Thursday 30 November 2017

The Country Winter Brocante

Magical Winter Day
wandering around the grounds
of Cowdray House in West
Sussex, surrounded by vintage beauty.

I am hoping I can capture and relay to you the magic that was The Country Winter Brocante last  weekend, it was outstanding.  The amount of people that went through the marquee's was unbelievable, certainly on the Friday when we went.

Just wandering in the entrance marquee told you it was going to be like walking into wonderland.  As you can see from the photo here, the anticipation of what was to be inside.  With a coffee stall outside for those who had travelled and could have a warm drink in the queue whilst waiting.   There was a large Christmas tree inside as well and it smelt like Christmas as well.

It was bitterly cold day mind but with warm drinks on offer and a fabulous pop up restaurant that was run by the very talented The Hector and Fox who had made hot soup, sausage rolls, incredible bacon and brie brioche baps along with gorgeous cakes and so much more you could put fuel inside you and sit inside for a rest when needed.

Everyone had made such an effort when dressing their spaces and Christmas was everywhere.  I had my list in hand and a basket and I took as many photos as I possibly could.  This was not easy because at one point it was so crowed you could not move, literally.  Not forward, back or sides it
was heaving.  This is not good for some and a few people at the point just waited patiently to walk around until they could get outside and have a warm drink.  Everyone wanted to be there early but by 1.30pm it thinned down to a very pleasant and enjoyable pace and attendance.  By this time though most stall holders had sold so much and were not restocking until the next day.

I caught up with some wonderful friends whilst there and bumped into Lisa ( Vintage Dahling) and her sister Demon Shopper!  Look at Lisa's Dress she made and wore on the Friday she looked stunning and so full of Christmas spirit and the colour just suited her so well.  Then I bumped into a lovely friend Mo and her husband all the way from Scotland, we had a great catch up and coffee together.

At one point when it was so full my friend Jo who is here from Australia and who came with me, went outside and had coffee with the wonderful Nicki( Quilterdown) and Clare.  To say we laughed and laughed and we were crying with laughter as well.  So good for the soul. So many friends there
and so much laughter and of course looking at what each other had found in their own little treasure hunts inside.

Cosy Chris was there with a little stand selling her book Scandi Christmas and she was there talking and greeting people.  It was so lovely to see her.  She has some of her things that she made for her book there and it was the perfect place to buy a copy if you did not own one and of course you could go on the hunt for materials to make something from the pages of her very beautiful book.  All the photos were taken at her own home and it is such a beautiful visual book as well as having clear instructions on how to make some lovely bits for your home or as a gift.

Emma was there of Little Wren Vintage with some gorgeous goodies on offer, Quilts, stockings,
fabrics and quilt pieces as well as some beautiful vintage goodies.  Emma has an eye for how to dress her spot and the people were swarming around in there.  The amount of people certainly kept us all warm and toasty.

I was on trying to take photos and look at my list that was clutched in my hand. It was no mean feat I can tell you.  I wanted so badly to find some ballet shoes, really old and been danced in ballet shoes.  If they were red well that would have been the icing and cherry but pink would be good also.  Then like a beacon of light I saw a Christmas tree decorated with two things on my list.  Old sheet music and ballet shoes. .... This was Nicki Page Antiques.  Her stall was outstanding and again I was lucky to get some photos before it all went and I had the forethought to not wait to pick up a few bits for me as well ( show and tell soon)....

A celeb made an appearance and is well known at this event and that was Mr Richard E Grant and wife.  They were there walking about and buying.

Weathered and Worn were there and they had a corner spot which seemed a little bigger,
room to breathe and it was set out so beautifully lots of people just stood and staring at it all the vintage treasure that was on offer.  I was able to take a few photos for you and have a good old browse around which was lovely.

Hellish Designs were in attendance with some really beautifully covered lampshades to purchase Mr Grant was in there at the same time as me and was making a purchase.  Also on offer is some great vintage goodies it is a beautiful eclectic stall with something for  everyone.

There were candles, fairies, ceramics and so much more all beautifully displayed for people to look at.

Caroline Zoob was there and not only was she taking stitching classes but she also had a stall Turner & Zoob         it was really pretty with some wonderful baubles to purchase as well, again very eclectic and festive.  Caroline was teaching some techniques and there were stags and rose hips being stitched all the day.
as well and shared it with  Turner  and they called the stall

The lovely Simone was there Ayres and Graces and her most lifelike but whimsical animals, so wonderful.  Knitting or stitching hedgehogs and sleeping hares along with snowman and of course her hand stitched and embroidered cushions as well.  It was lovely to catch up and lovely to see her and her incredible work, such a talented lady.

