Monday, 26 June 2017

Hand embroidery and stunning fabrics ... what more does a girl need!

Close your eyes and feel the Summer breeze
Take in the aroma of freshly cut grass
and the heady scent of lavender in the air.
Summer Stitching in the garden!
Bliss ...

We had the most lovely weekend and I hope that you all did as well.  As you know I attended The Summer Brocante by Love Lane Vintage but I have to sort through the photos and collate them as well as load them on to my laptop.  I will be showing you that tomorrow as it is something that I have
to sort through today.

Sometimes I get to do it on a Sunday but we were asked to look after a friends spaniel on Sunday and well I was not going to pass that treat up.  Jake is gorgeous and he loves playing ball and is full on and I wiled away happily doing just that with him ....  So tomorrow I will let you all know about the fair and you are in for a treat.  I will be doing something a little different so watch this space...

I am going to sort the photos later but this morning I am going to stitch stitch stitch I really am loving the quiet time stitching and sorting through fabrics for my designs.  I do like my eight hours sleep but I think sorting through fabrics and buttons could keep me awake until the wee small hours and I would not get sleepy!

Vintage old paper and gorgeous fabrics have been my new combination of late and I have done a few designs on that theme.  If it is going in a frame that you can combine with out any worry of not being able to wash an item.  As you all know I have a love of hares as well and have been playing with
ideas around them.

Loving the freedom to plan, create and try out my ideas is a real joy and one that I do not take for granted, that my husband goes to the salt mines (as we call his work) and enables me to do my lovely job and stay at home is such a wonderful opportunity for me and I appreciate it daily.  All the seasons bring the joy of it to me as I can watch them change and with it gives me ideas to make and create.

Doing magazine work and having to think months in advance sometimes is not easy but I got so much done before Christmas last year it was if I knew this year may be difficult somehow.  I have to start working on Autumn and Christmas this week so in the sun I have to draw on my journals and sketches from last year and see what I can make that is a little different and that would, I hope, appeal to the makers out there.

This is what the little leaves has been all about and I want to try and finish that picture/sampler this
week if possible.  I am well in advance for Christmas as I was working on the Christmas sampler earlier this year and I am practically finished on that one.  Summer is here and I would like to get down on the beach a few evening in the next few weeks to sketch and get some summer ideas on the go...    I have a few sketches from when we were in America last ( seems an age ago - it was 2015) Our friends came to us last year but we are still deciding what to do this year because of Mum.  That said I took so many photos and did lots of doodles with ideas in the margins that I have some material to work from.  Although I would love to go back this year as I miss it and the break would do us the world of good .. we will see.

I wanted to show you some ribbon I made out of a piece of old vintage very pretty fabric.  It was in stripes so I decided it would make better ribbon than cut out for applique.  I am very pleased with the results and it is all wrapped around old pegs and stashed away for use in my armoire... I keep opening the door and looking at them so I though I would take a photo for you to see what you think.

I am loving the greens with the little roses and all the variations of the fabric.  The one right at the top on the far left is plain and will be just right for a border to embroider on to in a little garden patch say on a picture/sampler...

What do you think?  I am looking for some red and white fabric in stripes similar so that I can make ribbons or different widths and slight different patterns now as well ..

Well that is it for today I hope that you can join me tomorrow.  Have a wonderful day whatever you are doing and I am away to my stitching oh I hear Percy chirping in the garden he is slightly late today ...

Happy Stitching! XX

Friday, 23 June 2017

Very Slow Stitching in June sunshine.

Summer Time and the livin' is easy
Fish are jumpin' 
and the cotton is high.....


So now are you all enjoying this glorious weather? I certainly am but it is a bit too hot to stitch unless I am by a fan.  When your hands get really warm it is not so easy to hold a needle without it slipping and pricking yourself, which means blood..... this means some could get on the beautiful fabrics, and
that would never do!

So by the fan on my little stall in my sewing room I have sat reading antique sewing and embroidery books for a while, feeling it is still working as I am increasing my knowledge but I am waiting out the midday sun.

However I am not complaining just in the real heat of the day I am doing something else and looking at the pure blue sky, not a cloud to be seen in a week!  I am trying not to be terribly British and complain about the weather because it all that we do.  Complain it is raining, complain it is hot, but it has been exceptional heat and we really are not used to it. That said I am loving this gorgeous weather and sitting eating our dinner in the garden, at night is glorious..

Tomorrow I am off to The Summer Brocante in Midhurst West Sussex and I am thoroughly looking forward to it, hoping all the treasure will not have been sold today ..
We will be leaving early to get there when it opens and so we can leave at a reasonable time to get back as we are at a Birthday drinks party in the evening and I want to get a full day in.

Whilst I was getting ready to write this blog I heard a familiar cry in the garden, we have a new very tame baby pigeon in our garden, he is fairly big but still fluffy and can fly  ish but we think he has been booted out of the nest.  We feed him and make sure he has water daily.  Already we have rescued him from a cat as well.  You will all not be surprised that I have named him and it is Percy.  Yes Percy pigeon and he now cries for me to come feed him!  So I went out and gave him his food as we want him to make it if we can possibly help that along.

