Sunday, February 27, 2011

Brazilian Carnival in Gaillac

Despite the rain we decided to head for the carnival held in Gaillac and the theme this year was Brazil. 
Well the rain fell steadily and hats of to the bands and dancers, they all kept there heads up and carried on regardless. Lots of various bands with their music sheets slowly curling and a few off notes could be heard and totally forgiven. 

Dancers with their bare midriffs  where goosebumps were noticable from 20 yards kept on dancing and not one of them fell of their platform shoes.

Just had to show you this fabulous door which is in the old part of Gaillac and I am sorry to say I don't know it's history but what a stunning door. As for the lady in the window, well she looks as if she has seen the carnival quite a few times in her lifetime, and had no need nor intention to leave her house with the view she had, not sure out of the two of them which is the oldest!

 Stevie and Poppy were happy despite the rain and although Poppy wanted to see elephants and the odd lion would have been good, didn't seem to show any disapproval  that there weren't.

It's still raining

Friday, February 18, 2011

**** Fantastic Chateau Dumas Workshop Giveaway 2011****

Last October Chrissie and her daughter Terri came to our Reinventing French Textiles workshop at Chateau Dumas, our beautiful 18th century chateau and 22-acre estate in southwest France.

We had an absolutely brilliant week! The sun shone, we visited atmospheric country flea markets and rummaged in boxes, we made beautiful bags and gorgeous cushions in the studio and we went wild dyeing with woad in the woods. Our group of 8 was expertly led by our wonderful tutor, Ros Badger, author of craft book “Homemade” and a talented stylist (

Chrissie said she thought the whole world should hear about our workshops – and I totally agree! In fact I’m delighted to announce here that I will offer one lucky person a free place on one of our workshops this year.

So if you think that you might enjoy a week of creativity in a luxury Chateau then please take part in our competition. The winner will enjoy a free place on a Chateau Dumas workshop, worth at least 1400 euros. It includes accommodation, all meals, tuition, trips to markets and factories (flight to Toulouse, France not included).

As well as our Reinventing Textiles, we have Jewellery, Millinery (from a milliner who used to make hats for the Queen and Princess Diana no less!) Painting, and a Festive French Country workshop. Chrissie has asked me to guest blog over the next few weeks and tell you a little about each workshop in turn – thanks Chrissie.

You can see our full creative workshop programme at
We’re also on facebook   you can  email me to join our mailing list at or you can follow us on twitter

A bientot, Lizzie

Thanks so much Lizzie, now does that not just get your creative juices going, but firstly let me say again a huge thank you to Lizzie for her very generous offer  and whoever wins this fantastic prize is in for a real treat.

I'm sure you are all wondering what it is you have to do to enter the competition and have a chance of winning this fabulous prize. Well, we're going to make it very easy for you.

First of all you'll need to go onto the Chateau Dumas website, look at the 2011 Creative Workshop programme and choose the workshop you would most like to attend. Then, to enter the competition, you simply leave your name and the title of your preferred workshop in the comment box at the bottom of this blog. You can add an extra comment if you like, but you must tell us which workshop you would most like to attend. Lizzie will then pick a name randomly 'from the hat' on 31 March and the lucky winner's name will be announced on the blog. What could be simpler?

Lizzie will pop in from time to time between now and 31st March to tell you a bit more about the individual workshops. You can also Like Chateau Dumas facebook page for more updates: www.facebookcom/ChateauDumas

Rules for Entry
1. Please follow my blog
2.Only one entry per person. The competition is open to anyone aged 18 years or over. Giveaway is open worldwide.
3.Winner agrees to give an interview at the Chateau and to publicity on the blog, facebook and twitter
4. The workshop place must be taken in 2011 and is subject to availability
5.The competition starts on 18th Feb and will end at midnight on 31st March
6. The winner's name will be posted on the blog on the 1st April
7. Return airfare to Toulouse and transport from the airport to the Chateau are not included (transfers available for 30E per person each way)
8. The prize includes accommodation, meals, tuition and trips. Many materials are included; some materials are extra and can be bought at the Chateau.


