Thursday, 31 July 2008

Rain didn't stop play!

Oh dear, what a wet week this first of the summer holidays has been. The weekend was so hot and full of sunshine that we barely left the sea, the only annoying thing being that I had forgotten the snorkelling kit and so missed out on the pleasure of snooping around in the transluscent depths. Never mind, as it was we swam for ages leaving the water for a brief moment to warm up with a cup of hot chocolate - well, that's what I did anyway - and then throwing ourselves back in for another go. Bliss.

It was also my lovely Lauren's 21st birthday and for her present I made my first ever quilted coverlet...sooo excited and yet the darkness of the day means I have the worst photographs to show you.

Hmm, will have to take better ones when it is brighter

Hey ho, that seems such a long time ago already and now all I have outside the window is a sea of rain. This has meant thinking of things other than beach trips to amuse everyone. Enter Mr Dave and 'French Day'! We have had many such days dedicated to a variety of themes: Chinese Day which involved Elias teaching us some basic Tai Kwondo (sp?) moves, making a dragon banner and playing Mah Jong; Wizard Day which saw Dave and Lucy dressed in flowing capes and wigs on the beach collecting shells for potion making, writing spells with homemade quills (feathers from our ducks of course) and a brief lesson in how to fly on a broomstick (also homemade by the way). There are other of these days which are always arranged by Dave for he and the youngest of the children - I just tag along where I can.So, French Day involved Lucy looking amazingly chic and elegant with the help of her big sister Lauren (back from Thailand...Hurray!) who dressed her hair like this...

and Isabella who went for the Folie Bergere look!!!

They helped Dave (dressed in a Maurice Chevalier style with linen suit and casual air) shop for pain au chocolate which was consumed with bowls of hot chocolate for petit dejeuner; they helped cook coq au vin for dinner (yum), played a french card game (normally Tarot but I think this was a new one) as dear Edith sang of love and regret, and we all watched Amelie in the afternoon. French lessons given by me made us laugh as Isabella desperately tried to get it right and sadly failed. A lovely day.

Other things have included meals with the family gathered around the table chatting merrily, playing yet more games which tonight will be by the fire as I am struggling with this dismal light.

and finally, I obviously have a colour theme going on here as Lauren's rose and lilac quilt inspired me to creat a new line of scented sachets and here they are... my Lavender & Chamomile Scented Sachets

which come in sprigged lilac

and sprigged rose

I am really pleased with them and think they would make the ideal gift or way to treat yourself.

Phew that was a long post. Hope the rain leaves soon

Bye for now xx

Sunday, 20 July 2008

A week of good things

Such a lovely week full of things to do and achievements of different sorts. It went something like this....

The little house was filled to bursting as Sam's girlfriend came to stay for the week, Tom and his girlfriend came for dinner and Dave's daughter, Matty, and boyfriend came for the night to see Lucy's school play (how sweet is that? With no prompting at all they travelled the 68 miles from their home after work just to see her perform, even though it meant leaving at 6.45 am to make sure they were back in time for work the next day). Lucy of course sang her little heart out and twirled around the stage beautifully. Just next week's Sports Day to get through and we are done - holidays!

Mr Dave passed his Headship training and has one more stage to go before completing the entire course. We are all so proud of him as he has worked incredibly hard for this on top of all his usual teaching duties and trouble shooting at other schools. Well done Davey xx

We have had many trips down to the beach, often in the evenings when there is that wonderfully calm feel to the day. I love this time the best of all, particularly when the day has perhaps been a bit trying, full of rush and bluster enough to fray the temper more than one would wish; the effort of throwing towels into the well-worn beach bag can sometimes seem too much and yet once you reach that shore where the sea rolls gently over the sand and the light has that calm, still quality of late afternoon, the tension just drifts away....bliss.

And yet in contrast are the days like Sunday - a bright, breezy, sunshiney day where friends and family all piled down to the beach for games and swims and shell collecting. A day where the sun turned the waters to azure blue and the rockpools tempted little people to grasp their buckets in the hope of finding a crab or fish before being reminded to put them back in the pools where they would be safe. The tide was on the way out and revealed sandy stretches just perfect for the youngest ones to run along, their feet splish-splashing through the shallow waters and Isabella trailing her skirts as she waded along. No point in removing yet another set of clothes and anyway, I like the idea that the dress I made her will have that softly faded look that speaks of sun and sand and salty seas, of a beachy childhood.

The final achievement of the week for me has been my latest range of bags which I have been working on for a little while now. Surrounded by gorgeous tolies of differing hues has had me trying out a range of designs to complement the delicate patterns until finally I hit on one which fitted my remit: a bag which echoes the soft feel of toile in its shape, which has a capacious interior without feeling bulky to carry and which is strong enough to last. And here it is - the Miss Matty bag

It will also be available in this soft lilac toile

And this gorgeous cherry/raspberry red (depending on the light) too

I like the shape so much that I decided to use it for my next range, my new baby which I spend long hours thinking about! I have so loved working on these, taking inspiration from all around me - the Cornish cliffs, moors, rivers and ocean, and the interplay of all of these elements with bright flowers, stormy skies...oh, so much to draw on! - and interpreting it in soft linens, applique and hand embroidery. This is the first of my new Cornish collection and is called Trevaunance after the North Cornish cove that inspired it.

