Sunday, 29 January 2012

Vintage Hermes Scarf

It's been a mixed weekend so far...some good bits, some not so good.
I received some long-awaited funding from Arts-in-Action to promote and support my felt-making workshops (good) and on one of my textile treasure hunts, I picked up a vintage Hermes silk scarf (very good), which will probably make its way onto my Etsy shop at some point. It's from 1993, so not quite old enough to sell there yet, but it will meet the 20-years-old rule next year, so I'll sit on it until then.
As for the 'not so good' - well, I haven't been in the mood to make much this weekend and I haven't sold anything at all - Folksy is very quiet and so is Etsy. I also picked up a vintage designer handbag that, on closer inspection, is obviously a fake...buyer beware...but at least I didn't pay much for it!

Vintage Hermes scarf  'Alfred Dedreux, Peintre du Cheval' by Zoe Pauwels (1993)

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Your Perfect Bag

It's over to you now...I want to know whether you have (or have had in the past) a favourite bag, one that was 'just right'. Describe it - is it large or small? Handbag or shoulder bag? Leather or fabric? one or two handles? Lots of pockets or soft and slouchy? Black or hot pink? I'd love to know - what makes a perfect bag?

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Not on 'Notonthehighstreet' - oh well...

A disappointing response from NOTHS - my application was turned down (booooo!) - but nil desperandum.....I'm happy on Folksy and will continue to promote elsewhere too, including CraftJuice, Facebook and here on my blog. I'm also planning to set up my own website soon, so watch this space for news of that.
I've been busy making more phone cases and bags (with thoughts of selling at a good craft fair at the end of March), and have loads more design ideas to try out, but I have to also keep the exhibitions in mind and create some artwork too.
Recent listings on Folksy include:

'Arundel' large shoulder bag on Folksy

Pink floral mobile phone/gadget case on Folksy

Blue check mobile phone/gadget case on Folksy

Green print mobile phone/gadget case on Folksy

Friday, 20 January 2012

Stunning Kimono Silk Handbag

I haven't got very far with my artwork - with two exhibitions looming, I do need to produce something to submit - but I have completed another bag. This time it's a silk one, made from some stunning vintage kimono fabric, and I've called it 'Kyoto' after one of my favourite cities. It's a classic handbag design, perfect for a special occasion or evening out, it will be a favourite I'm sure. Listed on Folksy today....

'Kyoto' classic silk handbag on Folksy

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Wet Wednesday

It's a miserable, wet, grey day today here on the coast - quite unusual really, we're normally quite lucky with the weather. However, I've been busy this morning making some felt - it keeps me warm and is quite absorbing - and have produced a good selection of pre-felt pieces, in a range of colours, to be used in later projects.
For those of you not into felting, pre-felts are pieces of semi-made felt - the fibres have knitted together but the felting (or fulling) process has not begun, so the felt hasn't started shrinking yet. The pieces can be cut and felted together at a later date or can be felted onto another piece of felt to create a picture or pattern.
Check out my felting workshops on the Workshops & Courses page.

Monday, 16 January 2012

Red Monday

It's supposed to be the worst day of the year - dark, cold, cash-strapped, the Christmas bills are landing on the doormat and most of our New Year resolutions have by now failed miserably! it's a cold, crisp, sunny morning. I've just looked in the garden and I have daffodils, roses and geraniums all flowering together, despite the heavy frost on Friday night...what an amazing January!

I've just photographed and listed my latest creation on Folksy, so here it is with a selection of other items that link nicely to the Red Monday theme and will hopefully cheer you all up.

'Janus' large shoulder bag on Folksy

Crimson classic silk handbag on Folksy

Hand-felted cuff bracelet on Folksy

Wool felt padded heart on Folksy

Liberty print draught excluder

Knitted furry scarf on Folksy

Vintage linen tablecloth on Etsy
'Poppies' print

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Another Day, Another Bag

I spent yesterday sewing and came up with a new bag, larger than usual, with just a single shoulder strap. It's made from a lovely fabric called 'Grassmere', by Moygashel, full of meadow flowers and very summery. I teamed it with a plain, heavy brushed cotton fabric in soft green. I was very tempted to keep it for myself, as I haven't had a new bag for a while, but it's now on Folksy...if it doesn't sell after a few months, I may give it to myself as a birthday treat! Anyway, here it is...what do you think?

