Tuesday, 28 June 2011

A Ramble on the Need for Patience

Good grief, she's posting again! I'm sure this won't last but it is quite nice to be somewhat back in the flow of blogging for the moment. And I am feeling a little better today; thank you to those who sent get well wishes x. In between the fuzzy headed moments we have been busy quaffing our tiny bottles of mead, a honey drink we made some years ago, but have only recently decided tastes more like nectar than the earwax of former times. Some things are best left - in this case, about ten years!

We have decided to make more of this delicious, rather sherry-like wine now that we can taste the point of it and have named Midsummer's Day as the designated day for so doing, hence it shall forever more be known as Midsummer Mead. It is so easy to make and even easier to drink as this oh so flattering picture shows: blurry image, blurry eyes and tipsy angled; we had a great time making it!

Other things happening here which have required some patience to achieve include the smashing of a money box by our not-so-little Lucy who has been saving for a DS thingy (technical term you know) for a very long time now. We are very proud of her as she has not once bemoaned the fact that we haven't merely handed her the money for the thing, has actively enjoyed the saving for it and has enjoyed the having of it even more. I really believe there is so much to be said for learning the value of things in this way, don't you? I also feel that this sweet girl can wear wellies with a style sadly lacking in her bleary eyed mother!

The cherries are continuing to ripen making this the best year we have had for the pretty earrings. They are sweet and juicy but alas the birds have finally discovered them. How much longer will they last?

Ah well, we'll just have to eat as many as we can before they are gone for yet another year. Soft and warm in the rare Cornish sunshine, juices dribbling through sticky fingers...Mmmm.

The designing of items goes on apace and new contacts with potential stockists are being made. It is a busy time, but I am feeling as though the tide is pulling me along and I am happy to drift along with it, seeing what presents itself and letting a few ideas float away to see where they land like so many colourful balloons upon the breeze.

Boats and berries and fluttery insects are being worked onto fabric, the threads drawing themselves along almost separate to me as my mind wanders as freely as my fingers over the cloth. It feels good to allow things to unfold in this way rather than forcing the ideas out of my often-stressed head. Sometimes it is right not to allow the need to earn, the need to produce to over-ride the very creativity that is necessary to have a viable business in the first place and I must remember that a little more often than I do.

Having said that of course, I am as ever a complicated soul who is such a strange mix of practicality and head-in-the-clouds, of realist and romantic all at once that even as I applaud the need for creativity I know I must keep a weather eye on things to ensure that my business is just that: a business and not a hobby. And so, before I go, may I thank those of you who have ordered from me both past and present, and thank those who have lightened the load of my shelves a little by purchasing one of the Beach Bags I blogged of yesterday.

Yes, a complex creature is a Pipany requiring much in the way of patience. Thank heavens for a Davey to complete the mix x

Monday, 27 June 2011

A Post With a Point.

Just a quick post today as I am a little busy and a little poorly too...sympathy please! It's nothing much but my head feels so full of cotton wool as the last dregs of a summer (ha!) virus recedes into the mist - and rain - that I really feel I am sewing in a cloud rather than my sewing room. Still, it's nothing that an early night won't see the end of and as I am rambling I shall proced to the point - yes, there is one - of today's post. It is not pertaining to the ducks, though I felt an update on progress was necessary just because...

So cute aren't they? Ahem, the point is actually to do with these Ship Ahoy Beach Bags which are on offer until Friday 1st of July (that is this coming Friday for those of a similarly fuzzy headed state) as I desperately need to make some room for new products on my shelves. These bags have a hand embroidered panel of a jaunty boat in wavy sea and are lined with ticking to make them very durable for those trips to the beach. They come in two sizes: Adult sized with an interior pocket and little bag of shells collected by the Cornish fairies (me and the children) from around our coast

and child sized, also with a bag of shells which can be added to on similar beach forays.

The adult version is reduced from £24.00 to £20.00

The child's version is reduced from £18.50 to £15.00

By the way, thank you for such lovely comments about the Berry Cushions which are already pleasingly popular on the website.

So did you get it? This was the point of the post....

Thank you from a fuzzy Pip (which sounds like something rather horridly mouldy and is similar to how I felt this weekend...poor me) x

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Berry Lavender Cushion by Pipany.

I am still feeling drawn to all the gorgeous fruits burgeoning in the garden: the redcurrants, plums and cheery cherries dangling from the trees. They have inspired me to make this newest item in my Pipany range - a Berry Lavender Cushion.

