Tuesday 30 August 2016

Ideas, designs and stitchery...

I can smell Autumn 
dancing in the breeze....

A start to a new but short week.  I had a wonderful time away and have come back refreshed and with lots of pictures and designs, wild flowers for pressing (some I think are beautiful weeds maybe will have to look them up) for my flower journal and I am ready to go with new vitality and vigour... I did me the world of good.  I hope that you all had a great long weekend too.  To be cooked for and poured glasses of wine and told .. sit there and don't move! was just what I needed.

Mum was well taken care of and it must have been nice for her to have others popping in although she said she missed me and I missed her too to be honest but still I benefited from the rest.  It is a shame as our friend is going to be selling the cottage and moving on .. Still in Devon I believe but not written in blood, but I will miss this cosy cottage very much.

Well this week should see me starting one new project by the end of it I hope and I will choose the
Autumn leaves one.  I have the words worked out for it so I can lightly pencil those in place ready for the first tiny stitches .... I can not really believe that it is nearly September, where has this year gone and will someone please slow the earth down a little I am getting dizzy!!

Schools will soon be back and that means houses for sale when Mums and Dads have packed the little darlings off to school once more and they can tidy and open there doors to the general public for viewing ... this is my earnest hope for the next two weeks ... watch this space.

I will be doing some designing tomorrow being that it is Wednesday and I think I may go one stage further and get my water colours out too.  I think tomorrow I will stitch in the morning and design in the afternoon so that I have some more ideas for when my little project baskets are coming to an end.

I have noticed the squirrels in my garden are gathering nuts that I give them.  Mostly through this Summer they have sat eating on the lawn but they are in full  thoughts to get the larders full for the Winter mode! waiting eagerly for me to give them their peanuts in shells and they are running back and forth along the fence over the elder flower tree and off in the distance to where their hide holes in trees are and they are stocking up.  I have noticed its not about digging the lawn and burying them this year (thus far anyway) do they know something we do not? is it going to be a frosty cold Winter? Ah well I love open fires and hopefully it will be another open fire somewhere else ... determined am I to go!

Tomorrow I also want to go through my threads for a little while and do a tiny stock check, it should not take that long but it is something that I need to do.  I want to check on all the reds and rusts of the season.. I am sure I have not written down properly what I have used and as they come from America and I am not picking them up in person this year and I have to rely on the post, well I need to make an order before I run out of something if stocks are low!

I will enjoy taking photos today at some point or tomorrow as I have a few things to show you all.  Stunning fabrics and very old quilt pieces and more ...Its exciting!

So today its head down and stitching away plus taking photos of my stash from my purchases of late .. I have written a list of things to do this week or finish and this has done me good as I can tick off as things have been done, it clears my mind when I do things like this.  Lists are my friend and although it can be daunting when you get a long list, it is
satisfying to be able to cross them off.

Well that is me today I am off to get my sewing out and sort some things so I will see you back here bright and early on Thursday morning.  Have a good couple of days and as always 
Happy Stitching! XX

Saturday 27 August 2016

Make your own Clasp Purse.

Happy Weekend All

Today's little tutorial is how to make a clasp purse now that you know how to make a pattern.

The only thing is on this particular tutorial they glue their fabric in but I prefer to buy the stitch in
frames so you will need to stitch around the top so that it stays together and not fray and then put your fabric inside the frame and stitch.  I think that a contrasting thread looks pretty but you can buy invisible thread too.

Using vintage embroidered cloths to cut out for the purse front is a great time saver and makes a stunning purse.  Do not forget to line your purses .....  The slightly blurry picture on the right is a piece of vintage embroidered linen that I have and I am thinking this would make a beautiful clip purse.  Then line it with some French linen with an S monogram ... That is my idea, whats yours?  please let me know what you have made or your ideas for your purse .... I bought large clip frames so mine will be like a little clutch bag more that a coin purse.  I believe you can buy chains to attach so you can put it over your shoulder, but I have not looked into that properly yet.  Do you know if that is the case?

Anyway enjoy your Bank Holiday and I will be back here on Tuesday not Monday as going to enjoy my few day break in Devon.  It is much needed.  Have a fabulous long weekend...I am having a really lovely time and the weather is behaving! shhhhhh

Happy Stitching!

Friday 26 August 2016

Two hundred year old cottage in Devon and a cluster of stitching! .. bliss

What ever the distance and
where ever I roam.
With needle and thread I
will make it my home!

Well I am here! we came down last night and arrived around 6.30 pm and had dinner in the dinning room, lots of catching up and some wine with candles going .. windows flung open and the hoot of the owl.  This morning as I peaked out of the window from the bedroom I said hello to the ladies ( the dairy herd) that were already grazing in the lush green field across the way from the local farm.

With a lovely cup of coffee in my hand, I sat on the window seat and watched as the ladies went up and down in straight lines eating the sweet grass!  Its a huge herd but they started at the bottom of the field and worked up .. I could not believe my eyes.  After my coffee I grabbed my work bag and sat
stitching and looking out the window at the wild life that is roaming about this early.  This by the way was way before writing this blog .. I sleep well here but I think I was so excited that I woke very early.  I was being careful not to wake my husband at this hour ... 

