Friday 30 January 2009

Cats in Cardigans

This week I'm making my 'cats in cardigans'. They are holding their cardigan wool.

Dressed and ready for Farnham Maltings. This guy took so long to make - he will have to have his own special price!
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Monday 26 January 2009

Spring dates

Help! Just six weeks to go before the Spring Country Living fair in Islington. It's March 11 to 15th and this year I'm on stand R16 near the entrance.

I made myself a day chart yesterday. The target is £100 worth of stock to make a day. Ambitious - but I've done it before for short periods.

I am also selling at Farnham Maltings on Saturday February 7th and my work will be at the Oxmarket (Art gallery) Chichester from February 16th to 27th with the Petersfield Artists. Thirdly I have taken the display cabinet in Havant library for February from the 3rd onwards. So quite a lot of pressure. Back to work!!

Playing with whites

I am currently working on this brides' necklaces. It is taking way too long but I am enjoying working with shades of white - the interplay of shadows and subtlety of it.
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Friday 23 January 2009

Zandra Rhodes

Isn't she spectacular?

Zandra Rhodes - a woman who refuses to compromise - here appearing on BBC4's Style on Trial discussing the 70s.

What an artist, her clothes are so fabulous.

I love her taste in jewellery too. Note the oversized papier mache bracelet and the giant moth brooch. Presumably made especially for her.

Below you can see the whole outfit.

Wish a few more of us could be this brave and yes, uncompromising!
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Loving this fabric!

This fabric, used by Isabel Toledo in her outfit for Michelle Obama, is so beautiful. (Photo from The Times 21/1/09)

I am sure I saw this coat worn by a visitor to Origin last October. I thought it was hand stitched but apparently it's Swiss wool guipure lace. I never realised you can of course make lace with any thread including wool.

But I'd rather think of it as embroidery. Doesn't looking at it just make you want to stitch something? Now where's that big darning needle?
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Sunday 18 January 2009

Soft new jewellery for 2009

Two necklaces and a bracelet. Very different. A lot of thought, jottings in my notebook and experimentation has gone into these. But they are still liable to be changed. The first prototypes of what I hope will be a whole new look.
After what I was saying about everything being hand-made by me, I've painted all the wood spacer beads as well as made the wool beads. Pure craft if you like.
A really comfortable bracelet to wear. Watch this space for more designs - much more to come!
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Monday 12 January 2009

My light bulb moment

This week I'm applying for Origin. When visiting this event I have noticed that people have just one idea on their stand developed to the 'nth' degree. My light bulb moment is this: It's not that they have sought a novelty and concentrated on it. It's perhaps that by a process of elimination they have experimented with lots of ideas and eventually honed that one thing they are best at that has something new to say. So with this in mind my pieces will be totally unique because they are a result of all my knowledge condensed into one individual piece that I could only have made after years and years of investigation and trial and error.
I've been doing a lot of thinking lately and not actually making much. January is always like that plus having to sort out tax gets in the way! Fingers crossed the next photo I put on the blog will show you something I've made!
The wonderful light is in Perfect Blend, a great cafe in Streatham High Road.
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Trying to keep warm

As I sped to London on Saturday this was the view from the train window. A hoar frost. Very beautiful. Very freezing.
To keep my youngest warm I knitted her this long silk/wool mix scarf. I never tried a lace pattern before and believe me it's a lot easier than it looks.
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Monday 5 January 2009

Being yourself

Thinking about the year ahead and doing a stock take I realised something. I realised that I've got to be proud of everything I sell. I mustn't compromise for the sake of making money. This might be obvious to you. But to me it came as a revelation.

I need my things to sell and in an effort to make as much money as possible I have compromised in the past. I have sold countless charm bracelets, lariats, necklaces and bracelets that I've not been proud of. I have threaded together bought and collected beads and created some pretty things. But they aren't mine. I haven't created the beads that made them. And similar commercial jewellery can be found in many High Street shops.

I have decided not to make jewellery like that any more. From now on everything I make will be primarily made by me from scratch. More painted beads, modelled beads, hand-made buttons, painted wood cut outs, fabric, crocheted, felted and knitted beads. Those hand made components have something special about them which makes them the first to sell.

Making now for the March Country Living fair in Islington I'm thinking spring colours, beach holidays and lots of flowers. And outside there's a light coating of snow on the ground...

Sunday 4 January 2009

New notebook for 2009

All these cutouts are from Elle's February issue. I love the excitement of a new fashion season. Glad to see that individual jewellery pieces are still a big part of the fashion story and, care of Diane von Furstenberg, these lovely hair decorations. Let's all put flowers in our hair and celebrate being alive. While the news is this ghastly (Israel's crack troops going in to Gaza) we need pretty pictures to give us a few moments distraction.
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