Annie Rose Laing, artist #MondayBlogs

A Helensburgh Breakfast

Annie Rose Laing came to my attention because of the painting “A Helensburgh Breakfast.” I was born in Helensburgh and this painting reminds me of the light shining in from the Gareloch in the mornings.  I love her choice of subject and on further investigation I discovered her propensity to paint sunlit tables where children and young women sat.  There are often flowers and a feeling of relaxation. You feel you want to sit at the table too.

At the breakfast table

Annie was born in Glasgow in 1869 and she studied at the Glasgow School of Art shortly after the famous Glasgow Boys. Glasgow became a major cultural centre and from 1890, Charles Rennie Mackintosh and his wife Margaret MacDonald added to the fame.

The Mirror

Annie exhibited her first picture in 1894 and in the following year she travelled to Algeria.  In 1896 her Algerian pictures were exhibited at the Glasgow Institute exhibition after which she turned to the portraits and interiors for which she became renowned.  In 1898, Annie married the artist, James Garden Laing, who was 17 years older than her and the couple lived and painted in Glasgow.  After her husband’s death she moved to Italy before settling in London in the mid-1920s.  She died in 1946 and was buried in Crowborough, East Sussex.


Using Paper Patterns #MondayBlogs #Fashions #Nostalgia

My mother made nearly all my clothes when I was a child and she often chose a style which could be used for similar dresses for the two of us.

I don’t have the patterns my mother used during the 1950s but this pattern she bought in 1968 was perfect for the psychedelic fabric she bought in Arab Street in Singapore to make me some fashionable culottes.

I loved the bolero top I made with this pattern to match my flares.  I used chocolate brown Thai cotton with a pattern including pink. It sounds awful but it worked.

Returning to a cold English winter in the early 1970s a maxi coat was a must-have.

In 1975 everyone wanted a flared skirt with a frill and this pattern adapted to winter weight cord or soft cotton for the summer.

Woman and Woman’s Realm magazines offered patterns to purchase which my mother loved.

In the early 90s I faced the challenge of making two bridesmaids' dressers for my children but this helpful pattern made it possible.

And we were all pleased with the result.