THE LOVE MARKET

There is a new market coming to Sydney!
Called the Love Market it will be located on the upper level (undercover), of The Italian Forum, Norton Street, Leichhardt.The first market will be on Saturday 3rd MAY from 10 am – 3.00pm and we will be part of it.

The Love Market

The Love Market

The Love Market focuses on stallholders who are passionate about their design and craft. All products on sale will be created with quality and love.  There will be locally made foods, clothes, jewellery and lots more.

We will be selling our locally manufactured doorstops and snakes, great for the cold weather on the way; cushions, lampshades and some bags and beautiful remnant fabric pieces.

Some of our doorstops and snakes!

Some of our doorstops and snakes!

Locally made cushions from our remnant upholstery fabrics.

Locally made cushions from our remnant upholstery fabrics.

India Part III

Day  3 | off to Jodhpur

After a restful stay in Mumbai, I flew to Jodhpur in Rajasthan.  At Mumbai airport I met up with some of the people I was to be spending time with in the desert and at Jodhpur airport we met with the rest of the group.  In four cars we 14 Australians drove into the desert for 3 hours to the city of Nagaur, (which lies halfway between Jaipur and Jaisalmer), to attend the annual Sufi Festival in the Ahhichatragarh Fort.

1The entire event was magical.  The atmosphere in the fort and the historic setting was like something out of a movie.  We stayed in beautiful tents and all food, drinks and entertainment was provided as part of the event.

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3The performances were held both during the day, under a large shady tree, or in restored rooms and porticos of the palace.

Dr. Madan Gopal Singh

Dr. Madan Gopal Singh

The art of Azeri classical Mugham

The art of Azeri classical Mugham

Setting up for a performance

Setting up for a performance

7Lunch and evening meals were held in the Pavilion or at night in intimate rooms or in various courtyards under the stars, surrounded by 1000 candles and the beautifully lit ancient walls of the fort. The music was intriguing, raw and personal.

1000 candles, ceramic bowls with oil and a wick, Magical.

1000 candles, ceramic bowls with oil and a wick, Magical.

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12It is hard to describe the event as everyone who attended had experiences that touched them in different ways, but needless to say, it was unique and extraordinary.

India Part II

Day two. 16th Feb 2014

After an early breakfast with all the European fare as well as Indian treats, I had a bit of a lie by the pool and a dip before heading to the reception to meet the driver who was taking me out for the day.

As it was Sunday, most of the places that I had I had hoped to go to we’re closed, like MANGALDAS MARKET, traditionally home to traders from Gujarat, and apparently a great place to browse for Indian textiles and traditional clothes.

India

India-Part2

I wanted to go to the suburb of Bandra, which was open, so we headed about an hour out of Central Mumbai and near the airport to the new trendy suburb of Bandra where a lot of the Bollywood stars live.  I was expecting something a bit glamorous but to me it was just like any other suburb of Mumbai, crazy and noisy.  Perhaps we went to the wrong area.

I had asked the driver to take me to “The Shop”, to buy some specific cushion covers I knew they sold. The Shop is a six-room, space selling clothes, bedding, (blankets, sheets, pillows), kitchenware (tea pots, mugs, bowls, saucers, plates) as well as accessories such as handbags, printed stoles, and several books. I found the cushions I was looking for and some beautiful printed cushion covers but otherwise, it was not as exciting as I had hoped.

I told the driver I was looking for fabrics and so he suggested that we go to a far flung suburb he knew where there were fabric shops.  We never really found the fabric shops, but I spotted one shop that looked like it might have something interesting.

Inside the shop there were so many staff and lots of shelves full of really ugly towels and bedspreads that it was hard to move in the shop. The assistants actually had to jump over the counters to get out from behind the counters. It didn’t look very promising but as I was there I asked about cushion covers and was directed up a tiny spiral stair to find more staff waiting and more hideous stuff. The cushions covers were not great, but to get out of the shop, I purchased a few as they were well priced and I planned my escape.

India - Part II

On exiting onto the street from the shop, I spotted a torn and dirty Ikat thrown over some stock, and asked one of the staff if they had more.  Back inside, from below the shelves appeared all these single bed cover  in beautiful Ikat designs and colours.  I was in heaven.  I bought too many (well 12) and then had the problem of shipping them back to Australia.

After many attempts to find a courier, (being Sunday most were closed) the driver found a courier who was open and we drove there.  Situated in a back lane and in a very messy and stuffy room, I bargained for while and was able to get a slightly better price, but still paid more for the freight than I did to purchase the goods.  I was over a barrel as I was leaving very early the next morning, so could not go to the post office to send the goods at half the price of the courier. That’s life.  Still, it was a good day of shopping.

