A fond farewell….

Hello! It’s Sarah from the shop at St Ives, although sadly not for much longer as I will be leaving Poppy Treffry at the end of the week. I must just say that it is not due to the company or the lovely people but becuase of me! I work part time in the shop and also have my own little business designing stationery for weddings and occassions and have got very busy in the last few months and just won a national award (i’ll tell you about that in a minute!). It was a very hard decision to make as Poppy and the team are just the loveliest bunch of people and have been so good to me, but I just need more time to concentrate on my own business.

card at table

Last year I was nominated for the ‘Best Wedding Stationery‘ award by Wedding Ideas magazine. In December I found out I had made it to the finals and was invited to the awards night at Tower Bridge Hotel in London on January 11th. The magazine also asked me to create the stationery for the tables and winners cards so it was great to see it all laid out. It was all very glamorous with all of the top wedding industry suppliers all under the same roof. There were butlers in the buff serving champagne, a glass giraffe vodka luge and celebrity entertainment by Francine Lewis from Britain’s got talent. Once we’d eaten our 3 course meal it was awards time and the stationery category was the first one up. To say I was nervous was a massive understatement! Then they read out my name and I was so shocked, overwhelmed and excited. I could only describe the feeling as I thought I was going to burst! Biggest smile ever and still smiling now.

on stage

The whole night was a bit of a blur (not due to alcohol!) and a very sureal experience-one that I will never forget! After a bit of boogying and mingling it was time for bed but not before a photo with my trophy infront of the screen on the way out. Felt like a celebrity on the red carpet!  I lay in bed thinking; did that actually just happen, it felt like a dream.

infront screen

I am very overwhelmed, proud and grateful that my little business has won a national award-still can’t believe it! Plus got lots of exciting  new things on the horizon too. If any of you are engaged and after some whimsical rustic stationery for your wedding, then you can have a look at my collections over at www.sarahwants.com.

It’s been a great few years working at Poppy Treffry and I will miss you all so very much. I have never had the privilege of working with such a fantastic, funny and skilled bunch of tea addicted nutters before! The Christmas party roller disco was a highlight of course-lost count of the times poor studio Sara fell over! I will visit the shop regularly and keep upto date on what’s new over on the Facebook page. Thanks for everything-its been a blast and I have very fond memories of my time at Poppy Treffry.

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Fun times!

yay retro!

Hi folks

We recently had a lovely visitor to our shop who loved the way we displayed our handmade products amidst second hand treasures!

We later found out that her name was Sue and she has her own business selling retro & vintage china and she has some really unique pieces, that you’ll find hard not to purchase!

We’d like to introduce you to yay retro! with a little interview with Sue….

Figgjo Flint Daisy

How did yay retro! start?

I have collected vintage china for years, and then fell in love with Poole Pottery and began collecting their Streamline Twintone designed in the 1930s – 50s. After training as a fine artist at The Winchester School of Art, I went on to become a professional photographer, and am now part of our family run website design company. Putting all of these skills and interests together I started yay retro! in August 2012. I feel that my art and photography background plays a huge part in yay retro!s feel good factor – I want yay retro! to be a really happy online space, where people can pop in and browse through the photos of the lovely things I have for sale.

Staffordshire Pottery Cups and Saucers

Tell us a bit about what you do…

I spend time searching for the very best in 1940s, 50s, 60s and 70s china. Often the tea sets and kitchenware I find are one offs, or rarely seen as a set, making them extra special and something to snap up whilst you can! I do all the leg work searching out fab vintage and retro china wherever I go, doing all the hard work, so my customers don’t have to! I am constantly looking for genuine vintage tea sets, cups, saucers, plates and dishes which are still in really good condition, and that can be used every day. I describe each item honestly, and in real detail – so important when buying pre-loved items. My retro and vintage china is always carefully checked over, hand washed and dried, before packing it extra safely. Ensuring it arrives in the same condition as it left yay retro!, ready for a new life in my customer’s home.

Orange Daisy Pyrex

Who does all the work?

It’s just me! Though my husband has become very adept at helping me search out fresh vintage stock too.  I get stock from anywhere and everywhere, I cannot walk past a charity shop, junk shop, street market, garage or car boot sale!

It was lovely to meet you in our shop in St. Ives and we hope you liked it too..