There is a balance though because he is a wild animal and not a pet so we want him to fend for himself too, it is just at the moment he is relying upon us every morning and he is too cute.  So tomorrow we will be leaving before his normal visit so I am just going to leave some food in his normal place and hope that the chuckle brothers (baby magpies) do not get to it before he does.  All the birds are fed and watered in our garden we help them through nesting and through the winter months too.  We feel we get paid back in spades because they are all very tame and the bird song is beautiful to hear and it is also a great honour to be trusted by the wild life as well.

I have been sewing early in the morning to keep up with my progress and the bright light and sunny days and evenings have been fabulous.  In the early evening in the shade I have been taking my stitching outside and watching the garden cool down and the honey bees still working away from foxglove to foxglove! and lupin to blossom it is the best part of my day, that few hours waiting for my husband to come home and stitching quietly in the warmth of the June sunshine.

Also I have been playing around with an idea on some scrap linen and trying out some made up stitchery to see if works as well in real life as it does in my head.  I love that part of my day too the design and sketch part and the lets see if this works well part.

Tomorrow I  will be going to find Clare of Lou Lou Retro and see what fabulous fabrics she has on offer at her first ever vintage fair and I will get to meet this lady face to face for the first time.  I am looking forward to that.  In addition it will be lovely to meet up with some friend there too and sit and have a chat and coffee.  I have looked through my design book and have adjusted my list of things to look out for but I often find more that is on my list ... it is my one weakness!

Well that is it today as I must get so much done.  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and enjoy this amazing weather to the full.

I will see you back here on Monday so until then Happy Stitching! XX

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Thread work and discovering a treasure!

The wonders of what can be
achieved with a needle
and thread. Slow
stitching through the ages 
by children especially.

Years ago in a tiny little shack of an antique shop in Brockenhurst in the New Forest, which unfortunately is no longer there I found this little treasure.  In a basket that said everything 50p I went rummaging and came up with two beauties.  Firstly there was the little needle case that was stitched by a wounded soldier from the first world war, I have shown it to you before on here under the heading Soldiers Embroidery Industry .....  It is a piece of history and a work of art and I could not believe it was classed as a bin end!

The second thing was this embroidery by a child who was practising and there are two sides to it which I keep turning over so both can be seen.  It is about 6 inches by 6 inches and is the most delightful and naive piece I have ever seen and it was 50 pence too!

It lives in my sewing room as a sort of a mat on my little drawers and I look at it every day. There is something so utterly pretty about this little piece and I treasure it, keeping it away from the sun as well.  What it was for, if anything, originally is a mystery to me.  The two sides are stitched together but it opens at the top.  There are little holes at the top that once may have had a ribbon threaded through, but I have studied it and can see no date it appears to be random letters and numbers with little daisies throughout one side ..  Well I paid my £1 for both of my treasures and have given them a home with me. 

 I have done lots of research on The Soldiers Embroidery Industry and have written to Windsor Castle where they keep all the history of each sovereign, you may ask why but Queen Mary (our Queens Grandmother) was patron to this cause and they wrote back to me, a letter cherished also.

If I can I like to find out the history of these things, I am fascinated by history and often wonder what the people would think about us all treasuring things they made a 100 years ago or more, would they shake their head in disbelief or would they be pleased that something they toiled on is still kept safe
and loved today.

I have bought some variegated threads to stitch some fabric to old paper and linens on my machine just to keep the tiny bits in place.  Then I will go over it all with slow hand stitching and make it pretty.

Sometimes I wonder in a 100 years will someone find a piece of my work in a charity shop and treasure it too.  I always put some information on the back of each piece I frame in a little handmade envelope with my signature and the date so that if indeed it is found they can have some information to read about and know a little about the piece that I have stitched. 

Life today is just such a fast pace, we all need to be somewhere.  The roads are busy and everyone seems caught up in the rush of the day so I count myself lucky to do what I do and be able to work at a slow pace and watch the world go by staring at or in our garden.  I love the fact that I am keeping some old ways alive and hand sewing.  It has become popular again and that thrills me no end, long may it continue to be popular.  Younger generations are loving it too and that is so wonderful to see.

At the moment I am setting up my next project and will be drawing bits on to the vintage French
linen, this will then be put in an embroidery hoop.  I believe in them and like it when I am stitching words because it is neat and for me it is easier too and with my new found needle holders as well I am very organised to go back and forth from sewing room to garden to stitch.

The next one I feel like stitching is the Autumn one with those tiny leaves, I do not know why but there it is ...  Maybe it is because it is my favourite season I do not know.

In addition I have found in my fabric stash a great inspiration pack I bought from Helen of Rosie's Armoire and it is perfect for my Halloween sampler with Russell the crow, there is some gorgeous black and white fabric, ticking and quilt pieces just perfect so that has gone into the project basket - what do you think?

