Tuesday, 13 December 2011


Beautiful video shot by local Historian Stuart Morris.  Portland were runners up to Orkney in this competition and well deserved.  Wild, wonderful, full of inspiration and history. 

PANTONE Tangerine Tango: the 2012 Color of the Year - blog.pantone.com

PANTONE Tangerine Tango: the 2012 Color of the Year - blog.pantone.com

Still locked in to the 70's it seems.  Must admit it is softer than orange and I do love CORAL JEWELLERY.  Can't see me painting my house this colour, but it does remind me of the colour the Devon soil used to stain my clothes, much to my Mother's chagrin.  Of course there were no biological washing powders then.  It is a lovely colour but I think a little goes a long way.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Musée de la Mode « Le b1og Prunch

Musée de la Mode « Le b1og Prunch

This link has been sent to me by a friend who is opening a Costume Museum in Albi, France, next year.
I think it will be worth a visit.

Saturday, 22 October 2011


The days and weeks seem to have flown by recently.  The lovely weather has been an unexpected bonus enabling me to work outside sorting my boxes for Fairs.  Recent Fairs have had mixed results mostly negative.  Ilminster was very good as usual and last week-end I was at a Specialist Vintage Wedding Fair which turned out to be a flop for me.  After weeks of work gatherinhg everything together I was disappointed with the day.  The venue was magnificent - Chettle House, nr. Blandford - the weather was great and the organisers had done a very efficient job - but the punters were a little lack lustre.  All the work wasn't entirely wasted as I now have all my wedding stuff together in one place instead of scattered around the house.  Now I must decide what to do with it.  The dresses are difficult to store and take up a lot of room so I think they must go to on-line Auction.

This beautiful wax head-dress is a new acquisition and I shall hang on to this for a bit.

We are off to Ardingly Antiques and Collectors Fair on 31st October so some things will go there.  I am having a massive clear out this Autumn as we are about to start much needed renovations on the House so I need to clear the decks a bit.   I have recently taken space in Dorchester Curiosity Centre and have been busy re-ticketing everything with codes and prices.  This will, I hope,  be a good clearing house for a lot of things.  The Centre is a very interesting place with lots of lovely furniture and vintage clothes and decorative bits and pieces.  It has a good atmosphere and everyone is very friendly.  Let's hope the business will be good as well.  But for the immediate future it is back to sorting and pricing things to go to Ardingly on Monday week.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Hello Again

It's been a very long time since I last posted here.  I seemed to run out of steam and even though I have been quite busy it was the same old 'same old' thing and not that interesting.  It has been such a long time that I can't remember everything that has passed.  In August I went to Festival of Quilts for a four day visual feast.  I always enjoy going even though I come back exhausted.  There were many, many beautiful quilts and exhibitions and my head was buzzing with all the new and innovative things that were there.  The arrival of September saw a return to work and the first of the month was the Textile Fair at the American Museum, Bath.  This was very well attended and we were busy with new as well as regular customers.  Then of course there was Ardingly - enough said - the weather was appalling.  Sideways rain and 70 mph winds.  It was not a good place to be and we saw hardly any of our regulars.
While I have been resting and gaining strength to cope with the 4.30 a.m. mornings I have been reading. 
Books are a weakness of mine.  I have shelves and shelves of Art and Textile books but not all that many reading books.  I find it hard sometimes to get into a book and I know within the first couple of pages whether I will finish it or not.  On a recent shopping trip to WH Smiths I saw an area designated to the Jean M. Auel books of the 'Earths Children' series and bought a couple.  They are not new by any stretch of the imagination but what caught my attention was the fact that she had written a new one - the last in the series - which had been published this year called 'The Land of the Painted Caves'.  This immediately reminded me of the famous painted caves in France at Lascaux.  I started at the beginning with 'The Clan of the Cave Bear' and am now halfway through the final one.  This last one has been intriguing and almost familiar to me.  The author's powers of description are powerful and take you to that place.
During the long road trip Linda and I did this year at Easter to the South of France we drove across the Auvergne and down the Ardeche valley.   All around us the rock formations were incredible and lots of little caves were visible.  On our way back North we were in the Dordogne and Perigord regions where this book is set.  We drove past the turning that would have taken us to Lascaux but it was not on our route.  As we left the turning behind I felt desolated.  To have been that close ...............    A treat in store for next time though I fear I won't be able to manage the walking or climbing it may involve.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011


