Tuesday, 31 March 2015

My stunning vintage find ... large wool mill bobbins and

The first of April, some do say
Is set apart for All Fool's Day;
But why the people call it so
Nor I, nor they themselves, do know,
But on this day are people sent
On purpose for pure merriment.
[--Poor Robin's Almanac (1790)--]

I have taken delivery of some large antique wooden wool mill bobbins... I have a project for my book that I designed last January! believe it or not.  Something has been done similar but that is what happens when you are designing and writing ... This however is going to be splendid I think.

They are really big and I have been waiting for these for ages.  That is to say I wanted what I wanted.  Smaller ones have been around but I knew what I was looking for and why...

It all seems cloak and dagger doesn't it but I am afraid when it is for publication it is rather like that.  Still I think you will be seeing the outcome at the end of the year hopefully. ( oh this is not an April fool by the way!)

I can however show you what I have purchased and taken delivery of and they are beauties.....

I particularly wanted the ones with the holes you see.... and if you are patient and do not get frustrated that people are doing similar things then you are rewarded that one day there they are on Ebay!!

These are photographed on top of the suitcase that I have been making beautiful.... so it shows how large they are.
As you can see they really are very big and they are stunning.  There is not a scratch on them and the wood is beautiful... So I can now get on with this project quickly ... tick

I hope you have a really great day and not too many pranks come your way.... I have been a good girl and not done anything to my husband.  I thought about it you understand but know that he would get me back and he is really good at it with his lovely grin! so I have onbstained this year.. too excited about this project anyway....

Happy April Fool & Happy Stitching!

My latest embroidery finds ..... so happy.

Embroidery is the handicraft of decorating fabric or other materials with needle and thread or yarn. Embroidery may also incorporate other materials such as metal strips, pearls, beads, quills, and sequins. Embroidery is most often used on caps, hats, coats, blankets, dress shirts, denim, stockings, and golf shirts. Embroidery is available with a wide variety of thread or yarn colour.

I do so love going to vintage fairs and shows as you all should know by now and my diary for this year is simply bursting with events and ones that I simply could not miss.
However, armchair buying, which can be dangerous with its simplicity of spending, is also something that I do.  You can buy things around the country and abroad for that matter.  When you go to a show it is about what the stall holders have there for you to buy but with looking on line you can target things that you need or would like and someone somewhere will have what you are searching for.

So the other night I was browsing on Ebay ( you do have to be careful, always look at postage costs, especially from abroad) and there they were some amazing vintage embroidery transfers, dear little things that said buy me!  Sometimes there is a buy now price and other times it is about bidding on an item.  I am so thrilled with my purchases and often or not the seller will pop in a few extra bits to say thank you so you get a wonderful surprise gift....

I think some of these incorporated in one of my designs ( as long as I state I have used one or two transfers will be a great addition)

I have a great hour set aside to go through my bundle but I have quickly snapped a few for you to look at.  I am going to need a little box to put my precious transfers in as they are very delicate.
 They are on what is like a fine tracing paper, so easily damaged.  You literally just iron them on to a fabric of your choice.  I might even get some vintage white linen pillow cases and transfer and embroider onto those as extra pillows for the bedrooms.....

It will be lovely to use these ( some are from the 1920/30's) and some are Swiss designs) I will be able to use slightly more muted colours than on the booklet...

Anyway I am away to do just that sort them and put them away safely and then getting on with finishing some of my orders...

Have a great day and Happy Stitching!


Sunday, 29 March 2015

To have and to hold ..... Wedding journals and more!

With this ring I thee wed
because the answer was yesssss......

Well it is that time of year again when couples are busy organising their special day!

It can be fun of course and also stressful with all the things that have to be remembered.  The venue, the bridesmaids and grooms men, flower girl, invitations, speeches, presents for the mothers and fathers, bridesmaids and grooms men need I go on...

So not only have I got commissions for some beautiful wedding samplers but also wedding planner journals as well.

