Tales from the Sea Garden

Tales from The Sea Garden

Email me: theseagarden@btinternet.com

Monday, 23 January 2017

 Over the last couple of weekends I have been making new arrangements in the shop; it's nice after the removal of all the Christmas paraphernalia to get some fresh Spring colours going on. Alongside the old glass bottles with the vintage flowers sit simple bracelets and necklaces, fashioned from beads made from recycled wine bottles, in beautiful sea greens and blues.

There's a bit of a 1920's theme going on in the front window, with Patsy's handmade books and  bunting, and my fabric-scrap cards with sepia photos.

 There are drawers full of colourful ribbons, packs of fabrics and Suffolk Puffs.....

 I love this time of year because it gives me a chance to re-energise my batteries, and develop new ideas. I've just treated myself to a new sewing machine which can do all kinds of pretty stitches, so that could take my work in a different direction. Manning the shop only at weekends means I can fully immerse myself in creativity, and spend more time with J, who is playing his guitar beside me as I write.
I've noticed that blogging seems to have gone a bit out of favour lately, and Instagram is the new go-to medium of choice for posting pictures, but I shall continue to write my blog dear friends in the hope that you will carry on reading. I just don't relate to all this need for instant gratification and interaction. I know doing a blog post takes time, but I guess I'm just one of those that prefers to live life in the slow lane.....

Sunday, 15 January 2017

 Old bottles are a great way of displaying single flower stems; in this case I've chosen some vintage fabric flowers and added a touch of ribbon. I put these into the shop today as my way of encouraging spring to arrive. The daffodils are already out and the first snowdrops. Is it really only two weeks since New Year?

Saturday, 7 January 2017

St Ives in Winter

 J and I took a little trip to St. Ives yesterday. It's somewhere I love to come in wintertime when the place is quiet and subdued. 

The boats are pulled up and there's only a couple of walkers on the beach, along with these cheeky chaps.....

After searching on the shoreline for sea-glass and shells we mooched up the high street looking in the shop windows. First the Cornish designer-maker Poppy Treffry......
and then some clothes stores.....
 and the best gallery in town, 'The New Craftsman'.

Finally a nice cup of hot chocolate and a slice of tiffin before heading home. Just nice!

Sunday, 1 January 2017

As the year turns on its axis once again all I can think about at the moment is please, please, please let the ceasefire in Syria hold. What the Syrian people and all refugees have had to endure over the past few years is beyond shameful, and the fighting needs to STOP. We are all part of the same human family, are we not? Stop the fighting, the killing, the detonating of bombs, the helplessness, the despair. Let these be our watchwords for the year ahead:
Help, Share, Give, Enable, Communicate, Understand.
We can all do our bit, and to that end I'm going to invite my friends to join me in what I believe will be a fun way to raise money for charitable causes. 
I'm calling it the £20 Challenge.
We will all start with a single £20 note, and using that money will, over the course of one year, try and generate as much money as we can using our creative skills and ingenuity, and pledge that at the year's end we will donate whatever sum we have managed to raise to a charity of our choosing. It can become a bit of a competition between friends if you like. Would you like to take part in the £20 Challenge too?
That initial £20 could be engaged in the simple buying and selling on of an object, or if you are creative £20 could buy some fabric and some buttons and some pads to make cushion covers, and they could be sold to make a profit. If you are good at baking, then some of the £20 could buy the ingredients to bake a cake or scones to sell at a produce market; or invite family/friends round for a meal but ask guests to pay for their food; the equivalent of what it would have cost them to eat out at a restaurant or pub. Or make greetings cards and sell them to your friends; the possibilities are endless! As your pot of money grows you will have more funds to invest in money-making ideas. Sometimes you may not make much of a profit, but it will all contribute to the growing fund. It will involve keeping an accurate record of exactly what you buy and sell, and how much money you have made as you go along. I just wonder how much can actually be generated from one £20 note in the course of a year......

So, are you up for the challenge?
I will post regularly through the year on how we progress with the challenge, and I would love it if you shared your experience too.
I wish you all a very Happy New Year!

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Winter Wreaths

Yesterday I went in search of pine cones for my winter wreath making. If there's one place I know that's good for cones around here it's the Scots pines that stand sentinel on the tip of St. Anthony's Head.

It was a most glorious afternoon; blue sky and still air.

I found enough cones and also plenty of lichen-covered twigs that had been cut from the pathways (I never use living wood), the other essential component of my wreaths.

So much lichen growth is a good indicator of how unpolluted  the air is here, and also how moist!

Unfortunately most of the cones were pretty tightly closed, so I shall have to wait until they open up and shed their seeds before I can wire them onto my wreaths.

I use a thick, sturdy galvanised wire to make the initial ring, and then with a more supple wire take each smallish section of twig and gently secure it in place by winding the wire around the twig and the ring.

In this one I'm just starting to add some pine cones, and I've already twisted in some gold coloured beads on wires.

 Some everlasting flowers also make a nice edition.

Two wreaths completed, in which I have added a couple of chandelier drops to hang down in the centre. Making a wreath with natural but dried materials like this means that they can be used year after year!

Sunday, 23 October 2016

It was a bit wild in Portscatho today.....

but all was nice and cosy inside The Sea Garden. Lots of families came in with children bundled up in hats and coats; one little girl asked me if she could help make a bracelet, so for the next ten minutes she patiently threaded on one bead after another until Mum said it was time to go.

A recent find; some Enid Blyton books from 1950/51, bringing back happy memories of childhood for people of a certain age. On the shelf below, a collection of the first ten 'Famous Five' adventure stories, beginning with, ' Five on a Treasure Island'. 

Some more cards I've made using the little paper ships I found at an antiques fair, with recycled bits of old maps as a background.......

A Poole Pottery coffee set designed by Robert Jefferson in 1959 called 'Pebble'

A couple of Wendy's handmade dolls; one inspired by the 80's keep fit look wearing legwarmers, and the other very smart in a dark navy jacket and pearls!

So come in and sit yourself down and chat for a while, I'm sorry I can't offer you a cup of tea (my little shop has never been connected to a water supply, probably the only property left in Portscatho without water!), and we'll listen to the waves crashing and the whistling wind outside......