Monday, 6 December 2010

Lovely vintage ceramics available to you!

I have decided to sell my set of Midwinter Flowersong dinnerware to help buy new tools so I thought I'd post on here for you to see, and perhaps bid on if you love designs from the 50s/60s as much as me.

You can view the auction here.
I'm reluctant to sell but it's sat in a box, not being appreciated when it should really be proudly displayed on a dresser or in use on the dinner table. The perfect gift for you, your loved-design-freak-one or even the house!

The Harley Gallery Arts Market

Last weekend I participated in the tenth annual Harley Gallery Arts Market, despite the snow it was a massive success, I thoroughly enjoyed it and met loads of new people.

Setting up my own stand for the first time was a bit daunting, especially as I was travelling 60 miles in the fresh snow! But everyone was really helpful and I enjoyed putting together the display. After a quick change of mind over some wall frames I was all set and ready for the crowds..... which surprisingly appeared, despite several inches of snow and seb-zero temperatures!

I had great feedback and made plenty of sales so it was really encouraging, it's made me eager to do more shows!! 

We were in a marquee and as the inside temperature rose (apparantly...) the condensation started to drip off the beams onto our stands, argh!! With the nifty use of some black bin liners overnight to protect our displays we defeated the weather and stopped our tablecloths getting soggy.

With a hot water bottle doing the rounds courtesy of Anna Colette Hunt and humour courtesy of Nicola Lidstone I had a wonderful time and will definitely be applying for next years's market, though hopefully it'll be a lot less chilly!

Sunday, 3 October 2010

A cactus is always a succulent, except for when it's not....

I've had this project in mind since I remembered I had this in the cupboard....

Gorgeous olive green chunky corduroy that I bought from a charity shop a few years ago with no real purpose in mind. It was a 'just in case'. The idea was one of those that wakes you up in the night, tempting you to go get the sewing machine out at midnight.

A plan was afoot. I made some rough templates and after learning the hard way to snip the inside of round seams and to refinforce them he was complete!


 So here is my newest design- a cactus of the non-prickly kind, in fact he's positively soft!
Next to him are some pincushions I've been working on, I was trying to get a new one made each night but some jewellery making has intervened. 

Just as an aside I've been trying to keep an eye out for some of the designs on packaging while out in the supermarket and how beautiful is this...

 .....makes me want to get baking!

Monday, 20 September 2010

Lists, Christmas and fabrics galore!

I've been selected to have a stall at the Harley Christmas Market, as well as a few local markets I'm doing, so my list making has gone into overdrive to decide what to make! It's also been a great excuse to go fabric shopping, so off I went. I'm making a quilt, my first ever, for my nephew's 2nd birthday so I'd been looking for something to back the Alexander Henry 2D Zoo fabric I'd been saving. I went to a lovely local fabric shop which has just expanded and found a perfect dark blue polka dot cotton and just HAD to buy some Hungry Hungry Caterpillar fabric too! I also picked up some nice grey spot ribbon and a lovely toadstool painted darning mushroom.  

I couldn't find a binding to go with it so I nipped across the road to Boyes, a fantastic general purpose store that my area of the country is blessed with. They've got some nice 100% cottons in, £3.50p/m!! So the 5 fabrics across the bottom row from the right are from there. The bottom left one is a remnant I thought I'd missed so pretty much whipped it off the table with delight, it's a yellow Peter Rabbit print and I'm going to have a good think before I decide what to use it for. I also decided to make a green crocodile for my nephew so I picked up some felt and a pack of googley eyes. The snowflake fabric and the blue and green birds fabric are both from the great Seamstar online shop.

The sewing machine will be put into service tomorrow as I have a whole day to devote to it. Fewer shifts at work means an unhappy bank balance but at least I have time to craft!
Speaking of work, I tend to use quiet periods to plan what I'm going to make, do you do the same? One thing that's been going round in my head is a 'sprout' design wire bangle and tonight I finally tried it out and I'm really happy with it! What do you think?

I'm going to make more based on this design but first I need to order some more wire! Watch this space for new pieces and I'll let you know when I list them in the shop. 

Sunday, 27 June 2010

New Beginnings!

I've just successfully set up my first website, after hours spent finding a host and attempting to build a site I stumbled upon Weebly and decided to build another site with their free hosting and software, despite havin aleady paid for hosting with another company. The website builder is a dream to use, so please go view my new site right away! I have a new blog there which be where I do most of my posting so keep an eye on it.
I will be transferring my site to my main domain but I'll let you know when that happens.

Now, I am certain it is bedtime, though whether I will sleep with the dawn chorus being performed by the local bird choir outside my window is another matter entirely!

