Wednesday, January 06, 2010

New year, new start...

Well here we are in 2010 with a slightly rounder tummy after the sedation and feasting of Christmas and a rather fuller pile of books by the bed due to the lovely presents of craft books that I received. The holidays went by in a flash so all my plans of sewing, designing and planning for the future didn't come to as much as I hoped they would. I did manage to finish a jersey skirt which I might show you once I've ironed it for the photos, re-hem and dye some jeans and do some snow dyeing:
I layered up a few pieces of fabric and piled the snow on top then drizzled dyes onto the melting snow. I couldn't find the right type of dye but didn't want the snow to go before I'd tried this so I used Jacquard Lumiere and Dyna Flow dyes.
The results are a little bit paler than I would have liked because it was the wrong type of dye but I did get some nice marbling in areas and I think that the fabrics will make good backgrounds for stitching on.
Now to the new start ... I've decided to move my blog to wordpress. I can host the blog on my own domain, so have a simpler address, and there are more tools that I can use to make the blog what I want it to be. From now on you'll need to change your bookmarks to: . See you there!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The end of the silly season and time for snow

Well, relaxation has come a little bit later than I thought but I'm finally on holiday! It's been a difficult winter season with a very slow start to the Christmas sales but in the end it turned out well and I even had people calling me wanting to order jewellery. I did 2 commissions for charm bracelets and delivered a couple of fine silver pendants to a customer, then I took a range of my work round to a friend's house this morning and she bought 3 necklaces. A very good end to the run up to Christmas and now I'm looking forward to a few days off then some time to experiment. I find that when I'm trying to make work for craft fairs I stick to what I'm used to and what I think will sell - as I'm sure most of us do. It's good to spend some time away from the craft fairs ignoring commerciality and just trying new techniques and new colour palettes. I'll also get some more sewing done in January :)

Things have been a little bit harder in the past few days by this:

It's very beautiful but makes travelling around rather difficult. Skidding down a hill that I was trying to drive up was interesting! Luckily I didn't have to go many places (isn't it lovely to work at home) but the big drive comes tomorrow night - 2 3/4 hour drive to Dorset on Christmas Eve. I hope that everyone reading this has a great Christmas and I look forward to showing you more of what I've been doing in 2010.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Crawling Towards Christmas

Well it's been a hectic couple of months with the Christmas craft fairs and re-stocking galleries but it's nearly over and I'll be able to get back to normal soon. I always call this the 'silly season' because my memory goes, I walk around in a complete daze and I feel like I'm just crawling my way towards Christmas. I know it's the same for all of us professional crafters but would we have it any other way? I have a craft fair this weekend at Duffryn Gardens, near Cardiff then possibly a small one next weekend. After that I can relax! Sometime in between I do need to write some Christmas cards and actually get my decorations down from the loft, though...

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I am still here..I promise!

I feel really bad that I've been away from my blog for SO long! That city & Guilds course that I started has really taken up my time - loads of practical work and loads of homework. It's fun getting back to messing about with paint and doing wax crayon rubbings (the initial module is on the basics of colour, line, texture, shape and form before we move on to the textile work) but it means that I haven't had much time for other things. And now the Christmas craft fairs have crept up on me! I have a good amount of stock but there's less winter stock than I would like. I have been working on it in between making print blocks from foam and textures from sticks but almost everything I've made recently has gone to re-stock galleries.

The first fair is tomorrow night at the Christchurch Centre, Malpas, Newport. It's only a local charity fair so I think that the work I've got will be sufficient. I did make some new handbag charms that are a bit chunkier than I normally make. That's something I would like to work on as my jewellery has always been quite fine and delicate looking in the past.
My next craft fair is Saturday and Sunday (21st and 22nd November) at the Norwegian Church in Cardiff Bay. I had a great fair their in the summer so I'm hoping for great things but the weather forecast isn't looking good. Finger's crosssed for people!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Finally a summer top

Only a season too late but at least it's finally finished!

I made Simplicity 4695, a supposedly simple little shell top. Actually the pattern went together really well but I used the wrong interfacing so the facing around the armholes looked really stiff and felt awkward. Trimming back didn't help so I ended up unpicking it and top stitching around the armhole instead. I think it looks okay now and I'm really happy to have finished the top in time for next summer!

I'd like to make this top again but in a more relaxed fabric (this was a quilting cotton) and I'll lower the armhole slightly as it seems a little snug. I also find the collar too high at the front but maybe the discomfort comes from the stiffness of the quilting cotton. I might try lowering it by just 1cm for the next top.

I don't kow how much time I will have to make clothes from now on (I know I haven't been that brilliant at it anyway!) as I'm just about to start a City & Guilds course in creative textiles. I'm sure that it will take up a lot of my spare time but it should also increase my confidence in my abilities.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Textile Journeys

Just a quick post to tell you about an exhibition I saw on Saturday. It was actually the launch that I attended so there were lots of lovely artists to talk to but the work will be interesting even on a rainy Tuesday afternoon with no one else around. To celebrate their 10th anniversary Fibre Art Wales has created a touring exhibition entitled Journeys and from 25th September to 8th November it's stopping at Rhondda Heritage Park (which is just up the road from me). As it's a collaborative event the work is really varied, from a combined crochet and video piece to a jewelled, wirework shoe and whimsical embroidered vintage hankies. I love this sort of thing and maybe you will too so if you're in the area, go take a look :)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Double Published

I've got 2 articles in the latest issue of Making Jewellery magazine which was in the shops on Friday. The first is my regular page on artists and their inspirations. This month I spoke to Joy Funnell, the first person to become a Craftsman of the Guild of Enamellers using metal clay. Her Venetian Mask inspired pendant is so vibrant and really inspires me to try out enamelling for myself.
The next article I wrote is my own tutorial on making a Swarovski crystal cluster necklace.

Let's hope that people enjoy my work :)