Wednesday, 30 September 2009

bird creation

The problem is I never get time to blow my own trumpet!

Inspired by an article on birds in an old Selvedege edition I was trying to create a bird box along the lines of Tamar Morgendorff (love the stuff). It was a present for my mum so I was trying to link it to her bedroom by using some scraps of her curtain material to make the little birds.

And whilst on the subject of birds I've been collecting various birdie things recently including this Petra Boase t-shirt (baby wouldn't stay still!)

and this lovely metal bird made in India, it even chirps when you squeeze it

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

made by jo

I think I mentioned that Jo and I have gone a bit bird mad lately! well I had to show you one of Jo's creations , (she never blows her own trumpet!) Anyway we were having our friday morning stitch and bitch and Jo was making these tiny birds for another project, while I was on the phone she made me this gorgeous tiny brooch.

As you can see the freecycle typewriter is still being put to good use with the labels. The bird stamps are by cavellini who produce some lovely sets they are available in the uk here at papernation (a lovely on line stationery store brought to my attention by tara from aquamarine - a very talented artist.)

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Back and exhausted

It's been a shattering weekend, camping with the children is not conducive to a good nights sleep and spending our days watching the racing and taking in the sights means that we're going to be recovering all week!

There were so many glamorous women dressed to the nines in period costumes but by the time I'd taken the camera out, checked I still had 3 children, then removed the lense cap and had the camera pointing in the right direction the women had disappeared into a sea of people. I did manage to get a few shots to share with you though.
And the shopping, there was so much 'vintage' stuff to buy I was glad I had the pushchair to prevent me from entering the shops and having a good rummage around, else I'd have spent a small fortune.

Anyway, there was plenty for me to do without having to spend money in the shops!

Friday, 18 September 2009

Glorious Goodwood

In fact that's not quite true, the weather is glorious and we're off to Goodwood for the weekend, but not for the horse racing, but the cars. It's the Revival weekend and it has been a much awaited event in the Pope household. You don't have to be a petrol head to enjoy a bit of classic car racing and lots of vintage goodies. They go all out to create a great, period atmosphere and I've had great fun over the last few weeks gathering old bits of clothing for our costumes. Meanwhile Hubby has hired himself an old RAF outfit for the weekend, much to the amusement of the children. During my search I came across this link to loads of vintage shops, mainly in London and the South East, some with websites - do take a look.

And, for a bit of a Friday afternoon pick-me-up click on the link above, make sure your volume is on. As I said, it's not just about the cars!

Thursday, 17 September 2009

inspired by... birdies

I have been working on the launch of my childrens range for a shamefully long time, all of the designs are done, I just can't seem to get around to photographing it! anyway a design motif I seem to keep coming back to is birds. Ever since I went to San Francisco 4 years ago I have had a mini obsession with quirky bird and birdcages! And they are popping up everywhere in my work from Christmas decs to kids wallpaper.

I LOVE the idea of this cake from martha stewart, I think you could adapt the idea of this into a really cool kids party cake or a stylish wedding cake, its such a simple idea - less is more!

I also really like these bird stamp cards, I have got lots of lovely bird stamps - i wish we could get the martha ones over here in the uk, (again I lament the lack of a store like papersource over here!)
Anyway as this bird obsession shows no sign of abating I was super excited when the new prema arts brochure dropped through my door, and lo and behold a lovely outing opportunity for Jo and I. The fabulous artist Abigail Brown is doing an exhibition at Prema in November.

For those of you who are London based she is also doing a craft fair in Clapham this weekend see her blog for details - its at an intriguing sounding venue called the papered parlour

Anyway for thise of you who aren't Glos or London based here is a taster of Abigails amazing talent.

I love these beauties in the vintage match boxes.

Abigail also makes delightful bird and butterfly brooches, now with a birthday rapidly approaching................ (I wonder if he's reading this!!!!!!)

Sunday, 13 September 2009

new cushions 10% discount

ooo I was very excited when I finally got around to making my union jack flag fabric into a cushion. I think it looks lovely, I printed it onto my battered linen fabric, what I like most is the tiny 'made in England' label on it.
The original flag came from RE in Corbridge in Northumberland. I have justt uploaded them on to, (£27) but if you want to pre order one with a special blog readers 10% discount then email me at the above mail.

Thursday, 10 September 2009

what a load of nonsense

My brother has a thing about coincidences, he's sure there is potential for a great book full of weird and wonderful examples. As supportive sisters we're always teasing him about the idea, BUT it does sometimes seems as though someone out there is trying to tell you something.

Well, Boy came home from school the other day saying that they had read the Owl and the Pussy Cat so I was telling him about Edward Lear and his Nonsense Rhymes, and we dug out this old, beautifully illustrated version when visiting Mum.

It brought to mind a recent visit to Olivia Dell's shop in Nailsworth where I spied some beautifully embroidered silk cushions designed by Sophie Pattinson. She gets them embroidered by women in Bangladesh as part of a project to support women in remote parts of the country and she has a whole 'Lear' range.

