Tales from the Sea Garden

Tales from The Sea Garden

Email me: theseagarden@btinternet.com

Tuesday 30 November 2010

Christmas Fair!

Phew, what a weekend! Despite snow and freezing conditions (ice on the inside of the van windscreen and doors completely frozen solid) we all made it to the annual Vintage and Handmade Christmas Fair in Chipping Sodbury on Sunday to put on an amazing display of gorgeous goodies for the public to savour and buy. As always it was a delight to catch up with fellow bloggers and regular customers, my only disappointment was not having enough time to chat properly, as selling was full-on right from the word go. Only when the children's choir started singing carols in the afternoon did I manage to grab a few moments to take some pictures.

Here are just a small selection of the stall displays......

Louise Taylor-Bowen (and Mum)

There was just so much to see I went a bit do-lally because I simply couldn't take in all the visual beauty and inventiveness and creativity of the makers there.

Gertie from 'Treutmade'

And lastly my own stand

I confess I was so shattered after getting home yesterday that I stayed in bed until 1 O'clock this afternoon! Shocking!

Saturday 20 November 2010

Apologies for rather sporadic posting of late, I have been busy making stuff for the Vintage and Handmade Fair on the 28th (hope you're coming!). Some 'Jars of Inspiration', full of fabric, lace, ribbon, buttons and thread, everything you need to create something unique!

Also wreaths made out of lichen-covered twigs that I collected from the coastal path at St. Anthony Head. Lucky for me the hedges had just been trimmed so there were lots of nice twiggy bits to collect. The pine cones I've been picking up throughout the year whilst out on country walks.

'Twas a bit blustery at the seaside today! An easterly wind and lots of white horses. I have no running water and therefore no facilities at the shop, so a call of nature has to be answered with a quick nip round the corner, to the public conveniences. Dressing up warm and holding on to your hat is often the order of the day, but with a view like this who can complain!

This week I've been re-arranging the shop to make it feel more Christmassy, though I'm not going the whole hog just yet.

Pure lambswool scarves (£29) by Hannah Housham are new for this Autumn; she came into the shop in the summer whilst on holiday and asked whether I'd be interested in selling her range, as she was just starting out in business and looking for a few outlets in Cornwall. After seeing some samples I had no hesitation in placing an order; I love the ripple wavy edges and the beautiful shades of pink, lilac, jade, soft grey and pale blue.

These wonderful hot water bottle covers (£30) and tea cosies (£21) are designed, knitted and felted by Stephanie Wooster, again in the most pretty (and sometimes striking!) colour combinations.

Gertie has sourced some wonderful old traditional sewing boxes from her native Germany; if you go to her website here you can view more.

I quite like it when I'm in the shop after dark with all the lights and lamps on, it feels very cosy!

Keep yourselves warm my blogger friends, till next time x

Wednesday 10 November 2010

Today I went down to Marazion to visit Shevie and deliver (at last!) her prize for winning my giveaway last month. The sun was shining and warm and St. Michael's Mount looked quite a picture.

I parked up and walked along the beach.........the sea was sparkling

In a side street I spied the entrance to Shevie's shop, "Fine and Dandy'

oh what a scene of candy-coloured delight greets your eyes as you walk in.....

As Shevie unwrapped the giveaway I wandered around and took more photos, stopping to chat and share experiences of running a shop. We have so many mutual friends it's surprising that we hadn't met sooner!

Everything is so beautifully presented, just look at those hand-stamped price tags!

(I love the blue colour of the floor - it's a brave decision to go for a colour but boy does it enhance the harmonious look of the decor)

So did I succumb? of course........but I can't show you what I bought because that will spoil the surprise for certain individuals

It was so lovely to meet you Shevie, another like-minded vintage fanatic!

I bought a pasty and sat in the sun out of the wind and just gazed upon this marvellous view. The mount appeared dark and foreboding with the sun so bright behind. Shevie has the good fortune to actually live on this fairytale isle.

As I reach the car again I take one last look back at the mount with its castle atop and little harbour and cluster of houses beneath. The tide has covered the causeway..... Shevie will be taking her children home from school on the ferry by now.......

