Chintz brings to mind a down-stuffed chair, a sofa worn soft by family and friends. It's where a piping cup of tea is sipped, a novel is read, rain is heard on the window pane.
It's also a style of pottery that features "tightly grouped, highly detailed and vibrant all-over floral patterns," as described on the website for Royal Winton. There is plenty of chintz ware to be found in gift shops and among the department store tabletop displays.
But Royal Winton chintz sets the standard. Originally know as Grimwades, the artisans at the Royal Winton factory still produce this most English of tableware.
My first encounter with chintz ware was a bonbon stand not unlike the one at right, which I recently added to my collection. Details of the pattern, Royal Winton's Florence, below. The black background is particularly stunning, I think.
One of the richest patterns is Julia, below right and at top, from my collection. Like Florence, Julia is still produced. Notice the art deco influence in the shape of the nut dish, at top, next to my grandmother Mammy's portrait. She was something of an art deco design during her dance card days.
Note a couple of other patterns, below, from the Royal Winton website. Brings to mind clotted cream and scones.
Keep an eye out for Royal Winton or Grimwades chintz ware. eBay is a good place to browse and learn about the patterns, including old ones no longer in production. There are plenty of plates, dinner-size and smaller, and cups and saucers. I look for the odd little piece. Bargains are rare to non-existent.
But when you find one you can afford, don't miss out on it, especially if you like a plump, worn, slipcovered sofa on a rainy afternoon. A piece of Royal Winton chintz ware completes it.
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Catching up on Remodelista newsletters, I picked up a little black and white goodness to share. Special touch: I saved the images with the Silver filter in my CameraBag app. This espresso machine took on a rich noir feel.
The façades of a couple of elegant Paris hotels look like deco-era photos, but both were only recently photographed. Sunlight throws a creamy finish on the masonry.
A couple of entryways, above and below, each beckon with a bit of mystery.
More intrigue: Tapers, like intricately turned wood, stand tall in mercury glass and tarnished silver candlesticks below. Framed by a battered old whitewashed door, a question seems to hang in the air.
I just may stick with a black and white palette in my craftwork this year. Ideas welcome. à bientôt...Tatie
La Poste is an occasional feature that showcases design and craftmanship from newsletters and blogs that I enjoy.
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Instead of taking that expensive and overly long taxi ride into London upon arrival at Heathrow, here's an option: a warm little village inn and pub just a short drive away.
From Remodelista.com comes word of The Crown in Amersham. This is the England that most of us think of and want to visit. With traditionally outfitted lodging,The Crown is said to offer better fare at table than you might expect in Britain, with a chef on the place. (Candidly, I always enjoy a hearty English pub supper topped off with a sticky pudding.)
The lovely old courtyard of the traditional coaching inn adds to the restful atmosphere, which, for me is an absolute must after a grueling trans-Atlantic flight. It also would make a nice last stop before heading home.
La Poste is an occasional feature in which we share news from our e-mailbox or elsewhere on the Web.
I recall a pair of great old wool plaid slacks handed down to me when preppy was real, not just a nostalgic knockoff. I can smell the cool air and the leaves on the ground. In recent years, it seems like we go from sweltering to snow days with barely a whiff of fall. Maybe we're just too busy to notice it.
My kind of busy these days means flats on my feet. I need to see if our new Nordstrom has a pair like these.
Well, we'll be wearing our woolens soon enough, and hockey will start soon -- the preseason begins in Bridgestone Arena this Saturday night. We've had such sadness in recent weeks -- losing former Predators Wade Belak, Karlis Skrastins and Josef Vasicek. Let's remember them when we first gather, then move on, as they surely would wish.
Drop the puck, and put on the plaids...à bientôt...Tatie
Of all the French antique dolls, I believe the Bru dolls are some of the prettiest. That's why I enjoy recreating the 18" doll known as Bru Jne 11. Above is my latest version.
As a trained Doll Artisan, I paint the features like the original dollmakers did in the Bru atelier, or studio. The tiny lashes and brow strokes, the lips and the blush of the cheeks are as close as possible to a picture of an actual antique, which I go by when painting.
I did something new with this bébé, as this type of doll is called: I created handmade earrings from old Haskell-style nailhead beads. I found a huge lot of these beads on eBay, with doll earrings in mind, and this was the perfect opportunity to use them, since the original Bru Jne 11s also had pierced ears.
I love making the dolls, but my greatest passion is in designing and creating their clothes. I chose palest pink French organdy for this doll's frock, and I highlighted it with antique lace and a rayon ribbon trim. I used an unusual old length of lace from my collection, with antique lace insertion and edging already assembled to make just the right width for the collar and dropped waist skirt. I set the collar off with an heirloom knotted bow made of the tiniest rayon ribbon.
The bébé shows off her elegant ivory pointed French doll shoes that tie with pink rayon ribbon. I made her socks from a delicate piece of antique lace.
I found some wonderful wide French taffeta ribbon at Textile Fabrics here in Nashville. It makes the prettiest bustle to these old-fashioned dropped waist dresses. I repeated the effect with the bow in her hair.
This bébé doesn't mind showing off what she's wearing beneath her frock: a "combinaison" (one piece combination of bloomers and camisole) made from an old piece of eyelet fabric. Like just about everything else she is wearing, it is trimmed old pink rayon ribbon.
One other detail: She wears a handmade human hair wig. The old doll wigs were made either of combed mohair or human hair. I prefer working with the latter. After sewing wefted lengths of it to a wig cap, I cut and style it. I really like the chestnut color and natural curl of this wig. (I buy the wefted hair weave from hair supply shops.)
One of the great things about the craftmanship of antique reproduction dolls: It gives 21st century doll lovers a chance to own a doll that looks almost exactly like the antiques at a fraction of the cost. Unlike many reproduction dollmakers, I am particularly proud that I can offer these dolls to you at prices that are accessible.
I love sharing these beauties with you, and there will be more in the weeks to come. A great Christmas surprise for someone special!
La Poste is an occasional feature of Atelier Chéri where I share a particularly good blog post or newsletter item from my email inbox.