February 16 2012
If you’re enthusiastic about all things Britain 2012 (or someone you need to buy a present for is) – whether the excitement is over the Olympics or the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee – you’ll find plenty to please at JanConstantine.com. It’s stuffed full of patriotic, fun, beautifully made and colourfully stitched creations.
“Hand-embroidered heirlooms of the future” is the e-tailer’s slogan. The majority of the products are cushions, though there are also lavender bags (I like the bold white-on-red Anchor version, £33.50), tapestry kits (the Vintage Rose Skull is surprisingly jolly, £71.50), tote bags (Pop Art Union Jack wool bag with appliquéd heart, £68.50), stationery and china. The last two are rather difficult to embroider, but the china includes a striking black-and-white Ace of Spades jug (£30.50) with blanket-stitch print around base and top, while the stationery includes Fab Love notecards with Union Jack motifs, again with blanket stitch printed around the edges (set of 15, £12).
But the cushions steal the show. There are dozens, all hand embroidered the old-fashioned way, with needle and thread. Which to plump for? For an expat, a square navy Lion and Unicorn cushion (third picture, £94) from the Diamond Jubilee Collection, embroidered with “ERII” and the dates of HM’s reign, plus one with the Gold State Coach and horses (first picture, £108). And one simply can’t leave out the corgi; the monarch’s favourite dog takes pride of place on a whimsical cushion (first picture, £94).
Olympic cushions range from the zany official 2012 mascots (Wenlock, £48), to graphic felt Pictograms (the Queen might fancy the Equestrian range, second picture, £72; I like the black and blue Pentathlon, also £72), to Team GB Lion’s Head and Rings (£46) and the abstract Lion’s Mane (£46) – in gold/black or gold/cream – to an elegantly retro memento of the London 1948 Games (£53).
And there’s more: the Deck of Cards, British, Modern Gingham, Bees and Bugs and Green Pop Art collections (the latter with a bargain twin pack of fresh Daisy and Apple cushions, £70)… Is it really possible to have too many cushions?