Wednesday, March 28, 2012

It's a beautiful day in the orchard!

I love the naive result that can be achieved when using coloured pencil on rough textured watercolour paper.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A Cottage Hospital designed by CFA Voysey

Some of the most frequently visited (and googled) posts on this blog have featured the elegantly stylised design work of the English architect and talented all round designer C.F.A Voysey - without a doubt there are many fans of Voysey's Arts and Crafts designs to be found around the world.

Furnishing fabric designed by Voysey in 1905

A few months ago I received a lovely comment on my blog from Daniella, the Project Manager of the Winsford Trust in the UK. The distinctive C.F.A Voysey design of the Grade II listed Winsford Cottage Hospital was commissioned in 1899 by Maria Webb-Medley in memory of her husband George for the community of Halwill, a small village located in North Devon, England.

Voysey's sublime Arts and Crafts design for the Winsford Cottage Hospital took into account its rural location. The hospital is a single storey building with a deep slate roof and projecting wings with a sheltered veranda between them.

Voysey's plan for the Cottage Hospital dated 1899

Although the exterior displays some of Voysey's most recognisable features, the rather austere interior of the hospital was conceived to combine both the sanitary and practical considerations of the requirements of patients and nursing staff alike. The hall, corridor and veranda were paved with a yellow mosaic tile, contrasting with green painted doors. The kitchen floor was constructed from massive slabs of slate, and the floors were built on one level so that both beds and wheel chairs could be moved with comparative ease.

The Bluebird Wallpaper, designed by Voysey c.1900

Voysey's signature design aesthetic was apparent throughout the interior - his characteristic attention to detail was applied to the ventilation grills, wallpaper, ironwork door hinges and latches, and mantelpieces. 

Voysey's birds decorate this ventilation grill

Voysey applied his signature heart motif to the ironwork door furnishings

The Winsford Cottage Hospital served the local community for a hundred years before being deemed redundant to the needs of the NHS in 1999. The Winsford Trust secured ownership for the benefit of the local community shortly after, and now aims to restore the Voysey designed building back to its former glory. The Winsford Trust hopes to make this building a national (and in my case, international) focus for the Arts and Crafts movement. I would love to visit the finished result one day, as some of my ancestors farmed in the district. It's a small world!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Summer wattle

A gouache textile design of a late summer wattle spotted on my travels in Northern Victoria.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Billy Buttons

'Billy Buttons' (Craspedia) can be found growing along the roadside throughout northern Victoria. Here is my slightly art nouveau inspired 'Billy Buttons' textile design.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Kangaroo Paws

A design featuring the flowers of the weirdly wonderful Kangaroo Paw from Western Australia.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Blossoms and Kimonos from Designers Guild

Once again the latest collection of printed fabrics from Designers Guild has managed to well and truly tempt my pattern tastebuds. I love the fresh, painterly designs that take inspiration from traditional Japanese kimonos and spring blossoms. A pair of floaty curtains in the delicate Kimono Blossom heather colourway would go quite nicely in my bedroom.....

Take a look at the many wonderful new fabric and wallpaper collections (including some fabulous Christian Lacroix designs) for Spring Summer here:

Monday, March 5, 2012


On my way home from a Hen's Weekend I broke up the drive with a visit to the gardens of Heronswood, located in Dromana on the Mornington Peninsula, south of Melbourne.
Heronswood is the home of Digger's Seed Club, and a great place to get a few ideas for colourful plant combinations - perfect for the garden here in the country. I am sadly lacking in hill-side sea vistas though....

I bought a few of these Sedum plants in dusty pink tones - my new favourite flower.