Friday, 31 July 2009

New work - 3 machine embroidery pieces

Just wanted to share some new work with you. (sorry about the photo's, struggling to find somewhere that isn't too shadowy or then too dark. Also should have taken the glass off the frames, may have to take some more).
But hopefully you get the idea. Really pleased with the black frames, I think they make them look a bit more grown up!
Also just had my first listen to the Low Anthem Album, really good, may even get a second play this morning.

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Crafty Days Off

I am very excited about the approaching weekend. Not only am I going camping with some of my favourite people in the world, I also have two days off work and intend to use them to catch up on my crafting. Life seems very busy at the moment, so I have not been making as much stuff as I would like. So I can't wait to have two whole days at it.

Now I just need to narrow down the big long list of things I would like to make and actually decide what I am going to do.

I sold lots of tea cosies and peg bags at my last craft fair, so need to re-stock these. I am in the process of doing a series of small felt pictures, which I need to finish and mount. I have just done a layered textile picture which is burnt with a soldering iron, I am really pleased with it, so want to make more of these. I also want to try some felt purses and make another large felt wall hanging. Then there are the personal projects, like a skirt for me, bunting for a friends wedding, some pictures for friends new babies.... Both lists go on.

I know I should be organised and try and plan my time and even set some goals. But in reality I know I will get really into something and spend the whole two days at it. I will not tick much off my list, but will have a lovely time anyway! Roll on Friday.

Monday, 27 July 2009

Does size matter?

I make a lot of felt wall hangings and pictures, now I love making these. I feel you can be a bit more creative, you can develop them whilst you are working on them and you don't have to think about the practicalities, like you would when make some thing more functional like a cushion cover or tea cosy. You can really explore colour, texture and lots of different techniques.

I especially love making big ones. It always feels dead exciting when you are trying to create a large piece of felt as you never quite know how its going to turn out, and often you are a bit disappointed. Something that started out seeming quite large, shrinks more than you thought and you are left with something quite small, but I suppose you can then work into it and it can still be fab, just a bit smaller than you wanted.

I really like the time it takes to make the larger pieces, you can sit every evening for weeks working on something, you can get really involved and into the something that you want to spend more and more time on that piece because you can't wait to see it finished. You then have to decide when is it finished, knowing when to stop can be quite hard.

I love the process and the enjoyment I get from making the large pieces until I get the final stages - trying to mount and sell them. I always struggle with mounting my work, its not something I enjoy and can be quite challenging, especially when you don't want to fork out on expensive custom frames (framing and mounting suggestions and help welcome). I also like the rough edges of felt, so normally think its best to show these off, but I know this is not to everyone's taste, so should I put it on a frame or window mount it? What colour frame? decisions, descions? I hate mounting work.

I do keep saying to myself that I need to think about the sizes of frames available and to make things to fit the frames rather than the other way around. But I find that approach a bit limiting and I tend to charge into things when I get an idea and thinking about all that might kill the mood slightly.

You then have the issue that bigger pieces are harder to post, transport, take up more room, are more expensive, its more of a commitment to buy a large piece etc... So perhaps in this case smaller is better, but just not as much fun!

Hen Weekends

This is only my second post and already I am deviating from writing about Petal Textiles and craft, but wanted to tell you about my weekend. Maybe I might do two posts today (I am quiet at work today).

I spent this weekend in Stockport at a hen do. Now I am not a big fan of hen do's, I have no interest in stumbling round a town dressed up and doing dares, the stripper is always minging, someone always gets upset, then someone cries..... Not good.

So when a very good friend mentioned her hen do, I wasn't exactly excited, but I had a really good time. It helped that it was held at her house and we basically had a boozy tea party. We decorated her yard and made loads of Pimms. My friend who happens to be a cake maker did all the catering, so after a fab selection of sandwiches (the brides favourite food), we tucked into the most gorgeous cakes, my favourite being the strawberry cheese cake cup cakes, yum! Its was great and everything looked wonderful.

Most of these friends were from my decorative arts course so when it came to doing some activities, we decided to do a craft based thing. Now we weren't sure if this was a good idea, so left it quite late. But wow, I was so surprised (if a little scared) about how competitive and into it everyone was. We got the teams to create the bride from various stages of her life (Student, Bridal and Furturistic). I was even more amazed by what people created in half a hour, they were great and judging was really hard. (Bridal won).

So it was a great weekend, the only tears were from laughing too much, so hen do can be good!! One of my friends described it as a WI style hen do, I think she's right, maybe next time we need a tombola and jam competition! Sounds perfect.

Friday, 24 July 2009

The Beginning

Hello, Oooh this is scary, my first ever blog post!

So I suppose I better start with a bit about me.

I am a Nottingham based textile designer / artist. I came to Nottingham about 15 years ago to do a degree in Decorative arts and never left. My degree didn't exactly go to plan and I left more confused and directionless than when I arrived. So after leaving college I got a 'proper job' and it wasn't until about 2 years ago that I start making and designing things again and I loved it. I have no idea now why I stopped. I now have so many ideas and a very long list of things I would like to make, but unfortunately the 'proper job' gets in the way slightly.

So after a year of so of making things for friends and myself, as well as lots of encouragement from friends, I decided to try and start selling some of my pieces. Now its still very early days, so I suppose its a good time to start blogging as this will hopefully document my journey.

I had always been a bit scared of doing this, as my writing skills are not fantastic and I was worried that it would just become a place where I would whinge about not having enough time, my insecurities and not selling much, so now I really have to promise not to do this and try and make it a positive thing!

So lets start here. I make a variety of items in various textile mediums, but predominantly using hand made felt, needle felting, machine and hand embroidery and appliqué. I love exploring colour and texture, and combining printed fabrics, buttons and yarn with the felt I produce. I love making wall hangings (the bigger the better – although this makes things harder to post and frame!) but have also been producing brooches, tea & coffee cosies, cards, decorative lampshades & covered books, purses, peg bags etc... I love crafting, I can think nothing better than spending a day pottering about and creating things. I think this is also something I need to remember. I do this because I enjoy it, I need to be careful not to get stressed about not having enough time to make, or not selling enough things and actually remember to enjoy the making and not get too bothered anything else!