Friday 30 September 2016

J P Coates, Stitching, cake baking & MacMillan Day! .

We are like snowflakes
all different in our own
beautiful way.

Its a bits and bobs kind of day.  Today is the biggest coffee morning day and it is universal MacMillan day in aid of cancer.  My friend and neighbour across the road always does this day and we all support her.  I have made a cake which I need to just put finishing touches to today and from midday today I will be there all afternoon helping.

This is a cause dear to my heart because for one I lost a dear friend and neighbour 2 years ago and he is sadly missed her.  I think about him all the time.  If you have not been reading this blog for that long I will explain.

 He used to work for J P Coates and of course I love stitchery and vintage.  When I started collecting I would go and show him what I had truffled and he would say 'my my my' or 'I remember that or those' ... what made me laugh one day was that I had bought some very old J P Coates threads and took them for him to see.  I was very interested and told me about each one.  Then he got to the last one .. his faced changed, and he said 'this one, in my opinion, should never have been made!' it gave us so many problems! .. not long after this he died of cancer and had put up such a tremendous fight to stay.  I have kept this thread because it makes me laugh when I see it.

Today is about him for all of us in our road and others who are bravely fighting as well.  So this
morning is a little bit of stitching until 11am then finish off the cake and over for midday to help.

I use J P Coates threads for embroidery, even though they are not embroidery thread.  I adore the old colours and hues and of course when doing fine detail there is nothing like it, in my humble opinion.
I am a collector of them and have a drawer full now.  I like to be able to go to it and choose a cotton thread that I can mix in with my embroidery and I know there is a little of my gorgeous neighbour there too.  He was the one who encouraged me and who looked at my new sewing machine with interest and who on some evenings with his wife shared a glass of wine with us and told us lots of stories not only of bygone times but of the workings of J P Coates and their threads!  We still of course get together with his beautiful wife and one of my best friends is their daughter .. we all talk about and miss him.  So this afternoon I will get my pinny on and will be slicing cakes and serving drinks and washing up whilst having my own personnel memories of this wonderful gentleman.

On my work table are some more of the vintage quilt pieces and I am stitching away.  I am hoping in the next week or so I can show you what I have stitched for us and which ones that will be for sale once I have had them professionally framed ..

I have a button box out as well to see which button will be stitched to each one ... I like to do that the very last so none so far have buttons on them...

Well it is a short one today because of time but I hope that you all have a wonderful day and if you are going to a large coffee morning then enjoy with neighbours, family and friends.  In addition and as always Happy Stitching! XX

Thursday 29 September 2016

What did I truffle at Daylesford Vintage Brocante? .. Well take a peek!

Treasure Treasure Treasure!
I can resist anything but temptation!

Well finally I have managed to take the photos of my haul from Daylesford and I hope you think that it was worth waiting for.  I have waited for good light and using my new phone camera, which is amazing has been different and taken a little getting used to!  We have had rain here and it has been almost like Winter so the light has been a little gloomy.  When you put a light on it can shine onto what I am trying to take photos of and it reflects back so it all took a few goes to get some good photos for you to see ..

It was a Vintage Brocante that was full to the rafters of vintage goodies from fabrics, lace, threads, buttons and notions to antiques for both the home and garden.  There was handmade goods from vintage fabrics and more and everywhere you looked temptation was facing straight on ... I was good in some ways as I did not buy the two antique quilts that I really loved but I bought other things as you will see.

In no particular order as I really can not remember in what order I bought things as I was taking  Rosehip& Oyster Bridge and these are ribbons of vintage fabric.  They are really beautiful so I choose some of those to come home with me knowing that they are the beginning of a sampler when stitched together and the fabrics were just too gorgeous to pass by  ....   They have tags on with sayings and pretty writing which I will keep as well so lovely!
photos as well as making purchases but my first photos are from

The Old Haberdashery well now there were some lovely sylko threads there so I picked them up an also some more little millinery flowers as well.  I was fairly restrained as I was trying for certain things on my list at this point but of course you get carried away in the vintage coma!