Today there is some stitching going on but we are off out today.  My husband is working today from the cottage so we will leave him in peace for a few hours and go on an adventure.  Calling in to my favourite antique shop in Honiton and to the Honiton lace museum to pick up some antique lace bits if they have any ( usually there is a basket by the till and they are used to me there going in and truffling around for some unusual bits) ..  Then we are off somewhere and I will take my sketch book and camera. 

As I am sat writing this and looking out on all the wild flowers in the front garden I can hear some movement up stairs so maybe I might be joined in a moment... I told everyone last night I was still going to write a blog today so they will not be surprised that I am on my second coffee of the day and that stitching has been done and I am now sat typing on my lap top at the kitchen table!  They are used to my eccentricities!!

So today I am going to be out for a while making memories and snapping away and then I have somethings to sketch too.  I will, as usual, find things that spark off some form of new stitching design for me to work on and being in different locations is just great.  Seeing some of the little villages around here and the seaside towns with boats, flowers, birds and picking up sea treasures as well.  I am hoping for a long beach walk at some point by a shore later in the day over the weekend.

Walking around the garden here and in the wild part of the garden I can find flowers to sketch or press in my flower journal and watch the season begin to change as it does.  The August Bank Holiday sort of gently fades in to early Autumn with those strange spiders (not a spider lover so always looking out for them so that I do not get too near) ...

Well I have been joined and it is time for breakfast and an explanation as to why I am up so early when this was all about me having some down time!  I can not change my habits but it is just lovely to be somewhere else and not have to think about cooking or cleaning and just fully relax which I am. The ladies this morning made me just sit and empty my mind of anything but the countryside and beautiful nature ... a great start to my mini break and day.  I will get a little more stitching in later Janice so do not worry! x

Whatever you are doing today have a great time and have a wonderful long weekend and lets hope the weather holds out for us all .. so far so good.

As always Happy Stitching! XX

Life is simple
when you live simply....

Thursday 25 August 2016

Scatter joy and stitch!

My soul is made up of love
Stitchery, meadow flowers
and my love of nature.

It is coming up to two things one is the Bank Holiday and the other is the Vintage Fair at Wisborough Green in Sussex ( see previous blog Friday 12th August)  I would normally be going but have decided to take up the offer of a few days away in Devon instead.  I know! me not go to such a fair but one day at a fair or 5 days in Devon?  it was not that hard a decision for me.

Being so busy and looking after my mum I am quite frankly a bit tired so the thought of going away to friends and not having to think about anything for five days appealed to me.

So today I am going to be stitching and packing to go away. So heads up there will be a blog tomorrow and Saturday and then it will return on Tuesday, which will practically be September! gosh.

I will return with a show and tell of the Cotswolds vintage fair plus a blog about the fabulous vintage shop Betty and Violet and to top that all off I have bought some vintage quilt pieces from America that are outstandingly beautiful and different and some other vintage fabrics so there is lots to look forward to coming up.

I am hoping the warm weather will accompany us and I am going to take my sketch book as well and go wild flower gathering as well, I have already packed a good reading book so I will be set for peace and relaxation....  There is a stream that runs through the bottom of the garden and the peace I feel listening to running water, I should say as well there is a waterfall too.  I have seen, on other visits and kingfisher skimming along the top ... they are so tiny and fast.

My stitching is coming along and I am very much enjoying it,k the Christmas project is getting the most attention but I keep swapping to the lighthouse as well.  I have not started the one with all the leaves and I also want to start the one that is personally for us with the huge vintage mother of pearl sand dollar button.  I have already designed it and it is very simple but I think quite effective!  The butterfly project that I am also doing has not been picked up at all in two weeks nearly! well as I said I have fallen behind a bit.  A friend of mine brought me over a huge electric fan and its been a god send.  I can sit at the dinning room table with this beast blowing cool air on me and I have been able to stitch for the last few days without the needle slipping ... bliss.

I would like to start my leaf stitchery soon as I am excited about it with the words chosen and the centre piece as well. But no not until the others are finished.  That is the trouble with getting too much ready for a project, I want to get going on it then.  I do not cut out usually until I start it but it was the hot weather last week as I told you and it was better be working on something than not at all. It was time management in my book!  Now the temptation to put a few sweet little stitches in their place is getting the better of me!

Additionally I thought of taking some other project to Devon .. not to stitch but to prepare in the same way .. will it be too much temptation in my way? who knows.   Of course there will be a lot of socialising going on.  Long chatty evenings either in the dinning room or outside by the summerhouse but resting in the day or before dinner or even early morning for stolen stitches time before the cottage is awake ... I can do some bits of work!

Anyway talking of work! I must away to my day.  I will see you hear tomorrow morning.  Have a great day and as always Happy Stitching! XX

Tuesday 23 August 2016

The Cotswold Vintage Fair .... A must for every calender

Exceptional venue
packed to the rafters with
untold vintage treasures!

