Monday 25 June 2018

Flower pressing & slow stitches in the garden.

“A seed is happy when it becomes a root,
 a root is happy when it becomes a bud,
 a bud is happy when it becomes a stem,
 and a stem is happy when it becomes a flower.” 

Matshona Dhliwavo 

With these gorgeous warm days that we are experiencing and the smell of the flowers in the hot sunshine it is certainly a most beautiful of English summers we are having.  On the hazy days that are so light so early it is easy to sit in the garden and become enthralled at the beauty and to be able to work well outside.  I feel that I am not only achieving but also that I am not sat inside and having to watch from a window and feel that these beautiful days are passing me by.

I have been happily working at the table but I have been a little unhappy as I have not seen Miss Muddy or her mate.  I am wondering if they have moved to pastures new, maybe her nest had been disturbed by all the gardening going on around us or some such.  I look out for her daily and she just has not come, not even for her bacon bits and mealy worms.  You all know how I feel about that little girl and so I sit with one eye  looking out for her.  As yet no joy.  We have been over whelmed with starlings and their babies of late and they are a very noisy bunch.  I wonder if that may be it, I just do not know.  I will let you know when I see her.

This morning early I went outside and picked a few flowers for pressing and sat very quietly drinking my first coffee of the morning.  I had freshened up the water in the bird baths and put out some food for all the little birdies.... I sat for an hour to see if she appeared but no.  I would be more worried I think if I saw her partner but I have not seen any blackbird here in days at all.

The sky is blue outside and the temperature is rising beautifully, I think that it is going to be a beautiful week ahead as well.
I am looking forward to our friend coming back here tomorrow and also looking forward to going to
the gorgeous Brocante in Midhurst on Saturday, I am only sorry I will be missing the Vintage Bazaar as they are the same day.  I tried before to do two but it wore me out and it was not very enjoyable to be very honest with you and as I said then I would have to make a choice and so I am going for the Brocante this time as I went to the Vintage Bazaar last time.  It will be a fairly early start but the drive is lovely, I am so lucky that my husband likes driving so much.  I am glad I drive but I have to say around pretty countryside I am so much happier being driven so that I can look about me.

"All in all, it was a never to be forgotten summer —
 one of those summers which come seldom into any life, 
but leave a rich heritage of beautiful memories in their going —
one of those summers which, in a fortunate combination of delightful weather,
delightful friends and delightful doing,
 come as near to perfection as anything can come in this world."

L.M. Montgomery, Anne's House of Dreams

When the weather is this good being in our English countryside is just a bonus of a day and to be in a
marquee at a Brocante in the gorgeous setting of Cowdray House well its just perfect. My little basket of happiness is already and packed with most of what I will need and a tiny little list of things but gosh when you get there a list sort of fly's off in another direction and the beauty and the atmosphere over takes your senses.  It will be lovely to catch up with some friends and of course it is lovely spending the day with my husband and going to find the refreshment tent and having a coffee together.  The simple things when you are both busy during the week and do not see as much of each other as your would like, mean an awful lot.

Also I have lost a little journal of mine, I can not find it at all and it is bugging me something terrible and I have almost taken the house apart looking for it.  It is an important one to me as I took it to America last year and I have little sketches and thoughts in it.  I have got to have a few hours looking for it properly and systematically .... I made such a mess in my sewing room over the weekend and it is still not back to normal yet.  So today that is what I am going to be actually concentrating on and hopefully I will find it fairly quickly and so will be able to get outside to stitch on this beautiful day.

It is so annoying for me and I just can not think I would have thrown it away by mistake so where have I actually put it.  Its a very light and thin one ( as packing it in my hand luggage was what factored into that one coming with me last year) I have seen it since so I did not leave it in the USA, so where of where have I stashed it for safe keeping....

So for today that is it my musings and mumbling's .... wish me luck in my hunt and I really hope that you all have the most lovely day and the sun is shining for you where ever you live today.

Have a great day  and as always Happy Stitching! XX

Seasons in my stitching...

There is no season such delight can bring,
As summer, autumn, winter and the Spring.

  William Browne, Variety, 1630   

As you all know by now I am a seasons girl, I love them all and I really could not live in a country with a climate that did not have them all.  Although if push came to shove and I had to choose it would be Autumn as a favourite, right now I am thoroughly enjoying this Summer like no other.

Most days are hot and this week it is set to be high twenties into early thirties here and it is not every Summer in England we get this sort of weather, me, I am enjoying every moment of it and my office in the garden is just delightful and so very pretty.

Well what a beautiful weekend as well, it is just so lovely waking up to a warm morning and having breakfast in the garden with my husband, no rush and no where to be... such a enjoyable time and blessing. We got some bits done that I needed my husband to do but I must just tell you and regale you of a a story of brave me....

I did not want my husband to be doing too much as his work load is stupid and although there are some things I just can not physically do myself there was one thing that needed doing.  The little fountain in our garden was blocked up with leaves and petals.  Now with the webs that appear around it and my husband telling me there was a rather large arachnid that it belonged to ... this is where brave comes in.

I got rubber gloves on that come up to my elbow and went there with the hose and the gun attachment
that can turn up fiercely and I started to spray water in and grab out all the detritus in there. ( I had turned off the electric by the way)  anyway I cleared a little bucket full of stuff and kept the hose running until it over spilt and was clear and clean.  Then I went back in and turned it back on.  I was shaking a little all the time but is is working perfectly again without coughing and choking and with an old paint brush and water I cleared away and webs and sprayed around it with rose scented cleaner in the hope Mr creepy eight leg monster might inhabit somewhere else deep in the garden and away from me.  This was on Friday morning last week.  My report to you is that there have been no more webs and I think I made it leave .... I need to stitch myself a bravery badge!!