From Hesta Nesta I spied some wonderful eiderdown fabric which I have not seen before so a
really good size piece came home with me and is now stored safely in the paisley and Eiderdown fabric drawer .... all wrapped carefully in tissue paper!

Suitably Vintage had some lovely pieces on offer and so I was really trying to be buying for stitchery when all these lovelies are there under one roof, its like being in the best shopping mall in the world!

Then wandering around I found Velvet Ribbon and there is always some gorgeous fabrics on
offer on this stall and worth looking out for if you are at a show.  I was there later and lots had gone but that said I found a lovely piece of fabric so I was very pleased with that ...

From Alison of Betty and Violet, I purchased some really beautiful fruit knives and forks with mother of pearl handles and I fell in love with these.  They are a set of six and luckily they will tuck

away in the cutlery drawer in the dinning room so not added to clutter for selling purposes! but a set like this does not come up that often in this conditions and the mother of pearl is stunning.  Home it came....

From Caroline Zoob I bought some stunning lace as you can see and I am over the moon with it and that will go into one of my designs that I am working on at the moment.  Also my gorgeous husband bought me the red and white sampler here and it is for my Birthday in December but that said he said for me to photograph it for you to look.  It is dated 1873 Eliza Stone stitched it and
beautifully as you can see.  It is in a beautiful frame that has been painted and distressed and is stitched onto very old linen before framing .... Oh my I looked at it but did not buy it and when I went back to have another stare it was gone!  I was a little sad but thought no Sarah you made the right decision and someone is very lucky ... then when I saw my husband who was smiling at me I said, Oh you bought me the sampler didn't you?  His face because he had put it in the car!  He said I was a witch!! forgiven though as indeed I was correct.  I saw it briefly for its photo shoot and now it has been put away in his office somewhere and I will get it in December ..... lucky me!

Whilst walking about I saw the lovely Maud of Beyond France and bought the most stunning skirt in thick antique cotton and with a really beautiful piece of lace around the hem.  It has a draw string waist and I am afraid is in the dry cleaners at the moment so that will be photo for another day.  It will not stay like this as I am going to add some of my own decoration to it so when that is done I will photograph it for you.  I thought in the Winter with boots and a jumper it will look fab ....

Then there was this sleigh from Honeysuckle and Roses and it was again my husband that spotted it and walked me over to look at it.  We do have a sleigh but not as old as this one and he thought it would be a great addition to the Christmas decorations for the forever house... so we bought it and it came home with us as you can see from this photo... I am very pleased with it indeed.
So that you can see it I put a Christmas throw over for photo purposes other wise it looked a little too dark in this weather we are having ..

Rosie's Armoir is one of my must find as soon as possible stalls because she makes up some
really gorgeous inspiration packs and I really love buying this sort of thing with all sorts of wonderful things in them including two antique hexagons in each pack along with a strip of antique fabric patchwork pieces and I am thrilled with the five packs that I purchased.  Also I bought a writing blotter for my desk as I love writing letters with my calligraphy ink pens and it is really good to be able to blot.  I love using wax seals as well and I thought this antique blotter which has been painted old white with blotting paper to get you started was just the thing.

In addition to that Helen gave me a little notebook for being a customer that day and I am really very thrilled with it.  They are hand stitched by her and have old papers in amongst some lined pages.  Just right for a handbag and jotting down thoughts ....

My husband wanted a heart from Suzi of Hearts 'n' Kisses for his locker at work, where he keeps not only tea and coffee and snacks (shocker!) but his stationery and he thought this little heart that reads 'everything stops for tea' would be grand ... I personally think the work cake should be on there too!

Then as you know we picked up our garden shepherd crooks with glass jars for candles in the garden and this weekend we will be popping them in there rightful place in the garden.  The jars will stay in The Little Red Robbin who made them are very clever and I love their garden things made from old metals and rusted beautifully ...
whilst it is raining but will go out one of these evenings with candles in, maybe when our friend are here and the fire pit is going and we have blankets on our lap and mulled wine ....

