Friday, 31 May 2013

Telling the story

One of my favourite trade customers always talks of the "story"; we need to tell a story she says.
By this she means choosing cushions and shades which work well together and draw the customer into their grouping in order to promote a purchase or maybe more than one.

I find these stories often emerge as fabrics lie next to one another in piles in my workroom or accidentally as I place cushions in bags ready for fairs. The starting point for this story was a lovely vintage French floral with pink roses on a red ground. it looks great with cream or beige and tones with stripes as in this image

Sometimes there may be a positive/negative connection as in this group.

Finished cushions and shades sit in a muddle on the chaise longue in my workroom awaiting pricing and photography. However I decided to bring these down to my bedroom for neater shots; this little sofa is such a favourite piece. I recently made this simple loose cover from a lovely slightly crumpled linen sheet I'd bought

I often make both cushions and shades from the same fabric in case someone is looking to coordinate them in a room.

I like this "waisted" shape shade and have accentuated it with a wide striped band.

The floral panel shade is a regular favourite and I like using a toning stripe if possible.

If you see anything you like just email for individual photos

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Time to restock

Seems a while since my last post and I guess the reason is 2 weekends away from home selling at fairs.
The salvage fair was great fun despite an incredibly wet Saturday; the marquees proved watertight and customers visiting on that day were obviously the keen type and spent well. I had wondered what stock to take to fit the brief and the garden containers, rustic cushions and fabrics did sell but in addition I sold more pretty lampshades than average.
So this week time to restock and its nice to be home in the peace of the workroom albeit with builders downstairs banging a hole in the wall! The new Laura Marling will hopefully keep the choas at bay.

I like this very simple shade in beige linen, a good size for bedside or living room and lined in cream for brighter light.

Another simple but very effective fabric is this cream textured linen; I've chosen to give it a simple tie finish

This is the third and sadly final shade in this beautiful French faded cotton. The colours are perfect Farrow and Ball; the background matches Pigeon or shown here against Hardwick White...sad I know.....

This is classic French, lovely blue Vichy check, named for the area of France where it originates and sadly increasingly hard to find. It and its pink counterpart make lovely shades which give soft diffused light.

When I saw this piece of fabric at the V&H fair on Saturday it said lampshades; lovely soft draping fabric with perfect cottage roses print. This is quite a large shade but I'll make some smaller ones from the rest of the fabric
I've just opened an Etsy shop, hope you'll take a look, and hope to put some of these shades on it. I'm also intending to update the blogshop, just click on the link to the right

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Salvage fair at Ripley Castle

Had a really exciting time at the Brocante at Nonsuch Mansion last week. Such temptation was everywhere; Jo from Hesta Nesta was next to me and as ever her stall was so beautiful and the surroundings were a fab backdrop to our wares. I treated myself to bunches of "garden flowers" and a lovely jug to put them in but sadly had to resist the beautiful French dresser Nikki had for sale
Unfortunately just not enough customers came along; those who did were very appreciative and hopefully as this was a new event next year will see many more. For me a personal achievement! I had never stayed in a b&b or hotel on my own before so I've now broken that duck, (pathetic I know and something all my children would do without thinking!) and even enjoyed a pub meal alone albeit in a very friendly pub. This has set me up to plan fairs futher afield in search of the busy ones.

This weekend however will be on more familar territory and my b&b will be at my lovely daughter's house. My friend Alex (Crowtree Antiques) and I have taken a marquee together at the Salvage Fair in the grounds of Ripley Castle. This is just across the road from the village hall where we have stood together at many Country Chic events. As we don't have a Country Chic fair there this year it seemed a good opportunity to visit and hopefully see some of our regular customers

We are both intending to bring our usual mix of quilts, textiles, cushions and lampshades but add into the mix garden containers, wooden boxes, lovely big French pots and in my case this great bench

I'd dearly like to keep it but I do have another in my greenhouse and there really isn't room for two so hope this will look lovely outside our permitting!
Do hope you'll come along and say hello!