Friday, 31 July 2009

Something for the Weekend

As you know, I love getting nice things in the post, so you can imagine how excited I was when a package arrived from Ohio recently (complete with an Amy Butler sticker on the front)! "What was in the parcel?", I hear you cry...

... two new and fabulous patterns from the queen of design herself - Amy Butler. Woo hoo! The one on the left can be made into a dress, a tunic, or a long or short top. It's great to have so many options in the same pattern - especially good for someone like me who's hopeless at making decisions! I'm feeling all summery now (come on British weather, give us some sunshine!) I'm loving the bag too...a girl can never have too many. I think the sewing machine will be coming out very soon.

The only trouble is...I can't decide which of my favourite Amy Butler fabrics to use first!

Amy's book, 'Midwest Modern', is one the best reads I have on my bookshelves. It's jam-packed with inspiration and the most fabulous photography. I hope Amy won't mind, but I've taken some photos of the pages I like best from the book so I can share them with you...

How on earth does Amy keep her studio so tidy?! It's something I can only dream of!

I love these patterns and colours, they go together brilliantly. I'm far too conservative when it comes to putting different fabrics together but looking at these makes me think I'll try and be more creative in future.

You only have to look at Amy's fabric designs to know what inspires her! When I went to a talk she gave last summer, she said how much she'd enjoyed visiting Hidcote Manor Garden here in the Cotswolds.

Colour, pattern and everyday objects...I feel inspired to make collections of the things that appeal to me and display them in the house. They could change and move about as I find new things that inspire me.

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

A Little Visitor

We had a little visitor this morning. I noticed Tinker was watching something rather intently out of the window and so went to investigate what she had spotted...'s Mrs Tiggywinkle!

Tinker dashed outside to greet our guest...

...but got a little bit scared by all of those prickles!

OK, so today's post isn't technically related to textiles or treasure seeking, but our little visitor made me smile so much that I couldn't resist sharing the story! More textile tales later this week...

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

A Jaunt to the City

I found myself in London yesterday - not far from Smithfield Market, which is a hop, skip and a jump from St. Paul's Cathedral. There's so much history in this area. Just reading the road names conjures up vivid images of times gone by.

In true Textile Treasure Seeker fashion (no pun intended!), I even stumbled across a little piece of textiles history along the way.

Ice-cream vans are always so cheery and this made me break out into a huge smile. I think it was the thought of a big city like London having its own ice-cream vans in the heart of one its business areas and the idea of people in pinstriped suits lining up for a lunchtime '99'! They'll be building a beach and selling buckets and spades before we know it!

A true icon. Such an impressive ever did Sir Christopher Wren think of it all?

A short walk over the Millennium Bridge posed a rather profound question for the day...what is art?

I had a go at creating my own work of art by photographing one of Tate Modern's walls...

...before pondering the subject further.

I thought this would make a wonderful exhibit...I call it "Recycling Art"! After all, isn't art just a re-working of ideas and a breaking and bending of the accepted rules to create something new?

Crikey, it's all getting rather philosophical...time for a cuppa I think!

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Dress for Victory

I had such a gloriously vintage time last Friday. Mum and I went to Worcester City Art Gallery and Museum for The History Wardrobe's 'Wartime Wedding' evening. It was fabulous! Lucy and Gillian entertained us all with tales of wartime fashion and a wedding trousseau, complete with authentic clothing and accessories, as well as outfits made by Gillian from original vintage patterns.

Lucy and Gillian in their wartime finery. They really were brilliant. I must admit, I kept thinking, "I wish I could get my hair to look as fabulous and '40s as Lucy with her 'Victory Roll'"!

Lucy in her Land Army uniform. Even when working in the fields, there was a hat to be worn!

Lucy, in a wedding dress made by Gillian from a 1940's pattern, stands next to an original wartime wedding dress. The headdress (pure vintage) that Lucy's wearing is decorated with tiny wax flowers.

The embroidered detail and glamorous satin fabric of this vintage wedding dress is just stunning.

I love the fabric of this child's dress. It's so classically 1940s!

Gillian and Lucy brought along all sorts of vintage loveliness for us to see. The green suit is American - the jacket nips in at the waist with a belt and has the most wonderful shoulders!

If I ever come across a Gladstone bag as fabulous as this one in a shop or at a sale, it's coming home with me! I'm such a bag fanatic and this style is so fabulous!

