Thursday, 13 January 2022

January Slow Stitches


As you practice slow and intentional stitching, your life, your attitude, your creativity, your health, your spirituality ... All of it will benefit as a result.

Mark Lipinski

January can be a bleak month, indeed here in Dorset we have been under fire from a monsoon of rain and now it is sunny but low temperatures that the frost actually looks like snow.  All the roof tops as far as the eye can see towards the river are white each morning.  My garden gate was frozen early today...

Now some might not delight from this but for me it is a slow stitch day with the light of the sun and being cosy inside.

I have being working on journals for my use of late, I find it is transportable to sit with my Mum
as well.  I have covered a journal with an antique embroidered tray cloth which is so beautiful it makes my heart sing and also with some slightly damaged antique linen that has weaving issues I have hand stitched the front and the back of another journal for me to use both this year.  

I usually pay a little over what I would normally for a tray cloth when they are as unique as this and if it is for my use well it does not matter as it is not for sale.  The working out of these can take some time as this embroidery is on the back as well.  The covering of the journal can take a lot of time to do properly ... I would say it is worth it.  It is a artist journal with incredibly good plain paper inside that will take water colours as well.

A good way to get into your slow stitching zone is to not think about making 'a thing'.  Take your time looking for inspiration and do not just jump in and think ' I have to make something with this.'  Be quiet, be patient, and play with the materials until they tell you what they want to be.

Melissa Jackson.

This is the front of my journal and as you can see there is what looks like a line or that it needs a good iron, but in fact it can not be ironed or flattened as it is a flaw ( some might call it) in the weave of a extremely old piece of French linen.  I love the character it brings to this piece.

I used a very old small hexagon that I had bought some time ago and the other one I made from favourite bits of my collection of paisleys and eiderdown fabrics I have.  I added three hexagons that have words written on them an covered them the same ... this time leaving in the papers and with the words on show.  

This piece will forever remind me of my Mum because the stitching was done by her bedside and on days when she was cosy in her chair and more alert I would give her little bits of the fabrics to

look at on her lap.  She would pick through them and look and then I quiet often got a smile.  To me this journal is worth more than gold.  I covered it at home in my studio because of the glue smell and the space I have in there.

The back of the journal was very simple with the words 'slow stitching' stitched on and a very old suffolk puff/yo yo stitched in place.  Inside I will write on the first page these words. Slow Stitching ... sustainability, simplicity, reflective and mindful.

This has been such a wonderful project to complete and the memories already contained within are priceless, even as yet not words have been written inside.

I have been refilling my jars which live in my studio on the dresser in there,  You may recall that I have a jar of hearts and my new addition is snippets for mice.  I have had plenty of those of late with cutting out little bits for the hexagons that I have been making.  

I am also getting ready to take workshops this year, I figure that Covid is something we will all have to live with.  So as long as everyone who attends has had their jabs and masks are worn
whilst stitching, that indeed we all need to have some freedom and some like minded fun.

I will be putting up some dates on here and there will be all the information that you might need to attend.  Six people on any one date may come and a full lunch will be provided along with drinks and a homemade piece of cake.   Everything you will need to complete a project will be provided and all included in the price.  To be with people who love to slow stitch or want to learn and the studio to ring out with chatter and laughter will be a tonic for me and for those who attend one of the workshops I hope.

So what will I be stitching today, the answer is I am not sure yet.  I have four projects ready to go and which ever speaks to me today will be the one I pick up.  I am not with my Mum today so I can choose one that is easier done here and have one to pick up and go when I visit with her.

At the moment there is Covid in her care home.  Everyone there has been jabbed but it still can happen so my visiting is limited.  On the ground floor where she is, is Covid free and she has a double door which leads to the garden in her beautiful room.  So we do not have to walk through the care home to see her ... We have to take a test everyday and that is ok with me.

Today though I am cosy at home and looking at the sunshine that is shinning down on the hard frost, which in turn is sparkling like diamonds everywhere.. and it is with this beauty that I leave you today to stitch.

As always Happy Stitching and please take care.

Sarah XX


Wednesday, 5 January 2022

Threads of Time.


We can let others convince us to rush or we can choose to live in the moment connected with our stitching and the past.  Even if it is for only a few minutes a day.

Kit Dunsmore.

Firstly please let me wish you all a very Happy New Year!  2022 can you believe it, I got the keys to Thimble Cottage in February 2020 and not sure where that time has gone.  I hope you all had a peaceful, healthy and Happy Christmas.

