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 night at Bedruthan hotel

Here’s a little blog post bought to you by Faye from the team, all about a special night at the Bedruthan hotel (oooh!!).

the view from our room

the view from our room

So, last week I had the very great pleasure of a night at the Bedruthan hotel. With a big birthday in the family to celebrate and Father’s day happening too I found a special ‘one night only’ deal at the hotel that was too good to resist. I’ve stayed at Bedruthan once before with a bunch of lovely fellow mums and we had a fab time, jumping in an ice cold swimming pool and having guilt free afternoon naps! I’m also familiar with it because we run our freehand machine embroidery courses there, stitching in such a beautiful location, what’s not to love?!

the boys in the jungle tumble

the boys in the jungle tumble

This experience was set to be slightly different owing to the presence of two highly excitable infants who didn’t know we were staying there until the big reveal, post lunch. But stop there, for LUNCH must be mentioned. Bedruthan had a special father’s day menu consisting of one of the loveliest roasts known to woman, and I’m a veggie so praise indeed. Super friendly staff who genuinely seem happy to be there (and indeed many of the staff were the same as at my last visit, a year ago, always a good sign) made our lunch relaxing and enjoyable, with no worries about children climbing under the table and leaving a trail of destruction!

"Living the dream"!

“Living the dream”!

After lunch we checked in, amidst sighs of ‘oh mum, we are living the dream, this is epic”  from my eldest child, and general excitement from the younger. The afternoon passed in a happy haze of swimming (or drowning with that roast so recently consumed!), snack dinner for the boys, lounging whilst the kids played in the soft play and then had story time in the ball room, and general pleasantness until bedtime beckoned. But the fun didn’t have to stop there. Once said children were in bed we were able to take advantage of the listening service provided free of charge where reception listen to your room and alert you if they hear any noise, the youngest must have fallen out of bed quietly as we didn’t get  a call for that but he survived and carried on sleeping happily on the floor!

the ballroom

the ballroom

What a treat to go for dinner and a cocktail whilst the kids have had a fab time too! And the food was beautiful, we ate in the Wild Cafe for all our meals but there is also a ‘fine dining’ restaurant called The Herrings, which looks lovely too, we just really like the Wild Cafe!

The next morning we awoke to good looking surf (and so happy husband!) and one of the best breakfast buffets known to child (and it’s parents!) Big child had a game plan and made sure he didn’t overeat any one thing so that he could fit plenty of choice, hence only one bowl from the giant coco pop dish, ‘I have to leave room for my fry-up mum!’

We then spent a lovely day relaxing, enjoying the pool once more and the outside play area and a bit more jungle tumble in the soft play.

can we stay here?!

can we stay here?!

And after a lovely lunch, only slightly interrupted by the promise that, if any one of us spotted a dolphin or a whale we could stay another night – those of you with children will understand how hard it was to peel their faces from the windows with the sea views!- we bid a sad farewell to our home for the night and made the journey home, with promises that we could come back one day!

In fact I’m going back next weekend for a bread making course with Baker Tom which I am very excited about and will report back on. You too could head there, take a look at Bedruthan’s website and all the fab breaks they offer, including one more date this year with our very own Poppy Treffry! You can stay at the hotel, enjoy their breakfast buffet, lovely food and swim and spa plus learn a fab new skill from a variety of talented teachers.

As the big child said ‘That is living the dream. It’s not good… It’s epic!!!’

It’s Bovey Time!

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Kirsty Elson lighthouses

It’s that time of year again when Justin and I head off to deepest darkest Devon for the wonderful Contemporary Craft Fair in Bovey Tracey. This year we’re quite excited to be camping in our little campervan for the event. (And the nipper is with her granny so it’s a true weekend away together!) I’m hoping the show will be fruitful and there’ll be time and money for a few spends as there are some truly amazing things to take home….and plenty of room in the van….

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Stephanie Carswell

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Sarah Heaton (might be one for the ever growing plate collection!)

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Katie Almond (maybe these too….)

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Samantha Bryan (I love these so much!)

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Alex Swan (thought these looked very interesting)

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Deryn Relph

Hope to see you there!

It’s that Country Living Show time of year!

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Well it’s that time of year again. The Country Living Christmas Fair opens on Wednesday the 7th of November at The Business Design Centre in Islington. The pallet of yummy stock has left the studio (complete with some never seen before cushions and pictures) and I leave Penzance on the sleeper tomorrow night!

I’m really looking forward to setting up the stand, it’s exhausting but always exciting putting the finishing touches to it before the happy shoppers arrive on Wednesday. It’s also great catching up with other exhibitors. There are plenty of Cornish companies exhibiting – we seem to see each other more at shows than at home!

I managed to squirrel a couple of hours to myself this afternoon to look at the exhibitor listings and browse a few of the very lovely websites there. Above and below are just a very few of the gorgeous things on offer. But there’s so much more when you’re there so come on down….

Let the Christmas shopping commence!