Really looking forward to meeting you at the Chateau

Vintage Fair Septfonds France

Well Sunday was a great day as I managed to snatch a couple of hours with my daughter without the little ones, ( I dooo love the little ones but it's good to get your daughter all to yourself for awhile) so off we went to search out a village we had not been to before called Septfonds. Not only did we find the village but they had a vintage fair on into the bargain. Talk about luck, so we spent a good couple of hours having a good old browse and here are a few of our favourite finds and no surprises that buttons were amongst them.

Terri bought some vintage magazines with amazing dress styles. A woman was selling stunning handmade  patchwork quilt  bags.
Could not resist the two brass kittens and as for the box I had to know what was inside, and well I have never seen a sewing kit like this before. A box within a box and then another tiny box which would hold a thimble with a cute little jade green button on the top, looks handmade and beautifully finished, not used much by the look of it, mind you I dont think I will use it either but at least I have the choice now.

And finally I got these two gorgeous  buttons and they are now Vintage Button rings are you surprised?

Friday, February 11, 2011

Little Glass Clementine

Little Glass Clementine

Recycled Remade Retold Jewellery




Exclusive Collection for Selfridges 2011

Little Glass Clementine has been selected by Selfridges & Co as one of Britain’s top designers for the stores 2011 ‘Bright Young Things’ show. The buying and creative teams at Selfridges have scoured the UK to find the most creative and exciting new names from the worlds of fashion and art. Each designer has the privilege of curating one of the stores prestigious Oxford St windows.

On February 3rd 2011 Little Glass Clementine will reveal her exclusive collection for Selfridges and her exquisite window display based on her Grandmothers Attic..

A new comer to the world of fashion, Little Glass Clementine began with a stall in Portobello Market but launched her debut collection with Estethica at London Fashion Week September 2010 with a highly acclaimed collection of unique and beautiful ethical handmade jewellery.

Little Glass Clementine intricately weaves together precious and discarded objects. Antique jewellery, treasure, wood, bones, junk, old gems, watches, and even bath plugs! The ethos for these designs is a simple one: to recycle and remake jewellery in the hope of retelling a story. Each necklace therefore is a unique tactile journal, enthused with narrative.

The designer of Little Glass Clementine is Clementine James, both an environmental activist and a self-taught artist. Her artistry is revealing that beauty and value are interpretable, that a pebble can be as exquisite and as precious as an emerald and it is the way that it is put together that is significant.

At Selfridges on Saturday 19th February 2pm Clementine will be running a workshop and Q and A session at on her modern craft of making recycled jewellery. Members of the public will be encouraged to make their own ‘’Little Glass Clementine’’ style necklaces

Wishing you a huge success Clementine, beautiful and such original work. I for one am  so looking forward to seeing your Grandmother themed window display.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Graffiti French Style

Went for a walk in the park yesterday and I came across  these 3 underpasses/tunnels  where  somebody had seen bare grey walls and thought  they could do with a splash of colour! 

Monday, February 7, 2011

Catching a Little Sun in Ainsa

Just under 4 hours drive from here in the Tarn took us to glorious sunshine and a fabulous  romanesque village in Spain called Ainsa, walk up to the  ancient Plaza Mayor where the medival streets will engulf you straight into that historic period of the 16th Century.

A superb restaurant in the square called Callizo and we were really looking forward to eating there again, we had called to reserve a table but had not understood the recorded message telling us it was closed till March :( oh well another great excuse to go back again and perhaps learn some Spainsh!

By sheer chance the following day happened to be the 1st Sunday in Feb and  a fiesta was in preparation,  a full day ahead lay in store from watching all the cattle, goats, dogs,chickens to name a few  being  paraded and judged very seriously as to which was the best of breeds.

Lots of wonderful cakes, cheese, hams and oh the breads, the aromas were abundant and  I  found myself constantly hungry. 
Gorgeous little elf shoes for sale and if you happened to be a biker looking for a break then this looked like a good place to THAKE it.

Truffles galore and at prices that were sending some people into some sort of heaven. I saw them priced from €22 to €83. I have never eaten truffles so no idea what is so exciting about them, do tell !!!

Fires were lit and mountains of sausages were being grilled, the wine started to flow and in my case all down my neck, the Spanish make this drinking from the long necked jugs easy ha well practice makes perfect! All I can say is that I am glad this picture of me attempting to drink is blurry.

Did manage to go for a few good walks just so you know it's not all about drinking! Salud
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