal and fantasy theme. The paintings feature mystical animals, flauna and rich luxurious dark colours.

The detailing is just mindblowing, you can see individual hairs on the animals!

She also creates amazing toys and puppet theatres (not for little ones) which are handcrafted and made in her studio at home. Clearly there is no limit to this woman’s talents. I can just about hammer a nail into a piece of wood.

You can find littlerobot on esty where you can purchase prints and capture a little piece of fantasy for yourself.

Lindsay works and lives in the middle of nowhere, just outside of Glasgow, Scotland.