Tuesday 31 December 2013

Happy 2014!

For my last blog post of 2013 I want to say thank you to all of you who have supported me throughout the year, I love being able to meet so many lovely people doing this. Hearing your comments and feedback is very helpful to me and it's much appreciated.

Harris Tweed Brooch from the 2013 collection

To give you an insight into what's to come, there'll be some new products and themes to my work in 2014. I'm currently just starting work on a new collection, the first experiments for which I hope to share with you very soon! I don't believe that you ever stop learning in craft, as in life, and I'd like 2014 to be a year of learning, and challenge- the theme of the new collection certainly offers both, I'll keep you posted!

I am also aiming to develop my Etsy shop in 2014- I'd like this to be a major focus, to get Louise Dawson Design out there and introduce handmade craft into peoples lives!

A big goal is to develop the Make Do and Mend/recycling themes within the work I'm making and to reflect this ethos much more strongly through my blog. Working as a Designer/Maker, by the very nature of my work I'm always creating new objects, but I don't want this to be at the expense of the planet! I'm currently sourcing more pieces to up-cycle and re-purpose into my work.

Another aim of 2014 is to get you more involved- I'm excited about the idea of developing tutorials for the blog based on the Make Do and Mend/recycled textile theme- watch this space! If there's anything you'd like to see, do let me know!

So there we have it, I've put it into writing now so I had better get cracking!

Wishing you all a very happy and creative 2014!

Wednesday 11 December 2013

Christmas Fair festivities!

I can't believe there are only two weeks left until Christmas day! I've been getting in the spirit and had a very festive weekend! On Saturday I had a thoroughly enjoyable (and unseasonably warm) day taking part in The Minories Christmas Art and Design Fair in Colchester. I enjoyed chatting to lots of new people as well as catching up with some familiar faces! There was such a lovely atmosphere and The Minories is a beautiful building for events like this- my table was in the Ballroom.

My Bookmarks 

 My neighbor at The Minories fair was the lovely Lindsay from Slumbermonkey Designs. check out her lovely handbag mirrors- they feature Lindsay's own designs. I also loved her shrink plastic jewellery created using her own illustrations- check out her Etsy Shop here

Clare Sams quirky knitted pieces are right up my street! What a talented lady, check out her website to see more of her brilliantly subversive knitted pieces

Mary Lu had taken over the Garden Room with their vintage clothing and homewares- all very tempting! Both Mary and Lucy taught me at college so it was nice to chat to them

On Sunday, I wrapped up warm and traveled to London to share a stand at Spitalfields with my frien Louisa Dash who makes beautiful accessories.

A Christmassy Spitalfields Market

Louisa makes these beautiful statement leather flower brooches, i-pad cases,  key chains and bags. We had a lovely busy day and we did treat ourselves to some nice food from the market- it's very hard to resist!

Thank you if you came to say hi over the weekend. I'm happy to think that Louise Dawson Design pieces will be wrapped under some Christmas Trees :o) Merry Christmas to you all!

Tuesday 26 November 2013

The Minories Christmas Art and Design Fair

I'm looking forward to taking part in The Minories Christmas Art and Design Fair in Colchester on 7th December! If you're in the area do pop in if you're on the lookout for unique handmade Christmas gifts- there will be beautiful Art, Jewellery, Ceramics, Cards, Prints and much more available to buy direct from the makers on the day, as well as a pop up vintage shop! It's also worth a visit to check out the exhibitions and for lunch or tea and cake in the Garden Cafe! It's on from 10-4, would be lovely to see you!
Find out more about The Minories here

Friday 22 November 2013

A lovely gift

My friend Jean Muir makes beautiful ceramic pieces including these gorgeous rabbit Brooches. I was lucky enough to receive this lovely little rabbit from Jean for my birthday, I just love it! You can visit Jean's Gallery, The Jessica Muir Gallery, in Long Melford, Suffolk, to see more of her creations. Find out more here

In the meantime I'm wrapping up warm in the studio at Cuckoo Farm now winter is here- it's got quite cold! I'm keeping busy though and I'm currently making some hand knitted pieces (cosy!) for some events I've got coming up in early December. I'll keep you posted!

Tuesday 12 November 2013

A lovely weekend at The Renegade Craft Fair

This weekend I was a vendor at The Renegade Craft Fair on London's Brick Lane and what a lovely weekend it was! I met lots of lovely people and there was such a friendly atmosphere it really was a great thing to be part of. It was also so nice to be surrounded by other like minded makers, all with a passion for the handmade. Thanks to everyone who stopped by to say hello!

Sunday 3 November 2013

Renegade Craft Fair- stand sneak peak!

Less than a week to go now until the Renegade Craft Fair and I'm busy working on the final finishing touches for my stand! I'm very much looking forward to next weekend!

I was given two card display stands that were no longer needed and I've Decopatched them with off-cuts from dress making patterns (which I've always kept with the intention of making something with them) and black tissue paper. I had a really fun evening in with iplayer on, Decopatching away! Here are the results, two DIY Decopatch Display Stands!

