Friday 29 July 2016

Celebrating Beatrix Potter!

Good morning all.

Well today is not really about stitchery but an artist never the less.  I am celebrating what would have been Beatrix Potter 150th Birthday this week...

She has been a huge inspiration to a lot of us and was the first person to sketch and paint animals in clothes and in such a delightful way.

A lady before her time, who had the forethought to buy up farms and land to preserve them from development, which would have with ought a doubt happened.

She was a pioneer of woman in her time with writing and illustrating books that made her an income as a single woman (unheard of in those days) which she put to good use.

What a wonderful and talented woman, thank you for all your inspiration for me and thousands of others ...

The little film is delightful and a little different from stitchery, It will make you want to get out there with nature today and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did .....

I am off to the Vintage Bazaar Giant Jumble today so there will be a blog about that next week sometime.

Have a wonderful weekend and as always Happy Stitching! XX

Exquisite vintage mother of pearl buttons, fabrics and threads ....

Things of beauty to stitch
onto something to look at...
Not to leave in a tin or a drawer ..

I have quite a collection going on now, not just mother of pearl buttons on cards or in a box but bigger more detailed and exquisite ones, like my whale.  I have half man in the moon, flowers, hearts and cupids too... all to be used and displayed on stitchery and not just to be left in a box for the world not to see, it would be a crime!

If, like me, you are a lover of buttons and you have some beauties then I was thinking about just doing a button picture to frame.  It could be buttons in rows and you could add underneath it a poem you love or the name of each button .. like heart. moon. whale. cupid ... 

Take it to the framers and then it could go on a wall to be admired.... It was all the button tin talk we were having this week.  Why leave them in a tin not to be looked at!!

If you got some vintage linen or even delicate patterned vintage piece of fabric and started sewing buttons on it would be a stunning picture in its own right ... only a button admirer might get it but there are a lot of us now and we are becoming a powerful army of button preservers ..

I mean they look great in jars do not get me wrong but a picture made purely from buttons .. why not indeed!

I am thinking this would be a great project to do and it only really involves sewing buttons, you do not have to stitch words if you do not want to.  The words of course can make it different again and do not have to be about buttons as I said just a bit of your favourite poem of something from your favourite poem writer such as Shelley or Byron maybe or any words that you love or mean something to you personally..

Two souls but with a single thought
two hearts that beat as one.

That is one of my favourites from Keats and has nothing to do with buttons but I think would look beautiful on a button picture ..or indeed another saying I love and means something is 'some people feel the rain' others just get wet' that is another of my favourites but I do not know where I know it from .....

Having a few little drawers with buttons in I have a bit of a collection going on some of the mop buttons are very very old but plain and others I have in my collection are larger like the moon and more decorative.  This is my button drawer unit along with ribbons as well and my collection of trade cards ..  This is an older picture of it, now it has another little chest of drawers on top of it as well .. that has my water colours and pencils in...  But I love a few hours rooting and truffling around in here ..

As you can see my mind is always designing new things and always so that I do not just keep and save things in drawers and plastics so that moths do not get at them, I am a true believer that things should be used and or displayed and this is way for us to go through and do something with our precious buttons, certainly any that are family heirlooms!

If any of you do one of these please share with me, I would love to see them or indeed any thoughts that you have on my idea. I would love to read.

Well that is it for today and of course the weekend starts here so do not forget to come back tomorrow for a great tutorial... It will get you wanting to stitch! 

Have a great Friday and a fabulous weekend ... as always Happy Stitching! XX

Buttons and patches and cold winds blowing 
the days pass quickly when I am sewing....

Thursday 28 July 2016

** Tiny wee stitches **

Embroidery has a natural affinity for flowers.
 It can also, of course, represent nothing at all. 

Chris Rankin

This is a very true statement above, hand embroidering flowers is such a great thing to do and the beauty of it when added to something is second to none.  Either a pillowcase or a picture or even a piece of clothing, it can make all the difference.

 Equally you can embroider in freehand style that does not represent a solid object but still looks amazing on pieces of fabric art as well, its diversity is amazing and can make the plainest of fabric look outstanding.

