Friday, 30 October 2009

Pretty Inspiration

I've had a very busy work day today, been working on my dissertation and sketchbook, and been putting some gorgeous Victorian illustrations of flowers into my research.
These are from a lovely book I found in a charity shop, it's full of beautiful illustrations!

Thursday, 29 October 2009

My Creative Space

I'm taking it easy on the creative front today, just been stitching some of my laminated rose pattern, I've cut it up into thin sections to make it more abstract. I'm also making a scarf, how unusual for me to be doing something for myself! Also, my increasing collection of vintage knitting needles, got three pairs yesterday, the two turquoise and the yellow, the pink were a pressie from my lovely hubby when we went to London earlier this year!
Head on over to kootoyoo for more creative space mayhem!

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Busy, Busy, Busy!

Had a mad busy few days! Had a lovely weekend, we went to Manchester for the Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair, which was really inspiring! Then after some hardcore shopping we went to see Passion Pit supported by Max Tundra and The Joy Formidable who are my most favourite band of the moment!

On Sunday we went to Wolverhampton to see the Editors...not so keen, but Paul enjoyed it! On Monday we had a mad drive to get some jesmonite, which is a resin, to make bracelets, and then onto a charity shop hunt, where I got wool, fabric, a mitten and glove knitting book, a teeny purse for my sewing stuff, and some vintage buttons, and hook and eye fasteners. It was fab! Then I went to Knit and Natter with all my lovely friends and started a new scarf. Yesterday was a bit of a mish-mash day, I got a desk for my workshop, so I spent some time getting organised.

I did a bunch of work in the evening, contacted some more potential stockists, and suppliers of materials and equipment, it's all getting very serious now! Today we went to meet my lovely friend Ruth, and I got 3 pairs of fantastic coloured vintage knitting needles and a needlecraft book. This afternoon I did some jesmonite samples with different herbs and spices, some more successful than others! Tonight we're having a lovely winter veg stew, and I'm going to carry on with my scarf! Good times!

Friday, 23 October 2009

Me and My Girls!

We're famous, Oswestry Knit and Natter group makes the paper! I love knit and natter, these lovely ladies and lots of others - a fabulous, inspiring group of ladies, from all walks of life, vast differences, all brought together by the need and desire to create. Wonderful women, I'm so very lucky to be a part of it!

My New Bag!

I'm working from home today, I was meant to be working yesterday, but instead decided that I needed a break, so I went shopping with my sister! Bought some lovely fabric and crochet cotton, and two interiors magazines. It did me so much good to just relax and have a day not working, it's been a stressful few weeks and I feel recharged! I've also been trying to take some time to make some stuff for myself, including this bag!

I'm pretty pleased with it, I love the fabric, and the over sized button.

Sunday, 18 October 2009

What I'm up to today...

Today I'm working on some textile ideas, I'm pretty lost on the uni front at the mo, so I'm trying to get some textiles in there. I've very nearly finished my embroidered rose, it just needs some pale pink detail, and I've started to think of other ways to incorporate textiles. So I'm at the table with to-do lists (that aren't getting any shorter), a cup of orange tea (which helps), and my gorgeous new owl badge (which helps the most - thanks lovely Linda).Owl badge by Linda of Dances for Pies

Bought these lovely books for inspiration - "Bend the Rules with Fabric" was waiting for me when I got home on Friday, and I picked up "Sew!" from the town's new bookshop Booka yesterday. I also got this very fab kitsch sewing box from one of the charity shops...

It's a little bit over-loved on the inside, it needs a tiny repair, but otherwise a lovely thing!
So now I have to stop procrastinating and get on with some work...

Thursday, 15 October 2009

My Creative Space

My creative space this week is all about my uni work, I've been back-stitching onto acetate paper which is time consuming but looks fab! The idea is that acetate is pretty good for working out designs for resin, it being see-through and all. So I've got a few things worked out, and got some more resin blanks casting up ready to use tomorrow.

That's where I'm up to so far, feels like I've been stitching away for ages!

More creative spaces here!

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Acrylic and Resin!

Had a positive work day, did some engraving on acrylic, which I discovered doesn't look so good, but quickly solved the problem - sandblasting! I've brought home the piece and started working into some sticky back plastic which will mask off the bits to stay shiny and leave the exposed bits to be sandblasted. I will then glue on the white back, which will need a fair bit of time to dry, sandblast on the pattern and drill out the details....
My resin samples from yesterday have set perfectly, one tiny air bubble in one which fortunately is on an edge so it can be sanded out. They're opaque on the sides which is from the mould, but they've set, and aren't sticky which helps! So now I can start to work with them.
I'm armed with my list of stuff to research, and some designs to do so time to carry on!

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Designing Day!

Well, my meeting ended up getting postponed until next week, on the positive it means I have longer to prepare, although the flip side is that I now have another week of thinking about it! I have made the most of the day though, got a huge amount of work done, carrying on from my 5am inspiration. I've made a batch of clear cast resin, which appears to be setting nicely, must just resist the temptation to touch it!

The resin is in the two left hand rows, not the clearest of photos!

I've also been stitching onto acetate sheet, which has led me onto a pretty sweet little design, which will be tried out as soon as the resin is set! I have a bunch more ideas which need jotting down, but I'm starting to run out of energy so I possibly just need to make a list! I've just made myself a cranberry tea, so I think it may be time to call it a night.

Inspiration Strikes!

Well, the inspiration has finally started to kick in, unfortunately it was at 5am! I've been working through some ideas, and how to do things that were puzzling me, so I feel more on track, and will hopefully be making some samples in the next couple of days, finally!

