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Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Somewhat Grey, La Rochefoucauld, France

We have been introduced to this gorgeous new shop, more from a point of view of selling than buying, however I could easily be led astray.............

Owners Deborah and Jane opened Somewhat Grey in the main shopping street at La Rochefoucauld just 5 weeks ago and it is looking great.

They stock the beautiful Autentico chalk paints, which come in a stunning range of colours and are perfect for furniture painting.

The shop is crammed full of painted furniture, colourful cushions, rag rugs, kilims, Christmas decorations and gifts, also as from today a few of my knitted knick knacks and a nice order for some of Culli's woodturning in the spring.

Somewhat Grey is open Tuesday - Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm and will be launching their new website soon.

Monday, 9 December 2013

Christmas Open House in Brighton

If you are anywhere near East Sussex next weekend make a visit to this wonderful Open House, see here
wooden honey dippers

There are some gorgeous gifts for Christmas including paintings, textiles, woodturning, felting, jewellery and knitting.

Open Friday 13th, Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th December 2013.

Monday, 25 November 2013

Christmas Open House

painting by Pamela Slater
Our Open Studio at the beginning of November went well with lots of new visitors. We had the usual disgusting weather on the Saturday, leaving the car park opposite a sea of mud, but plenty of people braved the elements and tea, coffee and cream teas were readily consumed.

kilims for sale

the gallery at La Verderie

On the Sunday in a moment of madness I decided to do Sunday Roast in two sittings, so we fed 8 at lunch time and 17 in the evening, in between making tea and coffee and keeping an eye on the gallery!

Sunday roast

Next Open Studio dates - Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th April, see details here
The gallery at La Verderie is now a greenhouse for the winter.
The following weekend we were at Le Logis de la Courade for a Christmas market. Culli and I had the use of a huge barn for our 'art gallery' which was fantastic.

the gallery at le logis de la Courade

There were some lovely stalls selling homemade cakes, chutneys, honey, Christmas decs, soaps, cards, brocante and clothing, plus a pamper session offering Indian head massage - a great day out. I possibly spent more than I took as I ended up buying three gorgeous Christmas baubles ranging in size from large to enormous.
Christmas baubles

Hoping to persuade Vicki to organise another event next year.

Friday, 22 November 2013

A little holiday in the Charente-Maritime

I had a lovely few days at the end of October with my old college mates Lesley, Bar and Mandy visiting La Verderie. The sun shone and we managed to sit outside for a few hours nearly every day.

lunch in St Jean d'Angely



the lovely coffee shop in Saintes
We started the weekend with a lovely lunch of moules frites in St Jean d'Angely on thursday, a coffee and a wander around Burie on Friday and plenty of retail therapy in Saintes at the weekend.

Puck, our visiting French bulldog discovered that Lesley was a soft touch and finally made it up on to the sofa, after being turfed off by Culli she resorted to sitting on top of BeBop for a bit of warmth and comfort.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Knitting and Crochet holidays in France

The dates for the next two knitting and crochet retreats at La Verderie are -

Thursday 20th - Tuesday 25th March 2014
Thursday 27th March - Tuesday 1st April 2014
Cost for 5 nights: £325 per head (based on two people sharing a twin room) and £395 per head for a single room.

For further details email Sue

Come and join designer Sue Culligan at her home in the Charente-Maritime for a relaxing holiday, in some (hopefully!) warm spring weather.
The cost of the holidays includes transfers from Angouleme or La Rochelle to La Verderie, (£20 supplement for transfers from Bordeaux), full board, wine with meals, optional workshops and outings to local towns. All you pay for is your travel to France and any expenses incurred on outings.
You are welcomed into Sue and Culli's home as house guests, the comfortable old farmhouse can provide accommodation for up to 5 guests at a time in three single rooms and one twin room. There is a light and airy studio for workshops, a courtyard garden for enjoying the sunshine and comfortable old sofas to relax on in front of an open fire.
The delicious home cooked meals use fresh local produce and dietary requirements can be catered for.
The holiday is open to all skill levels, workshops are optional but if there is a particular technique you would like to learn or improve it is a good opportunity to try it out. Sue has a large library of knitting and crochet books and a stash of yarn oddments to play around with. If you are already competent at knitting and crochet you can share your skill and ideas with other guests. If you have a problem with a project bring it along for some help and advice.

Itinerary (can be changed to suit guests requirements)
Thursday - arrival
Friday - workshop on chosen subject in the morning, shopping and sightseeing trip to Saintes or Cognac in the afternoon
Saturday - visit to the market at St Jean d'Angely in the morning, optional workshop in the afternoon or just relax with your knitting and crochet project
Sunday - visit to a Brocante in the morning and a bit of sightseeing, optional workshop in the afternoon
Monday - day to finish off projects and go over any final techniques
Tuesday - departure

relaxing in the garden at La Verderie

the river at Saintes

Paella supper

the yarn shop in Royan

knitting and crochet sample

Monday, 28 October 2013

Christmas Open House

We are having an Open Studio at La Verderie the weekend of 9th and 10th November, open from 10 am to 4 pm on both days.

Come and stock up on your Christmas gifts - woodturning by Culli and Roger Slater, paintings by Suzanne Thorne, Pamela Slater, Doris Murray, Judith Ryde, Margaret Pearce and Don Thompson, textiles, knitwear, patchwork, embroidery, kilims, furniture, knitting accessories, Christmas cards and decorations.
For further details email sue

Supporting the Poppy Appeal

The last two days of the October knitting retreat in France

Yesterday the sun was shining again, we stopped at St Jean d'Angely for a quick visit to the market and of course the yarn shop.

Franziska bought a new project bag for her sewing and knitting, we wandered around the market with the colourful pumpkins and flower stalls, then all bundled back into the car and on to La Rochelle.

First stop was a coffee, then a wander through the town to the Cafe de la Paix for lunch.

Then we hit the shops, I think everyone bought something ranging from Cognac, Pineau, beautiful hand made soap, chocolates and a collapsible tray from one of the gorgeous kitchen shops.

The day seemed to fly by, we drove home through torrential rain and a complete rainbow in time to fit in a bit more knitting before supper.
On Thursday we had the final mini workshop with Angela working on her first piece of intarsia from one of Debbie Abrahams lovely designs in 'Blankets and Throws', then this afternoon the ladies from my craft group arrived for and afternoon of knitting, sewing and swapping ideas and of course eating cake and drinking tea.
We had a show and tell of what everyone had achieved through the week, I think they have all gained something and will now be confident to tackle almost anything!
Angela's first attempt at intarsia

Jennifer's first adult sized cardigan

Angela's practice sampler for cable, fairisle, buttonholes and intarsia

Franziska's ipad cover

Verna's hat

Verna's sampler practicing fairisle, cable, intarsia and beading

Friday morning was an early start for Angouleme. Jennifer, Verna and Angela were on the early train for Paris so we dropped them off then Franziska and I went into the centre of Angouleme for a coffee and a final bit of retail therapy. It is years since I have been into the city centre and had forgotten how lovely it is with a huge cathedral and pretty pedestrianised shopping areas.

I want these sheep.......

Angouleme cathedral

yarn bombing

We will definitely be back, especially as I discovered no less than three yarn shops! plus lots of lovely interiors shops, choccie shops and a fantastic shop selling artist materials.
I waved Franziska goodbye on her train to Paris then back home to a quiet and empty house.