If you get some lovely fabrics together and see if they are pleasing to your eye and blend and stitch them together, either in squares or in a crazy pattern and then stitch some thing on there such as little flowers, a saying, some buttons or applique then you have a beautiful wall hanging or something to
frame.  It does not have to represent anything at all, just pleasing to you.  You could even buy some vintage pieces of patchwork and add to those with a little stitchery ...

I have found another beautiful vintage book to cover and this is a embroidery book so at some point I will be doing that, probably at the weekend.  It does get very sticky though I have to worn you.  I am going to write down how I do it as I go along to get some firm instructions going .... It is like when I cook most of the Italian meals that I do, I just cook them and have from a child being that my gorgeous Dad's mum was partly Italian so I am a little washed out in that department but I do look like her very much.  I learnt well and just cook things.  When asked how do you make that I can not tell exact amounts as I do it until it tastes right!  Not helpful to pass down the family I know, so have started writing it down as I add and then from that I can make a proper recipe... Its the same for the books as it is slightly book binding in a tiny wee way.  Everything has to be neat and correct in my head.

When I am either sketching, cooking or stitching it is a calm thing for me to do and I enjoy it.  That is the important thing I believe is to enjoy... If your thing is crochet or knitting, painting or gardening it does not matter as long as you get enjoyment from the task in hand.

Myself I have often said to you that what I do daily does not, somehow, seem like work at all most of the time.  It is only deadlines that turn the heat up slightly but if you start in plenty of time to get something finished with a time attached to it then it, then you can enjoy each stitch. Do not get me wrong there are things in life that we have to do but are not the things we get up looking forward to but has to be done .. like cleaning the toilets but mostly we need to get enjoyment or feel fulfillment out of what we do.

I can stitch and think as well so I am lucky in that way and I am able to think about other projects or how to sketch this or that.. and the whole process for me is relaxed and creative.  I need to be creative daily because it is part of me.  It can be stitching or picking flowers and arranging them to go in the house or making banana loaf or butter ... something and anything creative.

So on that note I must be away to my stitching!  I am eager to get started this morning as I am loving what I am doing ... always with two projects on the go so that I can step back and ponder over my
pieces ..

Have a wonderful day and of course Happy Stitching! XX

Tuesday 26 July 2016

A thing of beauty with a needle and thread.

Embroidery has continually played an integral part in the history of man and woman.
It not only signified certain status and wealth through the ages but it has also given
countless hours of satisfaction 
 to those who could create something
 of beauty with a needle and thread.

Margaret Pierce

Well never a truer word spoken for me as it is true, embroidery and stitching has given me countless hours of satisfaction and feeling that you have achieved something of beauty with a needle and thread and in my case fabric and buttons too.

Today is the day that I might start the picture with the whale button .. eeeeekkkkk!  I am hoping anyway.  I have a bit more to do but it is  possible that I will make a start even if it is one stitch!
For sure I at least will get it drawn out on the linen and any appliqué will be cut I am hoping by this evening and maybe it will be started tomorrow that is the plan anyway ...

I am hoping for another beach walk tonight, paddling along the seashore and looking for treasures with my basket .. I must look like a bit of a Miss Marple character! you can see it on their faces, ah look at the dotty woman ... shame!  Ha Ha little do they know what they are missing and what wonderful things that the sea has given up to me and besides which, it is walking, and out in the sea air with bare feet in the surf .. wonderful.

In addition today I have also go do some bits with very very old antique French script paper,  I collects old envelopes and old letters and documents .. I love the French ones when I can get them.  It is lovely to incorporate some into my work on occasions and it works really well when you tear and not cut ... It is in keeping somehow.  I enjoy adding little different things to stitchery like paper, old beads or buttons, it makes a picture so interesting and pretty to look at I always think ..

I must just tell you that I was in the garden at the weekend with my sketch book as there were lots of butterflies on the plants and lavender out there.  I wanted to get to sketch one with its wings up and sat.  Well there was this very obliging species and it sat still for me to sketch it but then turned about for another pose, it was really fabulous but utterly strange, it was not scared at all and sat for me for about 15 minutes ... thrilled!  after my worry over them all not being about they must have come and found me.  Now I can do some proper sketches for my design book which is amazing, as I really did not think it was going to happen this summer.

