A nice day out in St. Ives

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Biba and I had an unexpected Saturday all to ourselves this weekend so we decided to have a proper day out to St. Ives (yes I know it’s only 7 miles away and I know I needed to visit our little shop there but it still counts!)

We took the train from Penzance which is my favourite way to go. You skip the nightmare of parking and the view from the window is amazing as you curve round the bay. You can spot herons, egrets, oystercatchers and plenty more in the Hayle estuary. Biba was more fascinated by the other passengers though- especially one dressed up as Yoda! (now don’t forget your light sabre said his mum as he got off the train!)

The estuary quickly opens out to the beautiful golden sands of St. Ives Bay and then through the trees and St. Ives is suddenly there bathed in sunlight and surrounded by glistening sea (well it was this Saturday anyway!)

We had a tasty lunch at Cafe Art which is the cafe at the entrance to the Drill Hall where our little shop is. Great coffee and very reasonably priced lunch, nice people and a programme of art exhibitions and events (including knitting group on Tuesdays which sounds fun) and a quirky hotch potch of tables and chairs.

Then a bimble along the sea front where we saw a seal catching then teasing a fish – very David Attenborough! And on to Barbara Hepworth’s garden which I hadn’t visited for years. It was just the same. A beautiful oasis right slap bang in the middle of the bustling town. Biba loved climbing on and touching the sculptures and really enjoyed drawing a postcard for Barbara (part of their garden trail,for kids) I was able to sit and draw quietly for a good 20 minutes whist she pottered about (and yes 20 minutes is good going!)

A spot of shopping afterwards to buy presents. Though it’s a very touristy town it has some fab clothes shops, books shop, gift shops and galleries and some great kids shops too so, unless its really chocca, it’s a great town for a spot of shopping.

Then ice creams and home, chuff chuffing back round the bay full of sea air and tired out…lovely

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Barbara Hepworth’s workshop

Browsing the British Craft Trade Fair catalogue

My partner, Jeweller Justin Duance made his way back from a a successful show at the British Craft Trade fair in Harrogate this week (he won a prize for excellence in jewellery which is really exciting!). The show is the biggest trade show for exclusively handmade products in the UK and it’s where, back in 2004, the stitching whirl wind that is Poppy Treffry was launched!

I was definitely a bit jealous of his trip as I love Harrogate and love the buzz of the show when us crafters are finally allowed out of our workshops, allowed to wear our best clothes without getting covered in clay/fluff/sawdust/ etc and able to step back and look at what we’ve made because we’ve actually stopped making for a few days!

So I’ve made up for not going by having a good old browse of the catalogue and I’ve put together a little collection of my favourites below….

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Jessica Hogarth has some fantastic designs on her website http://www.jessicahogarth.com/ I love the houses prints.

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I’d never seen Jade Devall’s work before but it’s really cute with some lovely drawing. I love this bicycle mug and quite a few other things on her site too! http://www.jadedevalldesigns.co.uk/

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Kirsten Jones was another new one for me. Her drawings are gorgeous. From her site it looks like they are actually really big. She also runs weekend workshops aboard a beautifully restored old boat more details on her website http://www.kirstenjones.co.uk/

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Treefall design are twitter buddies of ours and they had a gorgeous stand at last years Country Living Christmas. They have a curious and quirky collection of products which I love! http://www.treefalldesigns.co.uk/

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I love these mugs and love the company name ‘Death By Tea’ – ace! I couldn’t get their website to work (probably an ipad/flash thing) but found out a little more on their Facebook page

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I’ve known Becky Crow’s work since I first exhibited at the fair 8 years ago and it just gets better and better, more intricate and enticing. You can see all her collections on her website http://www.beckycrow.co.uk/

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Rachel Eardley is another artist whose work I’ve admired for a long time. Her current collection includes jewellery, textiles and lithograph prints like the map above. Her website is really pretty too…http://www.racheleardley.com/

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Twiggd are a new one on me but I had fun browsing their site and their lovely wooden creations I love the brooches and the furniture!
http://www.twiggd.co.uk/

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And of course Justin Duance my feller! www.justind.co.uk

The new camera earns its keep!

Just a little blog this evening as it’s been a long and lovely weekend and I may have had a glass of wine or two with my roast!

This week was a very busy one at work with big orders going out to America, designing a new summer range for Fortnums and a new website due to go live next week!

My main job in all of this was getting our lifestyle photography ready for the new site. It’s a job that I still do for the company and I do really, really enjoy it once I get going. But it’s quite challenging gathering all the props, finding a location, making sure you have all the products ready and then waiting, waiting, waiting for the light to be just perfect!

So this weeks glorious sunshine came right on cue. As did our lovely work experience student Grace who was a very useful photography assistant and even did a bit of modelling…

Here are a few sneak previews of the shots that made it through. It’s amazing how many you have to take before you shoot the perfect one (it’s also amazing how many props we found in the back of Sara’s van!)

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