Sunday, 25 May 2014

an interview on the hop....

A couple of weeks ago the lovely Julie Kirk, the writer of the blog ‘notes on paper’, asked me if she would be able to tag me as part of a blog hop….

A blog hop is a little journey from blog to blog to blog to blog (you get the idea!xxx) …………that encourages readers to find out more about the person behind a blog, the what/wheres/and how of what they are currently working on/ideas/process, which then in turn writes links in their post to other journals and visual diaries of other creatives……a really lovely way to discover new makers, writers, designers and other passionate creatives.

So here are the questions that were given to me by Julie and you can see Julie's post here from last week….I’ll try not to go on too much….I am known for writing emails as if they were novels….so I apologise now (xxx)

What am I working on?
I am currently sat in a land of indulgence where I am about to start a week of working on makings that are purely for my home or moi – ideas I have had for a while that I can finally take a needle and thread to. 

The first is a rather large project, I am creating a patchwork collage fabric wall for the living room, it has been on going for months and has been in my little sketchbook mind for a few years.  A labour of love that is growing very slowly in its assembly but I can't wait for it to be finished next month. (here is a little detail below)...
I am also making a pretty scenic scarf  for 'just' me.  I don't wear jewelery (a long story), except my wedding ring, so I always (no matter how hot the weather) like to wear a scarf or two....
This little indulgent award to myself is the result of a very busy start to the year.  
I have just finished a rather ‘full-on’ three month in the diary of orders and commissions as well as running The Linen Garden Shop.  
The latest project (which has just finished last week) was working on the interior of a lovely new Tea Bar called Lotti’s.
I am used to working on individual products and small private commissions, so I enjoyed the challenge of working on a larger scale ‘interior’ commission.  
A washroom curtain made from layers of hand dyed antique lace with my crazy paving ribbon to edge the top of the walls, 14 large cushions made up a rather pretty window seat, re-edging lampshades with trimmings of old French eiderdown cottons, Edwardian lace and Victorian broderie hand dyed in plaster pinks, spaces covered or curtained.....bunting and displays. 
We used a beautiful 5 metre long French pelmet to edge the top of the walls in a pretty corner….. and so much more details and frills and floral.  And is you fancy taking tea there then you an contact Lotti here.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I always find it hard to describe my style, apart from using the obvious floral, eclectic, home-made. How it stands out or differs from others is not really of importance to me, I enjoy and love what I do with a passion. 
I love the memory a fabric or a piece of lace holds and the journey it has made before it has reached the studio.  It is not just about the making but the hoarding, the sourcing, the gathering, the pottering of ideas, the constructing, the making, the process, the marketing, the selling.  It is the journey you make through your work that makes your work different to others.  Like a signature or a recipe. 

Why do I create what I do? 
....the journey is never planned out.  I love how every month is so very different from the last.  The studio changes visually all the time, a little changing patterned capsule of makings.  

The way I work is part of my 'cosmetic'.  It started at an early age from living with a family of hoarders and being encouraged as a child to ‘collect’ things as a hobby.   It certainly left its mark and embedded an unconscious obsession to continue collecting anything that catches my magpie eyes.  From childhood to adulthood the early gathering of flowers, shells, stamps has lead me to a path of collecting old haberdashery, selvedges of fabrics, everything floral with an age and story to tell and so so many other clusters of ‘stuff’.

I studied textile design at art college many years ago and have always been interested in surface design and repeat, mixed with rich observations of nature from florals to colour.  I love the painterly and detailed qualities of older fabrics from gentle contour lines of old French linen to bold confident blooms of early Sanderson furnishing prints.  Each time I purchase an exquisite fabric I just simply let it hang on the door or pin it to the wall of the studio so that I can just look at it for a little while. 
You can use fabric in so many ways, either to show off its repeat or to take teeny snippets or selvedge details and incorporate it in differing compositions.  I love how a fabric ages with time and can become softer or fade in areas from direct natural light.  Like furniture a fabric holds so many stories and has so many owners and homes over time…I find its ‘social’ history rather intriguing. 

