50 Years of LSA International .. Oh, and Chocolate.

STILT Vase LSAIt only seems like yesterday that I was writing about Easter last year but a whole year really has passed. I can’t wait for a little break and a few lie ins. It is definitely time to crack open some chocolate eggs and celebrate all things chocolate ! How about you ? Are you taking some time out ?

Today, I have some photos to show you of one of my favourite brands LSA International. I’m often drawn to their glassware and porcelain in stores. It’s maybe because they do stunning colourful glass ranges and they look and feel such good quality.

It wad hardly a difficult decision to collaborate with them. I feel very honoured to do so, especially as it is their 50 year anniversary this year. LSA International started out, back then, using enamels and soon moved on to leathers, porcelain and wood. The glassware in all its glorious shapes and sizes is what they are best known for, now in 2016.

It’s good to see though, that they still incorporate their initial materials in to their designs today. Like the STILT Vase / Tealight Holder and Ash Stand above with it’s stand made from natural ash wood. The legs are turned. The glass is all blown and they fit in to carved stands in the base. It’s versatile as it can be used in many different ways or you can use the holders separately and it comes gift boxed and is £125.

LSA Stilt Vase RoseIt feels so good to have the sun shining through the window on to the roses and to smell the scented candles. I love Spring.

LSA BowlThis Serve Circle Platter is such a good idea for serving up load of different things but of course I had to christen it with a home made white chocolate dip ( chocolate, butter and slowly melted and then single cream folded in, just in case you’re wondering …  ) and some naughty sweet treats.

LSA Circle PlatterYou could also fill it with it fruit and the central section cream or vegetables or even prawns and put houmous in the middle ?

LSA Circle Platter TreatsEither will be a big hit here. The glass is handmade and its £50. A really handy thing to have in the cupboard for last minute get togethers.

Champage Tower

I have always wanted some champagne glasses in this coupe shape, created to overflow in to the glasses below. There’s something really special about sipping a sparkling drink from a delicate glass. So vintage and stylish – and this shape is also used nowadays for certain cocktails too.

But seriously, you have to show me some love for achieving what this set of 10 glasses is designed for  – being called Champagne Tower Set ! All placed very carefully while Andy stood close by, saying ” Careful, careful … “. Actually, it was quite easy to be honest. If you need some in your life the set is £80.

They’re lovely aren’t they ? Something special for family gatherings and Summer soirées.

LSA Glass

All in all, loved up with these gorgeous items and hope you’ve enjoyed reading my post.

Have a good day – and have a really Happy Easter.

Lucy x

This is a collaboration with LSA International. All opinions are my own.

 

A Wonderful Week of Guest Curating for Wayfair

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I’m really pleased to tell you that this week I am guest curator, over at the lovely Wayfair online store. I’ve selected some lovely colourful items that will be revealed on a daily basis.

There were absolutely loads of items to choose from such as furniture, lamps, artwork, kids bedroom furniture .. so I had much fun doing my research. I  don’t want to show them all off today so have put together a handful as a little taster for you.

What I will say is that I was quite taken by the Scandi inspired pieces at Wayfair that have on offer and the fantastic low prices. I would say there is something for everyone’s budget.

2So please do hop on over and have a look at today’s picks …

You can also have a look at an interview that I did with Wayfair about my inspirations, how I felt about winning the Amara Interior Blog Award late last year and why I love colour so much.

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But that’s not all ..

Wayfair also asked me to offer some tips for introducing colour in to your home. If you fancy a read then you can find it here.

Hope you enjoy the event and if you follow me on my social media ( buttons at the top and side of my blog ) then you will be able to follow the daily links to some really cool goodies.

Have a happy week !

Lucy x

This is a collaboration with Wayfair. All opinions are my own.

Birds of Paradise by Bertie & Jack

Bertie & Jack Birds of Paradise

As well as wanting to share with you, my  belated Birthday gift of a Birds of Paradise framed picture, which I LOVE – I also want to tell you about the company who made it and how, because I have so much respect for people who come up with an idea and then go and turn it in to a really cool reality.

Bertie & Jack aka Becky and Emma started their cut out personalised artwork in 2010 on a market stall in Bath. They used what savings they had to start up a market stall, pay the first month for the pitch and buy the materials needed. They worked really hard to build their business up –  which paid off when John Lewis spotted them and ranged Bertie & Jack in 2013. It’s still growing with friends and fellow parents now being employed … and Becky and Emma’s husbands.

They produce the work by cutting out their hand drawn illustrations from mount board and layering patterns and prints behind the cut out shapes. They were the first to use this method and they do it so well !  All of their designs are created in – house and all made in here in the UK.