The pleasure in the process of sat slow stitching is calming and serene.  You can be almost anywhere, sat in your favourite cosy chair, on a seat by the river watching the kingfishers and robins, on a train or like me most days sat next to my darling Mum if she is very sleepy.  Again we have days when she rallies an over the weekend was such a day.  Psychologists say that hand stitching helps to create a self induced state of focus, also known as mindfulness.  It is said to reduce blood pressure and anxiety and promote relaxation and I totally agree it does for me.

Mum was desperately trying to tell us something, her face had taken on a serious look and I am afraid she does not make sense with only the odd word we can recognize  We tried to tell her not to worry that we now do the worrying for her.  She got so frustrated that tears started to run down her cheeks, which in turn set myself and my sister off. The heartache we felt was immense.

However with this terrible illness comes loss of time and space and she soon forgot and cheered
up when we fed her a butterscotch mouse!

I love to read too normally but I can not seem to settle to that much so stitching it is and I must admit it clears my mind, my breathing somehow slows and I can just fall into my vintage and stitchery world with utter bliss. 

Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.
William Wordsworth.

I always start new journals each new year for my stitchery designs and so one of the journals that I will be covering with the hand stitched design on to gorgeous antique French linen is for my personal use.  The French knots are still going and I have lost count as to how long it is taking but it is looking good in my opinion.  So I am still doing a few hours of those and then onto the journal coverings ...

The weather here in Dorset has been very wet for the last month it seems, however today is sunny but bitterly cold.. just the day to sit and stitch.

I have so many plans this year for taking courses at Thimble, however it all depends on Covid right now.  The Threads of Time Studio is awaiting laughter, stitching and fun.  It has been ready for over a year now and I find it so sad with the emptiness of people.

The dinning room awaits all the chatter around it at lunchtime on the courses too.  So plans are being made in the hope that this year anyone who has had their covid jabs can come and mingle with like minded people for the day and talk vintage whilst stitching...

This week saw the taking down of Christmas and getting back to some sort of normality.  I have some gorgeous new books to put away properly, calligraphy things and some gorgeous packs of vintage ribbons.  I am sorting things out this week and my stitching will be begin in earnest by the weekend.  That said I am going to be taking little slow stitches later and I have missed being sat there in my favourite chair with my basket of stitching. I want to finish my hand stitching on some gorgeous antique piece of French linen so that I can cover my new stitching journal for 2022.  The ideas are popping right now and are scribbled on a scrap piece of paper.... this of course will not do at all.

I have cut out a few gorgeous antique French linens to cover journals in and they are awaiting their hand stitched personalisation to be done.  These are easy to transport to my Mums and so I can sit with her whilst she sleeps and easy to put down and pick up again when she is awake and I can chat to her.  She looks at me as I quietly talk about my every day life to her.  I tell her about my walks that I take, what I have spotted by the river bank.  I hold her hand and tell her about all my hopes and dreams and hope upon hope at least some of it goes in.

I have received some beautiful letters through the post from my penpals and I sit and read those to her as well as  reading her Little Women too.  When she drifts off I pick up my stitching and sit and sew in the armchair by the window that looks into her garden and watch the robins go about their busy day.

I miss talking to her and she talking back to me and showing her my stitching and she would always love to see everything I stitched.  

Hygge is about the small things in life. Like warms socks. Candle lit room. A hot cup of tea in your favourite mug.

Hygge has been my best friend at Thimble when the decorations came down, plenty of candles and throws everywhere and a little pile of books by my bed and some in the lounge too.  I love the coziness of the Winter months and toasting my toes in front of the log burner with a cup of cinnamon tea close to hand.  

So for today I will leave you with that image as that is what I am about to do. Until next time stay safe and as always Happy Stitching!

Sarah XX

We will open the book.  The pages are blank.  We are going to put words on them ourselves.   The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Years Day.

Edith Lovejoy Pierce.

Friday, 12 November 2021

Hygge, candles and stitching.


Autumn leaves shower like gold, like rainbows,

 as the winds of change begin to blow.

Dan Millman

Here in beautiful Dorset we are fully in Autumn mode, although the plants in my garden tend to disagree.  The lavenders are all going for a third bloom which lovely but unusual in the least.  New foxgloves are starting to sprout and they are much earlier in the year as you know.

