Claire_Leggett_snippets

We’re having a little break from my holiday snaps today because as I mentioned before, Sharon from the teacup incident blog has organised a Fabulous Scrap Fabric Swap and today is the big reveal of whose taken part and what they have made (drum roll please).

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Head over to Sharon’s blog for all the details and links but here are my makes.

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I started by making a Pinterest board of ideas of things to make with fabric scraps.

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I wanted to make useful holiday items and started with this lined zippered purse. I found a tonne of inspiration on the In Colour Order blog and followed the tutorial there. I added a beaded pull after seeing what Sharon had made with hers.

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Next up was a lined drawstring bag for toiletries or camera supplies.

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I followed this lined-drawstring-bag-tutorial here

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And with the iddly-widdy bits left over I made a lavender bag because you can never have too many of those.

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It’s been fun doing this - I’ve been lucky to find internet friends with common likes during the time that I’ve been blogging and it was fun to take part, send and receive parcels and have a little piece of community. Thanks Sharon for organising this.

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Moseley invite 3 July 2014

What a busy week here – I am just slipping in this notice about the Mosley market this coming Saturday and trying to keep the Italian theme (as it has been all week) with a beautiful old door from Monterosso old town.

It’s meant to be great weather tomorrow (not intending to wrap myself in bubble wrap to keep warm like last month!) so come to the mercato and buy some lovely fresh food, say hi to me and go home and cook a feast like an Italian mamma ;)


		

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 Paintings and sculpture, sculpture and paintings – Florence is bursting with them at every turn.

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The Uffizi gallery has hundreds of exquisite Renaissance paintings still as beautiful and sharp in colour as the day they were painted.

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It was very easy to become de-sensitised after about the fifteenth room – ‘oh there’s another beautiful gold leafed masterpiece’…

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I’m not a big sculpture aficionado but I could see the talent behind the pieces – I just can’t think how you would start to sculpt and what if you made a mistake?

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 But painting has merit at every turn for me – colour contrasts or harmony, emotion captured, clever composition or just great beauty.

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And the buildings in and around Florence captured all of that inside and out.

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I snapped every inch of most churches, with my iPhone, because I could see pattern reference material for years to come.

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I did actually get excited about seeing this great and famous picture (along with the queue of others who felt the same – hence bad photo)

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Hope you’ve enjoyed a tiny taster here.

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Late afternoon was usually a good time to cool off with a gelato or a sorbet.

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Got to say that I’m spoilt now for a Mojito sorbet ice lolly.

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We went to Gelateria Dondoli in San Gimignano which is an award winning, celebrity endorsed ice cream parlour.

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It did live up to the hype – boasting flavours such as Blackberries and Lavender, Sangue di Bue (spicy chocolate and sour cherries) and Crema di Santa Fina® (cream with saffron and pine nuts).

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On coming home I went cold turkey on my daily ice-cream addiction but as they say, when in Italy…shame though ;)

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I’m glad you’re all so enthusiastic about more holiday photos!

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I’m sitting here ready for lunch with a growling stomach so what better pic’s to share than those of delicious fresh Italian food.

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I’m not entirely sure why I love taking endless pictures of foreign fruit and veg!

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I do hanker after having a growing patch in a sunny country to see just how much more I could grow in constant sunshine and how different the food would taste.

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I think I might also be quite happy as an old-fashioned green-grocer if it looked as colourful and exotic as this.

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Of course everything is fresh, fresh, fresh,

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and I can hardly bear to look at this Focaccia as hungry as I am because I remember how good it was.

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I love shop displays of different coloured and shaped varieties of pasta all stacked up,

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and this shop went the extra mile on having an eye-catching display by popping a stuffed boar in the doorway!

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Flavours taste better and colours always look good when you’re relaxing on holiday.

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We found a covered food market in Florence, by accident one day,

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and it was delightful to browse the stalls downstairs and then eat the produce upstairs!

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I love to capture foreign handwriting on signs when I’m away – don’t ask me why though.

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Maybe it’s for future visual reference,

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 or perhaps just capturing a snapshot of ordinary life in another country.

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This van pulled up on market day loaded with rustic baskets of home-grown produce - down from the mountain in the Cinque Terre – I have a little day-dream (idealised I’m sure) of growing veg in the sunshine and selling it all from cute baskets – living the simple life.

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Anyway I’m too hungry to carry on right now – back soon with pic’s of  gelato!

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We are just back from a gorgeous holiday in Italy beginning in Florence.

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 Florence is a city crammed full of art, sculpture and decoration – inside and out. The Uffizi art gallery is bursting with the most exquisite Renaissance paintings that it’s been hard to choose just one to put here.

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But I love the expression on this fair maiden’s face and the rich colours and gold leaf.

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  Some churches wear all their decoration on the outside and others are a plain disguise of the jaw-dropping beauty they hide within.

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Frescos abound (a technique of painting onto fresh plaster so that when the plaster sets, so does the painting).

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The word ‘beautiful’ hardly does them justice – they are masterpieces of execution both in style and in position as they are often very high up and across the ceiling. Time has often faded the once bright colours but I kind of liked the muted tones and have come back with acres of colour inspiration.

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 It was hot, hot, hot in the city and many a gelato (ice cream) got eaten.

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We took an organised day trip out to Sienna, lunch at a vineyard, San Gimignano - a small walled medieval hill town and Pisa.