Well I will leave you with that thought and get on with my day. I hope you all have a great day and for me its some serious stitching today both inside and out.  I fancy lunch in the garden today with my sketch book.

Happy Stitching! XX

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Stolen tiny stitches .. on Summer mornings.

It was June, and the world smelled of roses.
 The sunshine was like powdered gold
 over the grassy hillside.

Maud Hart Lovelace

Early mornings with the sun coming up and the birds in full song is a magical time.  My husband has
to be up very early of a week day to go to work in one of several places in the UK he needs to be in any given week.  In the dark, cold winter months I will snuggle back down for a few hours but in this glorious weather I like to make a warm drink and sit in my chair in my sewing room and look out into the dawn and watch the garden and wildlife come alive and start its busy day....

Sometimes I do a little doodling or maybe read or look through a book, other times I am eager to get a few tiny stolen stitches in before I get myself ready for blogging and the rest of my day ahead.

Today was such a day and it was peek in every project basket that is already to go time... like I was checking that a thief in the night had come along and had somehow pilfered my plunder of treasure! its such a pleasure looking at all the pretty fabrics and I
must admit to counting all the little leaves I have cut out, after nearly loosing one it seems I have to check to make myself happier..

Life has got so much better here at Homespun HQ and I am fitting in all that I have to do without to much drama, still having time to work.  My early morning cuppa and stolen tiny stitches get me ready for my day and I am then eager to get stitching.

I am pleased to announce that today should see my Christmas sampler finished or at least enough for me to say ok
I will look again in a couple of days and check on it.  I have always been an advocate of letting your work speak for itself and not over stitching or adding.  This means getting to a place where you stop stitching and walk away for a little bit and take another look with a fresh eye to make sure.

When a project starts out for me I lay everything out and look at it against my design.  It is never written in blood and you can add or take away as you go.  When it is stitching time it is good to do the same just stitch and keep putting it down and revisiting it because unpicking vintage fabric can really spoil it.

This morning I was getting so carried away with stitching and this blog that I still have my PJ's on, it is cosy but when I finish on here I am going to shower and change and go into the garden and stitch.  I had to laugh when I came across this a while ago it is so true of artistic people ...

I am of course trying so hard to keep my new found work space tidy and have been hoovering after each day and going round with a duster, it of course can not last but I really am making every effort to keep this space clutter free and tidy and clean .....

Well that is it for me today the sunshine is calling and so is my fruit and yogurt and another drink.  I
have my work basket ready and waiting to take out to the garden and there are fresh flowers on the table out there in a jug, it brings the bumble bees closer you see ...

Before I go I wanted to let you all know of another vintage fair this weekend so here are all the

A Vintage Summer
Guildford Cathedral
Stag Hill

Saturday 24th June
10.30am - 4pm

Entry fee £2 under 14's are free.  Dogs welcome in the grounds.

With over 60 beautiful stalls selling antiques, vintage finds, French textiles and handmade treasures. There is a English style country tea room for drinks, cake and light refreshments.  Bring a picnic and have it in the grounds with far reaching views overlooking the lovely city of Guildford.

Have a wonderful day and as always Happy Stitching! XX

Monday, 19 June 2017

Summer stitches ... tick tock.

Time flies over us 
but leaves its shadow behind.

There are lots of very beautiful and old clock faces out there for sale, lots of vintage sellers have them on their stand and recently I have bought a few, not lots but four actually.  I was not sure at the time what to do with them but I am glad to say I have designed a (what I think) is a very pretty sampler/picture to use one of them in.

I am officially going to make this my Summer project of 2017 and I have actually drawn it out on some most gorgeous French Linen.

There will be some lovely old eiderdown fabric as well somewhere I think as well and I am very pleased with it indeed.  It is all in a basket waiting its turn.

I have been designing and enjoying it, a little too much because I need to get down to the importance of stitching and finishing some bits.

Autumn has been on my mind as well and not just the Halloween part but the jumping in gorgeous leaves and wandering through the forest for a long walk crunching in the leaves under foot kind of Autumn day with acorns and gorgeous colours that look like a patchwork quilt.   I have designed a Autumn sampler picture as well and there is a basket for this also... So much lovely slow stitching and pondering time this Summer.

The weather has been so great that lots of it is happening in the garden whilst watching the wild life and taking in the heady scents of all the roses and beautiful flowers out right now.  The cutting out though is done inside because cutting little leaves out of gorgeous fabrics can be tricky with a little welcome breeze to cool me,  a leaf out of fabric can be gone in a second, and they do take a while to cut out properly .... Me chasing around the garden after a paisley leaf and the robin sat on one of our shepherd crooks and watching with amusement only happens once!  This is the little offender! .. yes I found it nestling nicely under my pink rose bush and rather camouflaged!

I have some news for those of you who are going to The Love Lane Vintage Fair on the 23 and 24 June ( this week in fact)  For the first time ever the lovely Clare of Lou Lou Retro will be sharing a stall there and her fabrics are so good your heart goes a bit faster.  She will be selling
eiderdown fabric bundles and patchwork pieces along with some really beautiful paisleys and ticking.

