Jane's Jottings

The barn this evening……

I wanted to show you what the barn looks like when the evening sun is pouring in from the west. This where I hold my classes although I have to arrange the furniture a little differently to accommodate my students. This time last year, we had a disaster area where the piano now stands. Martin, my wonderful carpenter did everything he could to make this exercise bearable but the weather was dreadful and we had no roof! This is what it looks like now! We just love this space and because of the oak used in the construction, it looks quite old and in character.


Bill’s pride and joy, the new piano, was bought to replace our old baby grand which had been built in 1922 and did not like living in a drafty old barn. It was bought from Coach House Pianos  and I cannot recommend them high enough. The whole process was a joy – the only problem was having a water tight room….


One dry weekend  and the roof timbers went up

barn 1

My little courtyard garden took a bit of a beating!

As you can see from the picture at the top of this post, it really was worth it in the end. If I am lucky with the weather this weekend, I am going to work in the courtyard and sort my little greenhouse ready to plant begonias and  start some flowers of in seed trays. At the moment we have a lovely show of Hellebore (Christmas roses) and I have noticed some little seedlings that need attention. I will try to get some pictures of their faces – just perfect….

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Date posted: Wednesday, March 18, 2015

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We are working with lavender today – Just lovely!

Lavender Tumbles

These dear little scented kits were the brain child of Sarah, my PA who seems to think of something new every day! Ho Hum! Not always relaxing! Lavender Tumbles are worked on unbleached linen in pure cross stitch and then stuffed with the lavender flower petals. You can display them as shown in the picture above or split them up and scent drawers or  cupboards. Today we have been packing the kits and that includes the lavender petals which is a bit sneezy to start with but nice all the same. You can find Lavender Tumbles in the CSG Shop. This all goes on in the Studio at the back of Pinks Barn. We were so lucky to find this house when we did, little knowing how hard it would have to work. It is one of the best kept secrets in the village as you really cannot get a view of all of it from anywhere and no-one has any idea of what is going on!


Snowshill Lavender

I thought you would like to see a picture of where we buy our lavender petals used in our Lavender Tumbles – These pictures were taken last year when Bill and I had a day out in Gloucestershire and I was let loose with my camera. Snowshill Lavender is a special place to visit with a pretty gift shop and lovely views over the lavender fields. There are a wide variety of different strains of the plants on show and you can walk amongst the flowers just listening to the bees and the occasional skylark!


I was sitting on the ground to get this picture

One of the next projects on the drawing board  (well, alright the computer) will be some linen things scented with old rose petals – this I am still cooking! After the Knitting and Stitching Show, I spent a couple of days in a blur, trying to put everything away, send out parcels and prepare for photography tomorrow- Today has been much better – a little designing and a lot of planning. Talking of designing, I thought you would like to add this little motif to your collection – two versions of a lavender motif – very simple but fun! I imagine doing the writing and the flower stems in dark green but please feel free……..


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Date posted: Thursday, March 12, 2015

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Yet another new leaf!

I am so excited about the new web site which you will either be just discovering or will do so in the next few days. I do hope you like the new shopping experience – it will even shrink to fit tablets and smart phones..(This is apparently called optimized- Umm!) Just in case we have not gone live when you read this – I thought you would like to see an example of the new pages…………….

Screen dump 1 copy


I feel that I must now make it a Journal entry every month although time does seem to travel faster and faster and yet another month has gone. It is quite literally months since I wrote a post but what with Facebook and everything else, it has rather taken a back seat! I know that I have been more nervous about it writing these since a member took me to task about my grammar and spelling but Hey Ho – I think I will just throw caution to the winds.

We woke up this morning to a dusting of snow and it all looked so pretty – I have really got organised this year and have bird feeders around the garden and it has been a joy seeing who comes to visit.  The half coconuts when emptied by the birds, I have refilled with some of my bashed up mince pies from the freezer combined with breadcrumbs and chopped nuts – there really have been feuds over these…..

Snowdrops 1

Last weekend we went over to see the Rococo Gardens in Painswick near Stroud, Gloucestershire  where we had a chance to view the snowdrops. This garden, privately owned, is simply a jewel in the Cotswolds and the cafe is simply brilliant! My sister had joined us for the weekend and it was a perfect sunny but very cold day. I did miss my dear old dog – Bumble would have loved the gardens and dogs are catered for in the cafe – water and some dog biscuits!


