Thursday 11 June 2020

With my needle and thread.

One tiny stitch at a time, make beautiful things come together.
Adventures begin and our souls are fed with creativity.

Threads of Time Studio is coming together beautifully and for the first time yesterday I was able to
stitch on the table in there.  Now, its not finished yet but I have half a large table on which to work on
so I can not tell you how much work has been done.  All boxes have been emptied now and there is still some juggling about to be done.  Sat there yesterday with the lamps on and the rain falling gently outside I had found my happy place.  I was able to stitch, think and of course think about where things would be best put.

Deciding which vintage goodies and which fabrics are best out in the Studio and which will be best in my personal little room at the top of Thimble.  Thimble is over three floors and the very top has my sewing room and the spare bedroom on that floor.  Things are slowly being put away and gorgeous displays are being assembled and things on the wall.

I am at the 'faffing' stage and that pleases me.  Shall I pop this treasure here or here!  I have kept all my calligraphy pens and inks in me dear little sewing space at the top of the cottage along with my rubber stamps etc.  The thing is in both this room and the studio the ceilings are not as high as they were in the family home and therefore I can not put things on top of dressers or armours ... this takes away so much space for me.
Downstairs in the kitchen and lounge I still can so jugs and goodies can be displayed thank goodness.

The weather forecast for the next few days is darker days and rain.  I am happy with that to be honest. Little lights twinkle here and it is cosy and some how I have settled to more because on warm days it brings out the explorer in me and I need to get out and wander along the streams and the woods that have changed from bluebells, wild garlic and primroses to gorgeous foxgloves everywhere.  Birds
sing their songs and the light breeze flows through the tree tops like a song being whispered.  I am chasing adventure and freedom it seems.

So when these darker days are here I settle and stitch, the postman tapped on the window of my studio to deliver a parcel and said to me -- sorry to disturb you Sarah but I have this for you and you looked so happy and content!

As you practice slow and intentional stitching, your life, your attitude, your creativity, your health, your spirituality ... All will benefit as a result.

Mark Lipinski

I am looking forward to vintage fairs starting again, yes there have been instafairs but it is just not the same at all.  Part of the pleasure is truffling and seeing and feeling fabrics for me and lots more of you I would imagine.  It is the social side too and not trying to enlarge little photos to see more clearly.  Shops are opening from Monday it seems so little antique centres will be a blessing.

I see that The Dairy House is opening and that is not too far from me at all now so I will be making my way there for a social distance truffle .. and I can not wait!

Where I live now there is a beautiful fashion museum and it has a little coffee shop too.  When the doors open there I will be one of the first in.  I keep going past it and short of pressing my nose against a window I keep going to look at the beautiful garden at the front of it, filled with lavender, roses and foxgloves too.

I have taken photos of the outside already and the garden as there are no people about so that I may show you. When it is possible I will be able to bring you a blog about it.  It is a five minute walk from me literally as I found a shortcut through some little alley ways.  I have been exploring as I told you.

With fashion museums it is not just the clothes for me but the fabrics obviously.  I am so excited about it. It is what looks like to me,  a large Georgian property and I am sure I have been spotted.  One excited lady with a basket and a camera rooting about! Being only 5ft 1 I have thought about taking a stool along to peek in but considered the arresting headline and desisted!!!!

Well it has started to rain again and it is dark outside so it is time for me to go to the studio and light it up.  Get cosy and choose a throw to have on my lap.  Going to take a cinnamon tea with me and I may well take a piece of the apple and cinnamon pie I made yesterday too as I did not feel like breakfast today for some reason.

I am going to thread my needles and settle down for a few hours to stitch.  Then I will put some more treasures away.

So for today it is time for my ramblings to stop until the next time.


Friday 5 June 2020

Stars shone brightly at Thimble - and I made a wish!

I know nothing with any certainty but the sight
of stars make me dream.!

Vincent Van Gogh.

Whilst sorting through box after box I came across my vintage barn stars, which I purchased and successfully got home in one piece from one of my American trips.  I have a large red one, which is
now hanging on the outside wall of the Threads of Time Studio.  In addition I have two smaller ones in white.  One of which is in my lounge at Thimble and the other is in my personal stitchery room at the top of the cottage.

They, I believe started with the Amish community back in the early 1700's.  They became very popular after the civil war and hung on many a large barn.  It is said the original design was a three or four pointed star but it has changed over the years to a 5 pointed one.  You can date them by this really.  They were used to ward off evil spirits and bring luck to those who hung them or their farms.