When I was sat outside on Friday stitching in the glorious weather we are having well I kept a keen eye to see if it was about but nothing .... and the little wall mounted waterfall was babbling away perfectly and made the whole day very serene and happy.  One job less for my husband to do.  To say he was impressed is an understatement.  The thing is if the arachnid had made an appearance I would have run and the whole thing would have been left to him, I know it!... still I felt grown up and a bit brave ...

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

―Maud Hart Lovelace,

This Summer is turning out to be one of the best in a long time and I seem to be more productive sat at my outside office where Homespun HQ has made it it's temporary real estate ... ( in other words me at the table and chairs outside and in our garden)..  
I have my basket ready and also I need to get down to the photographer this week, well tomorrow actually and get some professional photos sorted for publication so today is a very busy day indeed and one where my head is down and it will be stitch stitch stitch.

I have so much that I like to do of a day including the boring but necessary house work chores, my personal journal entry and updating my design journal, then there is my blog here to you and answering emails .. this all takes hours before I even pick up a needle so an early start most days is essential.  I am loving the warm and light evenings it helps with the time I have.  In the Winter when it is dark at 3.30pm in the afternoon it just runs on by as it is not light until 8am either.  So I am making hay whilst the sun shines as the saying goes and making most of my 15 hour days ..

The flowers and the wildlife along with walks along the cliff top have started to fill my design journal and so I can draw upon that during the winter months if needed.  I am enjoying filling it up and writing down ideas and little quotes.  The wordsmith in me just can not stop finding them and seeking them out.  Some of my favourites are in my personal journal.

In early June the world of leaf and blade and flowers
explodes, and every sunset is so different.

John Steinbeck

The sunsets that I have experienced this month have been truly beautiful and it looks like the sky is on fire.  It is so beautiful to stand in our garden and watch the sun settled down and for the dark inky sky arrive with the bright moon. I sometimes sit there in the warm breeze with a drink and watch in awe at mother nature at its best.

For today though I have lots to be going on with and my kettle is full and waiting for me to go make another coffee and then take it out with my basket of stitching and starting my sewing day.

I hope you have a wonderful day whatever you are doing today, and as always  💮💮💮💮 ....

Happy Stitching! XX

Friday 22 June 2018

A fairy breath of Summer & stitching in the garden ...

Each fairy breath of summer, as it blows with
 loveliness, inspires the blushing rose.

 ~Author Unknown

Ah its another gorgeous day on the South Coast of England and with the good soaking of the garden that was given by myself along with the watering system it smells beautiful out there with the sun already hot and making everything look so lovely.  Mornings like these I am up with the larks and out in the cool breeze of another very hot Summers day.

A whole day stretches before me with delicious creating and stitching and when England has weather like this it really is green, luscious and a perfect place to inhabit.

Already I have sat and had my morning coffee with Miss Muddy Beak and also I have gathered lots of beautiful flowers to press.  I am going to go to the books after here and get out the last lot of flowers that should be well and truly ready to put in the box I have for them and ready for use in mixed media pieces I have been planning.  

June, thy beauty is a snare,
To waste time in visions rare;
Of vain dreaming, oh, beware!

~Caroline May, 1887

I love the quote above because it is so true, when sat in the garden and the peace and quiet with bird song and the buzz of the busy bees you can so easily drift into your thoughts and dream away.  It is a peaceful and relaxing way to spend some hours.  I however have lots of stitching to attend to so I have to keep myself focused on the work at hand.

It is Friday already and I can not believe where the week has gone to, I know I had Monday off so it was a short working week for me but still the time has flown so quickly. 

Next week our lovely friend returns but this time the plan is to be in the garden and stitch whilst we chat.  Something about being in the garden and doing that is lovely.  Although my working days will be shorter it is my plan to do so.  Although one day we may go on a little jaunt ... There is a tea bus here and you can go on and have an afternoon tea with dainty sandwiches and little cakes and the bus goes all along the coast line whilst you take in the few and some calories!  I am thinking it might be a little lovely thing to do together.  I will let you know if we do get to do it but it is the plan I have right now.

For today though it is mice like stitches and some sewing for my dress as well.  I have my hoop ready to get that done and it should not take me too long with what I would like to stitch before it goes back to be stitched together.  

Also I think today the mushroom sampler should be finished as it is starting to speak for its self and to me ... that tells me I have practically done and I have been looking at it for a few days to see if anything else was needed.  I have decided, what it did need, so that will be done and pressed later today I hope.

In addition I have already cut some fabrics out for another piece that I would like to stitch as well and so as you see I have been very productive already today. When it is warm and the sun is shinning very early it is so easy to bounce out of bed and begin the day .. long may this incredibly gorgeous weather last.  I am so happy working outside most days, only in to blog and to use the sewing machine to edge cut antique French linen pieces.

Last night my husband was working late again and so I was in my sewing room, oh my the sunset was truly stunning and I watched as the sun said goodnight but with a promise that it would be back here this morning early with some wonderful warm weather, and it did not disappoint ...

Remember me as a dried flower between
your pages of your notebook.  They may
not bear any fragrance but they will always
be enriched with memories.....


I managed to dry more flowers from the garden successfully and so they came out of the books and
more went in.  I am loving using them and I love to put them into sealing wax and then stamp it with a wax seal, my favourite right now is the one with a hydrangea on it.  So beautiful and looks good on envelopes, in journals and mixed media pieces as well.  The flower of choice in this photo is apple blossom I dried from one of our apple trees.  I wanted to cut lots but only cut four, other wise no apples in September and that would never do!

I have my work basket at the ready and lots of slow stitching to do as well as a piece of mixed media that I would like to tackle maybe over this weekend.  We have not arranged anything this weekend as so if the weather is good ( and it promises to be) we will spend our time at home and eat our meals in the garden as well.

