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


  1. What beautiful bags - lovely shape. Would love to be able to wander down to the sea in the evening. What a wonderful restful thing to be able to do.

  2. Aah! The post is back, with more added (!!!).Pip. these are seriously lovely new bags, well done you. Not surprised you had an immediate purchaser on the beach. And sounds like you've had a wonderful family time, enjoying this sunshine we've been waiting so long for. And well done to Mr Dave, too! Diana xx

  3. Hi Pip! It's been too long since I popped into your lovely blog and I now see that congratulations are in order - to you for your beautiful new bags (I love toile - the girls had a pair of blue toile knickerbockers, bought in France I think, which I always cherished and I am trying to squeeze L into now, probably, for the last time, this summer) and to Mr Dave for his headship. Thank you, too, for taking me to the sea. Oh, how I miss it and would love to be able to go down with the girls after school on summer evenings. Still, you are obviously now enjoying rather better weather than us in the High Peak. Still winter here - lashing rain, fog, wind, freezing cold. Certainly not beach weather! xx

  4. Lovely , lovely. Your new bags are Cornwall!

  5. Well done to Dave - a really impressive achievement. You must be incredibly proud. This country needs more blokes like him. Well done to you to on your bag achievements, I love the toile ones. I used to have toile wallpaper at my first house and reminded me of that. I would adore to be able to pop down to the beach in the evening - lucky you!

  6. How wonderful to be able to go down to the beach whenever you like and enjoy lazy family times. I love beaches at the end of the day when everyone has gone home a quiet peace descends.

  7. Hello Pipany,

    Thank you for this trip to summer!
    A place and a time of year, that you describe so very well.

    Huge congrats to your young performer, and to Dave, and to you!

    The newest bags are wonderful. The toile bags are very elegant and the design is so clean.

    But those appliqued and embroidered bags will allow anyone to carry the beach with them wherever they may go. What a wonderful design!


  8. Lovely bags - I especially like the soft green toile one. Nice beach photos too - we live by the sea and we often go down there in the evening, after all the tourists have gone home - often, its the best part of the day - natalie x

  9. Not remotely suprised that woman bought the bag - she obviously has good taste! I would love one but am a harridan with bags and so only rough tough bolshy leather ones will stand up to my bad behaviour.
    Hey, Pip, just thought - you must know some fabulous coves/rivers/pools for wild swimming? if so, can you PM me? WOuld be HUGELY grateful....

  10. What lovely bags! I've been browsing through your lovely shop & thinking that you might be interested in the Vintage & Handmade Fair that Michele (Cowboys & Custard) & I are putting together for South West bloggers in November!


  11. Well done to Mr Dave and to Lucy too. It sounds a lot better weather-wise with you. We haven't been to the beach for weeks. No excuse now though! I'm not surprised you sold one of the bags - they're gorgeous.

  12. So glad the school concert went well . . . sigh I miss those days - and how brilliant that everyone travelled to see her.

    Congrats to Mr Dave.

    Oh I LOVE your bags am working very hard on wearing mine out so that I can justify a new one . . .

  13. lovely bags, and gorgeous materials - no wonder you sold one streight away - what a buzz!


  14. What lovely bag. I like your choice of fabrics.


  15. What a lovely, happy post - just what I needed. Congratulations to Mr Dave.

  16. Another wonderful blog - I am down there on the beach with you. Sadly we don't visit our beach so much in the summer - Amy loves picnic blankets and sandwiches and Ben loves slobbering on small children. This can lead to some embarassment, so it's best we stay away and leave the families in peace. But sometimes we do visit at dawn or dusk and I agree, that's a very special time of day. Love your new bag too, however long does that wonderful embroidery take you?

  17. What a beautiful post - very restful words and stunning work on those bags. I'm so envious that you can pop a few things in a bag and spend early evening at the beach - wonderful. Your little ones will have gorgeous memories.

    Sorry I haven't visited for a while.

  18. I rarely comment, but love your blog and there's a little award for you over on my blog.

  19. What a lovely summery scene. I might not be able to get to Cornwall this year but feel I'm definitely there in spirit thanks to your lovley posts Pipany.

    Congratulatios to Mr Dave on all his hard work and to you on your beautiful new ranges. Hope you get more impromptu sales on the beach!

    Fingers crossed the blissful weather stays with you for the holidays - how wonderful to trip down to the beach in the evening.

  20. You are just going from strength to strength with your designs - you are so clever. And well done to Dave too (or Mr Pip as I think of him, very Dickens!). Clever, clever, all of you.

  21. What wonderful inspiration you have, I was transported back in time taking the little ones to the beach at the end of the day. Love your new bags too, I do hope they are the success they deserve to be.

  22. Pipany,

    Your blog is absolutely beautiful. I found it by way of French Village Life.

    I must be back to visit soon.

    If you have an opportunity, please stop by my new blog.

    I'm at

    Thank you.

    Sunbonnet Cottage

  23. Pip, I have tagged you to tell us 6 random things about yourself!

  24. Lovely bags pipany - really attractive shapes.

  25. Hi. I've just come here from Katherine's Dream as she mentions you. What lovely things. And hand-embroidery - it's delightful. Enjoy the weather while it lasts - 'they' say it will change - and then what will we talk about!

  26. Lovely writing as always and beautiful new bags. I feel quite guilty that your bags have inspired me to make one of my own instead of buying yours. I hope you will forgive me! I haven't quite plucked up the courage yet but have some left over oilcloth and am going to have a go.
    Hope your summer continues to go well.