Inside each journal is pages for you to write all your lists of things to do and buy.  The wedding dress fittings need to be scheduled etc etc but this journal has blank pages for you to develop your own needs and wants.  It also has a stunning vintage cover on with hand embroidery and vintage French linen,fabrics and of course stunning vintage mother of pearl buttons .... This is a keep sake for brides to look back on.  I am going to be cutting out pieces of Vintage French linens and they are all fully lined with vintage paisley fabrics.  This is a wonderful pre present for a bride to be... I can do all sorts of designs for any type of wedding.  I really enjoy taking commissions on these and people come up with ideas for me to work with.  One mother of the bride to be has sent me some bits of fabrics from when her daughter was only 1 years old and some memories to write in the front cover for her daughter as well..... I am so pleased and delighted that I have been given this piece of their history to make into a journal.

I have had an order for three so I must get designing and making for their up and coming special day.... some have a year to plan and some are even planning to get married later this year so I must get on with it.

Having spent four days sorting through my stitchery stashes I know what I am about so I am off to get designing and making .......

Happy Stitching!

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Vandyke Stitch for Hand Embroidery

So the stitch of the week today is the very pretty Vandyke Stitch brought to you as always by the very lovely Mary Corbet.  Not this stitch is more for the experienced but very worth learning as being a band stitch is can be used to decorate all sorts of things.... I think on a pillow case it would look beautiful.....

You can work the stitch open or closed as Mary explains in her video and you can embroider great leaves with this stitch.

This picture on the left is one that Mary Corbet stitched with vandyke stitch to form these leaves ..... so worth learning.

So make a warm drink and enjoy listening to Mary whilst she shows you how...

Have a great weekend and Happy Stitching....

Friday, 27 March 2015

Lou Lou's vintage fair .... In Bournemouth for your dairies ladies..

Well the weekend is practically upon us and look what is coming near me, a vintage fair in Bournemouth, Dorset!

It is Lou Lou's vintage fair and is held this Sunday 29th March 2015 at the Bournemouth Pavilion from 11am until 4pm...

The lovely ladies from the salon will be styling hair & make up in the style of your favourite vintage icons.

Once you've enjoyed the market you can grab a spot of tea and cake in the vintage tea party!

I found this very old photo of the Pavilion in Bournemouth on the internet ( I did not take this ...cheeky!) but it is very much unchanged and a wonderful building to hold such an event.

There is mostly clothes I believe but there will be some china and home wares too.  I am hoping somewhere in there will be some bits of vintage fabrics and haberdashery as well....  But I believe it is mostly vintage clothes for sale.  Always worth going along to browse and mingel with like minded people and have a drink at the vintage tea party and of course visit the salon for a great iconic hair style.

I am hoping to get to this on Sunday but will have to see.... I am not sure if I can...

I am away to my stitching now... I may make up some more project baskets as well when the light fades.. although it is staying lighter now which is great.  I must look it up but I believe the clocks change again on Sunday so it will stay lighter longer again.. here comes summer ladies and gents .. fabulous!

Happy Stitching!

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Vintage suitcase projects ..... Beautiful but practical for storage and display!

Adventure awaits ...
where will my little case take me....

On Monday this week I told you all about the vintage and artisan fair that I went to on Sunday in Bradford on Avon, and in that wonderful fair I went to see the lovely Jane from 'kiss the book' and purchased some crafter's packs from her.
 Jane makes them from old books, maps, pictures and more of the vintage things that really can not be saved.....  I told you I was going to be working on a project.  Well first part of my project is complete and I am very pleased with the result.
I wanted to cover a battered vintage  suitcase with beauty so that it can be up cycled but in a way which still keeps it original beauty and history

Ta -dah!  scraps of torn up old letters, envelopes, maps and pictures........

The result is really beautiful and I am thoroughly pleased with it.  I have more work to do on it and all the instructions will go to publication.... 

I have given you all a sneaky peak and will let you know where you can find all the instructions for it.  The pieces have to be put on properly and the cases have to to be prepared and then finished but I think you will agree it is a worthwhile project.

I had such fun doing this and making it work.

Contact Jane at 'kiss the book' for craft packs of stunning vintage papers and letters, maps and even the odd piece of antique ribbon or feather.....

When I was sorting through one of my craft packs from Jane I came across a page from a book and had to read it, it has made me laugh so much and I will give you a little extract....