Birds of Paradise

The name Bertie & Jack was inspired by their children. They’ve made a lovely little film about their Mum’s business which you can watch here. It’s ever so cute ! You can also the different collections here that you can buy framed or unframed – from Magical to Typographic to Woodland and also the Boutique artwork which includes my Birds of Paradise one – loads to have a look at. The also make cushions – my personal favourite is the Happy Family one.

Bertie & Jack Birds

This beauty will be going up in my craft / study room which I am about to repaint  – the stained glass effect of the birds will be incredibly inspiring. The sun shines really beautifully on to the gold and silver birds and makes them shine and shimmer.

Thank you Bertie & Jack, very much, for my artwork. We clearly have a mutual love of colour and birds !

What do you think of the cut out wall art ? Hope you like it as much as I do. Leave me a comment or tweet me @lucylovesyablog. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

I’m currently working hard at home on my interior design course and will soon be doing colour theory section so can’t wait to write all about that.

Have a good one.

Lucy x

I was sent this piece of art for this Bertie & Jack collaboration. All opinions are my own.

Joseph Joseph Elevate Wood Carousel Giveaway

Joseph Joseph Giveaway

It has been quite a while since I offered up a giveaway here on my blog. I’m a big fan of kitchenware brand Joseph Joseph though and jumped at the chance to work with them and their innovative and contemporary designs and thought you might be up for winning a colourful Elevate Wood Carousel for your home.

But first, I want to show you a few other Joseph Joseph items that might tickle your fancy from my own kitchen because I am always fascinated by the ideas they come up with and how they combine it all with such style.

What I find with Joseph Joseph, is that the items are often multi functional and practical , saving space but also really well made. I’ve had some pieces for years and they still work just as well. Their brand always stands out in kitchen shops to me, with aesthetically satisfying designs in bold and beautiful shades along with their neutral colours.

They have some lovely new pastel coloured goodies arriving too in their store in the iconic designs. Good timing for Mother’s Day.

Joseph Joseph Bread Board

This double sided bread and cheese board is brilliant for sharing a little bread starter with oil or houmous and then flipping the wood board over to have some cheese and grapes at the end of the meal.

Joseph Joseph Items

It’s really handy and easy to tidy away. I can’t wait to use this when we next have friends over. I’m so in to chilli cheese at the moment so it will be used in front of the tv before then too !

Joseph Joseph Worktop Saver

The selection of glass worktop savers Joseph Joseph are pure joy to a colour lover. They’re so fun and really practical also because they are odour and stain resistant and perfect for putting a hot pan on. It would be very hard to pick a favourite but I obviously love this pastel palette one and also the record player worktop saver on the website.

Joseph Joseph Salad Bowl

Do you love this ‘ Hands On ‘ salad bowl with built in servers ? I just think it’s such a good idea but looks so cool too. The bowl itself is a good size and sits proudly amongst the other dishes on the dining table.

Joseph Joseph

I do find that the more I get in to cooking, the more products like these ones are important for an overall ‘ look ‘. I used to serve food up in whatever I could find in the cupboard but now I look forward to having friends here and making them feel special.

Joseph Joseph Carousel

Now, the giveaway. The Elevate Wood Carousel ! A set of 5 made from beech wood and heat resistant silicone, it has all the 5 utensils needed in any kitchen with a trusty stand that rotates making for an easy life and especially when you’re busy at the stove and need everything all at once ( or maybe that’s just my style of cooking ) … ;)

I can recommend it – tried and tested. It is £55 RRP usually and worth every penny. But, you can get yourself entered here on my Rafflecopter giveaway to win one for yourself free … courtesy of Joseph Joseph.

It’s the first time I have used Rafflecopter and it’s so easy for you to use. You can enter below, nice and swiftly. This giveaway is open to UK residents only and I will email the winner at the end on March 6th 2016 and also announce it on my social media.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Ts & Cs

Postage and packaging supplied by Joseph Joseph. No alternative prize offered.

I will contact the winner as soon as the giveaway ends .If I do not have a reply within 24 hours, a new person will be chosen at random.

Wishing you lots of luck.

Lucy x

This is a collaboration with Joseph Joseph. I have received no payment  – only some products for the purpose of the post. All opinions are my own.

#InspirationIsColour – The Sequel :)

Lucy Loves Ya 21.01.30

Left to right: littlehouseonthecorner, capturebylucy, oldfashionedsus, cassiefairy, lucylovesyablog, theenchantedflower, potterandbloom, madebylolly, penelopehopestudio

It was my Birthday a few days ago and am I’ve had a lovely time with family and friends. Although I tell my self each year that it’s just another day – it really does feel special to see them all and celebrate a little. Any opportunity to do so ! I felt thoroughly spoilt.

