Life in lockdown

What a lot has changed in our lives since my last blog post.  I hope you are all staying safe and keeping well and continue to do so for the foreseeable future.  I’m thrown between feelings of worry for what lies ahead to feelings of joy that I have some time to just “be”.  I am also in awe of those that continue to work so hard to keep the country going.

hand sewn embellished felt and fabric rainbow brooch with word dream by Ellie's Treasures

Having grown used to the 2 metre rule, the necessity to stay at home as much as possible and the queueing to do the weekly shop, I have to admit I’m settling in to the slower pace of life.  I’m fortunate enough to have a few weeks off from my keyworker job and have countryside, big skies (that are so blue at the moment) and nature around me to enjoy.  I’m going to endeavour to cling on to these things when life begins to return to normal.

early evening sun through the trees

With the weather being pretty amazing (what a blessing that is), I have spent a lot of my home time tidying the garden. There have been many unwanted freebies left at the side of the road so I now own a strawberry pot and pretty hellebore that would otherwise have gone to waste.  Locals have also been selling young plants, so my garden has benefitted from sweet peas, lupin, delphinium, sweet william, strawberry plants, a couple of alpines and a dicentra spectabilis with its pretty pink heart shaped flowers.

dicentra spectablis, chives and outdoor candles

The sewing is most definitely still happening – Ellie’s Treasures remains open and I’m happy to accept orders and commissions.  All individual items (except larger canvas artworks) are letterbox friendly and sent 1st class, so no need for a signature upon delivery or a parcel being left on the doorstep or at the sorting office.  If you are buying as a gift for someone special, I’m happy to tissue wrap and add a handwritten note, posting directly to your chosen recipient if you wish.  Please bear in mind that purchases may take a bit longer to arrive as it’s a bit like a Christmas rush for the posties at the moment.

three mini hand sewn unicorn brooches by Ellie's Treasures
mini brooches have been a popular gift choice since lockdown

Hedgehog lovers – do pop over to Gloucestershire based Wild Hogs Rescue Centre’s online auction on Facebook to help raise necessary funds. The centre does an amazing job of researching, rescuing and rehabilitating hedgehogs in their local area so I’m hoping this event is a great success fr them. Bidding opens on 3rd May until the 10th and there’s already a fabulous selection of items to choose from.

hand sewn hedgehog bag charm by Ellie's Treasures donated to Wild Hogs Rescue Centre Gloucestershire for their fundraising auction 2020
available through Wild Hogs Rescue Centre fundraising auction

Finally, I have been listed in a new small business directory with Pretty and Petit.  If you are a looking for something special to treat yourself or send to a loved one then do browse the directory, it is full of amazing small businesses that are continuing to work hard and remain open during this difficult time.

Take care and stay healthy.

Commissions, local shopping and cream teas!

Commissions are always a joy to complete and this month has seen quite a few coming my way (thank you all so much).  One in particular put a big smile on my face, a bi-fold fabric wallet – an item I haven’t sewn for quite a long time.  It was good to get the batiks out of the fabric drawer and start the long hours of cutting, pressing and hand sewing.  There’s a tiny chance I may start making these again for the shop as they have always been popular due to the striking colour schemes and handy size – we’ll see 😉

hand sewn batik and upcycled fabric wallet purse

I can’t believe our luck with this long run of glorious warm weather (I’ve done it now, it’ll probably rain tomorrow).  The garden is coping well and the vast majority are sturdy enough to not need a good dosing of water, just those that are potted need a little help every other day.  I think it’s the first time in the 11 years we’ve been here that the water butt has been drained dry so I’m trying to be as economical as possible with water from the tap.  Flowers are so beautiful to have around the house too so I pick a little posy each week to display near my desk.  The small glass jar is one of a pair we found buried in the garden when we first  moved in … I do love hidden treasures of history.

picked from the garden summer posy

In a mission to step away from the PC and sewing basket for a short while and spend some time with friends, we recently headed out to the small market town of Long Sutton.  As it was market day we had a little mooch around the stalls and picked up a few bargain pot plants and dainty lace.  We also discovered a little haberdashery squeezed in among the other shops – so teeny tiny you could probably only fit 4 people in there at one time, but it was crammed full of colourful fabrics, felt, wool and all the embellishments you could possibly need.  I would never have know it was there, right on my doorstep, if I hadn’t ventured out to explored my local area and this started me thinking how I have slipped a little into becoming a slave to internet shopping.  Yes it has its positives, as in prices are often cheaper, but there’s also many downsides, most notably the lack of face to face contact, those friendly exchanges between customer and shop owner/assistant that can easily lead to a beneficial relationship for both of you.  Popping out to the local shops to support them and help keep them running is vitally important in this day and age where so many small businesses are struggling to make a livelihood.

shop local haberdashery

Before heading home we popped into another small business – Mal’s Vintage Tea Shop – a treasure trove of vintage and handmade items surrounded us as we sipped tea and coffee from pretty mismatched china and enjoyed the delights of perfectly baked scones, butter, cream, strawberry and blackcurrant jams. This tea shop is a real find and I’m planning on returning with hubs in tow.

Lincolnshire cream tea

Enjoy the sunshine everyone! I hope your month has been a good one – stop by and let me know what you’ve been doing.
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Spring very nearly sprung!

pink edged Daisy
pink edged daisy

Last weekend was absolutely glorious – the sun shone, the air was warm and a gentle breeze kept everything at a perfect temperature.  The barbecue was wheeled out, cleaned up, and lit to celebrate the “first alfresco meal of 2018” – in fact we indulged and had two barbecues over the weekend.  The lawn got it’s first proper cut and the garden took on that “ready to burst into life” look.  I went round with my iphone and macro lens  to catch the first signs of new life.

Flowering Currant
Flowering Currant

It was wonderful to spend a bit of time pottering among the borders having a good tidy up and planting a view new shrubs and colourful plants.  We bought a miniature patio apple tree which amazingly has two varieties of apple on the one tree, a cooker and a dessert!

Spring time blooms
Jasmine leaves – Hazel bud – pink apple blossom

Goodness knows what’s happened though, we are back to strong winds, heavy downpours and winter coats.  We have that little glimmer to cling on to – hopefully it’ll be back with us again soon.

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