A simple blue design

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Today I’m heading off to Portsmouth and so I’ve based this mood board on a light and airy blue seaside-y feel. I started with the fabric from harlequin and the light, wooden furniture. This fabric is great for being able to tie in a range of different shades of blue within the accessories and lighting. Using the neutral furniture also means that the room is easily changed – simply just swap out the accessories with different colours.

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Hopefully the weather in Portsmouth is as light and airy as this design…

Bethvictoria.com

The products:

Paint: Little Greene Gauze (106) | Fabric: Harlequin Estrato Denim/Nude/Sky | Bed: Ercol Shalstone | Bedside table: Ercol Shalstone | Ceiling Light: George Nelson Criss Cross Bubble Light | Lamps: Pooky Bluebell Table Lamp & Elsa Table Lamp | Sofa: Ercol Salento, Vernaldo Driftwood | Accent Chair: Made.com, Lars | Cushions: Made.com, Harbor Cushion, Blue Coral & Paloma Velvet Cushion | Bedding: White Company, Charlcombe, Silver Grey | Throw: John Lewis Moet Knitted, Spruce | Side Table: Swoon editions Reid White Tripod | Coffee Table: Made.com, Range Round Table | Vase: Dartington Crystal Little Gems Urn Posy | Terrarium: John Lewis No.023 | Artwork: Stuart Roy, Blue Horizon.

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Our wallpaper in a new nursery

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We’ve just recieved these images from a recent customer of our wallpaper in a newly decorated nursery within their home.

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Always nice to see where the wallpaper ends up and the different types of rooms that the versatile design and colours go into.

Bethvictoria.com

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Etsy Favourites: Furniture

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We’ve chosen some of our current favourite pieces of furniture available on Etsy. A mix of reclaimed and handmade industrial pieces and some classic Ercol furniture – just the designs we currently love.

Reclaimed wood dining table and bench

From 7MAGOK

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These tables and benches are made with wood that has been salvaged from construction sites. Giving each piece a unique trace of its history on their surfaces creating a distinctive and industrial look. The makers offer these tables and benches in various finishes putting the extra individual touch to the pieces. The hairpin legs are a stylish current trend that compliment the wooden tops finishing off the items perfectly.

Box dark wood coffee table

From BlueIslandHome

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Some more of those beautiful hairpin legs with this coffee table! This sturdy looking coffee table with the extra storage from the ‘box’ shelf is the perfect piece for any living room. Here’s what the company says: “A vintage retro wooden Box Coffee Table in a dark wood finish with mid-century style metal hairpin legs in a choice of black or white powder coating or a bare steel ‘look’ (clear coated to protect from rust).”

Scottish Elm and Steel Distressed Bench

From escafell

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The impressive grain from the Scottish Elm, paired with the slick clear coated sturdy legs, makes for a useful and trendy bench. Benches are often forgotten when you’re thinking about furniture for a home, but they work so well in any room; the perfect seating in a dining, hallway or living room. So, check this out!

Wire shoe rack bench

From InekoHome

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This bench shows exactly how a bench would work in a hallway, as said with the Elm bench above, with the added bones of sections for your shoes. We love the mix of the industrial scaffold pole legs and cage shelves with the soft light food top. From the description it sounds as if the makers are willing to make this bench into something to perfectly fit any house and customers need.

Ercol 203/3 Windsor sofa/daybed

From WorkShopVintageStore

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This sofa had to be involved in this post, it is not handmade in the same sense as the other items so far in this post, but, it has the character and charm that comes with being a piece by Ercol. If you don’t know about Ercol and their process of making then you must check out some of their archive videos of the making of their furniture. This is just the perfect little Ercol piece.

Ercol Rocking Chair

From Swedishdalahorse

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Another simple Ercol piece. Not much to say about this stylish little rocking chair. I just want it. This seller also has a two seater windsor sofa which is just as beautiful.

Minimal industrial console table

From RefillDecor

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Console tables combine function and style in an area of the house that tends to be the dumping zone. This slender, minimalist industrial table is the perfect statement piece for any size entranceway from small to large.