Oh, and then I saw a little 'blurb' on Sophie Pattinson in May/June 09 issue of Selvedge.

Now, is that a coincidence?

Wednesday, 9 September 2009


I never knowingly miss a bit of a forage - its the northern in me, I love something if its free! Anyway I keep driving past this tree which borders a rather smart private golf course, when I say borders it is actually within the borders (technically!) anyway it was heaving with ripening plums 2 weeks ago. every fews days I have been past and noticed the plums just falling on the ground. well I could bear it no longer I hitched up my frock and legged it over the wall and picked up over a kilo of windfalls, they are tiny, super sweet and slightly almondy.well I made some jam (just boil equal quantities of fruit and suger for about 5mins and push through a seive and put into sterilized jars) and I also made the most gorgeous plum tart - a mixed bag of a recipe taken from Nigella and the lovely valentine warner.
I am rubbish at pastry so I always do Nigellas shortbread for any kind of sweet tart and just squish it into the tin in a haphazard manner making sure all areas are covered.
100g plainflour
100g soft butter
50g cornflour
50g icing sugar
blitz all in a food processor till it makes a dough, push it into a 25(ish) cm flan tin (I favour the john lewis silver anodised ones) it really doesn't matter if it is just on the base or up the sides either will do. put a piece of greaseproof on top and cover with baking beans, blind bake 150 degrees for about 15mins (everybody's cooker is different so till it is slightly golden).
for the filling
175g soft butter
175g caster sugar
175g ground almonds
65g plain flour
1/2 teasp baking powder
2 eggs
a few drops either almond or vanilla extract (will still be delicious without)
5 generous tablespoons jam (pref plum but any will do)
little plums or halves without the stones
handful flaked almonds
cream butter and sugar till fluffy, add the eggs, add the almonds,flour and baking powder and the drops of extract.
generously spread jam over the cooked base, spoon in the almond mix and spread roughly over the base. squidge plums in at regular intervals sprinkle on flaked almonds and bake at 180 for about 30-45mins till golden and no longer wobbly in the middle (if it looks a little bit underdone in hte middle it will probably be ok - best to take it out, i overcooked mine and it was a bit dry and crumbly around the edges).
It absolutely MUST be served with ultra fattening thick cream!! (preferably from Woefuldane dairy in minch if you are a local reader)
note: I had eaten so much roast dinner on sunday that I failed to give this the proper enjoyment it deserved, Mr H had thirds though!!

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

bird bouquet

I've developed a bit of a thing for birds recently (in part due to Sarah's post a while ago) and have been working on a few ideas that accidentally led me to making tiny bird badges.

That very night I went out to supper at a friend's and since I'd been so caught up in bird making that I didn't have time to pick up a bottle of wine I thought one of my bird brooches would be a nice gift.

By the time I made this one I had to substitute the pin with a button as I had run out but it can still be fixed to clothing through a button hole.

Alan Peacock

A while ago I mentioned the Bradford on Avon Arts Festival and that my mum's neighbour, Alan Peacock, would be exhibiting some of his works at the Bay Tree Gallery. I really love his quirky style and over the holidays had a chance to pop in and take some photos to share with you.

Most of these pictures will be shown at the exhibition but the one above is actually my mother sitting in her kitchen, lives on her kitchen wall and is a firm family favourite.

This painting 'Early Morning' demonstrates a melancholy present in many of Alan's paintings. He told me that he likes to suggest that his paintings tell a story, but you as the viewer have to work it out.

I love this one, the little black skating figures have something Lowry-esque about them and also remind me of the famous painting by Raeburn of Reverend Robert Walker Skating on Duddingston Loch.

The Mermaid Cafe

... and Relishing the Flotsam and Jetsam

And finally the 'Family Portrait', look at the attention to detail in the rug and the upholstery and the lovely old family pictures on the wall.

Sunday, 6 September 2009

weekend reading

let me just say that we don't want to tempt you away from us dear readers, however it would be most unfair not to share when we stumble across loveliness.

rust jewelery is made in the uk and has the vintage appeal that i love, there is also a blog (which makes me feel much better about my own junkaholic nature) which has beautiful photography, it has that same beautiful english eccentric feel that I love about lobsterandswan .

then there is frolic, I follow chelsea the writter on twitter, and always click on her links. she is in sweden at the moment but I think is based in Portland, Oregon normally (alot of creative people seem to live in Portland!) anyway it was via one of the frolic links that I found this from a british artist Jill Wignall.

She writes this totally charming blog, I love this idea, I used to make alot of postcards and send them to places when I was at college. I really like the simplicity of Jills drawings and the fact that she mails them all over the world. a thing of beauty!

enjoy the links and your weekend, its our last one before Mr H goes back to school (I should stress I am married to a teacher, not a pupil!!)