The Washerwoman

Thursday 30 October 2008

Cullompton Textile Fair

This fantastic plasterwork can be found above a fireplace in Walronds, a beautiful crumbling old house in the centre of the town of Cullompton in Devon. This wonderful building will be hosting a special Textile & Decorative fair next Wednesday (November 5th) from 10 to 4 pm.
Today I have been gathering together some items for my stall there.... as you can see there will be an eclectic selection of pictures, cushions, shoes, bags, ribbons, textiles, buttons & some fantastic vintage millinery flowers that have just arrived from France.

Admission is free to the fair, and customers can enjoy wandering through the labyrinth of downstairs rooms where the stallholders will be displaying their goods against a backdrop of oak panelling & mullioned windows.
To discover more about the house, there is a website
The house is in desperate need of repairs and financial help.

Saturday 25 October 2008

A true "cottage industry"

This week I went for a little drive in to deepest Somerset to see a lady about some gloves......or fingerless mittens (their correct name according to a lady at the Honiton fair last week).
It was an eventful journey, the lane was blocked by horses.....

Then by some sheep...........................

Then at last the open road! I was able to complete my journey to see a lovely lady who has been knitting these little beauties. I purchased all that she had and now she is going to make a start on some knitted pullovers (or tank-tops to those of us who were teenagers in the 1970's!)
The gloves are proving to be a bit of a "best seller" on my stalls at various fairs this Autumn, and you can be sure I will bring a good supply to the Vintage & Handmade Fair on the 22nd November. Hope to see you there!
For those who cannot wait until next month, I have listed a couple of pairs of these gloves on ebay, search under seller name sunshed.

Wednesday 8 October 2008

Night at the Opera

Yesterday was a very special day in the Washerwoman's calendar. We went to London to see the English National Opera at The Coliseum. The performance was Cavalleria rusticana & Paglliacci. I am the first to admit that Opera is not really my type of music, but this was a special performance as I have spent a lot of time this year sourcing costume for them. The first performance was set in Sicily in the 1930's. The cast were dressed in rural costume, and we enjoyed spotting who was wearing the patched french jacket, darned checked shirt or the black wraparound apron that we had sourced in France this summer. It was a powerful love story and the pure sound of the singing and huge orchestra was spellbinding.
The second performance was a very unusual interpretation as it was set in the very early 70's in the North of England. The sets were fabulous and extremely true to that era. However, the great fun for us was seeing the brown jumpers, dowdy woollen coats & patterned flared trousers that we had hunted for in every charity shop in a 50 mile radius! It was a huge cast, so we had certainly had our work cut out.
Sadly (but understandably) photography was not allowed in the building, so all I have to show you is the exterior of the Theatre at the end of a magical evening.