Friday 31 January 2014

New stockist- Things British, London

I'm very pleased to tell you that you can now find Louise Dawson Design jewellery in Things British, in Kingly Court, Carnaby Street, London!

Things British showcases the work of Designer Makers from all over Britain and aims to re-engage buyers with British designed and made products- a concept that has been lost among the mass production on the high street. I'm really happy to be part of this as the Things British ethos is something I really believe in.

Check out the Kingly Court shop or their other shop at St. Pancras International station, located on The Grand Terrace and discover something wonderfully different.

Sunday 26 January 2014

Bookmark Display Cards

 Today I've been making bookmark display cards using pages from magazines (I can't bring myself to cut up a book!)

A couple of times lately  my bookmarks have been mistaken for unusually shaped brooches, so hopefully this will solve that problem! I'm going to try out several ways of displaying them to see what works best.

In case you're curious, I'm currently reading the new Bridget Jones book "Mad About the Boy." I heart Bridget Jones!

Take a look at more of my bookmarks in my Etsy shop

Thursday 23 January 2014

The Hazel Gallery

There are exciting developments afoot for the creative in Colchester! Hazel Gallery opened in 2013 and  focuses on contemporary art and craft from local artists and makers. It is situated in a former newspaper  kiosk at the old bus station in St Botolph's, Colchester and is part of the St Botolph's Waiting Room Project, which forms part of the development of Colchester's Creative Quarter. As well as a cafe and bar, the waiting room is home to studios and workshops for artists and regular creative events.

 Fellow Cuckoo Farm Artist Lucy Hook-Child set up the Hazel Gallery and I was interested to know her motivation and inspiration behind this, so I interviewed Lucy to get some behind the scenes details!

1). Tell us a bit about yourself- have you always been an artist?

I have always enjoyed art and have been creative since I was little, my mum even saved my first paintings from playgroup and to be honest the colour palette isn't far off what I use now! When I left secondary school I went straight to art school. I wasn't sure what I wanted to do to start with, I just knew I wanted to learn more about art and design! I now have a studio at Cuckoo Farm where I create a lot of my own work to sell in the gallery.

Lucy's lino printed greetings cards which are available to buy in Hazel Gallery

2). When did the gallery open?

After spending the summer at the old bus station preparing the two old kiosks, Hazel Gallery opened in October- there are photos on the gallery website of how it was transformed. Hazel Gallery is part of a wider project at the old Bus Station, St Botolph's Waiting Room, which also houses various other creative projects, plus a bar and a cafe run by local chef Charlie Stoker.

The transformation of the newspaper kiosk to gallery!

3). What was your inspiration/motivation for opening the gallery?

During my time at Art School I had the idea of opening my own gallery/shop, but it wasn't until much later that it actually happened. I had been teaching art and photography for almost 6 years when faced with redundancy, and I decided it was about time to give it a go.Marc De'ath, one of the project leaders at the St Botolph's Waiting Room project had seen that I had been previously running art fairs alongside teaching and offered me the opportunity to set up and create a space for local artists and makers to present their work. I had gained a lot of contacts through the art fairs and the first artists and makers represented in the shop were previous stallholders.

4). Why is the gallery named the Hazel Gallery?

I named the gallery after my Grandmother, Hazel Hook-Child, she was the other artist in the family, always encouraged me to do artwork and was pleased that I chose to do a degree in Art and Design.

Mixed Media on Wood by Lucy Hook-Child
5). What has been the highlight/favourite moment in running the gallery so far?

I have had such a positive response from visitors to the gallery and I also get to organise events from here. We had a good turnout for the first event at The Waiting Room, a Christmas Fair and a fantastic vibe and atmosphere to the day, with artsists and makers booking pitches and selling their work, live acoustic music and and special Christmas food and drink from Charlie.

6). What's in store for the future? Are there any events coming up? 

There are several events coming up over the year. There will be seasonal art fairs at the waiting room starting with a Spring Arts Fair, which will include even more stallholders, plus art/craft workshops and demonstrations, Hazel Gallery open as usual as well as live acoustic music all day. Plus Hazel Gallery has several late night openings in collaboration with other happenings at St Botolph's Waiting Room

Thank you Lucy! If you're in the area please do stop by and have a look in the gallery and a have a drink in the Waiting Room- be part of the creative development of Colchester! Find out more on the Hazel Gallery Website

Sunday 19 January 2014

New rings available in my Etsy shop!

A little look behind the scenes at my D.I.Y Photo shoot for some new knitted rings, embellished with recycled fabrics. Thanks to my sister for being a great hand model!

 I have just listed them in my Etsy shop- they would make a lovely Valentines gift, or indeed a quirky unique treat for yourself. Check them out here!

Wednesday 15 January 2014

How to... Make a D.I.Y Fabric Pin Board

One of my goals for the blog this year is to start featuring regular tutorials, so welcome to the very first in my "How to..." series... How to make a D.I.Y Fabric Pinboard! 

This is a great way to jazz up that boring cork pin board you may have in your study/studio/kitchen and is also a good way to use up any odd bits of fabric and wadding you may have. You could even use the fabric from an old dress or jumper, so it's a handy recycling project and you get something useful (and pretty) at the end!

1). You will need...

You will need a cork notice board, scissors, a staple gun and staples, wadding in your chosen thickness (I used 4oz) and a piece of fabric large enough to cover your board

 2). Cut wadding to size

Cut your wadding to size, allowing aprox. 3 inches extra all the way around your board. If you'd like a thicker padded board you could use a double thick layer of wadding

3). Staple your wadding to the board 

Staple your wadding to the board, taking care to only staple onto the wooden frame. Carefully pull the wadding taught to avoid a saggy finish

4). Cut your corners

You may need to trim some excess wadding away from your corners to avoid a bulky finish

5). Cut away excess wadding

Trim away any excess wadding

 6). Attach your fabric

Now your pin board starts to take shape! Cut your fabric to fit around your board and allow aprox. 3 inches extra all the way around your board. Staple into place over the top of the wadding, still taking care to only staple into the wooden frame

7). Neaten your corners

Trim the excess corners of your fabric in the same way as you did your wadding and fold into a neat shape. Staple a couple of time to keep secure

8). The final trim!

Trim away any excess fabric to neaten the back

9). Yay, it's finished!

Use your board to hold shopping lists and notes, or images and drawings, photos, magazine clippings, jewellery, or anything else you like! I'm using this one as part of my jewellery display and I've found map pins really useful for holding pieces in place.

Decorate your board with strips of ribbon, lace, mini bunting, the possibilities are endless! You could also attach ribbon or a hook to hang the board, or sit it on canvas display stands, as I will do with this board.

I'd love to see photos of your pin boards if you give it a go and I'd love to know what you're using them to display!

Sunday 12 January 2014

Happy Sunday

Today I have mostly been making Knitted Rings, Crocheting and making Banana Muffins. A fine way to fill a grey January day. Happy Sunday everyone!

Wednesday 8 January 2014


Lately I've been making some cover button brooches and rings using Tartan off cuts- great if you love the Tartan trend but just want a subtle Tartan hit!

 I've taken a little selection of these new pieces to The Hazel Gallery in Colchester today and I'm going to add them to my Etsy shop soon, watch this space!