Saturday 21 July 2012

Lace Making!

The amount of Bobbins we needed to use for one tiny piece  was daunting at first! We started with 10 pairs!

Yesterday my good friend Louisa and I were lucky enough to spend the day with a lovely patient lady who is teaching us to make lace! It's something I've always wanted to try but know very little about, so we jumped at the chance to have a go!

I love knitting and felting because I am excited by the idea of creating something from nothing- creating a whole new fabric from raw materials, and lace making ticks these boxes too. Although it took me a while to master the stitches and create a tiny section, it was very satisfying to watch this tiny piece of fabric take shape. Of course I'm already thinking of how I could make lace with wool, and I'm even thinking about blowing up a lace pattern to see if I could make giant lace! Much experimentation is needed and I'm excited to see how I can develop lace making into my work!

We punched holes in our pattern for the pins, which you then build the lace around using pairs of Bobbins with  fine cotton thread 

Although it required a lot of concentration, I also found it to be a very therapeutic process, and I imagine it was once a very social craft, in much the same way that knitting fashionably is today. I feel very privileged that we have the opportunity to learn this skill because unfortunately it's not a commonly practiced craft anymore. However I think now we've tried it we'll be hooked!

You don't need vast amounts of equipment to start lace making, just a  pattern, brass pins, bobbins, cotton thread and  a solid "cushion" to attach your work to- you could make one using polystyrene covered in fabric. Plenty of coffee and cake is also recommended!  
 I'll keep you updated on our lace making progress, there are so many exciting possibilities that I am really looking forward to learning more!

Sunday 15 July 2012

Customised Packaging!

My finished jewellery box label!

I've been busily working away in the studio making jewellery for a photo shoot in a few weeks time, the images from which I will be using to set up my online shop (Very exciting!) So I'm very busy, but that's how I like it.

For a long time I've also been considering what packaging I should use when sending my pieces and having chosen some smart black jewellery boxes, today I've been in the studio having fun experimenting with inks to come up with labels for them.

I started by distressing the edges of my card with a paper distressing tool, before layering the vintage shade Distress Inks
 My goal was to create something individual to customise my boxes, to make the packaging as special and  unique as the jewellery inside, so I went for an "old paper/vintage photo" look, to complement the recycled aspects of my work. I then added some teal ribbon to complement my logo, some vintage lace and some of my trademark pearls and diamante!

I've also made some smaller labels for the brooch and ring boxes
I'd like people to order a piece from me online and be as excited about the thoughtful packaging as they are  about what's inside- it really is about the whole package (excuse the pun!) 

In the meantime, whilst I am setting up the online shop,  my pieces are still available to buy or commission- contact me via - you could be the first to receive a piece in a lovely new box!

Thursday 5 July 2012

The Lovely Place Where I Work!

Just a small section of the fabric department

When I'm not working in my studio, I work part time in a brilliant place called The Cheap Shop in the
famous jam making village of Tiptree. It's been my favourite shop since I was a little girl because it's filled with all the things I love- wool, fabric, ribbons, buttons- it's a crafty persons heaven! Whenever I visit somewhere new I always seek out the crafty shops and I've never come across somewhere with such a wide variety as the Cheap Shop, or such knowledgeable and helpful staff!

The wool room, my favourite place to be!
It's helpful for me to work in a related environment to my textile work, as it keeps me constantly thinking and talking about craft and creativity, and I'm glad that such a place exists to keep craft thriving!

When I was younger I made lots of felt bags embellished with buttons and I used to travel to the shop on the bus to choose from the huge button selection!
If you are interested in any type of craft I can't recommend highly enough that you come to visit- my images only show you a small cross section of the shop and it has to be seen to be believed- I'll see you there!