Well that is it for me today but I will be back here again on Monday, so until them I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and that the weather where your are stays sunny and warm for you.  As always dear reader, Happy Stitching! XX

Thursday 21 June 2018

Summer days stitching in the garden

A perfect summer day is when the sun is 
shining,  the breeze is blowing, the birds are
 singing, and the lawn mower is broken.

 ~James Dent

This Summer is turning out to be perfect, my office on gorgeous days like these is in our garden where I can sip my coffee and watch the bees.  The still quiet of the day when I was up this morning and it was already warm.  The birds were going about their busy day and already the bees where flying from flower to flower collecting their nectar hungrily and with an urgency that bees seem to have about them.  I have always said that bees should smell floral and beautiful because of all the little particles of sweet smelly pollen on their tiny feet ....

I have a few hours this morning before leaving to see my Mum and I am so excited to be able to go and see her now that the bug at the home has cleared up.  I will be there with her whilst she eats her lunch as well and I am taking my grab bag just in case ... If she is sleepy though I will leave her and come back to my HQ in the garden and continue my slow stitch day.

With a slight breeze flowing through our garden it is a lovely and comfortable place to be and the light cool air is very welcome.  I can sit and stitch and stay cool.  If your hands get to hot the needle slips through and you end up pricking yourself and hoping that blood has not gone on to the precious fabrics and linens.

After the last weekend where it was cold, wet and windy it is so nice to be back out in the garden and fresh air.  I can hear birds singing and the leaves rustle in the trees and it is so very calming and good for the soul and of course for me, great for the creative side to come out.  I love to sit there first thing with my journals and then get on with my stitching.

This really hot spell is set to get hotter and last all of next week as well and I am hoping that it will remain next week as it says for our friends return here for a few days.

Also with the vintage fair at Cowdray House on Saturday 30th it is so lovely being in the countryside at such a venue and with lovely warm weather to wander around in.  In and out of marquees it is just the best.

Green was the silence, wet was the light,
the month of June trembled like a butterfly....

~Pablo Neruda

I went for a dress fitting this week and one of the beauties will be ready for the vintage fair in August with the little bits that I have had to stitch as well, as this is a joint effort, although she is the dress maker ( I really can not get my head around it at all)  I am very happy that they are coming along.  Each different but the same pattern and I am looking forward to wearing one.  I love linen and all the
fabrics used are all vintage and it will be unique to me with choices of linens and colours.

It has been me catching up with the bits that I needed to do, including covering buttons as well and for a day not being able to find the fabrics I was looking for!! It got me to thinking that I had used them and forgotten but no luckily just me panicking and not looking properly was what the outcome was.

Honestly it was panic mode and flying about was bits of precious fabrics to my under the breath mumbling and grumbling...... 

After finding what I was looking for I went outside and sat in the garden for 10 minutes and calmed down.  All is well that ends well at least.

So today for me it is slightly 'here and dither' but tomorrow I have the whole day to sit and stitch so I am more than happy.  As I said I am looking forward to seeing Mum and so is my Sister, we are going together today so its a family day ....

Having a few hours in the garden stitching before I go though will be wonderful and I have already fed the birdies outside this morning early and Miss Muddy Beak came along and had her little plate.  She is such a lovely little lady and I do love her so much. My heart near bursts with love when she comes just a little bit closer each time.  Her partner, well he keeps his distance and sometimes from his chattering I know he is saying to her ' be careful please' ... His song of an evening though is beautiful and I believe their young have flown the nest as they seem less busy and more relaxed right now.  I am not sure if blackbirds have two sets of young in a season but at the moment I am sure they
have none to look after.

Well that is my ramblings for today as I wish to get outside again and have a few hours stitching and watching the garden come to life with all the birds, bees and butterflies.  This morning early I saw the most gorgeous dragonfly, really magnificent indeed.  The roses and lavender smell beautiful and I now have the buds from the sweet peas opening so the smell of Summer is in the air by the table and chairs.  

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

Tuesday 19 June 2018

A walk through time...

“If you seek creative ideas go 
walking  .Angels whisper to a man 
when he  goes for a walk.”
( ladies too!!)

 Raymond I Myers

Well best laid plans and all than, the weather over the weekend was windy with rain so no stitching in
the garden at all, in fact no garden everything was inside.  I had planned meals out there as well. Not a needle was picked up at all, with our lovely friend here it was about doing things to make up for the dreadful weather.  I did not see any of my lovely birds just a few seagulls came down for a drink in the rain.  I think Miss Muddy was tucked up in her paisley nest and holding onto the sides the way the trees and bushes were swaying in the wind.  I did put out her little plate but I did not see her so can not be sure it was her who actually ate it to be honest with you.  It really was a disappointing weather wise weekend.

 Still our friend has left his car here and headed off to London to welcome some family from the airport and then off to Norfolk to other family.  He returns here next Tuesday  until Friday and the weather is set to be much better but well we can only hope. I hope he gets great weather in London showing family the sights, it would be such a lovely thing if on the boat ride along the Thames the sun is shining..... See all the sights nearly from the river boat.

It is a bits and pieces day today and in fact for the next two weeks here at my little HQ.  Today I have to go and take my car for her MOT and its a few hours disruption really.  In addition on Thursday we can finally go and see our Mum as the bug has cleared (the good thing was she did not contract it at all) so it will be lovely to see her.

In short the next two weeks are not going to be very productive with the things that I have to do and appointments that I have.  So the time that I do have to stitch I am going to have to really concentrate on those little stitches ....

However I have all day Wednesday and Friday this week so my plans revolve around those two glorious days.  I am hoping that the sun will get its hat on again and I can sit in the garden and just stitch away.

I managed to take some photos late yesterday afternoon though as the sun was about and I had a little walk through time as I was putting bits together to snap away at.  Remembering where I had bought something or indeed who had gifted it to me.  It was a wander down memory lane and a lovely half an hour as well.

