Tuesday 28 March 2017

Diaries out ladies and gents ...... Vintage fair dates for April.

The Sun has made an appearance and
it is soon April .... Let the vintage season begin
in earnest, treasures to find and friends to 
catch up with ......

Well hello to all my lovely readers.  Its been a hard few weeks with my Mum, she had a bad episode and is in a hospital right now.  We are hoping to move her to care within three weeks fingers crossed. This is the reason for my absence at the moment, but, hopefully soon it will be back to work here.  For now I will be popping in and out to you as my Mum has been coming first and taken lots of my time. She is very confused as well and it has been a thoroughly upsetting time.

So to start us all off I have some vintage dates for your diaries for April.  These are the only ones that I know off right now but lets hope there is at least one of these you are able to make it to.  I myself, all things being equal, will be at the Vintage Bazaar on Saturday so if any of you make it there please come say hello.

The Vintage Bazaar 
Cheese and Grain
BA11 1BE

Saturday 1st April
9 -3pm

Entry £2

As always there will be fabulous stalls there selling all sorts of vintage treasures from fabrics, buttons and clothes ..... There is a fabulous restaurant in the Cheese and Grain for refreshments.

Market Harborough Vintage Fair

Three Swans Hotel
21 High Street
LE16 7NJ

Saturday 1st April

11.00 am - 4pm

Entry before 12pm £3
Entry after 12pm £1

The Chiddingfold Quintessentially English
Spring Sale

The Village Hall
Coxcombe Lane

Saturday 8th April

10.30am - 3.30pm

Entry £1 Children free

There will be thirty stalls with vintage and handmade plus the best tea and cakes this side of London they say!!

The West Country Fabric and Textile Weekend

Lydeard St Lawrence Village Hall
Lydeard St Lawrence

Saturday 8th April and Sunday 9th April

10am - 3pm

Vintage and Antique textiles, Dress fabrics, Linens and Toile.  Eiderdowns and Quilts along with Welsh blankets, Lace Trimmings, Haberdashery and Upholstery fabrics and more!

Home and Vintage 
Crayswood Village Hall
GU22 2DJ

Saturday 15th April

10 - 3pm

£1 Entry Fee and free for under 10's.

Join us for our first Beautiful fair of the year in the lovely village of Grayswood, Surrey to sample a wonderful selection of Handmade & Vintage.
French, Vintage finds, furniture, linens, textiles, clothing, handmade treasures & fresh flowers & plants to get you, your homes & gardens ready for spring.
Our pretty flower filled tearoom will be open serving Hot cross buns & yummy tea & cakes served in true Home & Vintage style & can be taken onto the terrace to enjoy the stunning views of the village green.
Bring your friends & family along to enjoy a typically english country village sale in the heart of the Surrey countryside.
Easter treats for the children & the lovely playground to play on whilst you shop plus the village green for your four legged friend to run around on ..... dogs on leads are very welcome and also get a treat on the door x
£1 entry ~ under 10's free
We look forward to welcoming you
Love Julie & The Team x

The Country Brocante

Midhurst Old Town
The Square
West Sussex
GU29 9NQ

Saturday 22nd April

10.00am - 4.30pm

FREE entrance

Lots of gorgeous vintage stalls to find fabulous vintage treasure!

Well that is it for now, I would like to say these are the only fairs that have been given to me for April ... I hope you all have a fabulous day and I hope to get some stitching done this week, fingers crossed.

Happy Stitching! XX

Monday 13 March 2017

Imagination, Design & My Needle and Thread.

Designing dreams and making
them into something that
is unique and bespoke - that
is my wonderful job.

The first intrepid light pencil lines on a piece of gorgeous antique French linen can be scary but I remember buying my first antique linen sheet and shaking as I cut it up to make the canvass of my
first sampler, it was terrifying.  It took me, and this is no word of a lie, hours to take the first snip.  I felt sick and was shaking .... I had just paid £65 for this gorgeous French linen sheet and I was cutting into pieces, was I mad!  Now there is no second thought really.  I have several that I would not cut up as I use them as table cloths but other than that I buy them to cut them.

When I sketch on words or a picture with a pencil I used to feel frightened because what if it was wrong and I had to throw away a wonderful piece of fabric because my drawing was bad.  Well worry no more as I discovered very early on in this little business of mine that putty rubbers work a treat. They are sold in all good art supply shops and work so well with no smudge and you would never know there had been pencil on the fabric.  A normal rubber will not do.... they smudge and it looks like a war of graphite!!