Now, as promised, a lovely new batch of gorgeous images by fellow instagram colour lovers. I find it quite astonishing when I click on the hashtag #InspirationIsColour on instagram and see more and more fab pics being added – by some of my favourite accounts too.

Lucy Loves Ya Inspiration

Left to right: thesilverfactory, mcv96, byvanessaleigh, miafleur_home, godsavethepeas, thecreativepair, abookishbaker, pastapatchwork, forestpoppy  Such an inspiring place to be and still my favourite, very badly disguised, not so guilty pleasure.

Recently my own instagram photos have been regrammed by the wonderful and talented girls at A Beautiful Mess and Honey of California amongst others which is always a great boost because they rock.

Inspiration Is Colour

Left to right: jennamichellepink, designangel, jessrose1702, hollymartin00, hellopartyinsta, eliza_charlie_tilly, ana.moraissoares, marwahzd, judithinwonderland

I don’t really need to say anymore, except, that I am really chuffed that people are joining in and adding such wonderful images from around the world. It’s so good to connect with them all.

Maybe you’d like to add some of your bright photos too on instagram ? I’d love to see them and hopefully share them on my next #InspirationIsColour blog post. Please do and also leave a comment here to let me know which of these pics are your favourite. You can click on the links to take you to the accounts and see moods more inspiring, colourful images.

Keep a look out for a rather superb giveaway coming next on Lucy Loves Ya. I’m rather excited about the collaboration as I”m a big, big fan of the company !

Have a good one.

Lucy x

Say It With Flowers …. And Doughnuts.

Gluten Dairy Free Doughnut

A Happy Valentine’s Day to you.

These home made doughnuts are for my daughters and husband to remind them how much I love them. They’re actually gluten and dairy free too but you really wouldn’t know it.

The edible flowers, I thought, would be a nice colourful touch instead of the usual sprinkles  – after all – it is the day of the year you give flowers, right ? Plus I can pretend it’s Spring. If you remember, I made a lemon drizzle cake last year and used some flowers from the garden.

The recipe is so simple. I used a silicone doughnut mould to bake them in but they can be put in cupcake cases too.

Doughnuts With Flowers

Here’s what you need for the recipe to make 6 doughnuts:

Gluten free flour – 125g

Caster sugar – 125g

Eggs – 2 medium

Butter substitute – 125g ( I used  ‘ Pure Sunflower ‘ )

Baking powder – 1.5 tsp

Vanilla essence  – 3 drops

Icing sugar – 200g ( for the topping )

Edible flowers of your choice ( make sure you check whether they are edible before using them ) or decoration of your choice.

Icing sugar – 250g and water to mix.

Gluten Dairy Free Doughnuts

Preheat oven to 180 degrees.

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. If you have a food mixer, great, but if not then with a wooden spoon until a smooth texture with no lumps.

Spoon in to the moulds or cupcake cases in their tray. Bake for 18 minutes ( although check at 15 minutes ) then remove from oven and cool on a wire rack for half an hour.

Add some water to the icing sugar until you have a consistency that isn’t too runny and then ice them and don’t forget to lick the bowl !  Adorn the doughnuts with pretty edible flowers or sprinkles.

Then eat them all up. Yum …

Flowers Yum!

Honestly, I’m a bit of a picky eater and I love these. Hope you do too :)

Do you know of any other good gluten and dairy free recipes ? I would love to try out some more, now that it is part of our daily family routine … Please leave a comment or tweet me @lucylovesyablog  – you can also see more pics of these delicious doughnuts on my Instagram.

Have a good day.

Lucy x

Introducing The 9 New Farrow & Ball Paint Colours For 2016

F & B

A couple of weeks ago, I arrived at an exclusive building called The Albany ( so much so, that you’re not even allowed to photograph inside ) Full of interesting history and with name plaques on the entrance walls of past residents that turned my head  and nestled in the heart of London, set back a little from the busy streets of Piccadilly. It was all quite hush hush and has been until today.

It was to meet with the Farrow & Ball team and a handful of other UK bloggers and journalists for a preview of the new Farrow & Ball paint colours.

Let’s face it, I am a colour geek and so an afternoon in such interesting company and for such an exciting reason was going to be right up my street. It is not something they do on a very regular basis, so it felt very exciting to be part of this all.

