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Decoupage Brooches

These decoupage brooches are new to my range and I`ve really enjoyed making them.

I used to make papier mache vases and bowls many moons ago and it`s great to be playing around with papers again, though on a much tinier scale. I`m starting a new collection of papers, keeping interesting scraps of colours and patterns from magazines and gift wrap. I already have a folder full!

I`m really pleased with the way the brooches have turned out, the gloss varnish has transformed them into shiny, bright little pebbles. I`ve already started on a second batch and have been experimenting with making decoupage beads in the same style. It`s so much fun starting a new project! My first batch of butterfly brooches are already available in all my stockists.

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Thrift and recycling

What treasure! Here are some of my charity shop finds this week. I really love the gorgeous turquoise wool tweed, almost a two metre length.

I love a bargain and so it has always been natural to me to hunt for fabric in charity shops and jumble sales and recycle old clothes rather than buy new fabric off the roll. Nothing beats a good old rummage and unearthing an old jacket or skirt in gorgeous fabric.The jackpot for me at the moment is finding a 1970`s tweed or tartan maxi skirt, preferably in the largest size possible (more fabric!). I`m also using old ties in my work a lot just now. 1970`s kipper ties are best (again, more fabric) especially paisley patterns. Even quite psycadelic colour combinations can look great as a little covered button on a tweed brooch or fascinator.

I also love finding scraps of old crocheted lace or embroidered tray cloths. If they are a bit stained I don`t feel too bad about cutting them up and reusing them!

Absolutely nothing gets wasted in my workroom. I keep every scrap of fabric; even the tiniest piece of tweed can be used to cover a button or perhaps make a quilted leaf for a corsage.

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Heart Brooches

These sweet little heart brooches are new to my collection. They are made from recycled tweed and scraps of fabric from old ties and embroidered tray cloths, then embellished with vintage buttons and tiny sead beads.
They are currently available in Miss Katie Cupcake and Flux, and I hope to have a small selection in all my stockists in time for Valentine`s day.

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I`m finally getting around to having an online presence for my work after being in business for over three years…
I design and make a range of accessories using mostly recycled and vintage materials. I hand make everything at home in my tiny cottage in Fife, Scotland.

If you`re wondering about the name of my label, Agnes and Cora were the names of my grandmothers.
Agnes was my Scottish Granny. She was a no-nonsense kind of lady, very down to earth, but also kind and loving and had a wicked sense of humour. She was very thrifty and loved a bargain. Nothing was ever wasted in Granny and Grandad`s house. Granny also loved to embroider and taught me embroidery stitches and how to knit and crochet.

Cora was my English Nana. I remember her as a very stylish lady, always well coordinated! Old photos confirm this- although she was never well off she was always beautifully turned out. I remember she had matching handbags and shoes! Cora and her sister were famous local beauties in their youth.

So when I was searching for a name for my label, the names of my grandmothers came quite quickly to mind.
They seemed to work perfectly with my work; Agnes reflecting the Scottish fabrics, the thrifty aspect of recycling and the love of hand sewing; while Cora reflects the joy of dressing up and adding a well-chosen accessory to an outfit.

My grandmothers are even reflected in the fabrics I use; the combination of the sturdy Scottish tweeds and tartans contrasted with English chintzes and vintage lace, scarves, buttons and beads. Also every time I attach my label to something I`ve made, those two wonderful ladies are in my thoughts!


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