Friday 12 November 2021

Hygge, candles and stitching.


Autumn leaves shower like gold, like rainbows,

 as the winds of change begin to blow.

Dan Millman

Here in beautiful Dorset we are fully in Autumn mode, although the plants in my garden tend to disagree.  The lavenders are all going for a third bloom which lovely but unusual in the least.  New foxgloves are starting to sprout and they are much earlier in the year as you know.

It is getting colder at night that is for sure and the log burner is on most evenings.  Candles are everywhere lighting up little corners of Thimble and making it look cosy and inviting.  The flames flicker and make beautiful warming patterns on the walls.  Thimble is a glow with cosy corners
and quilts over chairs. It is decorated for Autumn and I know some people are preparing for Christmas and Winter already but I just do not feel it is that time here right now.  The end of the month is soon enough for me. I am still in the mode of walking by the river and the leaves crunching beneath my feet.  Trees here are slowly dropping their leaves but the trees themselves are far from bare and still look colourful and like jewels shinning in the Autumn sun.

Sitting in a cosy chair and slow stitching is the order of the day, the days are darker somehow so candles are on even then.  One of my larger candles is cinnamon and orange and the gorgeous

scent fills the air, for me it fills my head with happy memories and makes the atmosphere here even more inviting.

I have started slow stitching on gorgeous antique French linen to cover some journals.  I am

trying to finish two other projects too and there is sooooo many french knots in them that I only do a few hours a day on those as you almost go cross eyed with it.  I love french knots and it is just adding so much depth to both projects, however it is a little too much all day.

So I am alternating at different times of the day with the journals I am creating.  When the stitching is finished I can cover a beautiful journal for the three of them.  As you are all aware by now I live by my journals and find them useful in every sense,  and in my mind they should also be beautiful as Mr William Morris quotes.

Using my journals for all sorts of things it is an easy go to.  I have a journal just for quotes that I find or write myself is great.  I find using just one journal for all sorts really jumbled and it takes an age to find something.

In addition to all this I have been truffling around in the local charity shops as well.  I have found a few little personal bits for my dresser, the trick is to go most days to see new stock as soon as it has been donated.  In the past I have found some beautiful vintage china and bits.

Before you all groan this is Christmas talk, I have started Christmas shopping and was lucky

enough to spend a day in Cambridge doing just that.  Different shops than here and I managed to get quite a bit done too.  I really do not to be around the crowds in December.  I am still being extremely careful with Covid and always in a mask when out.  
I am looking for another vintage

fair to go to and it will be my last one this year I think.

So some stitchery goodies that I have recently bought some oh so gorgeous vintage threads from Vintage to Victorian fame.  They arrived today and oh be still my beating heart!  The colours are outstanding and I keep stroking them, they may have to go in glass jar so that they are always visible rather than a box or drawer.  To stunning to hide away from the world.  What do you think?  They would be so beautiful to look at in my studio. When my work shops start next year they will be on the table for the stitchers to choose from to use in their project.  I will be hunting out a jar later that is for sure, I can't stop thinking about how lovely it would look.

Our Mum has taken a little turn for the worse I am afraid,  we were shocked to see her today as the care home has been closed for Covid outbreak.  In the 10 days she has really lost weight and is sleeping a lot.  We have known her to be very poorly and bounce back but I am not sure this time.  I will be taking in some stitching and be with her a fair bit this week as will my sister.  We look at photos of her from just 3 years ago and can not believe what this terrible illness has done to our lovely Mum.  Sitting in her beautiful room next to her it is somehow very peaceful and I am happy to stitch there and talk to her.  The french knots will not be coming with me, however the journal covers will I think.

I have bought some pretty little candle holders for tealights, like little cottages and bought some battery tealights, they are coming with me to light her room in all the little places and shelves.

Well that is it for today I really must find that jar and also continue with some slow stitching this afternoon, it gets dark by 4pm and then it stops play.  I am thinking of getting a day light lamp, does anyone out there have one? Are they good?

Until next time take care and as always Happy Stitching! 

Sarah X

Wednesday 3 November 2021

Autumn at Thimble.


And the sun took a step back, the leaves lulled

 themselves to sleep and Autumn was awakened.

I can not believe where the last few months have gone, it's so good to be back and sorry its been so long since July.  My darling Mum is still with us and I have spent so much time with her.  Although in palliative care she seems not to want to leave us for now.  It has been touch and go for months now and so I have to go back to living a little in the meantime.  I can still make her laugh and she eats a little and gives me the biggest smile and hug....  We watch an old movie together with my sister too.  She just stares at the screen, especially an old colour musical and we hold hands.

Autumn has arrived in the fullest sense, the leaves have changed colour, the nights are getting

colder and the river bank is changing.  I have fewer hedgehogs to feed as they slowly go for their Winter nap.  The garden has changed colour and the grass has had its final cut for this year.

