Moroccan magic

I was very lucky to spend the week before Christmas (and my birthday) in Marrakesh. We stayed in a beautiful riad soaking up the sights and sounds of the city. I was expecting lots of amazing patterns and architecture and I was not disappointed. Lots of inspiration for 2015 Atelier Boyceau projects! Here is a selection of the images that have inspired me so far.

Oh, and happy new year!

Purely Decorative

There is something so satisfying and alluring about a beautifully crafted wrought iron balcony. Elaborate swirls coat buildings with a metallic forest, and thoughtfully placed angular shapes are reminiscent of an art deco era.   Perfectly symmetrical floor tiling and luxurious carpets are equally enticing.

Cue gallery of recent snapshots that are proving more than inspirational for Atelier Boyceau:

Right up my street! Enjoy!

Discovering Enid Crystal Dorothy Marx

On a recent trip to the Compton Verney country mansion and museum in Warwickshire, I was pleasantly surprised to discover a small exhibition of Enid Crystal Dorothy Marx’s work (1902-1998).

An artist, textile designer, illustrator and author, Marx was incredibly talented and successful throughout her career.

I am in the midst of a block printing project for Atelier Boyceau, and as such this discovery couldn’t have come at a better time. I have always loved geometric patterns and abstract images and am currently working on t-shirt designs to add to my collection. I have just purchased a linoleum printing set to try out and my mind is racing with possibilities. As always watch this space!

The pictures speak for themselves! Enjoy 🙂

Compton Verney

Rediscovering Birmingham

We escaped the small market town in Warwickshire that has become our home for the nearest big city in search of urban inspiration. Against all odds the Belge and I have become city slickers, being somewhere busy is oddly comforting.

We headed for the Custard factory and we were suitably impressed. This may well become our weekend hangout going forward! 🙂

Custard factory, Gibb St, Birmingham, West Midlands B9 4AA

Moving on…

With the move looming upon us the Belge and I inevitably argued over the finer details. We heatedly discussed where to live, we disagreed about what the move would bring us, and we debated in earnest whether we should do it at all. Having had the move date brought forward by an increasingly impatient boss, we quickly packed boxes, booked movers and said “au revoir” to a handful of friends and Versailles. I joined the Belge to his works leaving dinner and welled up over a cocktail at a well-chosen roof top bar. Through already nostalgic eyes the views of the Eiffel Tower were particularly spectacular that night. All in all a mixed bag of feelings, and three weeks into our new life in the UK we are regretting leaving behind such beauty.

I haven’t touched my sewing or knitting projects for the entire time we have been back. I have had “knitters block”! I no longer feel inspired, everything seems drab somehow, my surroundings are harsh and angular. I never expected this move to affect me in such a way. It goes to show how we can truly take beauty for granted, and also how our perceptions can be changed by living abroad for such a long time.

I have rearranged my knitting room three or four times and it is still not quite right. Not enough light, not enough room, bulky carpet, asymmetrical shape etc. I should be grateful that I have finally got my own space, and I am sure I will be once I get it “right”.

In the mean time here is a reminder of what I have left behind:

Objects of Desire

CIMG3901 CIMG3908 CIMG3916

A few recent purchases that merit a photo.

These beautifully patterned bowls were picked up in Paris from “Chinaco” in the 13th arrondissement on Rue Tolbiac. Made in Japan and costing only 5 euros each I just couldn’t resist. I am mesmerised by the intricacy of the pattern and I love the blue and white colours. I have always had a penchant for patterned items and my collection is certainly growing! I would like to replicate a version of this pattern hand painted onto plain wooden beads, I will need a steady hand (and much practice)!

Second up are two vintage women’s watches purchased from Etsy, www.etsy.com/shop/RetroWatch
I love retro watches and just can’t bring myself to buy a modern one. My favourite is the black and white as I love the two toned face, the square shape and the glitter of the number notches, it is something quite special! I may keep this one for best, dressed with my 50’s crew neck a-line black dress and my retro doctor’s handbag I think it will certainly turn heads. I was lucky to find a new cream leather strap at a local brocante today (4 euros!) and as you can see from the second photo it totally transforms the over all look of the gold watch.

I am currently working on a 60’s inspired lace knitted dress so the retro theme is certainly in full swing chez Atelier Boyceau.

Pictures to come once finished, here’s a sneak peak: CIMG3886