Flour Sack Bed.

There was a time when sack cloth was a sign of penitence. But there’s nothing remotely punitive as far as I’m concerned about my latest makeover, quite the opposite in fact, and now I look forward to the end of the day when I can enjoy the comfort of it.

Sadly, a while ago, an American friend sold up and headed back to the USA and in consequence was trying to find homes for some of her larger pieces of furniture. I was only to happy to take her bed off her hands.

The old upholstery on her Louis XVI bed had a few large watermarks and we both agreed that it needed recovering, and I promised myself that I would do it when I could. It’s taken a while but finally during this years downtime from the tourist season I seized my chance.

Here it is in its original state, with its dark wood and faintly floral yellow cloth.And below with a the inner face of the foot of the bed half done and an ( unfinished) quick coat of Little Green Company “Slaked Lime Dark”.

I was really fortunate that the structure and basic padding underneath was in very good condition and only the top upholstery needed changing.

Choosing a hardwearing fabric was quite a problem because my black and linen toile curtains were difficult to coordinate with, but I love old grain sacks, so you can imagine how happy I was when I fell upon this old french black and natural flour-sack cloth, (even if “Husband Chez Nous” says it looks as if the bed has been run over by a tractor). Grain sack has too loose a weave, but flour sack is altogether softer and closer weft, which also means it isn’t scratchy when leaning against it. And that’s important considering how much I like to read in bed.

The greatest difficulty has been the thickness of the cloth, especially when it gathers up on the inward curves of the frame. But all things considered I’m pleased with the result.I was lucky to find a very good colour match for the edge detail to hide the tacks. I spent a while trying to find the french word for this kind of edging “ribbon”. “Double cord”, pronounced “doo- bluh cord”, who’d have thought!

Pleasant dreams everyone!

Shoaled Out!

WP_20131116_006Inspired by the Normandy coastline, its abundance of little creeks and inlets, and its majestic chalk cliffs which dominate the coastline, this shoal of fishes in fabrics inspired by the Impressionist painters who graced the region around the 1860’s are filled with beautiful scented Provencale lavender.

Last year the entire shoal sold out in a matter of hours, and I find them once again in great demand and have been busy “creating” when I find a rare moment of peace. The scented “poissons” are perfect for laying between layers of clothes in a chest of drawers, or hanging from a lone door handle to gently fragrance a room. I should know, because with 50 poisson already wallowing in the shallows of my grandmother’s old wooden trough, my home smells wonderful!

If you would like a few to buy as gifts this Christmas for an elderly aunt or an ageing grandmother, contact me in the comments section and I will be in touch.

This shoal have been netted by my children’s school Christmas Fête,

..but there are plenty more making their way upstream!



Tissus et Mercerie, Fabrics and Habadashery – Rouen.

I spend far too much time doing tedious chores, and after having another “English tea” party with my fellow french mums pondered on the question several of them had asked over the course of the afternoon.

What do we do with our days ? What do we do to inspire ourselves?

Fresh from those thoughts I headed for my fabric drawer.

These are just a couple of fabulous linens I had lying about thanks to offcuts from my great friend at Lime Tree Design and which were crying out to be made into something!  Read more