The excitement when I found out!  I have being buying from this wonderful lady for a long while now and we have become virtual friends and chatty, so to meet her in person firstly and then have a browse through lots of her beautiful vintage stock is so great.  I have asked her where she will be stalling that weekend as there are three marquees and she is going to get back to me with it....  I will be making for her straight away.  I am not going until the 24th but she assures me there is plenty for all and a re stock will happen after the first day on Friday 23rd so panic over.

As I think I told you I do have some empty drawer space which is just as well I think, The fabrics that you buy here are wonderful and so good for what I like to work with as I look for small print for applique work mostly ....  My shopping list is ready and I have packed my bag ready to go.  I have missed a few vintage fairs lately and so I am looking forward to this weekend.  The picture above is a selection of some of Lou Lou Retros fabrics that have been on sale lately .... See what I mean!?  

Well I think I must away now because before I start my day I have to just go and fill up the bird baths
and fill the feeders for the day ahead and a quick water of the garden.  This weather is glorious but everything is thirsty.  I stencilled a huge old tin bucket with a bee and filled it up with flowers and it is doing beautifully but needs watering morning and evening in this heat.  Then I think some sewing in the garden with a warm drink is on the menu.  I might even have my lunch out there today as well.

Have a fabulous day whatever you are up to and as always Happy Stitching! XX

Friday, 16 June 2017

Little patches ....

Little bits of stitchery
to stitch on to clothes.

I came across some patches that I made a while back but have not stitched to anything yet and that is
about to be rectified in the next few months.  It is lovely to add a bit of vintage stitchery to garments to make them unique and I have on one white cotton shirt I have which I love.

I am about to start 'pimping' some more things for me to wear that will make them look different and unique to me.

Thinking this will go on a white shirt I have with lace bottom and I will stitch it on the front right bottom corner maybe ...

Then I have a very light blue shirt I wear with jeans and I thought this patch might look just right and on there sort of a summer nautical look in a way ... what do you think.

With a tiny boat bobbing on the sea and some very old ticking and blue fabric as well as some old linen I was pleased with this one.

Then last but not least I found this one I did and again it will be stitched to something I like to wear
and probably at vintage fairs mostly I would imagine or when I am working.

Sorting my sewing room as made me rediscover other bits that had been buried and I am able to use now.  Those stitching magnets for needles are amazing and pretty to look at so really pleased I found those old treasures, I was trying to think and they are about 19 years old now I believe.

In my er hum .. paisley drawer there were bits of paisley buried in there I had forgotten I had,  and happily have come to the front of drawer all tied up and ready to be used in a design or two .. I love discovering treasure.

I have been stitching away and the weather has been getting warmer daily so I have stolen some little stitches outside whilst drinking some homemade lemonade I have made.  I love watching the birds and the Mr bumble going about the garden I often wonder if you got up close to a bumble if you could smell the beautiful pollen on their dear little feet ...

Not sure who would be more surprised !??

Thank you to those who have already got in touch about vintage fairs in July I will be doing a blog with dates in about two weeks so there is still time to contact me with any you may know of with full details and address.

I have some more work to do on my Christmas sampler and in this warmth it is strange to be stitching this kind of thing with reds and whites but you know I love reds and its a favourite time of year for me.  I am looking forward though to its being finished and framed and want to get on with some other of my projects,

 I am still trying to decide on the Halloween sampler at the moment because I keep changing my mind, Not about Russell the Crow being centre stage but the words for the sampler ... I will keep looking back at the words to decide.

 Firstly though I think a summer sampler is in order so I am going to look in my design journal and if there is nothing there that takes my fancy I think I will have a little sketch over the weekend. There might be some Victorian  Suffolk puffs staring in this one but I will have to see ....

It is fathers day this weekend so a visit to my Dads grave with flowers is one of the sad things to do but strangely now I find comfort in talking away to him there whilst arranging his flowers just so.  It used to make me so very sad but now well after 18 years I guess I have become calmer over it.

Whatever you are doing have a wonderful weekend, for those of you lucky enough to still have your Dad, enjoy time with him ...

Happy Stitching!  see you Monday  XX

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Slow stitching progress, one tiny stitch at a time....

Creative is not the way I think
but the way I like to live.
I hope I inspire others to
create and make as well..

The passion that I have for what I do is boundless, each day I awake and love the thought of going to my sewing room and stitching and having ideas for the next and the next and the next project, I see designs in everything and wish I had several pairs of hands sometimes ... although clothes might be a
problem !

Whilst clearing my sewing room for the last few weeks I found things that I had forgotten about like these amazing magnetic needle holders I bought years ago from Debbie Mumm and I not only think they are so pretty but so very useful as well ..  I found a heart, a pin cushion and Noah's Ark, they now are in full use again.

Slow stitching gives me time to let my mind wander as well as achieving a finished bespoke item for the home ... Home is where we all should love to be and it should be individual to us and cosy warm and inviting I always feel, I like to think I add that to peoples homes in my own little way with designs for others to stitch themselves...

