Creating a Community Rug!

The age-old craft of rug making is having a resurgence in Navenby. As part of the renovation project at Mrs Smith’s Cottage, I am looking for volunteers to help make sections of a big new rug. Before we all had fitted carpets, home-made rugs were an essential part of the home. They kept feet off chilly lino or the damp seeping up through a tiled earth floor. Mrs Smith has a great collection of these, but they are too fragile to use. We are making a new rug for the Cottage, inspired by one of Mrs Smith’s originals and invite everyone to have a go.

The rug is made of hessian (traditionally a flour sack from Welbourne’s bakery) with strips of fabric pulled through. What makes this rug unique is that Mrs Smith used old stockings or ‘nylons’ for much of it. We are looking for donations of old nylon tights in black and tan, but the rug also incorporates coloured cotton jersey, like t-shirt fabric. I’m delighted that we’ve got lots of people rug-making in the village, including Navenby Craft Group, Artists of Navenby and residents at Holmleigh Care Home. Everyone is making a small section and then I will stitch these together to make one big rug.

I am still looking for more helpers to make the rug, all materials supplied. A section takes around one full day to complete and the deadline for finished pieces is Monday 30 March. To take part in making the community rug email –  [email protected]

Thank you, Nicki Jarvis


Finding Friends in Navenby

As Artist in Residence for Mrs Smith’s Cottage I have been making contact with lots of organisations, businesses and individuals that are part of thriving village life. The Art Group, the Craft Group, the WI, the Methodist Church (Mrs Smith was a staunch attender) the Scouts, Navenby CofE Primary School and Holmleigh Care Home (where Mrs Smith lived out her last months) have all been very welcoming, as have The Cottage Café, Macy’s Brasserie and Navenby Antiques Centre to name a few.

Alongside my role in creating new artworks to join Mrs Smith’s household of objects, I’m looking forward getting creative with local people, organising craft workshops that celebrate hand skills (particularly ceramics and textiles) as well as organising collaborative projects to make joint pieces inspired by Mrs Smith’s life and times.

To start things off, I will be holding a Monthly Mending at Macy’s event, on the 4th Tuesday of every month between January – June 2020. Armed with plenty of darning mushrooms, needles and yarn, I’m inviting everyone to join me between 10am-12 noon on 28th January to have a go at darning. Just bring your socks or woollens, and don’t worry if you’re not sure what to do!

Thank you very much to the staff at Macy’s and I look forward to seeing you there!

Nicki Jarvis

National Ploughing Championships Nocton October 2019

We had a marvellously muddy weekend at the Ploughing Championships earlier this month. Visitors to the show were able to have a go at making Corn Dollies and Lavender Bags while catching up on the progress we’re making at the Cottage.

The surprise hit of the weekend was the replica 14th century plough which we borrowed from Lincoln film company Crows Eye Productions. See their short film starring the plough at