After chatting for a while and enjoying the beautiful and regal surroundings, we all sat down for the presentation by Joa Studholme, International Colour Consultant for Farrow & Ball.

Now, finally, I can share with you, the new colours, as today is the day they have become available online and in stores. I can also tell you a bit about the inspiration behind each name. Yippee ! Let’s do it …

Shadow White Image

Firstly, Shadow White. No. 282. Named by the soft tone created when whites are used in shaded areas and good for lovers of light neutrals, both for walls and woodwork. It is a lovely contrast for Shaded White No .201. A paint that suits any style of home.

Drop Cloth

Then comes Drop Cloth. No. 283. Slightly darker than Shadow White.

It’s relaxing, easy and muted. You could use it with Shadow White No 282. It’s not too yellow or grey. Very easy on the eye, I would say. It is one 4 of their key colours for 2016.

It’s name is a nod to painters and decorators because ‘ Drop Cloth ‘ is the traditional name for their dust sheets which this colour embodies.

Worsted

Worsted. No. 284. belongs to their ‘ Easy Neutral Family ‘ stronger in tone than its counterpart ‘ Purbeck Stone ‘ but lighter than Mole’s Breath ( I never tire of their lovely names ). It works well with colour schemes Wevet. No. 273 and Cornforth White No. 228 for instance or with a stronger palette of Cook’s Blue No. 237 and No. 286.

Does this colour remind you of city suits made from flat woven fabric ? It is named Worsted after the village in Norfolk where the yarn was originally woven.

Cromarty

I love the softness of this hue. Cromarty No. 285 is a lighter version of and works well with Light Blue No. 22 or with both the colours Pigeon No. 25 and  Blue Gray No. 91.

Inspired by sea mist and named after the Cromarty Fifth Estuary, a place of swirling mists mentioned daily in The Shipping Forecast. Conjures up some very vivid images for me. How about you ?

Peignoir

Peignoir No. 286 is absolutely perfect, in my opinion. I fell in love with it as soon as I saw it. Very soft pink with a huge dose of grey. It works with red based neutrals and darker tones such as Brinjal No. 222. It could also work with Cinder Rose No. 246 and Charlston Grey N0. 243. It is also one of Farrow & Ball’s key colours for 2016, picked for being serene and east to live with.

I think you might love what this colour name is based upon – chiffon gowns in which ladies traditionally brushed their hair in boudoirs. Vintage and very romantic.

YeabridgeGreen3

Here’s another of my favourites and I can’t wait to try it out on something soon. Yeabrige  Green No.287. It is fresh and very uplifting. What do you think of this ‘ avocado ‘ colour ? I am pleased that it’s another key colour for this year.

It was inspired by a palette shade found in a gun cupboard and also lush colours in a field nearby. It works with many shades. I particularly like the combination of it with Cooking Apple Green No. 32 and Off White No. 3.

Vardo

Okay, here is my absolute favourite new colour. I think I’ve mentioned before how much I like teal. The richer the better and Vardo No. 288 is just that.

I think quite rightly, the word ‘ flamboyant is mentioned by Farrow & Ball ‘ regarding this one. Joa recommended Down Pipe No. 26 or  Pavillion Gray No. 242 to go with this which think would be stunning. Or Raddicchio No. 96 – wow, can you imagine ? There are also the neutrals too, obviously.

A colour aimed to make people smile and a colour brings out the light side of us. I like the sound of that. Aptly named after classic romany gypsy caravans from the late 18th Century. You know, the horse drawn ones ? Apparently a similar colour was used in the intricate patterning of these vehicles, often over a red shade. Seen as an important cultural high point in decoration.

Inchyra Blue

The clever thing about this wonderful Inchyrya Blue No. 289, which as you can see is an aged blue grey, is that it can read more grey, blue or even green depending on the light. An alternative to charcoal it can be used add a hint of colour in to a very contemporary home or a more moody feel with my beloved Vardo No. 288 or Black Blue N0. 95.

First used at the classic Georgian Inchyra House to work with moody Scottish skies, it can be found on the exterior doors of their barn which sits at the bottom of a rather grey and ‘ imposing ‘ hill. This  colour needed to have depth and work sympathetically with the dramatic natural backdrop.

Salon Drab

A chocolatey hue. Sounds great does’t it ? Salon Drab No. 290. It’s an ‘ informed tone ‘ that colour experts use. Really rich and can sit with Arsenic No. 214 and Rectory Red N0 217 – two other fab colours. It offers a calmness and feels historic but I think would work in a modern setting. I love that is the fourth key colour for 2016. Hope to see it in lots of homes.