Then finally on Sunday morning when I went to see Alison in her Betty and Violet shop I bought a little bit of lace that is just right for something I am stitching and some pretty millinery flowers that were there as well.  We had a chat about the fair and about the fabulous evening that we had all had together and we said our goodbyes before my husband
and I went back into The Broadway Hotel and had Sunday Lunch before returning slowly back home.  It was a really rather beautiful weekend and certainly some wonderful memories were made ....

Well that is it for today and I must away to some serious stitchery as well.  I have to make a cake later for the coffee afternoon tomorrow for Cancer MacMillan and I will be helping tomorrow afternoon as well so I have two short days working.. Have a wonderful day and as always ..........                       

Happy Stitching! XX

Tuesday 27 September 2016

Love Lane Vintage ... Daylesford Vintage Brocante!

Wonderful memories are made
on days like these!

Wow what a fair!  The setting was unreal and they had so much going on in the Daylesford farm shop as well as the Brocante that Lucy had organised it was truly outstanding.  The marquees were bursting with talent and vintage goodies and there was a great outside marquee as a pop up vintage
cafe and the fair was really well attended!

Every detail had been thought out and the work that went into this fair must have been unbelievable. It was liking walking into wonderland.  There were so many stalls and I could not capture it all but I had a really good go this time as we went in on the early bird tickets and so it was not as busy so I ran round for a good hour snapping away which helped.  There were a sea of friendly and known faces and some people I was just meeting for the first time it was fabulous.  The makers talents were outstanding as you will see and it was vintage truffling heaven.    So in no particular order have a look at Rosehip and Oyster Bridge it was a beautiful stand with ribbons of vintage fabrics and household vintage goodies.  It was the first time I had come across these two businesses and they were a mother and daughter team.

Then who should I spy but Alison of Betty and Violet and her stall as always was so beautiful and it always has a romantic feel to it and very serene some how.  I went over and we had a very quick chat because later we were going out to dinner with her and her husband and another couple as well (to be revealed later.)  There was so many goodies here and you had to just keep looking because every time you looked you saw another vintage goody!

Then who should be spied and was causing a gorgeous stir with the ladies, well it was Richard E Grant and his family and they were there talking to stall holders and making purchases as well.  I did managed to get in for the photograph of the group and so here they are, and what a lovely family! For those of you who may not of heard of him, he is an English Actor and he has the most beautiful voice as well.. He not only can do serious acting but has played some great comedy roles too.

Well when my pulse had slowed down a little and I gathered my star struck self together I went to see Suzi of Hearts 'n' Kisses and who should be with her but the lovely Vintage Dahling who makes the most gorgeous clothes and she is wearing one of her makes in the photo (she is on the right).  Suzi had set out her stall and as usual it was really beautiful with tiny bunting and cushions, pictures and hearts .... 

Suzi hand stitches and embroiders to make some gorgeous things and today was no exception.  She uses vintage fabrics and linens with ribbons and buttons .... take a peek.

There was a heart she had made and it has on there 'everything stops for tea' and my husband wanted one for his locker at work .. Which he duly purchased. 

Then look who I spied, it was Helen of Rosie's Armoir and I just love getting some bits from here.  There are always some rather gorgeous fabric packs and today was no exception so they will be in the show and tell later in the week for you to look at.  Oh her stall looked so beautiful and we had a good old catch up it was fabulous.

Also she had one of her dolls there sat on a pumpkin and it really looked great .. what a display.  I have one of these exact ones and bought it from her years ago at the Country Living show and she comes out every December ....  But I am going to find her early and sit her on a pumpkin as well because it made me smile and it means she is out longer to be seen.

Nicholas and Steele were there as well and as usual the stall looked really great.  I bought something here but it is a present for a friend so I can not say as its for her Birthday in December and I am not the only one that was buying so was Richard E Grant ... yes ladies it was an exciting day for lots of reasons!

There were some really beautiful pieces on here and it was getting crowded too....

Tucked in the corner was Suitably Vintage and I always find a few stitchery goodies here and today was no exception to the rule.  I love the fabrics on here and you can buy small bits to use and they are then quite exclusive in your work.  There were fabrics, cotton reels, buttons, ribbons and all manner of exquisite vintage treasures as you can see.