They come in a multitude of colours and each is said to have the following meanings ....

Black - means protection and to blend or bind elements.
Blue - means protection, peace, calmness and spirituality.
Brown - means mother earth and also friendship and strength.
Green - means growth, fertility, success in things and ideas that grow.
Orange - means abundance in career, projects and matters needing an added rush.
Red - means emotions, passion, charisma, lust and also creativity.
Violet - means things that are sacred.
White - means purity, power of the moon, allows energy to flow freely.
Yellow - means health in body and mind, love of man and the sun, connection to God.

Only in the darkness can you see the stars.

Martin Luther King Jnr.

Slow stitching is going here at Thimble and I am still patiently unpacking and getting the studio and my office/personal stitchery room sorted.  I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and now I have
to admit I am grateful for that.  It seems I have lived out of boxes for months and months and I will be glad when everything has a place.  Time then can be spent on slow little stitches and sorting future workshops. My design days can return and therefore I will feel like I am finely home and living again.

I long to wake in the morning and have my coffee in the garden with my journals and then plan my day.  Baskets of gorgeous fabrics and hand dyed threads waiting for creations to happen.  Slow stitching is happening but I find I become guilty at not unpacking more so I have decided to really give the final push over the next few days.

Antique Kilner jars filled with goodies are finding a new home and I feel not only do they look delicious but they are very useful too.  You can see what is in them at a glance and I have made a fabric pincushion on each top of them as well.  I have one that is huge and this holds all my needles inside.  Embroidery, everyday, cross stitch, darning and crewel to name a few nestle quite happily together and at a glance I can see what I am looking for without too much of a truffle.

As I have told you all before I have a jar of hearts, different shapes and sizes cut from bits of faded paisleys and floral vintage fabrics that would only serve as tippets for mice .. to quote Beatrix Potter from the Tailor of Gloucester....   I have a nice little bundle of these pieces of fabric to sit and cut out hearts to add to this wonderful jar of happiness.  The jar shown in this photo has wonderful stitchery wools in .. this particular jar has the blues and greys inside.

I have also filled four different vintage teacups with saucers with wonderful smelling wax with a wick.  I have one for every season happily so they can burn in my studio to evoke the atmosphere of day.  What is wonderful is I can keep filling them when they burn out.

My greatest find on a further candle was a black and cream teacup and saucer for All Hallows Eve!  I had forgotten that I had found it on a truffling day and was over joyed when carefully unfolding the tissue paper ...

The garden is coming along and has benefitted from the rain we had yesterday greatly.  I water every day but there is nothing like 8 hours of fine rain to make the flowers bloom beautifully and the climbing roses I have planted to open their buds and let of the most gorgeous sweet smell that only scented roses can give.

The foxgloves are happy in their new border and the rusty tin chickens are strutting and pecking
around keeping guard on them.  The wild daises have started to bloom and although the garden is far from complete I think for the first two months in my new home its doing well and making me feel more settled.

A garden is a love song, a duet between
a human being and Mother Nature!

This year is a time to settle here and because of the lockdown, which is slowly lifting somewhat, time to get things in order and to make this beautiful little town my home.  To get the cottage ship shape and to design, stitch and get workshops ready for visitors.

There is so much more work to be done but as I say with the restrictions being lifted well it is now coming together.  I was awaiting carpets being laid as you know and that has been completed.  The cottage and workshop is next to be painted outside so watch this space.  Friends are helping me with that and a borrowed tower should keep us safe.  I am not great on high things but am determined to give it a go with my helpers...

As I sit and type this to you I am looking around at piles of gorgeous things to find a home for, as I unpacked two boxes this morning already.  So I am guessing it is time for my ramblings to stop and to get on and place the treasures in their resting place.

One further piece of great news is that my sister and I are allowed to visit our Mum in her care home.  We will get a slot and be able to join her in the garden at a safe distance with our masks on.  I can not wait to see her.  Not sure she will understand the lack of hugs and kisses but we are going to give it a go.  We are having a picnic with her so that is really lovely.  On my last face time with her she blew me a kiss and when I blew one back and asked her to catch it … she obliged!  It was a good day and she understood me.  I have to admit my eyes were welling up.

Well that is it for today and until the next time as always  …..