From this...
To this!
I'm really pleased with these!
I've also been gathering a collection of old wooden thread reels that most people throw away, and with Distress Ink, letter stamps and photo clips I've made some label stands!

Hope to see you at The Renegade Craft Fair! Find out more here

Thursday 24 October 2013

Renegade Craft Fair, coming soon!

Please come and visit me at The Renegade Craft Fair next month. I'm busy making lots of pieces that would make perfect Christmas gifts, come along and have a look and say hello!

Sunday 20 October 2013

The Shell Grotto, Margate

It's no secret that I love the seaside and all things sea related, so last week I was very happy to be invited on an outing to Whitstable and Margate in Kent!

 After lunch in the lovely Whitstable (will definitely go back there to explore the vintage shops and eat more seafood!) we headed on to Margate to visit The Shell Grotto. I hadn't heard of The Shell Grotto until very recently, but I'm so glad to have had the chance to visit, it's amazing!

 It's unknown how old the Grotto is or who made it- the most popular story of it's discovery comes from 1835 when the man who owned the house above the Grotto was digging a pond in his garden and he uncovered a huge hole. He lowed his young son into the hole, who reported back of tunnels completely mosaiced with shells! I can't even begin to imagine how long it must have taken, even the ceilings are covered!

I would thoroughly recommend a visit here (we also visited The Turner Contemporary whilst in Margate so we made a day of it), it's an intriguing and inspiring place and a little out of the ordinary.

Pretty Whitstable

Thursday 17 October 2013

New necklaces in progress!

I'm up early sewing necklaces for The Renegade Craft Fair using the pieces I machine knitted last night in lots of new colours! Once the bases are finished the next job is choosing the up-cycled fabrics to embellish them with. Looking forward to showing you the finished pieces!

Wednesday 9 October 2013

On my needles...

I'm currently knitting (with help from a lovely friend) letters in beautiful Rowan Felted Tweed to make "Louise Dawson Design" bunting! I'm going to hang this on my table at Craft Fairs and events, with it's first outing being The Renegade Craft Fair in November, so I'm busily knitting away!

I've used felt letter bunting in the past, but when I saw the Sirdar pattern for knitted Alphabet Bunting I knew I had to make it, it's very me!

Friday 4 October 2013

Hair Slide making!

I've had a productive week in the studio Hair Slide making! I'm making these using up-cycled fabrics, vintage buttons and even a little bit of crochet! These will be available to buy on my stand at The Renegade Craft Fair at The Old Truman Brewery, Brick Lane, London on the 9th and 10th November. I'm working hard to make lots of lovely new things for the fair, hope to see you there and share them with you!

Notice the ever present cup of tea!

A few ready to go!

Sunday 29 September 2013

Love London 2... Spitalfields

I've had a lovely day today with my friend and fellow Textile maker, checking out Spitalfields Market and the Sunday Up Market in Brick Lane, London. We've shared a stand at Spitalfields on a Friday several times and we're aiming to start selling there on a Sunday soon... Watch this space! Markets are a great chance to meet Designer Makers and discover beautiful unique pieces- my idea of a great Sunday!


Heaven, millions of vintage  scarves! We both invested in several!

Yum! Lovely cakes and doughnuts from the Big Doughnut stand 

The Sunday Up Market is just a couple of minuteswalk up the road from Spitalfields

Inside The Sunday Up Market, which was amazing, cram packed with lovely clothes, jewellery and food

Friday 27 September 2013

New Brooches!

Some new pieces I've made in the studio today today... Harris Tweed brooches and also knitted brooches, embellished with recycled fabric pieces. Each one is unique and perfect for accessorizing in the cold with big knits and a winter jacket! I like to wear a big cluster of them together for a hit of colour.

These ones are heading to an event I've got coming up (more on this soon!) but you can check out similar ones in my Etsy shop.

Wednesday 18 September 2013

(Mis)adventures with a Light Box part 1

I'm constantly making new pieces which are always photographed by me before they head off to a shop/gallery/their new home as I like to keep a visual record of everything I make. I also have a  photographer friend who takes beautiful professional photos for me (visit her studio here).

However, I would like the photos I take to be better than a quick snap and I'll admit that I'm really not a great photographer (although I'm very keen to learn!) so I ordered a Light Box from ebay! Good lighting is one of the major obstacles I have, so the Light box was ideal as it came with two lights and a camera stand!

 I've read tutorials on making your own DIY Light Box using cardboard boxes, but due to being slightly  really clumsy I wanted something more substantial. This one folds away neatly into a carry case as well so it's very portable for taking between home and my studio (a cardboard version wouldn't last five minutes in my hands!)

I've made a start today having a play around with it and although I did manage to break a light bulb knocking the lamp off my desk (told you I'm clumsy!)  I hope with a lot of practice and learning I can start taking some great photos! Bare with me with the photos below, just practicing!

Wednesday 11 September 2013

I'm currently running a competition to win one of my handmade brooches from the photo below! Head over to my Facebook page to find out more- best of luck!