Combining ‘ Salon ‘ which is the small outer room off a drawing room with ‘ Drab ‘ a term favoured by colourists  – it describes a colour as lacking in brightness.

So, there we have it. The new colours. Joa explained how Farrow & Ball really wanted for the new additions to happily blend in on their colour charts well and not stand right out. I think they have achieved this so well and it is clear to see the love and passion that has gone in to the 9 colours. It was quite an honour to be part of their unveiling and to listen to someone so inspiring and clever.

If you want to get hold of a new colour chart then have a look at the website or pop in to your nearest stockist. 

I’d love to know your thoughts on them and which might be your favourite ? Especially now you know mine :) Leave me a comment or tweet me @lucylovesyablog ..

Lucy x

All images copyright of Farrow & Ball 2016.

8 Blogging Tips – You’re Welcome.

Blog Tips!

This post has been a long time coming. Now, I really feel I have some advice to offer and have been blogging long enough to know that what I say in this post has been tried and tested.

Quite often, I receive messages from new fellow bloggers who aren’t really sure what to say in their first post, which direction to go in or just how to get started. It is quite daunting, putting yourself out there for all to see.

I’m always happy to offer some help if I can, even if it’s not my field, because there were some lovely people who helped me when I started out and they made all the difference.

There are literally millions of blogs on the internet, how do you make yours stand out ? Here are some tips that I hope that you find useful …

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Be Yourself.

Sounds a bit obvious I know but I can’t stress this enough. Don’t try to imitate some else’s blog. Of course, take inspiration from others but the thing that will make your platform stand out from others is your uniqueness. It’s easy to compare yourself to a fantastic blog with a zillion followers but they’ve probably achieved it by being themselves. Why shouldn’t you ? :)

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Love your blog.

Be in love with your blog. Do it because you enjoy every moment. That sounds weird doesn’t it ? You’ll feel much more inclined to keep writing those posts if they’re about things you’re passionate about. If it means writing less posts to keep the quality high then so be it. Personally, I tend to update a few times a week as I would rather spend more time on each post but each to their own on that one.

Also, love the brands that you work with. It’s very flattering to be offered to do a collaboration or sponsored post, especially when you’re starting out. Think long term about it and whether it is the direction you want to go in – would you be happy for the post to still be on your blog in a years time ?

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Offer Something.

What makes readers return to your blog and remember it amongst all of the others ? There are many ways of doing this.

For a start, find your niche and stick to it so that readers know who you are. If you review new products for example and are really honest, then people will trust you and  return more often.

Maybe you could do some giveaways with brands that you like ? It can be quite hard work but also beneficial. Make sure you stay focused on products that are a good match for your style.

Tutorials are good. Some of my most read posts are DIY ones. In fact, even though they were written some time ago, they are still read a lot daily. So, food for thought there ?

Advice posts ( a bit like this one ) are also a fab way of drawing readers. I don’t know about you but I do love to read ” How to ” posts. Maybe I’m just nosey … :)

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Get in touch.

As I mentioned earlier, there are literally millions of blogs out there. You may have the most beautiful looking blog, full of interesting content, but that doesn’t mean every company will know about you. Make yourself known to them. Send an email to say hi. Suggest collaborating together at some point – maybe offer some ideas on how that could work out. Don’t be shy – the worst they could say is no ?

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Take loads ( and I mean LOADS ) of photos.

When I started Lucy Loves Ya, I used my phone camera to take photos and quite honestly, didn’t have a clue as to what I was doing with composition, styling or editing and then sizing the images for the actual posts. It took time and I am still working at it !

I would recommend getting out and about and taking as many photos as you can, wherever you can. You can sometimes end up using random photos you’ve taken as part of a future post.

When using other photographers images, make sure you credit them ( and ask permission too ).

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Inspiration.

What is your inspiration ? My inspiration is colour, interiors and anything sewing. I also love fashion – as long as it’s colourful ! It took me a while to really work out exactly what I love to blog about but if you stick with what inspires you, you cannot go wrong.

If you’re having a down day, let all the lovely bloggers, beautiful photos on Pinterest and Instagram cheer you up. We’re all here to support each other and there’s room for all of us to inspire !

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Persevere.

Don’t give up. If you want to get something amazing out of it all, then keep plugging away. It takes time to reach your goals ( and then you’ll probably have some more ) so don’t give yourself a hard time if you write what you would consider a brilliant post and then your analytics ( more on that in a minute ) seem to show otherwise.

You’ll be so glad you did in the end. I promise.

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Social Media.

Some advice posts will tell you that social media is not too important for getting your posts read.