Back at the Taj I thought I deserved a coffee in the garden after my long day shopping, but fortunately, I looked at the menu first as coffee was 325 rp which is around $6, so I decided to go out for a coffee instead.

I wanted to go to the well known restaurant Leopolds, that I had read about in Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts…. and it was about two blocks from where I was.  As I was about to enter the restaurant, I was stopped by a security woman who held a metal detector to me and checked inside by bag.  That set the atmosphere for this extraordinary cafe.

Security guard with metal detector at the front entry to Leopolds.

Security guard with metal detector at the front entry to Leopolds.

India - Part II

It was packed, mostly with Indians of all ages and types, some foreigners and lots of staff, who were very cheerful and full of character.  It was bustling and loud with ceiling fans whirling overhead but had a sort of edgy atmosphere that anything could, and would happen.  The food was excellent.  I ordered an orange and lime freshly squeezed juice, half size portion of chicken tikka and a roti.  All for 600 rp including a small tip (about $11.50 Aus).  Great value and lots of atmosphere and certainly worth a visit.

The mural on the wall at Leopold Cafe

The mural on the wall at Leopold Cafe

India Part I

Day one. 15th Feb, 2014

Wow!  The new Mumbai airport (just opened three days ago) is sensational.  It is so funky that it makes you feel happy that you have arrived in such a vibrant city as Mumbai. Just on the short walk from the arrival gate to the immigration area you are bombarded with a combination of Bollywood images, modern three dimensional art with moving pieces, sculpture that turn and shimmer with the colourful bottle tops they are made from and historic sculptural installations.  I can’t wait to see what the rest of the airport has to show me on my departure.

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One of the reasons I come to Mumbai is to stay in the wonderful Taj Palace Hotel.  For me, it is the best hotel in the world due to the amazing staff and the service they provide.  They make you feel like a special guest. On leaving the arrival area in the airport, the Taj driver is waiting, all smiles and kindness as well as a customer service representative to greet me.  The driver safely maneuvers the manic Mumbai traffic and (very rare for this time if year) drizzling rain and we arrive to be treated by more smiles and polite help from all the staff.

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The Taj Palace Hotel

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The Taj Palace Hotel

It is a treat to stay here but the cost is less than an average Australian Sydney hotel, and I always try to balance it out with a less expensive hotel in Jaipur ( The Hotel Arya Niwas, which is very comfortable, and only $25 Aus a night).

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Hotel Arya Niwas

El Mercurio Revista DOMINGO

I received an email from a journalist from a weekend magazine in Chile requesting a photograph of our shop as they were doing an article on Redfern this Sunday in the section “redescubriendo un barrio” which means rediscovering a neighbourhood.

Along with Night Fern, Twig Café, The Norfolk Hotel, Boutwell Draper Gallery, The Bat and Ball and Snog the Frog, we were lucky enough to be featured.

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If you look at the El Mercurio Revista Domingo on pages 14 and 15 there are great photos and, as I don’t speak Spanish, I hope that they said nice things about the Redfern and our shop (although on the map it looks like we have become BEVO Remnant House. See this link:

http://impresa.elmercurio.com/Pages/SupplementDetail.aspx?SupplementID=5

Bright and Beautiful Cushions

We are so lucky to have interesting projects to work on for our customers at Bev’s Remnant House. These cushions were made for one of our creative customers who brought into the shop pieces of fabrics from skirts and scraps she had been collecting and we found a compatible Indian Kantha fabric for the backs of the cushions and then made up the cushions for her. Here is the end result:

The little mirrors in the fabric and some of the other feature pieces of fabric were applied to the fabric by hand over the front fabric.  The tiny scraps pieces were stitched together to make the front and also applied by hand.

What fun and beautifully individual feature cushions for the home!

Fabrics in Rome

As Robert de Niro says. “Italy has changed but Rome is Rome”

The best approach in Rome is just to go with the flow and see what you find.  I was near to Piazza Navona, one of my favorite squares and decided to try to find a bar that I frequented 30 years ago when I lived in Rome for 18 months.  I headed off in the general direction and of course, got side tracked and then luckily ended up exactly where I had hoped, outside the Bar della Pace, now known as Café della Pace and it is essentially is at was 30 years ago (only better).

Café Della Pace

Café Della Pace

Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.” Samuel Johnson.

For me this quotation should refer to Rome rather than London.  Rome is always exciting and full of new discoveries around every corner.

I had never tried to find fabrics in Rome so set my mind to this challenge and found several fabric shops to explore. The main fabric area in Rome is around the Lago di Argentina area.