'Victory' hairpins, a Make Do and Mend pamphlet, a hair curler, compacts, patchwork and magazines...there was so much to look at!

Gillian and Lucy (a.k.a. The History Wardrobe) have sixteen different talks to choose from...from 'Undressing Mr Darcy' and 'Regency Romance' to 'Dressing Queen Victoria' and the 'Fabulous Fifties'. I think I might have to make it my mission to see all of them!

(A huge thank you to Lucy for the first two photos posted here.)

Monday, 13 July 2009

Making An Exhibition of Ourselves - Part 2

Well, the exhibition at Malvern Hills College is in full swing and, as promised, here are some more photos.

The first year of City and Guilds Embroidery is all about 'Design for Craft'. This is the end result of my form project. It's a brooch! The Fimo pieces I made to hang on it represent different memories mum has of a street party for the Coronation in 1953. There's cake, a party dress, bunting, a crown and, of course, a Union Jack!

I looked at fashion illustration for my line project and ended up creating this - 'Catwalk Fashion - a collection for Spring/Summer 2009'. I must admit, I found this the trickiest project I worked on! I knew what area I wanted to look at, but had no idea what to create for my end piece. Luckily, it all evolved and came together...paper pattern, silver wire and all!

These are the pages of the altered book I created for my texture project. It took me ages to pluck up the nerve to actually cut up a book (I love books!), but once I got going, there was no stopping me. The book's all about the different textures of Venice - somewhere I'll always have special memories of (especially as this is where Mr Treasure proposed!)

Sketchbooks, found art sculptures, fabric books and stitch's amazing how much work you can do in a year...and it's not until you put it all together that you realise exactly what you've achieved!

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Making An Exhibition of Ourselves

What a day it's been! I've just got home after the preview evening for the end of year exhibition at Malvern Hills College...having spent all day with the rest of my City & Guilds group frantically putting up our work to create something worthy of viewing.

My space at about 10.30 this morning...

...and several hours later having worked out what to put where! Unfortunately, the photos I took today didn't come out too well, but fear not, Mr Treasure is coming to see the exhibition on Saturday with his trusty camera so I'll be able to post some more piccies from the exhibition over the weekend. (Mr Treasure would have liked to have come to the preview tonight, but was having fun in Cardiff watching the opening match of the Ashes instead...well really!)

Do come and see the college exhibition if you're in the area...there's certainly plenty to be inspired by!

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Les Bonnes Vacances

I've been seeking out textiles treasures in a foreign land over the past week. Mr Treasure and I have just returned from a glorious week in the Loire Valley. We've soaked up the sunshine, savoured local cuisine and beetled around countryside in search of places to explore (of which we found many!) So here are my findings...

The former blacksmith's workshop that we stayed in was full of rustic french charm, complete with wooden beams and exposed brickwork. I was rather taken with the typically french linen tablecloth that was covering the dining table, which is actually the workshop's old bench!

The sampler in the bedroom had the most wonderfully vibrant colours. I was really surprised to note that it was created in the well the colours have lasted - there was me thinking that samplers were always rather subdued in their colour palette!

I loved the covering for the under the sink cupboard. Who knew linen tea towels could be so multi-purpose?!

I had a bit of a love affair with the gloriously colourful stained glass in the churches we popped into for a look around. I loved this rather contemporary design in the St-Etienne Cathedral in Bourges - wouldn't it look great in patchwork?

The effect of the painted walls and beautiful stained glass in Orléans's cathedral was really quite stunning.

No visit to the Loire Valley would be complete without a trip to a châteaux or two. Being the huge Tintin fan that I am we simply had to go to's the chateau that Hergé based Captain Haddock's ancestral home on!

There was even sumptuous fabric on the walls...oh, to have fabric-lined walls!

The kings who lived in the Château de Blois went one step further and even had matching sumptuously painted walls and bed linen.

If there's one thing I love to do in France, it's visiting markets and brocantes. Luckily for me there was one in the town we were staying in on Thursday morning. I came away very happy having found a basketful of button cards (but I was good and limited myself to just a few!)

There's something rather nice about a golden field of corn (or is it wheat?) On our last day, we decided to visit the hilltop town of Sancerre (you can just see it in the distance). Mr Treasure and I both agreed that we'd saved the best for last. What a beautiful place it is - full of arty shops (hoorah!) and, of course, shops selling the rather drinkable Sancerre wine!

Now that the holiday is over and we're feeling rested, it's time to start being creative again...where to start?