I've still to finish mushroom sampler and some serious little stitches will be done on Wednesday and Friday this week.  Next week I have Monday and Tuesday all day as well.  I am hoping then that the sun will play its part and I will have broken the back bone of my sewing basket contents ...

Also it is the Country Brocante Summer fair on the 29 and 30 of this month and it is at Cowdray
House and I am off there.  There were choices to be made as The Vintage Bazaar is also on 30 June but I can not go to both.  They are too far from each other and as our lovely friend is her on the Friday 29 I can not make Cowdray on the Friday.  I have had my basket ready for weeks now and all that is to be done is pop my purse in....

So if you are looking to go to a fair here are those two's details for your diary.

The Vintage Bazaar
Cheese and Grain
Somerset BA11 1BE

Saturday 30 June

9.00  - 3pm Entry fee £2
No dogs allowed I am afraid.
There is a cafe on site for catch ups and coffee and cake and they also serve light lunches too.

The Country Brocante Summer Fair
Cowdray House
Cowdray Estate
West Sussex
GU29  0AY

Friday 29 and Saturday 30 June

Entry Fee on Friday 29 early bird ticket at 9am  - 5pm £12.50
Standard ticket on Friday 29 10.00am - 5pm £7.50
Saturday 30th June 10.00am -5pm £7.50  ( there is no early bird ticket on this day)

There is always a lovely pop up cafe/restaurant on site serving breakfast and lunches along with lovely cakes and cold and hot drinks..

This event is held in marquees in the grounds of Cowdray and set in 110 acres of private gardens, grounds and parkland.. there are over 100 carefully curated exhibitors.

So now you have choices to make.  Both events are beautiful and in the town of Frome there is so much to see and do as well.

Today then I have to run around but by this afternoon I will have my project basket out and some serious stitching will be in progress.  Looking out of my sewing room window as I write this I somehow do not think it will be in the garden.  It is not 9 in the morning yet so I am guessing the clouds could clear and give me a warm afternoon ... if not its inside and my head down anyway.

Tomorrow I think I shall get up extra early and go for a walk down by the beach to blow away the cobwebs and set me up for a day of stitching.  I am hoping the angels will whisper in my ears as I do.  The cliff walk along our beach is beautiful as you look down over the sea and the ocean beyond.  On a sunny morning you can clearly see the Isle of Wight and to the other side you can just see Swanage and brown sea Island as well.  With wild flowers along the pathways it really is a beautiful walk.

I am afraid that is it for today but I will see you back here on Thursday bright and early.  I hope you all had a lovely weekend and enjoyed Fathers Day ...

Have a wonderful day and as always Happy Stitching! XX

Friday 15 June 2018

Beatrix Potters mice need to come help me ... slow stitching morning!

Three little mice sat down to spin
Pussy passed by and she peeped in
What are you at, my fine little men?
Making coats for gentlemen.
Shall I come in and cut off your threads?
Oh no Miss Pussy you'd bite off our heads ...

Beatrix Potter - The Tailor of Gloucester.

I could do with some of those little mice and their tiny little slow stitches, It has been such a busy week and it has gone very fast indeed.

My work basket does not seem to be going down and I feel as if I have a little prankster here putting more in ... could it be mice? or my imagination? ....
Working in the garden though has been wonderful this week apart from on one occasion with the rain.

I have to work this morning as our friend is arriving here this afternoon.  Then the catching up and merriment will start straight away.  We have the weekend and the weather looks to be good so the weather men say .. but hey what do they know half the time.  The Summer has come back a little here and it is much warmer but I think by this afternoon it will be back in the 20's so fingers crossed. A drink in the garden when he arrives would be just the ticket.

Well I can not say that I have 'no more twist' because I have a good bundle of it in my work basket to get some serious stitching in before our friend arrives later today.

Yesterday was so strange not seeing Mum and she was on my mind constantly, I do not think now she is able to know days so I took comfort in knowing she was not looking for my Sister and I but still be both said how unsettled we felt with not going for our family day ...

As I had some extra time that I had not planned on I did some journaling in the garden - yes it cleared
up by lunchtime and was so hot and sunny and the smell of the roses it was beautiful.  Out sweet peas are doing amazingly well and have lots of buds on them already.  A far cry from last year when everything was so late.  Our grape vines have lots of tiny bunches of grapes on too... Summer really is a good one in England this year..

I am writing up my family history in a leather bound journal and I have a personal one as well it contains my thoughts and what I love .. Words ... .. I love poetry as you may know and have been reading some on here, from Dawn, who my lovely readers is well read in such things.  It is wonderful. We share so much in common, even the love of sketching, calligraphy and of course stitching.

Slow stitching got done yesterday but I have to confess that the mushroom sampler is not finished yet.  I am hand embroidering the words and the sun was shining and well I was sat watching the birdies and drinking a lovely cinnamon tea.  I was doodling in my ideas journal and generally faffing about and so I did not stitch as much as I had intended.  The thing was I had stitched in the morning but the sun came out and that was it .. to the garden I trotted. 

If the weather is beautiful over the weekend I can catch up as we all sit in the garden but I prefer sitting under the umbrella and others like to fry themselves in the sun .. not for me.  I just stick my legs out.

Then we can all talk and I can stitch and sip a drink and I am one happy stitcher!

I have decided to take Monday off and enjoy my long weekend with our friend so I will be back here nest  Tuesday, Lots of people are enjoying the sun at the moment and I am giving myself the day off. Well probably not from stitching but from my laptop at least.

So for today I am off with last minute preparation for a Italian evening tonight for supper.  It will be melon with parma ham to start.  I have cooked a Lasagna and that will be served with salad and then it is tiny weeny figs in cinnamon and wine syrup with mascarpone cheese ....  The dear little figs are no bigger than your thumb nail ....

