Monday, 24 June 2013

..... showing off ......

The weather may not be exactly what holiday makers had in mind when they booked their two weeks away from it all, but the plants and vegetables in Les Soeurs' gardens and potager do not seem to care a fig for the unseasonal downpours.  As they say every cloud has a silver lining (forgive the pun) and since walking around in the damp coolness is not exactly enticing when you have to don wellies and an umbrella, we have decided to gather some of our flowers indoors the better to admire and enjoy their fragrance and beauty.  Here are a few that juse blew us (and the weather blues) away.....

Roses:  Graham Thomas (yellow)  and Ballerina (pink climber) with grape vine from the front of the house which we've just pruned in the hope of producing larger grapes this year - maybe in time for Jessie Chorley's workshop in August.

Our amazing Magnolia grandiflora which is covered in blooms for the second time this season.  It has a spectacular fragrance of citrus and orange - if only we could bottle it, we'd make a fortune.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

.... the talented mrs hallmark.....

For those of you lucky enough to be joining Les Soeurs Anglaises for Jone Hallmark's workshop in August,  you will have received by now her glorious list of suggested items to bring with you - from the placing of the stamps, through to the wonderful calligraphy it is a work of art, and a inspirational taste of what is to come.  Here is a copy of the one she sent to us (how lucky are we?).

We may just have to give up the cooking and join the fun (only joking)..

During our various workshops we ask participants to contribute to our "lightbulb book" wherein they can pass on useful information and ideas.  Recently, there was a suggestion to take a peek at two (new-to-us) magazines, one from the US and the other from Australia and both relatively new on the market.  Intrigued, we ordered a copy of each and were more than impressed with their innovative styles and content in nice-to-handle issues.   Whilst it's a tad irritating that they are all patently directed towards a younger generation (slight and tiny print for example which I shall address with the editors when time permits), they are chock-a-block full of unexpected and relevant articles, and simply beautiful photographs.  It's a new world out there, and not all bad.

Frankie / Australian

Kinfolk / USA

An earlier recommendation was Oh, Comley magazine;  this time a UK publication along the same lines, which is just a joy to open and drift through, picking up all sorts of unusual (and often very useful) information.  Issue 17 has just been published so it's been around a while already, but new to this neck of the woods.

Finally, a more mainstream mag from the US, Sweet Paul, which nevertheless delights with it's amazing illustrations - a real feast for the eye - and interesting creative ideas mixed in with tasty recipes - we would love to collaborate with Sweet Paul in some way in the future.   

photograph in current Sweet Paul by Hector Sanchez

Each and every one has a useful blog with interactive opportunities, so it's easy if you feel like contributing.  There are so many more ways than one to be creative.    

Saturday, 15 June 2013

... and then there was Julie.......

One thing we have discovered over the past few years is that when Julie Arkell joins us to lead a workshop there is never a dull moment!   So nothing new then at this year's, Bring a Story, Tell a Story, Make a Story.

Twelve participants travelled in from all over the world (though mostly Australasia this time, it seemed) on a sunny afternoon in June for five days of the Arkell treatment.  Before long they were cutting and stitching and sticking and papier mache-ing to their hearts' content, collating their memories and putting together their own "stories".   

Happy stitchers finding their own space and time

Silent concentration bathed in sunshine

A quiet moment for Julie beside the pool

Scouring our secret brocante for treasures

Julie and Bronwyn showing off their finery before dinner

Marie demonstrating her story-telling techniques

Our very own maison de maitre illustrated by Kelly 

The beautiful prayer for the hares, createdstyled and dressed by Tracey

Julie admiring Anna's rabbits

Breakfast time at Les Soeurs

Getting ready for the Show and Tell on the last day