Saturday, 27 October 2012

.... the autumn leaves......

For us in Europe the clocks fall back tonight, the days become noticeably shorter and the world outside is just about prepared for the winter ahead.  Meanwhile, we'll hunker down in front of log fires for the first time in many months - it's not all bad.  Though the summer wasn't one of our best, we've had a fabulous autumn here in South West France and for those of you who have been here during the high-season heat and are curious about  what it's like at Les Soeurs Anglaises for the rest of the year, here are a few photographs ......

hibernation time for the bike and ladder

deckchairs out to catch the last of the fabulous autumnal sunshine

Interior hall of Maisond de Maitre just before dusk

lilies at the front of the Maison de Maitre with a second lease of life 

wisteria on pergola turning a magnificent russet in the evening sun

the last Clos de Vougeot of 2012

 road to Bordeax as storm approaches

golden maple

November figs

walk along fishing ponds

elderly poplars before the storm 

Thursday, 18 October 2012

...good time in the big smoke.....

Just back from a working fortnight in London and its environs where I met up with two of our workshop leaders for next year, Marion Foale and Rosalind Wyatt.

Marion remains the delightfully petite, pretty and hugely successful designer who through hard work and inspirational design made it to the top fashion tree and has stayed there for almost four decades.  In 2009, a retrospective exhibition titled "Foale and Tuffin - Made in England" was held at the Fashion and Textile Museum in London and a book Foale and Tuffin: The Sixties. A Decade in Fashion, was published to coincide with the exhibition, and is still available.  

Over coffee we discussed how she plans to lead the workshop here with us next year, which will cover the knitty-gritty of knitting fashion, maximizing her huge industry expertise as well as utilising traditional and cutting edge techniques and yarns - it promises to be an opportunity for knitters of all capabilities to take the seemingly giant step essential when improvising and creating designs, or simply adapting existing patterns to fit.

Later in the week calligrapher/stitcher, Rosalind Wyatt, met me at the V&A to discuss possibilities for a five-day workshop with Les Soeurs Anglaises next September.    

Rosalind sharing a cuppa with Price Charles, not the same day......

We are so  excited to have this ebullient, gifted artist on board, especially in this our "literary year".  Rosalind has taught at the V&A,  been featured on BBC Radio 4 and much, much more.  Her evocative storytelling and meticulous, seminal pieces celebrate the beauty of words in their every guise - written, painted, collaged, spoken, performed, stitched, even eaten -   but her workshop with us will concentrate on the relationship between writing and the needle; combining participants' letters, poems, texts  and printed words with inherited or meaningful textiles, giving the new work and an identity and life of its own, the sum offering much more than the combined parts. 

The tentative dates for this workshop are 25th-30th September 2013 and Wyatt will be having a two-week residency at Les Soeurs Anglaises, with sole use of the l'Espace studio, prior to the event.  So she will be au fait with the traditions, history and textile influences of this part of South West France.  We'll shortly be uploading details onto our website, but in the meantime, if you are interested in putting your name on the waiting list, do please let us know ASAP.

Whilst at the V&A I visited their Ballgown Exhibition.  Personally, I found it a little disappointing, but was quite smitten by this wonderful knitted swimsuit in their permanent costume collection....

De rigeur n'est pas for the lady traveller: perhaps Marion can sort out a pattern for me!

Look out for the V&A's next exhibition "Hollywood Costume" which start this Friday (19th October).   Advertised as "a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see over 100 of the most iconic costumes in the history of film-making", it looks like a corker,  and will be top of my list of things to do when we are over for the Selvedge Fair* next month.  

*for more information about how to get a free ticket to the Selvedge Fair, join our mailing list.