So that is our evening sorted tonight and I am hoping we can eat outside if it stays this hot.  Hot evenings outside with all the fairy lights and lamps lit in our garden is lovely.  I do have quilts folded over the back of the chairs just in case!!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend .. It is Fathers Day on Sunday here but alas my darling Dad is flying with the angels.  I will leave on Sunday morning when the house is asleep and pop and see him and put flowers there for him.  If he were here still I know we would be together, he never missed one. 

If you are with your Dad on Sunday here in England enjoy him, if you are like me and we can not be then remember him and smile as I do, wouldn't have wanted another Dad ..he was the best as I am sure yours was too  ...

Have a lovely weekend and as always .... Happy Stitching! XX

Thursday 14 June 2018

Threads, fabrics, buttons and linen ... a treasure basket

Whatever you can do,
or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power 
and magic in it.........

Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

The treasure that awaits me with hope to be made into something lovely and to be out of a drawer and unwrapped from tissue paper is in a work basket.  My design journal is open and I have to decide what it is I would like to stitch next for any work that has come in with deadlines.  I need to get a good start on it as our lovely friend is here from Devon from tomorrow and only until Monday when he goes off for a while and then back here again in a few weeks.  I love having him to stay and as you know the laughter an shenanigans will begin as soon as he pulls into our driveway... We laugh an awful lot and of course that is soul food .....

I want to get something sorted that I can pick up and put down easily.  I think I know what I would like to stitch and so I have it ready and I just have to look over my design journal once more to make sure it is all complete and ready to be created and stitched.

Today then after I fully decide I will pencil it out and cut out any fabrics that may be needed.  Get it all together and ready and start to stitch.  When I finish to day I will make sure I have ready threaded needles in place to be able to start stitching early in the morning to get some headway on a new project and to be able to actually finish a few pieces too.  Although they are not needed right away it would be lovely to have them complete and tucked away ..

On the last legs of the mushroom sampler now and along the last furlong as they say so that will be a pleasure.

I had a phone call yesterday saying there is a bug going around at my Mums Care Home and they would prefer we did not visit until 48 hours after the last patient who has contracted it has been good for 48 hours.  Our Mum has not got it as yet but this could potentially go on for another week or so!
So today I find that I actually can not go and visit for my normal 4 hours or so, I popped in earlier this week thank goodness for an hour to sit with her whilst she had lunch and we had a stroll around the gardens and a coffee together and now I am really pleased that I did. 

Today then will be a day when I now have more time and so the housework can get done as well and I will be ready for our friends visit in a jiffy....

There will be no stitching in the garden today as we have rain this morning, that drizzle rain and it is dark out there, such a contrast to yesterday when it was blazing hot and sunny with all the windows and doors open.  Our gardener came yesterday as well and the lawns were all cut and everything was weeded and made to look really pretty .... So pleased he was not scheduled for today!

So it will be snuggling down in a cosy chair lights on, candles lit and fairy lights ablaze -- it cheers a very wet, windy and dark day up some how.  I will do as I say and get the other project ready to go and then do some housework.. then glorious slow stitch time.  I can sit and watch the outside for the change that they say we will have.. yes they have predicted sun from around 3pm so you never know I may well get a chance to sit out later afternoon.  The garden will enjoy the spritz of the rain and then if the sun does come out it always smells so beautiful ... that will be cinnamon tea time to take it all in.

As I write this there is not a bird, bee or butterfly to be seen and they are all tucked up somewhere away from this drizzle and windy morning. I have put Miss Muddy Beaks tiny little saucer out on the garden table under the umbrella so that if she ventures she will come to find it.  It is tucked behind the jug of flowers and she knows where to look.... This way the huge seagulls can not spy it either.  To be honest they are not even about and the sky is devoid of life at this minute in time.

Here though in my sewing room looking out at the not so nice day I am cosy with the two little lamps on and they bring a glow and warmth to the proceeding and I am sipping at a lovely cup of coffee.  I can see my cupboards of beautiful fabrics as the doors are open and I can smell rose in the air and lavender.  I have some sachets in all the cupboards and drawers where there is fabrics and linens.  I love to look in there and know in a moment I can pull up my little stool and sit and go through carefully and pick out some delicious timeworn fabric ( not forgetting a few minutes just to stroke and look at my pretties just for fun).  The cutting mat is on our dinning room table ready along with my cutter and ruler so that is what I am off to do now.  Get that done and put away and the fabric in my work basket...

My mushroom sampler awaits me for a little later and I have my day mapped out, a little differently than I thought it would be but there it is.  I would phone my mum but it confuses her greatly, instead I sent my love via the lovely receptionist who said she would wander down and tell her and give her a huge hug for me.  We have been told and actually sensed and seen when we have unexpectedly just shown up, that our Mum is a favourite there and her room is so beautiful she get lots of he carers and staff go have their coffee with her... which pleases us.

Have a lovely day today whatever you are up to and as always...
Happy Stitching! XX

Tuesday 12 June 2018

Tranquillity and beauty with slow little stitches .....

When I go into the garden it is an uncomplicated world
where flowers grow and bees come to dance with
the butterflies.  Weeds are flowers waiting to be discovered
and nature bursts into life.  The smell of roses and lavender
in the air all add to its tranquillity and beauty..... 

Oh what a glorious day it was yesterday.  The sun was out all day and it was a really hot summer's evening, the kind that makes you sit outside and have your supper and stay there until bed time.

My office yesterday was out garden table and chairs and I was more than happy with the wildlife around me and the smell of lavender and scented roses in the air.  I saw two gorgeous dragonflies that were dancing together and their colours were peacock blue and green with some black, the glistened in the hot sun.  Not many birds at all as it was too hot and they were, I think staying in the shade of the trees and only coming in to bath and to drink.  I had to fill the birdbaths around 7 times and they were loving the cold fresh water on them.

