Friday 27 February 2009

Handm@de Oxford

Yippee! I'm also going to here, Handmade Oxford on November 29th 2009 at the Town Hall in Oxford from 11am until 5pm. This looked like such fun last year. What a nice way to start the weekend and thanks to the organisers for making this all happen! Have a lovely weekend everyone.

Thursday 26 February 2009

The fabric of my life

It's about time this blog started living up to its name! I have collected fabric since I was in my teens, always making a beeline for the curtains piled high at jumble sales in search of barkcloth beauties to turn into skirts, dresses and shirts. As teenagers we even had a stall in our local Saturday market called 'Swallows and Amazons" selling these homemade creations along with vintage clothes and hand printed dresses (it never rained in those days!)

In more recent years I have been developing other uses for these fabrics including cushions, bags, brooches, collages, purses and stuffed animals. No fragment goes unused as I am only too aware that it's amazing that this fabric has survived 50 years or so. I love the distinctive 50s atomic designs as well as the more pop-style flowers and swirls and, through work by people like Jane Foster I have become a fan of Scandinavian designers such as Stig Lindberg.
I'm not sure why I love these fabrics so much. But they make my heart sing! So each week I plan to have a little display of my fabrics. This will also help me organise my fabrics a bit more and build up a set of samples so I don't get carried away snipping out all those cats and dogs! If any of you have these fabrics as well it would be lovely to hear from you, especially what you've used it for (or plan!) or if you know who the designer was, or if I get my facts wrong! As this week is feeling springy, I've started with some of the green and flowery fabrics I'm working with for the Handm@de Fair. First up is the beautifully named "All in a row" by Genia Sapper for Moygashel.

This next one I love. It is labeled 'Home Fashion' and comes in a heavy weight silky linen. The final one has no selvedges, so the designer is unknown to me. At the top of this page is a heavy cotton fabric I use a lot, also unnamed.

Tuesday 24 February 2009

I miss the snow

I'm really missing the snow. Such a rare treat in London. Thinking about the snow, I had a look at snow related crafts on Folksy and found some snowflake inspired jewellery, including these sweet earrings by Very Vintage.

A charming bracelet by Noodefish Crafts who makes all sorts brightly coloured jewellery with lovely button combinations.
Pennydog uses silver flecks to create a little snowstorm captured in this clear resin and silver ring. Beautiful. Check out the snowy knitting needles too!

And Bbel has made this delicate snowflake necklace.

Wrapping up warm and playing in the snow have inspired this pendant necklace by A Resin Revival and brooch by FluffsStuffs.

Finally, one of my fave prints by Katie Muth, picked up from Reading Frenzy on a trip to Portland a few years ago. I've just found her website showing more of her lovely prints. I really like the Calendar Series. I might have to go back for more of her lino prints. I really like the cassette tape print.
Off to have a cup of tea and look at Paul Gallico's Snowflake book. I have a much treasured 1952 edition with creamy thick paper. Each page is sprinkled with David Knight's tiny snowflakes and snow scenes printed in blue verditer coloured ink. I must admit I've not read it yet, I have a feeling I might find the religious metaphors a little irksome and was shocked to discover he also wrote the Poseidon Adventure, the film of which is top of my least liked films. This might have something to do with being forced to watch this at the end of each school year as some form of treat for us school girls. In fact these screenings were really an attempt to prevent the entire school vacating the building all at once and to lull us into stupor in order to prevent us from running through the streets going berserk. Not sure how I got from snow to disaster movies! Here are some of the lovely Gallico snowflakes. I really like the illustration of snowflake becoming part of the river.

Monday 23 February 2009

Paper dresses

I have been seeing paper dresses everywhere I go this week! At the Rebecca Hossack Gallery I saw some of Peter Clark's wonderful collages. I really liked the dresses crafted from bags and love this one, called '1000 island dressing'! Rebbecca Hossack has changing exhibitions at the Charlotte Street and Conway Street galleries and these are among my favourite in London.

And I loved the simplicity of Hussein Chalayan's airmail dress. It all folds up into an envelope.

This Design Museum exhibition shows his work from the last decade, much of which explores migration and identity. One of his other artworks, Afterwords, exploring the experience of being forced to leave home during war, transformed furniture into clothes. We went after seeing his Memory Dress at the Demin Exhibition at The Hub, Centre for Craft and Design in Sleaford.

These paper dresses made me think of the brightly coloured packages in Chinese supermarkets that contain paper clothes. I wasn't sure what they were for, but found it hard to resist the packaging so ended up buying one to see what was inside! I've since discovered that they are meant to be burnt as offerings to ancestors to enjoy in the afterlife.

Thursday 19 February 2009

Handm@de Craft Fair Cambridge 4th April

Really pleased to have just heard I will be at the Handmade Craft Fair in Cambridge Guildhall on 4th April. I'm looking forward to meeting the other 40 or so designers and crafters as well as a jaunt to Cambridge. I read about their last event in Oxford, it looked really successful and good fun. As well as a stunning array of crafts, there will also be goodie bags for the first 200 visitors featuring samples and gifts from the stall holders as well as other folksy and etsy sellers. A local charity, the Blue Cross animal adoption charity which rehomes cats and rabbits will also be there raffling off handmade prizes, donated by the stallholders. I'll be entering one of my handmade dogs into the raffle. Can't wait. I'll also be at the Makey do in Kent on July 11th, details to follow!

Friday 13 February 2009

Good luck

Need something lucky today? Here's what some of the folksy sellers have on offer to keep those naughty Friday 13th pixies away...

Mrs Gibson has made a lucky sixpence coin charm bracelet with sixpences from 1954 to 1967.

Or how about some lucky star bunting from nickynackynoo

And of course, a black cat has to turn up somewhere, TinyIsland has made this googly eyed card...or perhaps a scattering of lucky japanese stars from naatchi...

Friday 6 February 2009

dog bottoms

Before the snow, there was a sunny day and I spent it taking photos of dog bottoms. Taking photos for listings seems to require that special combination of a bright, sunny day, no cloud or breeze, no little floating bits of fluff and most definitely no highly curious and possibly hungry pets cats. I may have to explore some of the ideas discussed by the folksy sellers.
I've now finally loaded them up (and a few photos of their faces too) onto etsy and folksy. Not all of them yet as I'm flagging a bit. All this cropping, pricing, listing and describing seems to take a little while despite lots of cutting and pasting. Giving each one an individual personality doesn't help either! This is Betty, she likes to scamper ahead and then run back and bark at you. Really, she does.

They are all made from my collection of vintage fabrics, buttons and trimmings, based on stuffed toy patterns and craft books from the 1970s. I've also made a gocco print, combining some fabric and patterns.

Tuesday 3 February 2009

snowman parade

I spent all afternoon in the park taking photos of these chaps. Some were amazing, others were sweet, wierd, or just a bit scary! I liked the way many of them remained invisible until you almost walked into them, especially the little cats and dogs. On the other hand, these might have been people's pets, left out too long in the cold! I also liked how expressive their faces could be, lots of sweet smiles and a few grimaces.

The common looked quite eerie with these snow creatures looming out of the snow.

Monday 2 February 2009

Wrap up warm

I love London in the snow. No buses or cars, so it's very quiet. Just the muffled squeals of children discovering lovely deep snow for the first time. The cats are all a little apprehensive and I'm poised with my camera waiting for our shiniest black cat to tip toe out there.
Of course, this is all very lovely as long as I don't have to travel anywhere. I need to make a trip to the post office to put all those copies of The Snowy Day in the post to the nieces. But my welly boots are in the shed at the end of the garden. Have fun today and wrap up warm.