Resin river coffee table

From FrancesBradleyDesign

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This English Elm table top features a resin river running through it adding the perfect splash of colour. The table is supported by a walnut frame and legs contrasting the light wood top and colour river. This statement from the description makes the tables stand out even more: “All our Elm is sourced within 30 miles of my workshop and can be traced to the individual tree, sustainably harvested as a by product of local tree surgeons and rescued rather than be used for firewood. Each piece has been handpicked for interesting features and is planed, sanded and hand rubbed with a protective varnish.”

Simple Metal Wired Shelves

From AllThingsChloeJane

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Stepping away from the wooden joys that we’ve seen so far we come to these wire shelves. They are simple, industrial and useful. They would look great in any room of the house as a versatile piece of furniture. Bonus: they’re not too expensive.

Hand Made Leather Butterfly Chair

From RealLeathers

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The final piece of furniture we’ve chosen is this foldable metal and leather chair. This is a rustic design that is effortlessly brought into any room with the use of pillows and throws. The perfect solution to the need of extra seating without losing style within a room.

Hope you like these pieces as much as we do!

Bethvictoria.com

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Michelangelo & Sebastiano at The National Gallery

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Last week we visited the National Gallery to see The Credit Suisse Exhibition: Michelangelo & Sebastiano. We’ve written a short review of selected works from the exhibition and what we learnt about Mike and Seb’s friendship and careers.

The artists

Mike and Seb first met in Rome around 1511. Mike was 36 years old, Seb some 10 years Mike’s junior. Their professional reputations at this stage in their careers paralleled the differing years of their experience.

Mike, already known and respected, embraced punctilious preparation, method, and accuracy through observation and study (not unlike Leonardo); creating monumental works in the way of the Florentine and Roman schools that mark out his stylistic development.  Mike was clearly a driven individual who wanted to be number one in his field – not second or third. During his career as a painter, Mike was in fierce competition with Raphael. Raphael was eight years younger, clearly talented and innovative within the renaissance movement.  Historical accounts give a sense of difference between Mike and Raphael – that Mike was obstinate, moody, quarrelsome and unforgiving, where Raphael was humble, sincere and very likeable – which opened doors for him with ease when Mike had to force his way through. The threat to Mike from the young upstart Raphael seems to have been very real.

In his art, Seb was a freer spirit than Mike, intent upon creating atmosphere and emotion over the strictures of precision, in accordance with his training and development in the altogether more liberal Venice school – accentuating the use of colour and improvisation.  This was not dissimilar to Raphael’s sytle and when Mike became aware of Seb and his talent, Mike realised that rather than allow another unwanted competitor on to the Roman art scene, a collaboration might be in his better interest.  Something about keeping your enemies close, perhaps.

The Exhibition starts with pieces by each of Mike and Seb to illustrate their differing styles.

Individual work

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Left: The virgin and Child with Saint John and Angels (‘The Manchester Madonna’), 1497 – Michelangelo

This panel painting in the opening exhibition room shows Mike’s mastery of the sculptural form.   The vividness of detail and colour in the infant Jesus and his cousin St John the Baptist contrasts with the heavy and precise outlines to the left where the panel remains unfinished. These later outlines are likely transferred to the panel from preparatory drawings, hence their deliberateness at this stage in their introduction to the scene. There appears to be no doubt as to what the painting is intended to portray, and how it is to be produced.

Right: The judgement of Solomon – Sebastiano Del Piombo, 1505

Here, Seb does what he does best.  Many figures, all animated in a way that makes them seem alive and in motion, supporting the story that the scene tells.  Again the piece is not complete – the baby that Solomon is issuing judgement over does not appear.  When looking between this and the previous work of Mike, Compare the skin tone and detail on the nude courtier (who is without the sword that he will need to cut the baby in two) with the skin on the infants in Mike’s work.  Also note how Seb’s work is developing as his thoughts and designs develop.  Not much planning in evidence here.  There are sections around the porticos at the side that look like a montage of several different images such is the prominence of prior architectural layouts he has explored over the one currently adopted.

It is quite possible that Seb became infatuated with Mike.  They quickly struck a friendship and artistic partnership which involved doing sketches for each other and actually both painting on the same canvas.  There is a letter in the exhibition (one of several that illuminate the relationship between the two) in which Seb assumes Mike’s hatred of Raphael.  Whether this is founded on genuine artistic difference, or again evidence of the indoctrination that Seb went through under Mike’s control is not clear.