I was sat there with a cold drink ( for a change) and with lots of ice and happily stitching away at my mushroom sampler.  It is still not finished but I am in no hurry as I am thoroughly enjoying stitching it.  I keep coming up with little whimsical ideas and trying them out.  I love mushrooms both to eat and as decoration... there is something magical and fairy like about them and anything flora, fauna or fungi I love to stitch or draw with all the textures that they seem to have.  Artistic licence then takes hold and why not have paisley mushrooms anyway!

In the morning I managed to get a work basket ready but I was too impatient to do another in the end because we do not get that many glorious mornings where you wake early and it is already 19 degrees, by 3 in the afternoon we had 26 degrees and there was a little welcome breeze coming off of the sea.  I had the best day and not a phone call or any drama ... just a slow stitch day in paradise!

It got a little warm for me to be pulling through the needle in the afternoon so I had an unscheduled design and idea four hours, bliss ... There is always something I can do that is work related and fun as well.  I love what I do and I am grateful every day that  I can do this for a job.

The weather is supposed not to be anywhere near as fabulous today or tomorrow but we will see, I am still waiting for the huge thunders storms that were coming into the South Coast at least three weeks ago, I will wait and see how it pans out. 

Whilst waiting for my husband to come home I also managed a glass of wine and journaling time, along with a letter written for a dear pen pal.... It was a productive and varied day and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I think tomorrow may see my mushroom sampler finished and then I can get on with another couple of bits that I would like finished .. then to a new design.

I can not tell you how quickly my day went and I have today and tomorrow where I do not have to go anywhere at all so I have my list of things that I would like to complete.. actually I do have to go to the post office but that is a lovely walk in the nice weather or a very quick couple of minutes in the
car if the weather in inclement ....

As I am writing this blog to you I am watching large seagulls swooping around and looking in gardens for food they like.  They do not come in for seeds but if there is a little extra out there like bacon fat or bits of cheese they seem to know.  Even if I tuck it down the edges of the law under the trees, where I am sure they can not see it from the air ... they seem to know.  I will be going out with a coffee and feed them all after this.  I have decided to mix it up a bit on times so they look for their natural food as well and do not just rely on the food that we all put out around our neighbourhood.  The babies have flown the nests and everyone is watering their gardens so the juicy worms should be there for them.  Miss Muddy Beak however waits for her breakfast... I have not seen her beak muddy in ages! she is loving bacon and mealy worms .. oh and nuts chopped up as well ... I know I know ...but she is my lady and she is very dear to me indeed.

I am thinking it must be competition time again and so I am having a think about the prize and what the competition can be ... So watch this space over the next few weeks.  I need to get my thinking cap on.

My husband and I love to make pizza's in the summer as we love them cooked on the BBQ.  We have a pizza stone and the taste is amazing.  I always make batches of the tomato sauce and the dough and he loves to do all the toppings ( although I am boring when it comes to pizza, proper Italian that is does not have to have lots of different things on it at all ..)  I like Margarita with green olives and herbs and he well he loves things like pork and apple or meat feast or one of his favourites is chilli beef .... I keep mine simple.

This year though we are making sourdough pizza bases and starting our culture to be able to produce
it ... Also then I can make sourdough bread as well.  We are going to give it a go and it is, by tradition given a name.  We are thinking Alaska as the culture recipe is from there but we will see....

We have a feeling you see that England this year is going to get a stonking summer and we want to enjoy the outside as much as possible.  Sat outside with our supper every night that the weather will allow us is the plan.  Pizza and salad supper suits on occasions ... Also cooking on the BBQ as well so that I might work in the garden and then when my husband gets home after being cooped up in an office all day he can get some fresh air and sit in the garden and unwind a little from his incredibly busy day..

Well on that lovely note I think I will love you and leave you and start my day.  My work basket is ready and the coffee is ready to be made.  I need to start my day and finish some slow stitching. 

Tomorrow is Wednesday so I will see you back here on Thursday bright and early in the hopes that the wonderful weather is still with us ... Have a great day whatever you are up to and as always....

Happy Stitching! XX

Sunday 10 June 2018

To darn a mushroom.

“The verb 'to darn' is explained in my pocket 
dictionary as follows: 'To mend by imitating the texture
 of the stuff, with thread and needle.' But this
 definition does not correspond to the work accomplished
 by good Chinese housewives. When they mend a sock,
 they do not try 'to imitate the texture of the stuff'. 
Their art makes no attempt at concealment: 
it even takes a certain pride in revealing itself.” 

 Daniele Varé

Personally I agree with the above totally, I love to see a wonderful patterned darn in a different colour so that it may be seen.  Can you imagine those young ladies learning to darn 100 years or more ago. They would shake their heads at us loving this now.  frayed edges and visible stitches ... they would have to go lay down with smelling salts surely!

Well the reason I talk about this is that on one of my mushrooms on my sampler is going to have some rather lovely darning on it ... whimsical I know but I love the thought.  There will be French knots on another just for decoration you understand.  I am loving stitching this, although not much stitching went on over the weekend as we were out and about and  caught up with family as well.  Still it is a new week and I am hopeful to get some good stitching done this week.  

My mum is stable and her new GP is marvellous, it has given me confidence for being away from home with the whirlwind of vintage fairs coming up this Summer.  I know she is being well treated at her home and well taken care of medically .. its peace of mind for me and my sister.  We know she is in good, safe hands ... 

This also helps my working week when she is OK and I can pop in and see her but also do my work as well.  I have had to fight her corner for months and it is so nice just to be me again and to sit and stitch.  I can now sit and stitch when she is having a little nap as well.  She is settled and not now in pain so everything is calmer -- for now at least.

Today is a full day of stitching and I am really pleased about those kind of days it is creative and it also is such a calming and wonderful thing to be doing.  My mantra ....