Tuesday 2 June 2020

Slow Stitching and a great read by the river ... The joys of Thimble.

A little progress each day adds up to big results...

What glorious weather we have been having, I have good sized apples on my two miniature apple trees that actually love it here in the garden.  A Mr Mudds has made his self known to me and is not scared at all.  I feed him and he will sometimes sit on the fence and sing the sweetest of bird songs for  me.  The foxgloves I planted and the herb garden is coming along beautifully and of course the Threads of Time studio is starting to take shape.  I will be out there again today.

I have treated myself to a book called The Farmer's Wife 1930's Sampler Quilt, It has 99 blocks that honour them and inspiring letters from farm women of the great depression to go with each block.  Also a CD to accompany this marvelous read, I am transfixed.  It is lovely to take it down by the river here with a sandwich and read in the shade for an hour at lunchtime on occasions. The book is by Laurie Aaron Hird and I can not recommend it enough.  So much so that I have pre ordered one more written by this lady with letters from 1910 Pioneer women and quilt blocks too.

The joys of unpacking vintage faded fabrics to create with and the washing and pressing of them too. 
Deciding where to put things, hoping I have enough  space to make the studio practical and beautiful at the same time. Putting things away, changing my mind and moving it about … the faffing stage amuses me but it is oh so important in my mind.  There are happy moments and very sad ones with unpacking right now and it is par for the course I believe.  I remember where and when I bought something and the deep sadness of the memories can send me reeling.

Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment,
until it becomes a memory.

Dr Seus.

The plans for the studio and sorting out workshops excites me and I have had lots of interest which is fabulous, very much local people here have been encouraging and helpful. When the lockdown is over and we can gather again I will be publishing workshop times and courses.  The will be day courses and will include everything you need to make and take home something gorgeous.  In addition drinks, homemade cake and a good lunch is provided as well.  To meet up with like minded
people, do something we love and enjoy, laugh, smile and chatter seems to me a perfect day indeed.

Yesterday I went on a beautiful walk by the river.  I covered a few miles and sat on a platform by the river and dangled my feet in.  I had brought with me a little Italian platter and sat there watching the river flow and the sunlight through the trees.  Dragonflies were dancing and skimming along the surface and the blue in their wings shone so beautifully.  Little fish swam by and it was really beautiful. A canoeist came by and raised a hand to say hello and the warmth of the sun came through the shading of the trees it was like heaven on earth...

Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass but learning to dance in the rain.

Inspiration jumps out at me everywhere right now, on my walks with so much beauty and nature, you can not help but be inspired.  A little each day can really add up as I have said and today I am going to give it a real push and then treat myself to some time by the river and then go back and have supper in the garden.  I am not alone here I have a friend who lives with me, she asked before lock down if I wanted a lodger and of course what a pleasure and gift she has been.  We do our own things but at least twice a week we meet back at  Thimble and have dinner and an evening together, and tonight is one of those evenings.  The laughter that peels out is good for the soul I can tell you.
Since the break up of my marriage I have met some new friends at a group and we all stay in touch and I am grateful of their friendship and now that we can meet up with 6 more people outside of the household I am able to see my sister and my friends which is wonderful.

I can not wait for the vintage fairs again and will love being able to truffle once more and meet up with dear friends as well.

I have my basket of slow stitching and my book on a chair in the lounge for later, for now I am going into the Studio and I am going to get going again on sorting another corner of it out.  I will be able to sit at the large table soon and make up the gift bags for the courses.  All these things help when workshops can begin and these things are ready to fill with goodies.

Well I am going to sign off for today and get to work on creating my studio and achieving a little more today.  The sun is out and the weather is going to change this week to cooler with a little rain I hear, great for the garden and me settling to putting away but reading in the heat under a tree by the river ... not so much!

I hope you all have a wonderful day and I will be back here soon with more tales from Thimble, until then as always ....

Happy Stitching! XX

Friday 29 May 2020

Tales from Thimble Cottage....

….. And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves
growing on the trees, I had the familiar conviction that
life was beginning over again with the Summer.

Well news from Thimble, finally I have had the carpet laid in my studio and the furniture is in place and now I am busy sorting it out.  This helps me sort out my sewing room inside the cottage too.  Its where I have my laptop and that I write this blog.  This is what has kept me busy and the garden too since the garden centres have opened again.  Foxgloves, Lupins and more cottage garden goodies are now happily in place.

