Mother’s Day

You either love it or hate it I reckon.  Although I have realised recently that Mother’s Day is not just a commercial stunt it actually dates back a very very long way and all over the world.

hilI came across a very informative site Mother’s Day Celebrations which talks of the Greeks celebrating the maternal goddesses and the Romans celebrating Hilaria the Mother Godess.

Mother’s Day is celebrated all over the world and almost each country has a different date.  In the UK the date is the 4th Sunday in lent, this year that falls on the 30th March.  And in France it falls the last sunday of March, unless it collides with Pentecost.

hillllI personally feel it is a great day for children, of any age, to show their appreciation towards their mother.  So much of a mothers hard work and dedication goes thankless and it is a good thing to genuinely show appreciation.  Its not about the money you spend, a wild bunch of flowers you have picked will do the job, its about the thought and giving of thanks that is the key.

For those who do like to buy a little something for Mother we have put together an easy to find one page collection of suggested Mother’s Day gifts.  This is a diverse collection including pink suede slippers, Lavender Pillows and embroidered French Heart Baskets.  We hope you enjoy the selection.

CELIA LINDSELL.basket pair. white linen crop copie

 

 

 

 

 

However you feel about Mother’s Day I would like to wish all mothers out there a restful and happy day and hope you enjoy the appreciation thrown at you – you deserve it.

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The love of Knitting

At Christmas my niece, Alice Lindsell, was given a knitting kit to knit of all extraordinary things a cover for your Starbucks takeaway coffee. sssss Seeing her complete it I suddenly realised this would be something  I would love to do.

So straight off to John Lewis, picked up a Rowan Kitting Pattern for a type of beanie and within 2 days I had my own kitted hat!  I was chuffed beyond belief.  It is pure wool, the colours of my choice and as cosy as anything and cost me £10.  Rowan seem to have the best selection of patterns and wool, although there is a great selection in general on the market.  As I spend much of my day with my glasses on I find my eyes are tired at the end of the day and the last thing I want to do is read.  I can do the kitting without my glasses so this is the most ideal hobby for me.

Since then I have knitted myself a dark marine blue tank top.  Yes a tank top!  I was inspired by a friend of mine who bought one back from Montenegro.  I have to admit it looks very hand made but not such a bad thing in a world where everything is churned out without a hint of love or care.

iiiiiI am now kitting what the pattern calls a Tankini.  Its a pair of shorts with a crop top to match knitted in cotton for balmy summer days.  I must add this is a present for someone young and lithe, not for myself.  I have discovered vintage patterns on Etsy and highly recommend 2ndLookVintage for a great choice.

Next on the list is a great little kitted waistcoat I found years ago at French Connection.  I have copied the pattern and reckon most of my family will be getting one of these next Christmas.  If not this waistcoat certainly something else I have kitted.

I am loving it.  John Lewis have a great selection of yarns. It is not an expensive hobby to take up and is extremely satisfying.  Whenever I come across a stitch or instruction I don’t understand I go straight to You Tube where there are countless easy video tutorials to watch and within no time I am off again.

kkkkIt is only since starting knitting that I have realise it is the preferred past time of catwalk models like Cara Delevingne.  They have got it spot on, it can engross you for hours and I dare say that is whats needed before you get to strut your stuff on the catwalk.

For those interested there is a wonderful campaign called Campaign for Wool.  Follow them on Facebook or check out their site to see some incredible creations.  I have a feeling this new found love is, not before too long, be appearing somewhere in my online store, CeliaLindsell.com

So its a big thank you to my niece Alice and to whoever gave her the kitting kit that inspired me so much to get going.  I highly recommend the hobby to one and all, it also has great health benefits which you can read about here.

Sydney Opera House

Now this has always been a favourite of mine and to celebrate I have put together a montage of various lighting effects that have been created on the Sydney Opera House over the years. I have since discovered there is a festival every year called Vivid Sydney.  This is where many of these lighting displays were carried out.  I would adore to be in Sydney one day to see this festival.  I hope you enjoy my favourites

Vivid Live 2013

Vivid Live 2013

 

La Mascular by Superbien

Vivid Sydney 2013

Vivid Sydney 2013

Lighting of the Sails by Eric Eno

Lighting of the Sails by Eric Eno

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

June 2011 AND FINALLY!

Vivid Live Festival 2013

Vivid Live Festival 2013

How to tie Silk Scarves

The ultimate of all accessories is the Silk Scarf.  Wether long, square, big or small these simple creations can make all the difference, not only to your appearance but also in keeping warm.  I started wearing silk or cotton scarf when living in France.  For some reason I had more courage to wear them there plus they are worn by many French women as an elegant accessory.  I think in the UK many people worry about how to tie their scarf and so generally have tented to wear them less. They can look beautiful and stylish if you know how to wear them. So below are some hints as to how to wear and tie your silk scarves.  We sell both square and long silk scarves so I will show you below various ways how to tie both.

