Friday, 27 March 2015

Sticks and Sewings

I'm not much into material things. Only mostly because a fancy new thing that costs a lot, is only new and fancy for so long. But almost any thing can be defined as new if it's new to your environment or experience and can enhance your life or space or way of doing things. So maybe I AM into material things, because my whole day or life can be transformed by the way a stenciled heart combines with old denim and a bit of stitching, or a remnant of floral cotton or gingham.

 So here are 3 buntings made from my daughter's old jeans. With a beautiful weight and drape that reminds me a little bit of leather, they each have 15 triangular flags alternated on nylon cord with loops tied at the ends.
An order from a (very patient) regular customer, shown here one of two bedside lamps with the shade made of twigs. The base is a metal touch lamp, which I think is really convenient for emergency lights-on rather than hunting for switches in the dark. I say twigs here but I really think of them as sticks. I think of sticks as building blocks for so many things that I'm almost reluctant to poke them into my blazing brazier. I am very rich in sticks.

Some more sketch book covers. Or should I say 'visual diary'? I buy these little sketch books and make beautiful fabric covers from calico, remnants of vintage linen, old hand-done needlework, re-purposed cords, straps, buttons. They have pencil-pockets, and wrap shut so you can throw them in your bag for your Artists Date (aka The Artist's Way). C'mon you visual people, I know how it feels to want to record everything with a sketch or diagram! Anyway, these books are for you. And for the handy hand-crafters who toiled to make the original needle-work I've used in these - here's to your efforts! Here's to your contribution to the artisan world! I honor your efforts and hope to spread the love!! The bird design above is a vintage iron-on embroidery pattern, which I think looks very elegant in it's original blue-only form.

So I was going to wind up with something about how sticks and sewings can break my bones... or tie in to the idea of the value of material things against the value of experiences. But now I've been delayed by a discussion with my daughter who in her final year of school has managed to refine her focus and study to a very neat degree, so much more so than I at that age. And the day has grown dark and delicious and there are so many exciting possibilities for tomorrow that I leave with that tension... Happy Friday

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Making time for making...

This week I've found the 'to-do' list at a manageable level, with minimal emergencies, no double-bookings, no desperate deadlines, car breakdowns, health dramas, pet crisis'... in short, none of the things that regularly shape my (moaning now) chaotic, busy days. 
So there have been hours of blissful creating of things and experimenting with materials, and revitalising and reworking things, which has materialised in some new items for the Husky store.

 Satin cord - so many ideas, these were just a couple of experiments. I started to look at chinese knots - wow. I'd love to perfect the butterfly knot! But for now I'm working with some standard macrame knots and braids.
 Doily earrings - these ones I dip dyed. Some I tea-stained. But I thought they were a nice fresh variation on the plain doily.
 Upcycled bottles - I love the whole bottle, twine, aged label thing. Vintage images, combined with scans of old worn paper printed on some lovely beige stock. The printed image is fixed with spray matt varnish.
 More little bottle necklaces - some tiny pieces of local seaglass, a magic potion, and a paper butterfly cutout. A lovely customer already bought the potion one - an Alice in Wonderland fan like me.

A 'found' branch with birds, jewellery pendant, refashioned into a choker. I love how the clasp matches.
And a table runner made from printed linen and backed with calico. This fabric is super pretty and I've also made t-towels to match with the neatest mitered corners I'm ridiculously proud of.

I've also made a pair of twig lampshades with touchlamp bases that were an order for a regular customer. I'll photograph them to upload next time.

Thanks for reading and I hope you have time to make time for making - if that's the sort of thing you like doing. :-)