Deciding what might work or might not or what fabrics to use for each design can be so much fun
and although I have a big collection of fabrics it is necessary, I believe, to have choices when designing.  Sometimes what you think will look good just does not somehow, so choice is all important.  There are husbands out there if they were reading this that would sigh at that statement but it is true.  I may have a stash but it will all be used on something one day and what I do not use will be re sold on for others to use.

Pretty, delicate fabrics with gorgeous hand dyed threads, add some stunning carved mother of pearl buttons and lace or ribbon and you have the makings of a one off, never to be seen again piece of needle art.  There are not thousands of prints of it and it is beautifully unique!  This is a joy in itself.

I have so much to do with the tidying of my stitchery room and getting projects stitched and with ideas bouncing around my head but all of it is a joy and I find pleasure in every aspect of my work.

Mixed media with old stamps and/or old papers can be exciting and different and I thoroughly enjoy experimenting with design and different mediums as well. If you can imagine it, well it can be stitched!

I am hoping for a quiet week this week to be able to concentrate on lots of things here at home, as
well as getting up really early to get some housework in I want to do a couple of hours a day in my work room and get it done in maybe just over a week.   A reader and a friend told me she was doing this with her work room.  It worked better she thought because you are pacing yourself not rash decisions to get rid of are made in error and thinking about what she said I realised she was so right.  So today I start and get the ball rolling but still have some times to stitch some of my projects as well.

I know the picture on the right has a card with Joyeux Noel on it but I am going to be using some of these gorgeous red and white fabrics that are in this picture this week and just wanted to share  with you how pretty they are.  I love red and white and I found these the other day and they will be perfect for this project that I have started last week.  I will be running to a fairly strict timetable with curve balls thrown in the way on some days I know (my Mum) but still if I have some structure I will get more achieved so this is my plan of action for the next two weeks ... fingers crossed for me.

I am hoping for some fine weather this week because when sorting out it is lovely to have the
windows thrown open but not so good if rain is going 70 miles and hour sideways at you ... You can also see dirt and dust more in the sun and I want to not only sort but clean the sewing room too.  When it is done I am going to buy some flowers for in there every week to make me keep it in order.

When my husband and I went to Bath the other weekend a bought the most gorgeous mug and it is going to have pencils in it on my sewing table .... It is still wrapped waiting to go into a clean room.  When my room is finished I will take some photos to prove to you that it is a well ordered and workable space ... as much as it can be with a single bed still in there.  I tend to make that look like a sofa though so that I can sit on it and read .... I would like to move around  some displays and make it look inviting as well as like a workplace, after all it is meant to be inspirational to me as well not clinical.

So If I keep talking about it nothing will get done at all today so I am going to sign off now and I really hope you all have a wonderful day .... Happy Stitching! XX

Thursday 9 March 2017

Little pockets ...... not so much!

Lucy Locket lost her pocket
Kitty Fisher found it
Not a penny was there in it
Only ribbon round it.

1899 by Percy B Green.

Have any of you seen antique pockets?  They were so pretty it seemed such a shame to hide them in
petticoats but it was a necessary thing to do to keep them safe and of course keep your secret things away from prying eyes ... most of the time!

It was said that this nursery rhyme was based on two courtesans of Charles II time, Lucy Locket and Kitty Fisher.  It was said that Kitty Fisher supplanted Lucy Locket in Kings Charles 'fickle esteem'.

Pockets as we know them today were not the same when they began being made around the 17th Century.  Men always had pockets in their Coats, Waistcoats and breeches but not so in  the dresses that were worn.  

Woman from the 17th Century to the late 19th Century had at least one pair of them, which served as
a similar purpose of say a handbag today.  They were usually worn underneath their petticoats.  They had ties which were secured around their waist.  How did they get their hand in their pockets, well petticoats had openings in the side seam so ladies could put their hands through and reach their pocket.  The pockets were invisible but accessible.