Etoile Brocante were there and again so much diversity on items for sale with top hats, tutu,s,
angel wings and very old and loved teddy bears.  You just had to keep wandering and looking as I seemed to see something different each time I looked.  This was my friends Jo's observation as well.  She was having a wonderful time looking around and around.

It was time to meet up with Jo and get some of that wonderful hot garden soup that The Hector and Fox had made and a sausage roll.  Later there was some delicious orange and chocolate cake too.  Several warm drinks were consumed throughout the day and a bottle of fizzy water.  When sat you get joined by others and everyone is chatting excitably about what they have purchased and
seen whilst wandering around.

Rest over I went to see Nicholas and Steele and look around all the beautiful vintage and antique goodies that were laid out beautifully.  It was really lovely to be able by now to have a little more room to look and linger without feeling you were in others way.  Always but always I find a little something on this stall and this day was no exception either.

Maud was there Beyond France and she was very busy indeed and I only managed to get a few snaps for you.  Later in the day before I left did I get to catch up with this wonderful and busy lady with all of her stunning linens ...

Liz Jones was there and had made up some really lovely kits with fabrics in to do fabric art.  Everything you needed to complete a little project including thread and a colour photo of the made up peace.  Great for beginners and more advanced people alike.  Her stall was so pretty.  Each kit was in a buff coloured box with ribbon tied around it and I know lots of people were purchasing from her.

I caught up with Suzi of Hearts 'n' Kisses and as usual she was very busy indeed, her style of stitching is unmistakable and always a smile for everyone.  Again very busy day for Suzi and she had Christmas trees, pictures and all sorts of beautifully handmade goodies for sale.

Rosablue was next door to Suzi and there were some beautifully made dolls and fairies along with rabbits and other toys.  There were vintage soldiers and  and a wonderful blue tin train.  Some little boy ( or a big one for that matter) would have loved that if they like trains.

Joy of Joy Helen of Rosie's Armoire was there and I had not seen her since last Christmas at
a fair, our path had not crossed.  I knew she could fufill some of what I had on my list and I went a shopping happily.  I had missed her completely in the morning because it was so busy.  I did not think she was there.

Wild Willow was there with beautiful Christmas wreaths and displays and that is were part of the Christmas smell was coming from, pines and oranges with berries and scents.  You could order on the day and if you were a local then you could pick it up nearer in December.  I love looking around flower stalls it is like walking through the perfume department in a large stall the smell is divine!

Cachepot was there and there were some really beautiful things on offer with a real Christmas
tree covered in goodies to purchase too.  The smell again draws you near and the twinkling lights of the tree.  Teddies looking out of a painted antique cot, pottery and china and old painted boxes too.  Just a great visual beauty to look at.

Antiques and Interiors by Lisa Giles had the most pretty displays with some wonderful old furniture and hand made lavender pillow made from antique quilt.  It was so good to see Lisa and she was very busy indeed and no wonder.

Little Red Robin was inside a marquee and they are normally outside selling their flowers
and garden wear.  These are the people who made our shepherd crooks for the garden to hang lights on and the seed pod ornaments made from old rusty iron.  Such wonderful displays but they said they preferred being outside even in the cold as it was so very busy inside.....

Three Kings was there with beautiful home decor and furniture, these are the couple that we bought our dresser base from back in the summer that is now full of gorgeous old quilts in the guest room.  They also sometimes have really rare dolls houses as well.  Again beautifully laid out and they were remarking on how busy the day had been for them and the show in general.

Stuff and Co where there with some absolutely gorgeous things on offer, the stall was an eclectic treasure trove of all things vintage and it took a long time to look around everything.  This as you can imagine was a very busy stall indeed.  And that red robin you see, came home with my friend Jo x

It was time for one more coffee and a sit down and talk about how wonderful the day had been the side of the pop up marquee was open I could not resist the view.  The food had long been packed up but the warm drinks were still being served.  We sat looking at the sign that was also on the wall with a Christmas to do list on it.  It had a lot of attention that day and people loving the words and the
things to attend to before Christmas.

Myself and Jo were off to pick up my husband who was working in Worthing that day and then he was going to drive us to a great old pub and we were going to have a meal before heading home.  We stopped at the White Swan and it was very festive in there as well.  If today had not got people in the Christmas spirit then three ghosts would have visited them that night for sure.

We took a drive past Cowdray House that was all alight with red lights and the fire lanterns were all lit as well, it was quite a sight to behold.  It was such a wonderful day and if you have never been to one of the Love Lane Vintage Brocantes run by Lucy and her team then its a must for next year.  You will have such a wonderful time.

I hope you have had a lovely time with a peek at this amazing fair.

