Tales from the Sea Garden

Tales from The Sea Garden

Email me: theseagarden@btinternet.com

Wednesday 30 March 2011

Exhausted, but elated!

So, Gertie and I are back from the Country Living Fair, almost fainting from sheer exhaustion, but was it worth all the effort? Well.......see that plaque in the top left-hand corner? Every year at the Fair Susy Smith, the editor of Country Living Magazine, goes around and chooses her favourite stand, and this year she chose us!!!! Gertie and I were quite overcome with emotion when they came with the news, and promptly burst into tears! I think it was just a feeling of overwhelming relief that all the hard work we'd put into making everything had paid off. The prize was a bottle of champagne and best of all, a FREE 6m2 stand at next year's Spring Fair!! So yes, of course it was all worth it. I've already started planning more ideas for the backdrop.... 

I could only afford to book a small stand this year so at times it was very difficult to actually know where to position yourself so that customers could see the work on display.

 Gertie and I (with the help of my good old Mum) took everything with us on the train in suitcases (a bit mad). I'd designed the stand so that almost everything for sale was hung on hooks to maximise floor space. This limited us to taking certain things which were not too big and didn't weigh too much, and not items like pictures and cushions. 

I made the backdrop for the stand out of a whole range of original old documents, letters, botanical prints from books, and some of my  drawings. I glued and stitched the papers into position in easily manageable sections, which were then assembled in situ like a jigsaw. And at the end of the fair we were able to take it down again to be re-used.

In the collage I included some pressed plants from my garden, favourite cuttings from magazines, dried petals, leaves and honesty seed cases, and snippets of beautiful vintage fabric.

Two of Jane's butterfly fairy girls standing on old cotton reels, taken from real photographs of Victorian children. Beside them are some of my handmade notebooks that I showed in progress in one of my previous posts.....

Some of Gertie's beautiful cosmetic/washbags, all made from beautiful vintage fabrics with zip fastening, lined and with silk trim.

In both corners I hung an old lepidopterist's (butterfly) collecting box, and pinned my 'specimen' vintage button hair grips and button cards into the cork backing

A few close-ups of the hair grips

And on the shelf beneath, Gertie's tiny crocheted pebbles like sugared almonds....

On a row of hooks in the middle of the stand, a selection of my little vintage fabric bags, some with old letters and photographs printed in panels on the front,

and below, a washing line of see-through bags containing delicious bits of vintage handmade lace, ribbon, trim, old buttons, snippets of fabric and some with old documents, designed to get you inspired to create something like........

this for instance; a little vintage fabric 'sac' hanging from an old French bag handle, and filled with Gertie's home-grown lavender (she let me buy some of it from her and it really is the best).

Gertie's new range of cards feature pieces of vintage fabric and tiny Suffolk puffs, with even tinier Mother-of-pearl buttons

A selection of her recycled pin jars and button jars, alongside her hand-crocheted mobile phone 'pockets'

and her gorgeous vintage lace bejewelled lavender bags.

I so enjoy making up these button cards....

Some of my heart and butterfly decorations, wired with vintage buttons, old chandelier drops and coloured beads.

I hope you have enjoyed the tour of our stand and thank you for letting me do this rather self-indulgent post! It was so nice to meet all of you who came to the fair and those of you who are fellow bloggers, special mention to Marie, Gemma and Gill, and also to meet again customers who have been down to The Sea Garden in Portscatho and recognised the name. I hope to see you once more either in Cornwall or at the Spring Fair when we do it all again next year!

Wednesday 9 March 2011

Come to the Fair!

To celebrate 20 years of Country Living Magazine this year the Fair will showcase the work of 400 independent UK designers, makers and small producers. 

If you would like to come and view the very best in British craft and design for yourself then I have two pairs of tickets to give away for the Gala Evening on Wednesday 23rd March, 6.30pm -9pm.
The Fair takes place at The Business Design Centre in Islington, London (nearest tube is Angel)

To enter the draw just leave a comment.

I will pick the winners on Sunday 13th March. Good luck!

Saturday 5 March 2011


Some glorious Spring weather this week........decided to head down to St. Mawes on the Roseland peninsula

It was an ideal day to catch the ferry across to Falmouth

But the ferry wasn't leaving for another 45 minutes so I had a mooch around the sea front. This old garage with its classic petrol pumps is now the gig club and houses the Roseland gig (traditional Cornish wooden boat which was rowed out to ships to guide them safely into harbour)

The St. Mawes Bakery is justly famed for its Cornish pasties

the sign is wonderfully aged!

Here comes the ferry!

drawing up quayside.......

I spent most of the journey across to Falmouth lying down on the cushioned seat at the back of the boat, gazing straight up at the bluest of blue skies with the occasional gull wheeling through the void.

Later in the week, a lovely walk through Trewince woods revealed a carpet of brilliant yellow daffodills

Strolling down the track to the pink cottage rewards you with this wonderful view of St. Mawes from the creek side

The air was crisp and still, hazy looking towards the sun but summer-blue looking landward.......

At the end of the track........the water's edge and a little slipway to launch your boat. I sat and soaked in the hot sun. A blackbird serenaded me from somewhere close by, the seaweed gently lulled back and forth with the unseen tidal swell.........

It's blissful moments like these that refresh your soul.