Thursday, 17 June 2010

My degree work

Over the last six months since my last posts a lot has happened in terms of my work as a jeweller. Some of the units we've worked on have helped me to understand what drives me to make and what I am drawn to in others work. We worked on a commissioning unit and I designed and made a necklace which consisted of woven paper yarn with a sterling silver magnetic clasp and tassel pendant, all handmade.


I had some trouble with the magnets initially as they were to be set in the ends of the clasp but they weren't strong enough so I did some digging and Staples yielded a set of super strong magnetic memo holders. I took the magnets out of them and glued them inside the clasp so they are sat behind a layer of silver and still snap together securely. I was happy with the finished piece and enjoyed the challenge of having to work to a set brief, I want to experiment more with woven paper string as this was tricky to produce the circular shape I wanted.

From one of the other units I developed a 'drop-in' range, pendants which could be slotted onto a U shaped tube, which held the chain.

I made some of these pieces in copper and had them silver plated to begin with, then I made later ones in silver. I like the copper interior of the plated pieces though, it gives them a secret lining.

One of my favourite piees was this two-finger ring. It is on a pivot so that it can spin and tilt as it is worn. This one is quite large but I shall be making some smaller versions to sell.

I worked on a design I came up with in college for a U shaped ring to produce a range of rings with double dome tops, each with a different texture interior. These will be going in my shop soon though I need to make more as one of these is sold and I want to keep one of them for myself haha.


And last but not least this is another 'drop-in' necklace, one of a series of three made for our graduate exhibition.

There are two plain silver pendants and this one with the embossed handmade paper discs slotted on. I made this one in two halves with a bayonet catch so that they could be separated and the discs interchanged. Each necklace has a plain face and a textured face so that they can reversed as the wearer chooses.

Come, See and Buy!

I have organised for myself and some of the ladies on my course to exhibit some of our work at a summer craft fair. We will be selling small handmade craft items in glass, ceramics, paper and silver.

'The very best of the region’s artists and designer-makers will be show-casing their talents at this family-friendly event, presented within the awe-inspiring splendour of the Georgian ballroom, right in the heart of Lincoln’s Cathedral Quarter.'

Some of the pieces of jewellery I may be selling on the day.

Please come and have a look and maybe buy yourself something, there will be many other exhibitors alongside us and it's going to be held in the beautiful County Assembly Rooms in the Bailgate area of Lincoln on Sunday the 11th of July, 10:30am-4:30pm. Admission is free and refreshments are available. You can have a look at the organisers website here.

All rest, and no work...gets me behind!

I was lucky enough to be able to go on a cheap week away with some friends last week but it seems to have been the busiest week going! I recently got a Blackberry and have become accustomed to the ease of reading emails, blogs and whatever I want whenever I want, but to save on roaming charges I had to turn all that jazz off. Which meant I came home refreshed but with a whopping 143 email to wade through and 411 blog posts to catch up on, the latter at least was enjoyable!

I've never been to Spain before but I wasn't surprised at how beautiful it was. Despite how freezing cold the sea was we still managed to get a few swims in and apparantly the shore is usually lined with sea urchins, I only found a couple of empty shells but that was preferable to getting spines in my feet as I walked on the beach!

We were in a great location, the sea one side, mountains the other.

The sun, sea and sand were a sight for sore eyes, but the graffiti seen from the train to the airport was an extra treat.

Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

I haven't posted on here in, well, let's just say a while. In the meantime I have completed my degree at uni, displayed my work in not one, but two graduate exhibitions with a third national one looming on the horizon, oh and I managed to squeeze in a blissful week away in Spain. Phew!

So, I thought I'd have a quick catch up session and show you a few photos from my various escapades. Firstly here are a few shots from our lovely graduate exhibition, this was a first show for many people so I think we did pretty well and we got really good feedback.

Glass by Emma Whitton

Ceramics by Kelly Fisher

Paper by Natasha Reidie

Glass by Tanya Beasley

Porcelain Chandelier by Lauren Hirst, Silver Necklaces by me.

These are just a few of the makers who exhibited, you can see the full list here. Our year has had a great mix of materials and styles, I think these worked together well in the show. It was part of our course to organise our own exhibition, which we did, but as it was a few weeks before the rest of uni exhibitions our work was also put on display in the foyer of the Think Tank, the new building where are workshops are so it tied in with the other courses. And just recently we were told who would be exhibiting for the university at Week 1 of New Designers, so there has been a lot of planning and organising going on. I am very excited to be showing my work and perhaps some of you may see it if you are planning on visiting. If so, do say hi, a friendly face is always appreciated!

Fold and Stitch Shop

Fold and Stitch Shop
Come and look what's in my Folksy shop.