Monday, 30 July 2012

Olympic fever at New House

I'm no great cyclist myself, but my Claude Buttler and I do sometimes make the trip into work. It's a nice trip through the country lanes, but my main gripe with Herefordshire is that it's all hills and no flat bits. While going downhill is fun, I wish I could find a route (there and back) that avoided all uphills.

Because a good chum lives a short bike ride from the Olympic Cycle Road Races at Box Hill, I couldn't resist going along. this was the Brits leading :

A few more cyclists charging by, and I couldn't believe how fast they went. Unfortunately I'd only got my little Panasonic, and as it's a great camera in many ways, the processing speed wouldn't win a lot of Olympic medals. So I got loads of pics of empty tarmac, as the riders had long gone by the time the camera had done it's stuff.
By good coincidence, Paul Morris a chum from the Blind Industry (who runs a business called Love Your Blinds in the West Midlands) was cheering on the other side of the road :

What was new to me was that in cycling races, there's often a following white van called 'the broom'. It's there to sweep-up the riders who've fallen too far behind. Everyone gave this rider from Iran a great cheer as he was on his own and at the back. I never saw him again, as I think 'the broom' was about to offer him a free ride and a lift home :

The lady's race on Sunday was also pretty exciting :

But it didn't half rain :

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Old cars at How Caple Court

New House is luckily enough to work from 300yr old buildings at How Caple Court, Herefordshire. It's in the depths of the coutryside, and every now-and-again the place gets used for something other than textiles.

Tomorrow there's another vintage car auction. I'm no expert, but this one's a Rolls-Royce (I know that because it's got RR written on it), needs a bit of work though.....

Row of old cars in front of our building :

The one in the middle (outside HC Post Office) might have trouble with it's MOT :

Don't expect anyone will be driving the one the other side of the bike away soon either :

There are other interesting items up for auction too, like the new advanced Fighter that due to cut-backs, the RAF might be buying soon :

I love the old enamel signs :

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Warm again

Isn't great now that it's warm again?

I celebrated with a trip to the Cotswolds with a chum, and visited Hidcote.

Hidcote is always amazing, but despite the millions and millions of flowers in bloom, there were practically no insects of birds. Where were they? Even the wild flower meadow and pond was eerily silent.
There's little to tell you about the planting at Hidcote, but is everything non-native, so the bees and insects (and then birds) have all moved off elsewhere?

To the NT's credit they must have thought the same, as they had some great over-wintering sites for insects. I loved this one made out of an old bookcase :

This is the best use of old pallets I've come across :

Losing an old friend

The other day New House moved on to a redesigned new website - we hope you like it!

But while it's fun and exciting to make changes, the old site has been our 'face' to the world and always did us proud. The new site is cleaner, has much bigger pics and is a lot more flexible, but it's always sad to say goodbye to an old faithful friend.
Melanis and Charlotte, two of New House's designers, came up with the look of the new site, whilst Sam and Sybil (and occasionally me) worked in partnership with Petersen's in Cheltenham to make it all work. 

This is our old landing page :

We always loved Charlotte's illustrations of blind pulls, rollers and homeware items. The old homeware page :

The old product page :

And finally one that shows Charlotte's Jubilee mug in all it's glory! :

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

New braids, New products

There's been a lot of design work going on at New House, but few have seen what we are up to. This week I popped into our highly-skilled English braid maker and couldn't resist taking a few shots.

This old Saurer narrow loom was busy making Rio, our new jute braid. Our weave specialist, Laura Fletcher juxtapositioned wild bright colours against traditional jute to great effect.

Here's another old Saurer producing Laura's new Herringbone design :
OK Herringbone has been around for years, but it's a classic, and every now-and-then classics need to be re-interpreted. Laura's amazing colour sense works wonders on this classic, and we've got a classy matching English-made Bone China blind pull coming on too.
Another new Laura design.... the girl DOES love stripes!
This pidgen-hole of turquoise yarn is what's used in our spot braid . Meanwhile, another Laura designed braid comes off a sophisticated Bonas computer-controlled Jacquard machine : 
Despite all these new things, it's still good to see our classic Charleston Braid being made on another Bonas Jacquard machine. Designed by Nicky Townley, this braid is so complicated that watching it being made is like slow-mo, as the needles and heal-shafts do their stuff  :

Our new roller and braid collection will be available in August. Leave us a message if you'd like us to let you know when it finally hits the streets!