Well as Handpicked Hall opens in Skipton today there can be no other choice for this week’s Friday Faves. I will be there tomorrow with my baby bits and illustrations, but until then if you are heading down for the opening day today then here are a few of my personal faves, who also happen to be fellow Craft Soup creators:
Rose Cottage Crafts - I was lucky enough to meet Christine at last night’s premier , and after spending time chatting to her via Craft Soup it was great to see her granny chic creations in person and I am envious of anyone who can crochet as it’s something I haven’t tried yet for fear of being addicted and already lacking hours in the day! So, if like me you love a bit of vintage inspired crochet that would sit perfectly in any home then check out Rose Cottage Crafts’ website or pop by and say hi as she will be at Handpicked Hall on Fridays
Little Shop of Lathers – It’s always great to catch up with Claire as she is as bubbly as her handmade bath and shower creations. Last night I even learnt about Claire’s clever idea of a bath bomb equivalent for those who prefer a shower! The only problem I have being within 100 metres of Claire’s gorgeous products is that I can’t resist buying quirky things as presents. I can’t reveal too much about my purchase last night as it is a soon to be Easter present but I can say that if you want an Easter alternative to chocolate then this is your girl. If you’re in the area tomorrow then pop by and be tempted by the chocolatey aromas as you reach the Little Shop of Lathers stall.
Ruby Spirit Designs – Tracy is actually one of the first people to introduce me to Craft Soup when I met her at an event in Haworth, and I always like the chance to catch up with her as we cross paths on the creative circuit. As with Little Shop of Lathers I find it very dangerous going near Ruby Spirit Design products as they have a quirkiness and style that I have not seen elsewhere and I know that any products (yes, none of them have made it as far as presents as I have kept them all) will stand out as being unique. I even managed to find some gorgeous earrings at Handpicked Hall last night that match my brand colours, so I think I’m justified in buying them to wear on Saturday, right??
If you are in Skipton today, tomorrow or any other day please pop by to Handpicked Hall and suport local designers, sellers and businesses and enjoy this breath of fresh talent that is a welcome change to what is becoming a standard selection of high street chains in most of our towns and cities – celebrate local, handmade and British.
I’ve not been around for a while thanks to a lack of internet at home, so now we’re back online, albeit sporadically it’s blog time and what better way to start than by sharing a great screenprinting workshop I attended a few weeks ago courtesy of the lovely Karen from Blueberry Park. If you haven’t seen Karen’s work then what are you waiting for? As you may know I’m addicted to sketching and gocco printing because I can easily do it at home and get the fine detail of my sketches into my prints but I thought it’s about time I experimented with different techniques and I haven’t done screenprinting since my art foundation (many years ago!) so it was time for a refresher. We learnt everything we needed to know from cutting our stencils, to the best way of organising your screen to print at home, and of course the difficult bit (for me) of pulling the dreaded squeegee so that the ink was even and covered the whole image. Ok, so it took me several attempts but I got there in the end and was quite pleased with the results.
My design was 2 colours and we only had time for 1, maybe because there were 4 of us in the group and we had a great time printing but also plenty of talking! I’m really glad that I met Jess Hogarth, check out her designs if you haven’t already, her mum Wendy, and another lady with a gorgeously simple geometric design called Chrissie. Oh yes, my point was that I left the workshop with one colour still to print for some contrasting details but learnt how to make a ‘homemade’ screen with some muslin and an embroidery hoop (yes, I do have plenty in stock) so watch out for part 2 when I will reveal how my printing alone at home goes!
I’ll leave you now to check out our prints in action and say a big thank you to Karen for making it a fun way to learn and introducing me to some fab new ladies.
As Valentine’s Day approaches what else can be on the creative list than hearts! I’m a bit late with Valentines items this year but I’ve just booked to do the Heart and Craft Fair in Headingley on 9th Feb so I thought I’d better sew a bit of love for it, so when I wanted to send my friend a hug through the post my little lavender hearts emerged. They were also a great excuse to use all the smaller bits of fabric I have left over that aren’t big enough for my bibs or booties etc. As well as being a great little handmade gift for Valentine’s day they can also be hung in your wardrobe or put in your drawers to keep clothes smelling lovely and repel moths or as a fragrant present to yourself or someone else to help get a good night’s sleep.