When thinking about how to go about a new design plus always thinking about the one after  and the one after that  it is good to keep sketches. designs and doodles .. it helps me tremendously with keeping sane and on the right path.  I love playing with water colours too as well as the old fashioned inks ... just lightly colouring over very old papers is a great thing to do and makes it look fabulous sometimes, other times just as it is can be best, depending on your design.

Getting fabrics and threads ready too and we are almost there as now I have my whale button design and a butterfly one too.... I just need to grow two more pairs of arms and hands and I am away!!

Anyway have a great day all of you and as always Happy Stitching! XX

Monday 25 July 2016

Moonlight, the sea and the sound of whale song!

Whale song is hauntingly beautiful
There are many great minds
on this earth, not all of them are human .....

After what seems like an eternity of waiting for my special button it has arrived over the weekend.  It had been opened by customs but they had treated it with some respect.. the puzzling thing is they opened all the packaging but did not open the button its self which was tightly wrapped in bubble wrap ..still its here!!

Well you will have guessed by now it is a vintage carved mother of pearl whale button.

When I saw it I saw a design in my head so I purchased it straight away and have finished my design for it and will be
starting it soon.  Sewing is going slowly because of the heat.  My fingers keep letting the needle go and it slips and pricks me ... ouchy!  It is ok for some of the day in the garden in the shade until the sun moves around.  Inside even with all the windows thrown wide it is like a still warm and breathless place to be.

 I have two others to finish
before I should start this one and I am eager to do so, but I must be disciplined and wait.  I will have to get the basket ready .. some is in there but not all.

This gorgeous button has beautiful markings and detail and the tail is carved.  I am so happy with it ..

You can see why I fell in love with it and it is so unusual so until I use it, I will wrap it up carefully in tissue paper and place it in the work basket for me to find.

I have had great fun finding fabrics and still have to search another draw for more, this will be my job today when it gets too hot.  I will sit happily on the floor of my stitchery room and have a little mix and merge and then get it all together and then look at all the different colour threads in light blues and sea greens to go with it all .. along with the white cotton to stitch this button in it place at the end.

Well that is it for today and wish me luck in my stitching and to not get too distracted by this button, I can resist anything but temptation .. quote from Mr Oscar Wilde and it fits this situation!!

Have a wonderful Monday whatever you are up to and as always Happy Stitching! XX

Saturday 23 July 2016

How to Sew Boxed Corners ... With the lovely Wendy Gratz

The possibilities are endless!

Good Morning All

Well this is a great tutorial brought to you by the lovely Wendy Gratz of Shiny Happy World.  You may remember that I have featured some of Wendy's embroidery tutorials in the past as well.

This is a great tutorial showing box corners for bags and toys to sit up as well .. It is just under 7
minutes long so why not have a little you time and watch ..

I was very impressed on how easy she has made it look and I do not know many that could explain it like she does ..

So have a watch with your morning drink and enjoy ...
. I wonder how many of you will go try this today?

Which fabric will I choose to make a little tote bag from? decisions decisions!!

Have a great weekend and as always Happy Stitching! XX

Friday 22 July 2016

Lost in a creative happiness

Everything you can imagine
is real.

Pablo Picasso

At peace within myself and throwing myself in to a creative whirl has done me some good.  I am loving sketching and designing right now and with the recent heat I am afraid the stitching is a bit slow.  The needle keeps slipping and I keep pricking myself.

 It has been very hot, although there is no complaints about that, we Brits do like complaining about the weather don't we ... Oh its dreadful there is no summer again!! or Oh its far to hot .. so no I go with the flow, too hot to stitch so get out the sketch book and wander with nature, a good sun hat and a bottle of water!

Matching ribbons with fabrics and studying the fabrics with their delicate flowers and patterns and then going out and opening up to the wonders that are out there right now.

Where I live I have noticed that around roundabouts or sides of roads the councils have gone for wild flower borders and it really looks outstanding.  You can see lots of wildlife near them and I think, personally it looks better that the formal way of planting that has been around here for oodles of years.. and I imagine this is a lot cheaper and easier maintenance too.  When you are driving of course, with a mind like mine, you have to focus not to just stop in the car and stare ... although the other day I found somewhere to park and wandered back to the long wild border to check it out!