Whilst Mike may have wanted to get close to Seb to control the risk of more competition, he was professional enough to see the opportunity for creating collaborative art of a new type that could continue to develop the renaissance.

Collaborative work

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Left: Lamentation over the Dead Christ (Pietà) – Sebastiano Del Piombo, after partial designs by Michelangelo, 1512-16

In this collaborative piece the possibilities of their combined talents are explored.   The grieving Mary is painted by Seb in a flowing style with intense colours to her clothes.  The moonlit background is full of atmosphere and suggestion.  Here anatomic form, however, is something of a contradiction. A muscular neck, broad shoulders and chest are almost certainly the influence of Mike.  The body of Jesus is painted in a starkly contrasting style by Mike – precise body form and arrangement and highly detailed skin tone.  You can almost see how the body of Jesus could be taken out to be a sculpture, whilst the balance of the painting could only ever be a painting.   It is likely that this piece proved to be on the evolutionary path to Mike’s Pieto.

Experiments in oil on plaster for the Sistine Chapel frescos may have been the subject of Mike and Seb’s early collaboration.  Ironical, as this is the very topic that was to be their undoing as friends.

Right: Study of a male upper torso with hands clasped and six studies of hands – Michelangelo

These studies, of which there are many in the exhibition, show the intensity of Mike’s pursuance of accuracy and truth in his art.  He is not leaving anything to chance when it comes to the final production.  How much his studies allowed him to vary his intentions is unsure.  Did he always start with a master plan for each piece, or were his studies and preliminary designs permitted to cause a change in the plan?

Mike spent many years back in Florence working for the Midici house whilst Seb stayed in Rome.  By the time of Mike’s return, Raphael had died a young man removing the threat to Mike’s ascendency to the top of his profession.

Late pieces

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Left: The Visitation, 1518-1519 – Sebastiano Del Piombo

Towards the middle of Seb’s career, during the collaboration period, his style of  painting seemed to take on characteristics of the defined and delicate work that Mike is known for. Here within The Visitation, one of his later works, he has gone beyond the figurative visualisation of Mike towards a subtly grand, abstracted and soulful style. He does, however, still maintain the expressive sky in the background of the work, something that for me allowed an instant recognition that the piece was the work of Seb.

Right: Section of the The last judgement, 1536-1541 – Michelangelo

With the sculptured and detailed bodies within The Last Judgement compared to The Visitation you can further see the differential stylings of the two artists. With Seb searching for less commissions and slowing down his painting career Mike was at the top of his game and with this he produced one of the most significant and renowned fresco paintings in the world. He had been fighting his whole career for the art work that would cause a stir and get his name  firmly secured within the art history bible with the Sistine chapel commission he had finally proven his worth. Although some people did believe that Raphael had painted the chapel, most definitely to Mike’s annoyance.

Mike and Seb’s friendship was put under strain when Seb ordered that the yet to be painted parts of the Sistine Chapel ceiling be prepared with an oil-paint base coat before Mike returned to Rome to complete the task.  Mike did not like working in oils and so ordered those areas painted in oil to be stripped and repaired in order that he could complete the work in his establish fresco style with water and egg-based paints on daily plaster applications.

Whilst Mike was away in Florence, working intensely and relentlessly as usual, Seb had taken up favour with the Pope’s court, where he became a salaried advisor.  Whether this role was so demanding that Seb reduced his painting output, or he became lazy with a fat guaranteed salary is not known.  When Mike returned to Rome he quickly formed the later opinion, which coupled with the Chapel ceiling incident was the undoing of their friendship.

Seb died some 18 years before Mike.  Seb had not produced much of note, and very little that was completed in the final 15 or so years of his life.  Mike went from strength to strength in painting, sculpture, architecture, poetry and letters up to his death in 1564 at the age of 83.  After Seb’s passing and before his own, Mike did not acknowledge any good to have come from his collaboration with Seb.  Indeed, Mike publicly scathed Seb, his work and of what he had become in his later life. Whether this attitude reveals evidence that Mike had only ever used Seb to further Mike’s own career is open for debate.