Our homes are an extension of ourselves and for my husband and I we like to choose together, I feel it is important that he feels that at the end of a very long day ( his hours are totally bonkers most weeks) that he loves coming home to that feel of cosy, warm and a place to let the pressures of his day drift away ...  He totally gets my vintage love and he himself goes off and finds gorgeous quilts and light fittings etc for our home.  He also came home with the most lovely antique light for our study/snug and that is another thing that is going up this weekend I hope.

With my designs and patterns that I produce I like to think others can create from them and with a simple addition like choosing their own choice of fabrics and their colours they have made it unique to them and that will fit into their space and lifestyle.

Another favourite of mine is seahorses I think they are such magical and regal creatures of the deep.
 If I had never seen one for myself I would say it was a myth because they are such a strange animal but so very beautiful.  It is how I started, making a seahorse picture for our bathroom as I could not find what I loved.  I feel I should re invent another design as well for others to make..

Well I am starting to make a little progress on the stitching front and things are starting it get done.  It will take a week or so for things to get finished but I feel better in myself that the progress is
beginning to show and I feel a sense of achievement finally after a long few months.  I actually can not believe that nearly half our year is over and that I am so far behind in my designs, but Mum had to come first.  She is settled and happy and her face lights up when my sister and I visit.  Funny story, my husband came to see her after work and he had a suit on with tie and the trimmings as I like to call it with his long grey wool coat on ( it was a rainy chilly day) and she smiled and shouted his name, then turned around for all the nurses to hear and said this is my son in law he is a Doctor don't you know!!!

The nurses  all looked at me and Andrew and said Oh we didn't know, at which point we both shook our head and mouthed he is not! ... it was so funny but now in my mums eyes he is a Doctor and we have been told not to say other wise, disagreeing with what they think with this decease is not encouraged.... it did make us laugh.  She also that particular day asked how old I was and when I said she said well that can not be right as she was only 35! and then started counting on her fingers but not in order, it is sad but amusing some days because if she is happy we just go with the flow ....

Sometime over the weekend I have to go through my embellishment box, it is a huge 64 litre clip and lock box and has all the lace, hankies, monograms, vintage embroidery bits old French initial laundry ribbons in.  With tiny antique crochet buttons and gorgeous bits like that in it.  I need a few things from their for my project baskets and it happens to be the third box down so some moving around and muscles are needed!  I can see it taking an hour or so at least because it is like a treasure trove to me and not to be rushed, treasure is treasure and should be loved and looked at !  grin...

The Love Lane Vintage fair is coming up on the 23rd and 24th of June and this month I have not managed to do a list of fairs I am afraid but it will resume in July so if you know of any in that month please get in touch, the usual date, day, time, entry fee, dogs allowed or not and full address please.

Love Lane Vintage
Cowdray Estate
West Sussex GU29 9Al

TICKETS  Friday 23rd June
Early Bird £12.50  9.30am - 5pm
Standard £7.50  10.30am - 5pm

Saturday 24th June
Standard Tickets £7.50 10am - 5pm

Children Free, Dogs welcome and Free parking.

So this is the details of the next one I know of and that I am attending this month, as I say I am looking for July dates if anyone is interested in it being listed on here in the next two weeks.

Well that it is it for today and I am away to my sewing so I hope you all have a wonderful day.

Happy Stitching! XX

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Busy with gorgeous fabric, thread, buttons and vintage papers....

To live a creative life
we must lose the fear 
of being wrong.


 Joseph Chilton Pearce

The above saying is so true, we need to believe and love what we create because it shows in our work I always think.  

With creating it is so funny to see that we sometimes have the same ideas as others yet there is a difference in what we have done with it. 

 Take a heart shape in a beautiful fabric, what we stitch it to or what embroidery or words we use,  is not the same but it is a picture of a heart all the same.  

I have been working with old French envelopes and sewing things to them and of course others have done the same I see but not like mine (yet!)  it is my love of hares that keeps me different and it is kind of a signature for me like a button that has to be stitched to everything I do ...

I am of course trying to finish my Christmas sampler and I would like to start another one as well, I do have a thing for them.  They have words and sayings as appose to ABC and 123 on mine, and I am going to create a Halloween one as well I have decided, featuring a fabulous crow that I managed to sketch who visits our garden.  I have named him Russell ... yes I know but
what else would you call a crow!?

He is fairly tame and I did imagine what he would say to me should I tell him he was featuring in my Halloween design .... something like "I am always type cast!"

As yet I have not decided on the actual design except I have his shape and beauty but on Wednesday I will be sitting in my new/old creative space and looking and staring out of the window if it is not warm or indeed if Summer returns I will sit in the garden with my journal and design out there in the morning .. either way I need to get creative on it now so that when I visit the next vintage fair I will be able to hopefully find and purchase anything I may need and do not have yet to complete this design.  I truly do not know what I could possibly need that I do not have in my vast collection of vintage stock but you never know..... when it is designed I can form a project basket and then take stock of the situation...