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Would quite like this little beauty from Beg Bicycles to go home with me!

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I’ve a hunch Nest are going to have some real gems on their stand

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There are some very fetching things on Emily Maude’s website (many of which would look very good on my new kitchen shelves!)

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And of course Biba may need a little something from The Traditional Children Company!

Scrumping!

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We had a very nice impromptu visit to my Dad’s house on the edge of Bodmin Moor last weekend. He has a lovely rambling house in the country, draped in ivy and heated with a 59 year old Aga.

We were sent out to scrump for pudding from the wizened old apple trees that are dotted around Dad’s well stocked veggie patch. He’s a bit of an old hippie and very much into growing his own, wasting nothing and reusing everything.

These apples made a very yummy crumble! The onions – not so much!

(Biba wears a fab frock from Teresa Green) Here’s to the good life!

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A mini forage

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Inspired by the lovely ‘the Simple Things’ magazine Biba and I went for a mini forage in the beautiful Morrab Gardens this morning. The gardens are just behind our house and are stuffed with a jungle mish mash of sub tropical and exotic plants, shrubs and trees. You’ll find palms, bamboo, magnolias, a fernery and (rumour has it) stick insects!

There was a man practising juggling clubs on the bandstand today as we set off into the bushes, me photographing and Biba playing house,chatting away to herself and finding bits and bobs for our ‘collection’

A very pleasant hour! (and we only brought a few things home with us!
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A little preview of the Cornwall Design Fair

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Linda Miller’s embroidery

This Thursday I shall be packing up my wares, crossing the road, going through the green back door and round the corner to set up for the Cornwall Design Fair at Trereife House. We’re so lucky to have such a great show literally on our doorstep!

This year the show has changed format slightly and will run for 3 days with a private view on the Thursday evening (Trereife will even be laying on a sumptuous supper after the private view!) so you’ll have plenty of time to see the many exhibitors who have been carefully chosen from the best of Cornish designer makers a well as makers from further afield.

The show takes place in smart marquees and each exhibitor has their own booth. There’s also plenty of food, drink and entertainment for adults and kids alike so it’s great for a day out or if you’re down on holiday and should be good even if it’s raining (which it won’t be of course!)

Another really nice aspect of the show is that they open up the beautiful house for tours (included in entrance fee) and if you look closely you’ll see some rather more contemporary pieces hiding amidst the antiques and heirlooms as makers are selected to create pieces to exhibit in the house.

The show is, in my opinion, one of the best in the county and it’s a great opportunity to see (and buy!) a huge array of beautiful handmade and well designed pieces. Here are just a few of things I’m looking forward to seeing….

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Our friends Hope and Benson make gorgeous handbags. I love their little tweed purses – they make perfect pressies!

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Now that’s a table. Looking forward to seeing Peter Lanyon’s creations in the flesh

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I love this perpetual calendar from Green and Blue, inspired by old hymn boards.

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Victoria Walker is so clever! You have to watch the videos on her website to see how her gorgeous pieces open and close just like real flowers

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Rebecca Ball’s collages are exquisite. I love maps….and birds!

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And my post wouldn’t be complete without an oyster catcher these from Rob Bray Brooks are beautiful.

See you at the show!

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

Cornwall’s new cultural playground

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It was my little nephew’s 2nd birthday this Saturday and as luck would have it the sun was shining and a full day of outdoor based activities was actually allowed to go ahead unhindered by gale or squall!

First stop was a big meet up of friends and family at Heartlands, Cornwall’s new ‘cultural playground’ (don’t worry we didn’t know what that really meant either!) It opened towards the end of April so is all brand spanking new, there are still areas of scrubland, porta cabins and inadequate signage a plenty, but once past this the sprawl of out of town superstores and derelict mining sites of Pool (the area between Camborne and Redruth) gives way to a vast, landscaped garden of fun!

From the car park the first thing you come across is the fantastic adventure playground. With plenty of wood and sand, a massive log pile climbing frame, a giant shallow ‘puddle’ (don’t forget to bring wellies and a change of clothes!) loads of unusual swings and slides and willow tunnels which will be amazing once they’ve grown a bit.

You can then lure kids toward the red river which is sculpted from red granite (we think!) and if they’re anything like Biba they’ll be down to vest and pants within seconds and splashing up and down, running from one end of the river to the other (it’s very shallow and looks crystal clear)

Then hopefully they’ll be tired and ready to sit nicely in the lovely Red River Cafe which is housed in a converted mine building with lots of high ceilings, wooden beams and bits of machinery. There’s a nice menu and plenty of seating indoors and out. Beyond the cafe we hear rumour that there are more things (things like art exhibitions and craft workshops, that don’t involve any water or climbing or sliding) but we weren’t allowed to go to those!

The park has a big party this coming weekend to celebrate the Olympic Torch coming through Cornwall. It looks like it’ll be a good bash! I’ll be busy teaching a stitching course at Bedruthan Steps so won’t be able to make it – ho hum!

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