Tuesday, 26 October 2010

All Change

I've always loved this time of year, partly due, I think, to being a Halloween baby, but also because I love the cosiness that the change in season brings. There's so much to be inspired by too - the gorgeous autumn colours in the trees, plump pumpkins, cosy fabric such as tweed, knitted scarves...

Around this time of year I very often find myself reorganising my workspace and starting on textile projects that I can work on whilst curled up on the sofa in the evening. This year has been no exception. My beloved 'studio' has been relocated to the very top of our house in the airy attic space and I've started on several knitting projects. Autumn is most definitely here!

'Where Women Create: Book of Inspiration' by Jo Packham and Jo Packham is definitely my 'book of the moment' and I couldn't resist sharing it with you here. I can't stop picking it up for another look through! (Published by Lark Books, £17.99, hardback, 144 pages)

The bit on the back of the book sums it up brilliantly, "A rich pastiche of inspiration, motivation, encouragement and creativity. Twenty-three remarkable women reveal the influences upon their artistic processes and invite you to see their diverse work spaces".

The book is jam-packed with mouth-watering photos and really interesting interviews with each of the artists that are featured. I absolutely love all the photos of other people's studios (this one belongs to Teresa McFayden)!

Connie Govea Stuart has an enviable collection of ephemera and found objects to use in her work. The layout of this book is brilliant - you can either read it cover to cover, or do as I'm doing and keep delving into it whenever you need a creative fix!

Oooo, I just love boxes and tins! Pam Garrison's collection is fabulous (and I'm just a little bit green with envy!)

Bits and bling in Amy Hanna's studio.

This book is a complete overload for the creative senses...I defy anyone not to get completely lost in its pages and then emerge feeling ready to start new projects!

I tend to get in an awful pickle when there's paint involved in a project. I start out with good intentions, but somehow it all gets rather messy! This clearly isn't a problem that mixed-media artist Danita has (this is her workspace, above). I was really taken with the colours on this page.

More glorious colour, this time courtesy of Connie Govea Stuart. If you treat yourself to just one book let it be this one. It has more than enough inspiration to keep you going through the cold, cosy autumnal months!

Continuing with the theme of 'other people's workspaces', I thought you might like to see a few of my favourite things that I have in my newly relocated studio...

Pens, pencils and trimmings on my desk.

Shelves of boxes, buttons and thread.

Drawers of embroidery thread in just about every colour going!

Every studio needs a resident ball of fluff. This is Tinker, who loves to jump on my chair and claim it as her own when I'm not looking!

Baskets are so useful. I fill mine with vintage fabric scraps, as well as things I'll be selling at upcoming vintage fairs.

I love adding to and changing around the things I put on my noticeboard (which is covered in vintage eiderdown fabric). I've got all sorts of mementoes and reminders tucked into this board, from postcards and old family photos, to bits and pieces made by other textile artists. It's my inspiration board and I wouldn't be without it.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Jottings, Doodles, Lists and Memoirs

I couldn't wait to tell you all that these rather fabulous handmade notebooks are now available to buy in my little Folksy shop. They've been made especially by The Bookbinder's Cat (aka my father and master bookbinder!) using vintage fabrics that I've sourced.

Each unique notebook started life as a stack of plain paper, which has been cut and folded to create the book's page sections before being sewn together by hand. A vintage fabric cover, leather spine, end papers and headbands completes each one. They've take many hours to create, but will last for years and years to come!

Pop over to Folksy to take a closer look...

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Upstairs Downstairs

As the wind and rain lashed against the windows yesterday, I found myself thinking about a visit over the summer that Mr Treasure and I made to one of my favourite National Trust houses - Lanhydrock in Cornwall. I was busily sorting out my work room yesterday, but vowed to write a post about it over the weekend...so, here we go...

I love Lanhydrock because it's filled with all sorts of glorious bits and pieces that appeal to my inner vintage magpie. I'm also fascinated by the stories of the people and way of life in these big country houses.

The kitchen is enormous and is beautifully light and airy. Now, I'm not much of a chef, but I think even I could be inspired to whip up something other than beans on toast in a space like this!
I think Lanhydrock's got a lovely lived in feel...it's as if everyone's just popped out and will be back any moment to carry on with life in the big house.

Wouldn't it be great if flour still came in tins?!

It was definitely a case of the 'downstairs' staff not being seen or heard as they went about their daily tasks.

I'm a bit of a sucker for vintage leather suitcases and they're everywhere at Lanhydrock!

When I was little I would have loved a dolls house this size... and a rocking horse! I do remember our local pharmacy having a rocking horse that you could sit on whilst you waited for your banana or strawberry flavoured antibiotics to be made up, but it wasn't the same as having one at home!

Gorgeous patchwork.

There's something really appealing about old packaging...

...and 'proper' linen tea towels.

Tucked away in amongst the servant's quarters is The Luggage Room. Perhaps my favourite room in the whole house...just look at all that fabulous vintage luggage!

The Drawing Room. It's so typically Victorian!

My Dad's attracted to old books like a moth to a flame, always has been! As a bookbinder himself, he likes to study the bindings and "ooo" and "ahh" over the gold tooling or marbled end papers. These are just some of the books in The Gallery at Lanhydrock.

I'd love to tickle these ivories...not that I can really play, I'm afraid I didn't stick at my piano lessons when I was growing up.

If you love big country houses and a a jolly good costume drama, don't forget to watch 'Downton Abbey' tomorrow night on ITV1!