'Grassmere' large shoulder bag on Folksy

This morning I had to go to Arundel to 'dress' a window for the RNLI. It's Lifeboat Day on 27th January and the RNLI have the community window in Martin Steel's opticians for the next two weeks...I was 'volunteered' to do the honours this year and make an eye-catching display. Hopefully it will catch everyone's money too!

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Lovely Retro Bag

I finally finished the bag I've been making since Saturday! OK, I haven't actually been making it continually since then, but it did take a bit longer than usual. It's a lovely vintage fabric by Bernard Wardle, called Carolina, which is from the 50s/60s era. Makes a real impact! The design has been outline-quilted to make it stand out even more.

'Carolina' classic handbag on Folksy

Other than making, I've been working on the promotion side of things a bit - trying to get more people looking at Folksy, joining craft sites and forums, plugging the Facebook page - it takes a lot of time but I suppose it has to be done. I do need to keep adding vintage items to the Etsy shop too, as that has gone quiet lately...apart from an enquiry from someone who wanted to buy 5 of different colours! I don't think they quite get the 'vintage' concept! Shame I didn't have 5 of them though...would've been a good sale.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Totally Unique Bags

I've been tied to my sewing table for the past couple of days, in a frenzy of sewing and stitching. The results so far are a new handbag and matching phone case - both listed yesterday on Folksy - and another handbag, which is still work-in-progress but which should be making an appearance here soon.
I don't think I'll ever make my fortune as a bag-maker, as it takes me so long to design & make them - I'm a bit of a perfectionist! - but at least I know they're well-made and I'm happy to put my name to each and every one. It's impossible to compete against mass-produced imports on price, so it has to be on quality, exclusivity and service. I can guarantee that all my bags are totally unique and you won't see another one anywhere...! So, if you see something you like, catch it while you can...once it's gone, it's gone!

'Milano' classic handbag on Folksy

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Abusive Content?? Moi??

I tried to share my blog post yesterday on Facebook but it wouldn't let me. Apparently it contained 'abusive content', which made me laugh - felt-making isn't really my idea of abusive content but maybe there are some very sensitive souls out there who can't stand the idea of beating wool into submission!! So I'll try again today and see whether this post is also considered 'abusive'.
Today I collected my exhibition pieces from the local museum, where they've been on show for the past 6 weeks or so. I now have a hallway full of framed textile art pieces, which I'll have to find space for...somewhere. I also re-listed a few cushions, bags etc on Folksy, such as this cheerful, patchwork cushion, made from hand-dyed cotton in rainbow colours - just the thing to brighten up a grey January day.

'Rainbow' patchwork cotton cushion on Folksy

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Felt-making Workshop

Had a fun day today at my first felt-making workshop of 2012. There were no beginners at this one, so we launched straight into nuno felt-making, which is hard work but very rewarding. With the heavy rain and buffeting winds outside, it was a great way to keep warm and work off some of those surplus Christmas calories! If you're interested in learning how to make felt, check out the details on the Workshops and Courses page of this blog and get in touch.

Monday, 2 January 2012

A Beautiful Morning..

It's a beautiful, sunny, bright morning so I just had to go for a walk! I ended up as usual along the beach, which was pretty deserted apart from a few dog-walkers, but the sky was clear blue and the tide just going out, so a perfect morning for beach-combing. I managed to find some sea-glass and a few shells, nothing really exciting but the fun is in the searching. Talking of beach-combing, I've just re-listed my 'Beach-comber' bag on Folksy...take a look, it's certainly unique!

'Beachcomber' felted knit handbag on Folksy

Today is also the day my niece Lucy heads back to Australia for another year of adventure. It's four years since I came home from my travels out there (where did those four years go?!) and I'd love to go back. So many more beaches to comb....
Bon voyage to Lucy and anyone else travelling soon - and if you find any interesting sea-glass or shells, you know where to send them!

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Happy New Year

It's 2012 and I'm feeling really excited about all the possibilities out there for the next 12 months. I intend to make a great start to the new year by getting going with all my projects from day 1 and pushing myself to achieve all the things I want to achieve. I truly believe that anything is possible if you want it enough, so I'm giving it everything this year. I hope your new year starts on a positive note too and that you also achieve all you set out to achieve.
My philosophy for 2012...I don't have to live my life the way others expect me to. So here goes......