Tuesday, 31 July 2012

French grey

I don't know what it is about the combination of these words but as soon as I see french grey on a paint chart I want to buy a tin and repaint a wall or piece of furniture.Silly as the shade may vary between blue, grey and sometimes green but I think it conjures up sun faded shutters and doors glimpsed on summer holidays in the south of France.
My favourite French prints almost always include grey; it works so well as a foil against strong colours and reduces their brashness. The French knew all about fifty shades of grey before E L James had ever been thought of!

 I love this turquoise and it is a perfect match for the velvet on my French bed.
As its such a large scale print I've used large feather pads which are the same proportions as pillows and look great great on a bed. An extra smaller one is made from the leftover piece.

This fabric is in great condition, probably not been made up before, a lucky find.

This red is slightly more softened by age and is a lovely warm background for this grey print.
The flowers are so beautifully drawn and full of life. I think they are a tree peony but any botanists out there can correct me.
They're all for sale from £26-28 so please get in touch in you'd like more images or info

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

and at once I knew I was not magnificent *

I promise not to make a habit of using song lyrics as my title; its Viv's thing and she does it so well but had to disagree with Justin Vernon of Bon Iver having seen them perform at the Latitude festival.

 Latitude, held near to Southwold in Suffolk is a laid back and very manageable 3 day event featuring music, dance, comedy as well as poetry and literary reading and of course this year lots of mud. The sheep enter into the spirit of the festival.

My highlight was Bon Iver; I couldn't imagine how the elaborate studio albums could be brought to life but the answer was in an imaginative stage lit by electric candles and with great musicians on brass, string and percussion. It was magnificent.

Other stand outs were the classy Laura Marling, lovable Guy Garvey and Elbow, brilliantly energetic Bat for Lashes and a truly fabulous set from Rufus Wainwright who burst onto a sunny lunchtime stage to sing his first song unaccompanied. Elsewhere we enjoyed Josh T Pearson although not necessarily for his musical contribution, wonderful dance and mime in Translunar Paradise, Q&A with the 2012 cast and lots more acts we happened on as we wandered around as well as eating some great street food and generally enjoying the looks of the festival. Wellies were of course de rigeur if not totally essential but elsewhere anything went from the casual boho to the young man in the tailcoat who I stood next to watching Natasha Khan but didn't summon up courage to ask about his outfit.

Felt very sad to be leaving on Sunday so it was some consolation that we were spending another couple of days in Suffolk exploring the coast and visiting favourite haunts.

Brought back these 1970s milk bottles used to advertise products of the day

This is a really nice pharmacy bottle with label intact

I liked the proportions of these candlesticks which could also make elegant hatstands; will probably give them a coat of paint as think they would look better shabby chic

A sweet cover, no idea whats going on so guess will have to read the play

Anyone for Pimms, if it ever stops raining these will make lovely garden party glasses, I'll take them to the Cotswolds fair if its sunny by then

Back home then to wash the mud from our clothes and boots although I do have a small confession; we escaped every night to the relative luxury of a nearby travel lodge..thank god!

* Justin Vernon  Holocene Bon Iver

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

the day the gazebo collapsed

I was tempted to title this post, "the day my house fell down" but it did sound unnecessarily melodramatic; that was however the feeling as we struggled to keep our gazebo from depositing the weight of an hour's heavy rain onto the stock beneath.
It had always felt rather mad to be leaving home at 4.30am (especially after a very enjoyable meal at friends the night before) to drive to Norfolk to set up an outside stall in the wettest summer on record; forgiveable if booked months before, not when I did it last week as it lashed it down outside.  We had needed the help of 2 lovely men from a nearby stall to erect said gazebo but we had simply not factored in the difference the sodden canvas would make to its stability. Poor Ken held on as well as he was able whilst I ran to beg to be allowed to set up stall inside the main marquee; yes, dear reader there were inside stalls which yours truly had eschewed in favour of a bigger pitch outside.  But here the story brightens even if the skies did not.  Many thanks to the staff of Nelson events who were kind and efficient and found a free stall for me to use and later when an adjacent stall was a no show allowed me to use this space free of charge.  We moved the stock, set up stall, dried out Ken, met loads of nice people, sold lots of stock, felt much more cheerful and vowed to return next year having booked an indoor stall.  The only casualties in the final analysis were the gazebo (which stayed behind) and my lovely hairdresser's "do" which returned to frizz in the damp.
I know many of you who have lovely partners who are equally keen on vintage but thats not Ken; its not his bag so I am particularly grateful for his support and physical help on these occasions especially when it involved missing the first men's singles final in our lifetime involving a Brit

And the rain continues...so its been no hardship to stay indoors and sew.
I remember as a child being saddened as my father ripped the pretty white flowers from the bottom of our garden. Now, as a gardener, I know bindweed is a pain and pull it out myself whilst loving the shape of the flower. I have seen it growing wild with a pretty pink/white striped flower but never blue so not sure if this is an artist's impression.

Makes a lovely combination with the soft blue striped linen.

Another section of the same fabric features these beautifully drawn roses teamed with a lovely cream vintage linen.

 I think it makes a pretty negative to this stronger floral also featuring roses. I plan to make the red fabric into cushions later today.

These simple linen striped cushions were popular on Sunday, I guess near the coast the blue is a great choice for holiday cottages. I've replaced the ones I sold with more
All these cushions are on the updated blog shop..click on link on right or http://www.shophellishdesigns.blogspot.com/
I want to send my good wishes to any of you who have summer events coming up, long planned no doubt and hoping for sunshine or at least not a deluge.  Two couples of my acquaintance are marrying later this month and I so hope they have decent days for their celebrations...my brush with the elements was trivial in comparison!