It is getting colder at night that is for sure and the log burner is on most evenings.  Candles are everywhere lighting up little corners of Thimble and making it look cosy and inviting.  The flames flicker and make beautiful warming patterns on the walls.  Thimble is a glow with cosy corners
and quilts over chairs. It is decorated for Autumn and I know some people are preparing for Christmas and Winter already but I just do not feel it is that time here right now.  The end of the month is soon enough for me. I am still in the mode of walking by the river and the leaves crunching beneath my feet.  Trees here are slowly dropping their leaves but the trees themselves are far from bare and still look colourful and like jewels shinning in the Autumn sun.

Sitting in a cosy chair and slow stitching is the order of the day, the days are darker somehow so candles are on even then.  One of my larger candles is cinnamon and orange and the gorgeous

scent fills the air, for me it fills my head with happy memories and makes the atmosphere here even more inviting.

I have started slow stitching on gorgeous antique French linen to cover some journals.  I am

trying to finish two other projects too and there is sooooo many french knots in them that I only do a few hours a day on those as you almost go cross eyed with it.  I love french knots and it is just adding so much depth to both projects, however it is a little too much all day.

So I am alternating at different times of the day with the journals I am creating.  When the stitching is finished I can cover a beautiful journal for the three of them.  As you are all aware by now I live by my journals and find them useful in every sense,  and in my mind they should also be beautiful as Mr William Morris quotes.

Using my journals for all sorts of things it is an easy go to.  I have a journal just for quotes that I find or write myself is great.  I find using just one journal for all sorts really jumbled and it takes an age to find something.

In addition to all this I have been truffling around in the local charity shops as well.  I have found a few little personal bits for my dresser, the trick is to go most days to see new stock as soon as it has been donated.  In the past I have found some beautiful vintage china and bits.

Before you all groan this is Christmas talk, I have started Christmas shopping and was lucky

enough to spend a day in Cambridge doing just that.  Different shops than here and I managed to get quite a bit done too.  I really do not to be around the crowds in December.  I am still being extremely careful with Covid and always in a mask when out.  
I am looking for another vintage

fair to go to and it will be my last one this year I think.

So some stitchery goodies that I have recently bought some oh so gorgeous vintage threads from Vintage to Victorian fame.  They arrived today and oh be still my beating heart!  The colours are outstanding and I keep stroking them, they may have to go in glass jar so that they are always visible rather than a box or drawer.  To stunning to hide away from the world.  What do you think?  They would be so beautiful to look at in my studio. When my work shops start next year they will be on the table for the stitchers to choose from to use in their project.  I will be hunting out a jar later that is for sure, I can't stop thinking about how lovely it would look.

Our Mum has taken a little turn for the worse I am afraid,  we were shocked to see her today as the care home has been closed for Covid outbreak.  In the 10 days she has really lost weight and is sleeping a lot.  We have known her to be very poorly and bounce back but I am not sure this time.  I will be taking in some stitching and be with her a fair bit this week as will my sister.  We look at photos of her from just 3 years ago and can not believe what this terrible illness has done to our lovely Mum.  Sitting in her beautiful room next to her it is somehow very peaceful and I am happy to stitch there and talk to her.  The french knots will not be coming with me, however the journal covers will I think.

I have bought some pretty little candle holders for tealights, like little cottages and bought some battery tealights, they are coming with me to light her room in all the little places and shelves.

Well that is it for today I really must find that jar and also continue with some slow stitching this afternoon, it gets dark by 4pm and then it stops play.  I am thinking of getting a day light lamp, does anyone out there have one? Are they good?

Until next time take care and as always Happy Stitching! 

Sarah X

Wednesday, 3 November 2021

Autumn at Thimble.


And the sun took a step back, the leaves lulled

 themselves to sleep and Autumn was awakened.

I can not believe where the last few months have gone, it's so good to be back and sorry its been so long since July.  My darling Mum is still with us and I have spent so much time with her.  Although in palliative care she seems not to want to leave us for now.  It has been touch and go for months now and so I have to go back to living a little in the meantime.  I can still make her laugh and she eats a little and gives me the biggest smile and hug....  We watch an old movie together with my sister too.  She just stares at the screen, especially an old colour musical and we hold hands.

Autumn has arrived in the fullest sense, the leaves have changed colour, the nights are getting

colder and the river bank is changing.  I have fewer hedgehogs to feed as they slowly go for their Winter nap.  The garden has changed colour and the grass has had its final cut for this year.