I love the thought of being able to change pictures around in our home with the seasons and events in the calender so there is always a difference in our cosy spaces. 

 We love doing Halloween here and I do not have a picture so I thought I needed to put this right.  The design will go to print but the original will stay with us .... I think I might take a few orders for them as well but I will see how long it takes to make. 

The trouble is when making something like that and by the time it is framed and of course I need to earn a living it could be around £150 or more so it is best to design have photos taken and people make their own based on my design.  They can then use their own choice of fabric and it actually can be new fabric and not vintage if that pleases them ... this is why I love doing work for American magazines or sometimes here but mostly America who really do appreciate hand stitched designs and  know how much time goes into the whole process... I understand we all have a budget and it can be un-affordable to buy something of that price so that is why I only take commissions and not make things to sell,  I have been asked so many times about selling my work but it just does not seem it would work for me. 

However when we do move I will be taking classes and hope to meet some of you at one or two sometime.... use my design patterns, choose your fabrics and create.  Stay for the day and chat and enjoy lunch and take home a finished something to frame your self or get framed that you yourself have stitched and added a little something different to and made your own.

I keep the tiny bits of fabric scraps in a box and they do get used.  Also keeping the hems that I cut off of vintage French linens  and what I do with those is tie together fabric bundles with them and place a piece of dried lavender in the bow to keep the munchers away (moths) .. The plaque of my life I am always on the look out for them ... I patrol my quilts and fabrics, its like a scene from Dads Army!!

Well I am away to my stitching and a visit to mum for my lunch with her today .... then it is design day tomorrow and I will be back here on Thursday with an update of my vintage stitchery tales .

Happy Stitching! XX

Monday, 12 June 2017

Sewing Room sucess and slow stitching!

Its so good to be back, thank you all for your emails and messages and such over whelming support it has been so thoughtful of you all and much appreciated.  Mum is a lot more settled and feeling better we have seen a huge difference in her, which for Dementia is a plus.

She is loving the weather and I have to say she is very close to my sister and myself and our respective husbands but unfortunately she does not remember even her own sister, not really she sees her as a little girl not a woman and keeps saying it is not her sister.

 She however remembers us and at the moment it is important that we spend as much time as possible with her whilst this is happening.  She asks about my job and I show her magazines I have been in and she smiles and says I do not know who taught you to stitch Sarah but it was not me was it?  I say no Mum and she smiles ... clever you! It warms my heart and I take that with me wherever I go ....

Whilst I have been away from here and not really stitching, just little snatched stitches really I have
concentrated on my sewing room and I am pleased to announce it is finished all tidied and you are not going to believe this I have some empty drawers!! I know! but I do have a few stacked clear boxes as well in a corner but there it is.  I will be sorting out some things to sell that I really do not need any more.  The beauty of vintage is that it is fluid.  If you use some fabric for a project  and you have some left over not needed for anything then you can sell it on for others to create with.

The last single bed has gone from the room and a gorgeous painted duck egg armoire is in- situ and full with beautiful linens at the top ... there are two drawer and a large cupboard at the bottom with three shelves .....

As you can see from the photo I have it all sorted.  The photo does not really do it justice.  but I have a huge bit in the middle of my sewing room, called carpet! and it is big enough for a very large blow up bed when extra people want to sleep over and the guest rooms are full already and you can still walk around it .. Yes we tried it just in case ...

Sorry by the way this is late today but BT were at the corner of our road and playing about, so no
internet .. grrr. Although we are not with them, they are still the people all providers have to go through.

Anyway the room is wonderful and a little bit of heaven for me to come to and write and stitch.  Now the only time I use our dinning room table is to cut out because it is a very large table.

I can sit at my desk and type or use my sewing machine and look out over the back garden and the
tree tops ... watch Miss Muddy beak go about her very busy life and our latest addition the chuckle brothers.  Now they are two young magpie who are adorable and they fool around.  Hanging upside down in our Elderflower tree and play in the garden.  I pop out some meat trimmings and some egg for them to eat and they seem to leave the other birds nests alone ...

This is my chair that I pull up to my desk but it site back in the corner so that on coffee break or very early morning I can curl up in this antique beauty and watch as the world wakes up and the birds feed.    It has an old quilt on as you can see if it gets cold and a rabbit cushion made from a rather old quilt that had seen better days....  Behind the quilt in the background is a wooden ladder which was my late Dads but I cover it in a quilt and sit a rather lovely doll all made from vintage fabrics that I bought from the talented Nicki Fretwell.....

My bookcase is jammed packed with stitching books very old and new and love going to the old
embroidery books to look up new embroidery stitches and techniques long forgotten on occasions and playing around with them in my work.

I have two lamps in the room and my husband has just bought me a most gorgeous main light that is very old indeed .. it is not up yet but I will take a photo for you when it is. It is a holophane shade with vintage wiring and a new but old looking bulb ... excited to see it when it is up...

