Friday, 29 August 2014

Kids, phones, photos....

Do you find random shots on your phone camera that you never took?
It happens frequently here...usually involving a small child's face with a tongue sticking out or googley eyes...and usually about 100 of them one after the other!
The other day however I came upon these photos below which tickled me ... as I looked at each one I could only guess at the thought process that went behind them...and was amazed at how we influence our kids without even knowing it!

Let me walk you through them...
Backstory : Skye and I were in my studio space, I was tidying while she was having fun with my pens drawing on a block, which I have lying around (and use to mount my textile pieces).
I continued to tidy up (clearly distracted as I wasn't aware of her taking photos with my phone), and she took the first photo...which was very blurry but where the block stood on its own on top of my bureau, the rest of the items that normally live there shuffled down a little.....

Cue my interpretation of the "thought process"  and the rest of the photos.........

"Hmmmm think we need to style this photo a little...I need some props!
Lets add a fox......"

"Yes! loving the pop of orange...but  no! not enough! I want some more flow and movement ...lets add a stick with cones....and straighter ....lets get the photo straighter!"


"Oh yes I am feeling it now....but something is missing....I want something little and furry looking......I must have  a miniature bear...that is the missing key for sure! Oh and the tiny  ceramic heart dish?.....That's definitely part of the shot now... even though it really is only there as default from not shoving it far away enough..."


"Yes! That is it.... perfect!.......the flow, the balance, the colours, the movement......
Or is it?
Gah! scrap the woodland animal theme....so last season .......
No ...the classic look is where I'm at....bring in the perfume bottle....but best keep the precariously balanced curvy stick in.....I am ALL OVER the curvy stick!"


"Perfect darling PERFECT!"


Trust me there were many more photos....repetitions of the ones above.... but the final style shot remains the one above with the perfume bottle! Perfect indeed  :)

The amount of photos I've taken of my items over the years, and presumed Skye was otherwise occupied or simply not interested  has clearly been wrong! They really don't miss a thing do they?
Now to claim back my curvy stick...cos I'm all over that too :)x

PS. I'm moving blog in 2 WEEKS! Prepare for some goodie GIVEAWAYS!

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Info packed!

Blimey, the weeks are flying by!
I thought I'd  share a few things this week, that you may not have heard about but might  like to know? ....


First off have you heard of GREAT.LY? If you are an artist/designer/maker and looking for another place to offer your wares then this may be the place for you? The one proviso is that you offer your items as  WHOLESALE...which is an immediate "no-fit" for some.

The idea behind it is that there are "Tastemakers" ( a collection of people who have a BIG online audience, be it well known blogger, instagrammer, designer etc), and there are the "Makers" (which is where you come in!)

You list your items at no cost onto the site, same as you would if you had a shop on etsy....so that anyone who comes along looking for "-- (insert your own item name)--", types it into the search bar and up your item pops. MEANWHILE  (and the icing on the cake)  the Tastemaker's are busy rummaging their way through the items on GREAT.LY , and filling up their own "boutiques" with items that they have discovered and love! ( in etsy terms its like creating a large treasury, or in pinterest terms like pinning to a board).
The cherry on the top is the fact that the Taste Makers, in turn , share the contents of their boutiques with their lovely and rather large audience.
Comprende?

Hmmm took me a couple of re-reads to get it too!

Case and point is...I got my Bright blooms Embroidery Kit in the Jealous Curators Boutique!  (Thats the screen shot above!)....I mean, what are the chances of our 2 worlds colliding? If you have never heard of the Jealous Curator then you can check her blog here.
I nearly snorted tea through my nose in delight and shock when I found out! AmaZING! (note to self no tea drinking while on computer)

Obviously the tastemakers and GREAT.LY get a cut, which is why you sell at wholesale price.
You can find out all about it here..(scroll to the bottom of the home page)





Another new and interesting website which has recently launched  is ATLY.com , which if you have ever fancied holding an online workshop is a potential venue for you. They are calling out for
"... instructors in the broad areas of home, computer, crafts and personal improvement. Classes may range from general introductions of topics (“Baking 101”) to in-depth training in specific focus areas (“Using Your Camera’s Shutter Angles for Creative Control in Motion-Capture Photography”). Anyone with a skill or knowledge base and a desire to teach is invited to create a class on atly. "

 You can find out about how to be a teacher here, or if you simply prefer to be a student and learn something new you can check the classes available here.