Oh what a wonderful day that we had in the Cotswolds, that on its own is fabulous let alone going
along to such a great event.  It is held both inside and out and has a beautiful marquee outside with stalls all around the sides of the marque and Trestle tables all through the middle with jars of wild flowers on and chairs for you to sit and have a drink and something to eat and just stare at gorgeous treasures laid out on the stall holders tables.

The only blip this time is that the weather did not play ball we had rain showers which on its own would not have been too bad but it was blowing a hoolie!  I thought if I click my heels I would have been in Kansas!  As a result of that I did not get really any photos of outside this time or the poor stall holders who were in their own little tents because they were battling with the high winds and holding on to things... it was such a shame. Every photo I tried to take was wind swept ... It was mostly garden things but there were some who were selling fabrics too.

When we arrived we were greeted by this handsome chap at the door, puppy Winston and he was adorable.  Helping take the entrance fee but collecting more cuddles than anything!

Everyone was wind swept but happy and the stall holders inside the hall were fairing a little better but with the doors all open for people to walk in and out it was still a little blowy ... We met up with Clare, Mike and their two gorgeous daughters as we walked in and we were bought a coffee! it was
just what was needed.  We had a long catch up as they had been to Paris for a holiday and we wanted to hear all about it.  I was told by Clare that there was a lady with some lovely bits of fabrics and that she had old eiderdown fabrics as well as some paisleys, this needed to be investigated thoroughly!

The rain was dancing sideways and the wind was very bad indeed I felt sorry for the brave stall holders outside clutching on to their little marquees and windbreaks ... The large marquee put up was whistling and blowing and making creaking noises but you know
everyone was laughing and smiling and happy still to be there.

I caught up with Jo of Hesta Nesta fame and her lovely husband and I think we laughed so much at one point that it was heard over the weather! Her stall as always was brimming with outstanding goodies.  She also had some fabrics as well ... well it had to be done!

Alison of Betty & Violet was there which was fabulous as she now has a shop too and we had a
lovely chat  and found out that she was going to the shop after the fair closed so we met at her shop as well, you are all in for a treat because I took some wonderful photos for you of the shop as well as these of her beautiful stall....

Catching up with friends at these events is part of the joy, seeing what each other have truffled for a start or having a chat, some of which are stall holders anyway but somehow we all get a chance to see what each other has been up to or made in some cases.  You get to talk vintage, stitchery, holidays and what they themselves have found to keep.  It is a real social occasion as well as like being in the best shopping mall ever ...

My husband was looking very hungry so I thought it best to get him to the vintage cafe to order.  We had not had breakfast and it was fast approaching lunch time so we went up and had a sandwich each.  The choices were beef and tomato chutney, cheese and chutney or Tuna mayo with sweetcorn.  It was hand cut bread both white or brown so we made our choice.  The cakes were there so my husband ordered two bits, he had lemon drizzle and a tea bread, which he has not stopped talking about!! ( there we are Nicki he tested two just for you! well that was his excuse anyway.)  I had a piece of the chocolate cake, well it goes so well with coffee! the other choices were carrot cake, cookies or white and milk
chocolate muffins .. All homemade and what we had tasted were so good.

Now that he was happy again and not looking like he was about to collapse from hunger I was free to continue my treasure hunt and wander around.   I found the lovely Suzi of Hearts 'n' Kisses and there she was smiling away and chatting to everyone.

The Vintage Blanket Company was there too and some gorgeous blankets for sale as well as soaps and other treasures, my husband it very fond of the soap so he always gets some to last him until the next show that we bump into them.

Suitably Vintage were there and outside in that weather.  They had positioned themselves very
cleverly with a 4x4 behind them and to their left was the big marquee and so they were a little sheltered but still they were brave I can tell you.  This couple are so lovely and had some gorgeous bits on their stall, I had found them later in the day because of where they had tucked themselves and their stall was rather depleted but they had a good day and were still smiling and greeting people! Can you see the ribbons?

Then I met with Rosiebud Decorative and her stall was really very beautiful and eye catching as you can clearly see. Being inside as well she was fairing not too badly.  Beautiful flower arrangements around all of the vintage treasures.  There were cushions and also some vintage quilt bits, I did not get any because I actually have a huge box of quilt pieces and I really need to use more in my work before I buy some more but there was some really beautiful pieces there.

Then for the first time for me I met Honeysuckle and Rose and they informed me that they had just come back from a buying trip to France.  There were lots of home wares fresh from France including the French glass jam jars, mustard pots and pate pots, bird cages and lots of different French treasures.  It was lovely to talk and look around their beautiful stall.

Tigley Textiles was next and wow, well you can see from the photos how talented this lady is with mixed media and stitchery.  She had an original on show, which was not for sale as mostly she sells
prints of her work.  There were some smaller originals there for sale in box frames though.  It was a delight to stop and look as you can see from the photos.

I found Vintage Treasures who was braving it by the door inside, the doorways were mostly open
with people going in and out and a gust of wind would come through and helping hands were about to stop things flying off their displays.  There were hand stitched dish clothes, buttons, blankets and vintage patterns to name but a few treasures.... the name was very apt for this lovely stall.