 I have found a new favourite in herbal tea and it is the cinnamon tea at night which I am loving and if you believe in herbs and spices and their properties in health and healing, this one is in the category
of super spice with lots of properties to help you ...  In the day at the moment it is either mint green tea or one with lemons ...

After my moan over lack of butterflies I have seen so many sitting in the shade under leaves or basking with their wings out on the cool of the grass.... which is great because honestly I had seen very few at all, but I have been rewarded with their company over the past few days.

I can totally see where Beatrix Potter was coming from with mice in  waist coats and ruffles!  I have started to see things about animals that amuse me and again these thoughts are a bit whimsical as well.

I have been pressing flowers too, so that I can use them in my work and it has been great fun picking the petals up when they fall and trying to preserve them ... I would like to capture the seasons and have started in earnest on summer ....  I have a beautiful rose bush in my gardens and some of those
petals are destined to be preserved for ever.  I wish you could smell these as they are an old fashioned rose that smells of ... Rose and the scent is beautifully heady!  It just keeps growing and more buds form its wonderful.

Words and sayings are important to me in my work along with my at least one button stitched in to my work somewhere, it is like a signature for me and has become my policy and habit I suppose.

 I keep thinking about my grandmothers button tin that was an old quality street tin in the end ( when they were bigger than now) and I wonder when she died what happened to it ... it is a sadness that I was too young to think about these things but wish that I had thought about it ..  I asked my mum the other day about it and she did not know, she said none of us were stitchers Sarah and I did not know that you would be.. Such a shame that it more than likely ended up at the tip ... gives me nightmares thinking about it quite frankly!

Can you believe it is the weekend already?  I am going to make the most of my stitching in the shade in the garden as there is some breeze out there and as long as I am in the shade it will be the coolest place to stitch I think.

Well I must away and whatever you are up to today and this weekend have a great time.  Do not forget to come back tomorrow for a tutorial to watch .... Have a great day and as always Happy Stitching! XX

Thursday 21 July 2016

Antique sewing trade cards & a copier ... the possibilities are endless!

A bed without a quilt is like a sky without stars.
****       ****       ****

Having had some great advice from a few of you on photo coping images I have been busy.  Although what I am about to show you I got a friend to copy for me on a bigger colour copier than I have right now but will be getting very soon.

I was not sure as to what I was going to stitch, would it make a beautiful quilt ... the answer is quiet rightly yes! it would but with time not on my side for lots of personal projects I have decided maybe wall hangings might be the answer to this but still not greatly sure.  The beauty of patchwork is you can do it in stages and then you can make smaller items or add them together for on big project, such as a quilt.

Also I wanted to hand quilt as well, I know with little time on my hands right now you may think this a little strange and fool hardy but I enjoy hand stitching being one with the fabric so I won't do anything complicated at all but this right now is the way I am thinking of going....

Having some great friends who are quilters I am going to ask for a little advice in the end as to the way to go.  But for now the fun with begin with choosing fabric to go around each picture and in a sort of log cabin effect I am thinking...  It will keep me busy with my design book until I have to leave to pick up my mum for her appointment later anyway.  This is the type of work that I can do today and pick up and put down without spoiling the rhythm and flow.

When I am stitching I get into what my husband calls a groove! so you have a sort of repetitive movement in a way and it flows like a stream.  You can get lots done like this and that is what I am thinking with hand
quilting ... my friends may talk me out of it yet we will see.

I am not what you would call a quilter but I enjoy doing some and had some lessons a couple of years ago so I know some things and of course I still have loads to learn but I can get buy with basic patchwork and quilting, I am along way off from some of the amazing patterns that you see, although I have to say I do like the simple patchwork anyway for our tastes so what I do will fit in nicely I hope.

I had quite a few done so in theory I could get a good sized quilt out of them with borders and they would look great but I honestly do not think it would be possible for me to stitch it together but who knows ... stranger things have happened.   They have come out beautifully and I am thrilled to say the least.

The weather this week so far ... shhhhhhh or it might go!.. has been gorgeous and I am pleased to report I have seen more butterflies which had been worrying me a bit.  Sitting outside in part shade and part sun has been wonderful stitching away with a cold drink and feeling like it is actually July.  The only thing is the needle keeps slipping in my hand where it has been really very hot ... not going to complain though as it seems we have some summer at last ..

