An Easter card

March 30, 2010

A little treat from the dear Lisa Stickley, who’s been busy cutting up fabric again…

…more Easter posts to follow, folks. – Ellie

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I’ve just got back from the Fashion and Textiles Museum, where I was lucky enough to see the fabulous new Very Sanderson exhibition, to celebrate 150 years of Sanderson fabrics and wallpapers. It’s a really fascinating show, with beautiful designs from the archives on display, and a clever layout that imitates the famous Berners Street Sanderson show room (now the Sanderson hotel). I particularly enjoyed looking at the retro Sanderson adverts from the past, including some fabulous 1970s ones, and checking out the new Vintage Fabrics collection of revived archive designs:

Chatting to some of the designers was very interesting, and I learnt that they’re currently working on Sanderson’s next big collection (due out in January 2011) which will be a range of six 1950s-style fabrics, inspired by Lucienne Day. Hurrah! Right up my street. I’d recommend this exhibition to any interior design addict – I left feeling very inspired. It was funny to see how the designs started off chintzy in the late 1800s, then went all funky in the 1940s-1970s, then went back to chintz-ville for the 1980s-1990s, then flipped back to retro designs like Dandelion Clocks more recently. If you go, remember to check out the gift shop at the end for Sanderson postcards, china, stationery, and cute vintage books. Very tempting! – Ellie


Detling Antiques Fair

March 2, 2010

You sacrifice your lie-in and get up at crack of dawn in the dark. You lug around bags of heavy coins. You have to endure cold wellies, freezing fingerless gloves and muddy burger-van coffee. And let’s face it, it’ll probably rain. But bargain hunting at an antiques fair is well worth the effort if you want to pick up some quirky one-off items to make your home look extra special…

At Detling IACF over the weekend I spotted so many lovely things. Check out these gorgeous vintage sewing storage drawers (sadly a bit out of my price range!) and pretty ceramic lids for tooth paste and anchovy paste. How amazing would the sewing drawers look in a craft room? And the lids would make cute coasters…

Haberdashery fans beware: there was a great range of vintage fabrics, old buttons, lace and needlework tools. I bought a delicate tape measure for styling purposes (it only has inches on it!) and some pretty buttons to add to my collection.

There were plenty of wooden printer’s blocks, and lots of elegant bottles and jars, and I spotted a beautiful vintage paint-box. I was really impressed by the range of stalls (although in addition to the vintage stalls there were a lot of traders selling collectable china dolls, lobsters, Disney characters etc which weren’t really my thang) and it only took an hour to get to Detling from London by car. I came home with: a pair of wonky antlers, some Observers books, a bag of pretty stamps (for craft purposes!), some buttons, and an old milk bottle with ELBOW FARM written on it to use as a vase. The boyfriend was delighted as always (NOT) with the latest batch of vintage tat, but I managed to smuggle most of it in except for the antlers. He just doesn’t GET it. I showed him the antlers trend page in the March issue of Ideal Home, and pointed out that antlers are everywhere now, even in high-street shops he’s heard of like M&S:

But he still doesn’t seem to appreciate One-Horn-Big, and says he’s not living in ‘a trophy-filled hunting lodge’. We’ll see. Remember, he said he wasn’t going to live in ‘a 1950s flipping village fete’ but that Union Jack bunting’s been up for almost a year now… – Ellie

I’ve just got back from Most Curious, Sanderson’s 150th birthday tea party in Marylebone Lane’s coolest shoe shop, Tracey Neuls. To mark Sanderson’s 150th birthday, Tracey has covered elegant shoes with vintage fabrics from the Sanderson archive including a quirky 19th Century squirrel design while designer Nina Saunders has created a fabulous ‘melting’ armchair installation upholstered in a beautiful blue rose Sanderson fabric from the 1950s.

The venue was decked out with an indoor silver birch forest, which was all very trendy, and woodland-chic, and all that jazz. I chatted to Nina about her amazing upholstery, and she told me that she bought the armchair on eBay for very little, then manipulated and bent the arms to create the strange flowing look. Her expert upholsterers somehow managed to cover the foam shape she carved for the base without any bumps, lumps or pleats in the fabric – incredible when you think how many creases/pleats/GENERAL ISSUES we have on photo shoots when we’re covering foot-stools or head-boards! (Thankfully PhotoShop takes care of most of them, tee hee).

Perhaps I should attempt to explain the little squirrel perched inside the squirrel shoes here…Nina Saunders is really into taxidermy (which you can see from her online portfolio…check out the fox-heads-on-the-sofa-styling…hmmmmm, no comment), so there were various little critters scattered around the installation. Including this hilarious parrot, face-down inside a beautiful emerald shoe. Curiouser and curiouser…

No self-respecting stuffed parakeet would want to get this close to my odour-eaters, that’s for sure. – Ellie

Do I need another cushion in my life? Probably not, but these gorgeous limited edition designs from Lisa Stickley are so more-ish, I can’t resist!

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Hand-made and hand-printed, these cushions are made using Lisa‘s drawings and vintage linens. I love her scribble-writing, and the ‘Party’ cushion with a list of retro party games has got to be the cutest one.

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I got chatting when I visited Lisa’s shop in Clapham North recently and discovered she’s planning to open another shop soon – more details coming soon, so watch this space! – Ellie

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