I have been reading quite a lot lately about mindfulness and learning to live in, and appreciate the moment, not rushing around filling our minds with this and that, but slowing down and relaxing into stillness. I think this is something that stitchers have always known – that it’s important to make space and time to slow down and think, perhaps almost meditate, for a while and for me at least, embroidery is the perfect accompanying activity.
I often sit in the garden stitching, sometimes with my eyes down, concentrating on my work and thinking about very little indeed. I do like taking breaks though to lift my eyes, open my ears and appreciate the world around me. And, the being me, I also love to bring at least something of the feeling of the natural world inside to enjoy. This leads me to the title of this newsletter “September Nature Table” which is what my husband, the Engineer, calls the shelf above our woodburner.
We moved into Station House nearly three years ago now. It was previously owned by an elderly lady who had lived there for as many decades, but was now finding it all rather too much to manage. We’ve been busy making changes and improvements, while trying to remain true to the spirit of the house which was originally built for the Station Master. One of our most successful changes was to put a log burner into an unused fireplace. There was a lot of mess and disruption….
But eventually the work was complete….
And after a few weekends spent sanding, scraping and wielding a paintbrush all was finished just in time for last winter. The oak shelf above the stove has become my “nature table” where I love to display some of my work, flowers and foliage from the garden, and some favourite ornaments too, that all change as the seasons ebb and flow around us. This month is one of my favourites – there seems to be so much to enjoy in September….
Above is my current display. From left to right, there’s a comical little metal pigeon, the first of a pair of vintage Devon motto-ware candlesticks (these say “Pleasant dreams”), a vintage botanical printable (you can find free similar ones from The Graphics Fairy and many other sites), accessorised with a spiky green conker case gathered by Florence. The last item before the clock is one of my Sleepy Mice Hoops from the September Magazine.
We begin the other side with another of my patterns, the little Bobbin Owl, then a vintage stoneware jar containing long matches to light the woodburner. The jar containing rosehips and a scarlet geranium gathered from our garden is also vintage, and decorated with a quote that speaks to me “What if I sleep a little more and forget about all of the nonsense” and finally (the other side of the second candlestick) a wooden blackbird. Both of these were purchased from Etsy sellers.
If you are looking for ideas to show off your work, I think this is a great way to display one or two completed projects, among a curated collection of favourite finds.
And finally, in case you’re interested, here’s the full image of our completed woodburner – chimney all swept, logs, kindling and (natural) firelighters all ready for the cooler weather….