This bowl of redcurrants picked from our old bush made me decide to add a Cornish Blue inspired appliqued bowl

and here it is...

I used a mix of techniques including hand embroidery, freehand machine embroidery and applique to get the effect I was after.

The reverse can be personalised with the name of your choice & a butterfly or two.

Who could fail to be inspired by such beautiful, glowing colours?

Not Isabella that's for sure.

So there you have it: a Pipany berry inspired lavender cushion, lovingly stitched by me in my little sewing room in (finally) sunny Cornwall & available here!

Do you like it? (Oh, I do hope so!) x

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Growing Away.

Not many words today, but plenty of pictures of how I waste my time by watching the ducklings doing what they do which is mostly swimming on our pond.

and eating

followed by a little more swimming

which makes them hungry so...

I guess you get the picture.

Sweet May and little Pecan, growing huge feet and long beaks, but gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous.

That's it apart from a peek at the makings of something new in the fruity line which I do work on when not duckling distracted.

What is catching your eye today? x

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Last Weekend's Escape.

We have had a truly dour week in my bit of Cornwall weatherwise with rain which filled the wildlife pond back to overflowing and cold, dark days. Not the best, so I thought I would pop back to last weekend when we escaped on Mermaid for the day in hot, sunshiney weather which suggested summer had arrived - hah!

Lucy had a magazine to hand.

Elias, Davey and I set up our rods for a spot of fishing which, as ever, brought nothing...not even a bite. One day ...

Clear seas revealing golden sands and all kinds of shells.

And then on to the beach where drifts of pretty sea pinks lined the rocks.

Not all the shorelife is particularly pretty as this sea slug demonstrates, but it was fascinating to see so many of them along the shoreline.

Isabella's clothes were hung to dry within about five minutes of arriving, as is the norm.

Isabella was not sure what to make of the slugs

deciding to head off for wildlife of a less slimy disposition.

The boys took Mermaid off for a little pootle around the bay before we headed back after a hot and blissful day on the beach. As I sailed her home she drifted quietly in the evening breeze and we all drifted with her, thoughts calm and voices quiet. True bliss!

Wonder what this weekend will bring x

Thursday, 9 June 2011

The Design Process.

I thought I would show a little of how the design process works for me. Sometimes it all comes so easily and other times ... well, let's just say I'm sure I am not the only designer/maker who litters her workroom with a kaleidoscope of fabric pieces, abandoned half-worked designs and the clumps of hair she has ripped from her head in frustration. Okay, so slight exaggeration there but you get my point.

All my designs are inspired by the things around me, the things I encounter on my way around my Cornish home or the things I do in my Cornish home. They are all things I am passionate about and therefore become part of that other area of my life so closely interwoven in my world - my Pipany business. On this particular occasion I had been wandering around the garden checking on the progress of things in between feeding the ducklings and cooking the dinner as you do. I had no thoughts of designing in my head, just the enjoyment of seeing the fruits growing heavy on the trees - the apples, plums and gages all beginning to weigh the branches down with the promise of good crops ahead...

when my greedy eyes fell on the redcurrant bush, an old and somewhat scrappy specimen which is always covered in fruits despite the fact that it gets uprooted by gales every single year no matter what I do to support it. I grabbed a bowl and filled it with these most beautiful globes of purest scarlet, the light catching every tiny ball and making it glisten.

As I picked I started to 'see' various pictures of berries as components of journal covers and lavender sachets; I could see the way the bowl or basket could be appliqued and how the branch would swoop down towards it. I took a number of photographs of the currants to have on hand if I didn't get to work on the design while the currants were still around, but really the next bit was to get into my sewing room and go for it.

The first piece came together easily, the freehand embroidery of the branches appearing on the fabric exactly as I wanted, the working of the berries taking a little longer, but the colour being perfect with the stripes of the ticking used for the basket. I added some hand embroidered blades of grass but felt this piece told its story through the red berries and kept the rest of the design as simple as possible.

To pick up the ticking I used a darker colour than I normally would for the personalisation at the bottom, the slightly wavy line of the text perhaps suggesting a path or some uneven ground (and believe me, our garden has some very uneven ground!).

So, there you have it - beautiful scarlet berries from our garden

transformed into a gorgeous Personalised Berry Journal by Pipany - available here.

Hope you like it xx