 The Square Silk Scarf

Silk scarves are a wonderful wardrobe staple. They add colour, texture, and interest to any outfit, and are an ideal way to keep the winter chill off your neck.  Try one of these many styles of tying your favorite silk scarf to enhance any style.


Creating the basic knot around the neck.
This is one of the most classic styles for a square silk scarf. Lay your scarf out flat on a table.  Carefully fold two of the corners to meet each other, creating a triangle. Then taking the two corners sitting together and start folding inwards in 5cm sections. This will leave you with a long rectangular scarf that can be wrapped around your neck and tied in a simple knot.  Knot can either be worn at the front of the neck or at the side at a jaunty angle.

Square scarves are also a great way to tie your hair back. There are two ways to do this:

1.  Fold the scarf in half diagonally to create a large triangle. Drape the scarf over your head with the two tail ends at the nape of your neck, and the large triangle covering the top of your head. Tie the ends together in a knot underneath your hair to finish the look.

2. Lay your scarf flat out on a table, fold in half diagonally and then roll the scarf up to create a long narrow stretchy piece of fabric.  Place the centre of the scarf under your hair line at the back of your neck and bring the two ends up and tie together in a knot a the top of your forehead.  Then slip the scarf back slightly at the top of your forehead to a position that is both comfortable for you and keeps your hair off your face.  The knot can either remain in the centre of your head of be slipped round to one side for a slightly more jaunty look.

Our Very Large Square Silk Scarf 

This is a wonderful silk scarf to wear under a coat to keep you warm in the winter.  Simply fold the scarf in half to create a triangle. Drape the scarf around your neck with the point of the triangle resting down your back and then bring the 2 other points and tie them loosely around your neck.  The extra layer of silk under your coat will really keep your warm.

Our Long Narrow Silk Scarves.

These are extremely versatile and can be even worn as a sash belt.    Below are some examples of how to tie and wear them:

silk scarf, long narrow scarf, floral scarf, black scarf, bright scarfTied with a bow.  Wrap the scarf around your neck a couple of times leaving the ends long enough to tie in a bow.  After tying adjust the bow by stretching out the silk in the bow loops for a full and attractive bow.  The bow will feel more comfortable and look better worn slightly to one side.

To tie just with a knot – Again wrap the silk scarf around your neck a couple of times this time leaving long enough ties to make a small neat knot.  This can be worn either at the front of the neck or slightly to one side.

Wearing double under a coat.  Fold the long narrow scarf in half lengthways.  Place around your neck and then pass the 2 ends through the loop you created when folding the scarf in half.  Pull the 2 end downwards pulling the scarf gentley around your neck.  This creates a warm tie if wearing the scarf under a coat.

Silk Heart Scarf, long scarf, silk scarf, heart scarf, burberry scarfLeaving the ties long.

Wrap the silk scarf once around the neck and then tie loosely at the front leaving the long elegant ties to fall long down the front of your shirt, cardigan or jumper.

Worn as a Sash Belt.  If you have a plain dress using these scarves as a sash belt is a great way to dress up your outfit.  The belt can be tied either on the hips or around your waist.

 An essential tip – How not to loose your scarf

If you are wearing your silk scarf under a coat and want to take it off when going inside I suggest you place the scarf in the inside arm of your coat to avoid loosing it.  You will automatically find your scarf again when putting on your coat.

We also sell some divine Cashmere Scarves which you can find here

 

 

 

 

 

New Babouche Slippers

I bought a pair of babouche suede slippers over 30 years ago from Jonny Moke in the Kings Road.  And I still wear them today.  In fact I use them as house shoes.  When I come in from the dirty damp streets of London I toss off my outdoor shoes and happily slip into my soft soled suede babouche.   So it is with great pleasure to announce I am now selling a range of Babouche Slippers made from soft suede and leather.

Babouche RedBabouche chocolate suede slippers, house shoes, babouche

The Babouche Slipper is the everyday shoe wear of the Moroccans and are worn by both men and women.  Their origins are from Fez and which is where I have my collection made by traditional experienced artisans.  The collection is available in a number of colour ways and sizes are available from 37 up to 47.  The insole of the suede slippers is softly padded for extra comfort.  The sole is made from rigid leather.

I take my babouche slippers with me travelling too.  They are light to pack and don’t take up much room.  They look very elegant worn with long trousers with a slight flair.

They are a great gift – Last year I gave all my nephew and nieces and my brother a pair for Christmas.  They were the most popular present for years by far.  So for teenage boys and big brothers, who are often so difficult to buy for, these suede slippers are a great present.     All are sold in a cotton shoe bag.