I feel now I have my creative space and with a very old type writer that my husband bought me out on display with my calligraphy products including old inks, wax and seals and button drawers and fabric and paisley drawers it is perfect for me.

To have a place to create and be able to leave things I am in the middle of is so much better although I have been putting away because I do not want it to get messy.  Getting the dyson out at the end of each day and the duster because I love my space so much.  I have behind the chair several project
baskets as well that I have put together this morning, not wanting to waste the time that I could not write to you, I filled it with a purpose whilst happily sipping a coffee.

So now it time to create some bits for publication and the rest of the year ahead.  I am still finishing my Christmas Sampler .. it is a little fiddly but I think it  will be really lovely.. It measure around 12 x 12 and has a quilted border which I love ... I want to finish that first really but I am also creating with a gorgeous old French envelope and papers with fabrics, and buttons too....

My writing space on my desk is shared with my sewing machine and laptop but it really is not a problem to do that.  Everything now has a space when not in use so it is easier to juggle.  I also belong to a Happy Mail trio so I write to now two great friends, and I have been able to catch up with that this last week.  My head is clear and the cobwebs have been swept away for me to create.

The tales of the stitchery room will be able to begin in this new week ahead.

Well that is it for my first day back of rambling and I hope to that you have enjoyed a little peek in my creative space and I will be back tomorrow as usual.  My blog days will be Mon, Tue, Thur and Friday which still gives me time to create and visit mum and of course run a home too .... I hope you all have a wonderful day and the weather this week is very promising and very hot by the weekend.

Happy Stitching and again thank you all for such support and patience and the beautiful messages about how you have missed my sewing ramblings ...


Friday, 12 May 2017

Vintage collections .....

Love of beauty is taste.
 The creation of beauty is art.

 Ralph Waldo Emerson

Do you remember me showing you that little book I bought called wise words with the art work by Millicent and Githa Sowerby?  I was saying to you all how I would like to have some of the pictures framed but did not think I could bare to destroy this gorgeous book?  Well joy of joy I found that
these two extremely talented sisters did other things..... they did postcards too.

So I have been a little busy collecting some of these from Ebay for the last week.  I am very pleased with what has turned up so far.  I have three more on the way and then I am done so that I can frame them to hang up in my sewing room.

Look at the evening Primrose art work how beautiful is that.  I have a pansy in this series on its way and a love in the mist one as well.  I think the three together will look so very beautiful indeed.

Then I bought this one  which is a beautiful card with a elf/fairy  asleep in a nest and the Mumma bird (Mrs Thomas Tit as it says in the poem) left wondering what on earth is going on and I fell in love with the little rhyme too.  There is a series of these apparently and I think it is called babes in the wood but I may be wrong.

I am going to keep a look out for a couple more of this series or at least another one to frame with this one ....

I found two rare photos of the sisters Sowerby  well one is a photo and the other is a picture of a
painting of the other sister and it took some searching I can tell you.  I am fascinated by them and their art.
Amy Millicent Sowerby (1878–1967), known as Millicent Sowerby, was an English painter and illustrator, known for her illustrations of classic children's stories such as Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and A Child's Garden of verses her postcards featuring children, nursery rhymes, and Shakespeare scenes, and children's books created with her sister Githa.

This is a picture of a painting of her sister Githa born in 1876 and Portrait of Githa Sowerby is  by George Percy Jacomb-Hood, circa 1912.
Katherine Githa Sowerby (6 October 1876 – 30 June 1970), also known under her penname  K. G.
Sowerby, was an English playwright, children's writer, and member of the Fabian Society. A feminist, she was well-known during the early twentieth century for her 1912 hit play Rutherford & Son , but lapsed into obscurity in later decades.
Rutherford & Son was first revived in 1980, and since then there have been several productions, including one at the Royal National Theatre  in 1994 and, most recently, by Northern Broadsides . A biography of Sowerby by Pat Riley, Looking for Githa, appeared in 2009. In addition to several plays, Sowerby wrote books of poetry and short stories for children, illustrated by her sister Millicent.   Her papers and memorabilia are in the collections at the Tyne and Wear Archives and I would not mind having a look at those one day ....

I have one other postcard which has arrived which is this beautiful one and a little different to the
others but I just loved it . It is about trying cherries that are for sale but saying they are so sweet and juicy you will want to buy them all.... I loved the clothes they are wearing and so I think this will be framed on its own  and what a joy to look at.  At  this rate I will need more wall space in my sewing room .....

As you can see I am busy collecting more things to go in my wonderful girl cave but  I have to be careful or my new found space will become a built up area again.  I am doing some inspiration packs to sell of fabrics that I have used or patchwork pieces and will be putting them on Facebook for sale on Homespun Stitchworks page if any one is interested it will be a few weeks time I think .. well when the room is completed and I can then make them up and photograph them.

Well that is it for today and I hope that you all have a wonderful weekend.  I will be taking photos at Eridge but will have to collate them to show you so it will be later next week.  I will however be back here on Monday so until then  Happy Stitching! XX

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Bygone days .....

