Tales from the Sea Garden

Tales from The Sea Garden

Email me: theseagarden@btinternet.com

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!

Friday, 5 January 2018

Happy New Year

 After going down with a cold last weekend it was so lovely to gather today at my parents' house with my brother and his family before they return to Somerset, and just enjoy being together. 
 A day of playing games and laughing, and a last opportunity to light the candles on the Christmas Tree and sing some carols before the decorations come down.
It's a beautiful moonlit night; on the drive home wisps of vapour hang above the road. I stand in my garden staring up at the myriad of stars in the black velvety darkness and the sound of waves is carried across the fields so clearly, it's as if I am standing on the shore itself. 
Peace, Love, Joy.
X

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Friday crafting

Every Friday over the winter months we are having crafting sessions at The Sea Garden,
anyone is welcome to drop by; just bring along something you are making and have an hour or two in company with like-minded crafters. We also have a nice lunch out at the DaBara Bakery up the road; what's not to like!
 Last Friday Wendy, Patsy, Angelica and I were treated to some coffee and delicious homemade mince pies brought by Bernice, and I showed everyone how to make paper and lace angels. 
 On Friday 15th December we will have mulled wine and some more festive treats, so don't be shy, come and join us!

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Christmas makes

 Preparations for this year's Christmas Fairs caught me a bit on the hop, and making was rather frantic in the run-up to the Cowslip Fair last weekend. With another Fair in Mylor this coming Saturday I thought I would share with you some of my latest makes.

 Wreaths with everlasting flowers and pine cones, designed for indoor use, that will last for many Christmases to come.

 Stockings made from an old bedspread with appliqued patchwork and a hand-stitched 'Happy Christmas'.
These are the first things that I have made using the new sewing machine I bought in January; it has taken me this long to get around to trying out all the fancy stitches it can do!