Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Relaxed and ready to stitch.....

Flowers are the soul
of the earth .....

What a perfect few days in Devon, there is nothing like the peace and quiet with only the sound of the waterfall and stream running through the grounds of a 200 year old cottage.  Having my greatest friend look after me, cook bring me coffee and make me laugh, medicine indeed  Sat outside of an evening with the fairy lights and a glass of cold white wine was just the ticket.  

Now is the start of my week ahead although we were back on Sunday evening, yesterday I decided to just do housework and catch up in general on things and to then start me stitching and blogging week afresh.

Picked a few flowers and put them in a book whilst in Devon too, I love doing that and then they will either be used in mixed media work or just nestle happily between the pages of my journal.  I can decide later on.  Right now they are pressing happily and I will see how they turned out a few weeks from now.  The beautiful baby hydrangea you see in the photo above is now happy in a little old milk bottle and sat on my writing slope looking beautiful.

Home once again and the garden had a really good soaking and smells fresh and happy.  The birds were very pleased to see us and the bird baths were all but dry bless them, and the food had long gone it seemed.  Miss Muddy was a little pouted and ignored me yesterday but today she is sweetness its self.  It seems I am not allowed to go away at all.

So today is a new working week for me and I am going to see my mum on Thursday, until then I have some work to complete and I am looking forward to sitting and slow stitching in the garden this
morning.  In the shade and watching the bird bath antics.

I am not sure if it is the weather but I am extremely tired and have been for a couple of weeks.  When I was in Devon I was sleeping in past 9 am and was told my body obviously needed it.

It was a very relaxed an peaceful few days as we went on Thursday and came back yesterday.  I wandered around and picked some flowers to dry and it was great because they were different to what I have in our garden.  Armed with a little bowl and a pair of sharp scissors I wandered down by the waterfall and around the acre of
land.  Our friend has landscaped his front garden now and put in a hazel fence and a water feature along with fairy lights and different plants and I sat there sorting out my booty.  I took photos there to show you as you can see.

I am getting quiet a collection from this beautiful summer and the flowers are just blooming and blooming.

Our grape vines are amazing this year.  The grapes are fully formed and big already and it is a matter of ripening which will not take long in this heat and sun.

It is time to remove lots of the leaves now so that the sun can get to them.

We wandered around Honiton for an hour and went into our favourite cafe for brunch and I visited my favourite antique shop called Fountain Antiques and bought two really pretty lace collars and was thinking one could be added to one of my dresses... not sure yet but that was the plan when purchasing them.  One is Edwardian and so very beautiful.

There is also an award winning ice-cream place just up the road so we were taken there in the afternoon, well it had to be done.  It is on the side of the road but it has a large car park and then you
have a lovely grassy bit on the hill and the view whilst eating your ice cream is gorgeous.

The ice creams are award winning and I now see why. I highly recommend the blackcurrant ripple and the sea buckthorne ..... both scrummy and I had a scoop of each in a tub and sat and looked over the countryside ..

As you can see from the photo on the right the view was worth just sitting there and staring at in my opinion.

Well I am a little later today and I think that might be the way of it until this tiredness leaves me.  Today is a warm day but a little cloudy.  It is set to be 25 degrees here again but it may not be the beating down sun, which suits me and my slow stitching.
So my day is mapped out for me and I am hopefully going to be very productive.

I will be back here on Thursday and I hope that you all have a wonderful day and ......

As always Happy Stitching! XX

Thursday, 12 July 2018

Happily stitching once more....

Time is a precious commodity we never know
 the balance in our time account as we make
our daily withdrawals. spend it wisely and live life
with passion and never give up, remember it is
 never to late to make a dream come true.

Bette Kelley

Breathing in the gorgeous scents of summer I have finally found a balance in my stitching life.  I have found a spot in the garden that is cool to hand stitch for a fair few hours and then I have fashioned a little nook inside by a fan that is cool with breeze and there I can get a few more hours in.  Finally I have found a balance!