Here is a detail picture of the hand embroidery which reads ' time drifts by on a sea of green'.

On taking the bags to the beach to photograph I sold one within a few moments to a lovely lady who was watching - very encouraging and hopefully a sign of things to come.

More to come another day and well done again Davey xx

Monday, 14 July 2008

Sun, sand and sweet moments too.

Such an odd mix of a weekend. Very much a family time with the house overflowing with older and younger children, trips to the beach and lots of laughter, yet somehow these special times always highlight the fact that time hastens on and maybe things won't always be like this. Tom and his girlfriend have plans for a two year trip travelling the world, and Matty and her boyfriend are thinking of heading off sometime too. They all want to head for New Zealand, land of fresh hopes and new chances, and of course I have fears that this wonderful place will welcome them with open arms only to to enclose them in an iron grip that will mean rare visits and a loss of all we have now. I won't bore you with the fact that their desire to go is not just based in a desire to see the world, experience other cultures; no, there is also the push provided by a country which financially penalises those without children, makes it almost impossible for them to get a foot on the property ladder and offers them little hope for change.

Golly, that was a real moan and not what I had set out to write, but I will leave it there as it is how I am feeling at this moment and that is supposed to be what my blog is for: an honest place to say how I honestly feel.

So, the weekend: badminton on the beach....(that's me with the many layers on and looking somewhat ineffectual next to Elias's athletic pose!)

Queen Neptune turning the tide...

On Saturday this lovely handmade present arrived from Diana at Pebbledash, one of my favourite bloggers who is also in Cornwall. She made this beautiful sketchbook, notebook and tags - aren't I lucky? I intend to use them for design ideas, so thank you Diana. Do go and visit her blog as she takes the most gorgeous photographs.

There was also time spent at the allotment chatting with the people next to us who had their gorgeous newborn baby with them. We sat in the baking (yes, it was for a while) sun and let the day drift by, leisurely tying up tomato plants and trying not to mind the slug damage too much. My sewing room is now a beautiful place of tidiness and order and space after my mega-cleaning session, so Lucy and I spent a couple of hours out there yesterday afternoon as I taught her to use her little sewing machine. Lovely time with my precious little girl. And in amongst all the children and chatter was also a little time just for us as Dave and I hid away in the kitchen, and danced a quiet dance to Elvis's 'Can't Help Falling in Love', a beautiful song and a tiny, but special, moment.

Have a lovely day wherever you are xx

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

What a mess.

Oh good grief, do I regret writing that the sun had returned? Rhetorical question as I'm sure you have worked out, especially if you too are swimming your way from front door to car at school run time. Cornwall has been so wet for what seems like so long that I am struggling to even remember what the caress of warm sunshine upon the skin actually feels like...sigh. Ah well, a brief resume of things at Poltisko Farm in the last week or so (golly, that long since I last posted?).

Lucy and Isabella decided to forget the bad weather in a graceful version of Swan Lake where Lucy glided elegantly across the room and Isabella did a fair rendition of baby elephant, throwing a leg up on the sofa as she stretched a chubby arm behind her. Think of Dawn French and Darcy Bussel in the Vicar of Dibley here. Not sure what this particular balletic pose is called.

Dave and the children went to the allotment last weekend, returning to inform me that it was so wet there that even the slugs were doing a crawl across the beds. Unfortunately, the damage to plants has been quite substantial and the cold weather has slowed down growth - just perfect for those munching machines. Very disheartening, but I sowed more peas, etc on the Sunday in a bitter act of defiance. Our own garden has become a battered version of how it usually looks at this time of the year, which is shown in this picture with a wild mass of flowers all tangled together in a glorious profusion. I never quite get around to staking in time for the monsoon season. (and how is it that out of four ducks it is always Lemony who gets in on the act? Such a poser).

And now to the nub of it all - what I have actually been trying to do in my bid for a professional yet aesthetically soothing/ pleasing environment: enter my sewing room... (I am so mortified!)

This disgusting mess is what I managed to create in an effort to change things and it is taking me forever to organise. Of coure, this is not how it usually looks - I could never work in this! - but I have been so busy with new wholseale orders that the whole room had become increasingly impossible to work in. Awful isn't it? Still, it is slowly becoming this...

a land where delicate toiles snuggle up with dainty Liberty lawns (thank you again Elizabeth), where bright stripes and checks share space with colourful circles and blossom on jade. So much better I think, though heaven only knows there is far more to sort. Piles of fabric, notions in jars, and I can't even bare to think about the shelves at the other end of the room - haven't shown these as that is just too much embarrassment even for me!

Well, I must carry on now with Isabella's 'help'. Hopefully the sun will soon re-appear and the weekend will be lovely for everyone.

Have a good day xx

P.S. Thank you for the awards I have been given - I will try to do my bit over the weekend x