Pyrotechnic Pier

Worthing Pier Fireworks
Late afternoon rain stopped just 15 minutes before Worthing's Countdown to Christmas fireworks began and it was heart-warming to see hundreds of spectators on the seafront to watch the display.
     We were lucky enough to get a spot on the pier. A great "Oooh!" from the crowd as the first firework launched high up into the sky, splintered into a thousand pieces and fell scattering and twinkling along the wet low tide shore, like incredible chunks of molten gold landing on the beach.
     Worthing's seascape and the art deco architecture of the pier made a perfect setting for the firework display and it was thankfully free of piped music so that the natural sounds of the sea and hiss, crackle and boom of the fireworks could be enjoyed.
Worthing Pier fireworks
Fireworks over Worthing Pier

Vegetable lavender bag bundles

vegetable lavender bags
Stuck for vegetarian-friendly Christmas gift ideas? Then look no further. The latest addition to my lavender bag line is a veritable vegetable bonanza. Bumper bundles of these 1920s seed packet lavender sachets tied up with satin ribbon are on sale in my Etsy shop.
carrot lavender sachet
With names as evocative as Kentucky Wonder, Livingston's Beauty, Snowball and Icicle (better known as beans, tomato, cauliflower and radish), these bags look and smell as good as they sound. Available now.
cabbage lavender sachet

Postage stamp lavender bags by Ivy Arch

postage stamp lavender bag
For those who loved the stamp print ukulele gig bag but aren't quite ready to make such a bold statement, I've made some postage stamp print lavender bags from the same fabric. Sets of three and four lavender filled sachets, tied up with blue satin are available now from the Ivy Arch Etsy shop.
Your stamp collection starts here.
postage stamp lavender bag by Ivy Arch
stamp lavender bags by Ivy Arch

Wukulele Sunday afternoon

bicycle basket, Worthing seafrontYesterday I packed my bike basket with ukulele, songbooks, a flask of coffee and a banana and headed in the direction of Worthing Rowing Club for Wukulele uke jam. Unexpectedly warm November sunshine streaming in through the curved art-deco building's windows made the room as hot as a tropical greenhouse - or maybe it was just the joyful exertion of enthusiastic singing and uke playing that made me begin to feel overdressed in a winter jumper.
   Two merry hours of music, song and laughter with ukulele friends. What better way to spend a Sunday afternoon?
Wukulele - Worthing ukulele jam
Worthing Rowing Club
Wukulele November jam

C30, C60, C90, Go!

cassette tape lavender bags
It's rumoured that cassette tapes are making a comeback. Hard to believe in an age of digital media but I'm one of the people who love listening to music on cassette. Maybe it's the fact that it's a physical medium where sound is recorded directly onto an object that makes listening to a cassette feel more vital than an MP3 file. A well played cassette's sound may distort and sometimes the magnetic tape will snap, but it's so rewarding when you've fixed it with Sellotape (after a fashion), rewound it with a pencil and when played again in a tape machine you can still hear most of the sound!
     My collection of mix-tape treasures includes Lex Luther's Revenge - a gift from DJ Spooky that Subliminal Kid, and an untitled compilation of contemporary Czech and Slovak music from Heather Mount of Tamizdat. The inlay card is decorated with a hand painted swirly blob and the track listing is typed onto a folded piece of paper. Both have been played repeatedly over the years and are objects I'd never want to part with.
    So, my third batch of lavender bags this week is dedicated to cassette tape lovers everywhere. They're sachets made from MiniModerns C60 fabric which has images of retro cassettes printed in bright colours. The fabric was bought from Clothkits in Chichester who produce a wonderful sew-it-yourself skirt kit in this material.

Cassette tape lavender bags are available now in the Ivy Arch shop.

cassette tape lavender bags

Perfectly punctual lavender bags

It's lavender o'clock in the Ivy Arch shop and here's the second batch of this week's new lavender bags. These beautiful retro clock designs are available for a limited time only. Go here for more views or to buy.

Typewriter Love lavender bags

typewriter love lavender bags
This week I'm listing three new ranges of lavender bags in the Ivy Arch shop. The first batch are made in Melody Miller's fabulous Typewriter Love fabric. They're deluxe and plump with fragrant French lavender. The backs are cut from Laurie Wisbrun's crisp and bright Flowers In Ice fabric, making them the perfect winter gift. Let the Christmas present buying begin!

Frothy delights of Bournemouth

Boscombe Pier, Bournemouth
Boscombe Pier
Bournemouth is beautiful in November. We had its vast sandy beaches to ourselves - though it was much too cold for even a paddle in the sea. Giant bubbles of foam washed onto the shore, looking like glistening clouds that had fallen out of sky. They turned into sludge in our hands, the magic evaporating.
     We walked east past dozens of brightly painted beach huts and chanced upon the streamlined elegance of a handsomely renovated Boscombe Pier. No noisy amusement arcades or derelict buildings here, just a magnificent runway out into the sea and calm clear panoramic views. The ice cream kiosk was closed so we bought hot chocolate and headed back to the town centre in search of Bournemouth's hot air balloon.
Postcard from Bournemouth, Dorset
View from Boscombe Pier
Clouds of foam washed ashore on Bournemouth beach

Postage stamp art ukulele bags

postage stamp ukulele bags
Inside the green cupboard in my lounge you'll find envelopes and boxes full of postage stamps. I began collecting these in my early twenties - the spoils of entry-level employment which usually involved processing the mail for an entire department (no matter how imaginative the job title). In the decades since I've made collages from them, sewed them into embroideries, set small stamps into resin cubes then put them into a concrete mosaic, covered books and diaries with them and most recently used stamps to embellish my reading glasses case.
     You can imagine how thrilled I was to find Prestigious Textiles have produced a range of furnishing fabric with an outsize British postage stamp print. Wow! I immediately bought a piece of grey/green oilcloth in the design and a vast length of mulberry cotton from which I've been making postage stamp themed ukulele items for my Etsy shop.
     The ukulele appliqué tote bags and gig bag would make First Class gifts for philatelically minded ukulele enthusiasts! Available now.

postage stamp collage diary
My postage stamp collagéd diary, 2003
postage stamp mosaic
Mosaic with postage stamps set in resin cubes, 1995
glasses case covered with Pathé News stamps
Spectacles case with Pathé News stamps, 2011
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