Have a great day and as always Happy Stitching! XX

Tuesday 28 November 2017

Winter preparation and stitching.

“What good is the warmth of summer, 
without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.” 

John Steinbeck

What a dark morning here as I am up early, but it promises in the forecast to be a sunny day which will be great for today, not only to sort photos but take some as well. It has turned so very cold here and I am keeping a lookout for some snow....

Well best laid plans and all that, yesterday did not go as I had hoped and therefore I did not get to sort the photos of the weekends fairs I am afraid.

Mum has not been very well the last week and we had a scare last week with her when she would not wake up, she was a little yellow and had a waxy skin feel.  To say we were very worried is a understatement.  Well having forced a doctor to her ( yes forced as they thought going to a care home to see only ONE patient was a bit tiresome it seems, yes I did go mad and yes the doctor did go IN THE END) she has been a little better in her intake of both fluid and food.  She however is giving up in our eyes that much is apparent and so very sad for us.  Well as you can imagine anything that needs attention to do with her right now comes first and yesterday was one of those days I am afraid.

The light was bad yesterday and it was a cold and very dark day so when I had done what I needed to do and wanted to do I just sat by a fire and did a little slow stitching, only my heart really was not totally in it.

So I set about my sewing room getting things sorted with project baskets for the long Winter months ahead of me.  I wanted to count what hexagons and triangles have been cut and I am behind on it so
needed to sort some fabrics to cut for that basket.

I looked through my holiday journal  that I took to write down ideas for some future projects and patterns and got things ready to start sketching the ideas out so it turned out to be a more productive later afternoon and evening.

I have today and tomorrow where I am here and do not have to go anywhere it seems and I am looking forward to pottering around here and getting some jobs done.

Now how is everyone getting along with Christmas?  I have a mound of presents to wrap it seems to  me and they are in the corner of my sewing room so I want to get on with those so that I can get to one of my cupboards.  I can see a wrapping afternoon in my crystal ball and then I can get some order back in here.  I know some people (sorry but especially men) moan about how early Christmas starts but there is so much do do I really need theses three and a bit weeks to do everything.  The work that goes into hosting those few days and I like to sit and enjoy Christmas Eve and not be running around the shops then, I do not know what you think.

In our garden the birds are getting through lots of feed and love the crushed peanuts and mealy worms very much.  The fresh water I fill daily too.  Mr Fat Robin is there all the time and is so really very tame and my much loved Mrs Muddy Beak.  They are like pets to me now and I look for them daily.  They bring a huge smile to my face.  Indeed I get it from my Mum as with her new room and the view of trees and gardens she is seeing great wildlife when we get her cosy on her sofa.  I tell her all about the adventures that go on in our garden and she listens and smiles.

Well that is it for me today I have a list and I need to get some things done, including photo sorting and taking when the sun appears ( fingers crossed) I would also like to get some little stitches in as well.

Have a great day and as always Happy Stitching! XX

Monday 27 November 2017

Little stitches and old papers ....

Sewing... is the craft of fastening or attaching
objects using stitches made with a needle and
thread.  Sewing is on of oldest of the textile
arts, arising in the Paleolithic era.  Before the
invention of spinning yarn or weaving fabrics.


In quilts where there a bits of others history and memories incorporated into such a wonderful piece
of stitchery art, all hand done and pieced together my mind strays to who owned it and stitched it.  Was there a sewing bee with ladies all sat around a scrubbed table all stitching a piece for a up and coming marriage or was it made with bits of someones old clothes and cloths for their bed to keep them warm and something to do of an evening.  I can but wonder and make up stories in my head.

A Quilt .... is a multi-layered textile, traditionally composed of three layers of fibre.  A woven cloth top, a layer of batting or wadding and woven back, the combined using the technique of quilting.  The process of sewing the three layers together.  The pattern of stitching can be the key decorative element if a single piece of fabric is used for the top but in many cases the top is pieced from a patchwork of smaller fabric pieces.  The pattern and colour of these pieces will be important to the design.

I must admit to being a collector of quilts and dream of a small room where they could all be folded in glass fronted cabinets to keep them from muncher's and dust.  Then swapping over the quilts on the beds for the seasons would be a little easier.  Adoring the old patchwork quilts and actually looking for a very old bear paw patchwork right now but believe I will find that in Canada which is our plan for next year to go and visit Prince Edward Island ... the home of Anne of Green Gables and QUILTS!! or so I hear.  If any of you are reading this in Canada or know anywhere I should be heading please let me know.