It  was the one place that you could keep things that you did not want anyone else to see like a love letter or diary.  Hankies may have been carried in there and of course money.  There was a lady called Theresa Tidy and she wrote Eighteen Maxims of Neatness and Order in 1819 and she suggested that

' It is also expedient to carry about your purse, a thimble, pincushion, pencil, knife and a pair of scissors, which will not only be an independence, by removing the necessity of borrowing but will secure the privilege of not lending these indispensable articles'

Many pockets were handmade and decorated beautifully.  They were often given as gifts.  Some were made to match a petticoat and some were made from old textiles or clothes.

However the word pick pocket derived from the 18th and 19th Century as thieves would removed items such as wallets from men's waistcoats and cut the string from ladies pockets.  There is a record from The Old Bailey Courthouse of pick pockets prosecutions.

5th November 1716:

Robert Draw of London, labourer was indicated for privately stealing from Martha Peacock a 

linen pocket (value 2 shillings) 1 holland hankerchief (value 2 shillings) a pair of white gloves (value 1 shilling) a pair of scissors and 3 keys on the 1st of December last.

The prosecutor depos'd that as she was going along the street the prisoner came behind her and thrust his hand up her riding hood and pulled her pocket off.  That upon her crying out, he was followed and knocked down and the pocket found upon him.  The prisoner deny'd the fact, but the jury found him guilty to the value of 10 pence.  OBP 5 November 1716 Robert Draw (t1716110531)

As you can imagine pockets were not  tiny they were quiet big and could get a lot of booty in them!

Many people would put their pockets under their pillow at night for safe keeping but even then there are documents at the Old Bailey of a Ann Grey testifying against a Mary Stewart for taking a pocket from under a pillow!

When the fashion changed from full petticoats to wide hoops in the 1790's that the pockets would ruin the dress line so ladies started to  use reticules, which were decorative bags designed to carry over your arm in the manner of our contemporary handbag.  However reticules were very small with barely enough room for a hankie and a coin, never mind a mirror, keys, diary or needle cases normally contained  within a pocket.  Contemporary literature  on proper behaviour suggest that
women still kept weary pockets anyway.

By the 1850's to the 1890's patterns for dresses show that although pockets were now attached to the skirt they still followed the traditional shape of the separate pocket.

The older style separate pockets were so beautiful, that is if you were of money, with ornate embroidery and so pretty it was a shame in my humble opinion to hide them under petticoats at all.  This of course was the only way to keep them a little safe and secure as I said at the beginning - most of the time anyway.

I would love to find a antique pocket with embroidery but I would imagine most are in a museum now but how wonderful to have a beautiful piece of history with such a gorgeous history.  You could only imagine what may have been lovingly stored within.  A romantic letter from a secret beau or a tiny poetry book and of course the all important sewing kit that we all would covet today.

Anyway that is it for today I really hope you have enjoyed this stitchery history lesson on gorgeous hand embroidered pockets.

Have a wonderful weekend and I will be back here on Monday.  Next week will see some dates for your diaries for vintage fairs and a great give away so until then Happy Stitching! XX

Treasures at The Vintage Bazaar!

For the magpie in all us
vintagers .. well this was
treasure island  !!

As I said in my last blog on Tuesday I really did not buy that much this time because basically I was so caught up in talking, catching up with old friends and new and of course taking photos.  I could not seem to multi task very well at the weekend but that said I did get some really lovely things so
here goes.

I bought this most beautiful hand beaded and hand embroidered evening purser from Anne- Marie of Sky Blue.  It was made in Belgium and inside is perfect for its age with very little wear and very clean indeed.  I did try and photograph it for you ( the inside I mean) but it just would not come out properly in the light that was there yesterday ...

You can see though from the photos of the outside of the bag how stunning it is in every way.  As I am going to the ballet at the end of this month I thought it would be a gorgeous little bag to take on this special occasion and then it can hang on my wardrobe door and just be looked at ....

my next purchase was from Isobel and as I told you she has some gorgeous stitchery things on offer.  So much to choose from and she had some oh so lovely mother of pearl buttons so that was it, the magpie in me saw them glistening in the sun and they caught my eye!  Along with some scraps of vintage fabrics, linen buttons in beautiful condition and clean and some milliners flowers which are just beautiful to stitch onto a sampler being as they are so tiny.... mixed with embroidery it brings such dimensions to a a piece.

Also what caught my eye was the most beautiful little fabric and lace mat for a table.  It had to come home with me because it was vintage paisley fabric and cream crochet edging and I just could not leave it there ... I have never seen one like this before ever.  Isobel always has some really lovely treasures and I was so pleased with this...