I have been enjoying unpacking and finding all my beautiful treasures, truffling through boxes and I can see an end to it now so by mid next week I should be able to work in The Threads of Time Studio.  With a large table to be able to cut out on as well.  This is where I will be taking workshops when life gets back to normal.  My first one is booked up but no date as yet because of Covid-19.

Pictures are on the walls of the studio and box by box the dresser and drawers are being filled.  I have a large tall cupboard with top glass doors in which quilts have been folded and displayed.  It is starting to look a lot more cosy and pretty with inspiration everywhere your eyes roam.

Beautiful fabrics and quilt pieces are waiting to be made into something gorgeous and I have to admit stroking all my wonderful timeworn fabrics, especially my paisley and eiderdown ones.  They are happily being folded up and put away for use. One of my favourites is in the background of the above photo I took, its so delicious I could not put it away for ages.

The weather has been really hot of late and I am able to sit in the garden and eat my supper of an evening. I am also very pleased to say there is a Mr Muddy Beak who is incredibly tame.  Sits very near me as I talk to him and I tell him all about Miss Muddy I left behind.  He sits there looking at me with a mouthful of worms as much as to say I am listening but I have a nest full of young I have to feed …..

Little gift bags are being made for the courses and the glass sweetie jar is being filled for those moments when only a sweet will do to help with inspiration and thoughts of fine stitchery, for the guests of Threads of Time.

I am missing the Vintage fairs so much and was so excited about returning to them this year but obviously they can not happen but happy days Ladies and Gents, The Vintage Bazaar is doing a fair on line on Instagram.... It starts at 10am.  

Just sit in your favourite spot in the garden or in a chair inside with a cold drink and make sure your device is fully charged.  Then watch all the wonderful stall holders start to load goodies for sale.  I myself will be there watching for gorgeous fabrics.

I am not sure what stall holders will be online but this is one of my most favourite of fairs and Liz and Clare who run this gorgeous fair have worked so hard to bring us fairs online.  

Anymore I hear of I will let you know on here and then when the glorious day comes we are all allowed once more to go to fair and take in the atmosphere and meet up with friends old and new, have a coffee and catch up and truffle in piles of glorious fabrics and vintage goodies … I will let you know quickly.

When you have a dream, you've got to grab it and never let go.

Carol Burnett

The other day I just needed to get out and stretch my legs and went on a gorgeous walk.  Found a great old Norman Church and then went via a bridle way.  I followed it along and to my amazement and merriment it crossed a little river.  It was up to just below my knees and very clear with little fish in it.  I rolled up my jeans and ploughed straight through it was wonderful and cooling and I have to say such fun.

Exploring around the little Dorset town where I live is so exciting and I can not wait for everything to open up again as there is so much to discover and I would like to go to a country pub again with friends. 
My Mum is getting used to FaceTime  and this morning we had time together on there.  She was very confused to begin with but she did blow me a kiss which I must admit made my eyes water with
happiness.  This lockdown is robbing me of precious time with her so thank goodness for technology. I blew a kiss back and told her to catch it and she put her hand out... today was a good day for her and it really cheered me up.

This picture is a sneak preview of a little corner of my studio.  The studio is 20ft by 12ft so it is airy and light.  The photo came out a bit dark I am afraid.  There is a large table and 6 chairs in the middle of the room to sit around and stitch.

So dear reader think of me out there this afternoon opening another box and the squeals of delight at finding treasure that has been packed away since December 2019... 
As you can imagine not lots of my stitching has been done either but that will change next week.  

When it is all put away I will be able to show you around, its my personal happy place and with the glass sun catchers and crystals at the windows and rainbows on the walls it feels so inviting and cool out of the sun.

I also have a pile of very old log cabin squares to press, I cut up a quilt that was torn about and not really fit for purpose... however as gorgeous squares to stitch on! Well it has a new purpose in life and
I am loving going through each beautiful log cabin square after square. The possibilities are endless and my favourites are the red and white ones personally.  Little wall hangings or cushion cover fronts but most of all little slow stitches to add to their beauty ..

You Can't use up creativity.  The more you use, the more you have.

Maya Angelou

Well thank you for reading my ramblings and I will be back here soon, much sooner than this time I promise.  That promise goes out to the lovely Brenda C.  You know who you are dear friend.  Thank you for our chat and you asking ever so nicely when my next blog would be as the last one was in April... 