Anyway I am looking forward to a few times a week starting to do something with these beauties and see what the outcome in the end will be.

Thank you Dawn  for giving me the information on the linen sheets and the friend who did these for me had some too that are very very soft so I am totally thrilled with them.  They can be cut out and have vintage fabric around them and I think they will look really very fine ......

Anyway all, enjoy this weather that we are experiencing  and have a great day.  And as always Happy Stitching! XX

Monday 18 July 2016

Oceans, shells and lighthouses V Butterflies and flora ......

“My soul is full of longing
for the secret of the sea,
and the heart of the great ocean
sends a thrilling pulse through me.”

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

So my need to stitch, and not think about anything else right now is working, I feel a little more at peace within myself.  After such a disappointment over the house and feeling helpless and so very uptight ... this is working.  Looking and seeing and letting my husband deal with negotiations of any type .. only talking to one another about things has left me calm, like the sea after a huge unexpected storm.

I have two projects now on the go, I have started the stitching on a sea picture and started drawing out one with the butterflies to stitch too.  As I have said to you before it is great to stitch away at something, then leave it for a little while and go back and take a look with fresh eyes, so for me right now, it is good to have something else to pick up and absorb myself into as well.  This picture is awaiting the antique carved mother of pearl button as well and I believe I know where it will go, even though this is still in the early stages of stitching.  When it arrives I will have a little play around the linen to see where its final stitched place should be, I am excited about its imminent arrival .....

“Butterflies are self propelled flowers.” 
 Robert A Heinlein.   

I have been studying butterflies very closely of late, although I have to say a lot of this has been done on line and not in the garden.  Personally I have not seen that many this year and that is a worry because I have lots and lots of lavender in the garden both front and back and a huge Hebe bush in
the front and they normally love these .... I wonder why? possibly because of the lack of sunshine ....

Practise makes perfect on drawing and I have been doodling and sketching butterflies in different ways and like it when they are perched with their wings up as opposed to being flat and basking in the sun on flowers.  I have enjoyed studying their different markings and have been looking in books as well.  I love butterflies there is something so graceful and even magical about them in my eyes. They are surely where the tales of fairies came from  ....

Firstly when I am choosing the vintage linen to which I will be stitching my design on I think about the kind of picture it is going to be.  With the butterfly one I think it should be smoother and the sea one could be slubby and get away with it.

Then I draw very lightly on to the linen for stitching and then make a pattern for any appliqué that I will be attaching to it and I find all of this really fun to do.  When it is finally in the frame for stitching then you can sit and just stitch rhythmically away and it is so relaxing and rewarding.

When we were out on Saturday we popped in to see our great friend who lives near Honiton and of course we went into the lovely town and went to my favourite antique shop.  I found a few treasures
one being this great piece of antique Hungarian linen with a red stripe top and bottom.  It is about three foot in length and I am thrilled with it.

Also some wonderful red mother of pearl buttons and three little hankies and two of them have butterflies embroidered onto them and the other has beautiful white work as you can see .. so these bundle of treasures have come home with me.

Tonight I am hoping to go for a long beach walk and hope that my husband will be up for that as well.  I would like to go to Sandbanks to shell bay .. this speaks for its self I do believe not only is it good for you but  then you can  treasure hunt too. 

I have found some beautiful bits there before including a red piece of sea glass in the shape of a heart! so its worth wandering along with your eyes down .  I do not mind if its raining  either but not really gusty wind because the sand goes in your eyes and you can not see where you are going let alone little treasures in the sand! 

Also I find baking therapeutic and have been doing a little cake baking as well and making different dinners of an evening and trying out different things ... all of this is making me a happy bunny plus
the cake tester of the house is happy too.

It was such beautiful weather yesterday and I was able to find a spot in the garden and listen to the birds chatter and sing and stitch in amongst the flowers .. I think to day is going to be the same! Happy Days .....

Well that is it for today and I hope what ever you are doing today makes you happy and of course as always Happy Stitching! XX

And so to stitch! .......

Sewing mends the soul ......