This fantastic book arrived this morning, "Sustainable Jewellery" by Julia Manheim.It has some fantastic jewellery, but most importantly it has two chapters that will be useful for my dissertation!

I have a meeting this afternoon, which is pretty scary, it's to try and arrange a grant towards a laser cutter, and is a fairly big deal. I've got a nice notebook and a file, some nice clothes picked out, and my super cute Mary-Janes all ready, just need to do a bit of preparation this morning. I'm sure it's going to be an exciting day!

Winter's definitely on it's way; this was the sight that greeted me after Knit and Natter last!
Beautiful, the nights are coming in so early now! Anyway, best get myself ready!

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Fabric Wraps

I've been busy today, I started making fabric wraps with gorgeous Laura Ashley fabric, and the super sweet "handmade by gemmipop designs" labels that arrived last week.
I've put in paint-brushes and make-up brushes, thought they'd make nice Christmas presents. I'm hoping that they'll be popular, I really enjoy making them!

Cheer up with Kitties

Having a bit of a sad day at the news of Stephen Gately dying, I idolised him when I was about nine, and am so shocked that he's gone, especially so young. My auntie also had to send her pretty little grey kitty cat to heaven, so to cheer myself up I've been taking more time than usual having hugs with my feline family....

Relaxing around the house...

and in extreme close up!

Gotta love kitties!

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Learning Something New!

Had quite a relaxing afternoon, when all the work was done I spent a bit of time learning something new. I've been inspired by the lovely stitching my friend Louisa from Knit and Natter has been doing, so I thought I'd have a go myself, using this easy to follow tutorial!

It's a bit shaky but I'm sure it's not bad for a first attempt!

My Creative Space

Actually managed to find time for my creative space this week, I'm working from home today, have got a fair bit done, some designs and some research.

As usual, spread out on the floor, the living room table is all covered in boring old paperwork! I'm making lots of positive steps, my business is my main focus at the moment, and I look forward to the days when I can wake up and just start making! Going to test the market with some of my fabric wraps next I think, I enjoy making them and have had lots of people saying I should be selling them...I'm also going to be making some bangles, as well as more flowers and scarves. Might get some stock done this afternoon!

For more creative spaces, pop on over to kootoyoo!

Monday, 5 October 2009

Funny old day

Had a weird mixed up kind of day today. Went to uni feeling really positive, had some pretty cool news last night which I'm very excited about (more news when things are set in stone). Then had the most soul destroying group critique, I couldn't explain eloquently what i was working towards and ended up getting sideswiped and feeling pretty low. Had a tutorial which left me feeling much better, but still unsure. That was the low point of the day. The high point is that I've decided to do what I always say I will but never do: follow my own heart and head, do the thing that's best for ME and MY WORK. I'm sticking to my guns, following my ideas through, and if I'm wrong then I've not sold myself (or my ideas) out. I've achieved a lot on my own, my biggest successes have been ones that I've forged for myself, and I have to have self belief. I've also sold some stuff today, my first sale at First Editions, and a commission that I've done for a lady in my knitting group. I really needed that kind of validation and vindication today, and the universe has provided.

Not my usual positive self, but some stuff that I feel better for getting off my chest. Normal services will resume tomorrow.

Sunday, 4 October 2009

More of the Shop and my Fabric Haul!

Some more pics of the displays at First Edition, not that I'm excited or anything...

Right hand window with my scarves, and some of my brooches!

And my brooches in the left hand window!

I've been emailing this morning, following up some leads on a second stockist, as well as some materials, and the possibility of doing a stall. Next is some actual design work on floral patterns which should lead onto my own designs. No rest for the wicked...

But, here's a sneaky preview of all the lovely fabric I picked up yesterday, so gorgeous that I hardly want to use it, just look at it and coo!

And some close ups of the loveliness!

Back to work for now...

Saturday, 3 October 2009

My Busy Week and Exciting Evening!

It's been a very hectic first week at uni, with the official launch of our final year brief, the deadline for the draft of the dissertations, and generally huge amounts of work. I also had a major laptop malfunction which has led to the purchase (by my super sweet hubby) of a new laptop, which has been lovingly nicknamed "Betsy"! Better now than when my dissertation is due, but nonetheless a big inconvenience. The week has, however, been rounded off nicely this evening with the opening of First Editions in Oswestry! There's plenty of lovely things there, and I feel very lucky to be included!

My work displayed alongside some beautiful pieces by Marietta Alker, a very talented lady who ran a superb Nuno Felt workshop that I went to earlier this year. I'm definitely in good company! I also have a bunch of scarves in the window! How exciting!

I picked up some fantastic books this evening, including "Modern Pulp and Paper-making" from the 1952, "The Design and Creation of Jewellery" from the 1970s, and the gorgeous Ladybird "'How to do it': Metalwork" book from 1973, which just absolutely had to come home with me, and will probably take pride of place in my workshop!

I also had a fantastic purchase today from "Rosie and Lola", which is the gorgeous shabby chic shop in Oswestry; a huge bag of fabric (including a bunch of Laura Ashley!) for £5! Fantastic bargain, will be taking pics tomorrow for my uni research, which has taken a distinctly floral route. I also picked up a knitting pattern for mittens, that I probably won't have time to attempt until next winter, but I have it ready for when the time comes.
I'm already pretty much exhausted, but was awake at 4am this morning trying to convince myself that I would benefit more from a couple more hours of sleep than getting up to work then and there. Luckily I actually did manage to get back to sleep and feel ready for a full day of work tomorrow. I think the next few months will be very hard, but rewarding too. I have discovered some gorgeous Cranberry tea though, that I think may well sustain me through some very tough days to come! Small pleasures!