"keep a tea-room in Brighton and go all arty-and-crafty about the feet and waist"
Edward Burne-Jones & William Morris (right) 1874
Public DomainEdward Burne-Jones & William Morris (right) 1874 - Credit: Frederick Hollyer
Morris & Co. Dove and Rose design 'point paper'
Public DomainMorris & Co. Dove and Rose design 'point paper' - Credit: William Morris

The Arts and Craft movement was a design movement initiated by the writer and artist William Morris which was at its height between 1880 and 1910.  It is likely that the adjective 'arty-and-crafty' derives from the movement. In becoming adjectival, however, it has taken on a slightly derogatory meaning, implying  a design style that represents a bastardized version of the original Arts and Crafts tenets.

It is Elfine's tendency to 'arti-crafti-ness' which bothers Flora Poste, and Stella Gibbons manages to paint a very vivid picture of Flora's understanding of the concept by describing some of the tendencies, styles of dress and so on of those who have gone down the 'arty-crafty' path. Among these she includes 'keeping a tea-room in Brighton' or an 'arts and craft shop in Horsham'; doing barbola work; wearing smocks 'embroidered with hollyhocks' or 'orange linen jumpers'; possessing 'hand-wrought jewellery' such as 'a pendant made of hammered silver with a bit of blue enamel in the middle'; and last but not least, trying to grow herbs!

 

 

William Morris design for trellis wallpaper, 1862
Public DomainWilliam Morris design for trellis wallpaper, 1862 - Credit: William Morris