It is Monday morning once more and it terrifying how time is fluttering by at the moment.  We went house hunting on Saturday and I am not saying any more for fear that anything can seem to tip the scales on our move at the moment... As soon as we have something solid I will let you know.. promise. 

When we move I will be taking workshops and I know lots of you have contacted me about it.  It is safe to say by the time we move and have got things sorted we are now looking at next year for them to start, but I promise, I will start on getting workshop dates ready to publish when we have moved to start maybe February or March I hope ....  There is a balance with getting them started asap after Christmas to cheer everyone on those horrible winter months and what can be afforded by all after Christmas so I will take my lead from my eager beavers who keeps messaging me ....

So sewing is mending the soul today and I have been sorting through fabrics and threads to get some work baskets ready so that I can start some new projects this week.  I intend to stitch stitch stitch and try not to think about anything but that...

I have been playing with colours and threads,buttons and mixed media items to get inspiration and blends to get me inspired.  I have literally one tiny embroidered flower to stitch this morning to finish something and then I can move on.

When I am stitching very fine detail I tend to use some normal cotton thread and usually from my vintage collection of spools of cotton.  Some of the colours are so beautiful and the hue of them can no longer be found.  Who knew there were so many greens in the world!

My love of nature is once more into my design and also my love of the sea as well.  I have bought an amazing carved antique mother of pearl button from Ebay and it is travelling to me from the States as we speak.  Just by seeing this beauty a design has formed and I have been working on the design and collecting bits into a basket in its honour.  More about that when it arrives safely.....

Still nature is really very prominent in my designs this last week and I will be having a design day on
Wednesday or least a design morning or afternoon, which ever is the brightest.  We have had dull days here for the last two weeks until around 3/4pm in the afternoon and then the sun has been so bright and warm.  What a very strange summer we are having....

We have such little summer these past two years and very long winters it seems so I want to make the most of all the nature that is about me at the moment and want to go for a long walk this week by the sea at Sandbanks ... Beach combing is one of my favourite pass times and love looking along the shoreline to see what treasures the sea has given up to me that day..

Equally I love walking through woods and country fields and looking at the grass with all the colour changes in one field or the leaves on the trees .... I guess you can safely say I find life a wonder and enjoy all the aspects that opening our eyes to
has to offer.  I consider myself very fortunate to be able to take in all that nature has to offer with its natural beauty and wonders.

I am thinking about all sorts of whimsical ways to use fabrics in some new projects but still for it to look like what it actually is .. If you see what I mean.

This week you can see I am going to throw myself into my stitchery world and get my head down and stitch my little fingers off.  Apart from Thursday when I have to take my mum for a hospital appointment but not until later in the day.  I always wish for early appointments because for myself who hates being late for anything, all I do is clock watch the day away .... So possibly I might stitch on Wednesday, thinking about this and sketch and design on Thursday until I have to leave to pick her up. 

I have been wanting to use some of my light lavender fabrics in something and I think I have decided on a wall hanging to show off some of the fabrics and threads, along with adds of buttons and maybe monograms.  Lots of stitchery and embroidery too.  I love the colours of the light lilacs and lavender colours and I feel a little butterfly coming along on it too .... my doodles are starting to look ok to me
so it will be time to sketch a more structured piece to work from.  It helps me stitch but it is not written in stone so I can change along the way if I see something in my minds eye that might look better or indeed add to the piece.

Well watch this space for a very creative few weeks here at Homespun HQ .. it will keep me sane and content whilst all around me there seems to be madness going on ...

I hope you have a wonderful day whatever you are doing today and as always  ...

Happy Stitching! XX

Saturday 16 July 2016

Hand Embroidery: How to Stitch Roses with the Woven Wheel Stitch (Spider...

Happy Weekend!

Well today we  were supposed to go and see a house for the second time  ... had a phone call that someone else made an offer in the week!! I am so so sad.   We have a problem that my husband works in London and Saturday is are only day to look, we had organised it and said about bringing our builder just to make sure we could do what we had in our minds ... Everything was organised and I thought we had some sort of understanding but it seems not ...

 Have to confess to some tears I am afraid.  Do people only look once and make an offer?  I thought most of us would look twice so to be sure.  It is the pure frustration of it all and mucking buyers around our end.

