Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Will I ever learn? (A very honest post)

Are you an ever prepared Penelope or(like me)a frantic Felicity?I make,make,make but come October/November time I panic.Orders flood in,the shop starts emptying and Christmas Fayres approach.'I should of made more of those and less of others' and 'Next year will be different;I'll start in June and stay focused' echoes through the cottage.The really silly thing is that I love the preparation stage and thrive on the research and sketchbook work but have a tendency to lose my way if I come across time restraints or other obstacles.I was the same through school,college and university..we would laugh about how I thrived on the adrenalin rush and to be honest I always done well as a result but I have looked a little deeper lately and made some decisions regarding this.

I don't allow myself enough time to really explore my ideas and designs so that is the very thing I want to rectify.I have a stack of sketchbooks on a shelf over my desk all mumbling in a disgruntled manner when I ignore them or add a new book on the pile.When I experiment lately I feel guilty that I'm not actually making anything that I can sell and to be honest that makes me feel even more guilty.
It's funny how you start ventures with clear ideas and goals but they often take many twists and turns and you need to step back and look at where you really want to go.I want to work on clearer more coherent collections and maybe not so many one off pieces.Everything of course will still be in limited amounts and as they are embroidered by hand they are each different anyway but I hope focusing on one or two themes will work well. 

So that is what I have done and have decided that the I really want to explore embroidery much more and combine it with my artwork as much as possible.I had plans for producing embroidery patterns next year anyway so this fits in well with my vision.
I want to explore the 'So Sweet' range much more and have been working on some embroidered pendants like the one below which are based on colour themes and using mostly darning stitches.I'm really enjoying making these and have been wearing one myself nearly every day since I made it.I'm trying to get them into the Folksy shop as soon as I can and will be taken them to Delapre Abbey Christmas Fayre 

So I'm going to have a break from blogging until after Christmas but I will still be reading your lovely blogs and keeping the Folksy shop stocked.So I really hope you can be patient with me and maybe you could pop back after Christmas so I can show you the new and shiny Gracie's Garden Bazaar(hope you have a lovely christmas too!)

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Makes in process : Day three

A sketch of a 'Jorinda' doll I am hoping to make.Jorinda(the love of Joringel)was turned into a bird by a wicked witch and after many years of singing her sorrowful song in a rusty cage she was saved by her love and transformed back.Grimm ended his tale in the traditional happy way however I wondered if after all those years Jorinda might have still had some birdy ways and what if she hadn't completely transformed back...would they live happily ever after?
Thanks for popping by,

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Playing with clay

As promised here is a glimpse of the first of my makes in progress. She needs an awful lot of beauty sleep so I have to whisper but a bit of sanding and some colour on those cheeks and she will be ready to parade her peculiarly pretty face.
See you tomorrow,
thanks for popping by

Monday, 10 October 2011

Finally I can focus...what joy!

The title of this post has two meanings.As of late I have been struggling to focus on which creative path I want to skip along and also quite simply my poor tired eyes have been suffering too.
Years of very late night reading and detailed stitching have taken their toll on my eyes.For the last couple of months every time I sat down in front of the computer screen to tip tap out some little words to your good selves;I ended up with streaming blurry eyes and headaches.So off to the spectacle shop I finally stumbled where I was presented with some lovely shiny new spectacles.

Everything looks so bright and fresh!I feel a little bit silly that I hadn't realised sooner that I needed them especially since my mother and grandmother are spectacled but I've always had a tendency to overlook the most obvious explanation(quite literally in this case!)So now I have a new addition to my wardrobe..lots of fun to be had.

If you are regular caller you might have noticed that I've been redecorating my blog and I'm still mucking around I mean redesigning it so bear with me please.Headache free computer using is a bit of a novelty at the moment so I got a bit carried away!
Regarding not being able to focus creatively,I have been working through quite a lot of custom orders lately but with new work I have been slightly flitting from one idea to another.So I thought I would just show the newest pieces that I have listed on Folksy over the past couple of weeks and then each day this week I'll post a picture and a brief description of my unfinished makes.(I thought that would be a good way to get back to blogging regularly)So here goes..

Tweed flower purse - SOLD

So lovely to have a catch up and I'll be back tomorrow.Have a lovely day,
Take care

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Poring over Pages :Part Two

I have had another lengthy absence from my dear little blog so you are perfectly entitled to frown at me and tap my sorry wrist.I have been busy making but I'll show you those next time.So this is my second book appreciation post and my chosen book is Early Twentieth Century Embroidery Techniques by Gail Marsh which I first borrowed from the library and after taking it out three times decided I should definitely get my own copy.

As the title suggests the volume is about embroidery techniques used in the period 1900 to 1939 but I think this volume has a lot more to offer than many other technique or historical reference books.Using sumptuous images and detailed diagrams the book is  visually stunning as well as instructive and inspiring.

