Thursday 22 February 2018

Delicious antique papers, penmanship and fabrics.

Letters are among the most
 significant memorial a person
 can leave behind them.

Johann Woolfgang Von Goethe

The feel of it and the smell of it ... antique paper fills my imagination of possibilities of all sorts of bespoke makes.  There is something about it with the old copperplate writing and when you think you can add to its story with inks and stamps and fabrics and stitches it brings these often forgotten pieces back to life and out of cupboards and drawers and into art work to be admired and loved.

I worry for future generations because the art of writing letters has almost disappeared.  As you know I do write letters and even thank you notes, that is from a childhood that we were taught it was polite.  I adore writing and I also keep journals but so many do not.  The history we will leave future generations behind on computers is not as beautiful.  Going through your great great Grandmas emails is not the same as seeing her hand writing.

When I have been doing my family tree and have come across handwriting from my relative pre 1900 I am in awe and so happy.  This, I think to myself, was my Great Grandmas writing and she touch this piece of paper. Dipped her pen in ink which is still here on this page and it fills me with such joy.

Of course I can only photo copy the parish records, and I have, but my Fathers Grandma played the organ in the parish church of Old Alresford in Hampshire and there are little notes in the columns of the register .. Such a precious history and with so much more beauty than the typed words or texts of the young which is there future blue print on this planet.

Then when I come across old letters and papers and enhance them and put them in a frame to be
looked at it fills me with joy and happiness that these letters can still be seen today 150 years down the line ....  To look beyond the words and find the history and the beauty of that history.

Letter writing is the only
device for combining solitude with good company.

Lord Byron.

Collecting little bits of fabrics, cottons and buttons to add to some old papers or an envelope is exciting and to write something. on there to add to the antique words along with maybe a stamped image as well... makes for the best of little pictures to adorn walls.

Yesterday I went to see my Mum with my sister and our Aunt and we did have a jolly few hours with her.  I think though we have discovered why picking up a pen and writing is fairly hard to do.  She is right handed and her right hand is the one that has this little shake but she always sorted of clenches and curls that hand and it sits on her lap and shakes a little.  When my Aunt tried to hold it we
discovered that it is so stiff from the position she holds it in it has seized it seems.  Her fingers just can not go out straight anymore.   It is her Birthday next week and we are having a Birthday lunch with her and I thought I might try and rub hand cream in and see if the hand relaxes at all.  We said we would try that day when the family are around her to see if she will write a few words on some paper.  When one of her siblings are around she seem a bit more perky because of childhood memories ....

More than kisses letters mingle souls.

John Donne.

Update on slow stitching kits, I am hoping to hear from the printer today fingers crossed that they are ready.  I was aware he had to finish a huge job but he did send me the proofs on Wednesday and I approved them so it was getting near then.  

I have enjoyed my week though with being in and being able to mooch about a little, it is the calm before the storm.  My car is back with me and my husbands car is back after a thorough overhaul and service.  With all the miles he travels and on motorways in some pretty awful conditions I am happier that the car has had a big medical and is safe.  

The weekend is upon us and I look back at my week and wonder where did it go.  The mornings are lighter now and so are the evenings so Spring and Summer are on their way but we have a cold spell again  last night our temperatures plummeted and Jack Frost visited us the weather forecast over the next week is extremely cold so we are not there yet. Last night here was minus 6 and everything is white this morning.  I cooked some bacon fat for the birds and you guessed it Miss Muddy Beak was out of her cosy nest first thing to get in on that feast along with Robin .... other birds were no where to be seem and still huddled together roosting I would imagine.  

My footprints were in the frost on the grass and it was crunchy under foot like it was Autumn and I was walking on leaves.  I had to get ice off of the bird bath and fill with warm water for them.

Well that is it for today and I hope that you all have a wonderful day today and a lovely weekend whatever you may be up to.

All that remains to say is I will be back here on Monday and until then....

Happy Stitching! XX


  1. When I had chemo years ago, I had lavender oil massaged into my hand, it was lovely and relaxing. It may help your mum and it smells lovely.

    Julie xxxxxxxx

    1. Thank you Julie! What a great idea. ❤️

      Sarah xxxxxx

  2. After my Mum had her stroke and lost the use of one arm she loved having hand cream gently massaged on her hands. I think it felt nice, smelt nice and was comforting.
    Personally, if it was my Mum I would prefer to have a piece of writing from her when she was at her best because I wouldn't want to look at the words she had written and remember how she was when she wrote them, it would make me so sad, but that is just me.
    I used to write three letters a week to a friend and it was wonderful but I found that after my Dad died I couldn't put pen to paper because I had a sort of mental block as my head was full of his suffering and the mere act of trying to think of something to write brought all those thoughts to the surface. It literally took years before I could write again and then it was just brief emails to her.
    Sorry this is all a bit sad.
    I have some lovely letters that I have found over the years, a very romantic Victorian letter and a sad letter informing a Mother of her son's death in the trenches of WW1.
    I'm sure you will make something very beautiful with the letters you have. I would love to see more of your work on fb.
    Love Dawn xxx

    1. Morning Dawn

      I have the words in a few letters that Mum wrote but I want her to write my nieces name as my sister throws everything away. In my letters my niece is obviously not mentioned so that is my only goal now.
      I know what you mean about being sad though. I had a wonderful few hours with her yesterday and she smiled a lot. If on a day like that she writes down her name it’s a happy day and a day that we as a family made a lovely memory.

      The hand worries me not because of writing but generally so I am thinking hand rubs would not only be soothing but also help stop it seizing completely... she is right handed and other thing could get more difficult too.

      Will do on FB ... just for you !

      Sarah xxx

  3. Hi Sarah,
    Just catching up on your beautiful blog. I hope all is well with you. It is difficult to see our parents age and realize their mortality. It's nice that you can spend time with your mom. Treasure the time spent with her. Just wanted to say hi! Take care and God bless! xo

    1. Hello Diane
      Lovely to hear from you!
      Thank you for your kind words and thoughts.
      It’s been a bit of a roller coaster ride but now I have settled into just being with Mum and cherishing the time with her.
      Hope you are well.

      Sarah xx

  4. Morning. Years ago I worked in care of the elderly and many of the patients had stokes. Back then, the physio and we nurses would regularly massage patients' hands with creams and place a rolled up bandage in their hand to stop it contracting. Of course, nowadays, with cutbacks this is likely not done, but it does help. Love Mo xx

    1. Morning Mo!
      Thank you! Yes we are now massaging her hand daily ( well carers are mostly) .. got some lovely essential oils for the job.

      Take care and keep warm. Snow on its way again for you and snow here too! Yipeeee!

      Sarah xxx