Oh well the search continues and I must put my best foot forward and keep looking .... wish us luck.

So today I am going to leave you with a tutorial on stitching roses with woven wheel stitch or spider stitch as it is also called  .. this is a beautiful stitch and you can make them whatever size you like.

Have a fabulous weekend and as always Happy Stitching! .........

Friday 15 July 2016

Stitchery talk but first news of a shop opening!


Tomorrow, Saturday 16th July there is a lovely friend of mine Julia Jepps and she is taking over a business called With Love.

The address is 82A High Street, Billingshurst, West Sussex.  Tomorrow it is open from 10am - 5pm and there will be lots going on tomorrow on this special opening day.  There will be goody bags for the first 10 people who spend £25 or more.  There are drinks, cakes and surprises too.

Julia told me that there will be vintage goods there as well as chalk paints to buy to paint old furniture and she will be selling other gifts too.   There will be a list of workshops as well.  Julia has an artistic eye and I have bought vintage bits from here before.  I know there will be lots of gorgeous goodies to tempt all .. Old and New.

You can find With Love on Facebook and I have an email address

If you live around that area why not pop in and say hello and have a look at a great shop in West Sussex and help celebrate with Julia in her new and exciting venture!  I wish you all the best Julia and I am just so sorry I can not be there tomorrow ... Good luck and I will be there soon. XX

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Well today is a bits and bobs day really.  I have some orders in for some journals so I will be making four of those ... yesterday sparked off some interest and I only have one made at the moment.  They are fiddly and you get quite sticky too!! so it takes a while.  I think I will make those this afternoon but this morning I will do some stitchery and then check my sewing room.  I would like to make up some more work baskets as I did not get round to that yesterday.  I found my groove as my husband would say and I just got so into my embroidery I did not want to stop.

I have some fabrics to sort through as well and some ironing of vintage tray cloths is to be done as well ... the ones that I showed you yesterday have now been washed and need a press as well.  One of those may well end up this afternoon on a journal .....

I have a little pile already and waiting so I will go through those first to have a look.  This is one of my favourites and the one that is left .. when you open it out it looks like a heart shape .... I love the autumnal colours ....

Today is a slightly bits and bobs kind of day which is not my favourite but it happens.  Monday will bring sit down and sew day because all the loose ends will have been tied up .. metaphorically speaking, and that is a good thing.   Whilst I am pressing those linens I can then press any fabric that I find for my design baskets too and get the threads out ready with a little pin cushion holding needles for me ....

I want incorporate some of my lilac fabrics in something and thought I would get some bits out to stare at and see what design comes my way ...
I have the one above and some beautiful others that I have not photographed yet, as well as some vintage English paper piecing pieces .... say that quickly!! and I would like to use those at some point as well .....

Well there is no good sitting and thinking about it all, I must get on and we have a big Birthday Bash to go to tonight as well ....  There is a great little tutorial tomorrow so do not forget to come back and watch that with your morning cup of tea or coffee.  I will be out house hunting tomorrow so wish us luck ....
Have a great weekend and as always Happy Stitching! XX

Thursday 14 July 2016

cornflowers, daisies, fountains and bees .... talking vintage tray cloths

Fields of cornflowers,
purposeless and adrift,
all the more beautiful
in their becoming,
their grace lost
when they ripen
to a purpose.

Well as you know I am always on the look out for vintage embroidered cloths, especially tray cloths.  There is so much that you can do with them and I have just taken delivery of some beauties and thought you might like a little peek.

I had one which was a Christmas theme and it has robins stitched on it with holly leaves, I have kept that one for my personal use as its originally intended and kept it as a tray cloth ... yes for Christmas time as it is so unusual and I thought it would be a great addition to our traditional start to our Christmas morning with warm drinks on a tray in front of the open fire whilst opening stockings ... Sorry to talk the C word but there it is, I have bought it so it has to be mentioned but the others however are just general ones.

There is some gorgeous stitching on them and I love hunting them down and truffling around vintage fairs, little vintage shops or indeed charity shops sometimes have them as well.

Sometimes I keep them whole for something like journal covering and other times the scissors are taken to them to cut them out to use in the middle of a log cabin square or stitched onto something else.

