Monday, 29 July 2013

Back on the road again....

I'm not sure whether it makes any kind of economic sense, especially considering the price of fuel, but planning a holiday around standing at a vintage fair is a lot more fun than slogging up and down the M1.
I had a lovely time at Lucy's lovely Sussex Brocante in the very pretty West Sussex village of Wisborough Green. How I wish I could be there every month and many thanks to all the enthusiastic customers who funded my break. It was a long time since I had last visited Sussex and I can thoroughly recommend a visit to the Bloomsbury group's farmhouse, Charleston, and to Virginia Woolf's house in nearby Rodmell. I also enjoyed visiting Igigi, mentioned in the last post, which satisfied needs corporeal (great Welsh rarebit) and ethereal.
And so off again at the end of the week to lovely, lovely Cornwall and most especially the Roseland penisula with tiny Porthscatho almost at the end. Oh will the weather behave? It was so lovely in Sussex to stroll around in a sundress and sit on a beach but tremendous thunderstorms saw us hurtling back to reality on Tuesday evening here in Nottingham.

This though is the perfect weather to escape to my greenhouse, although the level in the water tank is becoming dangerously high; a greenhouse which nurtures my soul more than it ever did plants and truth be told is an extremely useful stock cupboard.

I'm storing some pots on the printer's shelves and stone bottles on the table

I've made these floral barkcloth cushions for the Homespun fair in Porthscatho; their soft greens and yellows are the colour of the roadside banks and possibly the greys are the colour of the skies but lets not be pessimistic, perfect for a country cottage bed.

The best seller at Wisborough Green was undoubtedly my lampshades, and thanks to their bulky nature this made a pleasant difference when repacking the car. Just time then between fairs to restock in the hope that Cornwall likes them. This Vichy check is usually popular, oh to find some bigger affordable pieces with which to make larger shades
I am no photographer but at least taking lots of digital shots helps; I thought I had understood that it is best to snap with the sun behind you but in my workroom the reverse seems to be the case. Generally I find items placed on the table below the south facing window are shown in their true colours.

Anyway it allows me to show how warm and golden the light is through this white linen shade thanks to its cream lining and yet how white it is when unlit, like the rain dashed windows on the edge of the shot

I like making these wide banded shades with something of the prom dress about them

This floral has been so popular for shades but this is the last, or possibly there's enough for a teeny one; a very pretty shade

Beautiful blue, I've placed this tiny shade on my favourite indigo tablecloth; again the last scrap of a favourite lampshade fabric

If you live in Cornwall or are lucky enough to be holidaying there, don't miss Jane and Gertie's lovely fair next Sunday or indeed a visit to their shop in Porthscatho..The Sea Garden
And if you go buying at Kempton racecourse.tomorrow..I'll be there on my stall  come rain or shine...slogging up and down the motorway in a day

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

A Life less Ordinary

It seems strange reading my last post lamenting the summer weather; over the last fortnight we've enjoyed the Mediterraen sunshine I described in Italy here at home! Its been very difficult to be disciplined and stay indoors to sew and I confess I haven't always done so. It was particularly challenging yesterday after a surprise present arrived from my lovely daughter in law.

The beautiful book, "A Life Less Ordinary" lay temptingly on the table whilst I sweltered in the attic making lampshades and cushions to take to the Sussex brocante this Thursday. I'm looking forward to Lucy's fair and a chance to explore the villages and towns nearby.

Knowing I was due to visit Brighton Becca had bought me this inspirational book; written by the owners of igigi general store and women's boutique it includes images from their Brighton shop and from their homes.
Zoe Ellison and Alex Legendre both appear to have both enviable homes and a fabulous workplace and this book particularly celebrates their working relationship.

In the afternoon I took it into the garden and,seeking a shady spot, read it on the old wooden bench near our summerhouse. Couldn't resist snapping Ted who was in his favourite summer sunning spot on the roof.

I love the font used in these transparent overlays which mark the beginning of each chapter, any ideas what it is?

The pictures filled me with plans to rearrange all the surfaces inside the house but heat induced lethargy preventing me from actually doing so...and who knows what new treasures I will find whilst away which will need accommodating on return.
If you're coming to Wisborough Green on Thurs please come and say hello

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

a brief taste of real summer

My summer open house at the weekend was brilliant, the most successful ever so many thanks to all who came. There was a brilliant mix of brand new customers and lovely familar faces and I really appreciate the effort made by all of you especially those who braved the downpours on Friday.
Despite the weather we enjoyed sipping Kir and eating strawberries and put a brave face on the British summer. Fortunately I had gathered flowers from the garden before the rains lashed down
But I had at least had a taste of what summer can be on our recent trip to southern Italy. Eating breakfast on a sunny terrace, reading trashy novels on a sunshaded beach, enjoying an afternoon swim and of course far too much red wine and pasta; for 10 short days this was our life!
Antique shopping was in short supply but I did manage to buy these beautiful pots.
They are traditional Puglian pots from the mid eighteenth century and used to store fish or vegetables over the winter months. I love the handles with "ears" and the soft yellowy cream glaze.
I'm looking forward to filling them with flowers given that preserving the garden's bounty is not me

How I would have loved to bring back more but the combined strictures of Ryanair and an anxious husband prevented this....but next year a kindle and 2 sundresses will be the sole occupants of my suitcase (possibly)
Back home the sewing machine has been shocked into life

I love this soft coloured Art Deco print with toning French vintage linen
This weekend I'm taking to the road with both hellish designs and my vintage finds and hope you'll come and say hello if you can
I'll be at the Country Chic fair in Spofforth in North Yorkshire on saturday and on Sunday I'll be in Norfolk at Gresham's School in Holt
This event was almost rained off last year so I've booked an inside stand this time just as the weather forecast promises a real summer weekend
Details of both events are on the left of this for more info