 I do not want to complain about this gorgeous weather we are having and to be honest if you are not working or on a deadline it is perfect but I was getting hot and bothered and therefore my stitching suffered.  Not anymore, I have found a balance for getting up and getting on with what needs to be done and getting housework done early in the morning with all the doors and windows flung wide open.  A few hours a day gets it done and kept up. Now the scales are even and I am happy in my work again and watching the wildlife ... they are not out in the midday sun at all.  Early and late eating and I am guessing roosting in the shade of the leaves in the trees where they can get the breeze. 

More and more seagulls are coming for drinks in are garden and they fly off happily.  The do not bathe just have long drinks and fly off.  They are huge but oh so pretty and I have got know differences in some.  The one who does not seem to worry about me has the loveliest of eyes and its head cocks to one side when I talk to it.  I really do not know if it is a boy or a girl but gorgeous all the same.

It is a bit cooler at the moment as well and so I am trying to be productive but I am so very tired which is ridiculous as I do not have time to be tired at this point in time. I think it must be the heat, yet I am loving this summer of 2018, every day a beauty and it really is beautiful.  The garden needs
watering of course and we have our watering system as well but I find that I like to give it all a huge soak as well.

Some of you may have read on FB that my mums haircut did not go well.  She refused to have it done and lashed out too.  A very long story short is her hairdresser ended up with broken toes and my sister and I in tears.  It was not a good day on Tuesday and I did no stitching at all.  In fact when I got home from there I went and sat in the garden with a coffee in the shade and just stared in to no where.  Watched the birds, bees and butterflies and generally de-stressed myself.  I thought I was going to explode.  When my husband heard he came home earlier and took me out to dinner.  It was lovely and just what I needed, no cooking and to be with him.

I phoned the care home yesterday to see how mum is and guess what, the hairdresser that comes there anyway, its a guy, managed to cut my mums hair!! I think she thought it is a man an so he will not stand for any nonsense .. either way he will be cutting her hair from now on.  He goes to the home twice a week and can see what kind of mood she is in.  In addition they are going to ask the doctor to re adjust her meds to help with this anxiety and mood swings that are making her feisty! ( to put it politely)

So now that I know she is ok and that she feels more comfortable in the heat with her hair lovely and short again I can have a few days with my husband and relax.

Yesterday it was just such a slow start for me and I was licking my wounds a bit but I did manage some stitches, These things take time and today well I am more like me again and so I have sorted through my stitchery and also I have a few days off now to get myself together and have a rest as well.   My project basket is sorted and the sewing room is basically back to its normal neat self so I can concentrate now on stitching .... I have my design journal at the ready and also my two places to stitch today sorted so I am hoping for a really productive and peaceful day indeed.

Looking forward to seeing our friend from Devon as well and it should be a really lovely long weekend filled with rest, relaxation and laughter.  I hope whatever you are up to this coming weekend that you have the best time.

Will be seeing you back here next Tuesday morning and until then ...... 

Happy Stitching! XX

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Very slow summer stitching days ...

Live in each season as it passes,
breathe the air and resign yourself
to the influence of the earth.

Henry David Thoreau

As I am sat here writing this the window in my sewing room is wide open and there is a little welcome breeze rolling in from the sea.  The sun is out and the birds are about their daily business.  Seagulls are calling to one another and one of them is in our birdbath having a drink. Already the day has begun.

It is a different day today as I am off to see my Mum and it is haircut day.  You would think it would be straight forward but I am afraid it is not, It is like a military mission, which has probably started all ready.  I am afraid she  is not always keen now on personal care but my sister and I insist upon it so they really have to coax her for a shower and hair wash.  The shower seems to be OK its the hair wash she is not liking that much but today it is going to happen.  Then her long time hair dresser who now comes to my mum and cuts and blow drys her hair, will then only have to spray it wet again to cut it.  It will be much easier for her.

My sister and I will be there a good half hour before her hair dresser and it will take some time as she gets up mid anything for a wander these days. In this hot weather though, when it has been cut she will feel so much better in herself.  Then we are going on a picnic with her in the grounds of the care home which she likes.

