Sew Skilled? You Are Telling Me.

Sew Skilled Creative Workshops and Classes came about one day by chance. Award winning bridal designer and retailer Jo Christoforides met up with Helen Richman, graduate of The Royal School of Needlework. They both discovered that they had a strong desire to pass on their sewing skills. Enter Tineke, Jo’s erstwhile colleague, seamstress retrained as gemologist and fanatical (in a good way) fan of millinery! Together, the three developed Somerset based Sew Skilled Creative Workshops and Classes.

Jo designed a simple yet architectural bridal gown with a chosen theme of the “Birds and the Bees” to “showcase Helen’s beautiful work,’ explains Jo. “We used Spanish lace as it is reminiscent of tree bark in pattern and a perfect backdrop to the hand-painted, three dimensional padded birds in flight. The birds are embellished with intricate hand embroidery. Whimsical bees were made using traditional goldwork techniques. We wanted to make them look as if the bees have alighted, jewel-like. We placed them in strategic positions to fix the lace drapery of the train.” The entire ensemble, took over 200 hours to make from conception to completion. “It is complimented by Tineke’s amazing handmade silk organza floral headdress, features of which are echoed on the dress to provide the final finishing touch to our Sew Skilled vision of a bride.” Quite beautiful, hey.

Sew Skilled crown

Stunning crown made by Helen Richman. It shows how talented an embroider she is for it was made during her first year at The Royal School of Needlework.


The bees ready to adorn the wedding dress. They were made to look like gold jewels.


These birds were pinned to the bodice of the wedding dress and follow the theme of ‘birds and the bees’.

Sew skilled wedding bodice

The birds and the bees embroidered onto the bodice of the wedding gown

Sew Skilled wedding dress

The birds looking as if they are fluttering around the bodice of the wedding girl creating a true fairytale effect.

A headdress was made to accompany the dress using a bird to link in with the dress’s bodice.

Sew Skilled crown

catwalk dress

The end result, snapped at a catwalk show in North Cadbury Court, Somerset. It’s absolutely stunning and would make any bridge feel like a princess.

Bums On Seats

Ally Capellino is a fab designer mainly known for her accessories and clothes, but she’s now turned her eyes to furniture design. These are a set of tubular stacking chairs she’s created in leather and steel which make great places for ‘bums on seats’.

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Christmas cheer

Love love products from British company Noolibird, who make the most gorgeous rubber stamps. I want them all. I have used their stamps to decorate parcels for birthdays and Christmases for a few years. Wonderful to see how much they are progressing with the business online. I thoroughly recommend them if you are thinking of creating your own decorations at Christmas.



Nov 18 2013

Wood Art Of The Best Kind

Bowled over by Lee Borthwick’s installations and sculptural work in wood. Take a look and see for yourselves. She’s based in London and has won the approval of Conran and many other design names and stores. So enterprising.



Light Up Your Life

We’ve always thought that getting decent lighting in the UK is difficult. There just don’t seem to be many lighting artists out there. We are a fan of Bruce Munro who is a lovely bear of a man and does wonderful lighting installations. But he is an artist of such high recognition these days we can only aspire to possess one of his creations. So it’s great to come across Rothschild & Vickers who use traditional hand blowing techniques to create lights that are imaginative, witty and fun. They are terribly talented too.


These make me think of exotic French boudoirs


All of Rothschild & Vickers’ creations are hand blown in the UK.


Amazing Metal Work In Silver And Gold

Earlier this year I went to an exhibition hosted by Crafted, an organisation founded by Guy Salter from the Walpole Committee. Guy is a huge supporter of craftsmanship of the exceptional kind originating from Britain. He pioneered the GREAT campaign which the UK government has backed. One of the people Crafted supports is Wayne Meeten who is a silver and goldsmith, making achingly beautiful creations. Much of Weeton’s ethos and sense of design comes from Japan which is a country that is a wonderful supporter of artisans in its midst – it describes its top craftsmen as Living National Treasures. You can see this country’s influence in his designs. Wonderful. Personally, I want a bracelet.


This is entitled a Bulb Of Life – it’s so beautiful that you’d almost want to sink yourself in it and become a Genie.


These vessels are described as learning curves. I’d like to learn a lot from them! I particularly like the way the underside is curved into a central point resembling the milky way. These are really the Holy Grails of cups.


A cuff is a girl’s best accessory. But one made like this is simply beautiful. I adore the gold underside. It’s as if a light has been switch

Home Decorating Ideas In A Cafe

Loving this cafe I’ve just come across, based in Putney, London. It offers home decorating ideas and courses which teach people basic upholstery, techniques for painting furniture, ways to update your home and much fun. Anything that involves bringing the creative side of people is great. We think the cafe’s blog is pretty good too.

Jun 27 2013

Good Web Guide Awards 2013 – we’re judging!

Hey, we’ve been asked to take part in this year’s Good Web Guide Awards as a judge. Websites are starting to apply for the awards and the results will be announced in November at an award ceremony in London. Fun.


Unusual, Creative Eco Wallpaper

It’s unusual to find two designers who want to remain unknown, but this is exactly the ethos behind wallpaper company Abnormals Anonymous. The duo who established the company prefer to remain unknown and let the wallpaper speak for itself. We do know, however, that the paper is made and designed in the States and we like the ethos of the company: only Eco and VOC friendly paints are used. It’s unusual to find decent Eco wallpaper so that’s why I mention them and I love their unusual take on the designs.






A Diamond In Glass

We are huge fans of Frank Grenier who is a talented glass engraver. He was a pupil of Simon Whistler, son of the great Laurence. Have come across a fabulous interview with Laurence on the BBC via Desert Island Discs. Heaven to hear such a voice from the past explaining his skill. Laurence was the brother of the artist Rex Whistler, yet chose to draw on glass rather than paper. He describes the skill as completely different as you need to draw from light rather than dark. His pen? A diamond one of course….


Glass engraver Frank Grenier is inspired by Whistler – it would be difficult enough to draw this on paper, let alone on glass. Asian designs are often a theme of his Grenier spent many years in the Far East. He sometimes engraves complex designs just for the fun of it. He has re-created the whole of the Bayeux tapestry on a 12 inch plate.


Jun 19 2013
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