Monday 20 February 2017

Fabrics, Ephemera and threads!

Ephemera (singular: ephemeron) are any transitory written or printed matter not meant to be retained or preserved. The word derives from the Greek ephemeros, meaning "lasting only one day, short-lived" Some collectible  ephemera are advertising trade cards bookmarks, catalogues, vintage cards, letters, pamphlets, postcards, posters, tickets, old french marriage certificates, envelopes.

I have a little box of  little vintage bits in it.  Let me explain it has some tiny crochet buttons, tiny bits of pretty lace a vintage ticket some very tiny buttons that look like they would belong on dolls clothes maybe and all sorts or bits that might other wise get lost in the eitha that is my work room ....

At the end of last year I was playing with mixed media as you might remember the hearts that I was tearing out of old paper and also stitching onto envelopes ... I was doing something for seasons and love as well.  These are what I was adding tiny bits to when I got distracted last week.   Adding little bits of vintage maps, buttons, embroidery, ribbon and even an old key can all add to something not only interesting to look at but beautiful as well.  I am all for framing work like this because of dust. When there is so much going on and it is on a wall hanging it would be hard to keep clean and free from a moth nibble too.  Although with some of my little antique French envelopes the would look gorgeous as a hanging with the old french pharmacy clips that I bought  ... It is a matter of deciding really.  Moths do hate lavender so you could spray them with a little lavender water from a distance and you get them smelling good too!!!

I am all for subtle approach and not lots of black stitching lines everywhere but that is my personal taste and at the end of the day when we make we sort of make what we like.  If I am stitching a commission piece then I discuss with the client what they have in mind and then respect what they are looking for but generally as they have picked me to stitch something they have seen some of my
work and like the way that I interpret things and my subtle way of stitching....

Collected over the years I have old maps, bits from old cookery books, old envelopes and letters copperplate pictures from books to bad to save and I buy lots of these from Kiss the book the lovely Jayne and she sells packs on her stall as well as gorgeous old books.  If a book or map is just too badly off she splits them up and makes interesting packs of old paper and sometimes there is a feather of a little bit of ribbon or dried flower that has been kept in the book as well.....

Making beautiful things from all sorts of materials really is great and if like me you might like to make things that can be washed then of course you can photo copy onto the copy fabric and then you can have the best of both worlds as it were.  You can add on old thimbles as I have done as gorgeous looking beehives .... I also have a new find a ball of silk twine made from vintage sari's and it is beautiful .

I am loving experimenting with mixed media and have lots of ideas... then I will be able to use up some of my gorgeous papers and envelopes .. I have a few of those glass frames that you can see back and front and like the idea of making something to look at on both sides as well...

Now that reminds me I must find the packaging (hope I still have) of the fabric photocopy sheets I use and I will show you some of the things that have been copied .... I am very pleased with them.

My hand dyed shaker threads have had a slight tidy as well and I have been
bunching some colour ways together so it is easier to find what shade I am looking for.  These are what I call my seaside colours (above) and they are in part of a box and then of course the ones that I seem to always be drawn to are my reds ... I can not help it as it is still winter to me and because red and white on stitching is my favourite thing and what I tend to home in on.  You can see why though can't you?

Well enough of my ramblings for today, I hope you all have a fabulous day and I am off to my stitching. My basket is ready and I am going to make myself another warm drink.  I have drunk a lovely cup of coffee whilst typing this and I am now going to choose a herbal tea.  Cinnamon or fiery ginger and rhubarb  and can not decide right now ...

Happy Stitching! XX


  1. I love red. There is something about red, bright happy colour for all seasons

    Julie xxxxxxxx

  2. Ooooo, your threads are divine! Those thimbles are what caught my eye though, and the gorgeous piece of embroidery behind them. If you ever come across any of those thimbles on your Vintage rambles, please grab one, or two for me. Lx

    1. Hi Laura

      The threads are hand dyed and have gorgeous names like ' old brick path' .. they are American. All I use really apart from any vintage ..
      I love the old thimbles .. I did that piece over a year ago and the thimbles worked well.
      Will keep a look out for you Laura. For use as a thimble or squashing for beehive?
      Sarah xx