Now unusually I am going to show you something I bought from a lovely friend at The Vintage
Bazaar on Saturday.  It is a unfinished hexagon quilt.  The thing is most of the papers are from old solicitors papers and they are stunning.  There is extremely old fabrics incorporated within the piece that are around 1700's because of the dye in them.  This piece was one of the first things that my friend ever purchased at a antique market some years ago.  Elaine told me that it was a very cold and wet day she remembers, no one was really selling much and she was walking around.  Suddenly she saw colour from the corner of eye, under a table out of the rain.  She literally dived on this incredible piece.and purchased it and has treasured it since.  At times she was going to sell it because after all this was her business but could not bring herself to do so.  Then times she thought of cutting it up into smaller bits to sell but again she could not bring herself to do that either.

So now I have the honour of being the custodian of this very rare piece of unfinished work as it is because for Elaine, time to part with it.  Having got this my husband went straight out and found someone who is going to frame it for us ( paper side showing as you can see all the fabrics around each piece of old legal paper) and it will hang with some pride at the top of our stairs for all to gaze at.  I wanted to show you this piece of history today and of course when it is ready in the New Year in its frame I will let you see some photos.  We are going to have a coffee, Elaine and I and she is coming to see it in its frame and pride of place.  There will be a little ceremony for two friends, one who has entrusted the other with such an important and beautiful piece of quilted history.

For  today though it is  about collating the photos for the fairs and getting them ready for you to at least have a little look at the magical Christmas fairs that I attended .  It takes a huge amount of time so that is what I will do today so that I can write about The Country Brocante in Midhurst for you tomorrow, other wise the blog would not be out until lunchtime at the very least.  Lots of work goes into getting the photos and piecing them together.

I want to go on to tell you about it but it will have to wait until tomorrow I am afraid as it would be
unfair of me with a guest in the house and my husband home to work on a Sunday ...

A little basket of hand stitching and some bits of fabric that I am practising on with an idea sits by my chair, disrupted by mice over night normally but there it sits waiting for me to pick it up and do some slow little stitches.  That is what I can not wait to do later after sorting the photos.  

The weather has turned cold here and it is only in single figures, which means fires are alight and the lights and candles beckon me today.  I can sit and chat to my friend happily and then whilst she is doing something or when she reads we sit quietly and happily in each others company and we are smiling as we are pleased to be in the same country together, especially this time of year.

Well that is it for today I hope you all have a wonderful day and keep warm, make a warm drink and light some candles if you are at home, even doing housework it really does make a cheery atmosphere.

Happy Stitching! XX

Wednesday 22 November 2017

Threads of time

Buttons and Patches and cold 
winds blowing my days pass quickly
when I am sewing !

Threads of time is a favourite of mine, what I mean to say is I love working with old threads and fabrics.  I often sit and look at fabrics, threads, quilts or pieces of them and beautiful old timeworn fabrics and I wonder about them.  What stories they could tell me if they could speak.  Who
once owned this sat in their project basket down by a chair?

Fabrics in quilts that are from pieces of others lives and delicate eiderdown fabrics that once sat on beds to keep you warm and to look cosy and inviting.  Threads that were chosen and bought but some how never used or indeed some that have been used a little but not all of it and finally decades and decades later I find myself the custodian of such wonderful stitchery history.

I love the idea that I makes things with them and they become loved once more and no longer sit in a drawer or an old box in a loft collecting dust.  Now the pieces of fabric come to life once more.  You can see them positively yawn and stretch and smile as they are washed, pressed and made into a piece of stitchery art.

As you know I keep every tiny bit of fabric until it really can not be used and of course I put it out in the trees for nesting time, as I have said before I like to think there are some rather beautiful and upmarket nests around here because the birds do take it and I have watched them do just that.  Their cosy nests with paisley walls ... perfect.

It is very windy outside today and what I call a proper Winter day, the weather has been incredible for this month and we have had some very warm days that you only get, if you are lucky, in the Summer.  Last week when we took Mum out to shopping the outside temperature was 22 degrees in the sun I just could not believe it.  I was in flip flops and no coat, unlike yesterday when I was wrapped up like a snowman.   I am still hoping for snow and there have been a few reports that we may have some.  Fingers crossed for the child within me.

Well as you all know I am off tomorrow very early to The Winter Brocante in Midhurst, West Sussex.  So there will be no chance of a blog tomorrow I am afraid.  I am also at The Vintage Bazaar in Devizes on Saturday as well so I will have lots to write about next week for you including and treasure that I bring back with me from both fairs and I will photograph for you to peek at.

I am going to have a little look through my fabric stashes for one, to see if I actually need anything in particular ( I can hear those of you who stitch with fabrics laughing from here, NEED? when it comes to fabric you NEED it all !) well yes but I do not want to double or treble up too much.  Also whilst there I can finish getting some inspiration packs ready as well.  It is a great excuse to sit on my little stool and dive head first into Narnia!..