So to stitching!  I have been busy with a needle of late and have been doing a series of pictures and wall hangings named The forest floor.  The picture is part of one of my designs.

It has been a labour of love and I have enjoyed it so much. It is a larger piece and now framed.  Also in this series is the Agaric, often referred to as The Fairy table, the red toadstool with the white dots.  So beautiful to look at but not edible at all.

I have been designing too and also have a few project baskets filled up and two of them will be being posted to my two wonderful pattern testers for a Winters stitch for them.  It has taken some time with all my time spent at the care home, however they are ready to be wrapped.

Joy of joys Vintage fairs have started again and in the last three weeks I have attended two, a much needed stock up of goodies that I have been able to truffle for.  Meeting up with great friends that I have not seen in person for 18 months.  

The first one was the reclaimed home fair in Chipping Norton, it was a wonderful event, I was able to pick up some wonderful packs of gorgeous fabrics and er, well I might of bought a quilt.  In point of fact it is the most gorgeous 1900 red and white quilt.  The pattern is called robbing Peter to pay Paul and I
saw it and ran over! yep ran!...

It was not on my list, however, these gorgeous antique quilts do not fall at your feet very often and it is American.  It ended up, some how in Chipping Norton at the fair and it simply had my name on it.  As you can see from the photos on the left it looks perfect on my bed and is in time for the Winter and Christmas.

I love red and white quilts they are my favourite finds and I have a few in my collection.  All different patterns along with the bear paw one I had made for in America a few years ago. 

Then last weekend I went to the Vintage Bazaar in Frome, which is not that far for me to go to now.  I met up with the gorgeous Vintage Dahling and we had a great coffee, catch up and a sausage roll as a celebration.  I had seen her at the other fair but she was on crowd control on the door, as she put it.

We wandered and truffled around and I was not looking for fabric really as I had bought what I needed at the previous fair.  I was on the look out for a curtain or a valance for my Threads of Time studio.  I am pleased to say I bought a red and white French antique valance and it is perfect for the job.  I have not taken a photo yet as it was not washed until yesterday and I have to press it and pop it up.  The larger window in there has two curtains in cotton to frame the window, I have washed and pressed those

but they are not in situ yet either.  A job for the weekend.

Then I spied this basket with gorgeous little ceramic figures in it. They are called Feve. These are a small trinket hidden in a king cake or similar desert.  The French word Feve translates to fava bean, which is what was originally used.  The themes of Feve are very diverse and may include religious symbols, tools related to baking or even depictions of famous figures.  The person who finds the Feve usually is awarded special privileges  or a gift for the day.  They have become collectors items.

I decided on these three and they are porcelain and now reside in a little square in my antique printers tray which is on the wall.  I just fell in love with them and the history that surrounds these beauties.  They make me smile when I see them nestled between  the wooden stamps, cotton reels and antique silver thimbles....

Then as Christmas fast approaches I picked up an antique bell and a very large antique key which I have ideas on what to do with both and both are part of a stitchery project that is up and coming. So happy was I.  There is something about a old
 bell tied with antique fabric that makes my heart sing. It still works as a bell and when wandering around the fair with it wrapped up in tissue and in my bag you could still hear it jingle! It was funny as people looked up and looked around.  I did not say anything but smiled widely ... 

Then I came across three little pieces of the most wonderful old quilt pieces that when slow stitched together will make a gorgeous wall hanging when embroidered for a project, they fitted together beautifully and I could see in my artist side of my brain and imagination what to do with it and what to stitch on.

The colours are really wonderful and the ageing is perfect with the washed out colours and the soft texture that only comes with age.

It will make a really pretty wall hanging in my humble opinion.

So all in all I had a lovely day at both fairs not only truffling but catching up with great friends, laughing and talking all things slow stitching and vintage, my kind of wonderful day.

There are a few more fairs coming up that I hope to attend and meet up with friends again.  For now though I will be stitching away.

For the last week I have also had a bit of a late Spring clean and my office, spare bedroom and the studio got a great clean and clear out.  It not only makes it all look great but its like a life laundry for my brain.  Things not needed and getting rid of a bit of clutter.  Some things were in boxes still and not actually needed,  I took three bin liners full of clothes to the charity shop as well.

The clocks have gone back and the sun is setting here whilst typing this later in the day to you all. The little lamps in my office are glowing and I now have stopped stitching for the day as the light is what I call half light and not good for tiny little stitches.