Suitably vintage has some great pieces of fabrics and as I took photos for you all I found myself picking up bits of fabrics, four all in all.  Then I saw some old 1951 stamps and thought that they would be great for mixed media projects that will be stitched this year by me... they are really lovely. I decided on two packs as you can see from the photo and I think there were only two actually.  Then there were some little signs.  Blocks of wood which were hand painted with words on and although not strictly antiques I wanted these two for staging purposes and thought they were lovely colours so two of them came home with me.  There was one that read Vintage but I have the old print blocks that say that if you remember so I just bought the two. 

One reads Brocante and is in a beautiful pink colour and the other reads Antiques and is in a sort of duck egg colour and I think with add something to photographs of the future.

They are only small but perfect to add to a display when not being used as a prop.  I am very pleased with them indeed.

From Donna Flower I bought a very old painted spool and there is a good length of fabric ribbon
wound onto it ... It looked so lovely and even if I use the fabric ribbon I can always make more from some gorgeous fabric I have here and wrap it around the spool or indeed make something with the spool but I thing this is a keeper for fabric ribbon or bias binding, which I am really fond of making right now and I have a tiny little iron on a stick that I had as a Christmas present and it is perfect for pressing tiny bits of fabric with its very pointed edge at the top.....

Sue of Vintage to Victorian has some gorgeous little hexagon patchwork pieces in packs and I bought two that I could not resist.  One being black and embroidered as you can see and so unusual.  I really have no idea right now what I will stitch these on to but you can rest assured it will be something and they will not stay in the box for too long I can tell you.  I really did not do her stall any justice what so ever but I will see her in April at the West Country Fabric and Textile weekend so being as she really is not doing much at all this year in way of vintage fairs I will be having a very good look and will have finished sorting my sewing room ( she says with some force) and then I can right a list and take my time looking.  Watch out Sue I will be bringing a huge bag to carry it all in!

My final purchase of the day was at The Beehive as I told you on my blog on Tuesday where I
purchased this beauty for my kitchen.  I have weights so its all good but not only was it the colour ( I would say its 1950's) but also I have never seen a set of scales with the round top in such good condition before, I fell in love with it so it got wrapped up and taken home with me.

They were £25 and I just could not leave them at the shop.  They are enamel and it has not been repainted at all and because it is not chipped on the round cream dish part they are still food worthy and will be used all the time!

Well that is the show and tell from the weekend and the next fair that I am going to is the VB in Frome in April and then the very following weekend I will be going to The West Country Fabric and Textile Weekend.  Although there is a possibility I may get to the the Selvedge Fair in Bath on the 25th March .... All the details of this one are in the vintage fair blog I did at the end of February.

Have a wonderful day and I will see you back here tomorrow.  Happy Stitching! XX

Tuesday 7 March 2017

The magic that is The Vintage Bazaar.

There are magic moments in every
day, we just have to take the
the time to see them.

You did not have to look to far on this particular day The Vintage Bazaar was magical and filled with treasures abound! Filled with eager shoppers as well and a great atmosphere.  In addition dear reader I met a lovely reader of this blog for the first time and who has become a lovely friend.  Mo is from Scotland and she and her husband travelled to Devizes to go to the VB and we met up and had a great chat.  I know that Mo founds lots of treasure because before she left we caught up again.  I think I was so busy catching up with people and taking photos I forgot to shop! Well you will see later in the week that I was beyond restrained and after thought to myself why didn't I pick this or that up, it was pure distraction of catching up with friends and a little tired.....  Or my unconscious decision not to buy lots more when I have so much clearing up to do in my sewing room as it is ...

In no particular order I will show you around the fair, not everyone was photographed I am afraid it is purely impossible with so much going on and people but also some dealers really do not like it so this is a peek through the doors of The Vintage Bazaar at the Corn Exchange in Devizes, I hope you like it.  First person that I saw was Liz of The Washerwoman fame she was just tucked in on the left as you walked into the foyer and as always her stall was beautiful with table lamps all aglow and scrumptious fabrics, buttons, threads and all sorts of gorgeous French goodies on display.  Liz as you know is part of a four part VB team along with her husband Jack.  Always there to greet people and always smiling. We managed a few catch ups throughout the day and it was so lovely to see them both.