Here are a few of the fabric shops worth having a look at.  I didn’t get to all of them but did spend an hour at Frattilli Basseti Tussuti on Corso V. Emanuele 73,  which is a huge shop. It is one of Rome’s largest fabric stores and also the fabric source for many Italian clothing and interior designers. It was opened in the 1950’s  by two brothers.  The store is on two floors with double-height ceilings and holds 200,000 fabrics in all color, shade and textures.  It is not easy to really see everything, and difficult without Italian, but worth a wander.  They were very helpful to me and I purchased some beautiful linen, 100% cotton in a cow and zebra print and a few other choice fabrics.

Cow and Zebra

Cow and Zebra, 100% cotton from Frattilli Basseti Tussuti

I also went to a shop located on the Largo di Torre Argentina, not far from the Piazza Venezia called Azienda Tessile Romana.  I didn’t buy anything but it is worth a quick look. This shop has lots of dress fabrics but I was only looking for upholstery/homeware fabrics.

Azienda Tessile Romana fabric shop

Azienda Tessile Romana fabric shop

At Paganini on Via d’Aracoeli, 21, I purchased some lovely, quirky cotton fabric which was double width with London scenes printed onto the cotton and other fun prints.  They specializes mostly in fabric for interior design, upholstery so worth a look and a smaller more manageable shop than Frattelli Basseti Tessuti.

Paganini

Interior view of Paganini, in just one of the sections of the shop.

Interior view of Paganini, in just one of the sections of the shop.

I will have to have a look at Casa Del Teussuto at Via Tomacelli, 8/9, next time I am in Rome.  It is off Via Del Corso to the left when walking to Piazza Del Popolo.

Another shop that I had heard was worth a look but didn’t get to this time is close to Fratelli Bassetti Tessuti, and is at Via dei Falegnami 63 called Fatucci Tessuti  and again a much smaller store.

There is still so much to explore in Rome and I sure will, next time I am back in this inspiring city.

Sud Italia Road Trip

When people think of Italy, Tuscany and the northern lakes district around Lake Como or Florence and Rome come immediately to mind.  However, I have just spent two weeks driving around the southern regions, better know in Italy as Mezzogiorno, and would highly recommend this region as a beautiful, if stark landscape with warm, inviting locals and prices that are well below the major city areas of the north. I visited four regions including Puglia, Basilicata , Campania and Molise, all of which have their own individual charm.

I have just included a few snap shots to give you a feel of the trip.  We borrowed a friend’s car in Salerno and drove to the little visited and rugged area of Molise first, and stayed in a tiny house, partly built out of stone which had a wonderful view of the distant mountains.

A beautiful house in a village near where we stayed

A beautiful house in a village near where we stayed

After being in the mountains, I needed to see the water and we drove to Vieste on the most eastern part on the Gargono Pennisula in Puglia.  A small but lovely town with plenty of interesting, steep streets to explore in the old centre and great restaurants with lots of seafood on the menu.  At its core it is a fishing village but offers visitors wonderful sights and traditions.

Back street of Vieste

Back street of Vieste

The Centro Storico (old centre) of Vieste

The Centro Storico (old centre) of Vieste

Vieste at Night

Vieste at Night

Next stop was Matera, which is a town that I had visited over 25 years ago and (only for the day), and I was keen to have a really good exploration this time. Because of the ancient and primitive scenery in and around the Sassi, it has been used by filmmakers as the setting for ancient Jerusalem and was the setting for Mel Gibson’s film The Passion of Christ made in 2004.  What is now Matera has been settled since the Palaeolithic period. The city was allegedly founded by the Romans in the 3rd century BC, with the name of Matheola after the consul Lucius Caecilius Metellus.

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Two Italian gentlemen take a stroll in the newer part of Matera. We found a fantastic Sunday market here.

After three lovely days in Matera it was off to the beach again, this time further south to Otranto, which is on the “stiletto” of the Italian boot. The Strait of Otranto, to which the city gives its name, connects the Adriatic Sea with the Ionian Sea and separates Italy from Albania.

The Fruit seller outside our hotel in Otranto

The Fruit seller outside our hotel in Otranto

Morning breaks in Otranto

Morning breaks in Otranto

About 50 km south lies the promontory of Santa Maria di Leuca . This is a beautiful drive and the countryside changes constantly, from steep cliffs crashing into the water to very flat dry land with cactus and beautiful white drystone walls.

