With Twelfth Night nearly upon us, our focus turns to the new year and the fresh, clean slate it affords us. Speaking to friends, I'm struck by the varied ways we have all been affected, Christmas this year has meant different things to all of us. What is clear though, is how eager we all seem to be to move on, to embrace the chance to start again, begin new projects, to wipe away the pain of the last poignant few months. I for one, cannot wait to start working in the garden again and have spent the day plotting and planning this year's crops and flower beds. A glorious crisp, cold but sunny day gave me a chance to get out there and examine all the new shoots thrusting their green tips through the mossy patches of lawn under the oak tree. Seeing them made my heart leap. I hope, where ever you may be, that you are safe and well and looking forward to the changes the season brings and we wish you a Happy New Year x
As the season comes to a close, Julia and I would like to thank each and every one of you who placed an order with us this year, you certainly kept us nice and busy! Thank you too, for all your kind messages of support. It has been an overwhelming year for all of us but your loyalty has been truly incredible. Our small business would simply not exist if it wasn't for you, choosing to shop with us.
We are working on developing our own product line, based on the flowers and plants we grow here in Sussex and are expanding the wholesale side to our business too. There are some exciting projects in store so please do watch this space.
Have a wonderful, happy Christmas wherever in the world you may be, and may 2022 bring better times for all of us.
Take care, we are sending love,
Heidi & Julia xx
Julia has been busy in the studio making a new collection of wild willow wreath using preserved flowers we've been drying over the summer. Using long strips of willow as her base, she carefully wires her chosen flowers onto the hoop, always using the natural shape, direction and form of the stems as her guide.
The finished piece is always different from the next due to the nature of the material, but she is always drawn to a particular combination of sandy poppy heads, dark seeded cow parsley, silvery thistles and my favourite, everlasting flowers.
This particular wreath is one of our most requested designs. Made on a copper wire base, it is densely covered with wheat and dried grasses.
All these designs can be found on our website now, by clicking the image or by looking at our FLINT Makes page..
I've just come back from a blissful two weeks away in the West Country. Days spent hiking along the coast in most weathers is pretty much my idea of heaven but the long walks were made all the more easier as the sun was out pretty much every day. Great gulps of sea air, the wind in my hair, my husband and I started out early each morning, walking the stretch of the West Coast Path from Port Isaac to the rocky outpost called The Rumps.
The path is an undulating, unbroken line that takes you past sandy coves and sea cliffs and the views out to sea are breathtaking. Taking sketch pads, cameras and binoculas, we sat scanning the horizon for minke whales that are sometimes spotted near here and although we weren't rewarded with any sightings this time, we were treated to a mesmerising display as flocks of gannets divebombed into the sea just ahead of us.
The coastal path is bordered by swathes of wild flower meadows that stretch as far as the eye can see. Now mostly dried by strong winds and the late summer, exquisite skeletons of sea pinks, cow parsley and grasses lined our walk, their colours now faded and gone to seed but were no less beautiful for it. I couldn't resist gathering a few. They will look so beautiful arranged together in a vase back home...
With summer well under way, despite the rain, this year feels more positive than the last. As many of you already know, we decided to close our bricks & mortar store in Lewes at the beginning of the year after a long deliberation to set ourselves free to follow a new path. I'm pleased to say that path is unfolding before us in a very postive way, leaving us free to explore exciting new projects, just as we'd hoped. Having been in Lewes for over sixteen years, we'd started to get itchy feet well before Covid struck, and both Julia and I had decided it was perhaps time for a change of scene. A move to the country, not far from Lewes, has brought a new life more connected to nature and in tune with ourselves and this in turn has inspired us greatly.
This spring, we have largely been in the garden here, nurturing our cutting garden of herbs and flowers and have been excitedly harvesting the first of our labours. We also grow plants for our own-label apothecary and for botanical dyes which we've been using on vintage linens and silks to create a new collection of accessories and homeware. The home-grown preserved flowers and posies that Julia was so famous for at the shop, will now be available on our webstore, later in the year.
There are lots of new projects in the pipeline that we are eager to share with you so please stay tuned, either by checking out our future blog posts, signing up to our emailed newsletters, or checking out our Instagram - @Flint_lewes
In the meantime, thank you to everyone who's sent us such wonderful words of encouragement, your messages have been heartwarming to receive. Thank you too for each and every order you place, your continued support means so much to us.
Best wishes as ever, Heidi and Julia x