Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Past and Present

 On valentine's day we packed a bag (well, several in my case, including one containing crochet) and set off to spend the weekend in historic stratford on avon (checking the flood warnings first but all seemed ok there).......
.......on the way we visited the university of birmingham where my husband was a student many moons ago........we enjoyed seeing the beautiful old buildings and having a wander round the campus....it was quite a trip down memory lane for both of us.................by the time we arrived at stratford it was very stormy and rainy, but saturday morning was not quite so bad and we enjoyed the day exploring.........
 ...........above is the house where william shakespeare was born.....we have been before but it was interesting to see it again after many years...........i liked seeing the kitchen.......i love domestic details from the past, and the old stairs, floors and tiny windows................
 ..............on sunday it was sunny with a bright blue sky and we visited anne hathaway's cottage which was her family home before she married shakespeare, and is a really pretty romantic place......the cottage windows with shafts of sunlight coming in and the sweet flowery cutains were so evocative.......the curtain in this picture was patched and mended which i liked a lot......in the summer this garden is famous for its wonderful flowers, but now it is waiting for the spring to come, with the tips of bulbs just peeping through...............there were lots and lots of snowdrops already.........
...............home again now and this is an old sampler design of mine from the 1990's, when i sometimes used to create new/old reproduction style samplers for books, kits and magazines............i later re stitched this one in brighter colours on white linen and then made it into a cushion..............
 .............i love sampler cushions and the effect of the stitchery when used on something 3D......
                                 ..............the verse and motifs are from old samplers...............
 ............this week i am stitching tulips for a magazine commission, inspired by botanical prints......
 ..............this was my present from stratford.......we found a gorgeous shop called *the arter* filled with original art and handmade treasures.......it was a heart skipping moment when i saw this little design by claire brierley........the spool, the little house and the heart with text....well, it just had to come home with me.........
 ...............haberdashery is one of my favourite things....old and new i love it and am fascinated by it......whenever i can i like to incorporate it into my design work and here is a whole project inspired by it in this month's crafts beautiful..............
 ..........there is a card, a useful storage pocket, a spool cross stitched pin cushion and a little pin keep to make in this project............love the design of the magazine pages too.............
................when we arrived home i found my fabric had arrived at last so i can now put my latest quilt together which i am delighted about :)..........this week is half term so i will be spending some time with my sweet little grandchildren........just off to make them some chocolate crispy cakes now.......
.................thank you, lovely readers, for popping in here to see me, i love your visits and your kind comments very much............wishing you a happy crafty week..............back soon xxxxxxxxxxxxx

52 comments:

thesnailgarden said...

Hi, lovely photos of Stratford-upon-Avon. My Husband and I are planning a trip there sometime. We were at Birmingham this past weekend - my son is at uni there. I bet your husband noticed that the uni area has changed a lot. Your sampler cushion is beautiful - I love the way you have turned an old idea into something modern.
Best wishes, Pj x

greenrabbitdesigns said...

What a beautiful place to spend a weekend away, the old buildings look fascinating, I do love a bit of history.
Your cushion is gorgeous Helen, so much work has gone into it.
Enjoy your little grandchildren this week!
V xxx

KC'sCourt! said...

I love Stratford upon Avon. We have friends who live in Warwick which isn't far from there.
I love that cushion, it is so pretty.
Julie xxxxxxxx

Kate Eastwood said...

Hi Helen,
Such a lovely post, I really enjoyed reading about your special weekend, and the photo's of the houses are so beautiful. I would have been like you in loving all the kitcheny things, and how I would have loved to have visited that little shop. What a beautiful little souvenir, isn't that the best thing about going away ?
I also love your sampler cushion, its so striking.
Have a lovely week with your Grand children,
Kate x

Clara {Clover and Violet} said...

Your weekend away sounds wonderful! Your sampler is just so cute in a cushion! Have fun with your sweet grandchildren, I sure do miss mine! Enjoy your week!!

Jacqui Wise said...

Looks like you had a lovely trip. I have visited Stratford-upon-Avon on a school English trip many (many) years ago. Must try to get back one day. I love the crispness of your sampler cushion...so pretty and your little cotton reel art piece.

Hillside Garden said...

A wonderful posting, your stichwork is brilliant.
And thanks for the photographs of the old buildings, we will see the hathawaycottage soon!

Sigrun

julie said...

What a lovely week. Stratford-Upon-Avon is such a lovely place for a little holiday away from the modern world - thanks for sharing your pictures. Lovely to see such pretty stitching too. Enjoy putting your quilt together and eating crispy cakes with your Grandchildren x

Shari said...

Lovely read today Helen. Love reading about History. I think it's wonderful to get a feel of history first hand in your hometown. Love all your pretty stitching in your cushion..lot of work put into that one for sure! We have been hearing about the awful weather that is going through your area right now...you all hit national news, so I do hope all is well at your place.
xx Shari

Things and Thoughts said...

