Thursday, 31 January 2013

New House buys an extra flashgun

Taking white-background shots for the website is a real art, and I'm under instruction from the clever Steve Tustin of Petersen Creative .

Steve is one of the unseen strengths of New House and the graphic designer who's defined our look for years. All our designers love him, and his attention to detail is incredible.

Following his good advice I have invested in a second radio-controlled flash gun (a Canon 580EX 11) to sync with my 430EX11. I bought it second hand (through Amazon Marketplace) from a Rosanne  ....thank you Rosanne!

Unpacking in front the fire:
 Trying the 580 for the first time - do I need to read the manual???
....err.... yep!

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Going back a few days

Whenever I am traveling, I love to visit an art gallery or museum. I abandoned my visit to Heimtextil in Frankfurt and I went to the Schwarze Romantik - von Goya bis Max Ernst (Black Romantic - Goya to Max Ernst) exhibition at the Städel Museum, which is on the banks of the Maine along with many of Frankfurt's great galleries and museums.

The walk to the Städel and my bad photo of the Museum itself :
Germany has always been the Capital of Gothic - and did I love Schwaze Romantik? Well no. There were too many eerie paintings of graveyards, paintings of the dead, witches chopping up babies, ghosts and scenes of evil devils for me. But I did loved the mix of Goya, B & W early film, William Blake, Füssli, von Max, and many others. It was an eye-opener and not a 'safe' exhibition. I doubted that many UK galleries would attempt such a scary, non-boxoffice-safe exhibition - Well Done to Städel!  
As well as the Black Romantic exhibition, I enjoyed many of the other paintings on display, especially the Expressionists (like Kirchner or Otto Dix).

Friday, 18 January 2013

Sorry we are shut today, Friday 18th Jan

Sorry! But New House never opened today due to the snow. We tried to get there, but as New House is at the end of a tiny Herefordshire lane we were defeated with cars sliding everywhere.

This is my cottage taken at 4.30pm :
It's a Winter Wonderland, and I've been out with food for the grateful birds. I've also been dropping mixed-grain into the hedges as I've occasionally spotted tiny (rare) pigmy voles round the cottage. They are so tiny, that if they do not eat every 2 hours they die, so I hope my grain is a help to them.
Our local farmer went up our lane with a snowplough a few hours ago, but this is what life in Perrystone Hill looks like today. On Monday New House will be open again!

Sunday, 13 January 2013

One of our favourite fairs

Top Drawer / HOME opened today at Earls Court, and it's always one of New House's favorite shows.

The venue
Our stand

                                                   Sybil doing some paperwork (I think)
We got a lot more items on display due to the cunning use of pallets and old fruit boxes.
We showed lots of new products from Charlotte Farmer and Marianne Westman. Today (Sunday) our weave and trend expert Laura was on the stand, Charlotte will be there tomorrow, and Melanie on Tuesday. We hope to see you!

Friday, 11 January 2013

Alarm-clock week

After Christmas it's always the second week in January that's our real wake up or alarm-clock week. This year is no different.

Many of the important fairs happen now, so this week I've been at Heimtex in Frankfurt, whilst our designers have been building our  HOME/Top Drawer stand at Earls Court in London (which opens this Sunday).

Heimtex is the Worlds largest interior textile fair, and apparently they had 14,000 exhibitors and 371,000 trade visitors last year. This year looked a bit down to me, but it's still a fun fair to visit.

I was mostly interested in the Sun Protection hall, but as much of New House's trade is so international these days I visited many other halls too.

The trip 'away from work', always next to the ECB building.

One of the joys of Heimtex is visiting the Trends Hall, and this year the organizers had spent much on production and display. the colour groups were The Historian, The Eccentric, The Inventor and The Geologist. I was authorized to take pictures, but didn't take so many. however here are a few that I took....
This was in the historian section, where the portrait was superimposed with a talking moving-picture face, bringing the painting to life.
This was the ever-moving gold-foil roof of the Geologist section.
I loved the pianola and 'old laddies in big hats' video in the Eccentric section.
Windmills (made from acrylic and bicycle parts) in the Inventor section.