Ancient fragment no. 2 by Tinctory
Stunning and ethereal smocked textile jewellery from another of my Etsy favourites. Tinctory aka Eva also writes a beautiful blog detailing the process and creative thinking behind her work. Currently she is experimenting with different dyeing techniques including solar dyes. A veritable alchemy of jars are currently brewing on her radiator, absorbing the natural juices and colours of autumn. Beautiful.
Ancient fragment no. 2 by Tinctory
I'm going to try and avoid going to the shops this year for Christmas presents... there are so many favourite shops I've added over the past year on Etsy that it seems a shame to shop elsewhere. One shop that I love is Julieandco - contemporary Japanese temari, beautifully created with stunning complex patterns. I decided to buy one for my mum, and sharing this gift on here won't spoil the surprise as my mother rather refreshingly doesn't even know how to turn a computer on, let alone snoop around on the internet to see what her reckless daughter is up to. These temari must take an age to make... so beautiful.
I've been a bit behind with adding new items to the shop due to being a bit poorly last week but I'm now aiming to have some new items including more printed leathers listed later today.
Amy was the friend who helped me out on the recent bag shoot and it's so lovely to have images of the clutches being, well, clutched. Makes a refreshing change from seeing my gnarly hands in the odd listing photo for scale and blimey that lady has cheekbones!
The wild honey clutch - part of the new Red Ruby Rose collection
I'm so happy to finally have the first part of my new collection listed on Etsy, and to be able to share what I've been up to these past few weeks. The new collection forms three main parts - the first of which are leathers and suedes in a new clutch style. Many of these leathers are unusually printed, embossed or patterned and are so soft to the touch. I think that Toby's photographs have captured the texture and quality of the clutches amazingly well but it's their tactile quality when they're in the hand that I'm really loving. They are kind of hard to put down!
The new clutch design has a solid construction internally so it is firmer and has a lovely curve with no bottom seams. I'm also using different frames which I previously found too slender for my fabric clutches but which are perfect for this design.
Peacock Palace - original printed leather clutch
Next up, something that I'm so happy to share. I finally found the perfect way to achieve full colour-printing onto leather that doesn't involve silk-screening or heat-transfer. The company who do this process have achieved something miraculous I think and I'm so delighted I found them. I've been wanting to do this for years - ever since I struggled at art school with transferring print to leather and suede and wished I could translate full colour images. The results I hope are reflected well in the photographs - really rich colours and a high-quality permanent finish that won't rub, fade or peel. There will be more printed leather clutches arriving in the shop next week - I'm currently making the newest batch up.
Silk peacock feathers clutch
....and last but not least... some old favourites from my previous collections which look are looking lovely and fresh with their gorgeous new photographs. I'll be adding more of these embroidered silks next week too.
Laura Groves aka Blue Roses
Tonight we played a show supporting Blue Roses at the Bristol Louisiana. Sunday gigs can be a little unpredictable but it was a pin-drop crowd and a lovely evening. Laura, who is the voice and mastermind behind Blue Roses played a gorgeous show. Her voice reminded me a little of Harriet Wheeler, sparkling and bell-like. She's a wonderful guitarist too. The other band on the bill were Marcus Foster - a brilliant three piece including double bass and banjo. Both bands are about to go on tour together in the USA and Canada, so if anyone happens to be in LA, Seattle, Dallas, Memphis, Chicago, Toronto, Vancouver or Montreal at the beginning of December, I'd really recommend checking them out. I wish we could smuggle ourselves in their drum-kit cases and go too, ha!
Snapshot of photoshoot set up
The shop reopens next Monday 16th November. I can't wait! I'll be listing in two batches, one lot on Monday and the next the following week. There won't be as much stock as before - I think previously it took me the best part of a year to build up to around the 100 listings mark but there will be around 20 new styles to begin with.
I've decided it's time to pension off my trusty but ancient 2 mega-pixel fuji-finepix digital camera. It's served me well but this time round I've enlisted the help of friend and professional photographer Toby Farrow. We spent a fun but exhaustive day today shooting the first batch of clutches, and he quickly managed to fill the whole room with an impressive array of photographic paraphenalia while my little fuji-finepix wept quiety in the corner. His set up included a laptop with software that triggered the shutter so images could be previewed immediately on screen - so great. In the afternoon another friend popped over to do some model shots and she shone in front of the camera (and sadly looked better in my dresses than me, sigh).
This collaborative working is a new thing for me - I'm so used to working alone that it was wonderful to get a fresh perspective and bounce ideas off others for a change. Roll on Monday!
It's been quite odd having the shop closed the last few days. Partly I think I'm a little mad to do it so close to the busiest shopping season of the year but I needed just a little space to gather my thoughts and actions for the new things in the pipeline.
There have been a few frustrating delays on materials and I've got my work cut out to get everything up and ready for re-opening next week. Also, having the shop closed has made me do all the things I have been putting off for months.... like a really good tidy up, cooking some proper meals for a change (when was the last time I baked a cake? last year I think... wow the one I made on Sunday tasted good!) and I finally got a roman blind made out of the gorgeous dandelion clocks material. With all the sewing I've done the last couple of years I had high hopes for the blind but it still took several hours of cussing and grumpiness. Slippery little sucker! But, it's up now, looks pretty good and hasn't fallen down yet. Also, Rob and I have been working on our new single for Cue Fanfare, it's pretty much all recorded now, just needs mixing.
So, if all goes well, the plan is to re open the shop next week... I can't wait! I haven't got an exact day in mind yet as there's still loads to do but it'll be so nice to have my Etsy life back again, I'm missing it.
House plans clutch reduced from $75 to $50
Today is the last day of my sale. All of the clutches currently listed in the sale section won't appear in my shop again, apart from the silks. It's quite sad to say goodbye to many of these styles, which have become like old friends but it's time for a change. The shop will close tomorrow for about a week.
Stunning kitchen interior by designer Karin Draaijer
I was contacted in the week by a very new British blog on the block, the beat that my heart skipped. Run by design savvy blogger Rohini (and maybe I'm a little biased as she kindly featured my clutches) all the same, there is a fiercely creative eye at work here in her other posts. The kitchen above made me drool... I really should post some pictures of my kitchen for the full appreciation of my lusting envy, as mine looks like a 1970's caravanette but not in an uber-retro stylish way, just a cramped brown and beige vinyl nightmare scenario. Anyway, I digress. Anybody that can start and continue a blog with beautifully eclectic diligent daily posting gets my vote as it's such a time consuming business. Looking forward to following Rohini's blogging adventures in the coming weeks and months.
Talking of the beat that my heart skipped, on Friday the long awaited sample material for my new clutches arrived and I did a very happy dance indeed. Now I can go ahead and place my order and then get making. I'm excited and scared about the new direction... excited because I love the new design but scared because the material costs will make them much more expensive and I don't know if I'm going to be pricing myself out of the Etsy marketplace. If it doesn't work then I'll have to go the wholesale route and that's a whole other ballgame.
The sale in my Etsy shop ends on November 6th and I will be discontinuing all current clutches apart from the silks. I'll be closing the shop for a few days and will aim to reopen mid-November with the new collection. Yippee!