Then moving along there was Jane of Kiss the Book and I always linger here as you may have guessed by the name she sells antique books and Ephemera packs from bits of books not any good for purpose but some you can salvage, along with old envelopes and letters in packs too and gorgeous colour plates from books as well.  Jane has a way of setting out her books and it looks beautiful and inviting and really you just want to pull up a cosy chair and stay a while. I haven't seen Jane for months so it was catch up time as well.  The winter break from fairs and the fact we all seem to hibernate after Christmas it just seems we do not get to see one another for months ....

Then a happy surprise as there was Donna of Donna Flower Vintage always smiling. It is such a privilege when you see Donna at a fair for several reasons not only is she a lovely knowledgeable lady but with her having a shop in Barnstaple, Devon as well, she is a very busy person and therefore when she is at the fair with gorgeous fabrics, ribbons, buttons, brooches, quilts, clothes and so much more it is somewhere where you need to linger a while.  Everywhere you look temptation is in your sight and treasures just crying out at you! Catch up and hugs and I was on my way for a while as she was getting very busy as was everyone and there was lots more to see.

Right next door was Clare of Daisy Darling fame and the other part of Team VB along with her husband Mike and her two gorgeous children.  Clare apart from a teacher of art is a milliner and her hats are amazing.  You may remember I bought a gorgeous red one from her several years ago now and it is a winter one.  I would like to get a summer one from her this year and she tells me they will soon be on her work table.  Also there is always some many gorgeous things to buy from Clare along with fabrics, corsages, candles and so much more.

Opposite was the lovely Laura and Phil of Savoy Art Deco Collectables and it is always lovely to see them.  They have some absolute beauties on their stall and I am after some deco photo frames, this is one place I could have kicked myself after because when you see them you need to buy them and I was totally, it seems, in a daze .... As you will see from the photos there are some beauties and I love the glass ones and really need to get myself some ... Laura if you are reading this please remind me next time ....

Then who should I spy but Belinda Sharples ( her business used to be called Ginger and Rose but she has closed that down and is looking for another name so until such time it is just her given name right now) So many lovely treasures everywhere you looked.  Again so far in the clouds, taking photos and talking!! I did not buy anything another sob story!!

So many collectable treasures and I passed by in my own little world...

Anne-Marie of Sky Blue was there with the most beautiful selection of gorgeous I had seen, lots
of brooches, evening bags, stitchery and boudior boxes as well.  Anne-Marie and I have a shared love of not only vintage beauty but pom poms yes you did read it correctly and last year we both could not stop making them... I think we have both calmed down a tad but still.  Well I did buy something from here and it will be on my show and tell later in the week.

Can you see all these beautiful treasures and so beautifully laid out and displayed.

Also at the VB was Sue of Vintage to Victorian and her stand was absolutely buzzing with people because it has so much to look at and purchase from buttons, lace, threads, old tapastry along with quilts, quilt pieces, embroidery skeins and oh so much more.  It was important to have a good look here because Sue is not doing very many fairs this year and is taking what she calls a gap year to do more stitching herself and to really do more in her garden.  So if you are lucky enough to find her at one of her rare appearances then buy up ..... She will be at The West Country Fabric and Textile Weekend in April and I will be giving dates out for April soon.

When I came away from my stitchery coma at Sue's stall I spotted Isobel and she always has some  wonderful stitchery supplies.  Her name and her business is simply Isobel.. along with mother of pearl buttons ( a weakness of mine ..  I know you are are all shouting 'shocker' at the screen now aren't you!?) she has fabric pieces, milliners flowers, linen buttons, threads and so much more.  It is probably once maybe twice a year I get to find Isobel at a show that I am at so I did stop and have a good truffle about ..

Joy of Joy right next to Isobel was the lovely Jenny of Tilly-D fame and a really good friend of mine, we often get together and have a coffee and catch up but what with one thing and another we have not done that since last year late summer and we were saying it is far to long.  Now Jenny has an eye for the most beautiful fabric and has a way of dressing her display that kind of stops people in their tracks .... there were embroidery books, buttons, threads, fabrics and the most beautiful jug along with so much more....  Often people want to buy Jenny's props that she brings along to display from or on or to simple make it all all look scrumptious!  It happened when I was with her!