Vintage Pink .. what can I say, I could have done some serious damage on this stall with the most
scrummy of eiderdowns and quilts but yes dear reader on this occasion I resisted.  We still want to move as you know and I am not buying anymore for a house I do not have yet BUT I took her card!  Just look at the beautiful photos.  I was just stroking them.  All in immaculate condition and smelt fresh as a daisy .. outstanding stall and really very good of me to resist.  In fact my husband actually put is hand on my forehead to see if I was ill at all!

Then there was the lovely Linda Campbell-Down and her stall of some rather gorgeous vintage
treasures including dolls.  This stall is a really beautiful eclectic range of vintage treasures and it always looks so stunning.  There are lots of antique toys and not for playing with anymore but just to have as decoration.  Also some beautiful old shoes as well.  If this is your thing then you need look no further .. a collectors paradise!

Now Hellish Designs was there as well and what a delight her stall was with some gorgeous covered lampshades, I so wanted to get some but again I was really good because I am now waiting until I have signed a contract and moved ...I can no longer buy for what I do not have or might have soon. When I move I think I might go wild in the aisles and get all that is needed.  It will be my luck I will move this year when all the fairs are over and will have to wait for next years rounds to start OR I will contact these lovely people and say ... please post to me!

Last but no way least was The Painted Room ... This was the lady selling some vintage fabrics that
were outstanding .. no surprise I bought a large piece of fabric from her.  Oh my her stall was really beautiful, she braved it outside in a little bit of shelter with her own gazebo and was holding on to things most of the time I was there.  I really loved this stall and I hope to see her again....

I am afraid that was all the photos that I managed in the hoolie that was raging and I would like to thank all of the traders who bravely battled in it to bring pleasure to us vintagers who in whatever the weather will go foraging for treasures!

Going home was lively and a little scary at times but I just could not have missed out on this great event that only happens yearly! .. We had something to eat and made our way home and arrived back fairly late but fed, watered and happy!

I will be doing a show and tell as well also a blog on the beautiful shop that is Betty and Violet and the lovely Alison who owns it .... So for now take care and hope you enjoyed this.

Happy Stitching! XX

Monday 22 August 2016

Beautiful Weekend ... now down to some serious stitching!

Dream Big, Give Love
Laugh often
and enjoy the little things.

I can not believe here we are and it is Monday morning, They say are summer is coming back this week, so fingers crossed.

We had a wonderful weekend and not only went to the Cotswolds fair but I got to go around Betty and Violets shop there too and we popped in very quickly on Sunday to the small Cranborne fair and there were hundreds of people there.

I will be collating the photos today for you and then I will show you tomorrow.

Today it seems is going to be a cooler day and so for me it is a serious stitching day, I am a little behind my time as I slept in this morning, what a treat! my mind and body must have needed it because I just did not wake up until 7.30 today!!

Having already sorted out what I was doing today it is just a case of getting ready to start to stitch, that is after my breakfast and coffee.  I do have a coffee on the go whilst writing this to you but I am not really very awake at all, it seems someone sprinkled me with sleepy dust!

So the order of the day is finish the Christmas sampler and then get straight on with the lighthouse one so that can be finished this week,  I have so many to do before I even begin to fill other project baskets ... The cooler day today will get me my own brownie points for productivity I think.  I need to find some ribbon later but must be very controlled with myself not to sit too long looking and getting distracted by just that, looking!!  I have some beauties and they are so pretty to just feel and look at that time just tick tocks by if you are not careful.

I have to tell you on the way to the Cotswolds on Saturday we were doing well in the weather but a tree had come down in the winds and it was not a tiny one so we ended up eventually being diverted and a bit later than we had planned.. that said no one was under the huge tree and no one was hurt so it was very lucky indeed.

I bought some beautiful treasures as well, there was a lady there and she was selling some packs of gorgeous eiderdown fabrics with some paisleys and of course I bought a pack from her, well it had to 
be done.  Met up with some great friends and had a good laugh and a great day. There were some 
gorgeous vintage treasures on offer and of course I will tell you all about the vintage cafe and the cakes as I had my chief tester with me and it was a cake kind of day!  More tomorrow as I say ...

The air show was on in Bournemouth and it was a bit hampered by the weather with disruptions it
was such a shame.  It went ahead most days just a little later but there was two live concerts on the beach and on the Friday night half was through it had to be cancelled as the sea was creeping up and they had to get all the people off of the beach, it must have been a nightmare for the organisers and frightening for the concert goers ... The Kaiser chiefs never even played their set I believe.  We were down on the beach on Friday evening to watch the evening flights with fireworks and this was around 9.15pm  we could see the sea getting very rough and the waves were huge and as we walked back my husband said I can imagine that concert you can hear is not going to last much longer .. look where the sea is!  I remember saying to
him, no it can not come up much further surely, it never comes up that far ...
Well I ate my words because as we left it was all cancelled , what a shame.  The concert on Saturday night just never took place.

As I am sat here writing this to you I can see a huge black cloud looming out there so I do not think for us today the rain is over yet, but the sun is trying its best to appear ...