I have a little collection now and these are my latest additions to their pride of place in a basket.  I would like to use some of these to cover some more journals as I have nearly sold out of the ones that I made .. being only one left at the moment.

Making some for myself as well ( three actually) and I love using them as well.  It somehow feels so very special to me to be writing in them.  One of them I have used for our house move (if we ever find somewhere to live ... we got pipped to the post on one ) so it has been a hard week.

On the moving front we are struggling to find somewhere to live, the EU vote has not helped according to the estate agents as people are worried and staying put ... I just want to move and it is getting so difficult right now.  We are off house hunting again this weekend, having been at a wedding last weekend so we couldn't I am eager to get out there again and see what we can see...

The picture above ( although a little blurred .. sorry) is of one tray cloth and it has this embroidery in the bottom right had corner and the rest is just the white linen that it stitched on.  It is a personal favourite of mine and will go onto a journal soon I think.  The fountain surrounded by flowers just speaks to me and I think it will be better to keep it as a whole to be seen and loved in all its glory .....

The cornflower pictured at the top of this page is the same, being that it is in the corner on its own

and no more flowers or stitchery and it really will look best on a journal.. It is a small tray cloth so it will have to go onto a small journal I think....

Ebay is another good source of finding these tray cloths although you have to put postage onto them mostly .. some are posted for free.   If they are really unusual then I will buy if it is pretty but not stunning then I try not to as when they become too expensive they are no good for the journal coverings .. it makes them far to expensive.

Well that is it for today and I must away to my stitchery and get some urgent things finished today .. Then I may well have a little sort through some of my fabrics to get another work basket ready to start at some point in a week or so ...

Have a fabulous day and as always Happy Stitching! XX

Tuesday 12 July 2016

Embroidery hoop ... my new purchase!

Sometimes I believe in at
 least six impossible 
things before breakfast   ***

It is normal for me to think like the above statement.  If someone could climb into my head I think it would be like a scene from Alice in Wonderland and they would want to stop the spin and get out very quickly..

When having my first coffee of the day and my cold press juice, which consists of green apple, spinach, ginger & celery ( it is yummy)  I sit and think about things and start up my laptop to get ready to write this blog.  I am always wondering about fabrics and buttons, seeing patterns in everything and wondering how something might look, or would it work.  Then I might wander past a basket of fabrics and can not help myself when my fingers run across the top of them and thoughts of designs then jump in my head at the same time as me thinking Oh I will put a wash on as well ...

Well today I was a slightly a dither when the door knocked early and I went to answer it and a man stood there with a medium ish size box, could I sign for it he said ... so I did and said thank you and brought it inside.  When I managed to get into it and to my utter delight it was my new embroidery hoop system ... It was a late night purchase on Amazon over two weeks ago and I thought at the time if this is as good as it looks this will be a great tool for me...

So I thought ok open it up and see if you can put it together and it was simple and easy to do and
proceeded to put my piece of embroidery into the the hoop.  So what you can not see immediately is that it is two hoops one larger than the other and when either one is put down on the table and the other is on top with embroidery .. it is non slip and they are two different sizes.  It is fantastic .. I went for the 9" and 7" lap hoop.  

You can use them together like than or part them and use them as separate  hoops its ingenious and such a fabulous and easy way to embroider.

This picture is the embroidery in the large hoop and turned upside down for you to see the small hoop.

Then turn it the other way and you have the embroidery the right way and it is tight and easy to put your needle in and stitch.  You can have it on your on your lap or on a table it really helps you keep your stitches neat and tidy ... I am thrilled with it ...

They do other size ones as well and you can take them apart really easily for storage or travel and they are easy to put together .. not screw driver necessary!  So I think I might get one more in a
different size .. always two sizes in one as it were so possibly I will get a larger one like a 14" one depending what the smaller size is for that combination.

This is the packaging if you are interested in purchasing one as well and believe me they are fabulous and worth every penny.  They are not wood but plastic and light weight and easy to keep clean as well ..  As I say I got mine on Amazon and it was delivered to my door and very pleased I am too with it.

Well now I am off to stitch on it as it is all set up for me to continue my piece of embroidery that I am working on today ..

Have a great day and as always Happy Stitching! .. XX