Thursday, 30 May 2013

Rainy Days

Hello Lovely Readers, welcome back again, please do come in, it is so nice to see you all.  Well today has been such a rainy day I have been thinking about whether or not we shall ever have a summer here.  It was raining when I went to work early this morning and raining when I came home - how dispiriting!  I sincerely hope you are all enjoying much better weather than I am here.

In order to cheer myself up I stopped off on the way home and bought some lovely stocks and freesias.  I got some beautiful lilac and white stocks and yellow freesias and it struck me how wonderful nature is when choosing colour combinations, we can learn so much from Mother Earth.  The smell is divine.  I find some of the flowers in the shops nowadays lack perfume of any sort - they are lacking a soul.  Well this is all very poetic isn't it, must be the weather!

I do wish you could smell them everyone as they are gorgeous.  My little 'vase' is part of the cottage ware range which I have had now for about 40 years would you believe!  This is actually a biscuit barrel and the lid is the roof but as biscuits don't last very long in our home I thought this might be a good way to display it.  These pieces were very fashionable many years ago and I had to save hard for them.  I have a teapot, sugar bowl, milk jug plus another biscuit jar in the shape of a gorgeous old cottage. I see a lot around now especially on Ebay so maybe they have come back into vogue. Possibly your grandparents have some in their homes. 

On my way home I also spotted one of my favourite magazines, Simply Crochet which came out today.  I have enjoyed this magazine since it was first published and have been hooked (like it?) on crochet.  I have to say that for many years when I was an avid knitter and would get quite cross if crochet patterns were included in my magazines as I felt that crochet certainly didn't fit in with knitting - to me knitting was a far more sophisticated craft!  Sorry to all the crochet addicts out there.  However since I have started to really understand crochet, all thanks to my lovely friend over at Mom of 5 Daughters and her super duper tutorials, I have become a passionate convert.  If you haven't had chance to have a look at her blog please pop over and see her, she is so talented and shares so much of her work with everyone.

I am sure it was last year at the Woolfest over in Cockermouth when I was  speaking to Niki Trench and saying how little I understood the fascination of crochet.  She told me that she had really got the bug for it and I should give it another try so I did buy her book Cute and Easy Crochet which I loved as it was so pretty.  Niki is mult-talented and I would love to go on some of her courses but unfortunately I live too far away.  Do check out her blog as she is now working on a book on Fairisle knitting and has a new crochet book called Cute and Easy Crochet with Flowers due out in September which I must have. However, I digress, in the new edition of Simply Crochet there is such a gorgeous pattern which I want to have a go at lovely readers.  Take a look for yourself - I was thinking about Christmas gifts, something a little more unusual which could be personalised with the person's name.  What do you think?  It would help me to practise a whole range of skills including sewing, machine work, embriodery and crochet - wow!

I would be interested to know what you all think about it - I think it is really cute.  I am going to take the pattern with me on Saturday when I go to my crochet class and see what everyone thinks, maybe have a go a whipping up a flower or two from the pattern, we shall see.

Talking about embroidery, remember when I told you that I had been tidying up the sewing room and finding lots of things, well I have something wonderful to show you all.  You may have gathered that I am an avid collector of anything old and unwanted, I like to think that I have rescued something which might have been thrown away and given it a nice home to go to.  Consequently my home is filled with all these little oddities which I love but am sure other people wonder why I keep them.  A good few years ago I was trawling through Ebay and found this little box - someone had been sorting out a relative's home and was just getting rid of things.  I love old chocolate boxes and this one contained bits and bobs from her (or his) sewing things.  I wasn't really into embroidery then, even though I have always loved it, but I was more interested in the chocolate box and got it for a small price.  I particularly liked it as it looked very art deco.

Now, much as I love chocolates I must admit I was overwhelmed when I received the box as there was so many little goodies inside.  I did wonder who had owned the box and (presuming it was a lady) what she did and where she came from.  The box was filled with many embroidery patterns some dating from the 1920s and 1930s.

The box is very much a 'working box' with lots of little pattern books, most of them given as free supplements in magazines.

What I found most amusing is the image on several of the booklets of the very glamorous woman on the front - I wonder if that was how embroiderers spent their days in those bygone years?  It would be lovely to hear what you all think lovely readers. 

And here she is again, all for 1d (one old penny might I add!).  Now this must have been a time when wormen really took their leisure seriously unlike the multi-tasking men and women we have today.  The owner of the box had also been doing her/his own sketching

Or maybe these were little gifts from the children?

Recognise this famous lady from the world of embroidery?

What wonderful colours - you could imagine this as a lovely cushion couldn't you?

This is a tiny little pattern for an American style bonnet which only takes a quarter of a yard - you can see that the sewers in those days were expected to use their own imagination for making up garments - no step by step instruction sheets here.  On the other side of this newspaper clip was a short extract about the Battle of Britain raids so obviously it is dated from the early 1940s. 

I just loved looking through this box last night and it is definitely not going back into the big cupboard again.  Since opening my eyes to the delights of crafts other than knitting I couldn't wait to pick out a project to start.  However I do need the expert help of Aneela Hoey so out came her wonderful book and I thought about what project I would try to do.

Out came the embroidery threads......

The one I have decided upon is......

Isn't she just so gorgeous, can't wait to start!  Wish me luck everyone.

One last thing before I leave you tonight lovely people.  At the bottom of the box I found this

A little feather.  Now it could be any number of things.......a feather from a pillow, a feather from a little hen.....John Lennon is reported to have said that if you ever see a little feather then know that it is my spirit come to visit you.  I like to think that this little feather represents the soul of the person who owned the box and I shall never throw it away.  I hope they know, whereever they are, that their collection is loved once again.

Well lovely readers that is all for now.  Hope I haven't rambled on too long, I think I tend to so apologies if I have.  I hope you have a wonderful evening/day where-ever you are in the world.  I hope you experience love, happiness and peace.  I will hopefully speak to you all soon, please leave a comment if you are able to as I do love to hear from you.  Lots of love as always, Dorothy  :-) xxxx


  1. Hello, im new to you! I came via the quiet home via attic 24! I love your photos and you write so eloquently. Im a fan! Im a crochet/knitting/ cross stitch/ patchwork potterer, master of none but lover of all! Just wanted to say hi anyway, keep up the good work!
    Fiona, Edinburgh

  2. Hello Fiona how lovely to hear from you. I am so glad that you have found me - Scotland and it's friendly people have a special place in my heart. We got married in your lovely country and have travelled far and wide, always having a great time. Do you have a blog Fiona, would love to have a look. Thank you for your very kind comments and hope to see you back soon.
    lots of love