Well I must away and I do apologise for being late today ... Have a good day yourself and as always Happy Stitching! XX

Saturday 20 August 2016

Make your own Clasp Purse Pattern.

Happy Weekend All!

Today's little tutorial is how to make a pattern for clasp purses. You can buy frames on line or at a good haberdashery or sewing shop.

Once you have made a pattern you can make your purses out of wonderful vintage fabrics.  I prefer the ones that you stitch in for strength and I also think they look great.

You can make them from linen fabric and maybe embroider your own design.

Anyway I really hope that you enjoy this little video.

Have a wonderful weekend.  I am off to the Cotswold vintage fair and looking forward to it very much as it is one of my favourites of the vintage fair calender and I will be snapping away.

Have a great weekend yourself and Happy Stitching! XX

Friday 19 August 2016

Friday all ready and stitch stitch stitch!

I will not buy any more buttons
until I have used all the ones up
at home, I said to myself.
Then I laughed and laughed!

I am not really sure where the weeks are going ... days are blurring into weeks, which in turn are blurring into months ... it is unbelievable.

I have manged to get some serious stitching in but not as much as I need to be doing daily at the

Tomorrow is Saturday (of course you know that) and it is one of my most favourite vintage fairs which is the Cotswold vintage fair.  I love this yearly event and will not miss it unless I really have to.
So tomorrow it is up early and off to the fair.  I have written a little list and I honestly do not know
why I do this because I do know what is needed (not a lot right now) and I know that I will see beautiful things and they will come home with me anyway.  I so need a bigger stitchery room that I have because it is full to bursting.  I know many of you will say you have a room! lucky you but I still do have a bed in there for guests and really it could do with no bed at all and more units to put things away .... I work in there but really do need the bed on occasions, so when we move I am going to have a room which is not for anyone to sleep in but just my work room.

You know how it is with the vintage world in general if you see it that day you may never see that fabric, button or indeed object ever again.  It is not like you can order it a few months later, No if you see it then it then or not at all most of the time.

Being very fond of buttons and using them in my work always then I can not pass up beautiful buttons, then there is the fabric issue and if you see a different piece of paisley or eiderdown fabric that you have never seen before or do not have any of that type or colour in your collection then again to me its a must pick up .... do not even get me started on vintage beads and threads ...

Well I am excited to be going and looking forward to it very much indeed, meeting up with some
great people there as well and of course I will be taking photos for you all to look at next week and will report on this fabulous fair.  There is always a lovely vintage pop up tea room with cakes there and of course as you all know now my husband is fond of a cake or six so there is an element of excitement coming from him as well...

Today is about stitching and I am making headway on the Christmas sampler for publication so that is good.  There I am surrounded by stunning red fabrics and threads in the blazing heat but still I am very much enjoying this piece that I am stitching .. I have some what fallen in love with it.  As I said it is for publication but never the less it is still mine to sell or keep after it has come out and I can tell you now this is a keeper for me ... I do not think I could bare to part with it and of course the hours that it will have had spent on the stitching of it probably no one would pay that sort of money for it in any case .... I am really thrilled that this may be a new family heirloom for my future generations to pass down and will go up in our home Christmas after Christmas.

 In our farmhouse hopefully ( still looking and trying to be positive about moving this year)  I had a thought about why there is not much in the way of what we are looking for on the market and maybe its the Summer holidays and children at home.  Parents might be thinking oh no I can not have people trooping through the house when the children are at home with toys and friends as well ... this is what is keeping me positive.   Maybe in September when they go back to school the market will be flooded and we will get a few to choose from ... ever hopeful!

I really should be working on the lighthouse picture in this weather but I want to make sure the Christmas one is finished in plenty of time for the deadline then I can concentrate on the lighthouse, butterfly and the Autumn leaf one to name but a few.... I have baskets lined up in a pretty row ready to be picked up and worked on ... and I am still designing more!

Needed for me is a few extra pairs of arms so that I can stitch say three at a time ... How wonderful, except for clothes shopping  which would be a nightmare!!

This morning over my first cup of coffee of the day I was sat looking at all the leaves that I have cut out which are in a little bag and the tiny acorns that I made from needle felting and real tiny acorn cups.  I was trying to decide, when it come time for me to start stitching this project which words I am going to use on this sampler.  I have three lots that I am
considering and the trouble is that I love them all.  Even before I officially start my day with this blog and my work, I am thinking about something to do with it be it a saying, a colour thread, or an idea that popped into my head and I must write down before it disappears in to the ether ...

Anyway I must away to my stitching and packing one of my vintage baskets ready for the morning.  Tomorrow there is a great tutorial so please do not miss it ..

Have a fabulous weekend and as always Happy Stitching! XX

Thursday 18 August 2016

The Button Box by Lynn Knight .. a book review!

Reading a book can take you away
on adventures without leaving your 
comfy chair.  It can take you to other
lands or give you information you
never knew before and indeed
transport you back in time.
 .... I love reading.

Because I am an avid reader and because I do buy from Amazon as well as my local book shop this
book came up in my email as a might be of interest to you book ... and it was.