Fill your house with stacks
of books, in all the
crannies and in all the nooks!

Dr Seuss

So before I starts today's ramble drum role please.... The Winner of the little Vintage markets and fairs books is ....

Donna Howard! ... Donna please DM me your address for me to send it to you next week ... Well Done and  thank you for those of you who took part.  There will be another competition soon and All of you are welcome to participate, even if you entered this one.

I love books and journals as I think you all know that by now, shocker I hear you all cry !  The thing is I can understand the kindle life especially when on holiday so that you can pop it in your hand luggage but here's the thing.  I
love books.  I love opening it up and smelling the pages and with ones that have pictures it is even more appealing to me to have the book and not yet another screen to stare at in my life!

There is a part of me that is so bygone times.  I love hand writing letters and receiving them too.  When a letter drops through my letter box it is such a special thing and is treated as such.  I will wait to open it when I can curl up in a chair with a herbal tea or a glass of wine and read it and read it again.  I belong to a little Happy Mail group and I only have two people who I write to as at the moment I really can not take on any more which is a great sadness to me.  I love long letter writing and I love getting them back.  I have wax guns and seals to make them special and I often write with my calligraphy pen in sepia ink ..... I am only half an inch away from writing by candle with a quill quite frankly ... see photo, yes I have a quill !

I believe in books and I know they can collect dust and take up room but I would, if I could, have a whole room dedicated to them.  Yes a home library room and I am so lucky that my husband feels the same as well.  I imagine having a room with built in beautiful shelves line with books.  A fireplace on in the middle of one wall with armchairs either side and in the window a writing desk with a lamp
and all my calligraphy pens, inks and seals and wax in the desks.  There would be a drawer for writing papers and envelopes and I would always have postal stamps in.  This is where I would write my letters and where I would write my Christmas cards as well as sit and read.  My husband loves reading too and he needs more light than me so he could have a standard lamp by him or a little lamp with the a reading light attached.  Andrew could listen to music whilst reading but I can not do that but a crackling fire and a glass of wine .. now that's me happy.  When we read we will catch each others eye and read a little to one another if we think it will amuse or be of interest. 

Vintage papers and books and journals are all part of my creative thought patterns as well and I love to incorporate these things sometimes in my sewing.  If you are making a sampler/picture to be framed then of course you can use these because there is no washing of it.  If it is a quilt then you can copy it onto photocopy fabric sheets and use them this way.

One of my hobbies was always my family tree and I did genealogy for a living in a past life as I call it, before doing what I do now.  That said I still take on some work of that nature for Solicitors sometimes and at the moment a private client .... If it is a hard one to do.  I have a journal for this, shocker!  but it is how I work.  I have just started bullet journaling too and that is a lot of fun.  I love writing and creating in any way so for me this is not a chore but pure pleasure.

When it is Christmas or my Birthday if I am given a journal the squeal of delight is like I have received a huge diamond or something ... think if I got one of those I might go quiet and gulp though!

I am totally immersed in my vintage and bygone days and traditions although I do embrace technology too.  I love that we have laptops and email so that I can write my blog as I am now and the world can read it with a touch of a button that says PUBLISH!  The  iphone that I carry has become a useful technology tool, it means that I  can still check on my blog if need be or text a friend ... it all has its place especially in business or in times of urgency but I still love the gentle art of writing and hand stitching ..... for me it feeds my soul and makes me happy.

I am still awaiting my William Morris lavender scented drawer liners ..... argghhhhh want to get on with it all but decided the put away and get it all out again idea was futile but have had enough of the things all through the hall and into the spare room.  I know you have to break eggs to make an omelette as the saying goes but I am so keen to get sewing again and until this is complete I can not because I can not find a thing right now.  Although I have a project to just finish but there is not much to do so that is why I am taking my time.

Not long now until Eridge vintage fair and I will be going so I am very excited indeed.  Anyone else
reading this that is going?  I know that The Old Haberdashery will be there stalling and that is one of
my favourites with old silko spools of thread and buttons and lots of goodies.... I have a whole drawer dedicated to threads with I might add a little space! LOL so that bit of my sewing room has been sorted!  I am looking where to put Suffolk puffs too, wanting for everything to have its own space with a little spare is going to be more that difficult I think but hey I will give it a go!

Well this morning I am off to visit Mum and sit with her hopefully in the garden there with my sister and we take in lovely coffees with us.  Then we sit and chat about all sorts of begone memories that make her really happy.  She has become very cuddly too wanting cuddles and holding both our hands .... We still have some of her left so these are very special times indeed.  Then it will be back to see if a delivery might have turned up and if so get on with packing away .....

I have an idea to run past my husband later, he is my dream maker and if it can be done it will be.  This one involves some hooks in the ceiling in a corner and a shelf on the wall ( if there are no cables behind the plaster - he has got there just in the nick of time before now when one of my ideas could not wait! a story for another day!)

Have a wonderful day all and as always Happy Stitching! XX

The World is a book and those
who do not travel read only but one page ....

food for thought!