We are loving our new large ceiling fan in our bedroom at night and it is quiet and oh so beautifully cool.  Finally we can sleep in this humid weather.  I love this summer it is beautiful but I do need my sleep and so does my husband with his silly hours.  His leg by the way is much better and he is now back working in the office.  Although working from home this Thursday and Friday.

I am going to take a long weekend this week so just to let you know there will be no blog on Friday
or next Monday.  This weather is making it hard to stitch for long and so I am taking a little break. Its Devon time and I will be taking my stitching because I am reliably informed within a over 200 year old cottage it is much cooler.  Hot outside and very much cooler in... happy days when the house is sleeping!

Yesterday though I managed to stitch longer as I have a fan next to a chair inside and that seemed to work and keep my needle from slipping.  So that is the new regime.  In the garden in the full shade in the morning and when the sun come around a little later to my shady spot I move inside by the fan. I am so behind on my stitching but what can you do but embrace this weather.  Luckily as usual I had some pieces done already and in advance for some things coming up, therefore I am not too worried.

Is anyone else finding stitching difficult in hot weather? for those of you that live in hot climates you must be laughing but we just are not used to it.  Our homes do not have AC either.  If I can get cool hands I can stitch and for sure the fans are doing their magic. So anyone got any tips for stitching in this hot weather.  We are in 29 degrees and above, although it is set to be a little cooler today at 26 degrees.

I still have a little bit of sorting in my sewing room and that is what I am aiming to do when I get back from my Mum, if it is not too late.  Other than that it is stitching by the fan time.  I would however like to finish the sewing room.

In addition I am still covering buttons for my dresses at this moment in time and I really must get up and see Debbie to show her the new fabric that I have from cabbages and roses... I would like to make sure she can get this one done some time.  Probably not in the next few months being wedding season!

I am patient I can wait all I know is that next year I will have some gorgeous dresses hanging in my wardrobe to wear and that is all that matters.   I think that with a poncho I could probably wear them in the winter at a fair as they are always inside, even if it is a marquee.  Then I thought maybe Debbie can make me a jacket from thicker French linen with a little collar made with paisley or eiderdown fabric.  I could do a little hand embroidery on it and ..... well there is another conversation to have with her.. when she is sat down!

I hope that you all have a wonderful day and fun in the sun.  My sisters dog loves the paddling pool and jumps right in.  It is a fairly deep one and it comes to under his neck.  He just stand in it with his eyes closed bless him.  They have had to put a cover on it just in case he decides when they are not out there to get in.  They are worried he could slip.  But he has embraced the weather with his short hair cut and the pool!

That is it for today as I must get ready for operation hair cut, so wish me luck and I will see you back here on Thursday.  Have a great day and as always Happy Stitching! XX

Monday, 9 July 2018

Adventures and tea and not always in that order!...

She was an adventurer at heart
but oh how she loved to drinking 
this tea from this mug in this chair;
Oh how she loved to be home....


When I was tidying my home up after the scrum of trying to find 'that journal' as we now refer to it at Homespun HQ, I got distracted with putting away books and such.  Yes I had the book case out as well.  Both the one in my stitching room and the one in the study ... I am telling you bomb site!!
Anyway I digress, it was hot on Friday and I could not help but flick through pages of books and start to read them.  I realise that I am missing reading too much so I made a kind of mid way through the year resolution to read more.  To finish me work now around 6 pm and have an hours read before I start the supper of an evening whilst waiting for my husband to get in from work.  Also at a weekend when we are not actually having to rise with the larks and go off somewhere to have my first cup of coffee in bed and have an hour read before I get up and on with the day.  I believe our brain needs it and gosh you go into another world and an adventure and not leave the comfort of your home do you not?

At the moment and not wishing to wish our Summer months away, I am waiting patiently (er well, not really) for the new Kate Morton book to come and land on my mat in September.  It has been nearly two years since her last book and so The Clock Makers Daughter has been pre ordered and I can not wait to devour it. 

Other books have not been great for me lately and I guess that is why I had stopped reading yet I have 5 new to read.  I have decided though to re read one of Kate Morton's books though to get me back into the reading world.  I thought about telling Miss Muddy Beak about my plans but thought better of it as her disapproving look at the thought of me not feeding her at dawn of a weekend might get her all of dither!

