Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Just a thought......

If you are wildly thrashing around in a pre-Christmas frenzy, trying to think of something original and relevant to ask your best-beloved to give you for Christmas, below you'll find our literally life-affirming suggestions.

For 2012 Les Soeurs Anglaises have chosen our favourite teachers to lead five amazing creative workshops.  You'll find many more details on our website, but when you've decided which one's for you, you need only send a deposit of £250/$392 and we'll  confirm a place (you can let us know your choice of accommodation, at leisure, after the Christmas madness).  

To maintain a welcoming, intimate atmosphere and a high level of attention to detail, we keep our workshop numbers to less than one a month between May and October, and our participant numbers to between 12 and 15.  As a result places on one or two are now full or running low; but we've listed the ones where there is still availability.  2012 looks like our busiest year so far and if you think you might like to join us we suggest you don't leave it too long.  

It's as simple a pinging the button below to pay through PayPal with one of the cards below, but if you would like more information about the various events or accommodation options, do contact us and we'd be happy to answer any questions. 

The Fabric of Photography 

to be led by Jasprit Singh
3rd to 9th May (5 days/6 nights)
Places still available


Knitting with Colour and Clarity

to be led by Patricia Roberts
31st May to 6th June (5 days/6 nights)
2 places still available


Summer Fetes & Puppet Shows

to be led by Julie Arkell


Botanical Collage

to be led by Catherine Girardeau Willis
5th to 11th September (5 days/6 nights)
Places still available


Woven and Sew Sculpture

to be led by Julieann Worral Hood
3rd to 9th October (5 days/6 nights)
Places still available


Lin et Vin
But if you and you better half simply want to be surrounded by beautiful vintage linens and spectacular French antiques, consider joining us for a very special weekend in July when we will be putting together a gastronomic extravaganza catered by a top chef and with vintage wines supplied from our own substantial cellars (Mike used to be the president of the Interesting Wine Club, in London).  

The meal will be followed by an opportunity to buy from celebrated collectors/vendors of all that is stylishly French, and the whole event is by invitation only for a limited number of guests.  If this sounds like something you might like to be part of, let us know ASAP and we will make sure your name is at the top of our list of invitees and the first to know exact dates, the name of the chef and experts, together with price(s).

Les Soeurs Anglaises is a supporter of the Cambodian Childrens Fund and all profits to them from this event will be donated.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Country Living Christmas Fair

Another brilliant photograph by one of our regular participants, Rebecka Ryberg Skott

Yes, we may have told you already, but in case you missed it we thought you might like to know that we'll be at the Country Living Christmas Fair in Islington from

9th to 13th November.
Auditorium Stand T53

It's the first time we've attended this event, but doubtless lots of you have visited previous CL fairs and know what fun it is. Great for working through that gift list all at once and in one place. And, of course, there are endless delicious alternatives to decking the hall with boughs of holly. Check out Country Living's website to get an idea of what's on offer.

If you like what you see and you can make it to the Big Smoke next month, perhaps we can entice you to visit our stand, with complimentary entrance tickets for the day of your choice. It would be great to meet again friends of Les Soeurs Anglaises, but also to introduce ourselves to those of you who are simply curious about what goes on here in South West France. All you have to do is write COUNTRY LIVING CHRISTMAS FAIR on the comments menu of our website booking information page. Don't worry if you are already on our mailing list, and don't forget to give us your address details and we'll pop a ticket in the post to the first 6 people who apply.

The Fair is mostly an opportunity for potential new participants to get a feel for what Les Soeurs Anglaises' workshops have to offer, but we will be selling a few items made by some of our 2012 workshop leaders and this is also a chance to see their amzing work:

Photographer, Justina Burnett
Folk Artist, Julie Arkell
Botanical Collagist, Catherine Girardeau Willis
and Sculptress, Julieann Worral Hood

They will all be popping in from time to time, so you might well have an opportunity to meet one or two of them to discuss their work and workshops with us next year!

Hope to see you there!