I am going off now to make a cinnamon tea and curl up in front of the log burner with my design book, I am eager to get down on paper my design for the above quilt pieces and then pop them in a basket to wait there turn.

It Hygge time here now in England and the candles, fire and little lamps are all a glow.  I nice warm supper for me after a busy day.

For now I will sign off and as always wish you all Happy Stitching and stay safe.

Sarah XX

Cosy nights and twinkling lights.

Friday, 16 July 2021

Hello July, this is your month to excel !


And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees,

 just as things grow in fast movies, I had the familiar conviction 

that life was beginning over again with the Summer.

F Scott Fitzgerald 

Happy to be back on here, it's been a strange few months.  My poorly Mum has no real change, just up and down and it is what it is.  I have missed being here with you all but I have tried to keep you up to date.  Thank you all for your kind words, your support and help, you are all amazing people.

In addition I would like to thank the pattern testers that applied and I have found two lovely ladies to help me complete my work for publication, you can not get it published without it being tested by someone other than yourself, I know what I mean when I compile instructions, however it may not make total sense to others unfortunately.  It also means my work load has stopped piling up with all that has been going on.

Happiness has returned and although my Mum's illness has cast a shadow, she would want me to continue with what I love and be personally happy.  She has always been a huge fan and advocate of my artistic side and I have to say I am grateful to have inherited it from her.  If my Dad was still alive today he would come up with a wise crack about the above statement.  I feel I should mention I am grateful for the Italian culture and culinary skills that he and my late Nonna have instilled in me, and I am also grateful to have inherited her beautiful Italian hair too....

Stitchery talk then, Today I am getting ready to match up the materials to a design or two and they will be winging their way to the ladies soon.  I am sorting, finding and collating today as well as sorting out my work desk.  Then it will be time for me to design and do some slow stitching myself.  I am hoping that I can concentrate fully on this.

Last weekend we went truffling and I bought some gorgeous old spools of silk thread. I was over the moon with the find.  You can see, I hope, in the photos the wonderful colours and hues of the silk thread. They have the original labels still attached and they read Head & Son, Sloane Street in London. The lilac colour is 56  1|4 which made me smile for some reason. 

There is a really good amount on each reel and you can split the thread for embroidery.  The excitement when I spied them in an antique shop was as if I had struck gold I think.

I am trying to do some homework on these outstanding threads and when I did an initial search I have come up with nothing so I am going to really try and do my best to find some information.  I have sent a message to a friend of mine who is very talented and works in a fashion museum.  I am pleased to say she is on the case!

Beautiful things happen when you distance yourself from negativity.

Some other news for you all, I have hedgehogs here now in my garden! Oh boy they are beautiful.  Every night I put out a water bowl, dry hedgehog food and two dishes of a little cat food with meal worms on them.  Every night they turn up to feed and there can be a few of them, thus the four bowls.

Hedgehogs have different sounds and I have done research, joined a hedgehog group online for the area I live in and have been learning all sorts of things about these gentle creatures, who, unfortunately are
becoming extinct for several reasons.

They are killed on roads, slug pellets and the most horrible one is that long wild grasses that they choose to nest in are just cut down without checking if they are in there along roadsides and some gardens.

One night a few weeks ago I found two in the garden so from then we have been feeding them.  They make some incredible sounds and often make me laugh.  I have been able to go out when they are there and actually stroke some of them, who it seems do not mind this at all.  They come earlier and earlier and so it was the other evening around 9pm and still very much light outside, were poking their heads through the bottom of the gate!! too cute. ( The gate has been made higher for them to wander under)

In between visits to Mum I have been sorting through my studio and my office to sort some bits out and at the moment I am getting things ready for the pattern testers and I am busy finishing off some designs....

This coming weekend we are off truffling again and the weather here has turned to Summer once more so it will be very enjoyable indeed.  Often we then have some lunch out as well.

The basket will be ready to go and find little treasures,  It has been a difficult few months for a few reasons, however things have very much calmed down and happiness has returned and balanced the scales once more.

The other difficult thing that has happened that I must warn others of and so it is that around 18 years ago I sold a most gorgeous very old Shaker quilt to someone.  I found out a few weeks ago she was telling people that I had swindled her out of the money for this quilt!  To cut a very tiresome story short, not to give her fame or let her enjoy herself by talking about this awful woman, I gave her the money back and got the quilt.  The thing is it is not the same quilt at all!  I have a much later quilt than the one I sold her because, and get this, she pleaded I sell it to her in the first place.....  I am very much out of pocket over this but lesson is learned my end.  All I can say is karma is a beautiful thing and I truly hope that it will pay her a visit one day soon.

