Friday 29 April 2022

Adding to a story stitch by stitch.


To be creative is to let little pieces of your heart go and place them into each project you make.

Pat Bravo.

I am reminded every day I have the chance to pick up a needle and some thread and add to the story. To stitch together something beautiful and unique, to patch a small scrap of fabric to a piece, that I am truly blessed and happy.  It is true what they say that sewing mends the soul and the mind.  Happy am I to create and let my imagination go wild, a whimsical world in a way but the happiness and tranquillity that is felt is so wonderful.  I do count myself very lucky, it is a very happy place.

It has been very busy of late with stitching for workshops and putting together packs for those on each particular course.  I have spread myself everywhere from the studio into the dinning room table so that
everything can be checked and wrapped beautifully and its been supper on my lap in front of the log burner for a week.... not that I can complain but not so good for the posture! 

Recently I have been to some vintage fairs and I went to two at the Malvern show ground.  The first one was antiques inside so smaller items and I found some gorgeous silver antique pin cushions for my collection.  The first is this most gorgeous and fairly rare bear.  He makes me smile.  The seller cleans all of his stock and there are two camps on this, to clean and polish or to not.  I am not sure what I feel and probably sit on the fence on this one. Sometimes it makes them look newer than they really are. I love this little chap and so happy that he has come home to live with me.

The second find was this beautiful silver frog and I photographed him on my antique hexagon pincushion as I thought it looked like a beautiful vintage and whimsical lily pad!

He makes me smile too, what is so lovely is that they all sit in one of my antique printer boxes that are hung on the wall in my office.  Each has its own little cubby hole and my collection is growing.  I am lucky enough to own some beauties and I have 7 of them.  I was looking for the silver chick with the yellow fabric in the body.  I was so shocked at the price they reach, between £200 and £495 .... The ones that have red or green fabric are cheaper by a long way but to me, do not look like chicks at all.

Then a few weeks later, Easter Monday in fact I went to Malvern again and this time it was inside and out, the sun was shinning and warm and I met so many friends there too.  At one point I had a bundle of goodies in my arms and a basket full,  Apparently they could just see my feet scurrying along with vintage fabrics and a welsh blanket and three old fire buckets running about!  It must of looked like Paddington bear on the loose!

Last weekend I made my way to the Vintage Bazaar in Frome and again met up with some dear dear friends, one of which I had not seen in person since 2018! I think when we saw one another we squealed! The VB is one of my absolute favourites,  Not huge, never over priced both to get in or to purchase and boy do you find some great things. Some fairs now are around £35 - £65 just to walk through the door, which is somewhat eating in to your spendies.

Then joy of joys this Bank Holiday Monday there is a fair just down the road from me in Wimborne in Dorset and I am very much looking forward to attending this one.  Beautiful big house, marquees and stands outside too.  After not attending any for years due to Covid they are all opening their doors once more.  It is so wonderful to see things in the flesh and not online, there is something about sorting through antique fabrics.  Looking at the patterns up close and of course the feel or worn fabric so soft and gentle. Always I wonder if it could speak and the history of its life, who owned it and what it used to be.  Soak in the atmosphere and of course bump into great friends, make new ones and have a coffee and a chat with some as I did in

Frome... there is nothing quite like it ...

The last time I wrote a blog  the first week of this month I said I was off out somewhere special and promised to tell you about it.  It is in Dorchester which again is just down the road from me and called Sculptures by the Lakes.  It is outstanding. Set in 26 acres of land there are lakes and they have 50 sculptures dotted around it is breath taking. It is owned by Simon Gudgeon and his wife Monique.  Simon is the main sculpture there.  The photo were you can see my feet at the edge of a bridge over a lake has a sculpture in the water which are words and they say .. " Love builds bridges where there are none"  This place is magical.  Walking around all the amazing sculptures you realise that the plants are outstanding the colours and the hundreds of different plants .. Then when you are looking at the map they give you and the information that Monique is a Holticulturist and that makes total sense.

