Tuesday 7 December 2010

Shiny happy eskimo girl

I've really enjoyed making these. She looks so happy, her smiley, sunshine face makes me smile back. These sweet dolls are made from vintage printed linen. It's nice how they are all different. Sadly, I can't find out who the designer was. We had these on the stall as well and one little girl looked so much like this little eskimo with her bobbed her and big grin, her mum bought one for her. I have just a few left now and have listed them in my Folksy shop.

Saturday 4 December 2010

Handprinted bunting making at Eco Design Fair

We had a lovely time on the first day of the Eco Design Fair. As well as our stall full of print gocco and recycled vintage fabric wares, we have Xtina's fabulous new wrapping paper on offer.

As is usual when the Seaside Sisters get together, we also ran our bunting making workshop. We had a stack of vintage fabrics to choose from and the Xtina printed them up with our chosen messages, images and names.

I choose this sweet xmas tree girl. It was hard to choose from so many lovely images. Here are some of my freshly printed pennants drying on the rack. It only takes about 10-15 minutes to dry so we could run a 'while-u-wait' printing service for shoppers.

I'm really pleased with the finished bunting and can't wait to decorate the house now.

We also printed up lots of cheery xmas messages on lovely tweeds, silks and velvets.

For people too busy to stop, Xtina had her ready-made bunting for sale.

In between printing and chatting to our lovely customers, I managed a little xmas shopping, including a snazzy ring pull clutch bag, a recycled wool rug and a bangle made from sugar tongs. Beautiful and tactile. There are a wonderful array of sellers working with people around the world to create beautifully made and ethically traded original homewares and accessories.

We will be at the Eco Design Fair again all day (10-5pm) on Sunday, so do pop buy for some inspiring xmas shopping and bunting making.

Tuesday 30 November 2010

Eco Design Fair

We had lots of fun at Bust last weekend and are looking forward to our next outing to the Eco Design Fair. We will be running our bunting making workshop there and are super excited about seeing everyone transform the amazing fabrics we have been collecting for the event.

Wednesday 24 November 2010

Bust Craftacular

Looking forward to joining my Seaside Sisters at the Bust Craftacular this Sunday. We will be setting up our igloo specially for the occasion, all shimmery and snowflakey!

And very excited to see my brooches featured in the Life.Style.Etc Bust Craftacular Preview!

Wednesday 17 November 2010

Making a mark

As part of our show at Sprout I held a textile design and printing workshop. We spent a lovely evening looking at vintage textiles and mid-century designers before designing and carving our own blocks. We used softcut blocks instead of lino as this is easier to cut and safer to use with children.

I had spent a while researching fabric inks that would work with softcut and transfer well to fabric. I had come across Permaset inks and wanted to try these as they are water based and non-toxic. They are intended for screen printing rather than relief or block prints, so I was worried they would not be sticky enough, but the nice people at Colormaker in Australia who manufacture Permaset inks very kindly gave me some advice and suggested using a sponge roller. And I'm pleased to say the Permaset inks worked a treat. It's been a while since I've done any printmaking and it was really satisfying, I've missed making work this way. One of the lovely things about our exhibition, apart from working with a lovely local artist, is having a bright airy space where the outside surrounds you and space for larger printing projects. Very different to sewing in my back room, and especially nice on these crisp glowing days we have been having.

Next week we will print our lino blocks and then make our fabric up into something fancy for the home, a cushion, a tea cosy or a bag!

Earlier in the week we had a special session of our ceramic painting workshop at Sprout for making little hand and foot prints. Lovely Cara gently took prints of babies and toddlers onto ceramic cups, plates, tiles and even xmas baubles. She then adds dedications and decorations and fires them at her studio. We will repeating this again on Saturday and Monday.

Sunday 14 November 2010

Indie Craft

The lovely people at Nude asked me to review Jo Waterhouse's new book, Indie Craft. This was such a treat, some of my favourite textile artists and makers are featured here.

To find out more about the book, you can pick up a copy of Nude here, which also features illustrator Gemma Correll who I have long admired since meeting her at Clutter City in Norwich. I am proud to say I have every copy of Nude magazine, it hits the spot in terms of writing about cultural happenings and I always look forward to the latest issue, so it is well worth taking out a subscription.