All my scattering moments are taken up with my needle.  ~Ellen Birdseye Wheaton, 1851

It is so true you can think whilst stitching by hand and you can sit in the garden and take in the beauty
around you.  It's not like your mind wandering on a sewing machine where you can stitch your fingers to a piece of fabric!

In addition this week I have another day of design planned and hope that this Wednesday will be hot and sunny and I can go for a walk along the cliff top with my journal.  I would like to see all the wild flowers I spotted the other day when I drove past.  There is always something to pick up and bring home for inspiration and I could sit on a seat and look out to sea with my idea jotter ... Its a plan at least.

When I get back home I could then go in the garden with my design journal and sit and have a doodle.  As I said the other day journaling in the garden is really relaxing and also very fruitful.  My mind comes alive amongst the flowers and the wildlife.

Talking of wildlife who did I see again but the little wood pecker! I have not seen him since last year and I thought he had moved on to pastures new or indeed got lost and found us by mistake last year.  If the later is the case he has found us again and I am happy about it.  Small little thing and until I saw him last year I thought wood peckers were much larger but this little fella is compact and bijoux ..

My mother in law told me that they like coconut so I have some in my cupboard and hope to entice
him back again this week, if the bloomin' seagulls do not eat it all up first.  Its a free for all when they are in the garden and the pigeons try and strut their stuff as much as to say ' our garden, our coconut' then this huge seagull with a large sharp beak start charging towards them and they loose all bravery and let them have it. Mind you so would I, a baby one came into our garden the other week ... baby!? it was like an ostrich!  If it had not been for its stubbly brown feathers I would not have believed it I am sure of that.

Before I start my day I am going to get two stitchery work baskets ready as I still have some fabrics to put away so whilst doing that I can get out what is needed and get it ready for when I have finished the mushrooms.  I do not want to finish it I am in love with stitching it and in love with the whimsy of it... still all good things and all that!

On that note I will love and leave you for today.   I hope you all have a wonderful day and the sun is shinning down on you where ever you live. Really not sure what our weather will do today as it says we will have thunder storms today and its 21 degrees.... The elusive thunder that we have been warned about and that has never shown up is apparently on its way today .... will see if today they may be right.  You wonder don't you if the weather people are sat there in their tower and say so what shall we forecast for the Dorset coastline then.  Yes thunder OK.... then Oh Joe best change that quick its full sun now ...  Do they stand on a balcony high up with a wet finger in the air?

Have a wonderful day and as always Happy Stitching! XX

Friday 8 June 2018

Slow stitch Friday .....

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 a vintage scrap of fabric and thus adding memories
& layers for future generations to see someday.

The weather man was wrong again, if there was thunder I sure did not hear it... later yesterday the sun did come out and I was able to sit in my little spot in the garden that I share with Miss Muddy Beak and together we had a wonderful few hours as she flitted back and forth to see my progress.  It did rain in the morning but not like stair rods just a fine sprinkling for a while and I imagined all the gorgeous plants putting their heads up to be spritzed and taking in the beauty of the nourish it gives them.  After rain the garden smells so fresh and our gardener came on Wednesday so the grass was cut and had a lovely soaking of summer rain.

The herbs in are garden after rain and with a little sun give off a beautiful scent and we bought some
old vintage silver spoons that had been flattened and punch with herb names.  We have Parsley, Chives, Basil, several Mints as we have several types including chocolate mint, Thyme and Rosemary for now and they glisten in the sunshine.  I check to make sure they are still there only the chuckle brothers (magpie twins) are very fond of shinny!..... They have tried several times to collect the key out of our rusty magpie ornament in the garden ....

As you can see from the photo the spoons are pushed firmly into the soil in the garden and the large herb basket we have outside our kitchen door.

Working from a list today to get things done and completed I would like to, if the sun shines, try and make a little video of the needle keep but we will see.  Sat in the garden when turning the pages might be lovely, and who knows Miss Muddy Beak may make an appearance ... she does from time to time and I love when she does.  Of course its cupboard love as I always have a tiny saucer of something bird scrummy for the little Miss.

In addition to day I am going to give over a few hours to sorting my Stitchery room that only got half done last week and I want to finish cleaning and tidying it up today.  Honestly it looks like a war of fabric has been fought and lost in there and along with lots of paper work I was sorting and pen pal things as well its time to take hold and put things back and sort bits too.  As long as I get a good 5 hours stitching in, it should be OK.  My day started early this morning but it is a time for me to sip coffee, make a list and ponder.  It is not achieving much except of course when I come on here and write for you to read.

After that is done it will be delicious delicious slow stitching and I can not wait.  I am loving stitching the mushroom sampler and I would like to do a little series of Autumnal samplers for the season that I simply adore.  It could quite be my most favourite of seasons ... We married in the Autumn so that could be why it is so very special to me.  Also I love the food of that season, cinnamon and pumpkins and squashes to eat along with mushroom risottos as well when the mushrooms are at their best.

The weather has been so beautiful and given me a real taste for Summer days that on cooler wet days I longingly look out of the window and want to be in my outside 'office' I actual get more done as well, there is a well being out there and as you know I love stitching by our open fire in the Winter
months all cosy with candles and quilts but I am so ready to be outside every day ... alas the weather is gorgeous one day and not so settled the next.  Today though looking out of my sewing room window it is very promising and so after I finish here I will set to in here and do a couple of hours cleaning and tidying and get straight outside.  It promises to be a good day.

With scraps of gorgeous quilt and French linens I am also working on a little fabric scrap book and have been for a while now.   It is not something you can just put together and be done - indeed it is a great project for slow stitching and I am hoping over the weekend I can add to its story as well.  Its a form of  fabric journaling and you know how fond I am of my journals.  I will hopefully get to a place in it and be able to show you very soon.