This exhibition, on at the National Gallery until June 25th, 2017 seeks to explore the coming together of Mike and Seb, their collaborative output, and the breakdown of their friendship.  Overall, the curators have achieved their aim, although Mike’s work out ways Seb’s.  We found one or two of the rooms to have odd exhibit numbering with no clear start point if following the very well put together exhibition guide in strict numeric order.  Also, the lighting was a little off on some pieces creating glare or reflection that was difficult to overcome by vantage point selection.

Thank you for reading!

Bethvictoria.com

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Fabric – Scion

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 The fabric brand we’ve decided to look at this week is Scion. Here is their design ethos: “creating cutting-edge, accessibly priced and forward looking printed fabrics.” Their designs are usually bright, bold and fun. Some of them are a little more traditional, some are a little childish and the rest are just the perfect statement for a room.

There are a lot of fabrics within this design house and they all come under different collections. For this blog we’ve chosen one fabric design and colour way from each of the collections. For the purpose of this post we haven’t looked at the ten collections of plain fabrics.

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The first fabric is this Lintu print from the Noukku collection. This colour way is called Gecko/Pacific/Glazier… They like to have very descriptive names for their colours! From a distance this pattern seems to be just a criss-cross of colour and shapes – it is only when you look closer that you see they are actually little birds, this is a subtly fun and charming design.

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The next collection is Lohko. This fabric is called Sula in a Flamingo/Honey/Linen colour. At first I thought this pattern was a load of oddly filled wine glasses but it’s probably more likely to be tulips or some kind of abstract flower.

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Now over to the fabrics aimed at children… I love them all. The collection is called Guess Who? Fabrics.  The one we’ve chosen here is called In a While Crocodile! Although the Mr Fox Appliqué (a version of Mr Fox) is probably one of the best known designs from Scion.

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This is Lunaria, in Cream Sunflower and Gull, from the Melinki One collection. One of the more traditional looking designs but still with the graphic print feel that Scion designs tend to have. It’s a great pattern and the grey and yellow colour way is a very popular combination at the moment.

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This fabric beautifully brings in burnt orange with the very versatile blue and cream colours. This fabric is Fuse, in Tangerine/Kingfisher, found in the Rhythm Weaves collection. This fabric would be the perfect way to get needed colour into a room. It also gives a good selection of colours to extend into accessories.

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This berry coloured pattern is called Shibori from the Spirit Fabrics collection. This design is quite simple and comes in some nice bright colours making it an easy fabric to get into a bright and modern room.

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Finally, we’ve looked at this busy print called Blomma. This colour way is called Toffee/Blush/Putty and it is from the Levande collection. Still in keeping with the Scion block style the colours within this fabric seem to be less in your face and within a more traditional in tone.

Bethvictoria.com

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A few Little Greene Company colours & accessories

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We’ve chosen some Little Greene Company paint colours and matched them with fabrics, furniture and a few accessories. Hope you enjoy!

Hicks’ Blue and Gauze Mid

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Little Greene Paint, Hicks’ Blue (208)  & Gauze Mid (164) – Villa Nova Fabric, Norrland Indigo – Crumble Snuggler by Loaf at John Lewis, Brushed Cotton Flint – Ebbe Gehl for John Lewis Mira Sideboard – John Lewis Cavendish Cushion, Sulphur – John Lewis Boucle Cushion, Steel – Buster + Punch Hooked 3.0 Mix Cluster Ceiling Light, Copper/Stone

Ashes of Roses and China Clay 

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Little Greene Paint, Ashes of Roses (6) & China Clay (1) – Harlequin Fabric, MORAMO LINENS 132309 – Made, Frame Armchair, Blush Cotton Velvet – west elm Terrace Console Table – John Lewis Lockhart Floor Lamp, Dark Copper – John Lewis Hotel Morocco Rug, Cream – John Lewis Croft Collection Weave Cushion, Natural