Friday 12 November 2010

cat heads, cat heads, roly poly cat heads!

These cheeky chap have been cheering up my sewing box and are enjoying their new home in Sprout. I like sewing the flirty eyes on them, and they all look so happy they cheer me up on the windiest wettest of days.
For some reasons when I'm sewing them I think of this song!

Thursday 11 November 2010

Come in, we're open

We set up our Handmade in Tooting show this weekend. We were feeling a a wee bit apprehensive about it and panicking about having enough stock and hours in the day to set up a show and have time for our loved ones, but now it is all up we feel very proud and quite bit excited about being shop girls for the next three weeks.
The first few days have been lots of fun, with people we know locally popping in for a browse and a chat, a cup of tea and a little bit of brooch making. It is so nice being able to work locally and share the things we enjoy doing with people living around us.

The space used to be a green grocers (hence it's new name, Sprout Arts!). It is lovely and bright and as well as playing shops I'm also looking forward to working in this lovely light uncluttered space during the day. We have set up a making table in the centre of the art space for our workshops and so anyone passing by can come and join in and spend a little time making and creating. If you are passing, do drop in and say hello.

Friday 5 November 2010

Fabric Nation on tour!

There are lots of craft events and workshops coming up over the next few months and it would be lovely to meet you if you can make it to one!

Handmade in Tooting exhibition
9 - 27 November
Sprout, 74 Moyser Road, Tooting SW16 6SQ Open Tues - Sat 11am to 6pm. Tooting Broadway Tube and then 333 or 57 bus; Brixton tube and 333 bus.
I'll be joining local illustrator Caragh Buxton for our Handmade in Tooting exhibition of vintage textile accessories, hand painted ceramics and prints in our local art space. We will be on hand everyday if you want to drop in and join in our textile, printing and pottery painting sessions or for a cup of tea and a chat. Details of all our workshops are here.

Brooch making workshop
Saturday 13th November
Sprout, 74 Moyser Road, Tooting SW16 6SQ Open Tues - Sat 11am to 6pm. Tooting Broadway Tube and then 333 or 57 bus; Brixton tube and 333 bus.
Drop-in workshop recycling vintage textiles into brooches and hair decorations. No experience is needed and Gillian will be bringing her collection of vintage fabrics and haberdashery for you to choose from. Prices start from £6. Open to all ages, children will need an adult to help with the sewing. All day Saturday.

Textile printing and sewing workshop
Tuesday 16 and 23 November
Sprout, 74 Moyser Road, Tooting SW16 6SQ Open Tues - Sat 11am to 6pm. Tooting Broadway Tube and then 333 or 57 bus; Brixton tube and 333 bus.
Two part workshop where you will print your own vintage inspired fabric and then make it into an apron, bag or purse. Gillian will be sharing her vintage fabric collection for inspiration and providing tutorials in lino printing and textiles. No previous experience is needed and all materials are provided. By the end of this two-part workshop you will have gained insight into textile design, created your own lino block for printing and will take home your own printed fabric made up into a usable item of your choice. A children's session runs from 3.30pm to 5pm and an adult session 7pm to 9pm. The cost of £25 per adult or £15 per child (accompanying adults are free and need to stay and help with the tricky bits!) includes two evening sessions, tuition and materials. To book a place and for more details, email me.

Sparkle Contemporary Craft and Gourmet Food fair
Friday, Saturday and Sunday 19, 20, 21 November
Landmark Arts, Ferry Road, Teddington TW11 9NN. Open Friday 6pm to 8.30pm and from 10am to 5pm all weekend. Regular trains from Waterloo to Teddington station and a short walk or bus ride or tune to Richmond and R68 bus.
Once again I have teamed up with the fabulous Mandy Treptow to bring you beautiful fused glass homewares and jewellery and vintage textile accessories. Together we are taking part in the Sparkle Contemporary Craft and Gourmet Food Fair at the Landmark Arts Centre in Teddington. We are amongst 60 designer makers who will offer jewellery, glass, textiles, ceramics, handknits and and other quality crafts as well as a separate area for scrumptious food stuff, all in a beautiful disused church. The gourmet food on offer is yummy, and there are lots of free tasting and sipping sessions! We also have free tickets for the Friday evening and two for one tickets for the weekend, Please email me if you would like one and I'll pop it in the post.

