Thursday, 30 July 2009

I was chatting this week to the lovely Michele from cowboys and custard, she was telling me about her new venture milly and dotties emporium. I absolutely love the homepage (below) the layout is great and I had to look in every room. If you are a vintage - a - holic, go and take a tour.

Also it was Michele who drew my attention to the Homespun fair in Portscatho this weekend. So if you are holidaying on the Roseland peninsula, go and take a look, I promise you will not be disappointed..... while you are there visit Christines amazing shop the sea garden.

Monday, 27 July 2009

the wedding season

I feel I have been a bit slow on catching up on the wedding theme this month, however having made 10 cravets over the weekend (for our good friends who are about to be married)I am now in full wedding mode. As you know I always head over to snippet and ink when I feel in need of a pick me up on the inspiration front, I was really impressed witht this lovely wedding, I just had to share it with you.

what I think is especially good is that the bride anad groom (Hayley and Joshua) haven't spent a fortune, and there are lots of DIY personal and child friendly touches included, with this tasteful carnival theme.
I don't normally go for bright colours - i think i have said before that i have a real problem with orange, however the combination of colours that Hayley has used here just really, really work.

Friday, 24 July 2009

rose between two thorns

- quite literally. This is the first and only rose to come off a bush we planted a couple of years ago. The labels got muddled up so I'm not even sure what it is meant to be, but I was so caught by the way that 3/4 of the petals are shocking pink and the final quarter seem to be peach that I had to pick it and have it in the house for constant admiration and bewilderment.

Studio seven - again

A month or so ago Sarah and I were raving about Studio Seven and their Cut 2 on Fold exhibition that was part of the Stroud Textile Festival. It was also the preparatory work for an 'Installation' at The Old Rectory in Quennington, and just before we went away I spent the most glorious evening with my mother-in-law viewing the final piece.

The gardens are the most wonderful setting for the Installations that were dotted around the grounds and performed at regular intervals so you could wander at leisure from one to another, enjoying a glass of wine. We were really lucky to have a fantastically sunny evening, it was British Summertime at it's best. What was really intriguing about this event was that the biennial Freshair sculpture exhibition was on as well. This meant that alongside the textile installations were amazing contemporary sculptures, and both worked really well in the setting.

Unfortunately, I'm still not used to carrying a camera with me all the time so I had to use my mother-in-law's mobile phone for these pictures....

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

not on the high street and nautical

I don't know whether its a weekend by the sea scoffing fish and chips (and wishing I had the body of a teenager to squeeze into those lovely little jack wills shorts!!) Or whether it is the fact that it is manic photoshoot time of year again and I am doing boys room designs, but I have come over all nautical

My paper boats wallpaper panel is finished and a co-ordinating fabric is now in production.

and the stars and semaphores are done and made into big sqaushy cushions ready for the camera.
Anyway with all this seasidiness happening I came across alovely new blog.
I found Kirsty's lovely blog sixty one a (great name) via another lovely coastal inspired blog called cloudfishing .
which makes me yearn to be beside the sea.

Anyway Kirsty ordered some samples of my fabrics and we had a quick email chat, and it turns out that her not on the high street shop has also just gone live. Anyway I got to thinking that her fabulous driftwood boats would look just amazing in the photography for my new boys paper boats, stars and semaphore fabric .
perfect for anyone with any kind of nautical leaning.

Kirsty also sells her fabulous wares on folksy
which is another great shopping opportunity for the lovers of all things handmade.

So if you are looking for a nautical decorating theme this summer look no further!! Everyone can have a little bit of beach house chic......................

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

wedding stationery

The first indication of what to expect from a wedding is when the invitation drops onto the door mat. Is it a stiff formal invitation indicating the need to dry clean and de-moth the morning suit, or a more relaxed invite suggesting linen trousers and flip-flops? My Aunt rang me in tears of excitement when she recieved the invitation to my sister's wedding a couple of months ago.

There was no doubt that this was going to be a Spanish wedding of some sort. Polly has been living in Seville 9 years so it wasn't surprising that she and her Spanish husband, Jesus, decided to use the Seville orange tree on their invitation and as the basis for their wedding stationery. Wanting an informal look they decided to create their own rubber stamps (based on a painting that my mother had done for them). These stamps were then used on invitations, order of service, table setting tags, gift tags (for bridesmaids and pageboys) and then mum spent many an hour embroidering orange trees onto linen to make table napkins to follow the theme through (note the personalised labels on the napkins).


There is a fascinating exhibition on at Stroud College (until the end of this week) showing one man's private collection of kimonos. There are loads of them illustrating changing styles, tastes and uses of kimono over the last 150 years.

I love the colours and decoration on these fabrics, but there were also far simpler indigo dyed ikat kimono used for everyday-wear that were completely different but also wonderful .

The detailing and embroidery are amazing, the photos don't do it justice - if you have the chance I recommend popping in for a look for yourself.

not to be beaten by the rain!

What a contrast today's weather has been to last week, but I'm determined not to be beaten by the rain. So today we spent the morning making a supply of origami boats to set sail this afternoon in a little stream not too far from home so we could return quickly to hot tea and caramel and hazelnut cake once the boats and us were drenched. The children really enjoyed having boat races and then fishing for the soggy newspaper with their fishing nets (in fact printer paper works far better, but we've run out). And since they were playing in water anyway it really didn't matter that it was pelting it down.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

we're back

We're back from an exhausting wedding and holiday in Spain and in true British style I'm looking out over the valley at the pouring rain while the smell of a Sunday roast pervades from the kitchen. It was raining as we stepped off the aeroplane at Bristol airport and, ever positive, Boy said 'it's raining mummy, not nice for us but good for the flowers'.

