Tales from the Sea Garden

Tales from The Sea Garden

Email me: theseagarden@btinternet.com

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Duchy Nursery


Today I decided to go to Lostwithiel to have a mooch around the antique shops, and then for lunch I took the short drive up to the Duchy of Cornwall nursery. The indoor cafe was full, but there were a few tables set up in part of the greenhouse, and I actually prefer to sit in there amongst all the interesting pots and plants. 
 This little robin was singing his heart out and hopping around the tables looking for titbits.
 They really do display the plants beautifully at this nursery, with imaginative use of antique props and a plethora of nice quality pots and planters.




 My particular interest is in cacti and succulents, so this display really caught my eye.
 Aren't the little ceramic pots lovely?

 And yes, one of these did come home with me......

 Afterwards I took a walk from nearby Respryn Bridge up to Lanhydrock House. The sun on the beech tree avenue was magical.
 I collected some twigs from a dead oak tree; these will come in useful for wreath-making.
 Then down to the banks of the fast-flowing River Fowey and a leisurely stroll back to the van, and home.
xxx

Saturday, 10 February 2018

Dressing up

 The weather may be frightful, but in my bedroom this morning I got out some of my favourite vintage pieces and dreamt of hot summer days when I can once again float around in silk and lace - well, one can hope!
 The hollyhocks that 'grow' up from the base and the sleeves of this black dress are just stunning in their intensity of colour and design. I bought this last year but have not yet had an occasion to wear it. There is no label inside so I have no idea of its origins, or date for that matter, only that it is of a very fine quality silk chiffon.

 This bolero style jacket was originally the top layer of an Edwardian blouse, but the silk blouse had completely deteriorated so I painstakingly unpicked the black lace part to salvage it. Although it has a few holes the piece is still wearable with a little care. Over bare skin it looks very seductive.

The skirt above was a 1950's prom dress but the top half didn't fit, so I cut it off at the waist, keeping the lovely pink satin bow. I absolutely love wearing it now. The Edwardian blouse below was originally white, but I dyed it to give it a more contemporary look. I can wear it casually with jeans as well as a pretty skirt.
 I find modern clothes shops very bland and boring, do you? The delight of finding something completely unique at an antiques fair or from specialist vintage clothing dealers is so much more rewarding. For a start you know that you will be wearing a piece that no-one else has, and you can develop your own unique style. Of course there is that frustration of falling in love with something that simply doesn't fit, (aggghhhh!) but with a few rudimentary sewing skills you can usually adapt pieces to suit your size and shape.
 Silk under-slips from the 40's or 50's with a Chinese style silk jacket.
 The necklace is my own creation, made from bits of ribbon and embellished with mother-of-pearl buttons and a buckle.
 I loved dressing up as a little girl and I guess I have never grown out of that sense of fun and adventure.
 A 1920's fine see-through linen summer dress with a jacket fashioned from one of those simple French linen shifts dyed salmon pink and split down the front. Very much looking forward to wearing this for the first time when weather permits!

 I love my bedroom. It's the largest room in my house, and because I don't have a separate sitting room (my studio has to share space with the sofa and is usually too cluttered to sit down upon!), I spend a lot of time in it. My books and Selvedge magazines are all kept on shelves by the bed within handy reaching distance, and I do all my computer/blogging work sitting on a comfy deckchair in the corner next to the radiator. Going to bed is such a pleasure and I never tire of studying all the different patches of fabric on this quilt.



Hanging from the curtain pole is this little red dress with some of my favourite textile brooches pinned to it. Clockwise from top left they have been made by: Janine Pope (Mud Rabbit), Viv Sliwka (Hen's Teeth), Cat Rowe and Christine (Gentlework).

 On the mantelpiece are some handmade ceramic jugs and vases,
 and two textile figurines made by Janine Pope of Mud Rabbit. The painting in the background is by Cornish based artist Dana Finch. I have gotten really excited about her work; I particularly love her use of colour and the abstract plant forms which frequent her paintings.
Hope you enjoyed the little tour! xxx

Thursday, 25 January 2018

 Sometimes an idea will brew in my head for years before it takes shape in reality.
Thinking about Matisse's paper cuts I cut out a series of stylised leaf shapes in brightly coloured papers, and began playing around with arrangements on old envelopes.





 Working on these has sparked off a further idea to produce 'paintings' using paper cutting and collaging, but maybe this idea will germinate in my head for another few years before it becomes a reality, who knows......
Have you been having a creative January so far?

Wednesday, 10 January 2018


 I took a drive down to St. Ives today to visit my framer, Dean. There was reasonably good surf, and the sea looked just beautiful.

 St. Ives is full of tiny stone cottages and narrow alleyways....

 and around every corner is the sea.


 I stood and watched mesmerised as each wave surged around the rocks, leaving a backwash of foamy swirls.
Clusters of tiny baby mussels!
 Mussels are just one variety of shell that make their way into my collages.


 A couple of new winter wreaths - they don't have to be just for Christmas do they!