Sunday, 25 October 2009

Gingham Lavender Bags

I have to be honest, I love making lavender bags. They are such a simple thing and yet such a pleasure to make. I find the wonderful aroma of the lavender wafting around the room really therapeutic.

If you have visited my online shop, you will no doubt have seen the array of lavender bags I have made from vintage tablecloths etc. Whilst I really like those and will continue to make them, I realised it was time to explore something a bit different in style. Gingham fabrics seemed really obvious so I wasn't sure about the idea to start with. I didn't want to follow the crowd as I like my products to be a bit more quirky. I realised that there must be a market for gingham products though or else you wouldn't see them everywhere you look!

A quick jaunt to the local charity shops gave me some fabulous gingham fabrics to use. I found a really lovely deep red gingham men's shirt which soon got the sharp end of my scissors. Like a lot of crafters I have a huge tin of buttons, most of which are vintage. I also have a large bag of mother of pearl buttons that once adorned a handbag I found in a charity shop. Add to that my bag of ribbons saved from chocolate boxes and bath product gift boxes etc, I had plenty of bits and bobs to use as decoration.

I am quite pleased with the first bags I have made, the possibilities in colour, shape and decoration are endless. Add to that the variety of fancy stitching my sewing machine can do, I will have hours of fun making more lavender bags. I just need to sell some to prevent a stockpile though, they make great gifts and Christmas is coming ...... !

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Thursday, 8 October 2009

Show and Tell

As mentioned before in my blog, the Alton Art Society annual exhibition was held from 1-4 October this year, in the Assembly Rooms. This was the 78th Annual Exhibition and the variety of work this year was even more varied. Whilst the majority of exhibitors are amateurs, the standard of work is very high. Some members have even exhibited at the Royal Academy in the past.

The show consists mainly of framed worked including watercolour, oil, pastel and ink. However, there is a growing number of 3D artists as well, who work with clay, wood, textiles and glass in varying forms. The variety of work on show offers something for everyone. In the past, I have exhibited ceramics with good sales results. This year though I thought I would exhibit three textile pieces and only two ceramic pieces.

The smaller ceramic piece, was a real afterthought. When I fired it, the ash glaze looked really awful, so I had to glaze it again and refire it. Second time around I still wasn't happy with it and threw it in the bin. My husband told me it was too good to throw out, so I kept it. I only got around to putting the gold edging onto the dish the night before I had to hand it into the exhibition.

When I popped into the exhibition half way through the second day, both ceramic items had already sold, as well as my felted leaf. On the last day I returned to invigilate the exhibition and found that my felt vessel had sold too. It is such a buzz discovering you have sold your work. When I checked the sales book, I found that the local fine art gallery had bought my porcelain dish with the dripped glaze. I will have to sneak in there and see how much they are selling it for!

I can't wait for next year's show now as I have got so many new ideas for felt pieces that I want to try and create. No doubt the year will fly by and I will be panicking that I haven't got anything finished.

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