I am getting everything ready today so that it is an easy start in the morning.  Also today is my lovely friends Birthday, Jo from Australia and we are going to be celebrating today in style.  First stop I am taking her to the hairdressers for a re style as part of her gift from us.  She would like a style she has had before.  There is Birthday cake later and some fizz along with a Italian meal that I have already prepared.  I made my Nonna's Cannelloni and it is waiting in the fridge ready.  We are starting with an Italian platter. The fire will be lit and gift opening will be done.

It is going to be a lovely day and a great weekend.  I feel like I have not been to a fair in such a long time and tomorrow to my joy there are some great friends going as well and it will be time to catch up over a warm drink and possibly a piece of cake.

In addition I will be going to the vintage Brocante at Kingston Mauward on Sunday 3 December which is just a little way from Dorchester in Dorset.  That will be my last one this year and should keep me sane until they start again in Feb/March next year.  I will have plenty of supplies and lots of stitching to do by the fire.  When all the decorations come down it is sad isn't it.  The house looks so bare afterwards but still there are always fairy lights in our house and candles.  This is the time I put out beautiful flowers and make sure the candles are scented of something wonderful like cinnamon or some such.

My sewing machine needs a little attention and my husband gives it a good clean for me, he gets into its inner workings and gets rid of fabric dust and then re threads for me ... This time of year I like to make a Christmas Stocking or two and they have to be strong for little gift stuffing in all the nooks
and crannies.

On Sunday we will be at home and I think a Christmas film is in order, It is getting to look a lot like Christmas here with little bits being done daily.  When  I cleaned my huge dresser in our kitchen and put it all back and changed bits around, put bits away and put some of the Christmas bits out I had help as you can see.

 The little rascals were reading a plate that went up that said ' It was Christmas Eve and all through the house' not a creature was stirring not even a mouse!! .. The tiny squeaks of excitement ...

Slowly but surely Christmas is creeping in here and the pre Christmas cleaning for the main decorations to go up is being done daily.  Yesterday I got 4 hours in so that pleased me some what.

As Christmas is approaching I am just stitching for personal bits and not working on anything for publication right now.  Plenty of time in January to get going on it with the cold dark days and the warmth of the fire and the Hygge atmosphere that is so prevalent in our home for the next few months until Spring.

Well that is it for today and until Monday, I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and if you are attending either of the two fairs and you see me, be sure to say hello.

Have a great Weekend and as always Happy Stitching! XX

Tuesday 21 November 2017

Cosy Stitching ! ....

Needles threaded and ready.
Fire ablaze and a warm drink
on the table.  Twinkling fairy lights
and candles burning gently.
Its a cosy stitching kind of a day.

Another wonderful day here between my stitchery room and my cosy chair by the fireside.  Cold hands do not make for good tiny stitches and it is wonderful curled up with sewing on your lap and a project basket by your side. 

Three little fabric mice who I believe have been investigating the dried cranberry slices that I have put in the bottom of our glass hurricane lamps ...( I need to check them for tiny teeth marks I think. ) have been scurrying about and I have noticed that they settle down near the fireside when its alight and doze.  Little tails swishing where they are dreaming of cheese and biscuits I think... and what mischief they can get up to next.

Also if you are reading this Janice I am nearly there on your inspiration packs that I promised to get ready for you.  Just a few more drawers to go through to see if I can find some other precious bits of fabrics for your project.

I have to tell you that night after night we have had some really beautiful sunsets over the sea as I look from my sewing room window and they streak the sky with gorgeous hues of pink.  I keep hoping it is a snowy sky, but not yet it seems.

Wishing for snow here, now I know there are probably a few of you that are groaning at that statement but I have to say there are probably treble  of you who want the same as me.  I adore snow so much and it would be magical for December.  Christmas eve would be perfect and oh for my Birthday too please ... if anyone is listening to my hopes and wishes ..<3

I have gone into complete Christmas cosy mood and can not wait to put up the decorations this year and getting the house all festive and inviting.  I am thinking of getting my husband to get the vintage sleigh down early so that I can decorate the little light up tree in the dinning room and pop it on the sleigh and then I can wrap some little gifts to pile on the sleigh ...   It will please the little mice who are still investigating their new home.... and by the looks of it, helping one another on their adventures.

I want to get some tidying done in my stitchery room as it has got a little ( just a little) messy.  I have a pile of Christmas presents in here for wrapping as well so next week I will set to on a few evenings to that they are ready just to pop under the tree in December when we go and choose it.  My husband and I love doing that and he is patient.

