March 25, 2013 · 3:08 pm
These are some butterfly brooches that I`ve been working on over the last week.
It took a bit of trial and error to get them right at first, but I`m really pleased with the final result.
The butterflies are built up of layers of tiny scraps of fabric, handstitching and machine embroidery. I painstakingly snipped out tiny pieces of cottons, choosing fabrics in soft, muted tones of orange, yellow, blue and brown to echo the colours of wild British butterflies. I was influenced by the illustrations in this vintage wildlife field guide book. The layers of machine stitching softened the effect further, with the black stitching picking up details of veining on the wings, outlining the butterfly and drawing the antennae.
I wanted these butterfly brooches to act as companion pieces to my bumble bees and made them the same way, trying to keep quite a loose feel to them.
It`s been such freezing, wintry weather all week so I`ve really enjoyed staying cosied up in my sewing room, surrounded by scraps of fabric and accompanied by my cat and Radio 4, creating these tiny heralds of Spring.
Filed under butterflies, machine embroidery, recycled fabric, vintage fabric
Tagged as applique, butterflies, butterfly accessory, butterfly brooch, butterfly pin, embroidered butterflies, fabric brooch, fabric butterfly, machine embroidery, vintage fabric
March 15, 2013 · 5:00 pm
I`ve been busy this week making some more round heart brooches. They proved to be popular for Valentines day so I decided to make a few more. I used more muted colours for these ones, with some thick, twill-woven vintage calico for the background. I was quite pleased with these, the rough texture of the calico gave them a look (I think) of little sandstone pebbles. I only have a small piece of this fabric, so I`ll keep it for more brooches. I`ll be making a few of these brooches for my stockists, these ones are heading into my Etsy shop.
I`ve been experimenting with bits of linens and lace this week and I bought a big piece of calico to play with. I used to use calico all the time and it`s fun to work with it again. It`s such a humble fabric, with a folksy, homespun feel and speckled with tiny imperfections, but is also really sturdy and versatile . I love combining the textures of calico, grainy old linens, homely ticking and frothy vintage lace. I`m planning to combine these in new work, using the lovely creamy, neutral shades as a nice contrast with embroidery.
The calico I bought was stitched together like this on the roll. I like the utillitarian, rough stitches.
My first butterfly… lots more to follow…
I`ve been working on some little keepsake hearts this week too. They are stitched from calico, vintage fabrics, vintage lace and shell buttons. They have a linen sachet of lavender inside as well as a bit of padding. I like the idea of making little one-off treasures and mini embroideries, something I`m hoping to develope over the next few weeks. I tried to give these hearts a collagey feel, and I`ve used both machine and hand embroidery.
Filed under hand embroidery, lavender keepsake hearts, machine embroidery, round heart brooch, vintage fabric
Tagged as Agnes and Cora, calico, hand embroidery, heart brooches, lavender bags, lavender hearts, machine embroidery, vintage fabrics, vintage lace, vintage linen
March 15, 2013 · 4:04 pm
My boyfriend and I were lucky to enjoy a short holiday in Rome last week. It was the first time there for both of us and we walked miles every day to see as much as we could. We concentrated mostly on the ancient city and museums and managed to cram in so many amazing things. We both love ancient history and Mark is getting to be quite knowledgable on all things Roman so it was wonderful to see everything ‘in the flesh’. Of all the inspiring things we saw, my favourite has to be the house of the empress Livia. We climbed the Palantine hill to see the remains of the imperial palaces. It was surprising how intimate some of the rooms and gardens were. You can still view the frescos in the house of Augustus- beautiful, elaborate paintings (which are still brightly coloured) in surprisingly small rooms, some quite tiny. It brought the past vividly alive.
In the National Museum of Rome (Palazzo Massimo alle Terme) we saw the beautiful garden room which is thought to have come from the house of Livia. It is simply stunning and quite took my breath away. The paintings completely cover the four walls and gives you the impression of having wandered into an enchanted, mediterranean garden. The colours have softened over time and are lovely, soothing shades of greens and blues. There are orchards and groves of trees and beautiful garden flowers everywhere. The flowers are all easily identifiable. Perching in the branches are lots of birds, all beautifully painted. Apparently the room was originally semi underground, lit by a skylight in the ceiling. It is easy to imagine what a cool, soothing sanctuary the room would have been, perfect for escaping the summer heat. I didn`t take photographs in the museum, but here are some images I found online…
February 27, 2013 · 6:35 pm
At last… I`ve finally emerged into the 21st century craft world and opened my online shop! I struggle with all things computery but the lovely people at Etsy make it all very easy. So now when you click on my shop page (instead of just getting ‘coming soon’, which was there much longer than I intended!) you can follow the link to my Etsy shop.
I`ve listed a selection of brooches and some recycled fabric hairbands to begin with, and I`ll be adding a few pieces every week. I`m looking forward to making some one-off pieces to sell online too, plus some larger items.