So to stitching!  I have been busy with a needle of late and have been doing a series of pictures and wall hangings named The forest floor.  The picture is part of one of my designs.

It has been a labour of love and I have enjoyed it so much. It is a larger piece and now framed.  Also in this series is the Agaric, often referred to as The Fairy table, the red toadstool with the white dots.  So beautiful to look at but not edible at all.

I have been designing too and also have a few project baskets filled up and two of them will be being posted to my two wonderful pattern testers for a Winters stitch for them.  It has taken some time with all my time spent at the care home, however they are ready to be wrapped.

Joy of joys Vintage fairs have started again and in the last three weeks I have attended two, a much needed stock up of goodies that I have been able to truffle for.  Meeting up with great friends that I have not seen in person for 18 months.  

The first one was the reclaimed home fair in Chipping Norton, it was a wonderful event, I was able to pick up some wonderful packs of gorgeous fabrics and er, well I might of bought a quilt.  In point of fact it is the most gorgeous 1900 red and white quilt.  The pattern is called robbing Peter to pay Paul and I
saw it and ran over! yep ran!...

It was not on my list, however, these gorgeous antique quilts do not fall at your feet very often and it is American.  It ended up, some how in Chipping Norton at the fair and it simply had my name on it.  As you can see from the photos on the left it looks perfect on my bed and is in time for the Winter and Christmas.

I love red and white quilts they are my favourite finds and I have a few in my collection.  All different patterns along with the bear paw one I had made for in America a few years ago. 

Then last weekend I went to the Vintage Bazaar in Frome, which is not that far for me to go to now.  I met up with the gorgeous Vintage Dahling and we had a great coffee, catch up and a sausage roll as a celebration.  I had seen her at the other fair but she was on crowd control on the door, as she put it.

We wandered and truffled around and I was not looking for fabric really as I had bought what I needed at the previous fair.  I was on the look out for a curtain or a valance for my Threads of Time studio.  I am pleased to say I bought a red and white French antique valance and it is perfect for the job.  I have not taken a photo yet as it was not washed until yesterday and I have to press it and pop it up.  The larger window in there has two curtains in cotton to frame the window, I have washed and pressed those

but they are not in situ yet either.  A job for the weekend.

Then I spied this basket with gorgeous little ceramic figures in it. They are called Feve. These are a small trinket hidden in a king cake or similar desert.  The French word Feve translates to fava bean, which is what was originally used.  The themes of Feve are very diverse and may include religious symbols, tools related to baking or even depictions of famous figures.  The person who finds the Feve usually is awarded special privileges  or a gift for the day.  They have become collectors items.

I decided on these three and they are porcelain and now reside in a little square in my antique printers tray which is on the wall.  I just fell in love with them and the history that surrounds these beauties.  They make me smile when I see them nestled between  the wooden stamps, cotton reels and antique silver thimbles....

Then as Christmas fast approaches I picked up an antique bell and a very large antique key which I have ideas on what to do with both and both are part of a stitchery project that is up and coming. So happy was I.  There is something about a old
 bell tied with antique fabric that makes my heart sing. It still works as a bell and when wandering around the fair with it wrapped up in tissue and in my bag you could still hear it jingle! It was funny as people looked up and looked around.  I did not say anything but smiled widely ... 

Then I came across three little pieces of the most wonderful old quilt pieces that when slow stitched together will make a gorgeous wall hanging when embroidered for a project, they fitted together beautifully and I could see in my artist side of my brain and imagination what to do with it and what to stitch on.

The colours are really wonderful and the ageing is perfect with the washed out colours and the soft texture that only comes with age.

It will make a really pretty wall hanging in my humble opinion.

So all in all I had a lovely day at both fairs not only truffling but catching up with great friends, laughing and talking all things slow stitching and vintage, my kind of wonderful day.

There are a few more fairs coming up that I hope to attend and meet up with friends again.  For now though I will be stitching away.

For the last week I have also had a bit of a late Spring clean and my office, spare bedroom and the studio got a great clean and clear out.  It not only makes it all look great but its like a life laundry for my brain.  Things not needed and getting rid of a bit of clutter.  Some things were in boxes still and not actually needed,  I took three bin liners full of clothes to the charity shop as well.

The clocks have gone back and the sun is setting here whilst typing this later in the day to you all. The little lamps in my office are glowing and I now have stopped stitching for the day as the light is what I call half light and not good for tiny little stitches.

I am going off now to make a cinnamon tea and curl up in front of the log burner with my design book, I am eager to get down on paper my design for the above quilt pieces and then pop them in a basket to wait there turn.

It Hygge time here now in England and the candles, fire and little lamps are all a glow.  I nice warm supper for me after a busy day.

For now I will sign off and as always wish you all Happy Stitching and stay safe.

Sarah XX

Cosy nights and twinkling lights.