Saturday, 31 October 2009
jUST RECEIVED WARNING FROM HELPFUL FRIEND IN FRANCE THAT A GANG OF PICKPOCKET THIEVES HAVE BEEN OPERATING AT THE BIG FAIRS SLITTING POCKETS AND REMOVING CASH - A FRIEND OF HERS WAS STRIPPED AND THERE ARE MANY COMPLAINTS - SO HIDE YOUR CASH WELL IN SECRET INNER SPACES. ELIZABETH BAER.
Monday, 19 October 2009
I MENTIONED THAT I IHAD A GOOD SCOOP OF TOILE ON MY LAST VISIT TO FRANCE - MUCH WAS FAIRLY WORN, THOUGH NOT SHATTERED AS YET, AND I HAVE BEEN ABLE TO IDENTIFY 4 OF THE PATTERNS, THE MONGOLFIER BALLOON, THE 4 CONTINENTS, THE DANCING LESSON AND THE SWING (ESCARPOLETTE) BUT I CANNOT FIND ANYTHING LIKE THE ENCLOSED IN MY REFERENCE BOOKS- LIKELY TO BE J OUY BECAUSE SOME OF THE BALLOON PRINT WAS ATTACHED TO THIS MAGNIFICENT BEDSPREAD, 7 x 7 FT SQUARE IN ALMOST PERFECT CONDITION. I HAVE SOLD IT TO A NEW CLIENT IN USA WHO WOULD LIKE TO KNOW MORE - AND SO WOULD I. CAN YOU HELP IDENTIFY IT? I WOULD BE SO GRATEFUL FOR ANY CLUES. STRANGELY ENOUGH I HAVE A FOUR FOLD SCREEN IN THE SAME PATTERN, BUT MUCH SMALLER AND WITHOUT SOME OF THE TWIRLY BITS AND FLOWERS, SO IT WAS OBVIOUSLY VERY POPULAR. THE SCREEN WHICH IS COVERED BOTH SIDES APPEARS TO BE 19C. See later blog PINS AND NEEDLES SCREEN IN BACKGROUND
Sunday, 18 October 2009
Sometimes I have a good clear out of my surplus cloth trunk - mostly remnants of hand-woven coarse linen and hemp which are left over from cushion making, which in turn are usually made from left overs from curtains. They are a bit heavy for normal quilts and collage work but I have for a long time sent them off to Fine Cell Work in London, where they are eagerly awaited and put to very good use. It is easy to embroider directly on the evenly spaced threads without need for canvas and patterns. F.C.W. was founded several years ago by a distinguished prison visitor Lady Anne Tree, who desperately wanted to find something for the lifers (long -time prisoners) to do and to be able to earn some money for comforts and save for their eventual release. She hit on the brilliant idea of encouraging them to do canvaswork cushions to designs donated by several of her top designer friends, and the Royal School of Needlework found needlewomen who were willing to go into the prisons and teach the inmates how to work - one of the really practical and helpful ideas was that the prisoners could continue with their work in their cells so they were occupied and trained and felt there was more purpose to their life 'inside' The movement has been a huge success and many prisons are now waiting for the scheme to be introduced - more than 20 are already involved and report that it has had a remarkable and good effect on the lifers, who previously thought they were forgotten and were deeply depressed. Fine Cell Work welcomes the chance to show the very fine work they produce at large country houses where the cushions and quilts can be seen and where the hostess has a good invitation list to bring the buyers in. They will undertake personal commisioned work, and the standard of work is truly
excellent. FINE CELL WORK 0207 931 9998, 38 BUCKINGHAM PALACE RD. SW1 0RL
email: ENQUIRIES @FINECELLWORK.CO.UK
Saturday, 10 October 2009
Elsewhere I have told of a recent haul of top quality silk and designer print curtains, all from a mansion in USA. I had a surprise visitor last month who was looking to re-decorate a spacious apartment overseas and wanting extremely tall curtains - I was delighted to be able to supply all that were needed and also to suggest the skilled workers who could re-make and adjust the very luxurious fabrics to very exact measurements.. It needed a mix of straight maths and some geometry to work it all out but these clever ladies are taking all in their stride and all will be done in 4 weeks and the curtains will be speeding back to their new home. I have had two more enquiries for lots of very large curtains for high ceilings and windows since then - it is obvious that people are trying to insulate large rooms and economise on heating this winter and the re-cycle ethic is playing an important part in all walks of life. I am delighted to think that one person's extravagance is now turned into another's eco -decorating. I still have two pairs curtains left, chic terracotta foliage,Pierre Frey, 7'6" drop, and pretty blue/yellow flower print 9'5" drop. £550 for two pairs each design., both with sumptuous deep pelmets with very expensive trimmings. all lined and interlined and hand sewn. There is also one pair of ivory pure silk curtains - very elegant! 12ft drop and 8'3 wide, £350.(sorry, now sold)But I have just collected another stash of similar rich curtains, drapes etc. from same source so am in business again!