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!