I spent
 last evening in the Assembly Rooms at the opening of the most fabulous exhibition - 'Dressing the Stars' - British Costume Design and the Academy Awards.  This exhibition is dedicated to award winning costume from some of the most iconic films.  It was opened by Sir Christopher Frayling - Rector of the Royal College of Art - who gave a great opening speech, as one would expect.  Here was a man who really gets it about costume and the designers and makers.  People who are very often overlooked and are often at the bottom of the credits list at the end of a film.  He stressed the importance of these talented people whose job it is to put clothes on the back of the actor and create a believable character.  Of course he was preaching to the converted as far as I am concerned!  Historical Fashion is my all consuming passion  and there was plenty there last night.  The photograph shows the dress worn by Gwyneth Paltrow as Viola de Lesseps in Shakespear in Love - a film I watch over and over .  The work in this dress is amazing.  On very close inspection you can see that for the stomacher and tassets of the bodice the designer has used fragments of antique Indian embroidery.  This embroidery is of metal wires and threads and is still mounted on the original background fabric.  The cleverness here comes from the choice of colour for the fabric of the dress which is almost identical to the background fabric of the embroidery, and this has just been trimmed very carefully and then mounted on to the dress fabric.  I spent a long time looking at this dress and thinking about the process involved.  The first being to find the correct type of embroidery to turn something into a plausible Elizabethan bodice.  Which came first I wondered, was it the embroidery and then the whole thing  built around that or was it the dress fabric. Or was it all already in the costume department in various boxes just waiting for the right project?  I know as part of my experiences at the big Textile Fairs that Film and Theatre designers spend endless hours trawling through boxes and boxes of trims, fabrics and buttons, beads, ribbons to find just the right finishing touch.  The reward for this is visible in the end result.  Using period trimmings and textiles make such a difference to creating a plausible costume .  Sandy Powell was the Designer for Shakespear in Love and she was well rewarded with an Academy Award for Best Costume Design  and nominated for a BAFTA Film Award for Best Costume Design in 1998.

Sir Christopher was right - its about time due credit was given to the thousands of costume designers and makers for their vision and skill. 

Thursday, 26 May 2011


The beautiful Abbey Barn at Glastonbury was transformed into a Textile Wonderland on Friday, 20th May when the 'Talent for Textiles' Fair was held there.  The light was a challenge!  but it was met and overcome magnificently by organiser Elizabeth Baer.  The strings of electric lights transformed the inside into a wonderland.  Well done Buffy and thank you.  The very next morning Linda and I were on the first Ferry out of Portsmouth with a car loaded to sell at a Puce Couturieres to be held at St. Lo on Sunday 21st.  Phew!!!!!  Unfortunately my brain went into premature retirement and I didn't take any photographs on Sunday but the photographs below are of the charming village of Clecy, the capital of Suisse Normande, where we stopped  for Coffee and the most wicked Almond Croissant on the way back to the Ferry on Wednesday morning.

It was another successful trip and we spent all our takings on lovely new stock to bring home for our future Fairs and our websites.  Linda's car was so stuffed we were stopped and questioned and searched on both sides of the channel.
This coming Sunday, 29th May we will be selling at Bridport Vintage Market.  Let's hope it keeps dry.!!  Before then I must catch up with my stitching...............................

Wednesday, 11 May 2011


After a very happy and successful day at Pamphill Village Hall on Monday (thank you Ted and Bunny for your hard work in organising such a successful event) it is on to the next event in my life!!  Tomorrow I am taking my collection of period costume out of wraps to visit a local W.I meeting to show them and to talk about it all.  I do enjoy seeing it all together and only wish I have a suitable premises where it could be permanently displayed.  It is my all consuming passion and I never tire of it.  I will be taking these lovelies below with me.  The have had a treat and been polished today, probably the first time in 100 years!!!!!!!!!!!
 Then on Friday Linda and I leave for the Stroud International Textile Fair.  We are looking forward to this very much.  We are going to be at Bisley Village Hall along with Elizabeth Baer, Polly Lyster, Barbie Campbell-Cole,Lucy Farmer, Tigermoth, Martin Conlan and last and not by any means least John Gillow.
This Fair is being run in conjunction with the famous Stroud Textile Fair and we are very flattered to have been invited to be there with our Textiles.  I am sure it will be a great weekend.

Thursday, 5 May 2011


On Easter Sunday we left Isle-sur-la-Sorgue and headed north-west to St. Gauderic to stay a couple on nights with my friend Caroline at her lovely home 'Marmiflet'.

Caroline breeds budgies.  I love budgies.  They are always so happy.

This is Mirepoix on Easter Monday.  I love this place.  The atmosphere is fantastic.

Tuesday morning we said goodbye to Caroline and Philip her son and headed north to Bergerac.

We bought lots of lovely things in this shop.  Bergerac is very beautiful.  We stayed here a couple of nights at a friend's Gite.  Thursday we left and headed north to Angers.  On the way we came across this beauty.

Most of the chateau is in ruins but there are still some parts in tact that it is possible to visit.  It wasn't really open for visitors yet.

This is near Saumur in the Loire Valley.  The houses are built into the rocks and there are many caves there as well.  There was an abundance of red clover growing on the verges.

We stayed one night in Angers and then on Friday headed north again to get back to Ticky's house near Mayenne.  We arrived just in time to see the Royal Wedding.  I was so pleased as I thought I would miss seeing it.  The next day we went to a party at one of Ticky and Nick's friends house.  A beautiful old former Mill.  Parts of the house date back to 1548 or thereabouts.

Sunday morning we left and headed north for Caen and the Ferry home.  Exhausted but full of wonderful memories of quite a trip.