Life at Kerjacob .

Life at Kerjacob .

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Vintage textile fair at Pontivy.

On Sunday I was up very early to go to the annual textile fair
in Pontivy.

This was my second year of exhibiting and selling.
It takes months to collect and launder everything.
This year I had also done quite a lot of indigo dyeing.

Detail of lace on a Breton cap.

For anyone who loves textiles it is like being a child in a sweet shop.
It is wonderful to see so many beautiful things all in one place.

Old linen work shirt which I dyed.

As always I took sometime to display all my stock.
 It is important to me that everything looks good.
All the old sheets have to well laundered, folded and displayed to show their beauty.

Lavender sachets.

The lavender sachets I'd made have copies of old photographs
 I've been collecting printed onto linen and
are filled with my own home grown lavender.

Monogrammed napkins dyed.

The dyed napkins were much admired and quite a few found new homes.
I'd also dyed two old linen men's work shirts, one in a mid blue
and the other in indigo.
The indigo went before I had time to photograph it !

Detail of lace Breton cap.

When there were some quiet times I had a look around and took some
 photographs to share with you.

The piece of jewellery below is the type worn by the famous Josephine Baker
when she danced and sang especially in the night clubs of Paris.

The jewels would be all that she would have worn on her top !!!
You can easily imagine the impact her show had !!!

Body jewellery.

The old French fashion magazines are always popular
and quite a few younger designers seek them out for inspiration.

Old French fashion magazines.

A friend of mine bought some of these old reels to convert
into little lamps, they'll look so good.

Thread bobbins.

There are many beautiful old buttons about and many of them are added
 to clothes to give a focal point or in this case worn as brooches
often two or more together at the same time.

Old buttons made into brooches.

I can never resist the mixture of old linen and red embroidery.
I find it very difficult to part with the pieces that I've collected.
Luckily there is still some around for other people to admire and buy.

Linen with red embroidery - love it !

I will do a second post this week with more photographs for you to enjoy.



Sunday, 19 May 2013

Samuel - we lose such a special cat.

Seven years ago we were lucky enough to have these darling cats
born in our barn.
Their mother was wild so she went and we looked after them.

Samuel and Jacob when little.

Very sadly Jacob was killed when he was just about 18 months old.

Samuel missed his twin brother but gradually Tortue, another one
of our other cats, became almost a mother to him.
They shared the same chair at night time and would gently
wash each other.

On Tuesday we lost Samuel, just seven years old.
He was very ill and we he went peacefully.
When we brought him home from the vets we put his
darling body on the chair which he always
shared with Tortue.
Without prompting she got on the chair, gently
licked him and stayed by him until
we took him to bury him next to Jacob.

As I write this I am in tears and Tortue has looked again
on their chair but he's not there.
The chair stays empty but our hearts are full
of the happiness that Samuel gave us and so
many others.
Everyone loved him and he loved everyone too.
As one of our friends said, he was adorable.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Japanese boro textiles.

Recently I have discovered a form of textile 
that I knew nothing about before.

Always exciting to discover new things.
Japanese Boro was a way of making another fabric from what was essentially rags.

Boro is a Japanese folk textile that has been extensively “repaired” by patching and mending little scraps of other fabrics over worn-out areas or holes in the cloth. These textiles were ones used for every day—futon covers, vests, fishermen’s coats, mosquito netting—and handwoven of a plant fibre usually cotton, sometimes ramie, then indigo dyed in most cases.

Whilst I was in Nantes I was lucky to see a large display of these wonderful pieces
of fabric, I love them and now want to find more and more about them.

The irony of course is that these old pieces of cloth are now worth a great amount of money and many collectors are wanting to find them.

Essentially these pieces were created out of need by the poorest people in Japanese society.
Now in the 21st century we throw away all the time and often forget the beauty old things.

However for me the old things have a history and a feel that cannot be easily found in the new.

I have always loved textiles and over the years have collected old pieces,
 sometimes there are the frayed edges, sometimes there are holes 
 which have been darned and mended.
All tell a story.

I don't want to have botox or plastic surgery.
I'll go with the wrinkles, I'll admire the hands of really old people.
Hands that show their life.
They have a beauty.

Old textiles have a beauty and history all of their own.
I have a quilt, very simple which is well worn now but I would never part with it.
I remember being covered with it when I was little and not feeling well.

I'll have to look for some lovely old fabric to patch the worn parts so
 that its life can continue like these beautiful pieces.

This tiny red piece of fabric was like a beating heart of history for me.

Monday, 6 May 2013

Amazing pieces of Art by Barbara Keal.

When I was at the textile fair in Nantes last week I
was delighted to meet a young woman called

The animal heads and in some cases there whole pelts are all made
 by Barbara using a needle felting method.
 She uses natural fibres from local sheep and llamas.

Barbara's husband, Richard makes furniture from old recycled wood and raw timbers.

Barbara is about 6ft 2 and so you can imagine how wonderful she looked !

They had a joint exhibition at Anthropologie in New York at the end of last year.

Barbara and Richard Keel are a couple to watch in the future.

I was invited to try one of the heads on, I now wish I had !

The goat head above was certainly one of my favourites.

I asked Barbara which head was her favourite, she especially liked
the two donkeys, a couple, the male on the right
  and his mate on the left.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Kaffe Fassett at Nantes, France.

Last Saturday I went to Nantes.
Each year there is a huge fair called
"Pour l'Amour du Fil"
Which simply means 'for the love of thread'.

It was the first time I had been  - what a wonderful, if tiring day.

Kaffe Fassett was there with his amazing work.
I love the colours that he combines and especially how
he changed the way people looked at embroidery and knitting.
Gone was the safe way and in came an exciting way of using colour and pattern.

Although I don't have any of these very bright colours in my home
 I do love the way he puts such colours together so that they 'sing'.

Kaffe Fassett sat doing some stitching whilst many of his fans came to admire as if the space was
a magical one with the wizard of colours in attendance !!

I took many other photographs whilst there so look out for more delights in my next posts.