Tales from the Sea Garden

Tales from The Sea Garden

Email me: theseagarden@btinternet.com

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Today the rain has come, after several weeks of blissful sunshine, so it's the perfect excuse to sit in my studio and do a new blog. I can't believe it's a month since my last posting - just where does the time go? So what's happened since I last wrote? Quite a lot really.......

On Easter Monday Jane and I played host to our second 'Homespun Fair' in Portscatho, and a lovely day it was too. As I had to be down at the Sea Garden for most of the day I'm sorry I didn't get a chance to speak to everyone who came and made the day such a success. A huge thankyou to all you stallholders! The cakes you made were fantastic, we managed to raise just over £100 for The Cornwall Wildlife Trust. I'm afraid I completely forgot to take my camera with me on the day, so if you want to see some photos of the fair, go to Jane's blog, or Nicky's, or Lizzie's.

Then on the wednesday after the Fair, four of us had a very exciting day at Jane's lovely house being photographed for Country Living magazine! I forgot to take my camera AGAIN, so I'm sharing with you the photos that I took back last October when we sent off the original idea to CL mag with the hope that they might want to take up our story.........

The story is that the four of us: Angela, Gertie, Jane and I, like to get together one Sunday of every month over the winter, primarily in order to keep in touch with one another, but also to share new creative ideas, do swaps of fabric and other bits that we've accumulated, plan ahead for fairs, generally give each other moral support (because it can be a lonely business working on your own in a rural studio, especially during the winter months) and then of course thoroughly indulge ourselves in having a traditional afternoon tea!

Just look at Jane's Victoria Sponge!

The moment has come to cut the first slice........

Mmmmmm...... the sponge is soooo yellow because Jane uses eggs from her own chickens

Country Living will be publishing the article next January or February, so remember to look out for it! There will be lots of photos of us 'winter crafting' in Jane's fabulous new studio set up in one of the barns near the house, where she will be running her craft courses this year. Go to her blog here for details.

On April 11th I made the trip up to see Sue at Dairy House for her first Vintage Textiles Fair. I am in absolute heaven at an event like this; I was one of the first to arrive, and one of the last to leave! Here you can just spot me looking at Niki's gorgeous stand. I hope you don't mind me pinching a couple of your photos Niki as yet again I forgot to take my camera (I still haven't quite got the hang of this blogging thingy, have I?)

Back to normality in the studio at home, I've been making some bits to take up with me to the Vintage and Handmade Fair next Saturday, 1st May. I hate waste, so when the printer cuts new cards for me I always ask them to hand over any offcuts that would otherwise get binned so that I can put them to some use. The smaller pieces of card go into making these little labels. A tiny scrap of fabric, a linen button, a torn postcard/letter and an old stamp, and hey presto! A unique and lovely label for a gift or as an alternative to a card.

Snippets torn out of magazines form a focal point for the arrangement.

Scrunched up old silk ribbons which are not strong enough to use elsewhere are a nice finishing touch

I do have such fun playing around with 'bits'. Here are two sketchbook covers I have made from little scrap ends of vintage fabric and lace. I decided to applique them entirely by hand for a challenge, and to make the stitches an integral feature of the decoration; just a simple running stitch though, nothing fancy.

When Gertie was here over Easter she brought with her a whole load of vintage German sewing boxes to sell at Homespun. I'm afraid I couldn't resist buying this 'Falun' red beauty.

I've decided to keep in it all my diamante beads + buttons and tiny keys + vintage glass beads that go into making my 'safety pin' brooches. All will be revealed shortly!

Each brooch is made on an old safety pin, with 'dangles' of pearls and vintage beads delicately wired on. An old locket or clock key or vintage charm added makes each brooch entirely unique.

In a corner of my studio sits this old folding work basket, into which all the little fabric offcuts get dumped to await their fate in some future project.

At the moment it houses a whole load of these 'yo-yos' or as Angela told me, the traditional English name for them is 'Suffolk puffs'. I don't quite know why, but I just love them! I'd never come across any until last year.

I think it's the randomness of the juxtaposition of different colours and patterns that so appeals.

I'd like to introduce to you my two bears Billy and Monty. (In the background is a photograph of my grandmother, taken when she was nine years old)

For the past year they have sat rather forlornly in their little bed on the back windowsill of my living room, but as I hardly ever sit in the living room they've gotten very lonely. So yesterday I moved them to a new position on the sill of my bedroom window, which is a great vantage point for looking down onto the square. Here they can observe all the comings and goings of village life.

And enjoy the late evening sun!


  1. Christine....I am drooling over this post, so many beautiful and exquisite photos. Teddy's and Suffolk Puffs...divine.
    See you soon. x

  2. Lovely post can we have another one soon please...Stephne x

  3. Hello Sweet Christine! No, don't mind a bit that you 'pinched' a couple of my photos! It was lovely to see you again and I am very grateful for your purchases...it was a lovely fair, wasn't it? So pleased that your Homespun Fair was such a success again too - well done.

    And congratulations on getting your exciting article into Country Living Magazine. I have spoken to several journalists in the past and have been told it is virtually a 'closed shop' where CL is concerned...you obviously had something wonderful to offer them and I can't wait to get my copy next year...you will remind us again nearer the time, won't you?!

    And just to say that I am in total awe of all that you create and if at all possible will hope to make it down to Portscatho one day...

    Have a lovely week,
    Niki x

  4. What lovely pictures...thanks for sharing and how exciting about the Country living magazine!

  5. Hi Christine, I came to the Homespun fair on Easter Monday and what a lovely day I had. Bought some lovely items from the fair and some ribbon from you at the shop. Your shop was looking so pretty. I do love reading your blog and keeping in touch with what you are all doing. This I think is just what Cornwall needs. Look forward to August. Lynne xx

  6. safety pin brooches are so pretty, as are the journals and cards. Was that pink lemonade served with the cake?

  7. Hi, Pleased to hear that the Homespun Fair went so well. Looking forward to seeing you at V&H on Sat. Must get to your next fair:)
    Lesley X

  8. Your blog is lovely. And i bet so is your shop, i have yet to visit, I'm only in St. Ives! Glad it all went well at the fair, i couldn't make it was away. Beautiful cards too x xx

  9. Great post!!! Can't wait to see the magazine hit the shelves, how glam!! I'm completely GUTTED I can't make the fair, I just drove past Chipping Sodbury today on my way back from Wales where I have been on holiday for a week and my little man is in no mood to do another two hour journey from Berkshire (he's teething bless him). Sadie at Flea xx

  10. So many wonderful pictures of your treasures, we are visiting Cornwall later this year and I am desperate to visit your shop!

  11. Thats a fantasic post i really loved it, i so wanna come and have tea in that house, well done on getting into country living magazine i love that mag.
    iam a new follower and will be back to read your posts there fab, please pop over check out my blog like to hear our thoughts
    em x

  12. Ciao Christine,
    wonderful blog,
    wonderful photos.