He dives in all the trees in our local garden centre and pulls them out so that he can hold each one so I can see all sides to make sure of its shape.  This can go on for a while.  

Then we choose and whilst it is being wrapped in netting we go and say hello to the reindeer that always visit there and they are beautiful.  When we get home we put it in its tree holder and leave it over night to settle before decorating it the next day together.  The smell of the pine that fills the room over night is beautiful and any bits we cut off go on the fires to add to the aroma.  There is nothing like a real Christmas tree.

Still I must get some stitching done today again and make headway as it is a short working week.  I have to say I am excited about going to two vintage fairs.  I need to make a list and also a list of little bits for gifts too.  

My basket it ready and I have that stood in my sewing room and then I must get my purse ready as well.

Just before I go I would like to show the sunset from the other night here in my sewing room it really was splendid and you can see why it reminds me of a snowy sky and that is from a childhood memory as well when my Daddy would say ' looks like a snowy sky' and it was always pink and in fact is was normally correct.

Well that is it for today as another working day is beginning so all that is left for me to say is I hope you all have a great day and as always Happy Stitching! XX

Monday 20 November 2017

Light the candles & Stitch

“A flame that flickered,
And a soul that whimpered,
A candle that blazed,
And a fragrance that raised.

The flames were fed the same,
But one remained diminished,
While the other touched vintage!” 
 Jasleen Kaur Gumber.

When we were in the Summer months and my days started this early it was already light, the birds were singing and the moon was yawning goodnight and the sun stretching to say hello it was a perfect start to my day because the world outside was still in slumber but nature was awake.

Miss Muddy Beak and Mr Fat Robin awake and waiting for their breakfast along with Mr and Mrs Blackbird and all the other beautiful birds that visit.  Mr Squirrel is the funniest of creatures and plays in our pear tree whilst awaiting his peanuts in their shell.

 Although now it is very dark and chilly on the early morning starts I am not sad at all.  I love my seasons and this, the Winter season, is just perfect with candles lit and the Winter aromas of them that I adore filling the house along with fairy lights popping on.  There is a cosiness to the start of my day now and as I sat all wrapped up in a quilt drinking my coffee there is a peace that hovers over Homespun HQ.

 My husband has extremely early starts and when he leaves the bed it is not as cosy anymore, so I might as well get up and start my day.    The birds are not even out in our garden then and it is not such a mad dash to get out to them to top up their feeders and bird table.  The chuckle brothers ( the baby magpies) who have grown so much now still come into the garden together but the child like games are coming to an end.  They would hang upside down off of the fig tree and chatter and peck one another.

When I start to write this blog it is still dark and then of course it is suddenly light when I am about to finish off here and start my day ..  I love the early morning coffee or Cinnamon tea whilst quietly contemplating my day.

I write what I am thinking and some of the time I do have time to go through with spelling and grammar and other times I only have a very quick sift through so excuse any mistakes that appear in here along the way. I write from the heart and what is on my mind daily....

Today I have a whole day at home alone and I made a list for myself for today's tasks. There is the matter of some more housework bits to complete and when the light fades I am going to continue with a design I am working on,  normally do that on a Wednesday being as there is no blog on that day but this week it is all change.  

Thursday is my friend Jo's  Birthday and this year we are spending it together.  I am taking her to my hairdressers for a cut and blow dry as part of her present.  

Friday I am at The Country Brocante in Sussex and Saturday is The Vintage Bazaar in Devizes you see so it is a very busy few days.  I will report back next week some time on the fairs that I visited at the end of this week.  I am thoroughly looking forward to it as I have not been to a fair since beginning of September.  With the holiday taking up all of October in some way or another. 

So there will be no stitchery for 4 days!!! so today is all about that and getting some bits done and when the light disappears then it will be sketching and doodling away.

The mice are making themselves at home and I thought I saw one looking thoughtfully at some Christmas wrapping paper, I will have to check it for nibble marks !!

Well that is it for today from me as I am itching to be stitching! So all that remains to say is I hope you all have a wonderful day and as always Happy Stitching! XX

Friday 17 November 2017

Come sit with me and drink Cinnamon tea.

Fire ablaze, Slow stitching basket ready.
Candles lit and fairy lights on.
And naughty fabric mice!


I sat very early this morning with a cinnamon tea by the fire, it was still hot from the night before and I was watching little flickers of hot coal in the black grate.  It reminded me of when I was a tiny little girl and sat with my Grampa.  This time of year he would say that those tiny little orange embers were fairies watching me to see if I had been a good little girl and they were going to report back to Santa on the situation. 