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It gave us a culture break and meant we could see some of the other sites. Pisa is hardly worth a mention but yes, we do have a load of cheesy photos of us holding up the tower!

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The Tuscan country side was everything I’d hoped for - a patchwork of textured squares of fields broken up with rows of vines and those Cypress trees that are iconic to the area.

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I got my ‘grapes’ shot (tick) but sadly didn’t get my ‘sunflowers’ shot – we drove passed many a field of sunflowers but too fast for a photo :( – next time..

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And then we packed up, navigated two trains and took ourselves over to the Cinque Terre region on the Italian Riviera.

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 Cinque Terre literally means The five Lands as there are five villages nestled in the rugged coastline.

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Over time, development has meant that you can now walk between them (if you’re a Olypian in my view! We did a walk from one village to another and that was enough – getting up above sea level meant many, many steps – ugh)

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The region is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and I believe there is a limit to what colour you can paint your house but that’s no hardship because the palette is wonderful.

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There was colour at every turn, either flowers on window sills, a patchwork of house facades or even a harmonious colour group of washing hanging out (below)!

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We stumbled across this chapel in need of renovation (the area has been badly flooded in the past) but it was charming in its shabby chic-ness.

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  We ate the best fish and chips we’re ever going to get.

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And of course took many a photo of beautiful fruit and flowers.

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 Bougainvillea is a classic but I had never seen this one in red and it looked just gorgeous growing against the grey paintwork.

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I celebrated my birthday with a boat ride and the best pesto focaccia for lunch and then later a sunset meal overlooking the sea.

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 We did swim once but were put off that the locals stood in the shallows fishing out what looked like jelly fish!

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My heart skipped a beat on spying this crochet blanket hanging out to air (it was quite a few floors up or it might have been tempting – naughty!) But how splendid that the shutter and frame contrast so well with the yarn used - perfetto.

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 And then the day came (along with torrential rain) to return home (very damp) with lots of rest had, books read, ice creams eaten and inspiration to savour.

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I really did try to edit my photos here – honestly. I took 1800 over two cameras :0 I’ve got more to show you if your interested? I’ll be guided by your comments, so say if you’d like to see some Italian food, frescos, paintings or sculpture  and I will happily oblige.

Sharon, from one of my top favourite blogs The teacup incident has organised a fabric swap. Sharon’s blog is gorgeous and she is definitely a kindred spirit for pattern and colour.

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Sharon has been making the most cute and hilarious soft toys recently and it got her thinking about mixing up own sewing by hosting a stash swap.

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We are swap partners so I am really excited to have opened my yummy parcel from her recently and I have been sewing away.

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Watch this space…

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I had fun recently doing something new.

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I had bought some notebooks, just simple paper covered ones.

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And thought they were ripe for a little make over.

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So with some garden flower reference in one hand and some acrylics in the other, I gave them a lift face lift.

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Country Living May 2012

Country Living May 2012

I was flicking through some old magazines when I found this article.

I was reminded of the lovely work of Angela Harding and so I thought I’d share it here as I like collating artists who inspire me here on the blog – and maybe you do to :)

Red Boat and Redshank Angela Harding

Red Boat and Redshank Angela Harding

Angela Harding has been an artist for over 30 years, shaping a career from art related jobs and is now soley an artist and a saught after collectable at that.

Stonechat and Hills   Angela Harding

Stonechat and Hills Angela Harding

She works at both painting and print and her website shows images of her sketchbooks and behind the scenes shots which I always love to see.

'Egg Watcher' by Angela Harding

‘Egg Watcher’ by Angela Harding

She lives in a rural location and you can sees the inspiration she gets from being out daily with her dog.

Angela Harding

Angela Harding

She has a childhood love of feathers and birds which is still a strong image in her work.

I love her use of pared back colour applied in layers and the jaunty composition that comes from the birds having their heads tipped slightly.

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A few weeks back we were given tickets to The Good Food show at the NEC. It was very busy but we did our best to push to the front for samples of food and drink. It was a hot, hot day and we ended up outside to discover that there was also a Gardener’s World Spring Fair on, complete with an RHS marquee showing plants.

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 There is nothing that a floral – mad pattern designer likes more than a marquee full of the best of the best showing amazing colours and varieties. “Oh, look at that!” was said a fair few times!

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 I ran around snapping pic’s in a whirl of excitement.

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There was so much colour and pattern reference for future designs.

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I’m amazed by the breadth of variety that plants offer.

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This Lupin display was jaw-dropping – it reminded me of  Missoni stripes.

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These looked good enough to eat.

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I always find it inspiring to see whole planting schemes as it’s something I’ve never had to do as I’ve always inherited fully planted gardens.

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This scheme of every shade from pink, blue through to purple set off with sage green and olive-green, was just beautiful.

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These are just two of the many photos I took of it!!

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These sort of shows are a great way to get colour reference for future work.IMG_1770

The Allium display is always spirit-level perfect and the starburst flowers are just lovely.

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A lovely day out and a file full of future inspiration – hope you enjoyed them too.

Copyright notice 2013

All images, text, and content on this site are the sole property of Claire Leggett and may not be used, copied or transmitted without the express consent of Claire Leggett.

If you wish to link to this site or to a post from this site, that's very welcome just please ask first before doing so and then give appropriate credit for content.

Any other inquiries please email me at hello@claireleggett.co.uk

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