Sold with a cotton shoe bag

Sold with a cotton shoe bag

 

We will shortly be introducing a Soft Pink pair to the collection so keep checking for new colours.  I hope you enjoy

What has been going on…..

It has been a very busy couple of months and I am pleased to announce that I have introduced quite a few new products to my online shop.

Right now I am in Marrakech where I am working with a woman’s cooperative who work in textiles and embroidery.  From here I have designed my collection of Tassel Fringed Bath Towels and am about to launch a new range of linen placemats and napkins embroidered here in Marrakech.  They too will be fringed with cotton tassels.  I will keep you posted as to when the Linen Placemats and Linens Napkins are available from my online shop.Bath Towels with Tassels

 

Cotton Pillow Case.  I have also designed an Oxford style Cotton Percale Pillowcase fringed with the same cotton tassels and embroidered in the four corners.  Receiving pillowcases as a gift has been a favourite of mine so consider these for friends and family.  Again I will inform you of their arrival.

The next product I have always wanted to sell is the traditional Babouche Slipper from Morocco.  These are traditionally from Fez and are handmade by artisans.  The slippers are made from soft suede with a padded insole for comfort.  The sole of the slipper is made from rigid leather.  I wear them as house shoes, that is to say that once home I flip off my walking shoes and with great relief slip into my babouche for comfort and a heavenly relaxing feel.  I have chosen a number of classic colours to start with.   The Dark Chocolate sippers I wear as house shoes and look great with slightly flared trousers.  This also is a colour suitable for men.   The china blue is perfect for lounging in your pyjamas and the Boston red is a favourite for teenagers.    Rose pink will be arriving soon and is always a womans favourite.

Silk Scarves  Whilst living in the South of France I always found trips back to the UK a little chilly.  The answer for this was the Silk Scarf.  I always travelled to the UK with a small selection and found wearing them the perfect way to keep a chill off my neck and they never took up much room in my luggage.  They can be tied in so many ways, they always finish off an outfit with style and most importantly keep me warm.   I sell a selection of Silk Scarves in different shapes and sizes so I hope there will be one to suit you.  I have found you can never have too many, they do not take much room in the wardrobe so get collecting and enjoy the experience.

Silk Scarf

 

Silk Heart Scarf

Moroccan Embroidery

I had no idea embroidery was such a thing for the women here in Morocco . Mainly done on table cloths, napkins, bed pillows and sheets.  The embroidery I am enamoured with is the geometric designs originally from Fez.  It is also done by machine now but the mind boggles at how this work is done by hand.  The patience…..

This is a lovely blog written about Moroccan embroidery ZWEEN with delightful images.  I have had to include this photograph here so you can see what I am talking about.  Imagine every stitch sewn by hand and this is just a tiny part of the finished table cloth.

Moroccan embroidery cotton pillow case quality cotton decorative

 

This next image is more understandable in terms of labour but the simple geometry of it I find very calming.

simple embroidery geometric cotton towels pillow cases

 

I could happily have this painted above a threshold in my house.  The famous tiling in Morocco is all based on geometry too.  100’s of different patterns are learnt taking a life time to achieve.  When you study Moroccan tiling you begin to realise its complexity.  It was at this point I decided it was something I was never going to achieve so instead I let my mind boggle at its genius.

moroccan tiling, geometric, embroidery, towels,

 

I have started working with a Women’s Cooperative in Marrakech.  They have made my Tassle Fringed Bath Towels.   They are SO efficient, like a little army determined to do their best.  Feisty and tough, I am enjoying their work ethics and feel glad to be working amongst a team of women.  Girl Power I guess.

batjh towels, fringing, tassels, cotton,

I do wonder how long this kind of work is going to be sustainable for.  But thats a whole nother debate…..

In the meantime my current project is linen table napkins.    I am creating a collection that are 45cm square made from Estonian linen embroidered in Morocco.  (Eastern Europe produces fabulous quality linen) They are going to be available in lime green and marine blue finished with white cotton tassels.  I cannot wait to see them finished.

 

Bath Towels with Swing

I just love them!  Brighten up any bathroom with these exotic bath towels.  Each towel is trimmed with either multi coloured or white cotton tassels.  All are machine washable and colourfast.  Available as a face cloth, hand towel and an extra large bath towel.

So you can either bring some colour into your life with the Carnival Colours Collection

Bath Towels with Tassels

Carnival Colours

or go for the peaceful Pure White Collection

White cotton Bath towel

Pure White

Find out more about the collection by clicking here

Tassels and why I love them.

White cotton Tassel I adore tassels.  I love their creation, their femininity, the way they swing.  They are just a great decorative item that can be found in so many different  forms, fabrics and colours that each can portray a different feeling.  The simple, the elegant, the frivolous, the royal, the decadent, the elegant.