So I ordered it last week and read it straight away and it is such a great book.  The story of Lynn Knights family via the button box.  It is described as lifting the lid on women's lives with a that starts little passage that starts off as I used to love the rattle and whoosh of my grandma’s buttons as they scattered from their Quality Street tin. I had to buy and read this book and I am so so glad that I did and as you know the other week I was talking about my grandmothers missing button tin, that was a Quality Street tin as well and so I was rather intrigued  to say the least.

The preface is called family buttons and vintage finds  and in there Lynn quotes that a Times leader rightly described button boxes as 'an epitome of family history'!

There are scrumptious chapter titles such as The Twinkling Button, The Shoe Button, Eva's Glove Button and Suspenders and of course The Land Army  and you keep reading because you just have to read the next chapter with titles like these ...

When you open the front cover there is a picture page which I have shown here and that is the only pictures in this book, it is for reading and imagining the buttons that she describes and I at one point thought I might need a bib because I was reading about some beauties....

On the back of this treasure of a book is some words from Juliet Gardiner and says ..

A new, enchanting and appropriate optic on the history of women's lives, their domestic duties, families, work and fashion ..

I can not recommend this book highly enough and as I say you can purchase it from Amazon or ask
your local book store to order it in for you if it is not on their shelves already.

I do not want to spoil your read at all but must just say that there are little bits of Lynn's family life and a particular Great Aunt who is mentioned called Eva who was born in 1901 on the day of Queen Victoria's funeral and is quite a character if ever I read about one ... I loved turning the pages to see if she was indeed mentioned again and again.

If you love buttons, sewing, fashion and a good read then this is the book for you and it is under £10 so well worth it as it is a hard back as well and one that will sit on your book shelf but be picked up again and again believe me.

Well the weather has been a little cooler here today so far so I am hoping to get some serious stitching in today ... I really have fallen behind on it all.   Although I have been busy with cutting out and sorting my sewing room and reading about buttons (grin) I feel I have not been working properly and so I am hoping today will see lots of stitchery getting done.

I hope you all have a great day and as always Happy Stitching! XX

Tuesday 16 August 2016

Snip snip snip! ....

When the oak is felled the whole forest echoes
 with its fall, but a hundred acorns are sown
 in silence by an unnoticed breeze.

Yesterday it turned out to be a scorcher of a day in on the South Coastline and I am not complaining, the thing is though that sewing on extremely hot days (hand stitching that is) is not easy as the needle keeps slipping through your fingers with hands getting to warm.  This was happening to me by
10.00am and there is no point in trying to continue with delicate fabrics and a sharp needle.

I am very behind on my stitching as you can imagine and I did not do any over the weekend as we went out for the day to Bath on Saturday, which was wonderful and I love Bath with its impressive architecture and history  .. we even did the tourist thing and went on the bus tour to hear all the history and lots of it we really did not know about so it was well worth it.  The Royal circle is stunning and has the gravel path that Jane Austen talks about in her book Persuasion.  Also we went in the pump room and had a blood orange Bellini and the little three piece
orchestra were playing, it really was such a wonderful day.

The beautiful flower shops around there all with gorgeous floral scents as you wandered by with the hot day.  Stood on Pulteney Bridge watching the water fall it was really lovely.  Then on Sunday we were with my mum all day and that was really lovely .. I got lots of cuddles and even at my age a cuddle from your mum is not to be passed up!

So yesterday I was eager to get on.  Everything set up and ready to roll but I am afraid the hot weather stopped play.. so what do you do.  Well that was it I was slightly cross so I had to do something that made me feel I had done a good days work ... then I thought ok it is time I get my
stitching packed back in its basket, safely, and then I started to prepare, in advance, work baskets.  I cut out applique bits from fabrics for different projects for me to stitch. 

This was no mean feat either with one of the projects cutting out little acorn leaves.... at one point I am sure I had my tongue out with concentration!!  Then there were other leaves to be cut out for the design as well and it took a few hours I have to say as there were lots to cut.  When I had finished and had a pile of Autumn leaves in different fabrics I was very proud and pleased it was done.

In the end I have now sorted and cut all applique pieces for eight designs and felt the achievement and felt that my day had not been wasted and was very productive, even with the lack of a needle being involved.

The thing is that today and maybe tomorrow are going to soar in temperature so I am sort of twiddling my thumbs as to what to do next.  So I am going to tidy and sort my sewing room today and tomorrow I will design and sketch if indeed it is too hot to stitch.  I am not wishing our summer
gone by any means but need to be able to hand stitch ...   I will have so much stitching to do but only one of the eight projects is urgent ( the Christmas one) so maybe I might see if later I can sit near a fan to keep a little cool with out the breeze of it  disturbing all the components ...

Coolest place at the moment is in the car with the air con on full tilt but that is not an option .. LOL. You can see it now, mad woman in car in the drive with air conditioner at full tilt, singing to the radio and hand stitching! hmmm I think even my neighbours who know me, might feel this time I had finally flipped!