Etiquette for girls ... Her first dinner party

" A girl often anticipates her first dinner party with a sinking of the heart that is almost terror"
She knows that dinner is the most ceremonious of meals, and that any solecism of which she may be guilty, through ignorance or nervousness, might mark her out as an object for undesired attention and unspoken criticism.
A girl who has not been brought up among the conventions of society feels sadly at sea as to what she ought to do, or leave undone, at the dinner table, that now looms before her as a kind of burning-glass on which some of the most rigid rules and strictest social observances are focused"

It then goes on about reception by the hostess and at the dinner table ( so that servants do not laugh at her below stairs) also a little bit about eating asparagus .... honestly this is so funny!  I am going to have to photo copy this one!
It has had me in stitches, so to speak ..... If you would like to hear more just comment below and I will let you have some more extracts....

Well I am off to my stitching room as I have some sewing on the machine to do ( I know it is unusual but when the hand embroidery is finished on some things they need stitching together securely)

 Have a great day and Happy Stitching!

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Vintage Lloyd Loom chairs ...... A very comfy seat for the summer!

My personal project and I am so excited
at what they may all look like.....

This week I am going to set a little time away to stitch a personal project.  I have two vintage Lloyd Loom chairs one is painted duck egg blue and the other is a vintage cream colour.

I love these chairs and am going to find some more this Spring if I can.  I have a cushion in them to sit on but want to cover said cushions with a new fabric.  Yes dear readers a new fabric not vintage. The reason for this is purely durability for the garden... I have been looking around and finally found some fabric that I love.
 Only two of the chairs will have this fabric and then I will find more fabric to blend in with the two I have.  I would like 6 chairs all in all and I think three types of fabric but blended will look amazing!

What do you think to this beauty.  It looks like it has been painted in water colours and is all floral... When I saw it, twas love at first sight!

I found a box of vintage threads and will use these to stitch them together.  It is only going to be simple envelope cushion covers,
which for purposes of washing makes life so much more easierdon,t you think?  My husband did remark about possibly not having buttons on them as this could be very uncomfortable and this time I did agree ...... Although my grandmother did used to say to me Sarah beauty has it's pinch!! and I would go with that all the way but not sure our guests would agree on this occasion!

I think the chairs each with a different throw over the back of it and all with comfy seat cushions will look and feel inviting to sit on.  We have some friends of ours coming over in August, they are coming from New Jersey in America and I am hoping to have a good English summer that we can be proud of AND comfy vintage chairs to lounge around in before lighting the B-B-Q and sitting at our outside table.... fingers crossed for a summer like last year!

So I will be measuring the cushions and fabric today and stitching them up on the sewing machine, it should not take too long and then I will go back to my hand embroidery.  I may even stitch a little something on a piece of vintage linen and stitch this on each cushion ( this has to be decided before I sew them on the machine) but I think I will have a little doodle and see...

I bought some stunning fabric from Clare at the Bradford on Avon fair and it is vintage but not too delicate so I think two cushion covers can be made from those to blend nicely with the above fabrics .. what do you think? (top one is the new fabric and the two bottom photos are the vintage fabric .... blended beautifully I think)

If any of you are interested in purchasing a vintage Lloyd Loom chair or two then this is the label to look out for under your chair.  This way you know you are getting what you are paying for.

Wish me luck and Happy Stitching!

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

The Secret Garden ... Making up my project basket.

Birds singing
Bees buzzing
flowers opening
butterflies skipping from flower to flower

Sarah Hawkings......

...What was this under her hands which was square and made of iron and which her finger found a hole in?
It was the lock of the door which had been closed ten years and she put her hand in her pocket, drew out the key and found it fitted the keyhole. She put the key in and turned it. It took two hands to turn it, but it did turn. And then she took a long breath and looked behind her up the long walk to see if anyone was coming. No one was coming.
No one ever did it seemed, and she took another long breath, because she could not help it, and she held back the swinging curtain of ivy and pushed back the door that opened slowly – slowly. Then she slipped through it, and shut it behind her, and stood with her back against it, looking about her and breathing quite fast with excitement, and wonder, and delight.
She was standing inside the secret garden.

As a child I adored this book and the notion that you could find a secret hidden door into a garden paradise, and to be honest with you the fairytale still lives on in me and still I love the idea....

Having been studying plants both from a nature point of view and meanings, along with what flower can produce what colour in the world of natural dying, I felt it was time to stitch a secret garden of my own....