Handmade Christmas, drop in workshop
Saturday 27th November
Sprout, 74 Moyser Road, Tooting SW16 6SQ Open Tues - Sat 11am to 6pm. Tooting Bec Tube and then 333 or 57 bus; Brixton tube and 333 bus.
Caragh and I will be running a drop in workshop all day to help you make homemade christmas presents. All materials are provided including textiles and ceramic painting. Homemade cakes too! Prices start from £6. All ages welcome.

Bust Craftacular
Sunday 28th November
York Hall, 5-15 Old Ford Rd, London E2 9PJ . Open Sunday 12pm to 6pm. One minute from Bethnal Green tube station.
I'll be joining my Seaside Sisters for our annual outing to the marvelous and amazing craft spectacle that is the Bust Craftacular in the glorious setting of York Hall. We will be offering our colourful collection of upcycled vintage textiles homewares and accessories and print gocco cards and bunting from Fabric Nation, Handmade to Measure and Xtina Lamb alongside over 70 other fabulous designer makers.

Eco Design Fair and print gocco bunting workshop
Saturday and Sunday 4th and 5th December
Islington Town Hall, Upper Street, London N1 2UD. Open Saturday 10am to 5pm and Sunday 10am to 4pm.
Another chance to take part in the Seaside Sisters' popular gocco printing and bunting workshop at the Eco Design Fair. We will be running our workshop all weekend to help you create beautiful bunting from our vintage textile collection and print gocco screen print stencils. Perfect for personalised xmas presents and unique christmas decorations. We will also have our Seaside sisters stall with lovely upcycled vintage textiles homewares and accessories and print gocco cards and bunting from Fabric Nation, Handmade to Measure and Xtina Lamb.

Look forward to seeing you!
Fabric Nation

Monday 1 November 2010

Birthday bunting

A friend asked me to make some bunting using up fabric left over from some curtains she had made.

This is a nice way to decorate a room, and I had fun matching my felts to the colours in the fabric and adding the birds. There is also enough to make a cushion, and perhaps a little line of singing birds! My brief was to make something that was not too busy for a small room. I think for a more fancy style, I'd like to make some more, cutting round the birds on the line to make this the top of the bunting so, with the help of a little interfacing, they are sitting in a row across the top of the bias binding. The fabric is by Sarah V Battle for almedahls. I really like her use of collage and printed ephemera such as computer print-outs in the birds.

Tuesday 26 October 2010

Electric Forest

Bedgebury Pinetum lured me back again this week for the truly magical Electric Forest. A light and sound installation throughout the pinetum. We made our way round the pine scented trail in the moonlight from one pool of light to another.

Underfoot the soft pine needles made a gentle carpet as we discovered fairy groves and pixie glades and magical floating trees.

We encountered strange echoey sounds and then made our own as the trees shimmered, shone and sparkled to our whispers and whistles.

I loved that outsidey excitement you only get a few times a year on bonfire night and the magical splendor of the colourful lit landscape. Such landscapes have always cast a spell over me, from the little fairy light attraction that used to light up a grassy bank in Southend (does anyone else remember tht, I I loved it!) to the gaudy ravines of Shanklin Chine. However, this was a very different experience and really beautiful, and really well planned with fire pits half way round for warm cups of cocoa and marshmallow toasting and a candlelit cafe at the end. The Electric Forest is at Bedgebury until 7th November before moving to Thetford.

Monday 25 October 2010

Tweets and woofs

Spent today making brooches for the forthcoming Handmade in Tooting exhibition. Sewing the owls' sleepy eyes makes me feel very calm.

Looking forward to sewing the cats whiskers, they are very dandy!

Sunday 24 October 2010

Chestnut Sunday

Traditionally, Chestnut Sunday is the second Sunday in May, when people celebrate the flowering of the chestnut blossoms. For me, it is those crispy autumnal Sunday afternoons, coming home with handfuls of shiny conkers to admire and pockets of spiky sweet chestnuts to roast. These sweet chestnuts were from our walk around Bedgebury Forest. The adjoining Pinetum is beautiful and I'm looking forward to returning to see the Electric Forest.