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Monthly Inspiration, May 2018

Monthly Inspiration, May 2018

May looks like being a busy month with bank holidays and half-term in the mix. We’ve already had a couple of beach days in St Ives and hope for many more this month. With that in mind, we’ve introduced in store our hammam towels, beach bags, festival-inspired jewellery and an exclusive range of tops, kaftans and jackets designed by Marlyn Clark. Sparked by the Frida Kahlo exhibition at the V&A next month, the colour red and Mexico had to be the sources of inspiration this month.

With love, Elspeth


FOCUS

Red, the colour of love, passion, festivity and danger. Red is the colour of life, blood and your heart. Traditionally, Indian, Indonesian and Chinese women marry in red. The Chinese consider red to be a sign of good luck, success and loyalty and wedding invitations are sent out in red envelopes. An Indian bride wears a red bindi or tikka to demonstrate her marital status.

The Hindu-Urdu word “Lal” means red, but is also a surname meaning precious or beloved. Crimson and scarlet dyes come from the cochineal insect, which products carminic acid. It has been used as a dye in Central and South America since the second century. The Spanish shipped tons of cochineal from Lima to Spain and it was used to dye fabrics, paint towns and colour woman’s cheeks. Today, cochineal is still used to colour food and cosmetics but is hidden under the label of E120.


TRAVEL

México

I visited Mexico many years ago on the lookout for silver and textiles and to take a little time out. I’m hoping to revisit soon in search of new artefacts for Sweetlime and to take inspiration from the many arts and crafts of the country including its fabulous embroideries, folk art and metalwork.

The vibrant colours of Mexico extend to its architecture, with Luis Barragán being the country’s most famous architect. He worked alongside Le Corbusier and Louis Kahn and combined the simplicity of modernist lines with the intoxicating colours of Mexico. His home in Mexico City is now a national museum.

Of course, I can't talk about Mexico and not mention Frida Kahlo.
One of Mexico's greatest artists, Frida's life is portrayed by Salma Hayek in the 2002 movie Frida, directed by Julie Taymor. This movie is a visual feast and a wonderful insight into her life's loves and her highs and lows.

For a taste of Mexico, take a look at the beautifully presented Mexico: the cookbook by Margarita Carrillo Arronte. Over 650 delicious and authentic recipes sandwiched between paper cut-out graphics and lively photographs evoking the spirit and energy of everyday Mexican life.


ART

Open Studios Cornwall
Susie Chaikin

I first met Susie Chaikin at Open Studios Cornwall. I was thrilled to find someone with a Frida Kahlo obsession, which outshone mine. Susie is a mixed media artist, who after living and travelling in Central America for a year, started creating Frida Kahlo-inspired mosaic figures and paintings. Her love of colour and pattern translates perfectly into her work. Enter her world and see her work at Open Studios this May.

Visit Susie's studio

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Fiesta With Frida

Fiesta With Frida

Celebrate everything Frida at Sweetlime. Frida has always been a Sweetlime icon, so with a nod to the forthcoming exhibition Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up at the V&A, we are having a little party.

Join us for an evening of Mexican music, drinks and an array of Frida inspired goodies. Goodie bag giveaway and discounts on the night.

Bring friends!
Elspeth


5 – 8 pm, Friday 1st of June 2018
Sweetlime, Wills Lane, St Ives 

 
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Monthly Inspiration, April 2018

Monthly Inspiration, April 2018

April doesn't always bring blue skies, but it's springtime and we hope, a change of seasons. I've chosen the colour blue and the coast as this month's source of inspiration. As the season begins in St Ives, the restaurants and shops open their doors later and longer and the town begins to buzz a little.

With love, Elspeth


FOCUS

I can honestly say that blue has never figured highly in my life until recently, but seaside living means it’s unavoidable and it has crept into my wardrobe and into my homewares offer at Sweetlime. I’m even wearing denim on occasions, which has always been a big “no-no” in my dress code. How things can change. Natural blues derive from four sources, azurite, lapis lazuli, cobalt and indigo.

