Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Come on the blues (or the pinks)

A huge thank you to everyone who came along to my recent Christmas open house and made it the most successful home sale I have ever held. I loved being so busy, although apologies to the customers who had to wait while I mulled a new batch of wine having turned the original to red wine jam whilst chatting to a customer. It was lovely to have such a sociable atmosphere with friends meeting up and customers recognising one another from previous sales; just like Christmas proper!

My final Christmas sale will be on Saturday 1st Dec in Chipping Sodbury at Jayne and Michele's lovely Christmas Vintage and Handmade fair. Hopefully the last Christmas fairies will fly to new homes, stockings will be bought to hang and the 2013 diaries chosen as gifts. In addition I have lots of vintage goodies which would make great presents for the vintage lover or indeed treat yourself.

But before the weekend I get to meet the latest addition to our family. I am headed off to take care of my grandson whilst my son and daughter in law head off to hospital for the planned arrival of baby no 2 tomorrow. It is rather strange to know the exact date but makes childcare arrangements a simpler operation and if we know the date the gender is still a mystery. So the knitting is on hold until the little one arrives, not so much colour as style I think..so watch this space

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

in haste

I'm busy getting the house ready for this week's Christmas Open house but just wanted to post a few pics in the hope I can tempt you to come along. It's been a busy couple of weeks with sales in Woburn, Harrogate and last night at my sister's in Sheffield so its been several days since I was at home properly. The cats are pleased to see me but it hasn't stopped raining since Monday so no chance to venture out into the garden to pick the ivy and holly I had hoped to place in vases and jugs. Instead I've bought several tiny Christmas trees which are just the right scale for my Christmas fairies.

I like an wooden sledge to display Christmas presents in the hall or under the tree; actually prefer the indoor variety to gliding over that white stuff. The watering can is a perfect Christmas red

I've made lots of different fairies this year so you can be sure of a unique gift; all dressed in vintage fabrics and packaged in a calico bag. Fairies are shown with Christmas stockings made from vintage quilted cotton.

I love this American tin star in  brick red

These green parfait jars make a good Christmas decoration, fill with a candle or with ivy as I had intended to do

As you can see the weather is gloomy outside but these linen shades cast a warm glow

Cushions and eiderdown in warm red and golden tones

I like this painting both for its simple style and turquoise and grey colours. The parfait jars filled with French threads are both decorative and a useful gift for a seamstress
Back to the garage to bring in more stock to display and cushions to fill the sofas; and then mincepies to make and mulled wine to brew.
Hope you can come along, if you need more details please leave a comment

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

More Christmas sales

The Selvedge fair was fabulous...PHEW, what a relief!  The customers surged forth from a long queue outside at 10 to a roomful of frantic last minute shoppers at 4; lots of lovely interested people who were there to buy. It was probably just as well that I had so little time to look as there was serious and expensive temptation in the room (and corridors outside).

We were indeed packed in and I found, having built my stall around a new shelf I had bought earlier in the week, that it was impossible to engage with customers from behind the stall.

This was a good thing as it forced me to sell more actively than I usually like to and is a lesson for the future.

The most exciting sale of the day was to Priscilla Carluccio who bought one of the monogrammed cushions having complimented me on the precision of my workmanship. I'm afraid to say I didn't recognise her although had inwardly admired her simple Guernsey style sweater, ethnic fabric coat and short stylish hair but as we discussed retail and design she mentioned her shop (sadly now closed) Few and Far. It was then that I realised I was in the presence of design royalty and was able to tell her how much I had enjoyed visiting her shop/gallery which was always an inspiration.

Of course in London its possible to see anyone including a lovely customer I had last seen at a very wet summer fair in Norfolk and who I did recognise. There was such talent in the room from those who source fabulous fabrics..thebluelinencupboard, Beyond France, Polly Lyster's Dyeworks and indeed vintage linen doyenne Jane Saatchi to incredibly talented makers. I was sorry not to have had chance to photograph more but lovely Ellie Evans had a stall full of gorgeous, embroidered pieces and to her right a girl called  "Holy Smoke" who made all manner of pieces from grey linen.

My lovely, and long suffering, neighbour was Jessie Chorley who became a friend for the day. I had heard about her work and shop on Colombia Road but never seen her work....ethereal hangings, pictures and journals using embroidered text and found items. Completely unique and inspiring, suffice to say she was surrounded by admiring shopppers all day.

So back home to restock for this week's fairs in Woburn and in Harrogate.Really looking forward to seeing old friends both amongst the stallholders and customers and to relaxing with my daughter who lives in Leeds
The monogrammed cushions sold very well in London and I've made up the final two. On a linen ground I've surrounded these with a lovely creased linen and a toning floral print.

The Selvedge fair focussed mainly on my handmade designs but I have bought lovely vintage pieces for these fairs..as ever finding room for them all on the stall will be the challenge.

I will have chance to show them all the following week at my open house; do leave a comment if you would like an invite or indeed any more info about the fairs or stock in this post

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

French monograms for Christmas

Last week my parcel from France arrived packed with lovely antique monograms all ready to be made into cushions. Originally part of wedding preparations for the bride to be these monograms would be sewn onto tablecloths, towels, napkins and sheets.

 They are of course double but I usually separate the 2 letters to make more saleable items it being difficult to find customers with the right combination of initials.

I have completed a pile of small cushions in most of the alphabet..sadly no M which is usually popular...using vintage linen to complete the patchwork surround. Filled with a plump feather pad they make a lovely gift for Christmas or indeed wedding or christening gifts.

The big Selvedge fair in London is almost here (see previous post for voucher for reduced entry cost) and I'm really busy with last minute preparations. Somehow a London fair always makes this provincial lass nervous and being in the company of such textile heroines as Jane Saatchi and Tamara Fogle makes this fair even more daunting. So if you're coming please come and say hello and make me feel at home

The stall is tiny so its a challenge to fill it without distracting from an attractive display. I will be taking cushions and lampshades as always but also Christmas gift ideas such as these candles in Christmas bags

Lavender sachets with Christmas labels make lovely stocking fillers

I've made a selection of Christmas stockings from quilted scraps

And of course this year's Christmas fairies currently hanging out on my workroom mantel..spot the antlers also bound for Christmas sales

See side bar for details of other fairs to come