Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Fabrics and Flowers

This weekend involved two of my favourite things.

On Sunday I, together with my lovely Mum, took a trip to Somerset and home of the lovely Washer Woman who was having an Open House.  I buy from Lizzie regularly and often see her at various fairs but it is always a treat to visit her lovely home that she shares with the charming Mr Mangle and various cats!

She had set up  a tempting emporium of lovely goods in one of her barns and I was spoiled for choice as to what to buy

After I had made my selection I sat out in Lizzie's garden and drank coffee and ate cake, delicious, and enjoyed the beautiful view.

Lots of other lovely dealers turned up and we sat in the sunshine (oh yes, we had sunshine!) and chatted.

I then went on to visit another lovely fabric friend and bought some French fabrics that she had bought back for me from a recent trip.

Beautiful bolts of voiles, circa 1930's!

I also bought some other treasures while I was there.  These are some of my purchases from this weekend.

One of my favourite purchases was these beautiful French vintage paper shelf liners.  I have over 100 of these and they are £1.50 each.  Do let me know if you would like any  as I am not sure if I am going to put them on the website yet.

After our little fabric buying we travelled to a village called Stogumber where the NGS were opening  6 gardens, with teas in the village hall.  Stogumber is a pretty village and the gardens delightful and inspiring!

I was so busy being inspired by the gardens I forgot to take photos, sorry.  We just about managed to do all 6 before they closed!

My overriding inspiration, both from Lizzie's garden and those of Stogumber, was of pots of red geraniums, which I love, so I have bought some to plant in our earthenware pots,  in between listing fabrics of course!

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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Julie Arkell at Cowslip

Well last time we spoke I was very excited because I was off to Cowslip and the Make Do and Mend workshop.

Cowslip is the loveliest of venues and is a real sanctuary for me. It is the only place where these days I can sit and sew without feeling guilty about work or the children or housework, all things that, at home, take me away from sewing. My creative energies these days are spent making my website beautiful and sourcing lovely fabrics.  So, 2 days away from all this was bliss!

Firstly there was the wonderful Julie, an inspirational lady who I have been longing to meet.  She didn't disappoint and was every bit as lovely as I had heard she was.

I knew that another lovely lady was going to be there as well and I was really lucky to sit next to and spend some quality time with Hen.  We had a lot of fun together!  Do pop over to her blog and see her lovely photos of Cowslip.

When I arrived I was tapped on the back and when I turned round I was so surprised to see Pennie!  Pennie and I have know each other for about 7 years now and first met at Cowslip on the Janet Bolton Workshops. We went on to do 4 more workshops together.  She lives in Sussex and I in Devon so it was always so lovely to meet up every year and catch up.  Sadly I haven't been able to do the Janet Bolton workshop for a few years and  have missed her. I had no idea she was going to be there so it was a wonderful surprise and I enjoyed catching up with her news.

There was a charity event going on at the same time so I was asked to bring my fabrics and have a pop up shop at the farm along with Lizzie and Linda who were there with their beautiful French treasures.

So, on to the workshop.  Firstly there was Julie's beautiful work.  They were displayed on pieces of vintage children's clothing.

Her Tic Toc watches.  

and her whimisical creatures

The first day we made brooches based on WWII brooches that Julie had seen in the Imperial War Museum's exhibition, using wool, fabric and felt flowers.

This was my one.

After we had finished that we made fabric flowers based on a brooch Julie had made

The flowers were to look like they had come out of your Grannie's attic with a worn and washed, floppy look.

I started with a ragwort and then made a daisy and a poppy.  I can't tell you how time consuming these are. Julie makes it look easy!

I then added another flower and a label.

After ageing, they now look like this

They are still a work-in-progress and I have much to do to finish it.

I was constantly drawn to one of Juie's characters and kept coming back to it all weekend.  It had the word 'why?' embroidered on to her skirt. With her floral dress and red shoes she had to be mine. 

I had such a lovely time, Julie's advice and inspiration was priceless and if you ever get the opportunity to do a workshop with her I urge you to do one!

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