Tag Archives: Laura Ashley Bloomsbury Fabric

Escaping To Bath…..Bliss!

Bath Reflections, Rocking Dog

Bath Reflections

It was a day of escaping to Bath yesterday. I was keen to visit The Victoria Art Gallery to see “A Room of Their Own- Lost Bloomsbury Interiors 1914-30”

The exhibition recreates as far as possible several lost interior schemes by Roger Fry, Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant. It reunites objects and paintings from both public and private collections, items which haven’t been seen together for fifty years.

I have loved all things Bloomsbury for three decades. It started in earnest when Laura Ashley launched their Bloomsbury collection of fabrics etc.. in 1987. The company had acquired the rights to a rare selection of Charleston House patterns. Grapes and Queen Mary are designs which stand out for me. In 2013 a range of the fabrics/wallpapers were relaunched in celebration of Laura Ashley’s 60th year. Since 1987 none of the houses we have lived in have been without Bloomsbury fabric somewhere in the mix.

In time I went to see Charleston, near Lewes and it is truly lovely. It is a real home with every surface painted and embellished by one or other of the inhabitants, or indeed guests just passing through.

The garden is equally beautiful and a book has just been published to celebrate its creative country charm.

The exhibition in Bath was bijoux but lovely. It has made me want to get my paintbrush out, and to pull out a stash of unused 1987 fabric. Watch this space! In a new house we once lived in, my brother in law kindly recreated the hermaphrodites which grace the studio at Charleston onto a bare wall. I’d love him to do a repeat performance!

After culture, I had a little bit of a mooch. I loved the reflections of the Georgian and not so Georgian buildings in the windows of Anthropologie. I stopped at The Whole Bagel for a.. bagel! Delicious, I couldn’t help but choose the filling I always select, Pear, brie, walnut and Parma ham.

I wandered down Walcot Street and it was alarming to witness the amount of empty shops. Rates are notoriously high in Bath. I bought ink and nib supplies at Meticulous Ink, such a lovely shop. Further on I headed to Owl in the Ivy, with its beautiful collection of old items to buy. However my heart was taken with the owners’ gorgeous Wire Haired Dachschund. Puppies are planned….,tempting, but I don’t think Real Live Rocking Dog would like a new puppy on his territory, he’s getting much too old and grumpy!

A reviving Americano and piece of Tunisian orange cake was enjoyed at an outside table at The Fine Cheese Company. It was great to watch the world go by, and to glance along to a building I love. The Corn Market building is so tall and narrow, it reaches to the sky with its elongated persona. However, that is not the whole story it extends behind a long, long way.

I loved taking time out in Bath, it was wonderful to get an aesthetic “fix”. I feel very inspired, but think the guilt of a mountainous ironing pile will make me abandon plans for Bloomsbury style painting for at least a little while.

Have a lovely weekend how ever you intend spending it. Love Rocking Dog x

Reaching To The Sky, Rocking Dog

Reaching To The Sky

Patriotic Door, Rocking Dog

Patriotic Door

How Much Is That Doggy?, Rocking Dog

How Much Is That Doggy?

Scrummy Bagel, Rocking Dog

Scrummy Bagel

Whole Bagel, Rocking Dog

Whole Bagel

Meticulous Ink Supplies, Rocking Dog

Meticulous Ink Supplies

Coffee & Cake, Rocking Dog

Coffee & Cake

Bloomsbury Style, Rocking Dog

Bloomsbury Style

Bloomsbury Grapes, Rocking Dog

Bloomsbury Grapes

Rocking Dog’s Best Ebay Buys

Wedding Stuff, Rocking Dog

Wedding Stuff

Rocking Dog’s best Ebay buys are catalogued here. It doesn’t include the cars we’ve bought (and indeed sold) on this global auction site. Of course along the way there have been bad buys ( I wince at some rather dodgy watches that Andyman purchased in Ebay’s early days) and items we were outbid on (an Airstream caravan sorely comes to mind!) However over the years we have bought some great things and Andyman always enjoys the thrill of the chase!

A few years ago we bought some lovely items for Sorrel and Pete’s wedding. The list included a long string of fairground style lights, seed labels (for place names), Alexander McQueen green satin shoes (£50) and 1950’s American tropical fruit shoe clips. We also bought a large batch of Babycham glasses, though that didn’t turn out to be the bargain it should have been. Unbeknown to each other Andy and I were bidding against each other! Doh!

One summer with no holiday booked we found a last minute weeks B&B staying on a rustic fishing boat in Barcelona’s marina. It was great to eat breakfast out on the sunny deck and be so close to Las Ramblas. It was a really memorable holiday.

Purchases for our house have included a bargainous bed and base, already painted in a subtle Farrow and Ball paint. It arrived so well wrapped that it took a morning to undo the cardboard, tape, bubble wrap and string. We also bought our lovely French wood-burning stove on Ebay at a third of it’s original cost, despite only having been used a couple of times. I also spotted some unused fabric produced by Laura Ashley from 1986. It had found it’s way to Arizona and I brought it home! I remember it came packaged in local newspapers, I therefore enjoyed reading the obituaries, gossip columns and news reports of a small Arizona town.

More sentimental items have included a Chalmers Gelatine packet, complete with its sachets dating from about 1940. This Gelatine factory was set up by some ancestors close to Niagara Falls.I wanted to own a piece of nostalgic memorabilia and so again this item “crossed the pond”. One day whilst having a little Ebay trawl I experimentally typed in the Yorkshire village where many of my maternal ancestors lived and worked. Somewhat magically there was a brown envelope containing the typed account of a woman who described living in the village in the early 1900’s. I was really hoping there may have been a mention of my farming relatives, but alas not. Nevertheless it gives a brilliant snapshot of rural life in Darrington. On a separate occasion I found some transcribed parish records which detailed births, marriages and deaths of relatives living in Knottingley.

Other purchases have included vintage Christmas baubles, clothing, shoes, a painting and my beloved Bernina sewing machine.

How I love a good bargain. Happy Hunting!

Alexander McQueen, Rocking Dog

Alexander McQueen

Bargain Bed, Rocking Dog

Bargain Bed

Beloved Bernina!, Rocking Dog

Beloved Bernina!

Boat B&B, Rocking Dog

Boat B&B

Fabric Of Life, Rocking Dog

Fabric Of Life

Christmas Stash, Rocking Dog

Christmas Stash

Winter Warmer, Rocking Dog

Winter Warmer

Ancestry Trove, Rocking Dog

Ancestry Trove

Jellied History, Rocking Dog

Jellied History