Posts Tagged ‘Tintagel’

Just got back from a slightly different but very much needed and enjoyable week in North Cornwall. If you follow me on Instagram you will have seen photos of our walks and beach excursions in my stories and I even managed to get some stitching done as well.

First, a piece of blackwork from a gorgeous design I found on Pinterest several years ago. I’m afraid I don’t know the designer, so if anyone does please can they let me know so I can credit them. This is stitched in a single strand of Gloriana silk thread on 28 count natural Cashel linen and yes, it is tiny! Most of the motifs are about 1cm square.

Stitching al fresco in Boscastle while my husband and little one went snorkelling in the harbour.

And again at Tintagel while we waited for our slot to cross the new bridge onto the headland.

Finally finished. I still love the design and I’m glad I stitched it, but I’m ready to move onto something else!

I’ve decided to stitch a Memory Journal style diary for this holiday. I’m going for images and memories from the whole week, rather than one piece to represent each day as I’ve done in the past. We went to Crackington Haven on the Sunday evening to watch the sunset.

And to have a little beachcomb – although as the tide was well in, it was only a little one. I love the slate pebbles of this beach with their scribbly quartz inclusions.

So the first piece I created was using the pebble fabric from the Anderby Creek Memory Journal and some flat slate pebbles from Crackington Haven beach over which I stitched my own quartz inclusions.

I’ve also been very taken with the way the prevailing winds sculpt the trees on the north coast. (Taken through the windscreen of the car, so not the best photo, but I love the shape of that tree.)

Start of my sculpted tree piece. I’m planning to couch the strands of cotton down to make the outline of the branches and then clothe it in leaves – possibly a few less than on the original so you can still see the framework of branches.

We visited a few beaches during the week but the beach finds were generally a bit sparse. However, I’m planning to use some of these bits I picked up at Tintagel for various stitching and jewellery projects.

Plenty of inspiration and hopefully now I’ve had a week’s recharge, I have the energy to get stuck into them.

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I’ve mentioned before about how I love the herringbone effect Cornish slate walls. These are in Tintagel, bordering one of the car parks.

Slate wall, Tintagel 1

Great pattern and texture and something I wanted to explore again.

Slate wall, Tintagel 2


The day I took this picture, my husband walked from Boscastle to Tintagel to meet us and also photographed a similar wall on the coastal path, his one thick with leafy blue-grey lichen which gave me the the final image for my next journal piece.

Cornish slate wall 1

I decided to create the texture of the wall by using gesso on calico, dabbed on in three or four layers, building up the depth of the stones.  This was then coloured with watercolours which ran nicely into the cracks and crevices and gave it light and shade.

Cornish slate wall 2

Emboldened by the success of the stone effect, I decided to add a background, painting directly onto the calico with the watercolours.

Cornish slate wall 3

Variegated green thread in random straight stitches for the vegetation at the base of the wall…

Cornish slate wall 4

And short strands of blue-grey slubby thread, un-plyed (if you get what I mean) and couched down in little bows to mimic the lichen. It was interesting, stitching through the gesso-slathered calico!

Cornish slate wall 5


Stuck into place in the journal.

Cornish slate wall 6

This was so far out of what I normally do with the mixed media of gesso, paint and stitch, but I really love it – it all just worked exactly as I’d envisioned it.

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Below the headland of Tintagel is a little beach, edged by water tinted a deep turquoise blue from the copper in the rocks, with the depths of  Merlin’s Cave beckoning to the adventurous.
Tintagel beach 1

The previous times we’ve visited I’ve not been able to get onto the beach, either because of the tide or time constraints but this time we scrambled down onto the dark sands and while the others went rock pooling or exploring the cave, my eyes were immediately drawn to the sand.

Tintagel beach 2

I found it quite a difficult beach to find sea glass on as one of the things I look for is the way the light comes off the white/pale sea glass and as much of the stone on this beach is slate, it actually reflects light in a similar way. Several times I found myself spotting what I thought was glass but was actually a piece of slate and in the end my small (about 15 pieces) haul of sea glass was almost all green pieces which were much easier to spot.

Most were pretty small so to go in my journal I made a miniature version of my usual sea glass pieces.

Tintagel sea glass 1

Meandering feather stitch on crystal organza over calico for stability. I used a lovely variegated cotton thread with a fabulous range of tones. With the small size of the glass nuggets, beading would have swamped them so I used the same thread to stitch simple patterns over them.

Tintagel sea glass 2

I like the way the thread wrapping looks – definitely something to use on the smaller pieces of glass on my sea glass canvases.

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There wasn’t much to finish on Thursday’s Tintagel piece either, mostly due to the amount of time I had to work on it in the interminable traffic jams on the M5 between Exeter and Bridgwater on our way home.

I’ve never stitched in the car before, mostly because I am ‘WifeNav’. ‘WifeNav’ has the edge on SatNav as it is able to dispense sweets and snacks, arbitrate arguments in the back, hold an intelligent conversation and also get the driver back on track after a wrong turn by such skilful map-reading that he doesn’t even know they went wrong in the first place…

But doing an average of 5mph on a motorway we didn’t need to leave  until we got to Birmingham meant that if I was free to apply my attention to something else and the Tintagel piece was first out of the bag.

This is how it arrived home:

As I said in my last post touching on this piece, the deep water on one side of the headland is called the Haven. I love this word with its overtones of safety and security. It’s more than home, it’s a completely safe place.

At the end of the novel I’m currently working on I wanted the characters to leave Britain via Tintagel, and one of my reasons for visiting the headland this holiday was to do some research on whether that would be possible. I was delighted to find out that it was! And very fitting – these characters all need a haven.

Ecru silk french knots for the waves crashing against the headland.

The headland surrounded with the french knot foam.


I’m very pleased with this.

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