Can I just end by sharing the couple of workshops I'll be holding.... I do realise there is about 0.1% of  you that actually live in my vicinity  :)..... but as I've said before ..I have to share everything with you ( and just incase you missed the shameless self promo over on facebook !)

I'm holding an Embroidery workshop in September...



And a mixed media/applique/vintage stylee purse making one in October:


How's that for info packed ;)xx

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Transparent Transition...

No ...its not as fancy as it sounds though I do like to create an air of unnecessary intrigue! (or is perplexion?)
Its just that I want to keep you in the loop as to what is going on around here....things are about to change and I'm a tad nervous, but mainly yip yippee excited!
Eek!

So its probably easiest to rewind a little.....back to PULSE , the Trade Fair I went to in May (aka Phase 3 of my business plan).
Picture me standing at my stall, all smiley and welcoming ...."yes please come and look, take a catalogue of course...an order you say?".....  (such charm !)
And yet while this outer persona played out, inwardly I'm thinking "please no not the cushions...no don't order the cushions... NOT THE CUSHIONS...oh you like the embroidery kits?...yes thats fantastic..oh yes you can order them....infact please do..please PLEASE do!"

One cushion mound  = one order ready!

Should I be sharing this with the world? .... probably not! But we have been through so much together, you and I.... right from the very humble beginnings of my creative bloggy biz-y journey.
And yes, you did read correctly. I was at a Trade Fair I had spent hundreds of pounds to attend, and was willing people NOT to buy the cushions.
It wasn't because I didn't love them and feel proud of the work I'd put into them. It wasn't that I didn't dream of seeing shops full of my colourful designs.  It was more the making of them....FINALLY I can admit it and say.....
My name is Jenny and I don't want to sew items for wholesale mass production!
Erm  perhaps my Phase 3 Business Plan wasn't so clear after all.
*Sigh*

The funniest (and greatest) part is that since PULSE my embroidery kits have REALLY taken off, and I have never felt so inspired, happy and motivated before. And  (perhaps not surprisingly) the cushion orders have been small and easily manageable. Phew!
Bright blooms kit gets a wee feature in Simply Crochet Mag this month! 
I also now have this crystal clarity on what it is I want (and "need") to do next.
I LOVE assembling the kits and sending them off, I LOVE having all these resources on my website to compliment them. I LOVE the limitless ideas that are flowing to me right now.
And I LOVE seeeing that what I've been creating for the last few months has actually (even if quite subconsciously) been leading towards this next move.....
A long dreamed  SEWING CORNER all of my own, here in webby land.
Cue LARGE squeal of giddy delight!

 I'm in the awkward angsty stage that comes with anything  BIG and new.....  debating on how much to let go and change, reluctant to let go of this blog (its like opting to leave behind a long and dear friend), creating a new website and blog where hopefully things won't feel entirely empty until it grows and develops.....

Ultimately its a new fork in the road of my creative journey, which I so hope you would consider coming along for the ride with me. It really would mean the world.

So that's about as transparent as I can be...and the transition so far. In the next couple of weeks I hope to come back with something exciting and concrete to show you. For now the bravest step for me is to hit PUBLISH on this post :)xx
Here goes........

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

M.I.S.H.A!

Howdy! I am still alive just Missing In Summer Holiday Action......
Park visiting, sunshine beaming, cousin playing, ice cream scoffing.....

Sandcastle constructing, wave jumping, sea splashing, fun frolicking.....