I totally disagree on that one. For one, it’s fun. But more importantly, you hook up with so many other like minded bloggers and all of the companies that you might want to work with. Okay, so you might not get as many blog hits from it as you’d like but every time you tweet or instagram a photo, you’re reminding your followers that you’re still here and that you mean business ! :)  I wouldn’t recommend over doing it on your social media though. Too many updates can be a bit spammy, so again, keep it quality rather than quantity.

You will also find on many of your social media accounts that you can check your stats to see how many people have engaged with your posts which is very helpful.

Also, set up google analytics to check your visits regularly. It can tell you where your readers live, what they’re reading and for how long.

I hope this has been interesting for you ? It is how I see blogging and it works for me, maybe you have some tips to add too if you’re an experienced blogger ? If you have any questions then please do leave me a comment. As ever, I’d love to hear from you ….

By the way – if you’d like to know where I got these gorgeous ‘ Iron On Alphabet Patches ‘ in my photos – they were very kindly sent over to me by the lovely Jennie Maizels for this post. Check them out !

Lucy x

Inspire Me – With Textile Designer Sarah Campbell

1 sarah portrait 2012

If you read my blog regularly, you’ll know very well how much I love Liberty London Prints.

So, can you imagine my surprise and excitement when the lovely people who represent Sarah Campbell got in touch for a meeting with her ?

Sarah and her sister, Susan founded textile design company Collier Campbell in the 60s, collaborating with Liberty, Habitat, Marks & Spencers to name a few. They also inspired Yves Saint Laurent on his first off the peg clothing line.

Today, Sarah is working with West Elm, Michael Miller Fabrics and also teaching workshops in London.

There is also an exhibition with many of their prints, currently running at The Fashion and Textiles Museum, exploring Liberty’s impact on British fashion …

How did you originally become a textile designer ?

I grew into it, almost behind my own back ! My sister, Susan Collier, had already begun her career as a textile designer in her early twenties and was also a mother of two small girls; she ‘ got busy ‘ and asked me to come and help. As I could draw and was an obliging younger sibling – I did. I was a teenager, and had no ambition to be a designer, or even anything ‘ artistic ‘ at all, but it turned out well – I had a feel for it – and we continued our working partnership for 50 years.

Collier Campbell-1

You’ve had an incredible career so far with Collier Campbell and now working as Sarah Campbell Designs, spanning over 5 decades – what have been your highlights and challenges since you first started ? 

Yes, we had a wonderfully productive career together and with our marvellous studio. Maintaining a business based on ‘ creativity ‘ is quite a challenge in itself, and the fact that there were two of us to withstand and share the slings and arrows was definitely important.

Some of the highlights have come as awards from our peers and the industry, the most prestigious of which was The Duke of Edinburgh’s Design Prize in 1984, given for our Six Views Collection. We were the first women to win this, and apart from one other, the only ones in its 52-year history – which is rather shocking.

There have been many feelings of achievement, and many knock-backs too. Looking from where I am now I think the whole collaboration with my sister and our extraordinary body of work is a tremendous cause for pride. There is a lovely book published about our years and work together – ‘ The Collier Campbell Archive ‘. I meet all sorts of people who tell me about patterns of ours that they’ve lived with and cherished over the years, and I feel very pleased that those fabrics went out there and did their jobs so well!

My challenge now is to continue solo, as I have been since Susan’s death in 2011, to invent and celebrate new and interesting patterns – I’m fortunate to be doing just this, and long may it last !

How have you managed to keep your feet on the ground with such a busy life and so many high profile collaborations ?

I’m not sure that I have always kept my feet on the ground … I think that maintaining busy-ness and good working relationships probably requires one to balance the fabulous flights of fancy with being pretty down-to earth; that takes acrobatic experience ! Children are helpful – watching the saturday football matches in the rain is an excellent exercise in remaining steady – especially when it’s muddy ! Susan and I saw ourselves as jobbing designers, which is a service as well as an inspiration – we earned our living by painting patterns, and I still do; as such income is determined by customers – generally very good levellers ! Success is so exciting and heady – but things can change quickly and there are no laurels upon which to rest for very long …

4 ysl board at current Art of Pattern at FTM

Collier Campbell inspired Yves Saint Laurent’s first ever ‘ off the peg ‘ clothing. What was it like working with one of the greatest ever fashion designers ? 