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Another Year Another JA Special

Sincere apologies to all you Julie Arkell fans whom we couldn't quite squeeze onto her workshop this year. We really would have loved to have had you all here as it is always
such a fun event. From Day One, everyone seemed to gel - not so difficult with Julie around to get the ball rolling, but a joy nevertheless.

As usual Julie arrived with a well defined project to set the pace, though there was no pressure for anyone to do more or less than they wanted; and it wasn't long before participants were stuck-in on a myriad of divine creations.

Some of the practice flower broaches on display in LSA's garden one sunny afternoon.....

Some advice offered to those not quite sure what to use where .......

....and some buttons bought at the brocante to add a little colour & texture perhaps?

Meanwhile, back at the maison de maitre, lunch is prepared, by special cooks, Billy and Jane

The finished spread for lunch
...... whilst Cinderella Susu sorts out the laundry. Les Soeurs work hard to keep everyone happy and everything running smoothly; and from all the wonderful feedback we get it seems to work.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Additions and Extractions

How wonderful is late summer in this part of South West France! Yes, we have wet days, with heavy grey clouds and threatening thunderstorms from time to time, but the warm days deep blue skies are regular enough to keep the the black dogs at bay.

The second flush of roses is always a surprise for some reason, filling the house and garden with colours and smells; and harvest time for fruit and veg is reaching a peak. We really can't get through all those yellow courgettes, cucumbers and tomatoes and there is only so much bottling we can do.

At last the annex to l'Espace is almost complete.
Our new Julieann Worral Hood hare sculpture positioned on the law just outside l'Espace.

Wild flowers on either side of the steps leading up to l'Espace

The inspirational Paris studio of Catherine Willis - a dream space!

Our "Light Bulb" book, created by Rachel Hazel to collate the combined ideas and suggestions of each workshop.

Friday, 5 August 2011

The Days of Words and Paper

Rachel Hazell's ability to make and inspire is well known to us here at LSA. But this year the participants seemed to spontaneously appreciate and share, from day one, her passion for all things bookish.

Rachel's introduction

Lunch on the terrace outside the Maison de Maitre

After some recent fairly miserable weather around south west France, the clouds miraculously opened to welcome our guests, and the sun shone for almost the entire five days of the workshop. This allowed us to eat outdoors for all but the final evening (when there was the type of torrential rainstorm Somerset Maughn would have been proud of).

Swimming in the salt water heated pool

The fine weather also allowed us to open the huge doors of the studio and our amateur bookbinders to take inspiration from the wonderful, clear light and stunning views.

Everyone busy binding their own books

Katherine finishes detailing

For most people the satisfaction, at the end of the first day, of having created and bound a beautiful book of their own, was followed by a smidgeon of excited trepidation as Rachel gently explained to them they were to try to fill tall twenty six pages with a motif running through the alphabet.

A break for lunch usually revived lagging creativity

Align Centre
Nice try, Diane (our favourite person, ever), but this is actually how your do it.....

And everyone seemed to be up to the challenge; the results were as different as the participants' personalities, but there wasn't one that amaze!

D is for Dog

The lovely Barbara tells us her book story.....

And Julie demonstrates her M for Mountain

Mary Alice delights us with all her colourful illustrations

There was an atmosphere of shared ideas and generous encouragement for all, some people managing to complete the alphabet whilst others preferred to take their time with plans to finish their personal journeys back home.

Carol models a Les Soeurs Anglaises' apron

And to celebrate the end of another successful workshop, there was High Tea before "Personal Journeys" on the last afternoon.

Monday, 4 July 2011

Coming Soon.....

We're this close to sorting out dates for next year, and boy do we have some great workshops for 2012 lined up. Once all events and dates are confirmed and uploaded onto our website we'll let you know, but we thought we'd whet your appetite with a few seasonal images of Les Soeurs Anglaises.

Rachel Hazell's Book Art workshop is next and we can't wait!

Fresh Bantam eggs from a local friend. Unbelievably delicious - just like eggs used to taste.

Thank you card from the lovely (and talented) Felicity from Selvedge Magazine who joined us for the Susie Cowie workshop. The little drawing is of our conservatory.

Some of Rachel Hazell's book art