Karma has no menu. You get served what you deserve.

Normally I would not put anything like this on here, in fact it has never happened before, but I want to warn my dealer friends (who would have probably said the transaction was too long ago to give her back her purchase money if I had taken advice from them). With my Mum worries I think she prayed on me at a vulnerable time  and knew exactly what she was doing, and my lesson has been truly learned.

I battled with putting the above information on my blog as I like it to be a happy, informative, slightly quirky and full of wonderful stitchery talk, but really this had to be shared to stop people like this.

Back to fabrics! now fabric lovers and slow stitchery lovers I have been putting together little bundles of gorgeous antique fabrics and tying them with vintage ribbons.  This, in fact, is not just a thoroughly

enjoyable pass time for me (really! I hear you shout!) it is also my way of tidying my fabric cupboard in a way that when the bundles are together in a pleasing colour coordination, it is easier to choose my fabrics without the hunt.

What then happens is that when it is all tidy, it gets dishevelled each day I go in to find patterns and colours that blend.  All I seem to do is tidy, fold and stack! So by bundling, its like a gorgeous antique grab pack of beauty .. Ta Dah!  

Well that is it for today and in time for a weekend read.  I will be back next week, I have missed you but have enjoyed my emails and personal comments you have sent me, I think I have answered each one and not missed anyone, forgive me if I have.

I hope the sun shines where ever you are and that you have a wonderful and peaceful weekend.

As always stay safe and Happy Stitching!

Sarah X

Tuesday, 20 April 2021

Stitching outside and dreaming of Summer evenings .. in the garden.


Oh the Summer night, has a smile of light,

 and she sits on a sapphire throne.

Bath was beautiful, the sun was out, people were laughing, the sun twinkled onto the river. There were not hoards of people out and the only queue was for Primark, thankfully not somewhere I wished to be.

We had lunch out which was a wonderful treat.  The only thing that disappointed me was there was no truffling in antique places, not all were open anyway. So no treasure to share with you all I am afraid.  I will be making a visit to one of my favourite antique places called The Dairy House soon and I know there is another antique centre just basically next door.  Both over several floors so plenty of goodies to look at.

The weather is glorious right now and it brings on Summer thoughts.  Summer evenings sat in the garden with friends sharing some wine and nibbles, with chatter and laughter has to be one of life's simple pleasures that we took for granted once, never again though. 

I again have lots of things I would like to achieve right now and a list (again has been written) the thing is I am so very very tired and I do not know why at all.  Everything seems like such an effort at the

moment. Lack of vitamin D maybe, which I suffered from last year, even in the hot Summer we had.  I am taking supplements but have to admit I am a little hit and miss with tablets.

Well the news here with the very tame lady blackbird is her name is now Bossy Beryl .. if another bird comes near her and disturbs her worm hunt or picking up what I leave out for her to help her busy mothering, then boy oh boy she lets them know. Its a shrill tut like tweet and she means business...  I said to her the other day, oh you are a Bossy Beryl aren't you? and it has stuck.  I am not sure she is that happy with it, but there it is.  Miss Muddy Beak was such a calm lady and just didn't bother with other things around her.  I still miss her and wonder if she is ok.  I am sure that she is and just shrugged off that I was there one day and not the next !

My office/sewing room at the top of the house has suddenly become a slight bomb sight so things have to be put away.  With taking my own photos I gather bits and pieces together and take photos, changing things around, thinking that maybe something else is needed and it tends to get left like it ... I must be more strict with myself and put it away everytime and not think I will do that later.  It  turns into such a job when I do not tidy as I go.

With this beautiful weather and the chance of freedom out in the world right now I am a little restless to be out in it.  In the sunshine it is beautifully warm, although later in the day you know its not Summer just yet.

Vintage truffling is high on my list to want to do, you do not even have to purchase anything .. it is just
so nice to be surrounded by gorgeous wares and see what is out there.  During the week before the school holidays will be the best time so I am going to pencil in a few days to go and do that.

Able to sit outside a cafe and have a drink and watch the world go by is such a treat these days too.

Watering the garden with all the new plants and herbs each day is great too, I talk to Bossy Beryl as I go and if I pick up weeds she is right beside me waiting to go worm hunting in the disturbed beds and pots.  She pulled a huge worm out the other day and I did ask politely if she might leave me some to help with garden soil.. just looked as if to say  NOPE!