Tuesday 9 November 2010

Get dancing yeah!

Something you probably don't know about me is that I am learning to bellydance! Once a week I go to an evening class and I'm absolutely loving it. I have tried various types of dancing in the past: ballet, tango, Bollywood, but I can safely say bellydancing is the most enjoyable for me. You do not have to be very fit or super supple (neither of which am I) to be able to do the moves and anyone of any size, shape or age can do it. Also you don't need a dancing partner to fully participate; it is great dancing in the class, but you can equally well put on a CD and dance away at home completely on your own. After learning the basic moves you start to improvise your own dance sequences. Our teacher is a great choreographer and is teaching us new dances all the time. Trying to remember which order the different moves come in is good exercise for the brain too! I think the general resurgence of interest in dancing since 'Strictly' came onto our screens is fantastic. Dancing keeps you fit and is such fun; why not find out if there's a dance class near you? You won't regret it; you can't help but smile when you're dancing!
The following Youtube clip shows an American bellydancer called Sadie doing her stuff; the muscle control she has is just awesome! (I have a looooooong way to go yet!)

Sadie BellyDance

Thursday 4 November 2010

Recently I have started making up what I call 'Inspiration Packs' to sell in the shop and on my stall at fairs. They've proved to be quite popular, mainly because there is such a revival in home crafting and scrapbooking at the moment. They are a mixture of original old documents/pages/pieces and also papers and stickers that I have printed out myself directly from vintage fabrics, letters etc. Nicky over at The Vintage Magpie bought a pack from me at the last fair, and spent some time with her daughter today making lovely labels from the bits in the pack, go take a look!
If there's anyone out there interested in buying an Inspiration Pack, I have put together two very different ones that you can buy; just send me an email!

Pack No.1 is called 'Roses', pictured above, and consists of the following:

Two original illustrated pages from a book on botany,
An original handwritten page from an old book,
3 x A4 printed papers,
5 round printed stickers,
and 2 original Victorian flower scraps.

The cost of the Roses pack is £6.50 + £1 p+p

Pack No. 2 is called 'Airmail' and consists of the following:

An original page from an 1814 book on Cornwall,
An original handwritten page,
An original bank receipt,
2 x A4 and 1 x A5 printed papers,
a sheet of 9 printed stickers,
Two original old stamps,
a luggage label and four blank cards (with envelopes) of two different sizes for you to decorate.
The cost of the Airmail pack is £8.00 + £1 p+p

Last week I had a phone call from a charity called World Vision, asking me whether I might consider sponsoring a child in the developing world. It's something I have been meaning to do for some years now, but I'm ashamed to say had just never got round to doing. So I said yes, and two days ago I received notification of the child I am now sponsoring. He's a 10 year-old boy called Kou, and lives in a very mountainous region of Laos, a land-locked country in South East Asia, next to Vietnam. (You can choose whether to sponsor a girl or a boy if you wish, and also which part of the world). This is the card that they provide you with to send to your child as the first point of contact. You are encouraged to write, and send small simple gifts (such as pencils and notebooks) for birthdays and at Christmas, and in return your child will write to you. The money that you give monthly goes to a community project where your child lives, and so benefits the whole community; such as access to clean drinking water, essential healthcare, agricultural assistance etc. The projects are chosen and run by the people of the community, overseen and assisted by a World Vision Project manager. Once all the goals of the project have been reached, the project ends and a new one begins elsewhere, and you are invited to start sponsoring a new child.
I know that I am very fortunate, and I find it incredibly humbling to know that my life is now in some small way connected to this little boy on the other side of the world, who is growing up in a harsh and difficult environment, quite unlike my own childhood in every respect.
Perhaps some of you reading this are already child sponsors; I would love to hear your experiences. If you are interested in finding out more about World Vision, then visit their website: www.worldvision.org.uk
If I have encouraged even one more person to take the decision to sponsor a child then this post will have been worthwhile.

"We will not rest until every child in every part of the world enjoys the right to life, dignity, justice and hope so that they can fulfil their God-given potential and, one day, see their own children grow up to experience the same."