Sunday, 29 August 2010

Thank goodness for pack rats!

I haven't really mentioned much about my trip to America over the summer. It was stressful, maddening, lovely and rewarding all at once as usual. Unfortunately, the airlines are making my trips harder and harder with these luggage restrictions! Do you know how heavy a jar candle is?! Not only do I do most of my clothes shopping there, but I also come back with my most important craft supplies.

Coming from a long line of pack rats, I am lucky enough to source many of my vintage materials right from my mother's basement. This basement treasure trove is my unending source of inspiration -- I never know what I'll find when I start digging. The collection is just as funny, touching and beautiful as the three generations behind it. 

These two images are a sampling of my latest haul back from America. This time I came back with lots of lace, trim and buttons. I did manage to pry one feed sack from my mother's clutches. I only got away with as much as I did because I promised that everything would be put to good use. That is easier said than done. Some of these items belonged to my grandmother and great grandmother and it is a bit daunting to start cutting them up into pieces. I think I'll need a hit of sweet sherry in honour of my ancestresses before I hack into the above lace tablecloth!

Monday, 23 August 2010

The Summer is winding down...

Clay Pipe Museum 3, originally uploaded by Tea Potty.
Whew! What a summer. The weather may not have been great -- either cool and wet or scorching hot -- but it has been jam packed. After three weeks in America, nearly a week in England, and another week of entertaining guests here, life is starting to resume regularly scheduled programming. My other half is back to work, my daughter is back in school, and I am finally able to sit down and write.

On Saturday, I realised that the blackberries have just come into season here when most of the neighbourhood children appeared with sticky, red stains all over themselves. I got up extra early yesterday fearing I missed out and armed myself with a bucket and step stool. After a few hours, several bramble scratches and a bad nettle rash, I returned home triumphant with my booty. Sadly the resulting jam only filled two jars. But two very lovely jars they are!

My main sewing project at the moment is a piece for the Flickr "New Embroidery with Vintage Patterns Group" vintage pattern stitch along. I had it in my head that the piece needed to be done by 1st September, so I'm nearly finished with it. Stupidly, I've just realised that the deadline is actually the end of September. I'm rather geeked about my project and can't wait to share it!

This project has inspired my next one -- a fabric book featuring vintage embroidery from different generations of my family. The last issue of Sew Somerset featured beautiful fabric books that I can't wait to try my hand at.

The top picture is from my trip to England. Broseley, in the middle of England, is home to a clay pipe museum. This factory was the last of its kind in England. As it was pretty much abandoned in 1960, it acted as a time capsule, preserving so much information about this industry. Today it is home to an interesting little museum that gives us a glimpse into early industrial life. On an interesting side note, my husband's great grandfather owned it!