I loved your shop so much! Recently I have really got into illustration and graphic design, and so I spent a lot of time looking at Poppy’s hand drawn and sewn designs. I absolutely cannot sew, and so I was tremendously impressed with the embroidered drawings. I also loved the way vintage items were interspersed with Poppy’s new designs, a very clever idea. I was looking for a gift for my friend and you helped us to find something she would like. We bought some fine cotton tea towels and some egg cups as she had just started keeping chickens.

Elizabethan Pop Tea set

and finally Sue’s tip for you…

Buy the very best vintage quality pieces you can, from a trusted shop so that it will be in great condition – there’s nothing better than a cup of tea and a slice of cake using bright, happy retro china – it really lifts your spirits!
To see all of the lovely china Sue has for sale, just visit www.yayretro.co.uk

Meet the team – Liz!

So we thought you’d like to meet another member of our team, this time we want to introduce you to the lovely Liz!

Liz is fairly new to team Treffry, she started in June to help us out in our shop in St.Ives over the busy summer. In her interview Liz said she could sew, so Poppy gave her a trial and she wasn’t wrong! Liz has been sewing since she was a child and was taught everything she knows from her creative & crafty mother! Now that the summer has passed Poppy has utilised Liz’s skills and you will find her in the studio sewing away under a fabric mountain. She mostly sews up our super useful purses and tote bags. In fact sometimes its hard for her to keep up, as you lot seem to love them and they don’t stay on our shelves for very long.

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This is Liz happily sewing away in the studio, she is very good at multi tasking as she can sew whilst nattering away to the team AND drink her tea! Can you spot Freya in the background making the tea for everyone. Liz has black earl grey and her favourite biscuit for dunking is a custard cream.

Liz said the best thing about working at the studio is the eclectic mix of music you get to sew to. You never know what will come on next-anything from Stones Roses to Gotan Project which is Argentinean samba and rather up beat and jolly. According to Poppy it helps you to sew faster!

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On Liz’s last day off she attended Trevaskis Farm‘s annual apple day. Trevaskis farm is a wonderful place where they grow lots of produce that you can go and pick yourself. There are also lots of resident animals to see, an amazing farm shop and a restaurant famous with the locals for its impressive desserts! On apple day there were crates of apples lined up that you could taste and buy. As well as tasting of different ciders, cheeses and chef specials including pork & apple scotch eggs, pork & Rattler pasties, apple doughnuts, turnovers & meringues….mmm now I’m hungry! Liz’s dogs Bella & Scrappy had more than their 5 a day and enjoyed all of the leftover apple cores. Next time you’re around you should definitely make a trip to Trevaskis Farm for the day. Highly recommended!

apple day

Liz likes to cook, when she can get in the kitchen that is… she is very lucky as her husband is a chef! Her signature dish is similar to a Spanish paella with rice scattered with chicken, chorizo, orange slices, red peppers, onions and olives. Sounds tasty hey!

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Liz’s favourite Poppy Treffry product is the bicycle tote bag, she carries it everywhere as it is really well made and strong. She says ‘its bottomless, it just fits everything in’ The one that she has, is even one that she made herself-how good is that! Liz also loves the little robin badges that Freya so patiently creates; they’re just so cute and amazing. We currently have some with spotty backgrounds that look like snow-perfect for that big ‘C’ season ahead!

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Samuel Winterbourn – the nature nut!

We’d like to introduce you to the lovely Sam Winterbourn with a little Q & A…

What is your story?

I’m an artist designer who draws from British flora and fauna, combining a patchwork of influences into my designs, from intricate pattern, to British eccentricity. I love to hide symbols of Britain in my drawings from royal crowns to the union jack. Also a big inspiration of mine is British fairy tales and illustrators like Arthur Rackham and Beatrix Potter. Their work really inspires me to try to capture images that reflect magic and the wild beauty of nature.

With Love x 2013

My Journey as an artist began from a very young age. I do not have memories of a favourite toy, but I do have strong memories of just drawing, drawing, drawing. I was brought up in North London, but had a longing for the sandy beaches in Cornwall, where I now live.  The landscape of Cornwall really inspires me. From the beautiful hidden coves to the rugged cliffs, and of course the wide variety of wildlife you get in the countryside, compared to the city.