On the drive south from Otranto

On the drive south from Otranto

At Santa Maria di Leuca it is easy to see inspiration for Georgio de Chirico’s work

At Santa Maria di Leuca it is easy to see inspiration for Georgio de Chirico’s work

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Enigma of the hour by Georgio de Chirico

The Mezzogiorno region of Italy is definitely worth a visit.  In Summer it is extremely hot and busy with Italians on holidays, so I would recommend either May or September as being the best times to plan to tour the area.

After leaving the car in Salerno (another beautiful, very charming Southern Italian city) we caught the fast train to Rome.  I will continue with the next blog in Rome.

London Fabrics on display

I was lucky enough to spend a few days in London recently, and of course could not go there and not check out a few of the London shops that I had read about. There are a string of shops along Berwick Street in Soho and the nearest tube station is Oxford Circus/Tottenham court Road/Piccadilly Circus. The shop I was particularly keen to see was The Cloth Shop and it didn’t disappoint.  There are actually two Cloth Shops on the same street at 98 and 47 Berwick Street, London. They were both smaller than I had imagined, but with lots of little rooms off the main section and a huge basement, there is a huge selection of beautiful fabrics.  I loved the buttons and trimmings, particularly the way they display them so beautifully.  The shops were both full of people even thought the weather outside was cold and miserable.

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In the same street, have a look at Silk Society, two Misan Textiles shops and there are various others fabric shops, all worth a look.  Just around the corner is Kleins on Noel Street for a wonderful display of trimmings.

The following day I went to the Fabric and Textile Museum in London and saw the exhibition.  The Glamour of Bellville Sassoon Exhibition Dates: 20 September 2013 – 11 January 2014.

Bellville Sassoon has been synonymous with high fashion for over 50 years. As Britain’s foremost couture label from the 1960s onwards, founder Belinda Bellville with designers David Sassoon and Lorcan Mullany, dressed many of the world’s most stylish women, including Diana, Princess of Wales. This exhibition traces the history of British glamour from the couture houses of the late 1950s, to the celebrities who became clients of the company. It also explores the influence of ready-to-wear and Vogue patterns.

I loved the exhibition but was expecting the Museum to have more textiles and an historic element to it, but it in fact, it just has the one off exhibitions.

The entry fee for memory was around 8 pound, so not cheap but saying that, I did enjoy the beautiful display of fabulous clothes and the photos showing the well known women wearing the clothes.

Cushion Making Class in September!

Another Great Night at the Cushion Making Class in September!

We held our second cushion making class in the shop in late September and it was great fun.   There are a maximum of 5 students so that Monica, the teacher, can get around to everyone.   By the end of the night all the girls had a completed cushion to take home.

The next class will be held on a Monday night in late November, date to be confirmed.  If you are interested in attending, give us a call at the shop (02) 9310 1868.

The  cost of the class is $65 and you will need to provide your own fabric that you can bring from home or buy from Bev’s Remnant House shop.

Bev’s Remnant House fabrics in action!

What a lovely idea.   One of our customers came in to the shop yesterday and purchased tiny sample fabrics and made this lovely setting.  Total cost for the fabric $4.50.
She used double sided tape to cover the bottles with the fabric and then tied twine over the top.  Easy but a great effect. Well done Jen!!!
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Furniture from the Attic

I popped in to see a friend of mine who has just relocated her shop, Furniture from the Attic (www.furniturefromtheattic.com) from the corner of Glenmore Road and New South Head Road, to 1/18-20 New South Head Road, Darling Point, just near Rushcutters Bay Park in Sydney.

Maryann Rushmussen  is a lovely, enthusiastic shop keeper who sources rustic furniture pieces from the country and transports them back to the city, weaves her magic on the pieces by painting or restoring the pieces (a bit, not too much).  Rusty old gates, individual timber chairs, old tools and lots more. She always has something interesting and well priced.

Maryann sources most of the fabric she upholsterers her goodies in from us at Bev’s Remnant House so I was interested to see some of the finished items. What a great job she does.  Well worth a pop in.  She is open Thur/Fri and Sat from 9.00am to 4.00pm or by appointment on 0425 333 473.

All fabrics in the pictures below are from Bev’s Remnant House.

For inquiries call (02) 9310 1868

Nautical Flair

Well you can’t say that our customers are “one of a kind”.  We have the most varied and wonderful customers coming into our shop looking for just the right fabric for their project: from history buffs looking for fabric for a medieval costume to one of our most unusual recent projects called ’The Australian Navy’.

The brief was to supply fabric to make up cushions for one of the recreation rooms on board. It had to be bright and uplifting but not too “lounge room”.  Have a look, I think we did well.

Bev's Remnant House

Designer’s Imagination

I love it when my talented and creative customers bring in photos of what they have created from the fabric in Bev’s Remnant House.