This 7 ft snowdrop by mosaic artist, Victoria Harrison is on show until the end of March.



I thought that you might like this little chart of a growing snowdrop which I discovered amongst my motifs. Feel free to stitch on any fabric of your choice although I think I would choose some unbleached linen – but then I would!  Issue 104 of Itch to Stitch will be posted next week with more patterns to tempt you. Happy stitching for the moment…..

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Date posted: Tuesday, February 3, 2015

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Itch to Stitch 102 is in the post

Such a lot has happened since I last wrote – sadly we have lost our lovely dog Bumble – He dies peacefully on 19th August ( he was 14 years and two days old) This is the first time in over twenty years that I do not have the company of a dog and I must admit this big house does seem empty. I am not making a decision about another dog until the spring – after our holiday and the spring shows…. I cannot replace Bumble so I just do not know……….


Bumble in 2012

We have posted your next issue of Itch to Stitch- this time it is 52 pages of good stuff. I hope you like it.  There will be one more magazine before the close of the year.

Home Sweet Home Sampler 

Home Sweet Home

I have had a bit of flack from a few to say that I have not been including  enough pure cross stitch in your magazines so I have listened and included this traditional sampler this time. You can stitch this on aida fabric or on linen and we do have a materials pack for you if you difficulty find what you need

Sweete Bag (2)

Beaded Tudor Sweete Bag

This very decorative project has been inspired by the Elizabethan examples seen at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and by early English versions held at the De Witt Wallace Museum in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia. These highly decorated bags were commonly carried by both men and woman, sometimes holding petals and herbs to ward of insects and disease. Sometimes the purse would hold a matching book of prayer or similar. It is known that Queen Elizabeth 1st was given many such purses with gold coins or other gifts inside, always elaborately decorated with stitching, gold threads and beads. Antique examples of these beautiful bags are very collectable indeed and fetch considerable amounts at auction.

My version is stitched on a piece of linen band and then made up by hand. I have added a scissor keep/pincushion embellished by an antique pair pf scissors. The kit includes 28-count linen band, Cashel 28-count unbleached linen, gold plated needles, vintage glass beads, gold metallic thread, pre-sorted threads, chart and fully illustrated instructions.

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Date posted: Thursday, September 25, 2014

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Issue 101 on its way today

Hi Everyone,

I think I am back to work with more than one brain cell working – I have certainly been under the weather and not allowed to work as much as I like.I have been in to hospital and well cared for and think that I have actually turned a corner today. Much better. Last week Bill and I had a day out together and we shared driving over 500 miles in the day.! We actually did our week’s shop on the way back from Bradford in Tesco at midnight…… but then we able to sleep in the following morning.

Shopping fr silk


Can you imagine – it was like being in Aladdin’s cave

Whilst in Bradford, I bought 204 metres of the most gorgeous silk fabrics so that I can uses them in future kits.  This is a picture of one of the warehouses – about a tenth of what there was to see. I think Bill was relieved to get out with so little.


Sarah and Daphne stuffing envelopes this morning

Today we are packing your magazine which will be in the post tonight so all of you should have it by the weekend. If yours does not arrive, please drop me an email so I can investigate. The next issue will be in September and be your bumper issue with some festive stitching added to get you in the mood for Christmas!

Sally's Rose

Sally’s Roses

Designed for us by Member, Sally Leonard this is a really unusual blackwork pattern and is included in this current magazine. She is so clever with her monochrome designs. The charts for all three designs are included. in your magazine. Not yet a Member – Go to Join Us so that you do not miss anything!

In this issue, we have a design from by Emma Pavier of Ann’s  Orchard called Clementine the Hen – I met Emma at the Spring Knitting and Stitching Show at Olympia and fell in love with her charming beaded projects.

Clementine in Frame

Clementine the Hen

 Must pop off to the bank and the post and try to think what we might have for supper tonight. Will be back again shortly to talk about our special weekend in June next year and our short holiday in Geramny before Christmas.

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Date posted: Wednesday, July 23, 2014

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