These brooches and hairbands are all available now.
Filed under flower brooch, hair accessories, layered corsage, little heart brooch, online shop, owl brooches, recycled fabrics, recycled papers, vintage ties
Tagged as bumble bee brooch, daisy brooch, decoupage brooches, Etsy, recycled fabric brooches, recycled fabric hairband, recycled fabric headband, tweed owl brooch
February 14, 2013 · 8:40 pm
This week I`ve been inspired by the colour combination of black, ecru and spring green. I was given some furnishing fabric remnants in these colours recently and they seemed to fit perfectly with this time of year- they reminded me of new buds on bare branches and fresh green shoots sprouting out of black soil. I`m going to make up a nice big mood board and let this fresh, classic palette influence my work over the next week or two.
February 6, 2013 · 5:11 pm
During the past few weeks, I`ve been busy making lots of Valentine`s and Mothers` day brooches for my stockists. They all needed a good topping up after Christmas and I enjoyed making some pretty brooches that look forward to Spring.
Hearts galore for Valentine`s day! These round heart brooches are new.
More little stitched hearts and tweed hearts.
Some more stitched flowers, pretty for Spring and perfect for Mothers` day.
Another batch of layered corsages. I`m so pleased that these are selling really well. They`re my favourites at the moment, I`ve been wearing one almost every day!
I also had a couple of commissions last month, for a wedding fascinator and a Jaunty Jim cap.
These were people who had found me online and it has made me determined to get on with my online shop. Now that my stockists are topped up it will be my next plan of action!
Filed under fascinators, flower brooch, hair accessories, Jaunty Jim caps, layered corsage, little heart brooch, recycled fabric, tweed heart brooch
Tagged as brooches, customised flat caps, fascinators, flat caps, flower brooch, flower corsage, hair accassories, handmade brooches, heart brooch, Jaunty Jim caps, recycled fabric, recycled fabric brooch, vintage fabric brooches
December 23, 2012 · 9:48 pm
My Edinburgh stockists have been keeping me busy over the last few weeks on the run up to Christmas. I`ve been making lots of all my best sellers to keep them topped up. This batch of heart brooches were for Flux in Leith.
Some of my favourite brooches to make for Autumn/Winter are my leaf corsages. Inspired by Autumn leaves, they`re made from recycled tweed and felt which I`ve dyed in leafy colours. Each corsage is made up of a layer of four leaves, finished off with a rustic wooden button. The leaf shapes are ‘drawn’ freehand on the sewing machine so they are all slightly different.
My new layered corsages have been selling well and I`ve just finished my fourth batch of them. I made some lovely muted ones using recycled velvets and brocades mixed with voiles, tweeds and vintage ties.
I even made myself a silvery one to wear on my sparkly Christmas jumper!
The corsages inspired some little fascinators which I made for Miss Katie Cupcake in Cockburn street. The flowers are layered onto black felt with lots of net. I made them on hairbands so they are very easy to wear, perfect for a Christmas party!
Yesterday I took some time off to gather greenery from the garden to make a wreath for the front door and lots of bunches to hang up in the cottage. I used lots of textures and leaf shapes, mixing holly and ivy with hebe, laurel, golden privet and other evergreens. I always add a few sprigs of rosemary to the indoor garlands for the lovely scent.
Merry Christmas to all and best wishes for 2013!
Look out for my online shop, opening soon in the New Year.
Filed under flower brooch, hair accessories, little heart brooch, my garden, recycled fabric, vintage fabric, vintage ties, winter
Tagged as Christmas, fascinator, flower corsage, haiir accessory, heart brooch, holly wreath, leaf brooch, recycled fabric, vintage fabric
December 14, 2012 · 10:04 pm
Frosty mornings this week- just perfect for a walk in the woods! I took these photos a couple of mornings ago on one of my favourite walks. All the thick mud and puddles from recent rains were frozen solid, great for walking on. There was nobody else about, just me out in the tingling cold and silvery light.
November 16, 2012 · 5:17 pm
This has been a really beautiful Autumn. Sometimes in recent years we have had lots of strong winds in Autumn that blow the leaves off the trees before they have time to change colour, but this year the trees have been gorgeous. I took these photos in lanes and fields near my home on a golden afternoon last week.
November 16, 2012 · 4:43 pm
I was having a (much needed) tidy and sort through of my fabrics recently and thought it would be nice to combine lots of different textures and make some new corsages for Autumn/Winter.
The flowers are made from lots of different recycled fabrics, including tweeds, tartans, corduroy, denim, vintage ties, satins, velvets and silks.
They have a sprinkling of vintage bits and bobs in their centres- buttons, beads, crystals and sequins. I enjoyed playing with all the combinations of textures and was quite pleased with the jewel-like effect.
My first batch of these brooches have gone straight into Flux, Fabhatrix, and the Lucie Fenton Gallery. I`m now working on another lot, all made in lovely berry colours, which should be ready in a few days.