Monday 30 January 2012

where does the time go?!

Happy cold snowy Monday!  Had plans for a (hopefully) lovely post with lots of photos of fabric, but what with childcare, a visit from my Mum, a Tax return to complete, and a messy house, there has been no time for taking photos.  And as it's a grey snowy day and my house is small and dark the light's pretty terrible today anyway.  So here's a colourful photo that I took before Christmas (no it's not my house, I wish it was!) - I don't know what the plant is called, but the purple berries against the orange door make me very happy!

Hopefully tomorrow will be full of creativity and the time I need to share it with you.

Rachel x

Friday 27 January 2012

something old, something new #1

Hello and happy Friday!  I hope whatever you're up to and where ever you are you've had a good day so far, and have exciting/relaxing weekend plans to look forward to.  

One of the things I want to share on my blog is my love for illustration, particularly children's books; since having children I've realised what a huge influence picture book illustrations have been on me and my taste in art and design.  I was lucky enough to get a lot of my favourite books from childhood back from my Mum when I had M (now 6), including Two Can Toucan by David McKee, which is the first book I ever remember actually reading for myself.  Looking at it now, it feels like a masterpiece of line and colour, and I can see why I love the designers and artists that I do when this was what my young developing mind was fed!

it's hard to choose which pages to share, they're all so fabulous, but here's another of my favourites: 

I guess these wonderful illustrations were later considered dated and unfashionable, because a new edition of the same book came out a few years later with new illustrations, also by David McKee but not (in my opinion) nearly so special! 

I have such a great collection of vintage children's picture books, sometimes I have to remind myself to look at new books coming out now for the kids, as there are some really great contemporary illustrators out there.  My latest discovery is Patrick Hruby, who is similar to early David McKee in that he combines really bright, saturated colours with black and white to a really striking effect:

I don't know if this is just me, but I actually salivate when I look at his pictures, those colours are so bright and juicy!  I was lucky enough to get a slightly damaged copy of his ABC is for Circus book cheap on Ebay for R (2), it's out of print so pricey now but hopefully they'll do another print run soon, it's on AMMO books who do some really gorgeous stuff.

I must admit I have a real soft spot for the hand drawn quality of the David McKee illustrations, and I find some contemporary images created on computers a bit too 'clean' and sterile, but I really love how Patrick Hruby's illustrations suggest magical worlds that I would love to visit.  Wouldn't you love to live in this house?


I've had some great fabric delivered this week and my partner's got some time off next week, so he'll be taking our little one out on Tuesday and I've got a date with my sewing machine - cushion covers here we come, got a couple of commissions that need making, and some playing to do just for the love of it.  

Have a lovely weekend, I've got a busy one planned so might not manage another post till Monday, though if inspiration hits I'll do my best to share it with you. 

Rachel x

Thursday 26 January 2012

I love lovebirds!

Yesterday my fellow blogger little green shed put a link on Facebook to these beautiful lovebirds on Folksy, by a maker called Kirsty Elson who I didn't know of before but is now a definite favourite!  I love the zingy, springy colours and the mix of natural found materials and those gorgeous retro prints.

I really like the addition of the baby bird to the more traditional pair of lovebirds, but here are some birdy couples that I love who haven't made babies yet.  One gorgeous print by Jane Foster,  which I was lucky enough to get for Christmas (thank you F!),

and a lovely 3D pair by Bristol artist/maker Tom Frost, who I stumbled across while trawling the archives of one of my favourite blogs, kickcan and conkers, which never fails to show me things that make me smile! 

I hadn't come across Tom's work before, but as he's Bristol based I expect he knows at least 20 people that I know, and I wouldn't be at all surprised if it turns out he lives round the corner!  I love their handprinted look, and they are now on my ever-growing wishlist.  Hmm, we don't normally do much for Valentine's day, but maybe presents are in order this year?!

Hope you're having a lovely day, whatever you're up to!

Rach x

Wednesday 25 January 2012

my first commercial successes!

Here are pictures of some of the things I made to sell at my son's school Christmas Craft Fair. I decided to do the fair at the last minute and had very little time to make stock, luckily I shared the stall with my friend Cath (aka Handmade Mum) and my Mum who'd made some lovely jewellery, so I only had to fill a 3rd of the table! 

I definitely need to work on how to photograph my makes, though a big thanks to my lovely partner for taking these photos at the last minute before we packed the car to go to the fair.  I also made a load of lovely lavender bags out of vintage fabric scraps, and to my delight and amazement I sold the lampshade, the pair of bird & owl cushions and all the lavender bags. 

The lightning flash cushion I took into a pop-up shop which appeared locally for a month before Christmas, and they agreed to take it on sale or return, and asked me to make a lampshade out of some amazing 70s french fabric I showed them - both of those sold on Christmas eve, which was a great extra present!  So all in all a very successful dipping of my toe into the world of selling my creations, and a definite kick up the arse to get me started on this blog and my soon to come Etsy shop. 

I have a massive collection of very special 60s and 70s fabric, so there will be lots more of this sort of thing to come, I hope you like it! 

Rachel x

Hello, is there anybody out there?

Welcome to my blog, which I've been planning for a while - I'm finally sitting down and putting fingers to keyboard (I would prefer pencil and paper, which is probably why it's taken me so long to get started).  It's a space for sharing what inspires me; things that I make, love, have or lust after. 

I'm hoping to share lots of original and unique things that I and other people make, along with any special vintage finds I think people might like to see - I am a car boot and charity shop addict, and can't be trusted within 10 feet of Ebay! Hopefully it won't just be a long shopping list of stuff I want, or a gallery of the many and varied bits of vintage loveliness that sit around my house gathering dust but making me happy whenever I look at them, though it will definitely be a bit of both.  Please let me know what you think, I'd love to hear from you!

Rachel x