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