Archives for posts with tag: thinking ahead

22 year old pink puffalump

I often think about the value of objects – not just monetary value, but emotional value too. After all, it’s an emotional response that makes us want to buy many things in the first place. Consumerism might be a dirty word (especially to a greenie), but it seems sometimes that the idea of owning stuff is completely tangled with our ideas about happiness… and I’m not sure that’s always such an awful thing.

Clothes are a big one, especially as a woman — you know if you have the perfect outfit for that big night out or dinner with your in-laws, you’ll feel great about yourself and have a wonderful time. Then the next time you pull that outfit out of your wardrobe, it will bring back those lovely memories and you’ll want to wear it again. It becomes part of your history, something to treasure.

And I’ve noticed that over the past few years, following my “only buy things I am completely in love with” rule, I choose clothes based on the memories I might have of wearing them in five, ten years’ time. Which is great, because it really makes me question any purchase – is it relevant, does it really have a place in my life?

Of course the other half of that is … do the things I make have permanent places in my customer’s lives? How can I make sure that they do?

Food for thought.

Happy hump day (:

P.S. I’ve submitted Pinky up there to the Saved From the Fire Flickr pool. Take a look, there are some lovely stories!

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One of my new year’s resolutions (which I don’t normally make) is to write a blog post every week. I’m not doing too well so far, although we’re only in week two. And week one was busy. But if I’m not hard on myself , who will be? :)

diamons pattern watercolour

Anyway, I’m designing a new collection. It started with a vintage harlequin print silk scarf in my collection. The colours are kind of horrid-yet-appealing, and those little diamonds have wormed their way into my soul. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about them for months now.

diamond stitch embroidery with beading

Which means that, for once, I’m focusing on surface before materials or form – which is actually kind of refreshing for me (and an excellent excuse to do lots of embroidery)!

In the meantime, I have new greetings card designs on the way and a potential new product line in the works. :)

Happy new year!

First, here’s my latest post over at Sew Green – Better Back to School Shopping.

Last month was a good month for me, in between Gala days and designing Wedding invitations (although sadly not my own. Yet). My struggle now is to try and keep up this momentum, as despite my successes I’m still on a very limited budget! So I’d like to introduce you to some of the new items in my Etsy shop…

reclaimed silk crystal cuffreclaimed silk crystal cuffCuff/corsage made from reclaimed Indian silks and backed with organic cotton. The centre of the rose is embellished with crystal beads, and the body of the cuff is hand quilted with coloured silk threads (have I mentioned before how much I love sewing by hand?) £30. Available on Etsy: click here. I’m planning a bridal ivory/nude version for, and matching headband and choker. I’ve had these silks for a while, just waiting for the right idea to come along. It’s really satisfying to finally use them!!

handmade patterned eco friendly purse collectioneco friendly handbag and purse setPurses & wristlet made from a mixture of reclaimed, sustainable, vintage and organic materials (£20 and £45 respectively).  These guys are so cute, and each colour/pattern combination is limited edition because when I run out of any reclaimed/vintage fabric, it’s gone for good! The pattern for those little purses took so long to perfect — I’m used to visualising something, making it, and then making more because I like it. But with these I think I made four or five frustrating, fiddly failures before getting it right! See my bags & purses on Etsy: click here.

handmade jersey bell wish braceletshandmade jersey bell wish braceletsJersey Wish Bracelets, made from cotton jersey, mostly salvaged from old t-shirts. At just £1 each, these have proven amazingly popular with girls of all ages! I’m going to be creating more non-bell charm bracelets soon, with some new purple and powder blue bands (:

I’m loving the chill in the air this past week or two, though there’s still the odd warm afternoon to sit out in the garden. Our neighbours on one side have trees that shed really early, so our lawn is covered in crispy crunchy leaves already. And I’ve just started planning my christmas shopping (don’t hit me!). This is my favourite time of year. (:

Last Saturday I was selling at a local school fair (with a range of “pocket money” products that I haven’t even had chance to photograph!) and I was invited to take a stall at a Gala Day next month (hosted in the park over the road from my house, conveniently). I’m also in the process of designing some wedding invitations (the samples need to be ready for tomorrow!), as well as revamping some of my existing designs, finalising bag patterns for sale and trying to process all of the new product ideas that are buzzing around in my brain. Right now, one success is financing the next step, so I have to keep my priorities in order…

Lately it seems that my mind is moving very fast but business is very slow… so this is a good time to get creative. I can’t afford new fabrics, so how many ways can I use what I’ve already got? It can be so satisfying to let the material inform the product, rather than the other way around. So today started with doodles of vintage brooches (my collection has grown recently, oops) and will finish with some textile jewellery designs. Probably made from organic cotton and featuring hand embroidery, appliqué, beading and maybe block printing… yes… I like to do everything at once.

Interestingly, lately I’ve had a couple of enquiries about invitations. Will I design some, will I make some? This was never something I’d given any thought to, if I’m honest. But of course I said yes. I couldn’t turn down the opportunity, I’m already having too much fun  just doing the research (easily pleased, I know)!

I feel like I’ve had a really busy couple of weeks, and it’s not about to slow down. Two house parties later, and I think maybe greetings cards are the way forward! Speaking of which, I listed a set on Etsy last week:

Visit my Etsy shop to see them, and look out for matching gift tags on a printable PDF! Each design is a digital print of one of my original watercolours (which were painted on hemp paper, also used as the background for the final designs). They are printed on to sustainable card and have a beautiful smooth, matte finish – they’re surprisingly tactile!

This Friday is my graduation ceremony, then on Sunday I’ll be at Designer’s Marketplace with the girls, then the following Thursday will be my house party…

If you’re anything like me, though, you’re already thinking ahead to spring/summer 2010. I have a bunch of exciting new ideas that I’m hoping to realise by February – if I can wait that long ;) I’m thinking a mix of digital and hand block printing, lots of colour and beautiful, tactile eco fabrics. Sound good?

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