To Liberty, at last

Two exciting things happened for MavisandFrank this week. Firstly, the lovely Emily from Timeless Paper featured me on her beautiful blog. And secondly, a bracelet was featured here in an Etsy treasury. Bring on Spring, I say! Florals are back in at last. I’ve often wondered why I am so attracted to Liberty fabrics. The answer, I feel, is their connection with childhood. My mother was part of an industrious patchwork quilting group (the hand quilting kind). Squares and scraps of Liberty’s classic florals were highly prized treasures. My sister and I grew up wearing handmade party dresses with smocking and peter pan collars, made with Tana Lawn. In fact, for a while in the late 80s it was fashionable in my mother’s set to wear drop-waisted dresses in Liberty florals. How I wish she’d kept them. I think its for this reason that I find so much nostalgia in the fabrics I use for my jewellery. It would be hard to pull off the drop-waisted floral look in these days of clean lines, muted colours and high waists. But maybe, just maybe, a necklace or a bracelet in the brilliant green of ‘Betsy’ or the cranberry-pink of ‘Wiltshire’ is enough to add a splash of colour, even nostalgia, to the most demure ensemble.

At this point I can go no longer without telling you of my recent visit to the Liberty store in London.  As a seller of items inspired by and made from the timeless fabrics, it felt like a pilgrimage I must make for my own creative integrity. After all, it was educational! A research trip, a staff development day, for the self-employed crafter. I was not disappointed. We  met Keren at the Great Marlborough Street entrance. While the rain began to fall and Tony pushed Rose back and fourth, I made my way through shelves of teapots, cushions and notebooks. I needed a treasure, a souvenir. But what? The answer was of course, a scarf! A Liberty scarf is the ultimate accessory. At a cost of around a hundred a twenty-five pounds, however, a scarf was not an option. Enter, my clever and stylish friend Keren. There, in a small corner of the third floor, she found a box of Liberty handkerchiefs. At seven pounds, these were (almost) affordable. Shaped into an elegant strip and tried around the neck, a handkerchief was indistinguishable from a scarf. Buoyed by our thriftiness and nonconformity, we headed for the mock-Tudor staircase and the rain outside,  just as Rose gave one last exasperated outburst.

Tony enjoying the cream tea with rose petal jam

Please don’t be worried if you don’t hear from us for a few days. We’re hitting the autobahn in our new VW and heading south to Lake Como, Italy. In appreciation for her travelling half way round the world to be with us, we asked Lesley if there was a part of Europe she’d especially like to see. Italy was her choice, and thither we must go. The things you do for you Mother-in-law. Viva Italia!


1 Response to “To Liberty, at last”

  1. 1 kerentravels March 18, 2010 at 8:57 am

    ah, Liberty. I love our scarves. Oh and thanks for saying I’m stylish ALly! xx

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About Me

A girl with a camera, a toddler and a sewing machine. Making sense of Germany... and life in general.

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I Make…

Handmade Baby Shorts in Liberty's 'Cordelia'

Handmade Necklace in 'Fairford' $21

Handmade Bead Necklace in 'Wiltshire' $21

Handmade Bracelet in 'Fairford' $15

I Took The Handmade Pledge!

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