Wednesday, 24 June 2009

A Grand Day Out

I can't help it...I just love looking around other people's houses! So much inspiration to be gained, which is why being a National Trust member is so joyous! All those fabulous houses just waiting to be explored.

We headed off to Dyhram Park ("A spectacular late-17th century mansion") on Sunday to meet up with Mr Treasure's Dad in honour of Father's Day. Now this is my idea of a 'house in the country'! There were fabulous fabrics and flocked wallpaper aplenty!

There's something rather glorious about roses. I love the colour of these. Wouldn't they look fabulous recreated in sumptuous shot silk fabric?

Mr Treasure, himself a keen vege' patch owner, took time to peruse Dyhram's efforts (and wish we had a bigger garden so he too could produce such a crop).

Mr Treasure was very relived to see that we're not the only ones who have been visited by hungry caterpillars!

"Stands the Church clock at ten to three? And is there honey still for tea?" OK, so it was just past ten to three, but there's always time for a Rupert Brooke moment!

No honey in sight, but an excellent afternoon tea all the same. National Trust catering is always top notch!

It's the green open spaces that do it... jumping about is so good for the soul!

The vegetables at Maison Treasure. It'll soon be time for parsnip soup and carrot cake!

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Best of British

One of the great things I've found about blogging (apart from all the lovely people who follow my ramblings, post comments or just pop by, for which I am eternally grateful), is that I've started to look at the world through different eyes.  I'm always searching for things I can write about and as a result I think I'm noticing the world around me a lot more. There's inspiration to be found everywhere...this week it's Rule Britannia and happy birthday to an old time favourite.

Carnaby Street was awash with Union Jacks and the sounds of the sixties over the weekend. We just happened to stumble into all the festivities, which were part of the 'Swinging Carnaby' celebrations, after a trip to my favourite shop in all the world - Liberty. I just loved this jacket that I found outside a shop called 'The Face'! (Perhaps more about my Liberty visit next week)

(As I sit here writing this, Mr Treasure has just come in and given me a glorious bar of Bournville chocolate...I'm so glad I married him!!)

Now, talking of all things enduringly British, is anyone else out there a fan of the Marks and Spencer 125 years window displays that have popped up over the last month or so?

They really appeal to my love of all things vintage...

...and who could resist afternoon tea if what was on offer looked this good?!

It was no good...I couldn't leave this wonderfully vintage-inspired dress in the shop and just had to buy it so I could wear a piece of M&S history all summer long. Happy Birthday M&S!

(Oooops! All the Bournville appears to have gone...)

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

That End of Term Feeling

Now, it's been rather a few years since I left school (ok, eleven to be exact) and I'd forgotten what that 'end of term feeling' was like. However, it's been rushing back to me over the last week or so. I'm not sure how it happened, but it's nearly the end of my first year of the City and Guilds Embroidery course I'm doing! 

Needless to say, we've all been frantically finishing off design projects, tidying up our sketchbooks and organising our notes files ready for giving everything in to be checked. Today was D-Day (so to speak) and so off we trekked to college with boxes, folders and bags carrying our year's work. It's our tutor who now has the task of going through them all...while we try have a quick rest whilst trying to put together plans and ideas for 'a panel' - the first of our proper textiles projects and the start of a whole new phase of work!

Here's just a snapshot of what we've been up to since last September...

Our 'home' at Malvern Hills College. Always hard at work designing, sketching, thinking...or having a natter (erm, I mean, discussing the latest trends and designs in the world of textiles)!

Collecting, cutting and sticking to create sketchbooks that are packed full of inspiration.

Trying new design techniques...such as printing using blocks and even brussel sprouts!

'Painting' with threads. This piece is made up of layers of calico, felting wool and chiffon that are then machine embroidered over the top to hold it all in place and also add colour and texture.

Constantly being inspired by things around us. I used all sorts to create this sample, from fabric crayons and an indian printing block, to scraps of fabric and dyes.

Visiting every exhibition we can get to. If only I had the time to tour all of the exhibitions, festivals and open galleries that are going on at any one time! The next couple of weeks for us will be taken up with preparing for our own end of year exhibition (Malvern Hills College, 8th-18th July) pop along if you're in the area! 

One of the best things about being on this course has been the friends I've made along the way. It's brilliant to be surrounded and supported by other people who 'get' what you're doing!

I couldn't end this post without introducing you to just one of my very talented fellow City and Guilders - Murgatroyd and Bean....

She was rather busy doing a spot of reading earlier today...

...but that doesn't stop me from showing you just two of her fabulous designs! 

After all the hard work, I'm off for a spot of 'R and R'...or maybe I'll go off in search of inspiration for that panel I've got to create!