Monday 6th November

Morning time

Drawing the bedroom curtains onto a low lying mist over the land, as is often the way in these parts in November.  I don’t mind it too much, the clocks changed last weekend, leading us full throttle into the winter months to come.


It’s chilly in the mornings, if we have the fire on we don’t need central heating, but it makes for a chilli start.

By 8 o’clock the sun is doing its best to break through, Arthur’s curled up fast asleep on the landing windowsill and a new week begins.



A quick dash home for lunch, back for a bite to eat and a quick hello, always greeted with upmost excitement, unless sleeping!




there are some things I love about this time of the year and other things I struggle with.  I think my biggest love is the fire, it’s so cosy.  I miss the garden though and picking posies and sitting out with the bees, many a long chat there has been with the bees this summer.  But all things must sleep, and the seasons remind me that I too must rest my mind at times in the darker days.

I am loving old forgotten words at the moment. Wryteard is Old English for plant guardian. Isn’t that just beautiful? When did we loose our plant guardians or the world? I wonder?  & how sad that we did,  my grandad was a plant gaurdian, I’d like to think I am one too.

Bonfires have died to embers & the night sky tonight will be returned once more to inky black, just the faint twinkle from distant stars with the full Frost moon of November now on the wain.




Work space

With my lackadaisical ways I have neglected to write my follow up post on my work space.

I’ve been in situ  for a month or so now and it is the most lovely room to stitch in.

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The light is really great, and I love being up high under the eaves.

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I’ve been super productive too and have lots of exciting new plans ahead.

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Exciting times ahead for hettie brown ……

Acorns & Oak Galls / part 2 – Natural Dye tales.

Out of the dye pot, the silk Noil dyed with Acorns and oak galls.  The colour was not as dark as I was hoping for, so I decided to over dye with Walnut.

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The walnut tree grows in the middle of a car park, not quite as picturesque as the English countryside.  I collected as many Walnuts as I could early one Sunday morning, when no cars were parked in the bays …. I’ve tried collecting them in the day but it’s quite hazardous,  one reason being the risk of setting off car alarms while grovelling underneath them for that allusive nut, and you get very weird looks!   You also have to beat the Squirrels, who are rather partial to a Walnut …..

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So in the dye pot walnuts and a rusty old horse shoe … just for luck.

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The colour is richer and not so rusty….

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It feels a bit special that this cloth has been dyed with Acorns Frome my favourite Oak tree.  Now  to decide what it should become. …..






Acorns & Oak galls

I love Autumn, the season of change and reflection, drawing in a little, taking stock & preparing for the Winter months. ….gathering.

Natures store cupboard is full to bursting, especially for the dye pot.

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If you walk over the Ridge, the maize has not yet been harvested.   In the hedgerows there are yellow hammers flitting here and there, and what I believe were swallows, or Swifts but I’m thinking all the Swallows have flown now?

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My favourite old oak tree stands, if you look to your right, at the bottom of the steep bank that later leads to the railway tracks.  I head that way mostly as it not on the main dog walking track. And I like my moments of solitude.  The birds sing, for Autumn maybe? I sit for a time, under Old Father Oak, just he and I.

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What shall I leave you? Old Father Oak… a little of my heart maybe?

Your gift to me, Acorns and Oak galls …..

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In a pot, over the stove, a witch’s brew.  Alchemy of sorts…..

Patience  is needed, I’m learning the art ….

till next time x


Hettie brown H Q ….a tale of

In 2014 work began in earnest on the top floor of our home.  Two little attic rooms set in the eaves, long neglected and in much need of care and renovation.


First was to remove the ply board partition wall that separated the two rooms and build a proper sturdier wall.

The blue room you can see, was then completed for my daughter… but alas all steam ran out and my work room was put on hold for another 3 years! Yep it looked like that for 3 whole years …


Partly the running out of steam was dread at the amount of work that needed to be done. And when your working and life is busy there never seems enough time. But eventually work began again in 2016.


My husband did all the work himself, with a little help from me.  His day job is a hairdresser so I’m pretty proud of him.


At times it was so all consuming, we were still visiting Gran every Sunday in the care home, jools was working full time and so life became a grind at times, where the end seemed so far from sight, I couldn’t even imagine it.

The wood panels came from a rec yard in Frome and were out of an old factory.  They were beautiful but so dirty and each plank had to be wire wooled and waxed.  It was a disgusting job, and the dirt got in your skin.  But I m so glad we persevered.


There is very little storage in this wonky old house, so we wanted a big walk in cupboard.  The room was such an odd shape it worked perfectly to build the cupboard along the far wall.

Wood panelling and cupboard  built, we uncovered the original ceiling that had been covered in ply sometime in the 1950’s.


It needed an awful lot of tlc, but again it was so worth it in the end.


Plastering began ….


And eventually some paint on the walls …..

To be continued …..

Wash Day Monday’s

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Wash day Monday’s’ designed from the original Bloomer of old. Shorter and less roomy perfect for longer frocks just peaking out from beneath a hem.

Soft cotton, in Cabbages & Roses by Moda, comfortable, pretty and practical.
Wear them Wrinkly ::::

Bloomers : a tale of :

Here at hettie brown the days have been so busy, time taken up with drafting & then sewing, thinking & pondering all possibilities.

When I made the decision to start making and designing clothing for others, not just myself, my first thoughts were Bloomers.


I have been wearing old bloomers for years and as you can imagine they are rather like hens teeth.  Those that did survive the rigours of Victorian life are sometimes available to purchase,  but not on your local high street.

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To me they are sadly a deeply overlooked essential in any wardrobe, and have a fasinating history ….

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in 1849 women readers of the Water- Cure Journal, a popular health magazine of that time were urged to wear clothing that was not so harmful to their health.  The fashion of that time consisted of a skirt that dragged several inches on the floor, worn over layers of starched petticoats stiffened with straw or horsehair sewn into the hems.  Whale bone corsets pushed internal organs out of place and caused long term health issues. Let alone being incredibly uncomfortable, they effected breathing and impaired the wearer to such an extent that women we’re perceived to be weak and feeble.

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A few brave souls responded to the articale with a variety of outfits many inspired by the pantaloons commonly worn in Turkey.

By the summer of 1850 after wearing the style in private, some of the braver  women began wearing bloomers in public, underneath  a shorter length skirt, with no corset.  Of course the freedom this allowed the wearer was huge, women finding themselves able to to do so many tasks that had, until then been forbidden, such as riding a bicycle.

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Newspapers across the country began reporting this new fashion.   In the February of 1851 Elizabeth Smith Miller wore this Turkish dress to the New York home of Amelia Bloomer author of the temperance journal

The Lily.

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The next month Amelia Bloomer announced to readers of

The Lily

that she had adopted the dress,

& in response to many inquiries, she  printed a discription of her dress and how to make it,

it was dubbed by newspapers as the Bloomer Dress.

During the summer of 1851 the nation was seized by a Bloomer craze.

Bloomer Balls & Bloomers picnics were held, women embraced the new freedom that wearing bloomers allowed them & thus the humble Bloomer became a symbol of women’s rights.

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Some of my bloomers are naturally dyed, made from the softest cotton, cool in summer and warm worn in layers for Winter.

Practical yet beautiful.

Slow clothing that weathers with you.