Oh Helen, I have been there and have visit the Warwick castle.I keep very fond memories because I was spending my honey moon in England and Scotland!Your hearts are real treasures, wish I could create such precious things!
Enjoy family's life and take care!
Love,
Olympia

Mary @ Ms. Redo said...

I so wish I could have gone to Stratford on Avon when I was in England years ago - thanks for sharing the pictures. Your cross stitch pillow cover is beautiful, love the colors and design. Love your projects in the magazine. Enjoy your sweet grandbabies this week!

Hugs ~ Mary

crazydazy said...

what a lovely break and your old sampler designs are beautiful. Have fun with the grandchildren!

Amy at love made my home said...

Glad that you had a nice time away! Your cushion is very pretty and is a great way to make use of your sampler design. xx

Erin @ Why Not Sew? Quilts said...

your cross stitch is beautiful!

Deborah said...

I visited Stratford once upon a time. It was a trip with my mother and she treated me to the entire experience. Lovely memories. Your cross stitch is lovely and the colors are are my favorites.

susanhal said...

cross stitch was my first love and your books and patterns were some of the best. i still have all your books and " merryheart" patterns but i can't remember seeing the beauty you show here....it makes me want to put down my hand quilting and pull out my cross stitch supplies.
lovely, thanks for the cheerful prettyness.
susan

Frances said...

Helen, it's so good that the weather obliged you all will some sun and blue sky for your Stratford visit. I've yet to ever get there, but keep thinking ... "next time."

I am sure that your visit to the university was very special.

And, it's clear that your return home has been filled with yet more creative thinking, and doing, too!

Lots of lovely images here, with all those fine details that make your work so unique. xo

Rhona said...

You were so lucky with the weather....we have been seeing the storms on the news here in NY and it's awful! I can't remember ever seeing Britain battered so badly with such weather. Love the pic of the snowdrops...they're always the first to pop their pretty heads up!
Great makes...as always! Have a great week and stay warm and dry :)

Vintage Tea Time said...

I love Stratford - we try and go to the theatre 2 or 3 times a year and stay overnight. The Barn, just outside Stratford is good for vintage / antiques. Gorgeous cushion! X

amanda peters said...

Sounds like you had a lovely time, nice post to read.

gilly said...

Such a lovely post, and delighted to read that you enjoyed Stratford upon Avon as that's my little neck of the woods! Next time you visit, you absolutely have to pop in at Sew Me Something - the most fab little sewing,yarn & habby shop in Stratford - and if it's a Monday, I'll be there so do come and say hello :-)
Enjoy the rest of your week,
love Gilly xx

My Little Home and Garden said...

I saw a clip on the news showing Taunton and the water covered fields. I gather it's not the only part of England to be experiencing harsh weather conditions. I'm glad you're safe, dry and creative.

The pillow is gorgeous, Helen, with all the lovely colours and stitches I have no idea how to do!

Enjoy the rest of your week.

Karen

Teje Karjalainen said...

Hi Helen! That looks the best place for holidays! Past and present is great together - old times give us so much inspiration and it's exciting to use those ideas with our way. I admire your Cross stitching! That is one craft I'm not patient enough to do. Have a lovely week! x Teje

Autumn said...

The cushion looks so homey and sweet. My mother can cross-stitch, and I may show this to her as a hint for a birthday present! ;) Visiting Shakespeare's and Anne Hathaway's cottage sounds like it was a fun adventure. Thank you for sharing some pictures!

20 North Ora said...

Thanks for taking us on the trip with you!! What a lovely place. Love your piece you brought home - so cute!!

Judy

Chrissie said...

Thank you for sharing your wonderful excursion! It looks utterly charming - I'm always fascinated by the historic kitchens as well, I spend so much time looking at old sinks and larders while everyone else is admiring the 'upstairs'! Love the little spool souvenir of your trip, as well as your haberdashery creations for this month's mag - I'm going to pick up a copy tomorrow and see what I can do next with my sewing machine! Chrissie x

Jane said...

What a lovely visit you had Helen, a trip down memory lane too. It seems that "Botanical" is the trend in crafting this year...I am seeing it so much in my card making circles. Enjoy your half term with you darling grandchildren and I hope you also get some time for your quilt x

Wilfing Mum said...

We have just come home from spending the day there today! We only managed a visit to Shakespeare's birthplace and a trip on the open top tour bus, but as we only live an hour and a half away we got the annual pass ticket, so plan to visit the other houses soon. Our boys (aged 6 and 3) loved it!

Janine Marques said...

Dear friend is always fantastic to visit your blog, just lovely as you.
Sea blessings
Nina

Ali said...

Gorgeous as always xx

Lorrie said...