Take care all and as always Happy Stitching! XX

Friday 24 April 2020

Inspiration blooms at Thimble Cottage.

There's a thought in my heart
that words will not say.
But for your kind friendship
I'm thankful today.
In this uncertain time in the world and with the lock down, the above words feel appropriate.  I am grateful for all the kind friendships that have formed on this little blog and the lovely messages I receive on here and on private messages, I am truly thankful to each and everyone of you.
I have been designing courses for when the lockdown has stopped and the Threads of Time Studio can open its doors.  I have had so much interest including local people here where I live.  When I moved in to Thimble I met a lovely lady called Lottie and she has also expressed interest in not only coming to courses with some friends but renting the studio herself to take courses for different things she makes and designs.

Weather here in Dorset has been perfect and to sit outside with my trusty sketch and ideas journal ( started a new one) has been bliss.  Inspiration on my walks daily has inspired and pushed me on to stop looking for my companion set!
The little garden at Thimble has my fruit trees along the fence in pots waiting to be planted.  They are the smaller varieties that I did not plant at my previous home.  I have two apple trees and two Victoria plums and they have full and beautiful blossom on them right now.  The little birds come along and perch on them when I am sat out there.  I have also brought along my small fig tree and I am going to pop that into a larger pot because they can grow huge and the sun would not reach my garden then in a few years so I have decided to keep it that way instead.

I have been displaying and taking photos of things I have made and little photos for on here too. Life at the moment is happy and busy.  I do miss meeting up with friends though for a coffee but that will be back when we can safely go out and socialise once more.  Until then its phone calls and FaceTime
catchups which has been fabulous, thank goodness for technology that's all I can say.  In addition there is the letter writing and receiving of letters through the post which is delicious.  Curled up in the garden reading and re-reading with a cold drink and the quiet of the world right now, not a plane trail in the sky or traffic noise .. just bird song!

The sad news is the Covid-19 has reached my Mums care home.  Only 6 cases who have been moved to hospital but still it has scared myself and my sister.  They have separated the 3 floors so only certain staff work on each level and each one of those has its own entry and exit door.  My Mum is lucky as she has a garden room so she gets to wander outside.  I have not seen her in 8 weeks now and I do miss her.  I did FaceTime her but she was more interested in the rather large piece of chocolate cake that she was munching on!  Can you blame her?!!

I have been going through my antique pieces of lace, buttons and fabrics.  Also have started to put away some bits in a drawer unit as well.  Deciding how to arrange my personal sewing and office space has been fun.  I want it to look different as well so things go in and out and displays moved and played with.  The excitement of each box I open and find some gorgeous things inside.  Chatting away to bits of exquisite fabrics, truly good job I am not over heard some might think me mad, others of us will understand completely talking to our vintage bits of happiness ….

Slow stitching in the garden has commenced as well.  I have a few baskets ready for projects as I unpack and find things.

Some news too, that tomorrow on Instagram The Vintage Bazaar is holding a vintage fair on there with the stall holders that would have been there if it could have gone ahead as usual.  It starts at 10am and I will be on there looking and catching up with some of them too.  So try to pop in virtually and see if you can see some beautiful vintage pieces to purchase yourself.  This way actually anyone can attend from a chair in the garden or curled up inside.  I think it is a fabulous idea of the Liz and Clare!  although I do miss seeing them. Things will be posted out when purchased and I think it will be great fun.  In addition you will be able to find some gorgeous vintage goodies tomorrow that will come through your post box!  So please have a look.

I found and unpacked my antique typewriter which is an old black and gold Imperial.  So that is great for mixed media pieces when I would like to add some words instead of stitched ones on occasions and also good for my journaling and letter writing as well.  It adds a different dimension on occasions.  That has been lovingly placed.  The memory attached to it is a good one and it does make me smile, even though tinged with some sadness.

Hand stamps and inks along with silk threads, hand dyed threads and my box of dried and pressed flowers have surfaced from stacked boxes.  All the little things that make Thimble my home. 

Calligraphy pens, quills and spools it is all part of what makes me, ME and I try to do a few hours each morning then go on with my stitching.

As much as I love being on here talking to you all I must away and getting threading my needles.  I hope some of you join in on the virtual VB tomorrow and that you all stay very safe too.

As always Happy Stitching!  until the next time.

