Thursday, 31 May 2012

Toile de Jouy delights

I've always loved toile de Jouy fabrics, their delicate appearance, and I think they reflect my love of all things eighteenth century - they are very much of their era.

Originating in France in the late eighteenth century, the phrase 'toile de Jouy' translates as 'cloth from Jouy-en-Josas', referring to the town Jouy-en-Josas, near Versailles where the fabric was manufactured my the Oberkampf factory.

Originally printed on cotton or linen using woodblocks, and later on copperplates, the typical features of toile are a repeated pattern (usually in black, dark red or blue), depicting florals, figures or pastoral scenes on a white background.

Although predominantly used on furnishing fabrics, toile de Jouy has also appeared on wallpaper, crockery and bedding.  It has obviously influenced the design of this 'Emmie land' bedding which I spotted recently in Ikea, and the wonderful 'London Toile' wallpaper by Timorous Beasties, featuring very different scenes from the traditional French pastoral ones!

'Emmie land' bedding by Ikea

'London Toile' wallpaper by Timorous Beasties

My latest handmade notebook design is covered in a toile de Jouy fabric, featuring a blue pastoral scene on a white background.  Its delicate appearance evokes for me the feeling of old blue and white porcelain, and I have tried to capture this sense of delicacy and fragility with added accents such as the china blue endpapers, and the tiny diamante buckle and pale blue satin ribbon, which together act as a closure mechanism for the book.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Diamond Jubilee celebrations

This weekend will see Jubilee celebrations and street parties up and down Britain (if we believe everything the media tell us).  Personally I've opted for a few quiet days in Whitby, one of my favourite haunts.  But feeling under pressure to acknowledge the Jubilee and all things British in some way, I've added a few notebooks to my Etsy shop - just to mark the occasion.

There's an abundance of British and Jubilee related fabrics and papers in the shops at the moment, and it's fascinating to see what fellow creatives have been producing.  On Etsy, I love Hayley Jayne Design's red, white and blue Union Jack 1950s party dress, AnnettesAllsorts London Icons Memo Board, and the Queens Diamond Jubilee A5 handbound hardback notebook by Floating on the Breeze, to name just a few of the Jubilee-themed creations.

Whatever you are doing over the Jubilee weekend - have fun!