Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Toile de Jouy

Toiles were originally produced in Ireland in the mid 18th century and quickly became popular in Britain and France.  The term Toile de Jouy originated in France in the late 18th century; the phrase literally means 'cloth from Jouy-en-Josas', a town in north central France.

The patterns are generally quite complex and have pastoral themes.  Generally, but not always, there is one colour on a white background, the most popular being dark red, blue or black.

These are some of my favourites I have found on Pinterest.

Today I went to Chichester and had lunch with a friend at Amelie's restaurant, a favourite of ours and had the most amazing risotto I have ever tasted, ever mouthful was followed by a 'Mmmmmm'.  It was celeriac with hazelnuts and raisin puree which sounds a bit strange but absolutely to die for!

(sorry the photo is a bit blurred)

Whilst there I bought some toile de jouy bedding in the Laura Ashley sale and two boxes to match.  They will look perfect in my bedroom.

If there was a balloon coming out of the lady's head what do you think she would be thinking or saying????
I will send a lavender filled toile de jouy fabric heart similar to this one to what I consider to be the best caption.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

My weekend

What a contrast in weather conditions this weekend!  I had my very favourite dog again for a few days as my daughter was away so this necessitated several walks down to the beach

but he doesn't like the water like this dog does.  Every time he brought a stick back to his owners they threw out to sea again!!

Friday and Sunday were beautiful days but it poured and poured on Saturday.  My husband and I went to the Pallant Art Gallery in Chichester as they had an exhibition of Gwen John's paintings (I have blogged about here previously here).  Unfortunately they had very few of her works and had concentrated more on Celia Paul's paintings (and I'm not keen on hers)

Celia Paul Self Portrait

This is one of my favourite Gwen John's sketches.

This afternoon my husband has drawn a female on the new bathroom wall.  We felt it needed something to break up this space of white and so he tried this saying that we could paint over it if we didn't like it but I do!

I bought myself this book at the gallery.  I had seen it before and loved some of the paintings featured in it so decided to treat myself.  

This is a painting of three sisters painted in 1917 which interested me because I will be listing a French world War 1 Red Cross uniform on my website later this week.

This was found in the attic of a distillery in France.  Gosh, I wonder what stories this could tell.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Noa Noa Bead Collar

In the autumn I visited one of my favourite shops, Noa Noa in Cirencester and bought a lovely dress.  I also tried on a beaded collar which looked very vintagey but at £35 I decided that though it was well worth the money I didn't really need it.  At the weekend my thoughts turned to that collar again and I decided yes I would have it after all, I did, in fact, need it and it had to be mine! I searched on all the Noa Noa sites to see if anyone still had it and lo and behold I found it in the sale at 60% off bringing the price down to £14!  Bargain!  (By the way it is now out of stock so I may have bought the last one).

It came in the post this morning and I LOVE it, I adore it.  I'm not sure yet when I will wear it or with what but I am enjoying just looking at it!

Saturday, 5 January 2013



Following on from my last post here are some bathtubs that I wouldn't mind having in my home.

1.  Very shabby chic. (source unknown, found on Pinterest).
2.  I love the copper tub and stonework.  (source unknown, found on Pinterest).
3.  I love how the shape of the window is echoed in the shape of the bath (jenniferdavisinteriordesign.com)
4.  What a view!  (bottegatokyo.com).
5.  Shoe bath is covered in tiny precious glass mosaic tiles and designed by Massimiliano Della Monaca.
6.  'Sea Sponge' by Philip Gladstone.  Novel tap!
7.  I love the birdbath used as a table.  (hviturlakkris.blogspot.co.uk)
8.  Wow! (source unknown, found on Pinterest).

Which is your favourite?

Thursday, 3 January 2013


We have almost finished the makeover on the downstairs cloakroom/shower room.  When we moved into this house absolutely every room needed work doing to it.  In the rooms where we thought we were just removing wallpaper then the walls came away with it etc. etc. and every room seemed to be a major task.  I don't know why we left the downstairs cloakroom so long to tackle but now we only have the loft (which had already been converted into a bedroom) to sort out and the house is as we like it (though some rooms already now need redecorating!!)

This room was weird in that it had two steps up to the toilet and shower.  We discovered why when the builders were gutting it.  Rather than remove a beautiful old ceramic shower tray they had put a plastic tray over it and lifted the floor rather than remove it!  Bizarre!  Unfortunately we couldn't salvage this as it was cemented in too well but we no longer have to step up to the throne!

I didn't take any photos of the room before demolition but all four walls were floor to ceiling tiles (why?) and this is how it looked when they were removed.

We had bought an old Singer sewing machine table which we wanted a basin to stand on.  I love the juxtaposition of old and modern which is why I also chose this light fitting.  It is so not usually my taste but I fell in love with it and thought it would make a statement.  It weighs 7 kgs so my husband spend ages trying to find a batten strong enough in the ceiling to take the weight!

I had already painted the walls (white) but since the plumber has installed the shower and toilet it now needs repainting and I still have the pipes and skirting boards to paint.

I bought this large mirror on ebay and painted it with Farrow & Ball's French Grey.  I want to buy some co-ordinating fabric to place a blind at the window just to inject a little colour too.

At the weekend I black leaded the metal work on the sewing table (big mistake as it seemed to coat everything in a layer of fine black dust and I have walked some onto the cream living room carpet and can't remove it).

This cast iron and marble table is one we already had and it perfectly matches the sewing table which also has a marble top (not original to the sewing table, of course).  (You can see which bits of the wall I still have to paint).