Author Archives: Emma Arnold

Sunshine and blue skies!

imageThere’s something about old paintwork in bold colours that somehow comes alive in the sunlight! It’s time to explore colour so I’m moving away from my palette favourites, greys, old whites etc and brightening up! I’ve got a couple of beautiful old deck chairs to do up and am taking some inspiration from the vibrancy of my favourite summer treat and using candy striped canvas. Pictures to follow……

Precious things

My grandmother used to call them ‘tutriments’, I still have no idea where that word came from but she was referring to all the precious things, everything from ornaments and souvenirs to a collection of antique tea cups and saucers that she displayed.  I grew up thinking it was par for the course to fill your home with bits and pieces, stuff which had a story and that you would display proudly in cabinets or on the mantle piece.

Then, in the early 90s just as I was setting uimagep house for the first time, along came Ikea’s ‘chuck out your chintz’ campaign and many of us did just that. So here’s the thing, last week I sold a display cabinet!  Finally we are unashamedly ready to display our treasured ‘tutriments’ again, the finds that mean something, remind us of happy times.  Every night we eat off a somewhat shambolic array of inherited crockery and although I’ve yet to hang a plate on the wall I have managed to sneak some of my grandmother’s tea cups and saucers onto the sideboard and I stop and enjoy them every time I pass.

@Burfordgardens have this sussed! (left) what a lovely way to give someone flowers!


It’s all about the base!

This Thursday marks the end of my first year at The Old Pill Factory in Witney and since I have only been trading for just a month longer than that it’s got me feeling all reflective.


Whilst I am still flying by the seat of my charity shop jeans financially speaking, it has been an exciting and successful year, I’ve learnt a huge amount and much of that has been down to the kindness and mentoring I’ve received from the fabulous ladies at The Old Pill! There is still so much I want and indeed need to achieve, planning more workshops is the next step, but it’s an exciting process and I’ve met some great folk along the way.  Yes, the moments when you are staring down the barrel of an empty overdraft can be hairaising, the regular salary a dim and distant memory but if not now……?

There is an end, my own furniture workshop with space for teaching, I can smell the sawdust now but I am learning a whole lot of stuff in the meantime.  Working solo has taken a bit of getting used to having spent years surrounded by noisy (but equally inspiring teenagers) so the ‘office’ is now a movable feast… grandfather’s old desk in the hallway for design work, dog on knee; my little shed in the back garden for sewing with Radio 4 on permenently, Anne and Andy Lee’s lovely studio space in Blackthorne for the furniture and as I write this, my favourite haunt for green tea and inspiration, the Burford Garden Center cafe, if variety is as it were the cardamon of creativity then I recon life’s pretty tasty right now!