Sunday, April 14, 2013

life on the moor

It's been more than a month now since my last move (it's the 4th home I've lived in since coming to England). I've meant to post about it sooner, but time, and a long to-do list have not allowed it. 

It's a dreamy place to live - a rambling old farmhouse plunked in the middle of the moor. The other day there were wild ponies in the long gravel drive leading to the house.  I have been itching to get out on the moor for a nice long walk. Sadly, the past few weekends have brought dismal weather, and I have been more or less house bound. I did sneak out last weekend in gale force winds to get just a few pictures...

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It's been so cold that there isn't much flowering except the gorse, but there is plenty of that! 

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The house itself is full of life, I share it with four other ladies, as well as their various dogs, cats and horses.

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Perhaps the most exciting and life-changing thing that has happened since moving into Exmoor Way is using the aga. I cooked polenta in the "top oven" last night and it came out creamy and delicious (had it with duck and plum sausages from the farmer's market!) Tonight, I'll be baking an oatmeal and stout cake in there...I'll find out which corner of the oven suits my favourite cake best!

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My little bedroom is bright and cozy, and has the most lovely view of the moor. I find myself staring at the moon and stars every night before bed.

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I think I can safely say it is the most beautiful place I've ever lived in. I feel so lucky to be here, surrounded by wilderness and all things wonderful. I'm so looking forward to a summer of exploring the moor!!!

Sunday, April 7, 2013


A few weeks back I had the pleasure of accompanying the John Arbon Textiles gang to the Selvedge Spring Fair. The show was held in London, at the Chelsea Town Hall - a beautiful building! Fibre-y shows I've been to in the past have all been held in big (and rather unattractive) venues, so this was a very welcome change. Warm wooden walls and lovely architectural details were the perfect backdrop for the array of beautiful textures and colours that were on display at the show. 
For those who don't know, Selvedge is a magazine that focuses on textiles arts and artisans. Each page is beautiful and inspirational - can you tell I like it? The show featured venders selling everything from vintage Hungarian textiles, hand embroidered woolen dressing gowns (I might have bought one...), intricately hand stitched dolls, French antiques and so much more. I could have left with a very big hole in my bank account, and came very close to it!
In my usual Emily fashion, I was so swept away with the display that I neglected to gather the names of a lot of the talented people I spoke to, but I'll do my best to reference the photos I've taken.

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Of course, my day began with a visit to John and Juliet. Their stand looked lovely, and the cold weather outside seemed to be inspiring shoppers to keep their toes warm in a squishy pair of wool socks.

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I have hunted high and low for the list of venders at the Spring Fair, and come up empty handed. Sadly, I'll just have to share my pictures, hope you are inspired at the least!

I just love how delicate the stitching is on these dolls. Even though their faces are out of focus, you can see their tiny little mouths and rosy cheeks have so much detail.

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I flipped out for these stunning hand woven blankets, pillows and throws from Catarina Riccabona. For once I had the sense to take a photo with her name in it. The way she combined colours with naturals and textures within stripes and...everything. I want one of her blankets in my life...someday...

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This was my favourite piece from the collection of vintage Hungarian textiles. It's a small tablecloth, and the most special thing about it is that there is a section in the center that has faded with time and use, so it's colours range from bright red into dusty pink.

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I bought myself a beautiful ribbon from this basket, to use in my hair. Of course, I chose one that was too now it's hanging from a peg board. Curse my thick hair!

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This was, without a doubt, the most exciting thing that I saw at the show. It is an antique hand embroidered fox!!!!! Look at the rabbits running across it's back, and the squirrel in the top left. I cannot imagine hand-stitching this. Obviously it was made my the most patient and determined person who ever lived! I foolishly didn't get the name of the lovely girl who was selling it, and can't find her anywhere - apologies if you are out there!

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Another lovely stand, and another forgotten name. Throughout the day, I began to refer to this stand as "the gray folks" I'm sure that they have a much more lovely and eloquent name than that! I had to get a photo of them for my mom - just check out those linen aprons. They also had hand dipped candles and felted slippers...all gray of course!

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Cute silly things

More fun and pretty things... 

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There was so much to see and do, and I've made a couple of amazing purchases...too many I'm sure. When the weather is warmer up here on the moor, I will get out my new silk frock and take some photos, but that's all for the time being.

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