Thursday, 27 December 2012

Pearl's Birthday

Back in October, my friend, Pearl turned 18

I made her a little bag with
THIS embroidered on it.

It is SO nice to be back to blogging.
I think the break has given me some perspective.

Happy New Year!

Monday, 29 October 2012

Do you feel lucky????

The lovely Sue at The Mercerie has asked if anyone at Pantry Violets may like to enter her competition to win one of her gorgeous felted bags.

She has just started her business, and is selling the kits to make them - they are really beautifully presented and the perfect present.  I got one for my stepdaughter now the nights are drawing in, and she was thrilled.  Hope you are all well - it's been a bit quiet here at Pantry Violets - presume you're all being very industrious!

You can find out how to enter at

Monday, 10 September 2012

.. move along little inchies.....

Just finished my contribution to the "inchies" (a lot more work than I had imagined) and have passed them along to Carol - so no blaming me for the delay now.

Carol, Susie and I will be taking a stall at the Selvedge Fair in November at the Chelsea Town Hall, London to promote Les Soeurs.  More about that later, but we have started making little promotional items for the stall - nice stocking fillers we think - as well as some of our aprons.  What do you think?.....

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

julie arkell workshop and exhibition :: a little preview

Just a little look at the window at Petite Violette right now - not long to go till our Julie Arkell workshop (Sept 23) and exhibition (Sept 29 - Oct 26). Wish you all could be here!

Monday, 27 August 2012

Our Last Full Day

On Sunday afternoon, we had to take Di to the airport in Bergerac.
It was drizzly, but we got her there safely.
Here is a photo of three of the four of us
(click HERE for the others)

and this is a little page from a book Di bought
The images are soooo yummy!


Sunday, 12 August 2012

The Gang's All Here

Well, not exactly, as they've left now; but Oolie, Jone, Becky and Diane made it over for a few days last week.  I was so flattered to be invited, and fortunate to be able to join them for a couple of days for a few precious hours and I was overwhelmed by their generosity, kindness and creativity.  And, boy, did I learn some tricks.    Also joined them for a visit to our "secret brocante" - which frankly, isn't such a big secret anymore - where I managed to find some very useful vintage, but rather grubby, dear little deck chairs and, oddly, some American wooden cotton reels.  The question now is should I recover them (the deck chairs, not the cotton reels);  would love to hear your views?

Anyway, a Big Thank You ladies for letting for me join the gang for a moment or two - you were, it goes without saying, a huge pleasure to be have around.

If you are interested in seeing some of the beautiful things they made during their visit, I have posted one or two photos on Les Soeurs Anglaises blog and I am sure they will be posting many of their own images before too long.

It was a fab week and L'Espace seemed to work perfectly as a venue for the self-supervising group - may there be many more!

To think, we used to just throw these away when we'd finished the thread!!

Saturday, 11 August 2012


We DID it!

We got on the planes and trains and in our little rental car and spent the week at Briancon.
It was magnificent!

For a day-by-day account, please go to


Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Di's birdie

Hi Di, here's where your birdie is.  With a mate and some 2D friends at the back.  Would you like him to fly home to you for a spell?  He can come visit and then you can pass him on to the next geographic location.  What do you think?

Tuesday, 7 August 2012


Hello Violets!

Sorry for the long delay - yet again in blogging. 

You may remember when Jo was doing her bird project I made this little birdie, the Lesser Spotted Tattered, with the crazy red eyes .......

Does it still sit on your desk Jo?

Last week, from Tuesday to Sunday I was at Les Soeurs Anglaises with Becky, Jone and Oolie for a few heavenly days of R&R.  More posts will follow from us all about our makes and the fun we had - it was a truly uplifting, inspiring few days that we shared in the lovely studio L'Espace - many, many thanks to Katie and Mike letting us have the use of the studio and rooms for our stay.

Amongst some things I took to finish off was a donkey brooch I made whilst on the second Hens Teeth workshop at Weston Park, near Stafford - I cant recommend Viv's workshops enough,
its such a great day out, sewing in a lovely 'hice' in lovely 'grinds' with a great bunch of women each time - and as if thats not enough, theres cake!  Here is the finished brooch ....
I just posted my second lot of haberdashery brooches and another little paper mache donkey -  on - please take a look.