Again kicking myself at not really looking for myself, I can not believe it.  You see when I am at home and collating all the photos as I was doing yesterday you think, er why on earth did I not pick that up?  I was stunned at my stupidity I can tell you.  Good job there is another VB next month although I do not know who will be there stalling so I may have missed out completely ...

Opposite Jenny was the gorgeous Nicki of Quilterdown fame. Not only was I truly pleased to
see her ( we made plans to escape to London soon!) but she had been busy making beautiful quilts and quilted goods such as bags and other treasures.  I love her quilts that are newly made but from vintage fabrics! it really is a joy.  To stand and gaze at her stunning makes that are from basically all vintage makes my face light up.  I have several of her quilts as you know and they proudly sit on the beds... especially my one made of antique paisley fabrics ....

Then there was the lovely Sue and her husband of Suitably Vintage and there is always some fabrics that jump out at me on this lovely stall.  We see each other a lot on the vintage circuit and we always catch up on the moving saga woe's because you see they have been trying to move as long as I have and have the same difficulties ...  Well I was not disappointed in my little haul from here and managed to have enough about me for actually shopping!


Quilts yes quilts there is was like a beacon shining a stall full of antique quilts (no I was restrained but I do know someone that bought a gorgeous wedding ring pattern one!)
Vintage Pink was in attendance and there was, as you can clearly see some beauties!!

I could not get near enough to photograph them all but you get the idea here.  The wedding ring one I was talking about is on the top row far right in the greens and I can tell you it is all hand stitched as well.  Only I in a daze could walk away from the one with the red check!!!

Finally but as I say not all the stalls were photographed was Susie & Russell Needham who specialise in fabric.  It was a large stand with so many different types of fabrics it was outstanding. There were some quirky ones ( the cow) and some very unusual ones top far right with both the stripes and squares because of the weaving ....

Some fabulous fabrics for upholstery as well....

At this point it was 2pm in the afternoon and we needed to get something to eat so we said our fond farewells and headed out to have a warm meal, which was really good and it was full of people from the VB, it seemed, all around the same time we were getting hungry.

After we had eaten we went for a wander around and came across a shop called The Beehive it has a wonderful selection of vintage furniture, china, old kitchen bits and so much more.  It does have some newer bits in there as well so if you are not familiar with vintage/antiques then ask they are so friendly in there and very honest.  If it is vintage lifestyle rather than actual antique they will tell you.  So if actual antiques is not your thing but you like the thought of something new that looks older this is the shop for you as well.....

It is warm and friendly and situates at 20a The Brittox in Devizes and is worth a visit.  The old furniture is gorgeous and they had some really gorgeous tables and they were large farmhouse size, you can see where I am going with this ... yes our forever home! I can only cross my fingers that people will forget Brexit and get on with moving ... pretty please sell us your old farmhouse ....

And guess what I bought a little something in here as well and it will be in the show and tell later in the week!

In addition I picked up a leaflet about a vintage fair which is on Saturday 12th March at The Corsham School.  It is from 10.30am - 3pm and is in S Block Hall.  The entrance fee is £1.
The Corsham School
The Tynings,
SN13 9DF

So if you love vintage and you live fairly near there is a great event for you to attend this weekend.  This is run by a lovely lady and it would be great to go and have a look and support it. There are quality vintage stands to include homeware, textiles, furniture and a vintage pop up cafe too....

Well that is it for today I hope you enjoyed a peek at the Vintage Bazaar it is a must go to on my calendar and if you did not make it this time do not forget to look out for the next dates .. first one is in April and I will be doing fair dates next week sometime.

I hope you have a wonderful day I will be back here on Thursday so until then Happy Stitching! XX

Photo taken from Tilly-D stall

Monday 6 March 2017

With my needle and thread!

I am reminded that every day I have the chance to pick
up a needle and some thread and add to the story. 
To stitch together something beautiful and unique,
 to patch a small scrap of fabric to the story.

Counting myself so lucky that I am able to do what I do every day.   wondering as I do  sometimes if some of the samplers and things that I have stitched over the last few years will stand the test of time
like some of the gorgeous work that we all covet today.  I myself look for red and white samplers and especially the school girl ones, as I marvel at how some 6 years old can have mastered the gentle art so well.  Those tiny hands with a needle and thread producing such outstanding needle work.  Learning the letters and numbers as they stitch and then telling a story with little stitched pictures.