Camping, face painting, food festival chocolate tasting, dog over cuddling


Even managed to fit in a little magazine appearing! (my toadstool cushion..not me!) Oh my!

AND selected for the Blog and Buy Sale Wishlist too!...Lucky lucky me.....

There's still 2 weeks left ....wonder what can be vacuum packed into that? :)x

Monday, 14 July 2014

Memories of a summer holiday... vintage embroidery

I'm sure my mum would not thank me for titling this post "vintage embroidery"...So lets keep that between you and me ;) But during a rummage of old photo albums ,which my grandpa compiled oh so many moons ago, I came upon a photo which just made me smile....and had to sneak away with a plan in mind.
It's my Grandpa, my mum, Nana and Auntie Pauline on a holiday in Wales.....mini mouse buckets in hand...I'm estimating  around 62 years ago. *Swoon *

So my mastermind plan was to recreate this mini photo in stitch for my mum's recent birthday. I initially  thought about going down the freehand machine sewn portrait route I've done before, but the urge to hand embroider, and to also try out something different was a-calling.
Under the guise of "experimentation" I'd recently bought some inkjet cotton fabric to print onto and after some deliberation decided to print out an edited version of this photo and then embroider on top.
Here is the photo which I edited using photoshop elements, the background figures have been removed to create more of a focus and I played with the posterize effect to create clearer colour contrasts.

I was drawn to using some of the brown coloured threads I'd bought for my bear embroidery (still not finished!) and wanted to include a pop of contrasting colour as my Grandpa and his family were far from sepia coloured :) 
The fabric was easy to set up and print onto, and once printed simply required the backing to be peeled off before starting sewing. I started embroidering along the dark lines that had been created, using various shades of thread and some added pink...
I also ended up painting gesso around the figures to help fade the busy background,
With more splashes of pink as clouds to finish it off.....
 
Had I had more time I may have filled in more of the areas with stitch but I was happy with the result ........  sweet summer holiday memories in stitch!




Ps.Mum LOVED her birthday gift. :)x

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

More forest friends.... sunshine doe and a unicorn

A big "Hello" from Sunshine Doe!

The love is continuing.... a couple of new foresty friendy visitors wanted to pop on by.


Sunshine Doe has been one of those projects where I kept on having to add bits/colour splashes/ embroidery stitches....until I got to a happy place with her. Many hours later she is ALL about the summer...and I'm liking her alot! She's a keeper.




On finishing my first batch of foresty friends my teenage daughter was the first to ask if I'd make her one....  How could I refuse her request of  a unicorn ...15 years old and still believing in magic...*love* :)


So meet 'Legolas'.....aptly named by Maia....its all in the ears we've decided!

He looks so funny front on...... definitely elfin ears!

Lovely Legolas..... and a pink one is now in the making for the 6 year old who most definitely believes in magic :)
Hope you're enjoying the glimpses of sun and delighting in the fact there is only just over 1 week of  the World Cup left!!x

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Bear unfinished....


I've been spending my evenings on a little sewing project inspired by some incredible artists that use embroidery as their medium. They deserve a post all to themselves (and completely show up my efforts!) but go check out  Hiroko Kubota  , Stephanie K Clarke , Tara Badcock , Kimika Hara .....you will be amaze-balled (yes that is the proper term!)

Its a 10 inch embroidery hoop to give you some idea of scale and this shows the bear 8 hours in...at this point I'm wondering if I have bitten off more than I can chew.
I got some lovely cheers of support over on facebook and with it a second wind to carry on 


12 hours in....can you even tell the difference?

This is where I am at now...around 16 hours later...... and I'm actually liking him less with the more stitches that fill him in. Hmph.....

I'm leaving him for a while until the next step becomes clear......maybe he'll end up amongst the many other projects  that were started but never finished .... however that's ok...nothing is ever lost. I walk away from this with the firm understanding that I work way better when the outcome is achieved under 8 hours! And I have developed an even greater respect and awe at the embroidered works of art I have the fortune of stumbling upon. x