Yellow Pink & French Grey 

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Little Greene Paint, Yellow-Pink (46) & French Grey Pale (161) – Fabric, Zoffany ILIAD 322619 – House by John Lewis Bow Upholstered Headboard Bed Frame – Fonteyn Bedside table, oak, Made.com – John Lewis Penelope Task Lamp, Quince – Design Project by John Lewis No.111 Rug, Blue – John Lewis Croft Collection Poppyheads Bedding – George Nelson Bubble Crisscross Saucer Ceiling Light, Medium – Roar + Rabbit for west elm Geo Inlay 6 Drawer Chest

Matthew Williamson Wallpaper & Pearl Colour Pale

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Wallpaper, Matthew Williamson at Osbourne & Little, Tropicana W6801/01 – Little Greene Paint, Pearl Colour Pale (167) – Fabric, Villa Nova, Vardo Petrol – west elm Mid-Century Extending Dining Table – Vitra Eames DAR 43cm Armchair, Cream/Chrome – Design Project by John Lewis No.004 Sideboard, Oak – Kartell FLY Ceiling Light, White – west elm Ombre Crackle dining collection – John Lewis Flamingo, Cactus and Melon Tumbler With Gold Rim – John Lewis Scandi Nova Table Runner, Mineral – John Lewis Pineapple Placemats, Set of 2, Green/Cream

Knightsbridge & Shallows

WILLIAMLittle Greene Paint, Knightsbridge (215) & Shallows (223)  – Fabric, William Morris & CO, Pure Ceiling Embroidery Paper White – John Lewis Hemingway Bookcase With Drawer – John Lewis Annabelle Armchair, Harlequin Vitto Sediment Fabric, Price Band G, Dark Legs – John Lewis Hemingway Round Lamp Table  – David Hunt Hare Table Lamp, Bronze

Thank you for reading!

Bethvictoria.com

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Doshi Levien for John Lewis

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The ‘Open Home’ collection has just been launched within a select stores and online at John Lewis. ‘Open Home’ is a new 13 piece collection of Furniture developed by Doshi Levien for John Lewis.

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The collection is ‘inspired by the elegance of Scandinavian modernism and mid-century Italian design.’ The sculptural furniture within the collection is designed to create a separate space within an ‘Open Home’. For example The Pondok Sofa above has high arms and back acting as a divider between it and the space around it.

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These are the two armchairs within the collection. The one on the left, Nami High Back Armchair, follows the same guidelines of a sculptural piece as the Pondok Sofa. The Mudra Low Back Armchair, on the right, is equally as wide but with a low back and a ercol/Scandinavian feel to it.

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Stepping away from seating this collection also has coffee, console and side tables, a lamp and a rug. The lamp seen above is the Falcon LED Table Lamp the lamp is blocky and uses contrasting colours to create a contemporary piece. The Ballet console table has tall legs that create a simple structure that holds the tabletop. ‘Designed to suggest a sense of light-footedness, it is a characterful contemporary take on a traditional typology.’ (John Lewis website). Finally, this is the Phulkari Rug made in India with a Soumak crafted technique. Its intricate colourful geometric chevrons and stripes are the perfect accompaniment to the curves of the furniture.

Shop the collection now: Doshi Levien for John Lewis

Bethvictoria.com

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“A noticeable lack of feet…”

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We visited Tate Britain for the extensive exhibition of David Hockney’s 60 years of work from the instantly recognisable to the unseen workings.

There were so many pieces in this exhibition it was hard to choose a direction for this review. So we’ve just chosen a couple of pieces that we liked and looked into how they were made.

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The first piece is called ‘The Road to Thwing’ which Hockney painted in 2006. When displayed this is six smaller canvases hung close together to create one larger piece. When looking at the exhibition we were trying to work out how this would be painted would he do each canvas individually or all as one?

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When looking into it we found this image showing Hockney painting the scene with the six canvases arranged as they are on display. Whether he mapped out the edges of the canvas/basics of the small image and then worked back into each individually or did just do it all at once is not obvious from this image. We think its great that he has actually set this up within the field that he’s painting as with the technique seen within the ‘Australian impressionists’ exhibition we wrote about a few weeks back and not just done it from a photograph.