It has been a strange few weeks with my bad bout of flu and bad cold along with issues with Mum but things have settled a little dare I say it out loud, in case it all goes terribly wrong again.  I have some serious work to catch up along with a serious serious time clearing my stitching room ( so serious I said it twice!!)  I have written list after list and now it time to get some clearing and cleaning done and some sewing and creating as well.

We have had some very cold weather lately and lots of rain too.  I am loving the open fires and sewing but I am very much looking forward to spring and maybe some warmer weather, although we have had some strange warm days in February with lots of sun, which helps working on tiny stitches with that kind of natural light.

So today is going to be split with some sewing and the start of the clear up in my sewing room.  I love those clip storage boxes and of course you can see what is inside them at a glance.  I do have some things to sell and to give to charity and that is what is going to be my first port of call going through getting things out that I do not need in my work that I may have bought in error or thought might be good but not so much when I got them home.  This then makes room to put other things away and sort out boxes, drawers and of course the cupboards in the room.  I have emptied the dyson in preparation and the duster is out too.  Everything is coming out, off and generally looked through and put back in some form of order. Things that I have on display are to be cleaned and sorted and it really is going to be a Spring clean like no other...

This can only help with me making up further work baskets and being able to find everything I need
at a drop of a hat as it were. As you know it was the I could not find some photo copier fabric and still can not either so that was the huge trigger to not just put away but to actually take everything out, sort and put back only what is needed.......

I have been filling my design journal and as you know I pop notes in the border so that I can go back to it with the ideas I had with maybe the colour of the fabric or the fabric that I thought might look good or a button maybe.  My idea is when everything is sorted it will be so much easier and quicker to get things out for a project, that is if I do not get myself looking through just for the sake of looking at lots of buttons for half an hour!! it happens believe me.

I am strangely getting to the end of beautiful red and white or cream fabrics and I need to source more ( at least I think so, I may get a surprise who knows!)

I am loving stitching my latest project and enjoy it so much, this one I do not want to end, its so lovely, It is probably how I feel about every project in a way but this one has a special place in my heart somehow.

Anyway I must away and get some of this done so have a wonderful day and I will be back here tomorrow with all the fun of the fair that was the VB at the weekend.

Happy Stitching! XX

Friday 3 March 2017

Creative thoughts!

Creative spaces, lots of ideas
threaded needles and mess!

I am later today with my blog and one of the reasons is I have a cute as a button visitor who I am looking after.  A really great friends Cockapoo named Phoenix and he is an adorable distraction and
we have had cuddles and playing.  He investigated the garden in the rain so it was then rub a dub dub with a towel to dry him and now whilst I am writing this he is curled at my feet sleeping! he will not leave my side.  He has been here for coffees with his mum Suzy and of course he is used to me having a sewing day with her as I did last week, but not used to being left here with me.  He is my
shadow.  I can see I will not be able to get my work space sorted today.  I have started but not very much.  I am hoping for a good day of it next Wednesday and maybe Monday afternoon we will see what those chosen days throw at me!

Yesterday was my Mums Birthday as you know and she shares it with Bon Jovi ( bit of trivia for you!)  Anyway she had a wonderful day and she did make me and my sister laugh ( a little at her expense) she did some strange things and said some strange things but we had a whole day basically with her.  It started with card and present openings and then went to coffee and
Birthday cake.  We sat talking to her and talking old times.  Then out to lunch and shopping trip and she had some more bit
bought for her  and then it was back to hers for coffee and settle her down before we left her later afternoon.

Today I have my stitching basket ready and if this gorgeous  cream and brown ball of gorgeous lets me I will get a few stitches in. If you could see me now, Pheonix has just jumped onto my lap so now I am trying to type over him as well now.  The huge brown eyes looking at me as much as to say, hey stop that I am far more fun, what shall we do now!!!

I have had lots of ideas for my sewing room and started to write them down as to how I am going to tackle it and where I would like things for ease to get at as well as being tidy.  I have my design journal ready as well so that if it is difficult to stitch I can change tack and write down ideas. Itching to finally get my work room tidy and better but thought that doing a list would make me feel like I had made a positive start.

