June marketing post 2

 

Well, the polythene bags for my June marketing campaign have arrived.  Sorry to trouble you with this very unglamorous photo.

Desperate times call for desperate measures

 

Things are not going brilliantly well with my new businesses, which is because I haven’t really been marketing them very well.

So, I have decided to combine them in a way and start a rather ambitious project which is to do a month’s giveaway, leaving handmade articles in a variety of places with details of my naming ceremonies service.  So, for thirty days I intend to leave something I have made with details of what a humanist naming ceremony is and a small gift that people can keep anyway, plus my contact details.  This is a lot of work, but I hope it will raise some awareness.  I also hope that it will provide something interesting to write about for the blog.

Any suggestions or feedback would be great.

 

 

 

 

Patchwork and quilting for the fashion forward, Part II

In this post, I return to the trends for interiors  identified in Elle Decoration for 2018, and have a look at how we might adapt them to add a bit of an update to our textile work.

Plates on the wall

I have to admit that I found this one quietly hilarious, having been brought up in an age when old ladies had plates on the wall, but the difference here is that the plates are either solid colours or very sophisticated patterns.  I have adapted this for my garden and have collected and painted plates for the fences.  With regard to textiles, many of the craft magazines such as Mollie Makes, which I really like, by the way, run features on mounting work in embroidery frames/hoops and putting those on the wall.  I am not sure how many of us actually do that in ‘real life’.  On the other hand, the porthole quilt could be an adaptation of the circular theme.  This is a form of a reverse appliqué with a large cut out circle on top revealing the feature fabric underneath.  I have made one block of this just to try it out, and it is a nice effect and so I might make more.  It is one way of working with large circles.

The plates in the article certainly were too beautiful to eat off, and I think that is analogous to some fabric being too beautiful to cut.  This would be a way round having to slice into very lovely fabric and also a way to use difficult fabric like woven metallics as the feature cloth can remain a square under the circular aperture.

Colour trends

The colour trends this spring and summer include grey.  This is a bit of a disappointment given that in the UK at the moment pretty much all the weather we have is grey.  There is one element of inspiration here, though, which is the notion of using different textures of grey including metal, metallic mesh, concrete, stained wood and so on.  I like taking one colour and using a lot of shades of it, particularly red, which I think really benefits from this treatment.  I certainly know a lot of fabric and textile artists who work extensively with different neutral textures to great effect and it would make an interesting project to use some different textures in a large piece.

Other colour trends include monochrome and there are lots of black and white graphic patterns in interior design magazines at the moment.  The twist is that the monotone is pared with terracotta.  I am not a big fan of terracotta; it reminds me too much of the 1980s and really quite nasty furnishing fabrics and paint charts.  I think I could just about cope with it as a highlight colour or a sparkle fabric in a monotone quilt.  Burgundy is also singled out.  This is another of my least favourite colours, so it looks like I am doomed this season.

Fairly monotone table runner in my studio,

Reflective surfaces

In interior design terms this means lots of mirrors and shiny paint.  In textiles I don’t think we can go as far as reflective surfaces, unless we use really massive sequins or pieces of acrylic, but we could try putting in a bit of metallic fabric into our work occasionally,  The odd patch of gold or silver always perks things up in my view.

Bristol Blue Bubbles Anita

Bristol Blue Bubbles Anita

This panel from a quilt of mine was stitched and then painted with my very favourite Golden Fluid acrylics.  I like them because they are liquid but with a lot of pigment so the colour stays true even if you put it over brightly coloured fabric like this yellow silk.

Bengal tiger rugs – not real

This is a bit of a if you only take away one thing let it be this moment.  It seems that the Bengal tiger is a super trendy motif.

I suppose we could use this as a colour scheme inspiration: black, white and orange which would make a zingy type of quilt, or think about making an appliqué piece which would be an alternative to a tiger rug.  I would love to have a go at this if I had time.

 

Pomegranate Studio – because making is good for you

 

This is my first post on my blog on my lovely new website for Pomegranate Studio.  I have started the studio as part of my post-academic teaching career.  I am now a portfolio worker, which really seems to mean that I have more than one part-time money-making (fingers crossed) activity.  The other main part of the portfolio is that I have trained to be a humanist celebrant specialising in non-religious naming ceremonies.  This is not a blog about that work, so if you are interested please look at my Humanist UK site

https://humanist.org.uk/annrippin/naming-ceremonies/

This blog and site are for Pomegranate Studio.  This is my textile work.  I am going to pursue my own work and run small workshops for people who are interested in developing their work.  So I will not be teaching basic patchwork (go to someone who does perfect points for that) or showing you how to make a particular bag or quilt, but rather, I hope, inspiring you to take an idea or a technique and run with it yourself.

The studio is lovely, the garden will be lovely in a couple of months, and there are loads of books and objects to inspire you.  My dry runs have been great days and people have had lots of fun – as you can see in the photo at the top of the website.