After taking a foundation diploma in Art and Design at Cornwall College in 2007. I applied for an illustration degree, but was sadly turned down. I didn’t let the rejection hinder me, though, in fact it almost did me a favour in the end. It fuelled me to pursue my art and to be different. I went back to basics, pen and paper and my childhood days of drawing began again. By combining my passion for British nature my eye for detail and design, I found a unique artistic style all of my very own. I have been selling my original work in local galleries ever since, mainly in Uys Gallery in St Ives.

How did the collaboration with Poppy come about?

The Collaboration with Poppy was very exciting for me. I really admired her work as a designer and the beautiful products her and her team create. I met Poppy in her lovely shop in St Ives and was bold enough to introduce myself.

As an artist I knew I wanted to expand my ideas in design. I have always enjoyed working with textiles and was interested to combine my ideas onto handmade products. Lucky enough Poppy liked my work enough to give me shot with a design collaboration. I must admit I was very ropey on the hands free sewing machine! However, I have a great eye for colour and design. I enjoyed choosing all the fab fabrics from the studio. Then with Poppy’s patience and help, I ended up with three unique designs that I’m very proud of. Each one has its own charm and character and I find it hard to pick a favourite. At a push it’s ‘Love Nest.’ I really like the symmetry of the design and the dotty belly of the song thrushes next to the bold pink foxgloves. I feel that this cushion makes a real statement.

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The cushions proudly sit on the top shelf amidst the other cushions in our shop!

love nest

How did you interpret the brief?

The brief for the design project was woodland animals. I did some rough sketches and overall Poppy liked the woodland bird ideas best. We took some ideas from other sketches I had done, to make three strong designs. The inspiration for ‘Love Nest’ came from an original drawing I had done also titled ‘Love Nest,’ it was great to take this design into a completely different form.

How/where do you find inspiration and are you influenced by trends?

I try not to follow trends in my work, but I must admit it’s hard not to be inspired creatively as an artist, with what’s going on around you. Unless, I suppose, you go through life with your eyes closed!

I can find inspiration in anything from vintage objects, old picture books, and the changing of the seasons. Most of all, it’s flora and fauna that inspires me. From every day birds you see in the garden, to the treasured scenes your eyes can capture from walking in the great outdoors, it’s just the skill of holding the image in your memory and then getting it on to paper. I also love beach combing and collecting natural objects from long walks in the woods. I just can’t help myself; I’m a little bit of a magpie!

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Your creations are so detailed & intricate; how long does it take to perfect a finished design?

Each drawing is different really and depends on how long I have each day to dedicate to drawing. My bigger drawings can take me up to a month to complete and smaller ones can take me a few days. It generally depends on time and my mood creatively. And, I now have to make sure that I give my poor neck a good rest!

Can you talk us through the process from the initial idea to a finished product.

I always start my designs from a quick doodle, normally on a scrap piece of paper, anything I can get my hands on when an idea comes to mind. I have even been known to sketch on kitchen roll and old receipts! Once I have the composition right, I carefully sketch it out onto fine drawing paper then, with a black ink pen I slowly begin to fill the design in. Each pattern is unique, but over time I have created my own patterns for different animal textures.  I’m always trying to capture the right texture of each animal I’m drawing but in a quirky, illustrative way.

We love your new range for Ulster Weavers; what’s in the pipeline for the future?

Ulster Weavers has been amazing for me. I’ve always dreamed of having my own textile range and because I mostly draw in black and white, it’s super to see my designs in bold colour. It has opened my mind to new possibilities. For 2014, Ulster Weavers will be taking my designs into china mugs and also table placemats.

At the moment I’ve been working hard on some new drawings for an exhibition from the 5th of December to 10th January at The New Craftsman Gallery in St Ives Cornwall. My work will be combined with other artists work. The exhibition is titled, ‘Under the Wild Stars’ and I’m very excited to show some of my new Nature Nut drawings! Also this year I have been working on some new card designs with the Almanac Gallery London.

samuel winterbourn t-towels ulster weavers shots 2013
Lastly, what is your ultimate dream?

My ultimate dream is to carry on being a nature nut and expand in all forms of design. I would love to take my designs into more household items and also fabric and wallpaper would be wonderful. Ideally, creating my own little brand!

