Sunday, 25 July 2010

Portuguese Pottery...

In the last few years, I have developed somewhat of a
fascination with ceramics and tiles and love to visit the colourful markets, stalls and potteries when I'm abroad. I nearly always end up buying a selection of local ceramics, which I then find myself having to cram precariously into my hand luggage for the flight back... This year was no exception!

When driving back from a day out in Sagres in Portugal, we came across a wonderful pottery, where the outside walls were absolutely covered with brightly coloured decorative plates like multi-coloured pick and mix, all different shapes and sizes. Some of the plates were broken and chipped, but this didn't deter at all from the charm of the display.

I spent a happy hour that day wandering up and down the many isles of dishes, stacked high with every colour and design imaginable. You do have to be selective as some of the designs in these potteries can be quite garish, but there are nearly always hidden gems to be found amongst the piles!

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Holiday Snaps...

Just back from a lovely sunny holiday in Portugal; I am slowly re-acclimatizing to the rubbish British weather and gradually getting back into the daily routine! Had a great time away with my family... it was lovely to spend some time with them,
which is a real rarity these days as we live so far apart. We stayed for two weeks in Lagos, a historic maritime town on the coast of the Algarve, which also has many beautiful beaches surrounding it.

The weather was amazing, but very, very hot during the day, so many of our beach trips were made a bit later in the day when it was slightly cooler and also less busy. Had a lot of fun scouring the beaches for shells and driftwood with mum; found lots of interesting bits and pieces to make into 'coastal style' decorative items (think driftwood mirrors and hanging shell decorations!)

When we weren't sunbathing or beach combing, we also went on quite a few day trips, driving out into the surrounding countryside and along the coast. We visited several traditional little towns, such as Salema, where I loved all the colourful painted fishing boats, filled with old bits of rope, lobster pots and other fishing paraphernalia. A couple of times, we also visited the nearby historic town of Silves, which has some pretty buildings adorned with highly decorative, old-fashioned wrought iron balconies and very Moorish patterned tiles. We also spent one very windswept day at Sagres, which is only a mile or two from Europe's most south-westerly point. It was so exposed out on the cliff tops and very remote but had stunning views on all sides out to sea...

All in all, a wonderful holiday!

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Seaside Inspiration...

It is only a couple of days now until I go on my summer holidays (getting very excited!), so I thought it would be a perfect time to share some of my favourite 'summer' inspired finds...

First up is a lovely print named 'Small Sailor' by illustrator Tutti Shafir, who is currently based in Tel Aviv. With it's beautiful subdued colour palette, it takes me back to the innocence of childhood days, when hours could easily be passed daydreaming and playing in my own little world... very nostalgic! If you want to see a wider selection of Tutti's work, visit her etsy shop, where there are lots more of her charming prints for sale.

Isn't this just the perfect print for summer? This beautiful eco-friendly fabric is named Gwylan (which is Welsh for seagull) in Seafoam blue, and is by Welsh-born designer Jenny Lee-Katz. I love the simplicity and placement of this design, as well as the fun and quirky imagery. Take a look at Jenny's website for more of her gorgeous designs.

Finally, 'Ladies at amusements' is a textile piece by one of my favourite designers at the moment, Laura McCafferty, who documents everyday scenes and ordinary people using a combination of screen print, fabric appliqué and hand stitching. I just love the juxtaposition of all the different prints and patterns she uses, as well as the humour and sincerity she injects into her work with the often personal subjects she depicts. Laura welcomes commissions of all sizes, so if you would like more information, (or just want to see more of her amazing works) check out her website.
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