Friday, 29 November 2013

My very first craft fair!

Next Saturday, 7th December, I am going to take part in my very first craft fair! I have been quite cautious with craft fairs as I wanted to pick the right one to try. This craft fair is in Colchester, Essex at The Minories, a contemporary gallery that showcases Art, Craft and Design. I already sell items in the gallery shop and it's the place I did my MA, so I feel very comfortable about it. 
My main worry is getting the right mix of merchandise to take and I have spent time thinking of some some different ideas. I don't want to take too much and I don't want to take too little. Creative dilemmas are tricky sometimes! In the end I have decided to take quite a range of things. Items that are all ready to go (like my cards and mirrors) and some new items that I have been making. I have created an infinity scarf from my "Fantastic Funghi" material which I am really pleased with.
I have also made some decorations in different ways. Firstly some wooden ones which I decided to paint.
Then some cut out shapes from felt which I decorated with blanket stitch and some embellishments.
Then I got really creative and used my needle felting machine to create these owls. I was really pleased with these and I love their googly eyes. I haven't used my needle felting machine for ages and I had such fun!
Lastly I decided to make some pin cushions from my left over samples of fabric.
I am feeling more prepared now but need to think about pricing, labels, bags and display! Do you think I've made enough? Wish me luck!

Friday, 15 November 2013

Reality Bites

So it's been a little while since I posted but I have been very busy. The title of this post is "Reality Bites" because that it how it is at the moment- I had to earn some money! I left my teaching career in August and threw myself into the world of surface pattern and since then I feel as though I have achieved loads. The simple truth is though, however much I love what I am doing it is not paying me much money at the moment. The very little I do make I reinvest to buy more things to make and design. Therefore I had to look towards my recent experience and sign up to an agency to get some work. This week I have been in a primary school. This is not my usual teaching setting as I am a secondary school teacher. It's been hard and I'm itching to get back to designing every day. The good thing is that the days are quite short so there is time later in the day to flex my creative side. The other thing I have had to juggle is the fact that I have started Module 3 of the ABSPD course "Monetising your Designs" (quite timely I think!) but I already feel that I am behind. You can't win in this game...

I have also been trying to add more items to my online shops and took the plunge by getting some items professionally printed. First are some Christmas cards I have put in my Folksy shop

 Next I decided to create some handbag mirrors with my designs. I am really pleased with these and I decided to try selling these on a newly created online shop Giggling Hedgehogs. In their own words,
"Giggling Hedgehogs is an online marketplace that brings buyers and sellers of unique products and services together. It’s where you go to buy gorgeous things that are a little different, quirky and most certainly beautiful." Here is the link to my brand new store where you can buy my little mirrors for £3.50 each.
Giggling Hedgehogs

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Trying Out Typography

Recently I have been having a go at some typographic designs spurred on by some competition briefs that I have entered. The first one was the Tigerprint Christmas type submission. Although I didn't make the shortlist I really liked what I did. I used a combination of collage and hand drawn letters and then scanned them into Photoshop to add colour.

The next brief I had a go at was the Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design mini challenge for alumni. I am just about to do Module 3 which I am so excited about. Since taking Module 1 and 2 I have come so far. It's such a fantastic course and so supportive. I never believed I would be able to have a second chance at this career after leaving it behind in the mid 90s, so I designed from the heart. I wanted to create something short but meaningful. Here's what I came up with...
What do you think?