Sarah XX


Wednesday 22 April 2020

Faded floral fabrics that have stories to tell.

Every Summer has a story
as do floral vintage faded fabrics....

The careful unpacking of my floral faded fabrics has been a longer job than I had imagined, no not because I have anywhere the amount I used to have but because I can not just unpack them.  There is
the lingering over each piece that has so much beauty and age to it.  I wonder at its journey that led it to me.  Most of my pieces are around 80 to 100 years old in theory.  1930's to 1940's stunning paisleys and faded florals.

I wonder at the fabric that used to be a feather eiderdown and in what house and where, I marvel at the faded fabrics and all the things it was made into and re-used and re-purposed along the decades.  Then before you know it 3 hours have passed by and my achievements are little … however I have had such a wonderful time doing it !

The lock down is frustrating to me as things can not be finished here and that has a knock on effect really, it is what it is but frustrating never the less.  On such beautiful days I would like to be shell seeking on the beach ( although I have to drive to one now)  or wandering the country side looking at the flowers and treasures that only wild woods can reveal to us.  My stitching is going slowly too because it is so warm but we have nothing but time on our hands right now and it will all come together.

I wrote the first covering page of my personal journal and now I  will start to unravel my thoughts as
the weeks go on.  I think it will be a journey of memories that make me cry and cathartic all at the same time.  It can be frightening as to what we bottle up or tuck away in our minds.

A personal journal is an ideal environment in which to become.  It is a perfect place for you to think, feel, discover, expand, remember and dream.
Brad Wilcox.

As I have mentioned I have been picking little flowers and have them tucked up in vintage books to press, some of these will be added to my journal I am sure …. Others will be added to a hot wax seal on an envelope that has a hand written letter within it.  Some of my best friends are around the globe and they will go on a journey to hopefully brighten their day.

The task of the day here at Thimble was to sort some more boxes of a fashion.  I have been peeking inside and deciding if it is for in my little sewing room inside or indeed for Threads of Time studio.  As I am awaiting the carpet for the later there is no reason to unpack it to be strewn around somewhere.  I keep getting distracted with little things.

I am on some what of a hunt and a personal mission to find my companion set for my log burner.  I have found the stand and yes you would have thought the packers would have packed the brush, poker, tongs and shovel in the same box! … well the answer is they did not.

I know its not log burner weather here in England right now but really I keep staring at the empty stand and then go on the rummage! It is now a personal game of what will we find in this box ?  and forget what is written on it because its not the case..

It will all take shape and come together I know, I have very few boxes to open until the studio is ready to un pack.  I am trying to decide where all my personal stitchery is going and in which drawer etc.  It is fun un packing but I must admit I wish it was all done now.  I have decided on some days just to create and not worry about anything else.  Today has been a bit erratic as I can not seem to settle on anything at all.

So today I am going to take it as it comes and go with the flow.  I think a glass of wine in the garden early evening and home made spaghetti carbonara, and try and entice Mr Muddy beak who visits regularly here now.  As the saying goes 'tomorrow is another day' and I hope to be able to have a bit more structure to it.

My stitching in my basket will get picked up again and probably my jar of hearts will grow some what as well. Until the next time, stay safe everyone and as always ….

Happy Stitching!   XX

Tuesday 14 April 2020

Vintage treasure * Journals * Fabric * and Stitching LOVE

Develop your slow stitching skills to create work that is the culmination of your vision.  Truly unique and based
on your involvement in life.  For each and every moment you spend living contributes to each and every creative
endeavour  you engage in.

Paul Burega.

From the moment I wake at Thimble I know I am home.  I thought it would be strange and I would  
feel a little uneasy as to where I was, but no I can honestly say ' I am home' …
My little stitchery room inside is getting there with bits being unpacked and sorted ( shame I can not do the same in my studio) however I am able to find most bits I would like and my desk is sorted in front of the window and my lovely chair with a quilt on the back of it is in place.
When I was sorting through some bits yesterday I found this little beauty  I had forgotten about it.  I have tried to remember where I bought it and at which little fair, but I can not.  It was like Christmas ….  It is a beautiful card and the photo makes me wonder who this pretty young lady is.  Where did she live, what was her life like and then I start to put together a little story in my head about how it all may have been for her.
When you open it up there is a the dearest little message and although age spots have got to the vintage paper it is still such a treasure to me.  I do not want to put it back in a drawer but if I frame it you will not be able to read inside.  I love it so much.  It may well end up as a display piece in my

