I had been thinking for a while that a shop in Padstow would be the perfect thing for us. It’s such a pretty town, I know our customers visit there and I have grown up visiting it as my Grandparents retired there in the 1980s. The perfect Poppy Treffry location! So in October this year operation Padstow began. I contacted all the agents in the area and pretty soon had an appointment lined up to visit a pretty looking shop in the town. I went for a quick coffee before the appointment and noticed a tiny, handwritten sign in the window of the cutest little shop – Lease for sale! The shop I had come to see proved to be too big and not quite the right location so I phoned the number from the little sign and 5 weeks later I was collecting the keys (with 2 days to paint, fit and open!) The shop is right on the harbour front in Padstow, looking out over the boats bobbing in the harbour and next to the lovely Cherry Tree café. It’s very small, but very, very pretty so I hope you’ll come and visit it soon!
Following on from our previous post about the top ten things to do in Cornwall we wanted to focus in a little bit more on dear St Ives, home of the Poppy Treffry shop and some of the best, most beautiful beaches in the world! So are you heading to St Ives? Planning to visit soon? Here's our top 5 things you should do in St Ives, let us know what you would have put on your list - there's no right and wrong (apart from visiting our shop, that should always be on there!)
1. Visit the Poppy Treffry St Ives shop.We're leading with this mainly because we can! We might be biased but other people have told us how much they love the shop. Come along and see for yourself. You'll find the entire Poppy Treffry range, pieces you won't find on our website, one offs and quirky collectables Poppy sources from time to time. And if you pop to the website you can even find a 10% voucher to use in the shop. Right here.
2. Barbara Hepworth museum.Not far from the Poppy Treffry shop you'll find the Barbara Hepworth museum and we say definitely make time for a visit. The house and garden are home to the largest group of Hepworth's works and there is real inspiration to be found here. (The image above is from our 'St Ives Snaps' competition a few years ago, thanks to Catherine Parry for this beautiful image from the gardens.) More info here.
3. An Island walk for tea and cake.As you can imagine no list from Team Treffry is complete without a tea and cake stop! In St Ives we recommend a walk around 'the island' from Porthmeor beach, towards Porthgwidden for tea and cake, or you could grab a lovely take away from the allotment deli on fore street to take with you. (Another St Ives Snaps entry here, our cream teas don't hang around long enough for pics! Thanks to Nicola Kriegeleder for this one)
4. Learn to draw, and much much more!If you want a little bit of culture on your break then there are all sorts of courses to choose from whilst you're in St Ives. Our top picks are life drawing classes at the St Ives School of Painting within Porthmeor studios, inspirational and affordable. You'll also find a creative collection of courses over at Barnoon workshops, from 'drop in and draw' to 'play your guitar'. Full details here.
5. John Knill Celebrations.Finally lucky visitors to St Ives this year (2016) might happen upon the celebrations which are carried out in memory of John Knill once every five years, making them an excellent excuse for a good old Cornish knees up! Celebrations take place on July 25th and involve dancing and a procession, and perhaps a smidgen of drink! There's a bit more info here. The last image is a gratuitous beautiful shot of St Ives boats, just to transport you to this beautiful place! (Thanks to Amy Moore for this shortlisted entry from the St Ives Snaps competition.). So that's our top 5, although we could probably have come up with a top 50 as it's pretty hard to choose. You'll just have to come and see for yourself, and we hope to see you in the Poppy Treffry shop when you do.
One of the questions we get asked the most is 'how do I choose a sewing machine?' We don't profess to be experts on this - we use very old, very nice 1930s Singer sewing machines which do just what we want (most of the time!), but they're not high tech and weren't the result of a lot of research. There's a quote from Poppy in our little film for the Eden project where she says 'you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find a good one' and that is certainly true of the way we work. Our machines have come from car boots, the dump, charity shops and the odd sewing machine shop (oh yes and ebay). Quite often chosen because they’re pretty! We have about 13 of them in our studio at the last count! Deciding on what machine to go for largely depends on what you want to do with your machine.....Do you want to just do a bit of dressmaking with an array of fancy stitches? Some serious upholstery projects? Or just have a play with freehand machine embroidery?
- If you're after something to see you through some really tough fabric, then a 'flatbed' machine is probably best - these are bigger, more industrial-type machines that take up more room but will serve you well when it comes to making curtains and other bigger projects.
- Most modern machines will have a selection of decorative and functional stitches, some digital sewing machines will even do the sewing for you - you don't even need to put your foot on the pedal! Modern machines are great but we have found that a few people who own a new machine have said they are very light weight, even 'throw away' quality. We think it depends how much you will be using your machine. If it's just for the occasional small sewing job, these would be fine.
- If it's the freehand machine embroidery you want to have a go at, then most machines old and new will have the ability to do this - it just takes a little practice to get used to the technique.
On 26th January we closed our shop in St Ives for 3 weeks for a complete refit. Almost all of Team Treffry were involved at some point - packing up, clearing, filling, sanding, painting, constructing, transporting, installing and arranging - before we reopened the doors on Valentine's Day. Follow our progress here... Before work started Packing up all the stock Stripping out the fixtures Filling and sanding the walls Next... making and painting new shop fittings in the studio Shop repainted and ready for the installation And finally... the big reveal We hope to see you next time you're in St Ives.