I’ve always dreamed of tying my work into a book of some sort. Children’s picture book illustration is one of my biggest goals. But I will have to wait and see when I have the time to dedicate to just one project. I’m afraid I find it a bit too scary to look too far ahead, but my main aim in 5 years is to still enjoy, and have the same passion, for creating quirky designs that reflect my love of British nature.

You can purchase any of Sam’s lovely range of bags & tea towels for Ulster Weavers and his cushions from Poppy Treffry. If you’re in Cornwall in December and January, then it’d just be rude to not go and see his exhibition at the Craftsmen Gallery in St. Ives.  If you’d like to get in touch with Sam then you can visit his website.

Thanks Sam!

our love nest cushion features in Country Living magazine

country living October

country living October

We were delighted today to find out that our love nest cushion is featured in October’s edition of Country Living magazine. Very lovely it looks too.

We found out because a lovely lady phoned us to order one having seen it in the magazine. She has five children and so thought it would be the perfect gift for her husband with the five little eggs in the nest – a lovely idea we thought. Now we have to make sure we don’t accidentally put six eggs in the nest when we make hers, could cause a small panic in that household!!!

Samuel G Winterbourne and love nest cushion

Samuel G Winterbourne and love nest cushion

If you’ve not seen our beautiful love nest cushion before then do take a look at it on our website. It was designed by very talented artist Samuel G. Winterbourne in a fun collaboration with us and we love, love, love the results. Check out Samuel’s website to see more of his beautiful work.

A crafty day at my new job!

Hello, it’s Sarah. I have been working in the Poppy Treffry shop in St. Ives for nearly 2 months now and I thought it was about time I tried out some of this freehand machine embroidery! I attended one of Poppy’s courses last Friday and had such a great time. I am used to a sewing machine so that was a bonus but there were a few on the course that hadn’t even sewn before and everyone still completed their piece by the end of the day. Poppy was really friendly and helpful and explained everything in a simple step by step way so that it wasn’t too taxing! The course took place at the studio at Penzance, it was nice to see the environment that all the products are made in. It was a sunny day and Poppy had the doors flung open to let the summer sunshine & breezes flood in. It is such a lovely place to make and create, I’m very jealous as I would love a studio for making and crafting; I’ll have to put up with the tiny spare room office at home for now!

the stichers at work

So the day started off with a meet and greet with Poppy and my fellow stitchers for the day. Of course there was immediately a cup of tea served in Poppy Treffry mugs. I had the boat one! Poppy demonstrated how to stretch the fabric tightly in the embroidery hoop, this is the basis of freehand embroidery and is very important as it doesn’t work properly if your fabric is too loose. Once this was done we could start having a go at sewing. We each had a singer sewing machine and sat down to start stitching away. The first hour or two was spent having a play and getting to know the techniques and getting used to the machine with a few Poppy demonstrations for appliqué in between. I seemed to stitch variations of flowers and leaves, so it was clear that this would feature in my final design. I had quite a scribbly style which was handy as if it didn’t go quite inside the lines, I could say I was meant to do that! Others were more precise and neat; the lady next to me was a teacher and she was amazing at freehand embroidery writing. It was good as everyone had a unique style! When we got to a point that we were happy, we could start thinking about the design we wanted to create in the afternoon. Once it got to 1 o clock it was time for lunch so we walked across the road to the beautiful Trereife House where we all had lunch together in their café and a little walk round the garden. The food was lovely and it was the first time I had tried potted stilton and frosted grape – find something similar here

my design laid out ready to stitch

After lunch and some sunshine it was back to the studio to get started on our pieces. You can either make a bag, cushion, tea cosy, egg cosy or a purse. I chose a cushion with of course a floral design. I sketched out what I wanted it to look like on paper and selected and cut out my appliqué pieces, took a deep breath and made a start. At first I thought it was going to take forever but as you get going you get quicker and before I knew it, it was 3 o clock and time for more tea and biscuits. Then it was just some finishing off, some ironing and then to actually sew the cushion and, tadah, it was complete! We put everyone’s creations together on the sofa and stood back to admire with a sigh and a sense of achievement. We even got a little goody bag to take home with us.

Our finished pieces or art! Cue smug faces!