Then joy of joy I found the lovely Emma of Little Wren Vintage and we were able to have a good old catch up as we have not seen one another for a few months for one reason or another.  Emma has an eye for dressing a stall and what helps is she has an eye for vintage goodies as well as being a maker of wonderful cushions too.  There were quilts and eiderdowns and all manner of gorgeous treasures on offer ...  Emma had made some lovely framed pictures with vintage fabrics and monograms in as well.

Honeysuckle and Roses was there and my husband had spotted something there and brought me over to see and we came away with that ( I no its a tease but it will be in the show and tell) this is an eclectic stall of vintage goodies for your home and there is always something that catches you eye.

Then for those of us who love to sew and love haberdashery our day would not have been complete without seeing Sonia from The Old Haberdashery so many threads and cotton reels and beautiful stitching bits and bobs it was like finding treasure island!

Now Nicki the cake report!  Well whilst I was busy running about like an excited pixie my husband had gone and bought us a coffee and he had bought a chocolate brownie as well, I had a bite of it and I have to say it was the best we have ever tasted it was really good.  So I carried on but he kept going for coffee and each time there was something else to eat with it.  I spotted him with a homemade sausage roll then he went for a raspberry chocolate brownie but declared the first one was his favourite and then proceeded to eat another three cakes one being a lemon one.  He made me laugh.  We had lunch there and had a piece of homemade quiche each with two side salads each, they had a potato salad, a slaw and a heirloom tomato salad with pomegranate and few others to choose from.  That was me done but I spied him later with yet another coffee and piece of cake.... He did himself
proud and the person who had baked them all! ... 

Whilst all this was going on I found Maud of Beyond France in the main marquee and she had some really beautiful linens and some vintage skirts in thick vintage cotton with lace around the bottom, well I could not resist!  It has a draw string waste for days you eat cake and also with boots in the Winter at one of these Brocantes coming up it will look stylish I think with a little tweak here and there to make it unique ...

Near Maud was Caroline Zoob with some beautiful pieces on the stall.  I had spied a most gorgeous old sampler in red and white as you will see and some really lovely old hexagon patchwork cushions as well.  It was so funny really because I thought the sampler was exquisite and then I found out by accident that my gorgeous husband had bought it for me for my Birthday ... yes he has!

I could not believe it as I had been looking at it and thought no Sarah not until we move ... buy no more pictures (plus has you know I am making lots for us as well at the moment.  I had bought a really lovely piece of very old lace from Caroline but decided to walk away from the sampler but he knows me so well!

Then I found our lovely friends Jo and Andy of Hesta Nesta fame these were the other couple we were going out with in the evening and I had found them outside in the circle of individual marquees .... As always there is so much beauty and vintage goodies to choose from, I spied some eiderdown fabric in a pack .. grin!  Also Jo had sold a mirror to Mr Richard E Grant and she is now to be known as antique dealer to the stars! we have decided ... 

And right next door was the fabulous Liz and Jack of The Washerwoman fame and again so much to choose from with fabrics and French linens as well has some beautiful French home bits to choose from.  Every stall was set out so beautifully it really was amazing.

I can not wait to go wild in the aisles when we find our forever home and I am trying to be so good right now.  

Now take a look at these beautiful 1920's style pieces they really are something to stare at.  I still think I should have 1920 style party when we move and get one of these to wear.  I have seen this talented ladies work before and I was so tempted then but I have manged to wait.  They are great for Brides and that is mostly what they are sold for but I think for dressing up in the flapper era these are an absolute must! Helen Morris-Clark Designs 

This one is my personal favourite and I was seen staring at it for sometime.  As I walked past several times I just had to stop and look at it, what a work of art and beauty!

It is the one at the very front and I really could not stop looking at it, and I am sure you can see why!  Pure beauty and very talented maker.

Velvet Ribbon was there and again this is one of the people I go to to find fabrics she had sold lots by the time I found her but there was still a little something for me in the fabric pile so I was very happy indeed.

I always find some beautiful fabric here and today was no exception to the rule....