As we’re internet-less at home at the moment, this is a quick and belated HAPPY NEW YEAR as I’m sat in a cafe on their wi-fi! Hope this year is a good one, and brings all that you wish for. 2012 wasn’t the best year for us so I’m glad to be starting 2013 on a positive note in our very own house, with my creative studio nearly finished and ready for some sewing, sketching and chaos.
Whatever your resolutions I hope 2013 involves more handmade goodness and creativity. I will be back blogging and sharing my creative outcomes, inspirations and influences once back on the internet at home in Feb.
Just a quick sketch from me today to say Happy Thanksgiving to those celebrating over the pond Hope you all enjoy your turkey and pumpkin pie ahead of Black Friday tomorrow… I have some special offers and discounts in my Etsy shop to celebrate this weekend only.
Have a great day, whatever your plans
It’s nearly bonfire night, so there’s only one thing that can be this week’s theme… yes, you guessed it - fireworks! And here are my fave firework inspired items from Etsy to start the weekend with a bang:
Purpleface – Nature’s fireworks (no need to look to the night sky for blasts of colour)
Candan Imrak – Lampwork earrings (perfect for wearing to a bonfire this weekend)
Ebi Emporium – Acrylic firework painting (love the texture on this canvas)
Have a great weekend, whatever your plans
I buy a new poppy every year but for the last few years I’ve bought handmade ones (making sure there is a donation from the seller to charity) but always seem to leave it to the last minute so this year I thought I’d remind myself and a few others along the way. I have decided to make myself a poppy this year and give a donation to the British Legion for it, which got me thinking whether I should make and sell some in my etsy shop to help get some more money for a great cause, and remember all the sacrifices that our armed forces have made for us. Then I stumbled upon a tweet about the 500 poppies project, and that kick started my poppy ideas as I’d like to send some to that as well… so watch this space. In the meantime here are some of my faves on Etsy, giving money to charity:
Wychbury – Poppy hairclip (Why not go for something a bit different and wear a poppy hair pin instead or as well!)
Laura K Bragg - Knitted poppy brooch (I love the traditional feel to this poppy, and does remind me of my grandma and grandad’s generation)
Stitched with love UK - Poppy brooch (Wear a beautiful poppy with pride, and this will definitely stay on longer than the paper ones)
I found plenty more gorgeous poppies on Etsy but personally would never buy one that didn’t donate to the British Legion as that misses the point for me. Wherever you buy from I hope you will be wearing your poppies and donating you pennies on 11 November and remember all our great servicemen and women.
I was so excited to go to the Canada Water Library in London, despite the underground problems, to be re-united with my sketchbook project 2012, as well as meeting my fab friend Jess from Jessie G for the day and getting engrossed in lots of great sketchbooks. The problem wasn’t where to start but when to finish! I was lucky enough to have the help of Rob Jelinski’s top 25 read list (I advise you take it if you’re visiting this week – only the European and Australian books are in London but I’m determined to get to Brooklyn to see the rest!!) and the ones I saw were all amazing:
- The first book that I managed to get out was that of Marian Wood, and one of the first artists I noticed through Rob’s blog. I’m gutted that in the initial chaos when the system wasn’t set up that I forgot to take more photos of the delicate colour, line weight and traditional feel of Marian‘s sketches as it was beautiful
- Charlotte Valance is somebody I’ve got to know through twitter, and the sketchbookproject, but who I also got to meet on my Gocco course earlier in the summer so I was very excited to see her book in person. Well worth seeing for the gorgeous ink sketches of buildings, and a style I instantly recognise now as Charlotte‘s
- I knew there was a chance that I would see Matt Robinson there, and thanks to sketchbook name badges I did. Matt‘s detailed sketches with dots/stippled effect captured my attention from the first page I saw, and the book is even better in person – no photo can give it justice. Can’t wait for Matt’s 2013 entry, and hoping it comes back to London
- I have to admit that Mat Roff‘s Legend of Mat Marvel has gone straight in at no.1 in my opinion – you MUST see this in person. Not only is it a gripping story, which I consider to be a cross between James Bond and TinTin but the illustrations are so detailed and beautiful, and the cover grabbed mine and everybody else’s attention. If I could buy this I would… Please tell me you’re doing Sketchbook Project 2013 Mat!!
