Wednesday, 30 November 2011
If you saw this sign above a shop, could you guess what they sold inside?? Well, come to Silver Street in Bradford on Avon and explore this great new shop - I almost wrote emporium, because as you trawl through its stock you realise that it is one of the most useful places you could find to source everything to do with knitting and sewing - the range is wide and interesting and right up to date - in the last week I have found pale silky ribbons, sewing machine needles for sewing jeans and denim, and monster reels of thread in every colour - while there I was tempted by so many novel and useful ideas for trimming and finishing sewing works, braids of cut-out jumping reindeer asking to be fixed to cakes, crackers and knitted hats and gloves,
Monday, 28 November 2011
Wednesday, 23 November 2011
|The Book of Fine Linen by Francoise de Bonneville|
Thursday, 17 November 2011
Tuesday, 15 November 2011
The cupboard is all in pine, circa 1810 with panelled doors, with locks and one old key, and the central doors fold back on themselves so you can see the whole array in one go. It has ventilation openings covered in decorative wirework panels. I bought it in Bath about 20 years ago, it moved with me from Freshford to Bradford on Avon, where it may be viewed, and it is now past its date by 200 years, We have had a lovely new bathroom tacked on to this room where I keep all my best linen and that will be my new spare bedroom - toile curtains already up, wallpaper hung, and I need the wall space for a toile double bed to complete my Jouy rasberry pinky-red scheme and that will be the end of my linen store which is de-moted to a lower floor! Is this up- or down-sizeing? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further info.
Monday, 14 November 2011
The French housewife of pre-war years was a very methodical worker who followed the traditions and customs of her mother and grandmother. Her wedding dowry, if her parents were rich, could consist of dozens of sheets and all the other bed and table linen required for a large family, masses of all kinds of torchons, the ubiquitous coarse cloths used for cooking, baking, butchery, dairy work, etc., and a great pile of tea towels for drying different vessels after washing up; for pots and pans, for cutlery, for china, and extra fine for glass (woven with red check pattern). Tea towels all had stripes running through them and most had neat red initials embroidered on one corner. Some (especially from the Basque region), have very glossy, elaborate weave patterns, and many of my customers have used them to make kitchen curtains, cushions and bench seating as they obviously stand up to hard wear and lots of washing. All are unused and often still tied up in their original string packs from the convents and small cloth mills where they were woven and hand-finished. I am showing them here in my capacious Irish Regency pine housekeeper's cupboard which was designed to hold all the linen of a large household, all kept under lock and key. The cupboard is now surplus and for sale, as I am converting the room into a spare bedroom. It's a pretty wonderful piece of 'household' furnishing, genuine and useful in any large room.All details from me at email@example.com .
Thursday, 10 November 2011
We all have our button boxes and children love to rummage in them and string them into gaudy necklaces. I was once in the Saturday outdoor market in Orleans, France, (large and good fun) and was staring down at a large crate full of boxed loose buttons, red, blue and white, thinking how bright they shone in the sunlight. The trader, desperate to get rid of them, pressed me to buy them and said I would not be able to resist his ludicrous price. If I took the lot (probably surplus from a knitwear factory) for the price of 150 Francs, i.e. £15) he would even carry them to my car. I FELL FOR IT! A very heavy load, and I reckoned there were about 10 or 12 thousand good bright (glass) buttons. I sold nearly all over five years, packed into Bon Maman jam jars with red check screw-on lids. I now have a 3 jars left for sale, I have not changed the price, about 300 for £3. My grandchildren made these jolly door stops for me on a wet afternoon., and when young children come to my 'shop' I tip some out and invite them to make pictures and then put them back! This gives 'Mum' some breathing space to do her shopping.
Wednesday, 9 November 2011
THIS WAS THE IMAGE THAT LAUNCHED A THOUSAND VISITORS to the American Museum and who visited our Textile Fair there on Sept. 1st. I have such a lovely collection of thank you's and compliments for a wonderful day and the adjectives/comments are 'gorgeous day, smiles all round., special event,
Friday, 4 November 2011
Though a lot of French fabrics have red in them (the dye was called Rose Madder), there is also a tremendous lot of indigo blue. They learnt how to use the dye from the Far East, particularly Siam, and it was quite a complicated business to get the different shades - it all depended on the quantity of dye and the amount of 'dips' in the vat as well as exposure to sunlight which changed the muddy greens to the brilliant blue we know. Blue was used for many household linens like these tickings which were feather bed and mattress covers, pillows, bolsters and household cloths. They always look crisp and clean and appeal to most of us for kitchen, nursery and holiday house decoration. In particular, most men find them very smart and attractive. You know how they like blue striped shirts, socks and ties!A doctor once told me that this is because men's eyes are not good at perceiving blue and they therefore have a great need for it in their colour spectrum.