7 May 2009

The Willow Story and other blue tales

'Two birds flying high,
A Chinese vessel, sailing by.
A bridge with three men, sometimes four,

A willow tree, hanging o'er.

A Chinese temple, there it stands,
Built upon the river sands.

An apple tree, with apples on,

A crooked fence to end my song.'

Mary L. Stollard

The willow story is very special to me. Not only does it find itself on blue and white ceramics all over the world but it combines many of life's best things; trees, ocean, journey, love, BLUE... When we were unpacking my Granny's old cups and kitchenware it was a complete surprise to find a beautiful Japanese willow story mug. In a matter of seconds it became my favourite mug. Ever.
I love its crackly inside, and the little tree-hidden temples on the inside rim. I love the delicate pattern on the handle and imagining the story of the two lovers journeying through the landscape; but most of all I love its blue...
Last weekend at the pumpkin festival Sarah and I were wandering through the arts and craft tent and came across a stall selling pieces of old china converted into pendants, rings and brooches. Did I expect to find my beloved willow pattern there? Surely not, but there it was... and so I had to buy these two pendant pieces.
This pendant was the only one with the little figures on it and the sight of their tiny legs and lantern is so precious;
And in other blue news a few weeks ago I went on a bit of fabric frenzy - which seems to be happening quite regularly - and ordered some beautiful Anna-Maria Horner fabric (check out her blog - she's pretty incredible) and also had some of my own fabric made up using my designs by Spoonflower.
I was very impressed by how quickly Spoonflower made up my order! It is such a brilliant way to make interesting and completely unique fabric. I used the babushka print for the tote bags which are in the exhibition - but I think the Tudor roses are my favourite; they came out so beautifully - I can't wait to make a sweet apron out of them:
And on the topic of beautiful blue I have one eccentric peacock for sale in the shop:
Mrs Peacock is one of kind - printed from an Indian wood block and painted by hand - she appears on thick cotton paper and comes mounted to A4 size (21cm x 29.7 cm)


  1. Beautiful cup I can understand why you love it so much.

    Love the fabric as well. What a wonderful idea that is to design your own fabric! You should sell them on Etsy. I would be interested in purchasing a yard or so for dresses or aprons for my little girls.

  2. all the blue and all the fabrics are so pretty! and i love that print!

    oh how i wish i could make it to your exhibition on friday and see you there, but you see i cant come by myself cause im too young and not allowed to go places by myself :( and i havent exactly told my parents that i have met a lovely friend on the internet, and im not sure how they would react. and its faraway. AHHH darn young age!

    but i do wish you the best of luck Emily , how exciting it is to exhibit your very own art!

    lots of love coming your way!

  3. Oh my that peacock is beautiful. I can imagine how long it took to carve - but you did it so intricately! It really makes one wonder about divine intervention! :)

  4. that peacock is amazing!!! and i love the inside of the tea cup.

  5. Oh, that's a lovely post! I love the jewellery pieces, they are really gorgeous! :)

  6. Hello Emily!
    I received your package today and I'm SO AMAZED!!
    What gorgeous gifts and SO thoughtful! I am swooning over it as we speak and I'll be sharing photos on my blog as soon as I have a spare moment!


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