Thursday, 27 May 2010

If I Could Live in a Shop I'd Choose...

This is the fabulous Rosablue on the Bath Road in Cheltenham. It's run by the lovely Penny, who has a great eye for gorgeous things.

My eyes won't stop darting about whenever I go in - there's so much to look at (and drool over!) Here's a little tour of what I discovered on my last visit...

There's the most wonderful smell of lavender in the shop. It's so relaxing...

...if the smell makes you sleepy, there's a gorgeous selection of pyjamas and vintage eiderdowns for sale. I'm sure Penny wouldn't mind if you curled up in a Roasblue deckchair for a quick nap!

Rosablue sells all sorts of must have things for our homes, made from the fabrics that are created at The Fabric Press (by her husband, Luca)...everything from doorstops and notice boards, to make up bags, totes and these rather splendid tea towels and peg bags.

I love going into the shop for a mooch and a chat with Penny. We usually natter about fairs we've been to, blogs we've read and Julie Arkell (whose work we both love. We're desperate to go on one of Julie's courses too! Go on Penny, get Julie to come to Cheltenham!)

Penny's been wonderful with advice since I started the 'Textile Treasure Seeker' label and my line of vintage-inspired fripperies. I'm so grateful to her for the tips and ideas she's given me.

(little fanfare) I'm also over the moon to be able to announce that my vintage fabric badges are on sale in the shop. Woo hoo! It's so exciting to see something you've made in a shop window!

Here's hoping they sell out really quickly so I can have fun making some more!

Sunday, 23 May 2010

A Day Trip to Devon

There's something about Donna's fabulous open house sales that makes me turn into an excitable child again! Not only was I counting down the days until we headed to sunny Devon, but on the day itself (Thursday), as soon as we left the M5 to find our way to Abbotsham, I couldn't stop fidgeting and asking "are we nearly there yet?!" It could also have been something to do with the fact that I went with my parents, Dad did the driving and I haven't been on a 'road trip' with them like this for years!

The sight of Donna's gate was such a relief after about 3 hours on the road (which included the obligatory stop at a service station en route!)

I love the cheery marquee and bunting that greets sale goers. There's always the most wonderful welcome from Donna and her family too. Donna's sales just wouldn't be the same without 1) the fabulous Donna herself (of course!) 2) Donna's lovely mum 3) tea and cake in the kitchen and 4) so much vintage gorgeousness that it takes me literally hours to decide what to buy!

One of the things I love about cake and tea around Donna's kitchen table is the chance to meet and chat to fellow bloggers and vintage enthusiasts. It always makes me chuckle that we introduce ourselves by our blog names! I met two fabulous gals this time - Laura and Woo (who made the gorgeous bunnies in this photo).

So much to look at and so little time! Here's a look at just some of the wonderful things Donna had for sale...

Vintage clothing. Despite trying on several dresses, I couldn't find 'the one' for a wedding we're going to next weekend.

Such nostalgia! Enid Blyton was my favourite author when I was growing up and I longed to go on adventures just like the Famous Five!

Vintage dolls' prams, teasets, chairs, crockery, Homepride flour shakers...

An exciting new addition to Donna's house is the creation of her shop space.

So much treasure to look at!

I loved these pretty shoe shapers. I can never resist buying Sylko threads and came home with some more gorgeous colours with evocative names for my set of Sylko drawers!

A girl can never have too many buttons.

There's something really pleasing to the eye about fabric stacks. Does anyone else have the recurring dream that they'll one day stumble across a warehouse filled with lots and lots of undiscovered vintage things that they can take home?!

Even Fifi couldn't resist coming to see what all the excitement was about.

Mum and Dad came to one of Donna's sales with me last year and Dad took rather a shine to this chair. He was very touched to find that this time around Donna had kept it clear especially for him! He was a very happy chap and when mum and I finally finished 'shopping', we found him happily ensconced in his favourite sitting place with a cup of coffee!

Three cheers and a great big thank you to Donna for another fabulous sale. See you at the next one!

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Treasures from the East

There are so many textiley exhibitions on at the moment, it's a job to fit in visits to them all! I did manage to pop into New Brewery Arts in Cirencester on Saturday to see CLOTHing FABRIC OF THE EAST - an exhibition of work by Dorothy Reglar and Tim Parry-Williams.

I loved the detailing on this dress. I thought it had a hint of vintage about it too.

The fabrics were glorious and they draped so beautifully.

The cloth that Dorothy Reglar uses to create her designs is produced in Laos on handlooms and Tim Parry-Williams uses woven fabrics from Japan. I rather like the subtle colour palette of Eastern textiles.

It was really interesting to see the raw materials for the cloth that Dorothy and Tim use. There were lots of perspex boxes with different bits and bobs in to look at.

Dorothy Reglar has a studio at New Brewery Arts, so I went to have a look around after I'd been to the exhibition. I had a lovely chat with Dorothy and she very kindly let me take a couple of photos of her studio (above and below). There were drawers of the most enticing trimmings and haberdashery under the table where Dorothy's was like a textile treasure trove!

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

So Much to See...

I had a really inspiring day yesterday, mooching around the various exhibitions at this year's Stroud International Textiles Festival. So many great pieces by so many creatively talented people. Here's just a few of the fabulous things I found to look at...

These cheery cones, by Deirdre Nelson, greeted me as I walked through the gates at The Museum in the Park. They did make me smile!

Three Vessels, made from willow by Caroline Sharp.

I loved Jo Barker's tapestries. The title of this one is New Green...

...and this one's called Resonance. The colours are fantastic - so vibrant.

Soliloquy by Gisella K. Warburton.

Another piece by Gisella K. Warburton - Paper and Cloth II - Scar.

A Collection of Memories by Natasha Roberts.

Jessie Elizabeth's Tea Tray by Kate Ward.

Annie Hutchinson makes her creature creations using needle felting. The detailing is quite extraordinary. Millie the cat was my favourite!

The Textile Open Studio in the Stroud Valley Artspace was the highlight of my day. There was so much to look at and be inspired by.

On the way out I noticed this stuck in the window of one of the other studios. It did make me laugh! I'm not sure I'd like a workspace where everyone could walk past and stand and stare!

The exhibition of the Cork Textiles Network at the Subscription Rooms was excellent. The work on display was colourful, innovative and playful. I was really taken with Humming, by Orla Breslin.

Another of my favourites was Elements by Mary Timmons. Hoorah for buttons!

Life's Song by Helen O'Shea. Such gorgeous colours and textures.

It wasn't until I was leaving the Subcription Rooms that I noticed this fabulous mosaic by Cleo Mussi.

Here are a few of the pieces from the Losing the Thread exhibition at the Kendrick Gallery. Lynn Creighton's Paper Cups.

Too Much Too Little by Margaret Charlton.

Renaissance Lady by Jane O'Brien.

This little chap (made by Andrea Willamson) was hanging about with his friends in the window of the Made in Stroud shop (as part of the Made in the Highlands display).

As a result of my adventures yesterday, I've spent all day today working on my latest City and Guilds project. There's nothing like escaping for the day to get motivated again!