They can be attached cushions, curtains, lampshades, pillows, blankets, cotton bath towels, roller blinds, cotton hand towels, book marks to name just a few. All in all the Tassel is quite a remarkable invention.

Cotton Bath Towel with cotton decorative tassels on each endIn my new collection of bath towels I have gone for cotton tassels.  They are so fresh and natural and can be made in so many colours.  Just a little detail like this can change the whole feel of a item.  The new collection of bath towels will be available in 3 sizes:

  1. Large Bath Sheet 160cm x 100cm
  2. Hand Towel 90cm x 50cm
  3. Face Flannel 30cm x 30cm

The collection is made from superior white cotton towelling and finished at either ends with a choice of multi coloured tassles or white tassels.  Which ever you choose, they are sure to bring a feeling of joy to your bathroom.  Collection debut 1st April (no April fools!) at www.celialindsell.com

For those of you who like to create things yourself see below for simple steps on how to create your own tassel.

Multicoloured embroidery thread for making cotton tasselsWe suggested you use cotton embroidery thread.  It is available in so many varied colour choices that you are sure to find a good colour match for your project.  Devere Yarns is a good supplier for the cotton thread.

Undo the bold of thread a couple of days before making the tassel, this way you wont have kinks and creases, or of course iron it flat.

What you will need:

  1. Some good rigid cardboard, any thing that does not bend easily.  It needs to be double the length of the tassel you wish to create and approx 10cm wide.
  2. Your bold of embroidery thread in your chosen colour.
  3. A good sharp pair of pointed sissors.

Here goes, remember to wash your hands before beginning.  For some reason threads always get tangled with dirty hands.

  1. Cut the piece of cardboard double the length of the tassel you want to create.  Wind the embroidery thread around the board again and again.  The tassel will be double the thickness as the loop you have wound around the board.  Be really generous, this will create a far more effective cotton tassel.
  2. When you have finished winding the cotton around the cardboard slip the wound cotton off the cardboard and lay on your worktop.  Cut a piece of 15cm cotton from the same colour and tie it tightly around the centre of your wound cotton.  Tie this into a tight knot.
  3. Now hold the knotted thread upwards and let the wound looped cotton hang down.  Cut the loop ends with your sharp pointed sissors. (You can trim the bottom of the tassel later)
  4. Now it it time to make the neck of the tassel.  Cut another piece of embroidery cotton approx 25cm long.  Make one end of cotton into a loop shape, then place loop on tassel. Hold the other end, and wrap it tightly around tassel and over the top of the loop to secure it. Wrap slowly, working from the top of the neck down, so neck threads lie evenly next to one another. As you wrap, ensure all the threads in the head and skirt are neatly in place. After wrapping neck, pass end of thread through loop and gently close loop, tucking ends into the head of the tassel. Trim tassel ends, a few threads at a time, to even them if necessary. Use the tie-off threads on top of the tassel to attach it to your item.diagram of how to make a cotton tassel

How did that go?  I hope you are happy with your result and have managed to create your first cotton tassel.

Georgian Tassel, try making one from Anya HindmarchGo one step further and try making a Georgian Tassel demonstrated here by Anya Hindmarch.  These really are a work of art, or craft, however you like to call it.  These tassels cannot be made by machine so keep a highly skilled craft alive.

 

elegant lavender tassels for use in the hometurquoise tassels for decoration with a french feeling

 

 

Wedding Favours

It has long been a tradition to give away little goodies to your guests on your wedding day.  They have often travelled far and wide and there is nothing like a little surprise gift to make them feel really welcome.

Bespoke Initialssmall close up largeLavender is an ideal gift to present for your guests.  At Celia Lindsell we have been working with Provencal Lavender for years and can make up little sachets from the finest Provencal Lavender which your guests can keep for many years to come to remind them of your wedding day.  These sachets can be colour matched to the them of your wedding and can be customised with your initials as well.

Over the years I have been following the  wonderful blog Love and Lavender , a wedding inspiration blog based in the US but with a world wide following.  Now if you need some great ideas check this out.  It is quite stunning.

S & D_253If you are wanting a true Provencal Wedding and need help with the organisation Lucy Till  is the lady to contact.  She has been organising weddings in Provence for the past 5 years with anything from 10 to 300 guests.  She knows all the great venues; chateau’s, pretty vineyards, flowering lavender fields, romantic hotels and can organise everything for you from the button holes to your going away car.  So where ever you live it is possible to wed in the romantic setting of Provence.  Let Lucy take the hassle out of your big day, she’s an expert.  Find out more here

 

So wherever you are getting married giving your guest wedding favours is a great little welcome treat.  It puts everyone in the mood for celebration.