 

I managed to get the square original to fit the box on the website pretty much on my own.  So proud.  Anyway, a few more photos of the studio for you to inspect, and then normal service will be resumed in the next post:

Some news

 

Rose

Example of reduced pixel size rose

As lots of you who either know me in person, know me via Facebook or read this blog regularly will know, I am starting a small studio at home.  As part of this I am working with a wonderful woman called Hannah to build a really smart website.  Hannah is great because she gives me lots of excellent training and tips about social media.  One thing we have been talking about is doing things to improve my blog and the ease with which people can find it.  I am experimenting with three things which I would like to have feedback on:

  1. I am condensing the size of my photos so it will make this much quicker to load, particularly on a smart phone.
  2. I am putting in more headings which increases the likelihood of google searches finding the blog, apparently.
  3. I am including more links to other websites where I can as this also helps google find me.

I would be really interested to know what you think.  In the meantime, thanks for your support and I will give you the website address as soon as it goes live.

A little bit of floral appliqué

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This is an interesting little piece.  It’s not that I don’t remember making it, but I don’t remember making it that clearly.  I think I made it to use the egg shape to make the vase:

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I then filled the vase with flowers cut, like the egg, with my sizzix machine:

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I cut the leaves freehand:

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The piece is on the reverse of a piece of furnishing fabric from the eighties which is incredibly ugly on the front, and scraps of silk.  It really came to life with the acrylic gems in the centre of the flowers.

It’s very loosely based on those fantastic 17th-century Dutch genre paintings

 

I love these blousey, virtuoso pieces.

Because the pieces were cut from bondawebbed silk using my sizzix dye cutter it was a very quick piece to do.  Limited amount of skill on display here.

Another wreath

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I was a bit taken aback by how popular the last wreath was, so here’s another.  This is made in the same way.  The background is a sample of furnishing linen which I have had for ages but not wanted to cut up.  The circle is done in chain stitch with three strands of embroidery cotton.  This one has appliquéd berries and thorn stitch between the leaves.

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This one is quite so easy to read.  The previous one had a lighter background:

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I like the second one because it looks a bit vintage, as if the person who made it in the 19C didn’t quite know how it was going to fade and become less distinct.

These are so easy to do, though.  Brilliant for beginners because the appliqué leaves are a really simple shape.

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After a recent blog, a friend asked me if I were being sponsored because I mentioned brand names and suppliers so often.  She meant it as a joke, but I started to think about why I do usually say where I sourced things from.  I came to the conclusion that it is because so many craft blogs and pages I read are American.  They have fantastic craft superstores such as Joanne’s and Michael’s where there are endless choices and low prices.  We just don’t have an equivalent.  Hobbycraft is okay, but is often out of stock.  So, I tend to say, particularly if it is a high street chain, where I found things.  It’s really frustrating if you want to make something and can’t get the materials.  If you do go to Etsy or to a US website you can end up paying double in postage and customs and handling charges, which makes a cheap item quite expensive.  I try and put things on here that people could have a go at and could find the equipment for if they wanted.

Having said all that, if Tiger,  Marimekko, IKEA or Bernina, Madeira or  Liberty do want to sponsor me, I am more than willing to talk.

Cossacks for Christmas

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I can’t imagine that many of you  are interested in my Christmas decorations, but just in case you are, here we go.  This year they are minimalist to say the least.  I have had a lot going on and putting up trimmings seemed way down the list of priorities.  But I did get round to making and putting up these gentlemen.  They are dancing cossacks.  I would like to tell you that they are my design, but they came from a book called Homemade Christmas, (which is very cheap on Amazon):

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It doesn’t seem to have an author, but it does have a number of surprisingly nice looking things to make.  The author, whoever it is, as no author is credited, made their cossacks out of old book covers, but I thought it would be a good way of using up gelli-printed papers that I had done myself:

 

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I rather like the way that the printed paper for his face makes him look like he is rather keen on the vodka, or doesn’t use a good enough moisturiser in all that cold weather.

I also used some painted paper:

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This one has jewelled brads or paper fasteners on his joints.  Finding paper fasteners, which are those split pin things with the round heads that you push through papers and then open out, turned out to be one of the hardest parts of the project.  I had to go to the internet to find them.  Clearly the paperless office is becoming a reality.

After I had made a couple of cossacks, it occurred to me that this might be a really good use for some notecards the Medieval Historian gave me a couple of years ago.

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So I had quite good fun fussy cutting bodies to get a good cover image on the chest:

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I also liked picking the most un-Christmas-y titles such as this:

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Nothing like a nice Ballardian dystopia to set you up the festive season.  We also have Lady Chatterley’s Lover as a nod to my home town.

Then I remembered that I had bought some Marimekko notecards as I love the graphic designs and clear colours:

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Both of these worked brilliantly which makes me thing that you could do it with any postcard:

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This one is decorated with washi tape.  This one is fussy cut:

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In the book they are strung to work as jumping jacks, but I like them just as posable figures.

In the end I made twenty-five of them and they dance around the room suspended from the picture rail.  So quite a lot of cutting, punching, sticking and stringing, but I think that they make quite a smart decoration, even for people, mentioning no names, Medieval Historian, who claim not to like Christmas.

 

 

In which I trim my own bonnet.

This is a blog post from the incredibly talented Tanya which I thought would appeal to those of you who love hats.