Journaling both for work and for personal pleasure has really become a need for me to get things down on paper.  I love to sit with my coffee of a morning and write and it is never better than on a warm sunny day.  Since starting to pen pal and writing letters instead of email and text with a fountain pen and a little calligraphy and sealing wax thrown in for good measure, I found washi tape.
Oh yes!  It has been around for a long time now but it was only just about 2 years ago I found this wonderful thing.  Most of you are going to say 'really!' but there will be some of you reading this that
have only just done the same or indeed have not found it yet so for those I shall explain.  It is like sellotape but with a difference that it is made from a paper and has patterns on it.  In addition it will hold things together but you can move it with ease and it does not tear paper.  The patterns are vast and varied.  flowers, mushrooms, flora & fauna, clock faces, alphabets, old train tickets, calligraphy pens ... anything really there is no end of choices and it is great to decorate the journal page with along with a ink stamped something.

 The picture on the left shows you two of my latest washi tape purchases .. In addition you can use it to hold bits of fabric down on other fabric instead of pinning I found out so it is versatile and has a special place in my stitchery room for all sorts of great purposes. Not only is it beautiful but it is versatile as well ... the words of William Morris come to mind with this product....

Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful,
or believe to be beautiful .... 

And my dear reader that describes washi tape perfectly and therefore it is only fitting to have a box full of the great stuff!...

Well that is it for today, I can not believe it to be Friday already and I am not sure where this week has gone to.  I am looking forward to the weekend and I hope that you all have a wonderful few days as well.  Lets hope the weather is good for us all.

Have a wonderful day and weekend and I will be back here on Monday morning bright and early I hope.  Happy Stitching! XX

Thursday 7 June 2018

Mushrooms in timeworn fabric and thread ......

Mushrooms were the roses in the
garden of that unseen world, because
the real mushroom plant was underground.

What a change in the weather this morning from yesterday, it was glorious weather and as some of you know I spent most of it in the garden.  The roses are all blooming and the scent in the air is really beautiful and shouts Summer is here!  I set out all my things on our table and then made a coffee, this was 9 in the morning and it was already hot.  The day stretched before me and I could not wait.

Sitting there in the garden sipping my warm drink and watching the wildlife go about their busy day I decided to pick some flowers for drying so with my hazmat suit on, off I went and picked some gorgeous bits to use later on when they have had time to dry happily.  I am very pleased with how the little buds of hydrangeas turn out also another beauty is the Hypericum also known as 'mystical red star' and has lovely yellow flowers on it that turn to red berries and is often found in flower bouquets.

I  found my book that press them in and took out the last lot that is now in the little box I keep them in and started wrapping them up in kitchen roll and placing them in there but ran out of space! So now I have three books of flowers in there.  When ever you buy an antique book it really is lovely to find a little something inside it.  In the past I have found a letter, feathers, dried flowers and a little calling card that meant something to someone at one point.  Those things stay in the books I never take them away.  I have started adding something to special books as well so in future years ahead others may derive pleasure from the finds as I have.

Anyway after I sorted that out, but first taking photos I settled down outside in the glorious sun and started writing in my journals.  I had my personal journal to update and also I had a good look through my ideas journal to be able to do a little designing and spent some lovely time sat there in thought with just the bird song going on it was glorious.  Deep in thought and having made another drink I came across a little doodle and the above quote and that was it I started to work in earnest.  The ideas flowed and so much so that I have cut out all the pieces of gorgeous antique fabrics after I drew the patterns and then they are now pinned to some rather
wonderful rustic and very old linen.  Then I sorted the thread out and well started to stitch.  Some of the quote above is on there too ( in pencil for me to stitch over) and I am well on my way to completing this within a few days I should hope.

I have taken a picture of the first mushroom that is nearly finished for you to see ( first picture on here).  I love mushrooms they fascinate me and when I find any on a walk in the forest I have to go and look, especially if there is a ring of them.  When I was a young girl we spent lots of time in the New Forest as my Grandad had his horses on their and we would ride.  I spent many a happy hour wandering around in the wooded parts and looking at plants, flowers and mushrooms and was told that the ring of mushrooms was where the fairies came to dance .... my love of them began then and I was 4 years old.  Also I remember being told that there is more to a mushroom than what you see above ground.  Underneath the forest floor and leaves and acorns there is a network of tiny thin roots like pieces as well called mycelium.  I have tried to capture that too in thread....  you will see from the photo there are loose threads that just need a few tiny wee stitches to keep them in place and to spread them.. I am still working on the photo above and I have lots more to do on the whole picture but will have great delight in finishing this piece.

Nature alone is antique, and the
oldest art a mushroom.

I had such fun designing this piece and it made me smile as I was stitching it. Today I am off to visit
my Mum for a while and meeting with my sister there.  Then I will be back here and working, unfortunately not in the garden which is a real shame as the spot where I sit is gorgeous.  With the umbrella up so that I can see my slow stitches and the scent of my climbing rose above and behind me on the wall it is truly a little artistic haven ....  For the umpteenth time they say we are going to have thunder storms this morning and the garden does look dark with the cloudy sky but it is still busy out there with bees and butterflies and of course my birds that visit...

However it if it is not really cold and windy but just dark I will still go sit outside for a while with a warm drink ( Cinnamon tea ) and my slow stitching for a while.  If a storm does appear I will have to retreat inside and light some candles and continue on.

I am loving my new 'office' outside this year and after being inside for so many months in front of a fire and stitching with the lights on it is so nice to be slow stitching in natural light for a few months.

Yesterday I felt I achieved so much and in addition to this mushroom stitching piece I am working on I manged to complete two more designs that will follow from it so I had the most productive and happy day yesterday.

Well that is it for today and sorry I am a little later today.  So for now I really hope you all have a wonderful day and as always Happy Stitching! XX