Will and Bea was in attendance and again for wonderful vintage home wares it is a must go to, with a great eye for detail and dressing her stall there was no end of people buzzing around .. I had missed out on some great fabric packs, they are in the photo though as the lady buying them kindly let me take a photo for you to look at but she had picked them up to buy.  My husband loves the soap that she sells so there was a few bars of that purchased by him.

Cachepot was there and this is another lady I had not seen before and she allowed me to take some photos for you all to look at.  With some really beautiful vintage pieces and a very beautifully laid out stall there were no end of people trying to get in to buy.

As you can see in the photos she had a dresser there laden with goodies to tempt all as well as two tables all beautifully set out.

I decided to pop over to the Daylesford Farm shop to snap some photos for you and as you will see it is really stunning with all sorts of little shops there including a wine shop (which my husband had visited and brought some home with him) and a cheese shop along with clothes and plants and so much more.

It is so stunning and with the Vintage Brocante in full swing and they had their Harvest Festival going as well it was buzzing with happy faces.

They were making head dresses for the festival and I bought one and am now drying it out to have framed.  It is so gorgeous and is hanging on the kitchen airer right now and the colours are holding as well.  I loved it so much I wore it at one point around the fair, I was not the only one either they were very popular at only £10 and being handmade in front of you!  Take a look at the one that I bought home with me.

Wandering back along to the Vintage Brocante in the warmth of this perfect Autumn day I was so pleased with the treasure that I had bought along the way and thought I would see if I could take a few more photos for you.

Then I spotted this gorgeous treasure trove of vintage lovelies it was Carla Walls stall and there was the most stunning quilt .. no no I didn't but oh boy I would have like to.  I have several in storage right now as well as lots at home so I was very good but it did sell later in the day and the lucky person had a stunner too!

There were pinks, creams, blues and beige fabrics in this really old quilt and I bet it looks fabulous on the bed of who ever bought it!

In the middle of the ring of individual marques outside there was a beautiful Shepherds hut and details of how you could have one made .. took a card with me of course and we also picked up our garden shepherd hooks with glass lanterns for the garden.  They will go out here but we bought 10 so that we will have enough in the forever home when we get there too.  They are pre rusted and very heavy and sturdy.  We saw them at The Larmer Tree Brocante as you know and kind of kicked ourselves we did not pick some up.  The maker is The Little Red Robbin and I emailed them and they said they would be here so we pre ordered our pick up ......

Gaze upon the glorious displays in the circle of the marquee's and with the weather being so beautiful and warm everyone was just bumbling around and happy with the slight breeze or sat in the pop up cafe and drinking great coffee or there was wine on offer too.  I personally was saving myself for the evening ahead.

It was time for us to go and check in to our hotel at The Broadway Hotel in the Cotswolds and get ready for what was a fabulous evening full of liquid and laughter. My ribs still hurt today from laughing so much.... The Hotel was so beautiful and the room was just my colour of the moment.

Well I hope you have had fun and enjoyed either re living the day or being able to get a peek at it at least.  I would like to Thank Lucy of Love Lane Vintage for organising such a beautiful event it really was the Queen of fairs .... We had such a great day.

Well that is is it for me today as I really must get down to some serious stitching and cutting out to be able to start clearing my dinning room table .... I hope you all have the best day and I will see you back here on Thursday bright and early.  I will leave you with a couple of shots of our hotel room. 
Happy Stitching! XX

So my colours and such a gorgeous room.  I will leave you with a shot of the view from our windows and just say we had a great weekend and would stay here again.  It was so peaceful and we had a great rest and a wonderful weekend.......

Just  peeking at the back was the church, the gardens of The Broadway Hotel are what we looked out upon.  It was so quiet and relaxing .....

Monday 26 September 2016

A new week and lots of gorgeous fabrics to sort through!

Autumn, the years last
loveliest smile!

William Cullen Bryant.

A new week has started and I have a list of things to do that just keeps going!  I am undaunted I have to say because when I write a list it clears my mind of worry and it is so therapeutic when you just keep crossing things off. We had a most wonderful weekend in the Cotswolds with great friends, lots of laughs, a vintage fair and a meal out.  More about that tomorrow!