Threads of Time Studio so that all that come on the workshops can have a little look at it too.  It is so pretty and needs to be shared with others.
The words read as follows:
May to-day be unusually glad
The gifts you prize most ever stay
And the years which the future shall add
Bring Happy Returns of the day.
Lily Oakley.
When my day begins at the moment it is full of surprises, delving into boxes and discovering treasure.  I feel like I am on the most amazing of treasure hunts without a map and happily rediscovering old friends ( fabrics, buttons, threads and so much more)

I have designed my first piece of stitchery in a long time and I have gathered all the parts to make it with.  It is in a basket, as was always my way.  I am sorting out the threads and so I will begin today. 

Still not a guess from anyone!

I used to write in a journal daily as you all know but stopped in August 2018,  I couldn't write the words that I felt at all.  I still can not go back in that journal and read any of it  I feel now it is time to start a new one and jot down my days and progress and feelings again.  The happy moments I feel and the people around me that bring me utter joy.  The Tales of Thimble Cottage is about to begin in earnest and I feel better for making the decision because I love writing and I love hand writing with my ink pen too and its time to start again.

I have found all my writing inks and my little stash of empty journals.  I think I have chosen this one, what do you think?

It has a woman ( in ceramic) holding a heart close to her, I think its apt for my new adventures somehow.

Journaling  is like whispering to one's self
and listening at the same time.
Mina Murray.
Talking of hearts I found my jar of hearts in a box all wrapped up and not been added to in nearly two years.  So I have found myself looking for little bits of fabric and so of an evening I can cut little

hearts out and pop them inside.  The smile when I found it.  In addition I have come across some of my hexogen patchwork pieces and I have filled a little basket with those and some fabric to stitch some more of those as a little on the side project as well. 
Days were so long and nights were worse and now time passes too quickly again and there is not enough hours in the day for me to complete everything I would like to achieve.  I am getting there slowly and in this time of isolation that has been forced upon us I have lots going on to keep me happy and very busy.
My stash of paisley has started to grow again as I have found a little online and that came through the letter box.  Wrapped carefully in tissue paper with a ribbon it was enough to make my soul sing I can tell you. Little things that is what makes me happy.
Well I best get on with my stitching my basket of sewing will not be done by tiny mice, It is down to me.  The weather has been beautiful and so for now please all stay extra safe and well.
And as always ..... HAPPY STITCHING! XXX

Tuesday 7 April 2020

Slow stitching means setting aside time to find myself.

Spring: a lovely reminder of how beautiful
change can truly be ..

Things are sometimes thrown upon us, walking the day through some woods near Thimble (getting my daily wander in away from others and doing my social distancing) I looked at the scenery with fresh eyes. Primroses are in full and beautiful bloom, bluebells are peeking through and wild garlic leaves are unfurling..  Birds were singing and pheasants trying to attract mates were meandering through the woodlands near a valley I found...
Exploring in a beautiful new area of Dorset I felt peaceful! my love of nature filled my senses and made me think of new design ideas and what I might stitch.
I can not wait to really explore when the restrictions are lifted, there are lovely country pubs dotted around where you can eat lunch and amazing walks and views along the way.
Birds are singing and plants are popping up in Thimble garden, I am discovering and guessing what they might be they all blissfully unaware that we are on lockdown and going about their usual way of life.  The freedom of birds soaring around the skies makes me a tiny bit envious right now.
Letter writing has become a thing for me to be able to keep in touch with family and friends, a lost art if you ask me. However there is nothing like receiving or writing a beautiful hand written letter to someone.  Post that pops through the letter box, lifts my spirits with hand stamped wax seals.  In these times right now it is a lovely way to keep in touch.

So many things I would love to be doing but we are prohibited at the moment, I will never again take for granted the art of bumbling around vintage fairs, going out for a coffee or seeing friends.

Its time now for slow stitchery right now for me.  I have unpacked my gorgeous hand dyed threads and sorted through them for pure enjoyment of staring at the colours and hues, and the beauty of them still amazes me.

Discovering fabrics that have been tucked away far too long, putting little mood boards together its been pure and utter bliss and is helping me to recover.  The joy with myself that I found my way back
from a black hole and that my dislike and fear of going into my old sewing room has lifted here at Thimble, this move  has helped me find me again.