Do you want your adventure now, or
would you like your tea first?
J M Barrie. Peter Pan.

Anyway I did manage to get some order in to the house and the stitching room on Friday and over the
weekend so that was good for me and my soul.  If it is all tidy I can be creative if it is not my head is a jumble and I really can not thing well.  I like to clear the decks basically.  Some like to work in a creative mess, I am afraid I am not one of them.

A weekend at our friend in Devon is nearly upon us too and I am looking forward to that.  It is always wonderful there and magical but when the sun is shining and the waterfall is running down into the stream well it is peaceful, tranquil and of course you surrender to the rest and relaxation of it all.  He is a chef and I do not have to worry about shopping lists and cooking for a few days so it is a great time for me.  I will take my little sketch journal ( now I have found the blighter) and hope not to loose it along the way.  Last summer when we were there in Devon I saw a beautiful kingfisher flying close to the water just above the top of the stream it was amazing and I had not realised until I had seen one up that close, just how tiny they are.  The two owls that are there talk to each other at night and all is well with the world.

I managed to also get some journaling done sitting at the table outside in the shade.  It was beautiful and hot but in the shade with the sea breeze well it just made it a really lovely place to be for a few hours.  There were lots of butterflies and bees around the sweet peas and lavender and every so often an most gorgeous dragon fly would swoop around the little fountain.

Over the weekend we sat out until it was dark and the fairy lights and candles were going and two
tiny bats were playing over the trees and eating up insects I would imagine.  They were so pretty and gave us the privilege of their company for a good half and hour as well.

Today though I have got my wicker basket full of my stitching that must be done and I am ready to get out in the garden to my 'summer office' and start in earnest and hope that the needle does not keep slipping.  I felt like a pin cushion the other week and it is amazing how much your fingers bleed too.

I have a little doodle pad with me and a pen and I will take out a fresh pot of coffee and a juice to start me off. 

I have high hopes of finishing two pieces of stitchery this week and I am going to do my upmost to get this done.  I have some buttons to cover as you know and they must be done this week as well so that I can take them down to Debbie for my dresses and give her some cabbage and roses fabric and say ... surprise! think she may ban me from vintage fairs if this continues.....

I hope where ever you are today that the sun is shining for you and that you have a most wonderful day... as always Happy Stitching! XX

I haven't been everywhere
but its on my list!
Susan Sontag

Friday, 6 July 2018

Story ...

Sometimes the things that we have lost
can be found again in unexpected places.
Daniel Handler

Well as you all know by now I found my beloved journal that I had going on in America last year.  It had bits about our trip that I haven't even written up yet along with doodles and sketches and to top it off our tickets from the whale watch we went on and it was the very first time we had ever been.  There are leaves tucked in there from The Canterbury Shaker Village and lots of little silly things that I could never get back as it were.  Especially the leaves from Canterbury, I wander around and pick a few up every year I go.  They are all nestled happily between pages of a holiday journal and I could not bear the thought that these ones had ended up in a shredder or a rubbish tip. The thing is I just could not settle to anything, even sleep.  One night I dreamt my journal was in the bathroom cabinet.  I knew it would not be but I had to get up at 3 am and check anyway! Still it is back and so today I am going to write up from there what has not yet been done so that I do not have to go through this again.

You should see my sewing room, truly like a bomb sight so again that is going to be addressed today as well.  I think this should take up my whole day to be honest but then I can start next week fresh and get down to some serious stitching which has been on hold for far to long.  It has cooled here slightly and there is more of a sea breeze which is more than welcome here.

We are not that used to such hot weather in England and not for this long either and when I speak to friends they are all saying how lethargic they feel at the moment and I can actually say I do as well. It may be a combination of tearing the house apart for said journal and the heat, who knows but it feel I could go sleep more right now as well.

