You know, how it is. Often we are so busy with everyday life, problems and work, that it is difficult to see what is important and sometimes even loose a bit focus on what we do. I have always enjoyed working (I know, worrying...) and often can't stop until I finish my project, even if it is at 3 am. But sometimes, I need to take a step back and think about what I do and also to get some inspiration. I often have an idea of my next fabric decoration in my head, but not always this gets transfered into a perfectly formed item at the end of it. Then no matter what I do and how long I work on it, I just can't get it right. So, the best thing is to leave the project and take some fresh air...

In my case this is to get out and drive somewhere in country lanes and get my inspiration back by just enjoying the moment. Last week I went back to Lewis, which is a wonderful town in East Sussex, full of antique and gift shops and lovely places to eat.
I started with early lunch at The Needlemakers Cafe, which used to be actual needles factory, but these days is a great find for unusual gifts and lovely food. The Cafe serves freshly made quiches, salads and handmade cakes and the interior is so welcoming and unfussy with mismached chairs and tables. I enjoy my lunch whilst reading my book ( I know, not healthy, but I do not get the chance to just read books normally).

Whilst still at The Needlemakes I visit another inspirational place - a fabric shop called Patchwork Dog & Basket. If you follow the link to their website, don't be fooled by the impression it makes... The shop is full of unusual fabric, ribbons, spools and everything you might need for patchwork. They have recently started to run courses from another vacant shop in the same building and if I lived closely, I would have loved to join. I always visit this shop and never can leave without buying something, which inspires me and gives me ideas for the next project.

There is so much to see in Lewis - you can do the castle, have a stroll by the river and of course visit all the antique shops. I like 'Antique Centre' in the main shopping area, which is three storey building jam packed with restored and painted furniture ( I do like Lollipop & Pepper), vintage clothes and other quite practical things. I say 'practical' beause unlike other antique shops you won't find Louis XVI chairs in here, but actual stuff you can use and your purse can afford. This time I bought wooden carry box with the sign French Truffles (this box was for the real thing, but as I make chocolate truffles, I though I would be rather lovely to have).

By the end of the day there is nothing better then just relax and read more of my book, whilst sipping coffee (and eating cake !) at The Buttercup Cafe. Now, this is a real find - the cafe is in the quiet area surrounded by antique shops, serves really good food and feels really homely. I can just sit there, quite happily, until I realise, that probably I should be getting back...
...and write this blog for Handmade Monday.


  1. What a wonderful trip, now how am I going to get Lee to take me to Lewes go to Brighton often enough

  2. Inspiration breaks are the best :)
    I love the patchwork dog shop. You are lucky to be local to it. Shame they don't sell online.

  3. I love the inspiration a day out can give you. Sounds like this was a good trip x

  4. You are quite right, sometimes the best way to produce something great is to stop doing it! A day out always gives me more inspiration.
    It's a very long time since I went to Lewis (more than 20 years!) but my memories are of a lovely place, wish Sussex wasn't so far away as it sounds like a good place to go

  5. Lovely idea, brings back memories of a holiday where we spent the day in Lewes, think its time for a return visit after reading your post today :-)

  6. What a great way to get your inspriation on! I agree sometimes we just have to take a step back and go back to it later :)

  7. What a lovely day out. Your photos are great, the fabric and the choc's in the tea cups are very tempting. Hope you had a very inspiring day.

    Ali x

  8. sounds like you had a wonderful day out in Lewes - a change of scene can be so inspiring can't it :)

    i used to work there and i loved looking around all the interesting shops when i had a spare moment x

  9. Sounds like a great day - you should work for the tourist information!

  10. Sounds like an idyllic day out :)

  11. OOO, your lovely pictures make me quite envious of your day - especially the little bundle of fabrics!

  12. Sounds quite inspiring to me! I think relaxing and seeing things is often the best inspiration there is. Thank you for sharing.

  13. Just paying a late hand-made Monday visit :) and trying to catch up with the posts as I've been away for a few days :)
    thank you for visiting my blog and also leaving a comment on my facebook page. you're very welcome. I "liked" you back too :)

    your fabrics are great! and the ribbons are fab! who would resist such a bundle of treasures?
    i bet u will conjure up something lovely out of them! keep us posted!

    1. Thank you Martha, great to hear from you !

  14. Thanks for all your lovely comments - glad you found it interesting - Lewis is really fab place to visit !



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