Hope everyone is well and happy!  Taylor, sorry not to have been in touch since West Dean, its been a crazy busy time as you can imagine but I did enjoy the time spent with you on Julie's course.  Im getting back on track and have sent a bijou treat for you home with Jone so expect mail soon.

As soon as I have sorted out pictures will post my french finds and the things I made last week and Im sure Becky, Jone and Oolie will be doing the same.  We thought of you in France.

Love to All
xx Di

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Hello again! I have completed my inchies, and have used my spoonflower printed collaged russian dolls, so everyone has a different might want to allocate the right face for the right pantry violet Jone!!! I am posting them off today, otherwise they will get buried under all the stuff that is clogging up my sewing room. Such therapy sewing these little inchies, was initially daunted by the splendour of all the completed ones and the number,( Sam...those stitches!!! ) but then was quite sad when I finished them!xx

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

inchies have arrived in surrey!

Hello dear Pantry Violets, the Inchies have arrived with me this morning...Thank you Linda...I was going to take a photo of them but I thought it might spoil the surprise! I am still as manic as ever, but the second shipment of new Ragtales designs are arriving in the country in August, making it 22 toys in the range, just hope we can sell them all! Hope that you are all having a lovely summer despite the appalling weather, will try to do my inchies as quickly as are next on the list Joanna!

Saturday, 14 July 2012

INCHIES: make a noise!

Please let us know where the Inchie Project is currently on vacation!  We need to get this project completed so......who ever has it, please post something to that effect.  If anyone feels the need to "drop out", now is the time to do that so we can rearrange the list of where to send it next.  Please follow Jone's instructions included in the package.....and all will be well in Inchie Land!

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Summer bag making

 It's the end of year and time to thank teachers, so what better than a bag. Hope they like them.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

an invitation: julie arkell workshop and exhibition

Hello dear Pantry Violets! Hope each and every one of you is having a wonderful summer so far (all except our southern hemisphere violets of course - hope you are staying warm and cozy) and that there is great weather and exciting vacation plans still to come! The summer weather is yet to hit Malmö, but we live in hope!

There is a lot going on at Petite Violette over the summer, including some buying trips to France, England and Denmark, lots of work behind the scenes organising a few workshops and, most exciting of all, a Julie Arkell exhibition. Petite Violette is so incredibly lucky to be able to hold a month long solo exhibition of Julie's work, called "Making Up Poems", starting September 29 2012. 

Julie will visit Malmö the weekend before to set up the exhibition and to hold a one day textiles workshop at Petite Violette on Sunday September 23. Exact details are not yet finalised, but you are all welcome! If you've been thinking about a trip to Malmö/Copenhagen, this could be the time to do it!

Once again, hope you are all enjoying your summer, miss you all and think of you often!

making up poems

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Basking in sunshine

A friend recently said that she wanted to show me a piece her mother had drawn and sewn sometime in the 1930/40s. And showed me this.  A gorgeous long legged vixen sunny her self in a little pool under the shade of a willow.  I just loved they way that she also included painted finger and toe nails.  Such  a lovely piece, as usual scrunched in a plastic bag hiding in a box under the bed.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

boxes with birds

 I have finally done some more little 
"Bird Boxes" for Curiosa
 Sometimes I wonder where the ideas flow from
Generally, I just begin and things seem to take root, somehow
Nothing wrong with that, as long as there is a final result.

more BOXES, if you are curious...

Thursday, 7 June 2012

ok, am showing off my youngest son...he's 15 now and has always been our social experiment, and has the least attention in our family, but has miraculously managed to emerge as a brilliant artist....found this painting in his art sketch book.....Nick and I are hoping he will keep us in our retirement!!! Love to you all dear Pantry Violets....xx

Friday, 1 June 2012

Mothers' Day

So, for Mother's Day last week (or two ago now - gosh)
I stitched this little something for my mom.
I still have to make it into the pillow I originally planned,
 but wanted to share the stitched image with you.

I could stitch all day long.

Di, I am envious of your Hen's Teeth Workshop...
What a fantastic group of goodies you have done.

Keep on with the creativity, ladies.
It is important that we not stop treating ourselves 
to that little bit of joy.....right?

click HERE to see the other piece I just finished.