I have selected a most beautiful antique French linen sheet and have cut out a piece on which this new project will be stitched upon.  It is 1910 and around this time was when the first edition of this magical book was put to print...

I have drawn lightly on this piece of fabric the words that I wish to stitch on and therefore I now know where the garden full of beautiful embroidered flowers will be able to go.

Studying tiny flowers and their meanings I will be putting in lavender, hollyhocks, daisy's, roses and some made up pretties.  I bought some stunning antique glass beads that are flower heads and some of those will be stitched into this piece of stitched embroidery art.

Tiny butterflies, bees and a robin will be hand embroidered somewhere along side the flowers of this picture and of course there will have to be at least one tiny vintage carved mother of pearl button .. Homespun Stitchworks trademark!

I have been having great fun sorting through all my embroidery threads ( hand dyed shaker threads with delicious names)

When the light fails again today I will be going through this basket and adding to the threads and taking away, until I am satisfied that all I need is contained in there.

I found this picture of a gate with flowers growing across the top and would like to base my gate on this ( the shape of the opening).

I am looking forward to starting this one but have to finish a baby sampler commission first and it is only a few more hours work.....

Well I am away to my stitching have a great day and have a Happy Stitching Day yourself!

Monday, 23 March 2015

Bradford On Avon Vintage & Artisan Market ...... Read all about it!

What a lovely way to spend a Sunday!
Bradford on Avon and vintage fair too.

What a wonderful way to spend a Sunday!  Wandering around a beautiful little town called Bradford On Avon and from 11am there was the vintage and artisan market.... My kind of day. This is what we did yesterday.

Bradford on Avon is sometimes described in guidebooks as the last outpost of the Cotswolds, or a kind of 'mini-Bath' - but such shorthand descriptions capture only a fraction of the charm and variety of this unique town.

Once seen, never forgotten, Bradford on Avon is an architectural treasure chest. Its ranks of dwellings, from tiny weavers' cottages to grand clothiers' houses; handsome public buildings and places of worship and its ancient alleyways and modern estates, reflect the town's development from Iron Age settlement to 21st century working town.

Winding through it all is the River Avon - from the weir at Greenland Mill through the centre of the town, where the Saxons drove their carts across the 'broad ford' that gave the early settlement its name, and on past Barton Farm, the magnificent 14th century Tithe Barn and the country park towards Bath, Bristol and the sea.

This is a lovely little town although on a Sunday most of the shops are shut but there are coffee shops and places to eat open.

The vintage and artisan market was held in St Margarets Hall and the entry fee was £2.  This was a fairly small fair but it had some treasures in store in the way of some beautiful stalls.  As you will have guessed by its name there was vintage stalls and artisan makers there which took on some very different and beautiful things to look at and buy.

For the first time I met a lovely lady named Jane Gooding and her little artisan business is called picpacNaddywac!  Jane makes some stunning things for your home with free motion stitching and fabrics.  She also produces cards as well all from her own designs.  She is a lady after my own heart who likes to keep a sketch journal and is always finding opportunities to sketch her ideas and rush off back home and stitch them. www.picpacnaddywak.co.uk is her web site.....

Then moving on the lovely Jane from 'kiss the book' was there and as helpful as ever.  Selling some stunning vintage book bundles tied with adorable ribbons as well as crafter packs.  Crafter packs are made up by Jane from all sort of papers and postcards.
 Jane explained that some antique books are just beyond repair so she splits them up for her packs and includes all kinds of vintage. goodies therein. Vintage postcards, maps, antique letters in envelopes, music sheets and so so much more.

I am doing a little project with some papers to cover something and have five  of her packs now and have sorted through which pieces I would like for my project.....

As you wander around a fair like this the atmosphere is wonderful
people happily browsing at what is on offer and as always they are buying, which for the stall holders and their lively hood is most important.  In addition every stall holder knows their stuff so are willing and helpful to your personal needs.

Then I went along to Clare,s stall which is always so beautiful.  Clare is one of the ladies who runs and organises the Vintage Bazaar events and she also is very clever at millinery, her hats are stunning and she makes some beautiful things for your home out of vintage goodies and fabrics, she makes some tiny dresses on wire coat hangers which she designed ... I picked up some beautiful pieces of fabric from her ( how she could part with them I really do not know!)