I have to clarify here: the original company Collier Campbell company wasn’t formed until 1979 / 80. All our work prior to that ( Liberty, early Habitat, Soiries Nouveautees etc ) was produced under our own names. When it came to YSL –  he was an established customer of Liberty of London Prints, the then wholesale arm of Liberty. Having said that, it was incredibly exciting when the European salesman Gilbert Saada told us that St Laurent wanted our prints. We had done a series of very freely painted folk-inspired patterns, and one in particular – patterned bands with a bird – took his fancy. It suited the Gipsy look that he was developing for his first off-the-peg collection – very Matisse and Russian blouse. But he didn’t want the birds ! So we repainted it, and made a little group of designs to be printed on Liberty’s lovely Tana lawn cotton; these then formed an integral part of his first famous ready-to-wear fashion collection. We loved painting those patterns, and went to it with gusto – and lots of singing and dancing ! The fact that one of the greatest French couturiers wanted our designs was a tremendous confirmation of our belief in the hand-painted, spontaneous look that we were developing ( among many others ).

Has your design process changed over the years ? If so, how ?

In essence I still hand-paint my designs in repeat as I always have done, and for the most part I use gouache on paper.  But added to that – for one of my customers I often send sketches, constructions and ideas in different mediums for them to work up for their own particular needs and products.

The process of translation and reproduction has changed: when we started, each colour would be hand-traced by the engraver to make each separate screen or roller. In the early days we often had to stop engravers from ‘ tidying up ‘ our paintbrush marks ! Every colourway was painted and balanced, and the skilful eye of the printer in matching was integral to the success of the cloth. Nowadays designs are scanned, separated and colour-matched by computer – though in the case of my work the starting point remains the same – the hand-painted mark. One of the advantages of digital printing is that each nuance of colour and gesture can be translated onto the cloth should one wish it, whereas traditionally conventional printing is about understanding flat colour and screens. These are different skills – but all worthwhile and full of adventure.

6 cote d'azur silk scarf 2015

Where do you find your inspiration ? 

Everywhere really; I can’t stop things jumping into my eye, or setting me off on a train of investigation. New briefs can send me seeking new materials – brushes, papers, techniques, types of paint – which in themselves bring their own inspiration. And particular requests often require research. But there’s nothing like just starting with a clear surface and the hint of an idea waiting to grow – they can push me down all sorts of self-inspirational alleys !

7 my paintbrushes 2015

When working on projects for brands – are you generally given a free rein with your ideas ?

Customers each have their own particular identities and needs, their place in the market and their history. I think people come to me for a fresh point of view about colour and pattern, and a skill in its execution – to see what I’ll make for them. Customers often say one thing, but in the course of a conversation may be unconsciously stroking a piece of paper with quite another thing on it – that’s the pattern they’re really drawn to ! It’s worth remembering – and listening very hard – in order to be able to use one’s skill to bring it all together and take a step forward at the same time. And if someone can never sell green, for instance, it’s a good idea to take note… but not necessarily to leave it at that …

8 liberty dress 1970

The Liberty in Fashion Exhibition is celebrating 140 years of the company. How do you think Liberty have had such a strong impact for so long, with their fashion and interior prints ?

9 liberty dolls 2015It’s an interesting question; certain names hold their magic for a long time through thick and thin, the ups and downs of fashion and the market. To start with, the word itself –  liberty – has special meaning and significance, a freedom to which we may all aspire.

The first Mr Liberty began his company with a clear position – providing beautiful cloth, interesting patterns, considered design, artistic integrity. He had a real feel for his customers and from the start he appealed to a particular clientele who shared these values. The company also achieved the remarkable feat of selling cloth, via both retail and wholesale, to everyone from your granny to Yves St Laurent – as the exhibition shows so well. But I think the secret of their success is that they have maintained their standards in design, quality, colour and have stood by their original commitment to excellence in cloth and pattern, newness and tradition – and there are very many customers who feel the same way and want to be able to be part of that.

10 west elm rug 2015 12 hand painted fabric 2014

What are you currently working on ?

Yesterday I sent off the latest batch of ideas and sketches to WestElm in Brooklyn for their spring / summer ’17 ranges; for the last three years or so I’ve worked for them for ten days each month developing new ideas and solutions to their briefs. It’s a really lovely collaborative job, and so exciting to see what they make of my work.

Today on my table is the new collection for Michael Miller Fabrics, actually for this summer; it’s our third together, and I’m busy completing the repeats just now. These gorgeous cottons are sold into the home-sewing and quilting market and are available worldwide; I so enjoy making a range and seeing the yardage coming through with its different colourways. I’d like to have the time and wherewithal to make some quilts myself – I’m often sketching plans for them; we have made some adorable art dolls with the fabrics though.