How does your creating process work?
Either living with certain fabrics for a while or spending time layering pattern together will help decide on its journey.  I love mixing fabrics from varied eras as the scale, textures and colours vary so beautifully, for example, mixing a soft eiderdown cotton from the thirties with a sateen finish from the fifties.  
I love researching into the domestic use, looking at practicality of textiles mixed with the pure decorative purpose.  There is nothing more exciting than collecting textiles and haberdashery and then sitting for a few days and looking at how they work with each other.  Pinning fabrics onto the wall like a patchwork is a pastime of mine and something I document here on my blog a lot.  For me it is not only the end product but the process that I go through, almost creating imagery with a camera playing with layering until the final idea salutes you.
Fabric is very clever.  It conjures up so many feelings whether you are wearing a heavy tweed or floaty ditsy print…sat under a printed umbrella in the rain or laid on an enormous painterly floral reading in your garden in the Summer months.  All part of our everyday life.  The changing of curtains, the warmth of a heavy eiderdown as you cosy up or the smell of line dried linen when you climb into bed at night,.  It is the cheery-ness that a floral brings.  
We surround ourselves in floral.  Some of us envelop ourselves from wall to ceiling, others, to a simply one year occasion like a flowering cacti or a single stem in an earthenware pot.  A floral obsession can be flamboyant or simple tokens to make us smile. It is the collecting and pottering and 'playing' that starts, informs and competes my creative process. 
...are you still here after all my above bamblings??.  You are!! Thank goodness for that.  

So here are two lovely ladies I have been very lucky to meet on my floral journey.  They have accepted my invitation to keep the blog hop skipping.  So make sure you pop over to their blog on 
Monday 2nd June 
and see their answers to my questions..... Why not start your own blog-hop or simply stroll back and forward through the journey of this one I have taken part in and add these creatives to your reading list.

So here is their introduction from me to you...enjoy your journey

'Lapin Blu'
Sarah~Lou of LapinBlu is a designer/maker + blogger from West Sussex. When she's not making homewares & decor for homes that love to be lived in, she writes about handmade, homestyle, family, adventure, and all the things that bring her comfort & happiness at the.bolt//hole

'Sesame & Lilly'
Designer Luca Saunders runs Sesame and Lilly, a pretty business that grew from a little box of antique trinkets and vintage french fabric.  In her studio she creates beautiful cushions, greeting cards,vintage journals and jewellery for starcrossed lovers.  Her blog is a sparkling documentation of her makings.  

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Floral Love much floral love in The Linen Garden shop at the moment...
waiting for new homes..
take a walk down the garden path here to
treasures of fabrics and haberdashery...

Friday, 9 May 2014

wonderfully exhausted I can only describe myself as being 
'wonderfully exhausted'.  

Is there such a thing?  
I think there is.  
Early mornings.
Late nights.
Happy at work.
Giddy with ideas.
So much that brings contentment at my door at the moment.
A creative bubble.
Not knowing what is around the corner.

I have changed the pattern of my working life.
Breaking away from the 'bread and butter'
manufacturing avenue and allowing myself the
freedom to 'explore'.

Back to researching.
Creating new chapters.
Stopping the worry and stress regarding how 'full' the diary is 
but focusing on how 'full' my heart is with
opportunities, challenges, contentment, happiness
and to simply wake up every morning  
and enjoy my job.

It is a job, a 'real' full time job.
A job that I have worked hard to sustain.
A job that requires me to work far longer hours than
the normal full time employer would expect.
But every day is different.
I work from home.
My kids see how hard I work 
and how happy you can be in work.
All I can ask is that they find their own passions in life 
and be equally happy in their own little path.
 I feel very lucky to be totally submersed in what I do 
and to be surrounded by so many people who 
I have met through this thread of work. 
Folk that I speak to every week - but have yet to meet in person.
Folk who have become wonderful friends in my life 
who I will treasure forever.

I suppose what I am trying to say is that 
'aren't we all very lucky'.
We need to keep supporting each other with our words of wisdom,
all our collective pockets of experiences we can share,
a smile, a helping hand, a nudge in the right direction 
when someone appears lost.
Working for yourself can be a solitude place if you allow it to be.
But I come into my studio each day - 
switch on my computer and it is like opening the door 
to the most happiest office party, whether I speak to people 
through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, here.....

It is all so rewarding in so many ways.

I am bambling, I know.  
But today has been a bit of a standing 
on the outside edge 'looking in' kind of day...
and for once, I have the time, to actually be able to 
stand still and 'see' and appreciate what I have.

I am a very lucky flower lady who is now going to reward herself
with the best Gin & Tonic a Friday can offer.

Have a wonderful weekend doing things 
to fill your memory banks

my day - a blink of the eye

..a snapshot image of today's makings...

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Lotti's three (by night)

...I love how these have cosied up the studio of an evening - 
not too sure I want them to leave...

Lotti's (three)

Today has been a rather indulgent day....a little escapism project.
The brief was to decorate two charity shop finds
into pretty lampshades for Lotti's.  
They are to hang
(excuse them being propped up on standard lamp bases) 
in the window from the ceiling -
so they had to work wonderfully with light for both day and night.....
so here is a little visual diary of the day and I
can't wait til they are installed in their resting place....
only a couple of weeks until the Tea-Bar opens
and still so much to do.....