There is also the Art Gallery there and it represents works by a number artists both local and international including over 30 by Simon.

There is the Cafe by the lakes which has a relaxed and cosy feel to it and  all food is freshly prepared by

a team of chefs.  It is very much a seasonal menu and most of the produce is grown in their kitchen garden, which you can wander around in as well.  Homemade cakes and great coffee.  It is licenced so you can have a glass of wine or gin and tonic whilst waiting.

Then they have there the Artisan's Pantry which stocks fantastic food and drink. It also offers a service of build your own Picnic in the park with a tempting selection prepared by the team at the Cafe.  There are little places to rent for the day by the lakes including a shepherds hut, The Island and Pavillon.  You can of course bring your own picnics and drinks and pop it all in one of the above if you have hired it for the day.  Then wander back for your lunch.

Finally there is the Artisan's Bazaar which is a gift shop and predominantly local artisans and producers. Candles, throws, gardening tools and antique garden tools with wire worked birds on them for ornaments in the garden .. stunning.  I bought two beautiful throws and some candles which smell divine and a antique spade with a wire blackbird on top.  It now sits in one of my pots.  It caused a stir for a few days as Mr and Mrs Blackbird would not go near it.  I have already decided at Christmas ( I know its not Summer yet however ..) I will put a red ribbon bow around its neck.

It was a beautiful day with gorgeous weather a great coffee and a outstanding lunch.  The walk around the lakes and seeing nature with sculptures that complimented the country side was a real treat and I highly recommend this as  full day out.  No dogs are allowed and no children under 14 because of obvious reasons.  They do not want to be responsible for young children and deep waters.  It was

peaceful and cultural rolled into one. Wonderful walk and  wherever you looked there was beauty and nature entwining effortlessly ...

In the second lot of photos on the top left is a face and it was mirrored into the water moving gently with the ripples of the clear lakes. In addition all plants are labelled so you can take a photo of them and their name if you would like to put them in your garden at home, you can remember their name to go to your garden centre and purchase but some of them are for sale at Sculptures by the lake as well.

So this long weekend here I have some fairs to go to and I will also be making packs for workshops.  Wrapping each one individually for each person to unwrap and begin the workshop and the fun and laughter of the day.  There will be a meet and greet with a drink and biscuits and then off to Threads of time studio.  We will be stopping for lunch in the dinning room and in the afternoon there will be a tea break with homemade cake served.  Every person will also get a bottle of water to sip throughout the day.

I am having fun designing and stitching a sample for each course, hunting down the fabrics, ribbons,
buttons etc, this does take time as you can imagine.  The fun doing it though does not seem like work to me at all.  Finding enough of something is tricky on occasions.  Enough for me to make a sample and for 6 others to stitch as well.

If you are coming from afar I have found a most beautiful farmhouse bed and breakfast, which has a sewing theme going on and you can try and book in there.  There is parking and it is literally a five minute walk from Thimble Cottage.  The Town of Blandford is a beautiful market down with coffee shops and little independent shops and of course you have the River Avon that you can wander along and watch otters playing and plenty of Kingfishers, along with other wild life.

This Sunday is the Frome Independent which see the Town full of stalls from Artisan makers to antique and vintage stalls.  That is where I will be wandering around and it looks like the weather is going to be beautiful this Bank Holiday weekend, no matter what the weather it is beautiful there but is is so much more enjoyable when the sun is out and you can sit outside a cafe and have a coffee and watch the world go by, I always think.

Today is a little tidy up, because as I mentioned above I have rather spread around and then some slow stitches for me.  It rather looks like a bomb has gone off, an antique bomb of threads, fabrics and journals ..grin!

Anyway that is you all up to date with my ramblings.  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend whatever you are doing and as always stay safe and HAPPY STITCHING!

Sarah XX


  1. Love it descriptive. Wish I were there. 💕