However I am resolute in the fact that today is tackle the mess day and then later on I will sit outside in the shade and actually go through the journal and get some things written up in the appropriate

Next week I have a list of things to be done and one of them at the top of list is to cover some buttons for two of my dresses that are being made.  I really must get on with that and give those to Debbie who is making for me.  I also have some embroidery to do on one as well so I guess we will swap over a bag of bits to each other.  I am very excited.  In addition, she does not know yet, that Cabbages and Roses fabrics have been bought ... eek and I would like a bit of a rush job on one of them.  Honestly she is going give me a look ( the one that says how many arms do you think I have Sarah and am I allowed to sleep occasionally!!)

I am still to finish my mushroom sampler and really I have so much to do.  This week has been a strange one as well with my Husband working from home as he has not been well at all. Last weekend he was bitten by something, not a midge either.  His leg is huge and it really has no ankle.  He can not get a shoe on and it is painful. He does not do ill very well so he has been a bit grumps!
He can not walk properly either so I am running around with drinks, tablets, food ... do you know I
never really appreciated how much he consumes in a day at work until this but it is rather like having a fledgling at home!! Bless him though he is in pain.  Trying to get him to elevate his leg is,well, a battle.  Thing is he is working from home so sat at his desk on a computer and so it is not until he finishes for the day can I get him to sit with his leg up.

Still ... I found my journal (big huge grin) so nothing else phases me right now ....

I can not believe however where this week has gone to, this time last week I was preparing to attend The Summer Brocante and Cowdray and getting everything ready and here we are Friday again.  The world is spinning too fast.

This morning early when I went out to fill the bird bath and feed the little birdies, including my gorgeous lady Miss Muddy Beak, I also took out a handful of strands of fabrics from paisleys and eiderdown fabrics that I have been using.  I popped them in our pear tree and and came back in.  I watched as Miss Muddy went back and forth so she is still sorting her residence out it seems.  Although she has moved and I wonder if Mr Robin became too much for her. Thing is he was not vocal with her it was the other way around he used to just stare at her.  I kept thinking it was a look that said 'woman be still and give others a chance' it did amuse me somewhat.

I have just taken a peak out and it has all gone and no it is not flying around in a ball in the garden,its been collected so there are some very fluffy and pretty nests out there in the garden and surrounding
trees today it seems.

Anyway enough of my rambles today, I am off to have some breakfast and a coffee and then it is hi ho off to work ( cleaning up) I go.  It will make me feel so much better I can tell you.

I am really looking forward to getting it all put away and then going in the garden with my journals.  The sound of the birds singing their songs and in the shade of the big umbrella I will be able to think and sort out my journals.  Monday will be a fresh start and hopefully the beginning of a very productive week indeed.

Hoping you all have a wonderful weekend and as always Happy Stitching! XX

Thursday, 5 July 2018

Treasures of Cowdray .....

A box without hinges, key, or lid, 
yet golden treasure inside is hid.
 J. R. R. Tolkien

Before I do my show and tell I must just tell you all I found the journal, Dawn was right when she quoted 'For there is nothing lost, that may be found if sought' ... Spencer.

I was sat in my chair in my stitching room looking around at the mess I have created by tearing it apart looking and thinking about having to put it all back this week when my eyes looked at the pretty boxes I have stacked up .. some are made to look like books.  In one I have washi tapes ( it is a big box) then I looked at the one as I say that look like books and thought to myself ' I did not look in those' then I thought why though would I have put it in there.  Anyway I got the first one down and no but then the second one .. there it was and I had put it in there because of leaflets and things I had picked up on that holiday and there is was all snug and safe and not thrown out
at all...... Ta Dah! 
The sewing room looks dreadful but I have my journal with sketches in it and I am so relieved and happy I can tell you. I found my treasured journal now for the big clean up!!

Today though I have taken photos of the treasure I found at The Summer Brocante at Cowdray and without further to do I will show you.  Well the first thing is the fabrics I bought from Cabbages and Roses. Treasure indeed.  I bought 3 meters for £20 and two meters of another fabric for £30 and what a bargain .. both are going on further dresses for me and one I am very fond of and is out of production, thus the sale, I will have the whole skirt part made in this and then just a plain vintage French linen sheet top part.  Cover buttons in some for the back of the bodice and then I can do some hand embroidery and maybe applique  on it to make it my own.  I was so pleased as their clothes are very expensive and tops were £275 so I have a bargain for a dress bottom.