Hubby has just downloaded our photos and now I can think back to the week we have just had. I'll fill you in with wedding details later, but for now I must tell you about where we stayed. In the hills of Andulucia, about an hour from Seville you can find Finca Buen Vino. The wedding was held at the main house, which is run as an rustic/upmarket B&B by a very accommodating British family meanwhile a selection of wedding guests, including us, stayed in converted goat sheds on the same estate.
Our home was idyllic, set next to an orchard filled with goats (if only I could have recorded the sound of their bells). We had a pool, perfect size for the children and necessary in the intense heat of the day. We had home comforts, including duvets, a bath and proper armchairs and sofa but plenty of Spanish decor too. The hills and landscape were amazing, with lots of good walks to the local villages and beyond. A perfect place to relax in and explore from - if you are not there for my sister's wedding...

Friday, 17 July 2009

studio tour

I had to have (an enormous!) tidy this morning! Not my favourite occupation, anyway I thought that while the studio was moderately tidy I would give you a little tour!
these are 2 wallpapers from my new children's range.

the wonders of ikea shelving, you can fit untold amounts amount of junk on these!

a few favourite paintings from artists Kate Loveday and Robert Bottom, along with the trust Bernina!

My noticeboards - when I get a bigger space I would love a wall of noticeboards! I can't bear to part with that first pair of wellies which have been to San Francisco and Italy, and that both children (one girl and one boy!) have worn on their tiny little feet.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009


Since there is a bit of wedding fever in the air at the moment (and it was mine and the very lovely Mr H's 12th wedding anniversary on sunday) I thought I would put these photos from Martha Stewart on today. I think the colours are fabulous, orange is a colour I always shy away from but here it looks fab. Carnations are a flower we often turn our noses up at, but used en mass in single colours they look spectacular, and would be a great budget option with stems cut short, packed into tank vases if you are doing your own wedding flowers.
I think I am looking at all this colour because I am wrestling with which shade of pale grey/beige/cream to paint my floors at home - more of that soon.......
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, 9 July 2009


On the Wiltshire/Dorset border in the most amazing setting, down a country track, in a courtyard with bantams and chickens roaming wild you will find Clementine. It is a fantastic shop selling something for everyone - a one-stop-shop for all your gifting needs!

The actual shop is based in barns around a courtyard near Tisbury and if you are nearby it well worth a visit. For those further afield the good news is that Clementine has also just launched a website and her goodies are now available over the internet.

Sarah and I are always interested in seeing what makes creative, like-minded people tick so we thought we'd start asking people to give us a little insight into their world and Clem has agreed to be the first. Enjoy.

'I run a shop called Clementine at Compton Marbling. The shop got its name from my name, Clementine, and my mothers company, Compton Marbling which is based where my shop is! My shop is an eclectic mix of gifts and useful and pretty things for the home. I started the shop in December 2006 and it has been growing ever since. I have just launched a website – which gives a small taster of what I sell in the shop. I will be updating it every 4 – 6 weeks with new pictures.'

My favourite book .... has to be gone with the wind.

In my spare time I .... like to be with my husband, Mitch and baby Joshua.

The greatest inspiration in my life.... is my mother, Solveig Stone. She has run Compton Marbling for over 30 years as well as being a wonderful mother of 4 children and a granny to 7 grandchildren.

My house is ... small but perfectly formed! In the most amazing setting.

The best place to go on holiday is.... to Wales. My family have a small cottage in Pembrokeshire, with no phone or television, perfect for relaxation! It’s a very special place.

The food I most enjoy.... are percy pigs! Can this be counted as food?!

My favourite piece of art.... has to be by my friend Chloe Cardozo. It’s a wonderful painting of a pond and washing line. It hangs above the mantle piece. It gives me nothing but pleasure to look at.

I like working for myself because ....I can bring Joshua to the shop on the days I work! I also find it very rewarding seeing customers come to the shop and buy products that I have personally chosen.

My best gardening tip ..... would be to get a bulb planter! I think I planted over 100 bulbs last autumn. But happy to say they all came up!

My greatest achievement is.... giving birth at home to my baby Joshua. And of course having my shop!

The blog I most enjoy .... has of course got to be this one! I have to admit that I have only ever read two. My wonderful friend Carly Jay Metcalfe, who is a brilliant writer and this one, which I love!

clarke and clarke designs

A good friend of mine has recently launched his fabric range which he sells very successfully here in the uk, in the USA under his clarke and clarke label.Lee who owns the company has a really good eye for design and trend, and I wish him every success for his US launch.

So all of you lovely readers who are usa based go over and take a look at clarke and clarke for some lovely English fabrics and styling.

If you are uk based and interested in using these fantastic fabrics go to
where you can see the companys full range. I have to say I seem to go therough tonnes of their spotty oilcloth.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009


One of the key events in the great British summertime has to be the village fete. I love everything about it from Pimms and strawberries to vegetable sculptures, its such an institution.I think its a tradition we should hold on to . We had a flower and produce show this year as part of ours. It was more fun than serious and had lots of categories for adults and children. It was the children however who shone. They produced some amazing entries.

All the winners got a handmade rosette, which we made by sewing several rounds of fabroc together with a button in the centre and some ribbon and ric rac to hang down. It was lovely to see so many being worn at the evening barbeque.