- The delicately detailed illustrations of Naomi Adams have been on my must see list from early on, and are even better in person. The red string tells a story of it’s own and is like a wordless fairytale that any child can narrate themselves. I was lucky enough to bump into Naomi and her gorgeous children who must have loved watching the story unfold.
- I am addicted to twitter and the sense of community so was pleased to meet Zoe Ford, who I have tweeted with plenty but never met in person before, and of course view her sketchbook which was a very different take on a path through the trees.
- Last but not least, a big mention to my friend Jessie G who I feel I bullied into the sketchbook project (in a nice way) and did all of her clean, bright and bold sketches in just 10 minutes!
As well as the books specifically chosen to view you also get a ‘random’ book given with it so you get to view books that you might not otherwise have seen. Or, you could choose to search by a theme, colour or random selection which means it’s perfect for people just wanting to visit but not knowing how to choose a book and my fave random book has to be from wellywearer and again the gorgeous detailed linework. For me, the only disappointing things were the long queue (but I guess that means it’s popular which has to be a good thing) and the fact that I wanted to go over and pick the books off the shelf that took my fancy; this also got me thinking how likely my book is to be chosen as a random selection by visitors.
All in all it was a great experience and has spurred me on to do some more pages of my sketchbook project 2013, to be shared later in the week.
Have a great week,
Yay, I will finally be re-united with my sketchbookproject 2012 in London this weekend. This is my second book to go on tour, the first is now housed in the Brooklyn Art Library, and my third is in progress. For those of you who have not heard about it here’s a quick summary from my own point of view:
- Sign up to the Sketchbook Project, and choose your theme (I chose this is a sketchbook for my 2012 project)
- Then pay through the website and wait for the exciting post to arrive looking all new and ready to be personalised
- Get creative! For my 2012 sketchbook I chose to base it on my life as a bride and use it as a storybook because there are 32 pages (standard picture book)
- Then the hardest bit is saying goodbye and posting it back to New York before the deadline
- That’s it… let it fly off around the globe and hopefully be kept company along the way as people pick it off the shelves
I cannot recommend it enough, what are you waiting for? Sign up now if you haven’t already, and if you did the 2012 project then please post your name and sketchbook details below so I can add it to my list for Saturday. Thanks to a fab artist I met through twitter, Rob Jelinski, here is a Top 25 read list (only the European entries are coming to London) if you get chance to visit Canada Waters Library over the next week to see the fab creative books on display, and of course it would be great if mine got a few views before it heads back to live in New York – there could be an excuse for a holiday to the USA in there!
Thanks to Art House Co-op who make all of this possible…
I’m always up for trying new creative things, but over the last year or so that’s not been so easy with moving flat, my operation and recovery and lack of money… However, I was very excited when my friend Jess sent me a link for a Gocco workshop by Printed Wonders on Etsy which wasn’t too expensive (found out it was great value for money given how long we had and how much we printed) and was just an evening so I signed up for it immediately. You can tell how much I wanted to do it as this was my first adventure out on my crutches on my own further than Wimbledon (apart form commuting to work) since November! It was a fab evening, and not only was Xtina a fab teacher but I got to meet Charlotte Valance, who I’ve been wanting to meet since chatting with her on twitter after the Sketchbook Project. Although not all my attempts worked out I’m happy with the later ones, and I’ve even managed to rescue a few of the mistakes/stray splodges by adding some hearts, which also means that every single one is different and definitely one of a kind. Just need to pluck up the courage to list them in my Etsy and Luulla shops now.
Enjoy the rest of the weekend,