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One of my regular customers is Brad Singh who is studying for his Bachelor of Design in Fashion Design at Whitehouse Institute of Design and is in his second year.  Yesterday he bought in these great photos of his recent class project.  He purchased all the beautiful upholstery fabrics from us and cleverly constructed these sensational garments.

 

Upholstery – Recent Client Projects

It is always exciting to see the results of work we undertake for clients. I was very happy with the cushions we made on behalf of one of our clients who was inspired by cushions she had seen in The Victoria Room in Sydney’s Darlinghurst, and wanted to recreate the same lush and individual style. She created these two beautiful cushions with three different fabrics from the shop and some carefully selected braids and trim.

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One piece of fabric cut in half form the centre fronts of two beautiful lush cushions with our animal print fabric used as the back of the cushions and the beautiful tile floral as boarders. The individual cushion was reconstructed from an existing cushion the client bought in to us, which was damaged and too bulky.  She asked us to take out some of the panels of fabric, replace the existing braid, resize the cushion and add a new fabric for the back of the cushion in our animal print to visually link this cushion to the other two cushions.  The client was thrilled with the results she created with some well-selected fabric a bit of imagination.

 

Another client created this exciting new lampshade and two matching cushions in a vibrant fine striped fabric.

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One of our clients had a photo of an ottoman she loved and was interested in having it made in her choice of fabric, which she had found in our shop.  We recreated this fabulous ottoman and stained the legs to match her other timber furniture. She was absolutely blown away with the results.

Bring in your own photos and let us help you to recreate your dream furniture and decorative pieces! Visit us at 722 Bourke Streeet, Sydney Redfern.

Tuesday Nights Cushion Making Classes

We had such a fun time at the cushion sewing classes held in the shop over the past two Tuesday nights!  Monica, who takes the class, is wonderfully patient and makes the classes fun and accessible.

The first week is learning how to do various zipper styles and piping and then in the second week you can put all of your newly acquired knowledge together to make a cushion.

I have included a few snaps of the class and one of the finished cushions, made by Emma.  We will be starting a new round of classes in July and if there is anything that you would like to learn to make in the classes, please send in your suggestions.

Pattern Heaven

Alexa, who works for me in Bev’s Remnant House found this fantastic Pattern Descripiton blog on Sawdust and Embryos’ Blog (www.sawdustandembryos.com) and passed it on to me for our blog and to print out for the shop. We are often asked about a particular pattern and now we have a great reference point thanks to Beth and Nick at Sawdust and Embros.

patterns

Definitions were the result of lots of research by them, using various Interior Design Textbooks, and websites like www.thefreedictionary.com and www.artlandia.com.

For more info go to http://www.sawdustandembryos.com/2012/03/glossary-of-design-terminology-choosing_22.html.

-Bev-

SYDNEY REDFERN – MASSIVE SALE starts on Friday 3rd May for 2 weeks only!

We have so much exciting stock coming in the next month that we have decided to have our first ever roll sale. We are selling off many of our roll fabric at vastly reduced prices to clear some space for our new stock. Prices start at $5.00 per metre for fabric that was previously $19.95.  Many of the other rolls have been reduced from $32per metre to $15.95 per metre.

 

CUSHIONS, CUSHIONS, CUSHIONS!!!

With lots of very glam cushions on the way some of our old favorites have to go out the door to make room for the new arrivals.  Grab a bargain with some of our beautiful cushions dramatically reduced.

Sale starts on Friday 3rd May for 2 weeks only! Visit our store at 722 Bourke Street in Sydney!

Learn to Sew

Please get in early for our next round of sewing classes held at our store in Sydney!
The first class will will commence on May 21st and there is a limited number of places for these fun classes. You will be thrilled with the results.

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Anatomy of a chair

Furniture with good bones but out dated fabric or structural damage can be transformed with a bit of help from a good upholsterer. I have taken photos of one of the projects we have undertaken this week:

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With the fabric past its best and the seat very saggy and uncomfortable, these lovely old chairs were seriously in need of a bit of TLC..

When the upholsterer stripped off the fabric it was obvious there was a lot of
work to be done to restore these chairs back to their former style and comfort.

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The entire back of the chair and the chair base webbing needs replacing. The stuffing (batting) was worn and lumpy in the back section and arms, the springs were, in many cases, broken and rusty, some of the timber had wood rot and basically the whole chair interior needed to be repaired and the stuffing and springs to be replaced.

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The stuffing taken out of the sides

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Rusty and broken springs

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New webbing and new springs in the seat base.

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Starting to take shape.

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The transformation is almost complete.

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The final finished product.What a great result!

other side view