Then from Emma of Little Wren Vintage I bought four quilt panels in log cabin and they
really are beautiful.  I was so pleased with them. I had a good old truffle through her baskets of rolled up and packaged quilt pieces and for me it is all part of it.  It such an enjoyable time deciding on which to purchase and make into something scrummy later on.

Sonia of The Old Haberdashery had so much to choose from but I was fairly restrained. I had a look around the laces and trims but I had bought lots of those at the last fair at Eridge if you remember so I was looking at the vintage Sylko threads and I picked up some more of those.  I do all sorts with them so it worth having a little stash in a drawer.  Also she had so old cigarette cards there and they were butterflies and so I picked up a handful of those.  They were 3 for £1 so I went truffling in and looked at each and every one there and picked out these beauties to bring home.  Lots of used for them and of course there is
the mixed media side as well as little gifts for my lovely pen pals as well...

From Velvet Ribbon I bought the most beautiful piece of fabric and some fabric strip wound around a card along with three pieces of gorgeous ribbon.  I have been using these ribbons a lot of late so I was pleased to be able to replenish supplies ...

As I told you I had to go pick up four ribbon words from Kate of Oyster Bridge and there they
were all wrapped up for me and waiting.  Such great work and such a lovely lady indeed.  I love it when my orders come through from here it is such a delight to look at them all and the fabrics that are attached to them as well.

You will see the words in due course I am sure on here.

Then I bought some seed packets but I have forgotten which stall I bought them from .. so silly am I .  There were four in each pack and I have photographed both sides so that you can have a little look at them.  These are a great favourite of mine and wish seeds were sold in packets like this now.  How beautiful and artist were they ...

My last purchase of the day was a beautiful hand made sunhat and I fell in love with it.  It has a large rim all around and slightly floppy and is made to look like it is sort of crumpled as well.  I did not get the name of the lady who makes them again it was very busy indeed and I did not get to take photos of the ones that she had left and got to just try this on to bring home with me.  I liked it plain others had some flowers on them but I have antique milliners flowers here in my work room so I felt I could change them around or leave plain depending on which dress I am wearing.

If this weather is set to continue and it looks like it is then I think its a great thing to pile all my hair up and pop my hat on.  It is cooler without my hair all around my neck and because of the brim the sun does not go on my neck that generally is not on show to the sun with my long hair so no burnt neck....

It is made from very light materials and so it weighs nothing basically and it is light on my head to wear.  When I am in the garden now it is on my head.  I love it ...

Well all is well here now that Miss Muddy has come home, I have found my journal and today is my Mum time as well.  I am not even taking a grab bag in this heat I will just sit with her and hopefully she will be in the mood to have a little chat or a walk around the grounds.  On days like today they give out ice creams and she is a devil for them.... So hopefully she will be all smiles.

I hope you all have a wonderful day and as always Happy Stitching! XX ( if you can in this weather, my out put is down very much so but it can not be helped.)

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

To all my beautiful American readers! .....

To all my beautiful American readers Happy Independence Day have a wonderful day with family and friends.  I simply adore your country ....

O say, can you see, by the dawn’s early light,   
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming?   
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,   
O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming;   
And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there;   
O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave   
O’er the land of the free, and the home of the brave?   
On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep,   
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes, 
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,   
As it fitfully blows, now conceals, now discloses?   
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,   
In full glory reflected now shines on the stream;   
‘Tis the star-spangled banner; O long may it wave 
O’er the land of the free, and the home of the brave!   
And where is that band who so vauntingly swore   
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion   
A home and a country should leave us no more?   
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution. 
No refuge could save the hireling and slave,   
From the terror of flight and the gloom of the grave;   
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave   
O’er the land of the free, and the home of the brave!   
O! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand 
Between their loved homes and the war’s desolation!   
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav’n-rescued land,   
Praise the power that hath made and preserved us a nation.   
Then conquer we must, for our cause it is just.   
And this be our motto— “In God is our trust; " 
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave   
O’er the land of the free, and the home of the brave. 

Francis Scott Key