I was so excited earlier this year when I discovered the GORGEOUS work of textile designer Fiona Douglas. I was dying to see inside her studio and all her lovely fabrics and asked her at once to participate in a day with. So here we go – she brings the essence of summer with her…
It’s a cold January day and to counteract this the Bluebellgray day starts with a cup of tea as always! I’m quite particular about what cup I drink my tea from, it has to be china and the tea has to be English Breakfast. I use my favourite Quentin Blake mug. It’s so cold at the moment I’m having a bowl of porridge to heat me up for the day ahead……
My husband–to-be is also my business partner although Bluebellgray is not his day job [he’s more into spreadsheets than florals!] He deals with the financial side of the business. My studio is in my house, we always have a little meeting in the morning, he’s tying his tie and putting his shoes on while I ask him questions like ‘Have you done my tax return yet?’ and ‘Do you think its wise to spend x amount of money on pom poms?’ It’s a great balance and it leaves me more free to concentrate on the creative side of things.
9.30 Sit down at the computer and check/write emails. Finalise a design I’m working on, I need to make my designs digital before they can go to the printers. I love my computer, we spend a lot of time together! I always listen to ‘Women’s Hour’ at ten on radio 4.
This is my studio! I have a lovely desk by the window where I paint my designs. The walls are covered in my current inspiration. I love having my thoughts and ideas on the walls of my studio, it gets my mind thinking and provides lots of inspiration. The coloured jars are full of the inks I use to paint the designs, I mix the colours myself so I can get the lovely bright tones I like for the Bluebellgray designs. The chair is for my morning cup of tea and some ‘thinking time’, essential in a studio I think!
I spend the morning rushing around back and forth across Glasgow to pick up various cushions from my seamstress, these are the first cushions sewn with my lovely new duck egg coloured backing cloth so its great to see them all finished! A quick trip to the printers to drop of a new design for a new Bluebellgray cushion tag at the printers then back home to grab some lunch.
There is a gorgeous little shop ‘Roots & Fruits’ that sells all sorts of delicious things just round the corner so nip up there to get some fresh bread and apples for lunch.
Floral inspiration is a bit difficult to come by in the winter time [I’m definitely a summer girl] but thankfully there is a lovely florist next to Roots and Fruits which is a constant source of floral inspiration. This is the lovely Jess the florist [always good to have a lovely florist round the corner when you are a textile designer]!
I can’t resist a couple of bunches of beautiful purple hyacinths, I try and paint from real flowers as much as possible so these should find their way into a little design hopefully. I’m working on some ideas for chair fabrics and these could be a perfect starting point.
This is a little peak at the starting point for a Bluebellgray design. I love these Pro Arte Renaissance brushes, I’ve been searching for the right brushes for years and now I’ve found these I can’t use anything else! I’ve also got my trusty box of pastels that I’ve had forever, they’re like old friends.
I’ve had a really lovely order from a gorgeous store in Hong Kong so just getting everything stamped and signed ready to be sent off tomorrow. I want the cushions to feel like a painting for your chair/sofa so by signing and numbering every one they are that little bit extra special and customers know they are getting an original Bluebellgray piece. Hand-ache sets after signing number 40 so break for a cup of tea before continuing!
The buzzer goes and the package I have been waiting for arrives!!!
Very excited as the box contains my new lampshade design! It’s lovely!!! You guys are the first to see it! It’s great to see the designs on another product, phew glad it looks ok, its always a bit nerve wracking to see how the first samples are going to turn out. These will be heading to a lovely shop in London soon, ready to light up London with florals!
6pm A cup of tea to finish the day and a flick through a new magazine, bliss!
Author: Rohini Wahi
Rohini is a London based freelance journalist and trend forecaster for the design industries. She has worked for Elle Decoration, Living Etc, Houzz and Design Sponge amongst others.
She loves a period drama and keeps a tidy home. Launched in 2007 The Beat That My Heart Skipped focuses on home inspirations, design trends, lifestyle and food – coupled with an insight into Rohini’s work and home life – from key picks at trade shows to styled weekend soirees. To contact Rohini for queries, work for hire or just to say hi drop her a line at firstname.lastname@example.org