It was a wonderful memory and made me smile and I appreciated that particular memory coming back to me.  Of course I tried to be very good indeed because I was about to write to Santa with a wish list of parcels that I felt would be wonderful to find wrapped under the huge tree.
Always but always there were art supplies requested on that list, and one year I asked for a doll with long hair so I could brush it ... The fairies must have thought I had been a helpful and nice little girl as my wish came true.  The joy that I felt at her beautiful hair.  I would brush and brush her hair as my father would brush my long hair.  Another smile at a beautiful memory of my late Daddy and time he spent with me and my long hair, that I begged to keep and he insisted on making sure it was kept well.  The day I had it cut I was 18 and I had a bob, oh dear! ... anyway that is another story for another day.

This memory game started when my lovely friend Jo from Australia and I were talking about first memories of childhood and I struggled to recall what my first  memory I had was, what age?

And so I must have dreamt about it I believe because today the lovely memories flooded my head sat by the fire quietly before even the birds were awake....

Before coming into my stitchery room I walked over to the dinning room I spied our new additions to
the family home, three little fabric mice and they are mischief makers.  They came through the post on Wednesday and have settled in very quickly it seems.

At this very moment in time they are all sat under the little light up tree gazing up in wonder and waiting for the decorations to start.

There were biscuits crumbs near them and they are trying to look innocent and failing!  I also think they have been rummaging around in my project basket and sleeping in the fabrics as I am sure I left the basket a little more tidy than when I looked at it this morning!

Thinking about writing a child's book about the adventures of the three fabric mice .......

The dark morning is now breaking and I can see the shadows running away and the day is dawning.  I have opened my window in my stitchery room to hear the dawn chorus of the birds who are awake and wanting their breakfast.  They make themselves known in a beautifully vocal way.

Today I have a full day at home and I would like to get lots done both housework and of course stitching.  Little slow stitches will be made later and I am going to relight the fire and sit and stitch.  I re arranged my rather messy project basket and folded up the little bits of fabrics that are in there.  I also need to go to my box of gorgeous hand dyed Shaker Threads and pick some out.

Buttons have to be found today as well and then I feel I will be ready for my afternoon of stitching.  Firstly though, today a couple of hours of housework it helps me be creative if I am not sat in chaos.  The only thing with open fires are dust and it has to be busted this morning.  Jo my friend has been going around doing little cleaning projects for me and it is like having a fairy godmother in the house. Wonderful!!!

Also I can report that yesterday we went out with my Mum and helped her choose cushions and throws and new curtains for her new room.  I took over a red quilt for her bed and she has fresh flowers and some room plug in scents around her 'little flatlet' as she calls it.  Sat there and looking out at the garden and being brought in a tray of coffee and watching her happy face lifted our spirits and it was a lovely few hours ....

I hope the picture above makes you giggle, I did and when I told my Mum that she really did laugh and had a twinkle in her eyes.  Although daily now she leaves us to go into another world she comes back to us still for short periods of time and we make memories still as a family ...

Well that is it for today, I have to check on the mice, get the fire ready to light and do a little housework.  Then its make a warm drink time and light the fire and settle down to slow little stitches, what utter bliss.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and I will see you back here on Monday.  Have a great time and as always Happy Stitching! XX

Thursday 16 November 2017

Vintage red fabrics and Christmas Samplers....

Christmas stitching with
red and white fabrics and
the smell of cinnamon cookies
baking in the oven.

It has started in our house, the pre build up to Christmas.  Things are getting done. Slowly this week the beds have been transformed and now little things have started being sorted.   In our dinning room there is no main centre light and I have a hanging wicker basket that is a cone shape.  Filled with large glass balls and candles around it.  Yesterday it was all cleaned and decorated ready for December... My little light up tree in there has been divested of Autumn and is now ready for our Ice Skaters to adorn it.  Little shelves have been scrubbed and moved about in anticipation of further pretties to join them and the excitement is beginning to build.

With open fires daily to keep us all warm and to bring cheer the dullest and coldest of days it actually feels Chrismasy ... The picture above features the Christmas sampler that I stitched last year, well finished this one but I love the sentiment and the tiny houses and church with string and ornaments along the village.  

I have a small basket of hand stitching to do and of course this contains some Christmas trees and some red and white fabrics to stitch some bits with. I have had fun looking through my fabric stashes to find little bits of delightful red and white fabrics ...
This is the time of year I love to design Christmas samplers because inspiration is all around and everywhere you go now.  Its the build up for me I love it so much and enjoy it.  Some people I know say its too early but I think with all the prep that goes into most our homes and gift buying, shopping, cleaning and wrapping ... it can not be just for one day.  I like it done and to sit and enjoy the pretty wrapped gifts under the tree, the extra twinkling lights and the whole atmosphere and smell of Christmas spices and cinnamon.

