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Use less text on mobile! beautiful textiles for your home, designed by the sea and made in the British isles

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time to 'cwtch'

time to 'cwtch'

So the Danes may have clinched the word ‘Hygge’, which has recently caused a storm in the way we British like to chill out, entertain and hunker down in the cooler months. Apparently, there is no direct English translation for the word ‘Hygge’, which leaves us feeling a little bereft, slightly inadequate even, particularly as we are so proud of our language. But did you know that the Welsh also have a word, along the same lines as ‘Hygge’, which there is no exact translation for. That word is ‘Cwtch’ and it is such a lovely word, with delightful connotations. I came across this word about 20 years ago when my son was two years old. His grandmother from South Wales (affectionately known as Mrs Pepper Pot because she is so tiny) used to invite him to ‘cwtch up’ alongside her on the sofa. Here is how the University of South Wales describes it:

What is a 'cwtch'? | University of South Wales

a cuddle or hug.' However, this definition isn't conclusive, because the wonderful thing about the Welsh word, 'cwtch', is that there's no literal English translation. There are plenty of similar words, such as 'cuddle', 'snuggle' and 'hug', but none share quite the same affectionate sentiment as a 'cwtch'.12 Dec 2014. www.southwales.ac.uk/story/926/

To me, Autumn is all about gathering in, whether we are gathering fruits and foods, or simply armfuls of family and friends. It’s the time of year when we want our loved ones around us, well fed and well warmed, safe inside as the winds blow wild against the window panes and wet rains streak across steely skies and piles of golden leaves form drifts outside the door. Days are spent in woollens and wellington boots and the longer, darker evenings provide the chance for more conversation, more reading, more dreaming and planning.

 So, what better time of year than now, to get cosy on a sofa with a good book, a cup of something warming and enjoy a ‘cwtch' up under a soft layer of wool !?

(this lovely blanket has been crocheted by hand by Lisa and is for sale in the 'friends and finds' section.)

I have named my new collection of miniature lavender filled cushions ‘Cwtch’. Handmade especially for the three upcoming shows I am exhibiting at, all run by the very lovely ‘Handmade in Britain’ organisation. I will be taking them first to Kew Gardens (next week), and then to Edinburgh, and finally to Chelsea Old Town Hall. Here’s a reminder of the dates:

Handmade at Kew (contemporary craft fair)

Kew Gardens, 12th – 15th October 2017

Handmade Edinburgh (contemporary craft fair)

The Hub, Edinburgh, 27th - 29th October 2017

The Contemporary Crafts & Design Fair

Chelsea Old Town Hall, 10th-12th November 2017

If you would like to come along, let me know, I have a limited supply of entrance passes and it would be truly lovely to meet you. Email me: camillabythesea@yahoo.co.uk

The lavender filled 'Cwtch' cushions (shown above), sitting alongside their bed fellows in my 'sea fret' range of cushions and throws. 

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September Calling

September Calling

Living in the Great British Isles means embracing all seasons. There are undeniable changes happening in the garden, and I am undeniably aware that September is calling and am beginning to feel the thrill of cooler months ahead.

 

There is a gentle fading beginning to take hold as well as the fullness of ripe berries and autumn fruits. It is this fading, mottling and ageing that I find restful and somehow reassuring.

 

 

Yes, I confess to be totally thrilled by the imminent onset of autumn. This season is equally exciting to me as spring. The drama of the demise of nature’s summer beauty is displayed as a visual wonder in seed heads, leaf skeletons, crystallised cobwebs and exuberant colour in skies and trees. Along with darker nights, lit with candles and the glow of a log fire, harvest festivals and fireworks pepper the calendar. The kitchen becomes the hub of the home and is filled with smells of jam making, homemade fruit puddings, sticky sausages, toasted crumpets and long, lazy Sunday roasts. The hallway is filled with wellington boots and coats and we dig out warm woollens to wrap ourselves in ……... yes, I am a huge fan of autumn!

September brings the call for us all to return to a more timetabled life and autumn provides the countdown to our yuletide celebrations. I will be exhibiting at the fabulous trade show ‘Top Drawer’, for the first time in September, hoping to meet owners of boutique shops, independent galleries and interior designers, all looking for artisan made pieces for their curated winter collections.

Meanwhile, the last threads of summer are difficult to let go of. Gathering up fading flowers and making the most of home grown vegetables in warming soups and hedgerow fruits in glorious crumbles, means we can still eat outdoors and gather together with candle-light and blankets to wrap around. This is, perhaps, how we British like to ‘Hygge’. The jaded colour palette makes me think about softly shaded wools. I like to work with colours that have been taken directly from nature, I find them soothing and restful and they seem to sit well with natural fibres. Perhaps my next woven designs will be inspired by the colours of September......

 ........we'll see. x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hygge at the cottage by the sea

Hygge at the cottage by the sea

Storm Doris has arrived and it's throwing a temper all around the house; lashing rain and sleet, swirling winds that feel like they are trying to find a way in to the house, pushing against the windows, whistling down the chimney, knocking against the door.

So, what better time to practise the art of ‘Hygge’? This one word, Danish in origin, is being used everywhere at the moment, and can be used to describe the act of hunkering down, shutting the weather out, and making your surroundings warm and cosy, safe and friendly with candle light, food, friends and of course, beautiful textiles.

 

This is an act that we British folk have practised for years. We light fires and cuddle up on the sofa (the welsh use the word ‘cwtch’ to describe cuddling up to someone), it’s just that we don’t have one specific word to describe this act, as the Danish do. So, as storm Doris rages outside, we light the candles, huddle around the fire and ‘hygge’.

 

........and when it all gets too much......!

 p.s. the beautiful crocheted blanket (above) is hand made by a very clever, very lovely friend of mine. It will soon be for for sale in the 'friends and finds' collection coming soon. If you cant wait that long (and there is only one of these), feel free to email me.

Camilla x

 

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