Friday, 26 August 2016

Bespoke Visitors Book - Avon Beach B&B

Following my last post describing my process for designing and making bespoke visitors books, I thought I would start to post information on some of the covers I have made.  Partly, to show the designs off, of course, but also to promote the fabulous and beautiful houses, bed and breakfasts and hotels that I have had the pleasure of working with.

First up is Avon Beach B&B in Chichester, Dorset.  This gorgeous B&B has two double ensuite rooms with prices from £70 per night.

Avon Beach B&B

Rather than show the front of the house, the owners decided that they wanted their guest book to show the front door and their logo.

By combining these two images, they received a book which showed the warm welcome that they extend to their guests and also their brand, important for all small business owners.

Personalised Visitors Book showing logo and Doorway of Avon Beach B&B

Trevor and Aditi, owners of Avon Beach B&B sent me a very kind message and a couple of photos of their book taking pride of place on their reception desk.

They said  "Thank you Ruby Patch for our amazing Visitors Book. All our guests who stay at our B&B enjoy writing their reviews in it and keep complimenting it." 

Avon Beach B&B Visitors Book in Reception

So if you would like to offer that extra bit of individuality to your B&B, holiday home or guesthouse, pop over and order a bespoke visitors book of your very own.

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Bespoke Visitors Books

Over the last year the demand for bespoke visitors books has increased and I've been able to embroider some gorgeous properties.  I really enjoy the challenge of trying to capture the character of a building in fabric and give the customer a visitors book that will enhance their holiday home, bed and breakfast or hotel.

I thought I'd share a bit about the process behind the visitors books with you.

I start with as many photographs of the property as possible, preferably from different angles.  From these I produce a rough sketch adding in or taking away details that the customer has requested.  In the example below, the car was removed to show the log store behind it.

Front view of Low Hollin Cottage, Seathwaite in Borrowdale, Cumbria.

View of Low Hollin Cottage, Seathwaite, Borrowdale, Cumbria

The finished sketch is then sent to the customer for approval before I begin sewing.  This is useful as it ensures both that the customer is happy with the design and also that they confirm the wording is correct.

Sketch of Low Hollin Cottage for Bespoke Visitors Book

The cover is then made up with linen as the background fabric with the design added in a range of cottons.  The design is defined and enhanced with free motion embroidery before being made up into the cover and finished off with a bit of top stitching.

Low Hollin Bespoke Visitors Book

So if you or someone you know has a cottage, b&b or small hotel, why not order a bespoke cover that will enhance your guests' stay.

Sunday, 2 August 2015

Book Review: The Crafter's Guide to Taking Great Photos

The Crafter's Guide to Taking Great Photos by Heidi Adnum is a fabulous reference guide which claims to provide 'foolproof techniques to make your handmade creations shine online' and I love it! 

 It is a wonderful read with masses of information and (obviously) fabulous photography.  I don't have an SLR camera but have still found plenty of great hints and tips. 

The problem I have is not with this book but with myself as I am still rubbish at photographing my work!  I think I need to put regular time aside to study the book in detail. Oh and move to a gorgeous country cottage to provide a backdrop for my new professionally shot product photos.  

Monday, 27 July 2015

Happy Holidays - Ambleside

We spent last week in a gorgeous cottage in Ambleside in the Lake District and had a brilliant time.  Our group consisted of my husband and I, our two girls and my parents - 3 generations to keep happy, well happyish,

For other lovers of this area, I thought I'd share a few recommendations for places we visited.

We booked through Lakelovers and stayed at Fell View, a 3 bed, 2 bath cottage with a little garden.  

It was prettily decorated with kitchen/living area as well as a separate dining room and the general consensus was that the standard of the accommodation was high and that we'd definitely stay there again.  

The only negative for some people would be that the cottage is approximately 200m up the Kirkstone Pass and therefore the walk from the village is very steep.  Personally, I just felt less guilty about the amount of cake I ate at the bottom of the hill as I knew I was burning at least 3 million calories a day climbing back up! 

One of our favourite places to eat was Stiles in Compston Road.

This relatively new coffee shop has a very big menu with very reasonable prices.  My daughter recommends the nachos with cheese, topped with pulled pork, salsa, guacamole, sour cream and jalapenos.

Our other favourite place for cake was Cafe Treff , right in the middle of the village in Central Buildings, a few doors down from the Post Office.  Here we scientifically tried a variety of more unusual delicacies including chocolate, dandelion and burdock cake and beetroot, white chocolate and strawberry cake.

Their current specialty is the white chocolate and vanilla frappe which you may want to order with something savoury as, when eaten with cake, causes sugar overload!!

As I was officially on holiday, no sewing took place and, by the end of the week I was suffering real withdrawal symptoms so took to the sketchpad instead. 

Sadly, without a lottery win in sight, the holiday had to end but I've come back relaxed and with loads of ideas for new work.

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Embroidery Picture - Crail Village, East Neuk of Fife

A couple of weeks ago I finished another landscape.  This time the subject was one of the loveliest villages in Scotland - Crail in the East Neuk of Fife.

This historic fishing village is on the Fife Coastal path and hosts a wonderful food festival every summer.  

If you had to name the most picturesque place in Britain, where would it be?  Maybe your favourite will become my next project.

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Summer has arrived (hopefully)

Where has the first half of the year gone? I can't believe it's July already.  At least summer seems to have finally arrived though.  I just hope that we get good weather for the school holidays.

We live on the north east coast of England and our town's main beach, Sandhaven, was recently awarded with a Blue Flag award.  As we live here, I don't think we always appreciate how scenic our area is.    

Although, at times, the sky looked a bit ominous, the sea was almost totally calm.  

There are a number of artists and photographers who have produced some great pieces based on this beach and its surrounding area.  

One of my first landscapes was based on a scene from Sandhaven's neighbouring beach, Littlehaven and shows a view across the River Tyne with the Groyne Lighthouse in the foreground.  This little lighthouse was built in 1882 and is situated at the end of a small pier that was built to prevent sand from Littlehaven Beach being swept into the river by the incoming tide.

This design is available on greetings cards in my Etsy shop

Keep everything crossed that the good weather continues throughout the school holidays.  x

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Embroidered Tea Cosy - St Ives House, Cornwall

A couple of weeks ago I received a commission from Julia, the owner of one of the most beautiful holiday cottages I've seen in a very long time.

St Ives House has a spectacular harbour front position in the heart of, you've guessed it, St Ives in Cornwall. It is a boutique art house with an impressive contemporary art collection which showcases the town's local heritage.

I was extremely happy to accept Julia's request for a tea cosy to complement the decor in this stunning property. 

With her colour palette of orange, grey and teal, we came up with a design that incorporated not only the magnificent views from the house but also the signature porthole which can be seen on the front door and is the official logo for the property.

You may be able to see that the tea cosy has a 'turn up' at the bottom.  This is to allow it to fit not only a large tea pot, but also a cafetiere when it is turned down.

I would heartily recommend that you have a look at this gorgeous house if you are considering a trip to Cornwall.  From the customer's point of view, there is a lovely article on Little Green Shed Blog about the blogger's family holiday at St Ives House in May 2015.

If you are interested in having a bespoke item designed especially for you, contact me at