Just opposite Clare was a very tempting and busy artisan stall!  My husband was one of the people admiring the beautifully laid out table.  This was Hannah Wheelers stall and is called Hannalicious.
This incredibly talented lady makes bespoke cakes and OH MY!!!
There were three different types of brownies, chocolate orange, red velvets, snickers and vanilla cupcakes.  Large carrot cake and so many more.....

We did come home with some cakes ourselves (never ever go to a cake stall at 11.00am having not eaten anything and before lunch!!)
I have to say Hannah your cakes are to die for and my personal favourite of the selection we brought home to try was the chocolate orange cup cake or er was it the red velvet ... can not really decide!
www.hannalicious.co.uk for individually crafted cakes for any occasion.....

Just to the side of this cake stall was the lovely Emma from Little Wren Vintage and after we had said our hello's she did remark about how was she going to last the day out without getting herself a cake!!
Emma had a stunning selection of vintage French linen sheets, cushions made from scrummy vintage fabrics and quilts and some amazing large tote bags she had made from a beautiful fabric.
 They are fully lined with a small pocket for your phone inside and a large button to secure them  I had to come away with one of those ( this is now my official buying bag as it holds so much, bit like Mary Poppins bag ... never ending space for things!)

This is a picture of my bag and I am thrilled with it ... Thank you

I wandered about all the beautiful stalls and also came home with a vintage blanket as well and my husband bought some beautiful mother of pearl cuff links......

We had a great time at the vintage and artisan fair, there were stalls selling china, blankets, sixties items and clothes something for every taste was on offer.

It was a wonderful way to spend a beautiful Spring day!

I am now off to my stitching, I have to finish two projects today. So I will grab my two baskets and settle in my favourite chair for hand stitching and embroidery....

Have a great day and Happy Stitching!

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Stitch of the week is Coral Stitch ... By Mary Corbet

Coral stitch a very pretty and effective stitch.

The stitch of the week is Coral Stitch brought to you once again by the lovely Mary Corbet.  You can not believe that she basically taught herself to embroider can you?  It gives us all new hope!

This is a very pretty stitch and is a simple but effective border stitch.  You could use on anything you wanted to make such as a cushion cover, a little girls skirt or to frame a piece of work that you have stitched.

I am enjoying the stitch of the week and there are still more to come ( what will we do when all have been shown!)

In addition to a pretty pattern you can do lettering with this stitch and here is a picture to show you what Mary Corbet has done as an example.

So make a warm drink and settle down and watch this tutorial.
I am going to get ready for tomorrow... a vintage fair and I will tell you all about it next week so until then ....

 Have a great weekend and of course,

Happy Stitching!

Friday, 20 March 2015

New designs for baby samplers .......

 So tiny so small
so loved by all........

Having got orders for new baby samplers I have had to get my thinking cap on.  I know one is going to be a little girl and the other is not known, kept secret from even the parents who feel that knowing would be like opening your Christmas presents in June!

So knowing that one is a little girl I have decided to go down the flowers route with my new found knowledge of meanings.

The hopes and dreams of all parents is that their child will be healthy, happy and always have love so I am going to choose flowers that will represent that.

Firstly Health and energy is carnation. { I will stitch white ones}
Happiness is dandelions 
Love, there are a few to choose from but I have favoured the lavender rose.

I think it is quiet beautiful in its own right....

Then I will be using one of my antique monogram papers with the letter B and iron it on to the vintage French linen and in white satin stitch embroider it on and of course there will be some antique mother of pearl buttons included in this baby sampler as well.  I will stitching on a little poem or saying as well.  The couple are happy not to have her name on there as, well it has not been actually decided yet, they would like to see her little face first and decide..... Which I think is lovely as each new miracle born has their own personality.

The second sampler which has not got to be ready until July, has to be more generic but still with the vintage baby theme.... I prefer ALL samplers to be unique and bespoke anyway and have never stitched of designed two the same....

I will be gathering some exquisite antique French linens, threads, buttons and my ideas and putting them in baskets to start stitching by the end of April... I love doing this and that kind of job is always at the end of the day when the light is fading for stitching, although how lovely that the daylight has gone from disappearing at 3.30 to nearly 6pm!