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David Hockney "The Four Seasons, Woldgate Woods (Spring 2011, Summer 2010, Autumn 2010, Winter 2010)" 2010-2011 36 digital videos synchronized and presented on 36 monitors to comprise a single artwork Duration: 4:21 An Edition of 10 with 2 A.P.s � David Hockney
“The Four Seasons, Woldgate Woods (Spring 2011, Summer 2010, Autumn 2010, Winter 2010)” 2010-2011

This is a collection of 36 digital videos synchronized and presented on 36 monitors to comprise a single artwork. They each last around 4 mins 21 seconds. Each screen consists of nine videos that play at the same time. The videos within the screen are simply the views from different perspectives of a car going down a road. Again we wondered how it was done.

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The above two images show the device and Hockney at work capturing the videos. We were trying to think of what kind of high tech piece of kit he could of used to create this piece. The rig set up on the bonnet of the car is definitely a lot less complicated than we were expecting and just what we were thinking he would have done. It is interesting that he sits in the back of the car watching every moment of the videos being recorded, even though the cameras will be capturing the work he doesn’t let anything turn out not as imagined or expected.

And the title of this blog comes from the observation of Hockney not really drawing/painting feet. They are always covered with shoes, furniture or missed off completely.

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For example the large socks or bucket in the painting above.

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We also really liked this photomontage of Hockney’s mother. There is a lot of skill used to perfectly capture and then realign the images to get her face clear and not distorted.

The exhibition is open until the 29th May – so get down and check it out for yourself.

Bethvictoria.com

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Fabric – Villa Nova

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We’ve found and fallen in love with fabric. I will write a few posts like this, looking at different manufacturers of fabric – picking our favourite styles and colours from the collections.

The first manufacturer we’ve selected is Villa Nova. Today I got to see and feel the new fabrics books for their Norrland collection and they inspired me to write this and explore the collection a little and their older collections further.

The first collection I’m looking at is Norrland. This is Villa Nova’s description of the collection:

“The Norrland collection captures the rawness of nature embracing the misty stillness of forest landscapes and a desire to connect with the outdoors. The essence of ‘hygge’, the need for a sense of wellbeing, is instilled in the collection. Norrland encapsulates a relaxed approach to combining a myriad of textures punctuated with handcrafted inspired elements and timeless folk patterns that translate into a casual warmth.”  – Villa Nova

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Norrland Indigo, Printed Cotton.

This design is available in a perfect selection of colour ways. The abstract woodland pattern would make beautiful window treatments and the colours within this allow you to bring the very popular copper accessories into the room.

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Marit Shaker, Printed Cotton Linen.

Again available in many colours, we chose this because of its ability to subtly bring in greys, blues and even some purple tones. We’ve written about the inevitable blue trend that will be seen this year before and all of the patterns within the Norrland collection would fit perfectly into this upcoming trend.

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Alder Bramble, Jacquard Weave.

Earlier today I saw this weave being paired with the design style Croft, Croft involves a lot of light woods, whites, blues and different textures, adding this weave and colour way to it added an extra layer and went very well with the blue accessories.

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Sudare Eden, Printed Linen Union.

This is from the older Hana collection. We love the light mixes of limes, greys and corals. This fabric really allows you to bring in a wide range of colours and would be the perfect amount of pattern for a room.

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Senza Eucalyptus, Decorative Weave. Sanza Sheer Eucalyptus.

This print is from the Senza II range. This is actually the fabric that I have in my bedroom, the Eucalyptus being a roman blind and Onyx a curtain, I didn’t realise it was Villa Nova fabric until this post. So clearly, I liked this manufacturer before I knew what it was (a good sign I think). This pattern is also available in a sheer with two different colours- I liked it so much I had to include it!

Of course, Villa Nova also do a lot of plain fabric, as well as, a great selection and range of voiles. The best thing about Villa Nova is their price -they are very affordable. If you’re wondering where to get them you can look on the Villa Nova website or head into your nearest John Lewis, they are bound to have a large range of look books and hangers for the collection!

Bethvictoria.com

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Spring colours

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Pantone have released their spring 2017 colours and they’re a pretty bright and beautiful range. So we’ve collected some images of the colours in action to show you what you can do with them within your home.

Primrose Yellow

Pale dogwood

Hazelnut

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Greenery

Flame

Pink Yarrow

Niagara

Kale

Lapis Blue

Hope you have enjoyed this spring colour inspiration!

Bethvictoria.com

All images found on Pinterest

 

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