Monday, 28 May 2012

NURTURED BY VIV - The Hens Teeth Workshop

In March, I braved a workshop!  I was understandably reticent to go to a workshop after recent events, however, the prospect of a Hens Teeth Workshop at Weston Hall, only an hour and a half from home was
too tempting to resist.  I'm not good at resisting temptation at the best of times!

The Haberdashery Brooch workshop was a rare chance to spend the day sewing with wonderful women all guided by the lovely Viv who's work I so admire ....................

It was Viv's first workshop - though you would never have known!  We set off making our own little treasures using fabric, paper, words - Viv brought her manual typewriter which was a roaring success and no doubt they are booming in price on EBAY as I write!

Here is our group work

It never ceases to amaze me how rich and varied the results are when creative women sit down and stitch together!  All so different, all so lovely.   Here are my brooches (which needless to say still require brooch backs) ..........
The first was a collage of bits of stuff with part of an italian bank note and a smidgen of gingham 
- sort of pansy-shaped .......
My next one incorporated a piece of wool with a little house embroidered on it - it came in a sewing box I bought ages ago.  Im touched by what people save in their workboxes I find them very poignant.  I imagine it was once part of a childs coat or something.  So I incorporated the word 'saved' and a little red cross suggested by Viv which together with some old lace french knotted to cloth (Get me, now I can do french knots everything has to have one!) and a button and Voila! ......................
Next, in my usual last half hour spurt - desperate to create another brooch, I pieced together bits of paper, clips, an old press stud with a bit of label still attached and a bit more gingham to make this truly haberdashery brooch .....................
It was my favourite and I was thrilled beyond measure when Viv said it 'made her heart sing' - isnt that a lovely complement! 
I'd urge anyone who can make it to Weston Hall to join one of Viv's workshops to do so - its a great day out, a lovely venue ............... and there's cake!
The whole day was delightful - a little oasis of calm and creativity amidst the chaos of life.  I enjoyed it so much I booked onto the next one and pursued on of the themes above - can you guess which one?

On another note, I have just posted my West Dean makes on please have a look and let me know what you think.  Hopefully, I will post the makes from Vivs second workshop on tinkering next week! 
Love to All - sorry for the long absence.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Clementine's Krafty Kitchenette

I just LOVED this fun tutorial from a new online business, The Mercerie set up by a friend Sue Maton - her products are great too - she's adding more regularly. Pretty sure you'll all love it too.  Sue also does heaps of classes in Norwich - including at Arts Desire, a wonderful wee shop full of fab things.  

Norwich is getting to be a very crafty place, as we also have the Make Place - which has over 30 classes! 

If any of you would like a visit - I am very happy to be the hostess with the mostess - I have a spare double room and am within walking distance of EVERYWHERE, including the Railway Station.  Norwich is a beautiful City with lots of gorgeous shopping and second hand/vintage shops at very good prices. Tempted????

XXXX to you all.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

my Tea Towel quilt

hi everyone, a year or so ago I did a collaborative project for an exhibition which turned out to be my first ever quilt and made of vintage tea towels.  I have a big obsession with tea towels and have a pretty grand collection. I showed a picture of it to Sam via email once and she encouraged me to put it on the pantry blog.  I have just blogged about it on my own blog so I've put the link here if you want more info that goes with the picture below.  I had a nice time doing this project and I LOVE the result. I make a lot of things out of tea towels and have a residency/installation coming up in August in an old heritage building here in my home town so I'll post about that too when it happens.
cheers everyone. Jo

Friday, 4 May 2012

Arty Stuff!

Not exactly a Pantry Violets kind of thing - but I thought you might like to see some work I did recently whilst in New Zealand attending my father's funeral.  Three of my classmates sent me instructions of things to do while there, and I have made three VERY short (arty) videos which recorded their ideas.  

So if you have five minutes check them out at:

The favourite so far is... "Seasoning".
XXX to you all.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

jodi's rose

My pal, Jodi, brought me a rose about a month ago
Yesterday, she took this photo of it - dried and gorgeous.
I was amazed at how long it lasted and that, in the drying process, it has found even more beauty.

Have a beautiful day....  xo

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

A weekend at wonderful West Dean

Hello girls

Have just had a wonderful weekend at West Dean with Janet Bolton - a friend of Julie's, making fabric pictures

At the end mine somehow turned into pictures which I can use as a home for some of my lovely Julie brooches