I was fortunate enough to witness indigo-dyeing in a remote Chinese village, where one of China's minority tribes, the Dong tribe, keep this tradition alive. Jodhpur, a Rajasthani village in India, is known as the "blue city" as many of the central buildings are a beautiful shade of blue, which is a mix of indigo and whitewash. It is believed that indigo works as a natural insect repellent, which can help as a protection against termites and mosquitoes. The Tuareg nomadic people of the Sahara wear indigo-dyed robes and turbans as a sign of wealth. Blue skies can lift the spirits and blow away the blues.


TRAVEL

The Coast

I consider myself to be a city or sea person and nothing much in between, so many coastal destinations have been sources of inspiration and places of contemplation. I have fallen in love with many seaside towns and places, including Essaouira, Collioure and Pondicherry, but there have been two places which hold a special place in my heart.

I suppose it’s fitting to start with St Ives, Cornwall. My first visit to St Ives was almost five years ago. It was a fleeting visit, which became life-changing. Beautiful beaches, incredible luminosity and a creative spirit, which lured me in and I became hooked. I moved to St Ives close to three years ago and established an environment for Sweetlime to flourish.

An island, which has been a part of my life for over 30 years is Lanzarote. Its coastline is varied and dramatic. This island was a dry lunar landscape with little greenery other than cacti and the paintwork of the windows and doors of the buildings when I first visited, but now with a change of climate, it has become lush at times. The simplicity of island and the influence of architect Cesar Manrique was a big part of the island’s appeal and some villages still hold their charm and character.


ART

John Greig

The seascapes of John Greig are shown and sold in Sweetlime. Surrounded by cushions and ceramics in a homely setting, it's easy to visualise how his paintings can work in your own home. John takes his inspiration from the beaches in and around St Ives and he captures the light and sensibility of this coastline.


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Kaftans & Cocktails

Kaftans & Cocktails

We are excited to present Marlyn Clark’s new Spring/Summer collection, exclusive to Sweetlime. The latest range comprises of tops, kaftans and jackets. We begin the season with more of a neutral palette, which sits well with denim or solid neutrals. Ease your way into spring with these pieces and then be a little more daring with brighter prints which will follow. All pieces are one size and have a relaxed fit, which can be styled up or down depending on how you’d like to wear them.

The "jackets" are perfect for the "in-between" season as they are not quite a jacket, but more than a cardigan. A great throw-on item, which works well with casual jeans, cropped trousers or a smarter wide leg trouser.

Marlyn will be here to introduce her collection and to help and advise on styling her designs. Be the first to see and try the new collection. Enjoy a glass of wine or a Sweetlime mojito. Goody bags to go!

See you there, Elspeth
RSVP

4 – 8 pm, Friday 6th of April 2018
Sweetlime, Wills Lane, St Ives 

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Sweetlime: The Store

Sweetlime, the store, opened its doors in the seaside town of St Ives, Cornwall,  in the winter of 2015. St Ives, known, not only for its breathtaking beaches, has attracted painters, sculptors and ceramists for decades, including Barbara Hepworth, Terry Frost and Patrick Heron. After a fleeting visit to St. Ives, the owner, Elspeth J. Walker, decided it would be a perfect setting to open her lifestyle store.  Inspired by an unrelenting passion for wanderlust and diverse cultures, Sweetlime expresses adoration for the exotic through its unique and eclectic pieces.

The store mixes interiors, accessories, artwork and gifts. As well as designing and making jewellery, accessories and home furnishing, Elspeth sources products from around the globe. Each item has been chosen with great thought and care. Elspeth also works in collaboration with other designers to create exclusive collections, such as kaftans in the summer and knitwear in the winter.  Paintings and prints from local artists complement the global offer.

A visit to Sweetlime will take you on a journey, which will inspire and uplift on even the cloudiest of days.  

Enjoy the journey!

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