Lots of cookie baking and several batches eaten on the run up because you really can not beat a cinnamon cookie with a warm drink and you also can not really fit one in on Christmas day itself so these are the build up goodies we have here.

Little favourite and precious memories come out when we start to decorate and both my husband and I are sentimental creatures.  We have a little ceremony for fat robin, not the one that visits us daily you understand but the one that his late Godmother gave to him before I even met him.  He comes out every year we say hello to him and them my husband chooses where in the tree he will peek out from and people actually come in and look for him now .. its a bit of fun and a great remembrance for my husband as well.

Each ornament has a little story of where we bought it or some such and it is very much a journey down memory lane, sometimes a little sad and sometimes laughter but that is Christmas.  The picture on the left was taken last year of one of the skaters that go on our tiny tree in the dinning room and when they all get unwrapped, Christmas is on its way.

As you can see the mood is festive here at Homespun HQ and the fire once again is alight and the atmosphere is full of cheer.  So I need to design another Christmas Sampler and do some serious slow little stitching, and over the weekend as well.

After the little village sampler of last year this one might involve Christmas trees with a whimsical twist so lets see where my doodles take me today.  I am also off to see my Mum for a while with my sister and her new room has become a hit! we are pleased to say.  She is loving seeing nature and she also loves that her sofa and chairs are there to sit and look out in comfort.  Today I am taking a Christmas red quilt for her bed to swap over.  It will look really lovely when we have finished.

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

Tuesday 14 November 2017

Designing Days ... Love them.

Fire alight and the pencils
sharpened. Design Days
I love them

On these rather cold and dark starts to the day I am loving slowly changing our home over to the cosy reds, creams and greens that the fairies seem to magically helping  me with, little bits and bobs placed around.  The house in December will be ready for Christmas and we will get our real tree about the second weekend of the month.  Slowly though the transition has started in earnest.

The fire is alight most of the days now when I am in and the frosty mornings I really love.  That said I am so aware that I am a lucky lady who does not need to battle out in the freezing weather on icy roads and I know I am one of the very lucky ones.

With my rough journal that I sketched and jotted ideas in I would like to transfer some in to my proper design journal and get some firm ideas underway.

I love to doodle and paint a little and put notes in the margins for variations that may or may not be used.  The fact is they are there and ready then for me to pick up to maybe start the paper patterns if applique is required,  then all I have to do is make a project basket up ready just to pick up and start.

I have started to get my designs ready for next years publications and I hope that the rest of this year will be kind and nothing else will happen to stop me in my tracks.

I thought tomorrow I would  design but I am getting it all ready today but for today some serious slow stitching has to be done.  There are the matter of the little Christmas trees to be finished for one and there are several things I really would like to finish before my Christmas break.  I still have to
stitch and complete my large needle case if you remember I cut it all out before my holiday.  It seems impossible that there is only 42 days I believe until the Christmas Day!! when we will have a house full of wonderful people. I am trying not to panic...

If  I do not get the needle case gets done in January well so be it but I would like to start wrapping soon so when the tree is up I can just place the parcels under it ( best laid plans and all that!)

As you can see from the picture on the right our bed has started its transformation to Winter and the very old red and white quilt is on there and the vintage cushions all in reds and whites.  All the bedrooms will be dressed with similar apparel, getting into bed here can be tricky for some ... I am so used to moving it all off for the night and then dressing it again the next day ... My husband is too he always says that it looks great and patiently waits for me to undress the bed before we climb in ..  It just makes the bedroom look cosy and inviting and some days when I am tired it takes all my will power not to just climb on and cosy down for a nap!!

As the transformation continues I will take a few photos for you.  For now though I really must concentrate on actually doing some work.

Have you noticed the skies of an evening lately they are pink and I remember as a child my Nonna saying it was a snowy sky .... Now am I wishful thinking?  I would so love some snow for Christmas maybe Christmas Eve and wake to the silent white world after Santa has been.  How magical would that be.

The child in me is ever present and I think that is why I have such an imagination.  I love that I still see the world that way.

I have decided today I am going to sit by the fire and really try and get some Christmas trees stitched ready for the machine work at the weekend.

Later I need to go through my red fabrics just to see because I had another idea the other day so I need to take stock to see if it is possible.  I will tell you about that another day if it turns out that it can be done.

Whatever you are doing today stay warm and cosy.  I am lighting candles in a moment and then I will be having a warm drink with you all, then needles threaded and little stitches will begin.

Have a great day and see you all back here on Thursday.

Happy Stitching! XX