Such a lovely getaway. How fun that you, a fabric/thread artist should notice the mended curtain at Anne Hathaway's cottage. Love that.

Cindy said...

What a fun get away! I would love to see those old homes - so much older that in the US:) I like your designs for the magazine. Well, I like all of your designs!

sky-blu-pink said...

I haven't visited Stratford and the Shakespeare trail since I was at school, more than 30 years ago, and. I would live to go again. I am on half term, too, so have a bit of time to do some sewing and knitting. Love the sampler.

Alessandra Poggiagliolmi said...

gorgeous cushion Helen!!!!!
Happy week, xxxxx Ale

Sam I Am...... said...

Thank you for the pictures of your trip. I love to see those places and especially the working spaces. I too loved the curtain that was patched.
I thought haberdashery was men's clothing but whatever it is I love what you did on that magazine page. I love botanical prints from long ago and can't wait to see where your inspiration leads you on that one.
And since I am baking this evening along with reading your blog, I am very interested in your chocolate crispy cakes! They sound scrumptious! Enjoy your grands!

vintage grey said...

Hi Helen,
Sounds like a lovely weekend! Beautiful sampler cushion! I would love to make one someday soon! Darling hearts!! Wishing you a fabulous week! xo Heather

Teresa Kasner said...

Thanks for taking us along with you to that wonderful place so full of history! I would love to visit someday. That little sculpture you got is simply perfection.. how I'd love to have one! Your cross-stitch pillow is a prize winner for sure! A real beauty. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

thriftwood said...

A lovely trip Helen, and I love the little spool with the house on ... it would have called out to me too!

I love how you are so modest about having pieces published in magazines ... I'd be jumping up and down, saying look at me, look at me, I'm in this magazine! It all looks so beautiful and trademark 'Helen Philipps' ... pretty pastels and beautiful makes.

The sampler is gorgeous too .. I just love it all!

Love Claire xxx

Madelief said...

Your days in Stratford sounds lovely! We visited the town two years ago and enjoyed it very much. Especially Anne Hathaway's cottage. The garden was amazing. It must have been pretty now too with the first spring flowers.

Love the embroidered pillow!

Have a lovely evening!

Madelief x

A little happy place said...

I love the cushion Helen! It's an age since I visited Stratford...your pictures reminded me of just how pretty it is.....thank you! Sarah xo

Simone said...

The sampler cushion is stunning Helen. All that you make is visually perfect! x

sew said...

You jogged my memory and my granddaughter and I have made chocolate crispy cakes this afternoon - what fun! What a lovely visit to Stratford - and not very far from me :)
Exquisite crafty photos, as always.

forgetmenots blue said...

WOW I love that sampler cushion its so beautiful x

gillyflower said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful weekend away with lots to see!
Beautiful sampler cushion, so much work must have gone into it.
Love the sweet little spring like hearts Helen, such pretty fabrics.
Enjoy the time with your grandchildren!
Gill xx

Anonymous said...

Hello Helen,
Another lovely cheerful post. I do love your cross stitching; your new cushion is beautiful. I do like the little pearl bead on your pretty heart. Love Pat x

Jilly said...

What a wonderful time away, it was lovely to read all about it. Your sampler cushion is so beautiful.

♥ Mary Janes TEAROOM said...

Such a lovely nostalgic trip for you Helen and I have never visited Stratford on Avon but it's definitely on my 'to do' list!
Your sampler cushion is completely beautiful..I love those pretty colours too.
It's lovely to bring home souvenirs and I would have gone straight for your wonderful find too!..x
Have a Happy Weekend with your dear grandchildren and fun making crispy cakes!
Susan x

Dorothy Griffiths said...

Hi Lovely Helen, sorry I have been absent for a few days, it has been one busy week! My goodness your photographs are just stunning, you can almost feel spring starting to unfold. I have bought your magazine today and cannot wait to have a look once I have caught up with my blogs. Have a lovely weekend, sending you big hugs and loves Helen
Dorothy
:-)xxxxxxxxxxx

Chantal said...

What a lovely blog you have. Jan from Sew and Sow sent me over to have a look.

Crafty in the Med said...

Hello Helen

Straford-upon-Avon is a great place to visit. I went there for the first time two years ago. I was very impressed and although very touristic of course did not find it tarnished by the crowds at all. Your sampler cushion fits it quite adorably with the theme of your post.

keep well

Amanda x

Pat said...

I visited Stratford Upon Avon many years ago, so good to see you pics, brought back happy memories of a wonderful camper trip I did that year ..... travelled up through Scotland, the Lake District and Wales .... I so wish I could visit again!

By Neymes said...

OLÁ HELEN,O SEU BLOG DA VONTADE DE ENTRAR DENTRO (SORRIR).BEAUTIFUL DEMAIS.BEIJO.VALÉRIA.