I have my basket of slow stitching sorted for today, its just a matter of where it might get done.  My garden furniture is not out yet so its a little more difficult, also the sun is very bright if not under the umbrella and I can not see the tiny stitching very well.  Shade is very needed for that.

Playing around with different French linens ( textures that is) and pretty floral fabrics and adding different thread colours, some very old cotton reel thread and the hand dyed shaker threads has been fun

along with sketching forms of flowers too.

I love doing french knots and a lot of people hate doing it, I find it soothing and mixes different shades of the same colour to shade and make it jump out off the fabric is so much fun.  They are perfect little stitches to use when stitching a flower border I always think.  I am working on my PHD too ( Projects Half Done !) trying to finish things... got you all there eh!

Sometimes I feel like Alice in Wonderland, I seem to loose time in these things and at the moment I am easily distracted by wild life too.  Not seen a white rabbit in a overcoat with a pocket watch yet though, thank goodness, I would have to take to my bed for a lie down I think !!

Anyway that is enough of my imaginative ramblings for today I really must pick up a needle and pick up and put away some bits in my office .. no little mice are going to appear and do it for me, that is for sure ! So until the next time HAPPY STITCHING and as always do take care.

Sarah X


Friday, 16 April 2021

Which of all my important nothings shall I tell you first - Jane Austen.


I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading ! How much sooner one tires of anything than a book.

Jane  Austen.

I agree whole heartily with Miss Austen, after slow stitching that is and then to read a good book or indeed about stitchery I am well and truly in my element.

History is my favourite thing, be it facts, fiction or artifact and there is something about weathered and worn fabrics with a whole lot of history contained in its weave.  I have missed truffling but indeed this this weekend I am going to Bath to truffle and wander.  Mask will be firmly on and the sun  should be shining, I am the happiest girl ...

The freedom of it was literally breath taking and to have been locked down for 4 months this time, I will never take for granted the freedoms of bumbling in good company.

You see us vintage lot can never really have too much of it.  I have a beautiful stash of fabrics and vintage curio's but what is too much?  I use all of my bits and eventually all the fabrics.  When the courses start then that will use even more.  So I am always on the look out for wonderful old history pieces, be it stitchery or literature and of course writing.

I wonder at things, if they could speak what tales they could tell.  Who used to own them?

 I have an imagination that is for sure. Often when I read it is by candle light and in my head I can hear my darling Mum saying " you will end up in glasses young lady, if you strain your eye sight like this!"  Well she was probably correct in her assumption but as yet I do not need glasses .. and now I can not tease her about it, which is a bother!!

If adventures to not be fall a young lady in her own village she must seek them abroad.

Jane Austen.

Anyway as I was saying, I am going to Bath ( not quite abroad but it feel like it!) and I bought a few things and thought I would share them with you. this week in our local charity shops.

Firstly I bought this little jug which is for butter warming in, its great for just melting a little to baste with and it was only £1.20 and really has not much of an age to it, however it was love at first sight and it sits happily on my dresser for use.  I popped it through the dishwasher for safety covid reasons.

Then I bought two wonderful Jane Austen novels one from 1933 and one is 1939. Northanger Abbey and Pride and Prejudice and the photos for these are at the introduction of this blog.  Gorgeously faded in the right places with some stunning sketch illustrations. 

These books are just right and of course Jane Austen had a connection with Bath.

The sun is shinning today and it is set to do so tomorrow for my day out and to tell you I am really looking forward to it is a understatement to be sure.

This morning I will make a small journey down to the River Stour and have a little walk to see if the Otters are about and to blow away any cobwebs, it is far to nice to sit in all day and I find a good wander helps the rest of my day be very productive indeed.

My stitching is set out for me and I will be doing some beloved slow stitching as well as a little housework... It has to be done!

Other news is there is a very tame lady blackbird and she really does not bother about me in the garden at all.  She reminds me of Miss Muddy Beak not only in looks, she is a lot fatter though and she has a muddy beak too, digging for worms etc.  I am trying to name her at the moment and feel a name will come to me eventually.  This weekend I am going to get some bird food for her.  She has taken some bits of vintage fabric so clearly she is nesting around here somewhere.  I see her every day whilst watering the plants....

Well that is it for today as I must get on.  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and as always ...

HAPPY STITCHING! and Keep safe.

Sarah X