11 mmf sea holly fabric 2015

I’m also completing the preparations for teaching at West Dean next week; running short courses and workshops is something new I’ve been doing in the last few years and I really enjoy it. This one will be exploring pattern – how it works and how to make it. I teach painting directly onto cloth as well, both silk and cotton, and have several courses lined up at Bradness Gallery in the spring and summer, and at Morley College in the next academic year. And I’m invited back to Guadalajara to teach there again later in the year – exciting. Oh, and I’m hoping to run a flag-&-banner-making workshop in the Herefordshire woods later in the year…

Then there’s the next blog to write and illustrate – something I do every three weeks or so and due any day now. And a commission to hand-paint some curtains; I have to admit this has been waiting its turn for some time and now I’m just about ready !

I’m planning a new collaboration specifically with upholstery in mind using both printed and hand-painted linen on particular pieces. And I’m always sampling new products for our on-line shop – scarves, cards, painted creatures …

 

13 bedouin stripe scarf 2015And although the design work for this range was done a little while ago I’m really looking forward to our new collection of ceramics and homewares coming on the market any minute now. It’s called Viva ! and brings an abundance of colourful geometrics to the dining table – and the tea – tray.

14 magpie 2016

Can you give any advice to anyone wanting a career in textile design ?

Love pattern, listen to your customer, enjoy being useful !

Thank you so much to Sarah for sharing her inspirations and advice. Do you have a favourite print ?

If you’d like to have a look at her website. Here it is – Sarah Campbell Designs.

 

Have a good day.

Lucy x

Photo credits: Image 1, copyright of Virginie Guiriaboye. Image 5 copyright of Polly Eltes ‘as seen in Period Living Magazine’. All others images copyright of Sarah Campbell.

Introducing 2016 Trends In To Your Home

That 70s Trend

1. Rattan Lampshade 2. Portel Dinnerware Set 3. Cork Storage Jar 4. Gold Cutlery Set 5. Blue Vase 6. Folding Dining Table 7. Pestle and Mortar 8. Gold Wine Rack 9. Oak Dining Chair 10. Bamboo Place Mats

2016 is looking rather interesting, interiors wise. I don’t know about you, but I find it can be a bit daunting sometimes when looking to make some changes to a room in your home. Knowing where and how to start. There is almost too much inspiration out there on the internet ( if that’s possible ? ) sometimes and it’s not always all attainable.

So, I think it helps by just finding one thing that you really like and working around that. Maybe a vase or in this case ( above ) a lampshade. I’ve put together a couple of ideas for some of the latest trends and how I would build on it, with some finds from Habitat.

Being a sucker for anything to do with the 70s era, I’m happy to see a bit of rattan, bamboo and some wood textures re-emerging. All trends seem to return and some, more than others I am happy to welcome back. This one makes me want to pop on a flowing chiffon dress, flick my hair and dig out my vintage sunnies.

What about you ? Do you have a favourite ?

This rattan ceiling lampshade ( above ) reminds me of my childhood as do the placemats. Gold is becoming really popular again at the moment and I love this cutlery set.

Urban Jungle

1. Floral Cushion 2. Floor Lamp 3. Coffee Table 4. Velvet Sofa 5. Faux Plant 6. Orange Vase 7. Seagrass Basket 8. Elephant Cushion 9. White Bottle Vase 10. Bird Cushion

Lots of Bohemian and Asian inspired colours are also definitely up there, this year and green will be BIG in many different shades. Starting with the stamped design cushion, I chose some other saturated coloured ones with a hint of animal print as this is another big thing  – do zebra or leopard prints ever really go away ? I added some white the white coffee table piece too to balance it out a little.

You could go really to town and paint a contrasting colour on the walls or go white and let the furniture and accessories do the talking.

We will be seeing lots of houseplants in all shapes and sizes which adds to the green theme and also inspired by the 70s. Did you notice that the catwalks a few months ago had lots of inspiration from this time. The Peter Pilotto show that I attended and wrote about had many A line silhouettes and bold palettes. I love it !

The main thing, I find, is to be comfortable in your surroundings and feel that it totally represents you and your tastes. Even just a few little tweaks here and there will feel good if you’re craving a change and you can work on it from there.

It’s looking pretty bright, don’t you think ? Although there are also more subtle pinks, light greys and ombre patterns, similar to the dipped DIY look that we have seen in the last few years, on the scene which will please the pastel lovers among us !

How do you like to decorate ? Do any of the current trends inspire you ?

I’d love to hear your thoughts so please do leave me a comment or tweet me @lucylovesyablog …

Lucy x

This post is a collaboration with Habitat. All opinions are my own.