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