Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Three Have Fun in St Ives

The Treasure family recently relocated to the glorious St Ives for a week's holiday. The weather was mixed but it didn't dampen our spirits! Mr Treasure and I have been going to St Ives for a number of years and it's become our favourite place to escape to, so it was the perfect choice for our very first family holiday. Little Treasure seemed to enjoy herself and had a number of 'firsts' during the week, including feeling sand beneath her feet and rolling from her back on to her front. It was Mr Treasure's very first Father's Day whilst we were there too!

We love St Ives so much, we miss it when we're not there! There's such a lovely atmosphere to the town, the sea's the most amazing shades of blues and greens and the light's wonderful (probably why so many artists are drawn there). I love watching all the boats bob about in the harbour when the tide's in and then wandering amongst them when it's out.

There are certain things that I think are synonymous with St Ives: the sea, boats, Barbara Hepworth and cats (just the boats missing from this photo)!

No trip to St Ives would be complete without a visit to the Seafood Cafe on Fore Street. Mr Treasure and I always book a table there as soon as we get to St Ives so we don't miss out! We always go for the option of choosing fish from the counter, accompanied by a sauce and mash (or pasta). I thoroughly recommend the seabass with mango. chilli and kaffir lime sauce and parmesan mash...my mouth's watering just thinking about it!

This is such a fabulous shop! Vintage-inspired fabric, stationery and homewares aplenty.

There are lots of great shops to explore in St Ives, from galleries, gift shops and the odd vintage boutique to rummage in, to all sorts of places to buy yummy food when you're feeling a bit weary. We didn't sample the delights of this bakery but I loved the almost vintage look of the shop itself.

We went to Falmouth one day (it rained!) and stumbled across Willow and Stone. There are two shops - one selling all sorts of paper goods and another selling vintage ironmongery.

I had a good mooch around the Willow and Stone shop selling all things paper-related and came away with a hand-printed notebook which has 'Tickety Boo!' on the cover in jolly blue and red lettering.

I absolutely love going to Marazion and St Michael's Mount. I have such fond memories of going there with my parents when I was little and it was really special to be able to take Little Treasure there this year. I had to carry her over to the Mount and back as the causeway cobbles are very bumpy and she was getting bounced around rather a lot in her buggy!

We discovered this vintage shop tucked away in Marazion...

...it was decorated with the most fabulous wallpaper (Cath Kidston, I think)!

I've been a fan of Poppy Treffry's work for a few years now, so imagine my delight when I found she's opened a shop in St Ives! Needless to say I had to pay it a visit!

We stayed in a lovely apartment just out of the main part of town. We even had our own outdoor space, complete with these brightly coloured mosaics.

One of my favourite St Ives pastimes is to search on the beaches for sea glass and china that's been rolled by the waves. It has a lovely worn quality to it. I noticed the maker of one of the mosaics in the apartment's courtyard had used china that had been washed and weathered by the sea.

I think we'll have to book our next jaunt to St Ives soon...I'm missing it too much already!

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Artists in Residence

There's been great excitement amongst The Wednesday Group recently. Last week we were the 'Summer House Artists' at Blue-Ginger Gallery in Stiffords Bridge, Worcestershire. From last Wednesday until today, various members of the group have been ensconced in the summer house next to the Kune Kune pigs and just a stone's throw away from the gallery itself.

Thursday was 'group day', when six of us spent the day working on a group challenge. It was a gloriously sunny start to the day so we decided to start things off in true Wednesday Group style...

...with a cuppa...

...and cake! Lois (our resident foodie and baker of fabulous treats) unveiled a batch of carrot cake muffins and with great whoops of delight we all tucked in!

Cake is a very important element of The Wednesday Group! Here are Anni, Lindsay and Ann enjoying tea and cake in the sunshine.

We started the day at a leisurely pace. It's definitely a good idea to start a group challenge refreshed, fed and watered!

The gallery's resident robin came to see us throughout the day and enjoyed sharing our cake and lunch with us.

The challenge for the day was to create creatures in a textile version of the game 'consequnces'. Here's Kathleen (organiser extraordinaire and mastermind behind the challenege) explaining what we were going to do.

We each started out with a stuffed calico shape and were given an hour to create a face before passing it on to the next person, who had to add on the limbs. Finally, the emerging creatures were passed on to someone else who had the job of adding the final embellishments.

Whilst I was panicking about how to start (!), I turned to Julie Arkell's book for some inspiration.

Julie creates such wonderfully quirky creatures. I love the way she incorporates stitched wording and vintage fabrics into her work.

Here are Lois and Ann busily at work. It went surprisingly quiet at times, as we all worked frantically to get things finished in the time we had!

Here's Anni hard at work. She used felt and hand stitching to create the face on her creature (which you can see below, back row on the left).

Stage one complete! Mine's the one on right of the back row. I envisaged it being a rabbit, but I couldn't add the ears as we could only work on the face and ears weren't allowed at this stage!

To ensure complete randomness, we put all the creatures in a bag and picked one out to work on for stage two. Who knew IKEA bags could be so versatile?!

Lindsay was very pleased to pick out the creature that Lois had started with!

Creature number two for me...and more head scratching on my part as I pondered what on earth I could do! We had an hour and a half to complete the final two stages of the challenge, which I must admit I thought would be plenty of time. How wrong I was, the time just flew by!

Here's what I managed to do in the alloted time. I had thought about turning this creature into a squirrel, but completely ran out of time before I could add the tail!

Here are the creatures at the end of stage two. It was great fun to see them emerging and really interesting to see how we each worked with what the previous person had done.

And finally...here are the end results. What a motley crew they are! The challenge was so much fun. It stretched our creativity, took us out of our comfort boxes, tested our powers of working to a strict timescale and caused many a fit of the giggles.

Here we all are...six happy Wednesday Groupers and our 'Consequentials' (as they've become known).

If you fancy reading more about The Wednesday Group's fun at Blue-Ginger Gallery, pop over to our group blog.