Inspiration from the Cotton Mills of Lancashire

The Cotton Mills of Lancashire have inspired a great deal of my work, especially my latest stitchery project.

I’ve combined my love of red thread with a vintage garment and the job titles of those working in the cotton industry to make a piece of wearable art.

I love red. This wonderful pincushion from Beyond Measure is made using cloth woven in Lancashire.
It’s a work in progress – my mind is already busy thinking about the next two pieces of embroidery I want to create! Does is happen to you too?  

A Gift of Vintage Treasures

A visit to my Auntie’s home always involves pots of tea, biscuits and lots and lots of chatting. Occasionally she gives me gifts – finds from her car boot hunting or from her own stash.  On my last visit I came home with some amazing treasures she had saved from Arnold Papworth’s home, the gentleman who inspired my blog name. More treasures from Arnold’s Attic.  She knows me so well,  I love them.

This is the most exquisite wooden date box full of old beads and lined with paper which I just have to open and read.
It’s a little bit of temperance history – and it’s got handwritten notes on the back too.
Another gorgeous cigar box for my collection. 

Buckles galore and a charm bracelet of ballet dancers in various poses – I’ve lots of projects in mind for these.
I just love this chap. 
A tiny vintage wooden spool and plenty of finds to play with.
These are the tiniest purses I’ve ever seen. 
Lots of amazing goodies that will keep me happy for hours. Thank you Auntie.

Natural dyeing with Jenny Dean

Jenny Dean‘s fabulous workshop was a Christmas present from my Dear Husband.

hanks of coloured wool

 The Ditchling Art and Craft Museum, is a beautiful venue for workshops.


ditchling museam sign
The brilliant Jenny Dean is an amazing tutor and so generous in sharing her experience of natural dyeing – so many colour variations are possible using plants from our very own gardens.


Jenny Dean with hanks of wool
We started with pots of water, added lots of plant materials – Weld, Cochineal (beetles!), Prussian Blue and Madder – then some wool yarn, stirred and waited.
pots of water on heater
simmering wool in pot
yellow hanks of wool in pot red hanks of wool being taken out of pot
Lots of rinsing later and we had some lovely yarns drying in the sunshine – look at this stunning rainbow of colour!
hanks of wool drying in the sun
hanks of wool drying in the sun
A colourful end to a wonderful day.  My head was buzzing all the way home.