Smiling once more and humming to myself surrounded by vintage bundles of happiness it so so good. Encouraged by wonderful friends old and new I am at peace and full of wonder and enthusiasm.

So what to stitch for me first? I am about to start my journey … any guesses?

Designing and stitching for workshops in the Threads of Time Studio as well so that when our earth gets back to normal I will be ready to set dates and start my work here.

I picked some little flowers on my walk the other day and they are wrapped and nestled in vintage books being pressed.  All is right in the world of Sarah.

A good way to get into your slow stitching zone is to not think about making a thing. Take your time looking for inspiration and don't just jump in and think ' I have to make something with this' 
Be quiet, be patient, and play with the materials until they tell you what they want to be.

Melissa Jackson.

I am going to take the advice above and just see where my stitching takes me but I have an idea for my first piece which is personal to me.  So if you like you can as I said take a guess knowing me as you all seem to do, pretty well.  The weather is beautiful here in Dorset and I hope you all have good weather too.  Please stay safe with this world virus and until I pop back on here, as always ….

Happy Stitching!


Thursday 2 April 2020

A new beginning

........ And suddenly you just know it’s time to start again and trust

The magic of new beginnings.........

It has been a hugely difficult 19 months. My lovely mum is still with us and as of this moment her care home is Corona virus free thank goodness.

However my husband left me in August 2018.  It broke me quite frankly.

I have had to sell the family home and have moved to ‘Thimble Cottage’  in Dorset.  I am still unpacking boxes as you can imagine and also with this nasty virus about some things have been unable to be finished, like the carpet in my ‘Threads of time studio’  where I will work from and also will be taking work shops as and when we can all be sociable again.

My joy of stitching is returning and I have been designing and have actually picked up a needle again.  Those of you who have supported me through this difficult time I can only thank you so much and that I can sleep and eat and smile again because of your support and love I can only say how utterly grateful I am to you all.

So now it is new beginnings and I am so looking forward to blogging again all be it now and again for now.  I am excited to be starting my stitching and love of vintage again.  Unpacking my beautiful fabrics and threads has been exciting and emotional at times.

One of my greatest sadnesses was leaving and saying goodbye to Miss Muddy Beak! she would not understand my absence and I miss her terribly, however since I have moved in this month a Mr Muddy Beak has joined me in the garden at Thimble and I have hope that I will be able to strike up the same sort of trust with him and he will become tame and talkative as Miss Muds was with me.  In the end she would fly onto my hand ..

Life must go on, I have been told and my love and enjoyment of slow stitchery, vintage fabrics and threads has won and shone through.

The tales of Thimble Cottage and The Threads of Time Studio will begin the new chapter in my personal and sewing life and has begun in earnest.

It has been fun choosing paint colours and general decoration.  I have a good sized studio and a personal sewing room here and the feelings of happiness and joy at the prospect of getting back to who I am and discovering what I personally love to do have bitten me like a bug.

The cottage has a wonderful feeling about it and is aptly named, I fell in love with it the moment I walked through the garden gate, I cant explain really.

The kitchen had to be moved about to incorporate a range and a Victorian dresser for all my vintage china. Plastering of walls and a door filled in that seemed useless to me has been completed.  Paint colours chosen and applied.  A new bathroom with a bath on legs all in whites and duck eggs  has been fitted by great friends and to say I am thrilled and grateful is a understatement.

Through the post I have received cards, flowers and a beautiful little stitchery of Thimble Cottage from the gorgeous Vintage Dahling and stitched by the lovely and talented Suzi hearts n Kisses.  It has taken pride of place in the porch...

I have to wait to unpack the studio as my carpet was cancelled due to the virus, I understand it but its very frustrating when you want to unpack and place beautiful things in the dresser in there.

New friendships have been formed and I have met some amazing people who I wish to thank too.

I have been designing and done a little stitching as well the added happiness is finally taking work shops later in the year and meeting some of you I hope as well when this nasty virus is under control and we are able to get together to stitch, chatter and spend time with one another.

Glad to be back and hope that you will all join me on this new life and chapter in my life, I have missed you very much and the emails I have received asking when I will return have basically made me do this.  It has been a hard thing to do.

I will be doing blogs as and when for a while, whilst I get sorted and working in earnest.  I found my needles and some gorgeous fabrics that I had forgotten about.

So for now I will sign off and I hope to see you all back here soon.

Sarah XX