I will soon be having a week off to spend time with our friends who are coming over to have a holiday with us from New Jersery.  I am so excited and although it was only around a year ago we saw them when they joined us in Stonnington for five days, it seems I have not seen them for ages and ages.  As I will not be sewing when they are here I will not be blogging for a week from Monday 10th October and will be back on Monday 17th October, we will be going to Bath, London and other days out. We will also be celebrating our Wedding Anniversary with them as well. I thought I would give you notice and not just throw it in on the Friday before I am planning to not be blogging!

Getting ready to start the Monday when I get back to normal here and hit the ground running as my husband would say, I will be making a couple of project baskets up to be able to do just that, just in case I have finished whatever I will be sewing the run up to it.  If I have something to finish well all well and good but I will have two more projects to choose from as well.

Later today I will be collating my photos from the Love Lane Vintage Fair so I will be showing you that this week.  I had a fabulous time and so you will hear all about it as well and a show and tell of purchases .. I say no more!

I am enjoying stitching around the English paper piecing pieces ( gosh that's a tongue twister!)  I am just making them up and not stitching them together yet.  I would like to think an gorgeous old but new quilt is forming but we will see if it gets that big.  I have decided to also stitch some in plain antique French linen as well and I am going to embroider in some of them.  When I have lots and lots then I will decide on some sort of pattern to it and what is will be .. maybe a wall quilt we will see.  It is so relaxing stitching them up.  I have been drawing around 10 or so then later in the day stitching them up.  I could mix them all up so it looks just like hexagons or I could do them in a flower shape after shape with similar colours or I could appliqué them on to a vintage French linen sheet.  Choices choices!  

The picture above was a flower that I did in hexagons and used on a small lavender pillow for me in the end as I did not put it on my Homespun Stitchworks banner.  But I could do different fabrics in these shapes and stitch them onto a sheet and so it is really random as well.  It could be made into a throw for snuggling down on cooler evenings ....  Whatever I decide right now, it does not matter I am just enjoying stitching hexagons of an early evening. A button or two may have to be stitched on as well, just saying!

Must now finish here and get on with my day, it will take a while to collate the photos that I took and I am very keen to get on with my stitchery as well.  So whatever you are doing today have a great day and of course as always Happy Stitching! XX

Saturday 24 September 2016

Off to a vintage fair! ... but this is my other passion!

One can not think well.
love well, sleep well 
if one has not dined well!

Virginia Woolf

Today I am off to the Love Lane Vintage Fair at Daylesford in the Cotswolds, I have my list my new phone with even better camera ( I have high hopes you see) and my basket with purse and list.

I am so looking forward to it and going out tonight there for dinner, with some other vintage friends.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and enjoy, If you are going today come and say hello if you see me running about taking photos ..

The other day I said about my pumpkin and apple soup and have had lots of requests for it so today the blog is about my other passion .. cooking!

I hope you enjoy it.

Happy Stitching! XX

Pumpkin & Apple Soup


1.  1 oz butter
2.  1 chopped med onion ( I use the white one when I can get it)
3.  1 crushed clove of garlic
4.  2lb of pumpkin skinned and diced
5.  2 3/4 pints of good chicken stock
6.  1 teaspoon of cinnamon
7.  1 lb of stewed bramley apple with enough sugar added to quell acid
8.  salt and pepper to taste
9.  1/4 pint of creme fraiche


Place 1, 2, 3 in a large pan over a low heat and soften for 5 minutes.  Then add 4, 5, 6, 7 stir and cook over a low heat for 30 minutes ( you do not have to stand stirring but keep checking it and giving it a stir).

Then when the pumpkin is soft whizz it up until it is smooth and season to taste.  If for what ever reason it is too runny then you can add a little flour that you have made into a paste with some of the soup and stir for 5 minutes to thicken.  Sometimes the pumpkin can be a little watery in nature.

Serve in warm bowl with a spoonful of creme fraiche in the middle to stir in.

Enjoy with some warm bread!

P.S if you like a little kick you can add some chilli to your soup before you whizz it up or even some chilli paste ... I do sometimes and the kick of warmth on a cold day is welcome...