Anyway I must get my design book and journal out and write down my ideas and have a little look and see if I have all the threads and materials that will be needed and write a list of things that need purchasing, then back to my embroidery and my cosy chair.... I think I will make myself a warm cup of herbal tea as well....

Have a great day and Happy Stitching!

Thursday, 19 March 2015

A collection I am working on .... based on The Threads of feeling!

'Go gentle babe' Thy future hours be spent in virtuous purity
and calm content.  Life's sunshine bless thee and no anxious care
sit on thy brow and draw a falling tear!

extract from Philip Holland.

I have been so moved by this subject that I am doing some pieces based on the foundling threads. I have gathered together some antique baby clothes of different varieties and scraps of embroidery and ribbons from the same era as the clothes and making collages with them and included hand embroidered poems and sayings......

I am then going to get them framed.  I have been buying a few choice very old baby garments from the Victorian, Edwardian and to 1930's eras and this all seems to be coming together really nicely.

They will all be pinned to vintage linens and displayed for people to look at....  

I am having some fun hunting down tiny little garments such as baby gowns, hats and bibs for this project!

Some of the tiny embroidered details on these items is outstanding.  The tiny bib that I have purchased ( shown in the top right of the above photo) has the tiniest button that surely was ever made to fasten this work of art around a young ones neck! and the wee white embroidery looks like it was stitched by a mouse!

The picture above on the left is of a 1930 little dress and really has come up beautifully after a gentle hand wash and press.  I am about to wash some much older items ( very carefully as two pieces are about 120 years old!  wish me luck!!

Anyway I am away to my washing duties and then when they are safely drying on the airier I will be back to my hand embroidery in my favourite chair.....

Have a great day and Happy Stitching!

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

England the home of the Tudor Rose.... A design in the making!

England ... Tudor Rose
Scotland ... Thistle
Wales ... Daffodil
Ireland ... Clover

When I was sorting through my stitchery room last night, putting things away and getting project baskets together an idea popped into my head and I just had to do something with it.  

I got out my design journal and did a bare knuckle sketch to see what it might look like and was very pleased with the outcome.  What if I cut out a map of England and one of Ireland from beautiful vintage fabric and stitched the boundary lines across the borders for England, Wales and Scotland and then somewhere have their national flower stitched.  Then there will be a mariners compass at the top and maybe the north wind blowing and tiny ships in the surrounding seas....

This would be dedicated to all of our brave fisherman from our tiny isles that have lost their lives at sea.  

I have found some cotton weave ribbon in a drawer with the words 'cherished memories' on it and |I think with some lovely stitched words and some stunning buttons this might well be a great piece of work......

As you can see I have drawn and cut out the British Isles and just need to do the same for the Emerald Isle......

It makes me wonder where my ideas come from, I do not consciously think about new designs ( at least I do not unless it is a commission piece) and things just pop into my head....

I will make the surrounding Islands look like an ancient mariner map in a way, maybe even a outline stitching of a mermaid!

Well my copy of my sketch and the materials already gathered in a basket and is in the line of FIVE more!  need to have more hours in the day and several pairs of hands....

Anyway have a great day and Happy Stitching!

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Vintage mothers day wall hanging ... a peek into my design!

Life is the flower of which love
is the honey!

I have enjoyed designing and making a wall hanging dedicated to Mothers Day!  I wanted to make something that would be a thing of beauty forever and I feel I have come up with the goods!

Collecting together bits of antique fabrics, French linens, pieces of antique lace and embroidery and of course buttons and putting them this way and that to make all the components fuse together nicely has been a real joy.

I have had fun with the antique mill wooden spools and it really has worked well, not only as a pretty hanging device but also to weight down the fabric so that it hangs straight and true..

I thought you may like to see a little snippet of my work but the whole thing is for publication so I have been a little careful with my photography....

I am very please with the whole thing and happy with what I have decided to make to actually hang this stunner!

I have made it and now it is wrapped in tissue paper carefully.  I think I will be doing some more wall hangings, not just for an occasion but to actually adorn a wall for the sheer beauty of them.  It really is fun gathering bits and bobs to make them and you can use scraps that actually mean something to you and not just antique bits you find.
 Part of your child's first outfit or your grandmothers hanky .... anything and everything can be utilised and given a new lease of life.  Bits that would normally just stay in a drawer are all stitched and embroidered together and on display once more...

