Sunday, 22 November 2009


Checking out the bathroom.
A blue-eyed boy .
Mr. Blue and White, otherwise the late well-known and admired decorator, Roger Banks-Pye of Colefax and Fowler, had a 'thing' for everything striped, checked and shaded blue. His lofty Belgravian flat was clad from top to toe with patches and remnants, fringed and frayed, in every shade of blue. The curtains, which may well have been the famous pair invented by his hero, John Fowler, made from blue and white tea towels or possibly large handkerchiefs, hung at the windows and the bathroom had small squares of all different blue/white combinations with edges trimmed and frayed, stuck to the walls chequerboard fashion, with Spray Mount. If you have enough different shades of blue, it all melds together in a pleasing way, a pile of tickings, ginghams and voile casually arranged on a chest or sideboard always catch everyone's eye. Add some cornish blue striped kitchenware and a blue enamel bowl and you will be on to a good scheme.

Simple, effective, cheap and witty!

Saturday, 14 November 2009


This little travailleuse or work -bag, is so typically French. Made with the greatest care for a specific use and made as pretty as possible for a lady who cared about her tools and accessories. It is of course meant to contain her current work, whether crochet, knitting or needlework and can be moved around with the greatest ease with two little ribbon handles that close the top when lifted, out of the way of cats, feet and busy cleaning ladies! The fabric is a scrap of old Indienne, lined in matching pink with a handy little pocket for scissors and buttons, and the crossed legs are finely turned to make it elegant and light to move. The old materials which can be carefully removed to repair and wash, are often quite interesting document pieces and if damaged, can be used for smaller projects - waste not! The screen in background is 4 fold and covered in a pretty pink toile. It is almost identical with the piece in the following blog, but smaller scale and with less curls and flowers, with classical beauties having a love-ly time. NOW SOLD. Still trying to find out its name! see Monsieur Cl0uzot blog e earlier and HELP ME DATE earlier

Thursday, 12 November 2009


I found this odd little bit in a pile of old cotton 19c. from a Bordeaux chateau. It is rather charming but I find the mix of children's games with willow pattern images rather odd and wonder where it might have been used - nursery or bedroom curtains? As is usual in prints of this period, (circa 1900?) the children are wearing miniature versions of the grown ups and I can imagine that wearing a big and flouncy hat with feathers must have been a trial for the little girl bowling her hoop. I once had eight such hoops with their iron guiding 'sticks' from a closed -down ironmongers and they soon ran away from me!

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Monsieur Clouzot, help me track these lovely people

Further to last month's S.O.S. for more info re a large bedcover or wall hanging which might be Toile de Jouy, I attach some close-ups of main features: hope we can give this genre design a name - it is so very lovely and romantic and the people are all so beautiful! There seem to be so many symbols of love and peace, as well as grand fountains and triumphal arches!

Sunday, 8 November 2009


I have had a very busy and interesting week and am now discovering just how useful the internet is as a trading tool, for both contacts and the selling/purchase of goods. My website (quite recently published by my own efforts with help from Linda and Co.) is now bringing in overseas general enquiries for hemp, linen and long chateaux curtains, all my specialities. This week I had one from S.America, one from S. Africa, and one from Tasmania. I was then able to inform with details of any particulr request, like a long set of best damask linen table napkins for a special party, with scans on my computer of the weave, initials and family crests, with price and condition - I find it best to deal in table linen only if in immaculate condition so there are no hidden surprises. For long curtains, I have some special French tapestry hanging brass rods placed very high in a good light and can hang a sample up and digital photo it to attach to my email in return. This last week, I have thus been able to send info. and scans of furnishings for U.S. city appartment being designed for a new foreign client, have them checked by the London decorator, confirmed by client, relayed to me and bingo! I can instruct seamstress with latest orders! All in one day! Blackberries take a bow. I don't have one (yet). The other overseas contact wanted chateau curtains for an English drawing room, and the lady Down Under is keen on linen and ticking for making up as she cannot get to France easily! A parcel is already done up waiting for the Post Office to pull its socks up. It is high time they got real with modern techno.