Sunday, 29 November 2009

Back to the grind

Hey Violets,
Here is the loot from anthropologie. Nothing too great. I saw a lot of nice dishes by Nathelie and some rose soap but was trying to be disciplined. These tights are just me. Spots of color with red, purple, and gray. Most of you could have knit this chunky scarf in three seconds.
My friend Ellen gave me some cool fabric- well a ton and I am having a give away. Check my blog to enter the giveaway for fabric swatches. She had patterned velvets, feed sack pieces, all kinds of stuff. It was interesting going through the bags and actually seeing fabric from projects I had seen her work on.
Back to school after 5 days off. Whoa that should be hard and clay with kindergarten first thing. No fancy tights this week I guess.
I'm working on some journal pages and sketching many fabric ideas, but tonight I just need to finish one of our famous Julie flowers for a friend's birthday. Oh and it's Chloe's birthday today. 15 and still just as sarcastic. She requested ribs when I took her out to lunch today and hoped they would be just as great as the ones she had in France. Those ribs were one of the highlights of her trip. Have a great week everyone.

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Thanksgiving: "Lookin' a Little Like Christmas"

While in California, I asked my cousin Becky to come with me to one of my FAVORITE places on earth - Roger's Gardens. 
It is located just off PCH south of Newport Beach across the street from Fashion Island.

Christmas F*a*i*r*y*l*a*n*d .............. truly. It is magical and makes you feel like a kid. Many, m a n y trees decorated in different themes....big rooms filled to the top with sparkling trees and lights and ornaments.....absolutely beautiful.

May you enjoy the season and all that it offers. 

Roger's Gardens is really a nursery and the plants and gardens are spectacular - even at the end of November. (only in California) Here is a path of cyclamen that was being replenished from the little delivery truck. I could've spent hours is a paradise.
Happy Holidays to all of you............ Ho Ho Ho.......

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Betsy McCall and Sewing Tips

Checking out Pantry Violets (which I do on a regular basis) I saw Jone's uploads of SEW magazine and for some reason it reminded me of "McCalls". My mother had a subscription to this imported glossy magazine - we had lived in Washington for several years in the early fifties and she must have developed a taste for it because it would have been a huge extravagance for anyone in 1950s Britain. Anyway, I just LOVED the Betsy McCall's paper dolls that were always situated at the back of mag, and usually managed to get to her before any of my older sisters (or did my mother save her for me?); in my imagination it typified the glamour and primary colours of American Life ... and it also kick-started my love of fabrics. I started by designing my own paper clothes for Betsy, then moved on to cutting paper patterns for myself. Fortunately my mother was a magpie with materials and happy for my sisters and myself to experiment with anything she had.

Talking of sisters, Susu recently gave me this delightful little Encyclopedia of Needlework, which she found in a book sale in the UK and is actually a translation from the French. There is no publication date anywhere in the book, but judging from the photographs on the cover of the ladies sewing, it must have been sometime in the fifties and is absolutely chockablock full of useful knitting and sewing techniques. Eat your heart out Martha Stewart!

Friday, 20 November 2009

SEW Somerset

The new SEW Somerset is out and my article is in it!
It's the Winter Issue that probably will be on newsstands next week.
The title is "Christmas Whimsies" and it is about little felt ornaments. The photos look really nice and I am so pleased with it!

Happy Holidays!

Thursday, 19 November 2009


..ahhhhhh, another visit to Anthropologie....
this one was a doozie! I found so many things and had to really "hold back" ....ha! no such luck!

the "unresistible" items follow:
notecards, which are one of my weaknesses
a little zipper bag in the shape of a horse
tiny red velvet slippers (xo)
a little doll for my friend Addi's birthday
....and these 4 fantastic plates that I squealed for! I feel like I deserved this early holiday gift for myself. They are such "Swedish, Polish, Russian, ethnic, embroidered-looking" things - I am madly in love and so happy that it truly takes very little to get me so excited!

"hooray" for Anthropologie and all of its' wonders.... and inspirations!

Monday, 16 November 2009


Hello pantry Violets, but especially the english ones! Have you had the chance to check out the incredibly wonderful and inspirational Anthropology store that has just opened up in Regent Street in London? I had to post some of the photos as I was so impressed with the way they had combined clothes ( all completely desirable) with arty products, and bits of ephemera strewn beautifully across the store. Enjoy! It makes our Liberty's look positively pedestrian!

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Xmas Cards

Christmas Cards! Whew!
When I look at these, I realize that I actually HAVE been fairly productive these last few weeks.
It has felt good to be in the studio, though my neck gets a bit stiff.... 
I really like some of these images....especially these two...above and below.....
The "Kitty Girl" is an old design that I have never submitted before.....

hmmmmm, not so sure about this little guy.....needs something.....
Ho Ho Ho everybody!....xoxo

Xmas Wrappings

Hi All......
I have been painting away up in the studio and here are a few (not great images) of wrapping paper that I have been working on. I love making patterns and hope that the company that will be receiving these in the mail will be happy with them. I'd love your comments, too, please..

Monday, 9 November 2009

November Calendar Girls

I am a little late getting these posted, but wanted you ALL to remember that there are two birthdays this month - Joanna on the 17th and.....
Sue on the 18th!
Happy Birthdays, Ladies! We all love you dearly!

Friday, 6 November 2009

Book Love

I am loving this book. Check it out. It is originally a Danish book so you may be able to find it "abroad" as well. Sorry if the picture came out giant. Oh the book is called Scraps. I think some of it got cut off on the final blog page. I don't really know how to add a picture that isn't from a scan or photo.
Ah the weekend is here. Tra la la. Many projects to try. Hope you are all doing well and crafting up a storm.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

more Christmas...

Christmas cards are still "in process" with many started and not so many actually finished...
I think that tomorrow, I will need to get the ones that I have sitting on my desk DONE, so that I know how many more I might need to do.
The ideas are flowing out of me - it has been a very long time since I had so much productive time in the feels GREAT!

I think these will be nice when finished. I need to enhance the colors a little, though. They seem to need a bit of a punch... plus, I need to think about the borders....

... hmmmm ...I actually did this one years ago and just need to finish up the color. I like it...

I very much enjoy the art of lettering. These words are not very "correct" calligraphically, but there is a nice flow. What do you think? Can I get away with the imperfection?

So many more, but I think I will try to finish some up before posting any more photos...

Monday, 2 November 2009

Hey there ladies ! i have been looking over my mums shoulder at her obsessive blog hobby , and i absolutely adore some of your work ! you all look like you had fab time with julie arkell and i have told my mum to DEFINITELY go to the next workshop; i loved the stories and projects she brought back !
I noticed also that there is some of my work on 'RAGTALES' and saw your lovely comments so thanks !
hope your all enjoying the making and creating - thought i would upload this wonderful photo of us at our hallowe'en bash, i thought the devil in the middle looked absolutley dashing, and a little bit like my mum.
hopefully meet you soon as i have heard so much about you
lots of love Francesca x