So dear readers here's you little peek and I will now be off to my stitchery room and pick up another basket and get on with my stitching , but first I might have a little play around to see what other wall hanging I can come up with that is different... What fun!

Have a great day and Happy Stitching!


Monday, 16 March 2015

The romantic language of flowers book review ...... amazing for embroidery!

Those will raise aloft  the milk white rose
with whose sweet smell the air shall be perfumed.

William Shakespeare.

This is such an enchanting book and it explores the language of flowers but not the horrible meanings, which when I am hand embroidering flowers I really do not want.  I am designing a sampler to stitch and I will tell you more about that later in this blog, for now the book!

There are some stunning watercolours from the nineteenth century an amateur artist and flower lover, Fanny Robinson and I must say the detail helps when deciding what stitch and colour threads to use for a embroidery flower, even tiny flowers..

In the early 1700's Lady Mary Wortley Montague, the resourceful wife of the British ambassador in Constantinople penetrated the royal harem and unveiled the Turkish secret language of flowers.  Beautiful blooms had long been romantic tokens in the East but now friends and sweethearts in the West began to send secret messages to each other!  Each flower had a specific meaning, dictated by its variety, colour and placement, with individual flowers, buttonholes, posies or bouquets conveying clear signals......
This book shown on the left has stunning watercolours and pictures of flowers and their meanings as well as poems and fun facts about lots of our favourites such as pansies, forget-me-knots, snowdrops, primroses and wild strawberries....

This darling book has an index of flowers and their meanings at the back as not all can be featured and in addition there is a section dedicated to National flowers and fascinating facts.....

The detail in the water colour paintings of the flowers is remarkable and for those of us who like to embroider it is fabulous to break down tiny changes in colours and shades, to be able to try and capture a delicate flower either in detail or on a much smaller scale....

For instance take this hibiscus on the left, you can see every detail and also in the book it states that this flower attracts butterflies, bees and hummingbirds .... this helps when designing a picture as to what you may add to be correct and to make it look beautiful.  It also states that a single flower from the hibiscus behind the left ear of a Tahitian woman marks her as eligible for love and marriage, whilst place behind the right ear tells a suitor that she is taken.......

This is a highly recommended book if you want to study flowers for stitching and I am over the moon with my copy... Now I bought mine at a local garden centre for £4.99 so be on the look out for it.

This book has helped me with my designing of a sampler which I have named 'The secret garden' and is based on the book by Frances Hodgson Burnett.  I have been sketching and adding a little water colour here and there and for this purpose I have used the water soluble pencils as you are able to get great detail on the flowers at such a tiny scale.  This enables me to copy this onto vintage French linen for stitching......

I have several projects on the go so this one is only in its designing stage but I can not wait to start it. I would like my secret garden to be filled with beautiful flowers with beautiful meanings and that way people who love gardens and nature will want to adorn their own wall with it.....

This is four photos of some of the pages in this wonderful little book.

Well I am away to my stitching and I hope you have enjoyed this little journey into delicate flowers and their meanings and that it has inspired you to take out your needle and thread!

Happy Stitching!

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Happy Mothers Day!

Mother's Love
Her love is like
an island in life's ocean,
vast and wide
A peaceful, quiet shelter
From the wind, the rain, the tide.
'Tis bound on the north by Hope,
By Patience on the West,
By tender Counsel on the South
And on the East by Rest.
Above it like a beacon light
Shine Faith, and Truth, and Prayer;
And thro' the changing scenes of life
I find a haven there.
Author Unknown 

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Stitch of the week .....Crested Chain Stitch by Mary Corbet

Crested chain stitch can make beautiful patterns!
either in colour or maybe white on white.

Today stitch of the week is the very beautiful crested chain stitch and is as always brought to you by Mary Corbet.

I have found a picture for you on Mary's site needle and thread and just take a peek at this.

This is a a lovely outline stitch!

Also I thought I would find a photo of Mary for you all to see as many of you may not know what she looks like.
 Now you can put a face to that calming voice that has been guiding us all through all our tutorials.

Have a wonderful weekend and make yourself a nice warm drink and take a look at how, with her normal ease, Mary shows you how to make chain stitch even more decorative.

Happy Stitching!