I have my last year projects done and it is now exciting time and I have filled so many pages of ideas and 5 project baskets so I am so eager to get creative.  I have such beautiful fabrics, threads, suffolk puffs, lace and linens and I need to sort through them so that I can create with them for all the projects that I have in mind.

I am hopefully off to the Vintage Bazaar tomorrow and have not even written a little list like I normally do.  I think if I manage to go I will just go round and look and see what beautiful fabrics, buttons and over all treasure takes my eye.......

Well that is it for today I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and I will report on the VB next week.  I hope to see some of you there, if you do see me say hello.

Have a great few days and Happy Stitching! XX

Thursday 2 March 2017

Antique Embroiders Guild books

A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies
 The man who never reads lives only one.” 

 George R R Martin

Oh what a week, I can not tell you all.  My hygge day sewing never happened and neither did I get into my sewing room to tidy or sort.  It has been horrendous with my Mum, not so much her but some people that I will refer to as do gooder's and they have done so much harm verbally and upset the
family that it has made me feel so unwell again....   It is not anyone in authority and to try and stop them getting into my mum with out being rude has been impossible, still they come  I would just like to say there is lots for us all to do so if my blogs are a little erratic for a week then do forgive me... I am hoping they will not be but I really do not know what each day will bring right now.

On a brighter note I  have been lucky enough last year to have been offered these five large embroidery books written by the Embroiders Guild.  I was so excited and they are absolutely gorgeous.  They are like having the most knowledgeable of all embroiderers at your finger tips.

They are dated in the 1930's and are very big but I am so pleased to have them.  There is every stitch and every details on how to in them.  There are some beautiful illustrations both black and white and coloured gorgeous pages and there is everything you could possibly want to know within the pages of these wonderful old books.

Part of the reason I would like to get into my sewing room and do some serious sorting is that I do not want the sun to get to these beauties and they need to be on a shelf in the built in cupboard that is in that room.  The have a towel over them right now and I want them stored properly.

There are pages on samplers old ( this is in the 1930's remember so they are talking pre 1900) and
new (1930's) on what and how to stitch.  You have opera bags, one being shown at the top of this blog.  There is a section about shawls, hats and Quakers.  Every stitch you can imagine and so much detail.  I am so lucky to have had first refusal on these beauties.

I adore reading and that means anything really so for me to sit and start on these page by page and learning as much as I possibly can and soak it all up like a sponge I am a happy woman!

Page after page of pure knowledge of stitchery I am in heaven surely.  Right now with how tired I am to sit in bed with a warm drink and reading these is just the thing.....  I have to read everyday even if it is just a page or two before I go to sleep but find myself going a bit earlier so that I can read a chapter at least.

What is amazing in these old books is you always (well mostly anyway) get a present or two.  Owners of these old books often tucked things inside.  In other old books I have found dried flowers and even a love letter which is wonderful ( although I felt a little guilty reading it but could not help myself)  These are no exception.  In one of them I found a embroidery transfer page.

As you can see it was butterflies and gorgeous flowers.  It is dated 1940 so another bit of history in another decade lives in one of the books.

I have found a feather too and have kept that in there.  I am only on the first volume turning each and every page so as I read them all properly who knows what treasures will reveal themselves to me .... Its such a wonderful journey that I am going on and learning all the way.

I can not wait to read the section on the Quakers and their stitching it interests me greatly as do the
Shakers and Amish.  They are all very accomplished in the gentle art and quilting and I am so interested in that sort of thing and their history as well.

The coloured plate pages of embroidery are stunning and I can almost not breathe at some of them.  Studying the embroidery and the stitches it is an incredible journey through the decades and the history of stitchery, with some very clever stitcher's.  I have not had time before now to look at these properly and have only just started to read them so I am enjoying it thoroughly.

I am getting quiet a collection of antique embroidery and stitching books but I have to say these are priceless.  There are the names of the members at that time of the guild who worked putting these books together and a lovely page about the history of the guild at the time of publication.

Anyway I hope you have enjoyed a little peak but I will show you more in a few weeks as I go
through the books.

Today is my Mum's Birthday so I am going over for a few hours today with Presents and of course Birthday cakes..... Meeting my Sister there and we are having our own little party.  Unfortunately both husbands are working but we will have a fine time....

I hope to get some stitching done this afternoon and to finally next week get into my bomb site of a sewing room to give it a Spring clean and sort out.

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