Thursday, 13 December 2012

A Serious Addiction...

I do have to confess to a serious addiction.  Let me say, it doesn't do any harm, (apart from to my credit card) and it doesn't make me a bad person!  I am addicted to fabric! It is quite true to say that I can sniff out a fabric shop at 50 paces.

In fact, a couple of years back, husband took me out for the day on our Wedding Anniversary, which is in May.  It was a lousy day for the time of year, so instead of a lovely day browsing antique shops in Arundel, we came back via Tangmere,  where quelle surprise there happens to be a Military Air Museum!  Well, I have to confess to enjoying that particular jaunt more than I thought I would - or was it the bacon butty with a mug of tea in The Mess?  On leaving the museum, we drove into Chichester, which is a town that I don't know very well, and I spotted this shop on the side of the road.

Now this shop was pretty unremarkable, its name is The Eternal Maker, which does imply some sort of craft activity but the window was just full of brown boxes...instinct kicked in..."stop the car, that's fabric shop" I shouted to a very bemused husband who had a "yeah right" look on his face.  Sure enough, inside was a veritable cornucopia of lovely craft items, beads, braid, buttons and a huge room at the back stuffed to the gunnels with fabric!  One happy lady!

Last Friday, we had a little impromptu trip to Bath.  No visit to Bath is complete without a stop at my favourite shop Country Threads where I bought these beauties...Fabulous French print patchwork fabric and of course, I am a girl..... if in doubt get it in all colourways!

I will make it into Lavender sachets and Lavender boots to go in to The Little Blue Barn,  a small shop that I have a retail interest in.
Edwardian Lavender Boots made by Tabbycat Interiors

Tabbycat Interiors at The Little Blue Barn

Christmas at The Little Blue Barn

I love french fabrics, and furniture, and food, and well, France.  Paris is our favourite city (along with New York) and we don't waste an opportunity to visit when we can.  From one of my Facebook links I found this article about a Paris Apartment.  Check out the link.  A Paris apartment left undisturbed for 70 years, after the owner fled at the start of WWII and didn't return...there is the makings of a good story here for anyone with the talent to write it. I  have to say, I am itching to have a good rummage around this!   

Finally, staying on the Paris theme, I want to share a photo with you all.  My favourite photo.  

Our Padlock on the Pont l'Archeveche

 It may look like an old padlock to you, but to me it represents how romantic my husband is.  A few years ago we crossed the Pont l'Archeveche, which is just behind the Notre Dame,  (on our way to a patchwork shop funnily enough).  It is known as the Bridge of Love because it is full of padlocks that couples have attached and then thrown the key into to Seine.   I am sure there are many similar bridges around the world.

The following wedding anniversary, guess what I got?  We duly planned our trip to Paris and joined the hundreds of other couples who are now attached "forever" to a narrow road bridge in France!

Everytime we go back, we have to visit our padlock and this was taken on our last visit in October of this year.

Much love to all.  Michele xx

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Time spent blogging is not time wasted...

I have to confess to spending more time than I should have today, surfing various blogs and marvelling at the beautiful work out there.  As if I haven't got enough on my plate with the beautiful samplers that seem to somehow have been ordered from The Scarlet Letter,  I found a couple of others that I just simply fell in love with.

One is these beautiful cottages, which are available singly but of course, in my usual way I will do them as one big sampler.  Don't know what happened but I just pressed the "checkout button" and hey presto, they are on their way!   I think I will do one a month, along side my other projects.

Edgar's Cottages
County Cottages as stitched by Edgar
This beautiful work was done by Edgar at  (If you read this Edgar, hope you don't mind me publishing your work).  Edgar gives lots of tips on his blog site, as well as lots of recipes and movie information.  Well worth a visit.

The Other is this amazing Alphabet, which unfortunately seems to be discontinued, but I am sure that the patterns will appear on Ebay at some stage, so I will keep my fingers crossed.  Maybe, it's God's way of telling me - ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!
Alphabet Sampler as stitched by I don't know who

Much love to all, and happy stitching (and surfing) 

Michele xxxx

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

I must do this one.

Searching through the Scarlet Letter website, I came across this little beauty and thought how appropriate!

Russian Rooster
Russian Rooster

So one of my challenges in Nicola's Scarlet Letter year, is my lovely little Scarlet Russian Rooster.

Much love from a very "below zero" Dorset  


Sunday, 9 December 2012

Victorian Sampler Alphabet, The Halfway Stage...

I began The Victoria Sampler Alphabet series in August after finishing The Blue Ribbon Sampler.  It is 24 small alphabet panels, which can be stitched onto one large piece of linen to make a huge wall hanging.   I was with the picture framer the other day, sorting out the framing of The Blue Ribbon Sampler, and I don't think she quite believed me when I said that the next project she would get was nearly as tall as me!  (I am 5')

I fell in love with this piece  when it was featured (briefly) on "Kirstie's Handmade Britain", last year.  Kirstie  visited the Royal Welsh Show, (where I have to say, there seem to be the MOST AMAZING craft tents), and a lady called Dilys Morgan had won best in show with this very wall hanging   I freeze framed the TV, committed as much to memory as possible and went and "googled" it.

I love the unusual and the quirky, and the sheer size of this really appealed.

Well it seems to have been a long time in getting there, but I finally finished letter "L" of my Victoria Sampler.  I am now officially halfway.  I am loving the challenge of it and as each row is quite small, with some serious sewing time,  it is possible to achieve a fair amount.  I guess though, it is like all things, some days seem to be easier than others.

I have never used charms or beads before and I love how, just a sprinkle here and there adds a new dimension to the piece

The range of stitches is quite amazing and such a good education in technique, which I am sure will stand me in good stead for the future.  Each letter panel has items depicted, that begin with that letter, and each stitch used also begins with that letter (with a bit of artistic license I am sure).  It has all been so carefully designed and for anyone who doesn't want to attempt something so large, easy to just pick certain special letters.

 I am definitely a "big project" girl and this ticks all the boxes!   Onward to Letter M......

Saturday, 8 December 2012

A Girl Named Inky

Introducing "Inky" my 1964/1971 Morris Minor Van.

She is my friend and my workhorse, and I have was totally lost without her earlier this year, as she was off the road having some serious TLC.  Like all us old girls, the rust sets in, and Inky went to a "beautician" named Steve, and had some serious respraying and welding.  During that process she lost the telephone number part of her sign and so signwriter Terry came over and in the freezing cold (bless him) he replaced the telephone number and now Inky is complete again.

Inky at the Sopley Garden Fete
Every year, we host the Sopley Garden Fete, which raises money for the village church.  The summer was so wet that this year it was moved to September, which fortunately was a glorious day weatherwise.  It was Inky's first outing after her re-fit, albeit, telephone number free!

A new committee has breathed new live into this annual event and this year it was a three day marathon, with hog roast and band and beer!  I took the opportunity, with my friend Sue,who has a fantastic shop in Christchurch, Thomas and Lucia (check her out at to have a stand.

Tabbycat Interiors and Thomas and Lucia

Fabrics and Cushions
Inky "helping" out

Sadly, I had to say goodbye to my gorgeous Joe that morning.  Just  a few days short of his 16th birthday.  The last of my boys.  The greatest gift we can give our pets, is to do for them what we are not able to do for ourselves.  

My darling Joecat
It was really hard, but the right thing to do and he was Gentleman Joe to the very end.   I miss you Joe.