I was so pleased with what I had produced in a day, I met a lot of nice people and it was great to work with Poppy in her inspiring studio. Now I can tell everyone that comes into the shop how amazing the course is and that everyone should have a go at freehand embroidery as it really is very fun, and quite addictive!

My lovely cushion in it’s new home!

Bovey Tracey – The Contemporary Craft Festival: a little preview

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Ceramics and more from Katrin Moye

Both Mr D and I will be packing up the bus and heading to sunny (we hope!) Devon on Thursday for the wonderful Contemporary Craft Festival. It’s the one event that we both take part in so could loosely be categorised as a weekend away together….very loosely!

I am hoping to get a chance to leave the stand (it’s a very busy show so we’ll see) so I can take some snaps for a post event write up but in case I don’t manage it I’ve had a little browse through the exhibitor listings and put together some personal highlights.

It’s an amazing show, one of the best in the country with fantastic exhibitors, lovely food, great entertainment for kids and demonstrations and workshops throughout the day for kids and grown ups alike.

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Spoons by Nic Webb

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If I hadn’t got the bag to end all bags last year from Melissa Simpson I’d be in trouble at Wolfram Lohr’s stand

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Beautiful drawing in 3D by Celia Smith and I thought stitching oyster catchers was hard!

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Lovely collage by Elaine Hughes

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Large scale mosaic drawings by Cleo Mussi

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These hand printed textiles by Megan Alice England look like fun

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And I shall be interested to see if Becky Brown is really as mad as a box of frogs!

Wishing I could go to more Cornwall Open Studios…

We made a brief family outing on Saturday to our friend Chloe Williams’ open studio in Nancledra. Jeweller Chloe and ceramicist Julie Murdoch George had put on a lovely tea party with Pimms and flag topped cup cakes in celebration of the jubilee weekend and the Cornwall Open Studios.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We had a good nosey around the garden and studio, looking at Chloe’s delicate silver and seaglass jewellery and Julie’s funky bright coloured mugs, jugs and bracelets (one of which went home with me!) and then popped over the road to the old chapel that houses the glass blowing workshop of Tim Casey. The big open space inside had lots of mysterious equipment and he was demonstrating making one of his gorgeous rose tinted wine goblets.

The unfortunate thing is Biba does not take kindly to looking round artist’s studios, or craft fairs or anything that involves being quiet, careful and not touching things! So our brush with Cornwall Open Studios was much briefer than Justin and I would have liked! (As the daughter of two crafters we expected better, really we did!)

So I have contented my self with a ramble through the catalogue and perusal of the websites of those featured, not as good as getting a good nosey through peoples houses or as getting to rifle through the oh so tempting seconds tables! But, till the true crafter in her awakens, it will have to do!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The curiously named C’est ma place Studio of Dave Cooper.

Beautiful illustrations by Esther Connon are at Krowji studios in Redruth along with many others.

I love these paintings on wood by Jenny Birchall

Wonderful articulated copper sculptures by Michael Chaikin

And finally awesome automata by Jane at Opi works

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

Sewing at Bedruthan Steps Hotel

Sara and I are back from Bedruthan Steps Hotel tired but happy! We’ve had a wonderful weekend teaching 12 lovely people (some who’d tried it before, most who hadn’t) the fine art of freehand machine embroidery.

The hotel run a series of weekend breaks of which stitching with Poppy Treffry is just one. You stay for two nights have all your meals, a beautiful view over the Cornish Coast, time to relax in the gorgeous Ocean Spa and two days learning a new skill or craft! They offer everything from baby yoga to shoemaking!

So all our old Singer sewing machines made the journey from Penzance in one piece along with a few suitcases of fabric and we had a thoroughly enjoyable weekend sewing. Everyone managed to complete a project from start to finish, working from their own inspiration to make tea cosies, bags and cushions and, in some cases, coming up with their own new products (like a Fulham Football Club camera bag and a Dalek MP3 case!)

The images below show just a few of the amazing things the group put together in only 2 days. It never ceases to surprise me when I see what other people come up with…enjoy! (and tell us what you think in the comments – didn’t they do well?)

To find out more about breaks at Bedruthan click here. To find out more about our day stitching courses (and our first residential course at Trereife House) visit our website
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