Well I am hoping today I will at least get some stitching done so I best be off before it gets too hot ..
have a wonderful day and I will leave you with a few seconds of a video I took in Bath of a very talented violinist who I watched for a while and just wanted to share a little of what I stood and watched.  He plays beautifully with background music as well... very talented indeed.

Happy Stitching! XX

Monday 15 August 2016

Snippets for mice and lighthouse love! ... Any Canadians reading this some tips please

“In the time of swords and periwigs and full-skirted coats with flowered lappets -
 when gentlemen wore ruffles, and gold-laced waistcoats of paduasoy and taffeta -
 there lived a tailor in Gloucester.”
Beatrix Potter ... Tailor of Gloucester.

Although I do not have a Simpkin cat to help me I felt like the tailor of Gloucester last week.  Cutting out very carefully not to waste and of the precious fabrics.  When I can get a nice length of fabric from my cutting (a little thin strip) then I use those too to tie up bundles of fabrics so really not even the mice get waistcoats poor things!

I am really loving my stitching right now with the sea, butterflies (slightly neglected because of deadlines and the nature of the butterfly one is lots more complicated ) and the Winter one and yet another Winter one! ... it is glorious really glorious.  The weather is holding and I am hoping it will for some time but I have really started to enjoy the thought of Autumn and Winter stitching .. Thank you Dawn - you inspired me so much, I am forever grateful!

I have a Autumn work basket ready and the one thing that I have already made is the acorns from needle felt.  I have cut leaves out as well and I have my design ready to stitch.  You see I have embraced it all.

Oh and I realised that I forgot to tell you all about changing my mind about the fabric that I used for
the lighthouse! oops - well I am a woman, its allowed.  And I am sure that I did not feature any of the fabrics that I chose in the end.  It was a last minute decision and I am thrilled with it ... so we shall see what we see.  I have decided to show you the fabrics that I cut out .. Its looking a bit different now that its started to be stitched in place with details but this is what I used. Ignore the background that is not what it is stitched to....
Well what do you think, I am most happy with it and the way that it is coming along with all the detail in the stitching of it.  The whale is pleased too!!

I wanted to make it a little whimsical in other words the bird fabric in the middle but it all blended perfectly and the fore mentioned fabric is very very old indeed and is beautiful and washed faded as is the bottom one.  The little tip of the lighthouse had to have a bit of red in it so I choose this one with the tiny red flowers with the white.  I do not have much of this fabric but it also features in my Winter design as well (the red and white fabric that is) ...

I was inspired with the lighthouse having seen some beauties in America when we were going along the coast line.  I took lots of photos so I was able to sketch away.  They are so beautiful along the New England and Connecticut coast line.  Rocky shore lines and seal laying in the water looking at you.  Wandering along the vast beaches and shorelines there is something else and I long to return.  Also though I would like to visit Canada very much and we have never been, this is another place where the country side and the coast is amazing.. In addition they are very much a nation of stitchery
lovers too so it would be amazing ...

If any of you are reading this blog in Canada please let me know where would be fabulous to visit for Stitching and quilting ... I would very much appreciate it.  We want to plan it and so some hints and tips would be gratefully received and you can comment on here or email me ....  thank you.

Now do you remember I told you that I bought some bits and bobs off of Etsy well the button has arrived safely and it is a vintage mother of pearl and a sand dollar.  It is big and it is beautiful and I
am thrilled with it so here it is in all its finery ..

Well what do you think? its a rare find and I am very pleased with this beauty ... This is going to be made into something special but for us to keep.

Anyway I must away to all my stitching projects, hope you have a great day and as always Happy Stitching! XX

Friday 12 August 2016

Hand Embroidery | Flower Design for adding to anything!

Good morning all

Well I have a lovely embroidery video for you to watch and look at the stitches that are really easy to do and how gorgeous they look with the colours chosen.

I am off to Bath today for a day out, I have a day off today and I am looking forward to it very much indeed.

Loving the big old bath stone buildings and carved stone  like a I do as well Bath has an abundance of beauty and I will be snapping away with my camera to capture ideas and inspiration from what is around me.  Just to stand on Putney Bridge and watch the water flow is really peaceful.  Jane Austen springs to mind when in Bath and I love to pop into the little shop there to find wax seals....

So I will leave you with this great little video to inspire you and hope that you all have a wonderful peaceful weekend too.

Happy Stitching! XX

Dates for your diaries ladies and gents .....

Vintage Fair Dates

Well one of my most favourite fairs is coming up next week and there are a few more too for your diaries, so have a look and sharpen your pencils and get your diaries out ....  I have to stress these are the ones that I know about and have been asked to mention... If you know of any more for September
and October and November and December please let me know at least a week before the event and I will feature them on my blog for you.  If anyone reading this knows of any blogs in Scotland at all please get in touch.

The Cotswolds Vintage Fair

Toddington Village Hall
Stow Road
GL54 5DU

Saturday 20th August
10.00am - 4pm

Entry fee £2

Cranborne Vintage Fair

Cranborne Garden Centre
BH21 5PP

Sunday 21st August
10.00am - 5pm

Entry fee not mentioned so presume it is free .... but don't quote me!