The author uses examples from the RBKS Collection at Gawthorpe Hall where she is curator and reading the book feels we are being taken on a privileged tour of the collection.She also tries out the techniques she comes across and provides diagrams so we can experiment also.The books focuses on the women(famous and unknown)who contributed to spreading the education of embroidery within all classes and it's place in the arts and crafts movement.

It's full of interesting tales and details which highlight embroidery's role in the social history of women as well as it's place in the art world.I have to say my favourite picture in the whole book was of the back of a sampler which was an absolute mass of knots..very reassuring to see.All in all I highly recommend this book and I've ordered one of Gail's Marsh's other books 19th Century Embroidery Techniques so I'm sure I'll be singing that books's praises too!
Happy reading until next time and thanks for all your lovely comments on my last're very sweet:)

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Playing with Plush

Hope you are all well and happy.If you've visited here before you will probably gather that I am great bee admirer and this often creeps into my work in many different guises.So this time I thought I'd try and make a plush Queen Bee.I have always loved dolls and plush but have only made ones as gifts and so more tailored to the recipient's taste(not always my own)

So it was lovely to have an experiment and play.She still remains legless I'm afraid so need to get on with those.As you can tell I wasn't attempting a realistic interpretation but more a 'lace tinted'view of my favourite insects. 

I used lots of different embroidery stitches that I had only used once or twice before and added 'honey' in whipped backstitch.I've always loved using metallic threads but would become so frustrated with it's fragility so finally realising that I could could keep the metallic thread on the surface of the fabric(so the thread won't break)using whipped backstitch has been a godsend.Have you got a favourite stitch or technique?I love hearing new ones.

Well overall I'm happy with my 'nearly' finished Queenie but need to work on the basic shape a bit more so hope to have some ready for Folksy soon.In the meantime I added these needle cases to my Folksy nook.Perfect for christmas gifts for you super organised souls.

Well I better take flight and get back to making.Hello to my new followers and thanks to everyone for leaving your lovely comments(especially when blogger is misbehaving)..I'm working hard at getting back to posting more frequently again so please bear with me(pretty please)
Take care

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

the butterflies are returning...

This butterfly adorned cuff is a finished custom order for a treasured regular purchaser of my makes.I particularly enjoyed making this cuff because the lovely lady sent me a picture of the dress she would be wearing it with and gave me colour guidelines but left the rest to my judgement.I have to admit that I had started veering away from making my butterflies a while back because I've not been able to do as many fairs and they always sell better when people can see them up close and see how much work has gone into them.I suppose that's the challenge with selling on an online marketplace.Folksy is saturated with textile brooches now so sometimes I feel your work gets lost. 

Anyway,I've decided the butterflies are returning but probably not as jewellery.I'm working on some new needle cases,phone covers and glasses cases which butterflies will be landing on!Can't wait to show you. Meanwhile these new pretties are gracing the virtual shelves of my Folksy shop.

Hope you are all well and would love to hear your experiences about selling online compared to face to face.
Take care

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Foraging For Treasures....Bee inspired

As promised in my last post I went on an enjoyable forage around the Folksy corridors and found a gorgeous array of bee inspired goodies.Hope you enjoy!Click on item name to go to item and shop name to be taken to the seller's wonderful shop.

All lovely aren't they...obviously lots of other bee lovers out there then. 
Thought I better mention that a lot of generous readers of my blog have told me that they cannot leave comments any more because naughty Blogger won't let them! Boo! This fault has slowly become more and more frequent and I have spent a lot of time trying to fix it but I think I'll have to give up for now and wait and see if blogger can sort it out or Wordpress or Typepad are looking very attractive.So I'm really sorry in advance if you want to leave a comment and cannot(apparently it is to do with browsers and cookies..not chocolate ones sadly!It's such a shame because I really enjoy hearing your lovely whispers..maybe I'll still be able to hear some of you,
Take Care

Thursday, 7 July 2011

It's been a while.....

June was a strange month..a broken computer,an uncooperative camera and finally a lovely family wedding (my sister's) So hopefully that list explains my blog absence and lack of visits to my favourite virtual haunts. My sister's wedding was joyful and beautiful, I have a new laptop but the camera is still a bit temperamental (though she was in a good mood this morning so I took some snaps of the bees in my lavender)

I've always found bees fascinating.They really are very special creatures...having a starring role in pollination,making honey(which I'm very partial to in my morning porridge),making beeswax.I've never been stung so have no real fear of them and love the tales of Victorian households informing the bees when there was a death in the family.I could go on...

And I've noticed this admiration for our buzzy friends creeping into my work more and more.Like the bee embroidery I used on this vintage linen napkin which I have no use for but it looks nice so that's reason enough I guess.

The theme continues with these two latest 'Dainty Sketch' brooches now in my Folksy shop.Actually I might and try and post a 'Foraging for Treasures' post with a bee theme to get me back into the blogging swing!So I'll try find some covetable lovelies for any fellow bee lovers out there.

So I'll BEE back very soon(forgive me..I couldn't resist)

Take Care