Vintage On The Green

Wisborough Green Cricket Pavillion
West Sussex
RH14 0BN

Saturday 27th August
10.00am - 4pm

Entry Fee - £4
Plenty of parking.
Dogs on leads welcome.

Talent for Textiles

Shaftsbury Town Hall
High Street

Friday 9th September
9.30am - 3pm

Entry .. FREE

The Country Brocante
Decorative Living Fair.

Daylesford Organic Farm
Daylesford Kingham
GL56 0YG

Saturday 24th September
9.30am - 5pm

Entry Fee - 
Early bird ticket - 9.30 - 11.30  £12
Standard ticket - 11.30 - 5.00 £6

Free Parking and dogs on leads welcome.
Disabled parking available too.

Well I hope that I might meet some of you at some of these events and if you see me, please say hello!

Have a wonderful weekend and do not forget to come back here tomorrow for a great little tutorial, at the moment I am continuing on a Saturday so please join me here.

Happy Stitching! XX

Wednesday 10 August 2016

My love of stitching, designing and vintage .... and my dreams of the future.

A heart without dreams is
like a bird without feathers!

My love of designing, stitching and vintage is what makes my day ... everyday I wake and realise how very lucky I am to be doing what I am doing for a living.   

As you all know my desire is to move and to be able to start workshops and I have to say I have a long list of names of people who want so badly to come on some courses with me...  We are looking
hard for our forever home and, I know, it is out there but we are not prepared to settle for something just to move.  It has to be right for us.  Right now my heart dreams of this happening this year still!
lets hope it comes off.

My stitching that I am doing at the moment ( well I have three projects on the go!) this is not for the faint hearted but I do this with books, I have two or three on the go, deciding in what mood I am in that day as to which project I feel like stitching or what book to read.  When it is full sun I pick up my
whale sampler and when it is dull it is the more Autumn/Winter ones instead, although some have to
be done to deadline so I have no choice occasionally ... Stitching though is stitching and I love it.  I am able to absorb myself in it and if I am not doing that I am talking about it on here or designing and drawing it .....

This morning I went out in the garden to fill the bird feeders and put their fresh water down and I noticed those stripy spiders appearing in their webs ( I look out for spiders as I am scared of them, can't help it .. just am) these ones though come out when Autumn is beginning and Summer is ending ..  I could not believe it is so early this year .. my heart sank a little.  Our pear tree in the garden is full and I am watching them grow and soon it will be picking time ... where has this year gone!

I have been truffling around in my stitchery room as you know for red fabrics and ideas of Winter projects but today sort of seems Autumnal to me so I have been able to settle to designs yesterday ... My sketch book is full of Summer things including birds and butterflies and flowers along with the ocean and shells and whales, so it is time to settle down to the other parts of the year for designs.

 Do not get me wrong I adore our seasons in England I look forward to Spring with all its delicate Spring flowers, Summer with the gorgeous scents of heady flowers and a hive of activity with bees, birds and butterflies... Autumn with the leaves changing colours and the acorns and scrunching leaves under foot and of course Winter with its red berries in the garden and the crackling fires and roast di Sunday dinners with long beach walks and sea treasure hunting when the beaches are empty ... but it seems to have happened too quickly this year! .. or is that just me? possibly because Summer did not arrive really until July ..

That said I have lots of designs awaiting and in a way there is less to do in the Winter months so I can settle to lots of stitchery.  This is time I fill my journals with sayings and sketches and seem to be a bit more productive sewing wise, although the light is not as good in the afternoon, I have candles to
light the corners and twinkling fairy lights as well that are up all year.

I have made a start on the Christmas/Winter picture and not only designed it and found the fabrics but all fabric parts of it are all cut out and awaiting their first tiny stitches to keep them in firmly where they should be.  I concentrated yesterday on cutting out and whilst I was at it I cut out another more Winter piece which I am not sure will be a picture or wall hanging yet but that is not important until the end  so we will see.  So whilst I was not with you yesterday I was very productive and working hard you will all be pleased to know!

But for now apart from what I have to stitch for deadlines I am still concentrating on Summer with my whale and butterfly pictures right now.

Now I must just tell you what I have bought recently and am awaiting to come through the post.  I have just bought a very old mother of pearl button and it is a sand dollar!! can you believe it, I am over the moon.  In addition to that I have bought a vintage red on cream embroidery that is not too big and the bit that I have bought quite possibly has been cut out from the rest at some point.  It is totally frayed at the edges and has a bird in the middle with a border.  I have an idea for this piece so I will photograph the both when they arrive for you to look at.  I love goodies coming through the post,
so much better than bills, don't you think.  Actually I have two pen pals and we send Happy post to one another and that is a joy too.  One friend is in America and one in Canada and I love hearing all their new and what has been happening..... We share a love of animals and nature, penmanship, romance of letter writing and wax seals.  All of us have a stationery problem in that we can not get enough! so Donna and Bekah if you are reading this today as I know that you do then you will be nodding!

As much as I love talking to you all I must away to my stitching and so have a wonderful day all and as always Happy Stitching! XX