Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Sew Good!

Had a blissful drive down the side of Loch Eck to get some supplies. I tell you, it might rain here a lot but my god it makes for some breathtaking sights. It was very misty and with snow still capping the hills and the loch glassine, I was glad I'd commandeered the camera.
In not so picturesque Dunoon, my favourite shop on the whole of the Cowal Peninsula has moved! And not any old move-the Sewing Bee has relocated several shops up the same street and now shares premises with Argyll Vintners - sewing, craft supplies and alcohol all in the same shop-GENIUS! They have also expanded their range of gorgeous fabrics and have some v-e-r-y pretty pink and aqua fabrics very similar to the 'Amy Butler' range, slightly less expensive but still great quality cotton.
Anyway, had to get some batting and fabric to make up a blanket that's been commissioned. The front of the blanket will be vintage Beatrix Potter fabric, so I thought the blue stars would be a nice contrast on the back. Also took the opportunity to have lunch with my Mother (the best stew in the world, ta mammy!) and have a shufty through the Charity shops. Then home! So, back to the sewing tomorrow-blanket first, more hottie, bags and so on later. Fingers crossed for a bit more of a productive day, though the misty drive and the delicious lunch were worth losing a few hours of work for!

Monday, 26 January 2009

Go Wild in the Country!

Had an very interesting day at a networking day for women running small rural arts and crafts businesses and organisations. Yes, I know, it all sounds 'terribly' worthy, but it was very interesting and well worth driving across half of Argyll and Stirlingshire for.

The venue was West Moss-side which is not only an organic farm but a fantastic venue for craft workshops meeting etc. Set in the most beautiful countryside, I had the most stunning drive down through Loch Lomondside and up into the Carse of Stirling. Obviously, I forgot to take my camera-typical!
Had a great session with Jane Lindsey of Snapdragon Garden who discussed and explored the wonders of marketing yourself through your blog and how relatively simple this was to do-she has a great blog which is well worth a look. Which, of course, sent me scurrying home, resolving to blog more often-fingers crossed.

So despite my misgivings last night, about a long drive and sorting out childcare, cost of fuel etc, etc, it was a great day and I made several interesting contacts for my other venture (Cowal Open Studios), had a very delicious lunch, met some friends from back on the Cowal and had someone who wants some of my stuff for her shop! And back in time to spend some quality time with the kids and blog! Result!!

The Great Blanket Project Begins.....

After a lot of thought and contemplation over many cups of tea, I finally started to make in-roads into my stock of vintage woollen blankets. To my delight and surprise they have been easier to work with than I had envisaged and the finished product looks great!
A you can see from above, I've started on Hot Water Bottle covers, each one decorated with a cute vintage fabric pocket on the front into which one slips a matching Lavender Bag-mmmm, warm and soothing, always a good combination, especially in light of the rubbish summers we're having!
I kept the original label (see top of post!) and took some photos which I'll use for labeling them up-hopefully nice it a nice, interesting retro feel. Next on the agenda, baby sized, fabric trimmed blankets, totes and cushions!

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Charity Shop Booty!

I always try and sneak a quick trip to the charity shops in the local 'Hub' - Dunoon, bless it's heart it's so not a hub! I've found some brilliant stuff in the past-vintage American floral sprigged cotton sheeting and pillowcases (such great quality cotton), which I used to trim and decorate all sorts of stuff, beautiful vintage plates which are perfect for serving cupcakes and dainty sarnie, interesting old suitcases, vintage pinnies, baby clothes and blankets perfect for dyeing and appliqueing.

So, had a quick trip to Oxfam and came up with some very good swag!

This plate is very similar in style to a vase I've had for years and which I love-I do like a good ceramic seashell or two!

Kitschy, slightly strange looking pinny-and I don't normally like pink, but I do like the pockets.

And lastly, a very sweet little old fashioned picnic hamper-I think it may once have housed a dolls tea service, so I may give it to Effie for her 'dinner service'-a rather hideous pink and purple plastic affair, with Barbie all over it, she loves it, I hate it, a sign of things to come perhaps?

So, finally, more up-to-date! Now just got to tackle the Overlocker-watch this space!!

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Here we go! Part 2

So, where were we....

2009-looking forward to making some in-roads into my stock of vintage fabric. I was lucky enough to score a vast amount of vintage woollen blankets (see pic below-that's only about a third of the total haul) when a local fishing lodge changed hands and the family were clearing out the house and garages. Lots in a pretty poor state, but lots in good repair. So, they have now been sorted out, professionally laundered and are ready to be cut, trimmed, appliqued etc, etc.
So, over the next few weeks I will be transforming my 'stash' into hot water bottle covers, bags, cushion covers, all enhanced with vintage fabric applique detail plus baby/adult blankets with fabric trims!!

And to help me do this, my lovely family, spurred on my most excellent mother, bought me an Overlocker for Christmas-how exciting, until I opened the box and looked at the instruction leaflet! Aghast and more than a wee bit frightened by what I saw, I packed it all away again. I keep peering at it nervously, as it sits, accusingly, under the kitchen table. I will be steeling myself this weekend to have another go-the alternative, of course, is to bribe my Aunt Moira (dressmaker, seamstress and soft furnishings guru par excellence) to come up for a couple of days and give me a crash course in Overlocking!

Watch this space or visit my shop at http://www.therainboweffect.etsy.com to catch up with whats new from rainbow world.

Next-What Jean Found in The Charity Shop!

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

2009! Here We Go!!

Blimey-been a while since my last blog! So I'm going to do it in two parts -
here goes.....

Part 1
2008 was a busy year-the 'rainbow effect' range expanded to include vintage inspired and trimmed blankets, hats, onesies, tee-shirts, bibs and bags! I used a couple of different methods-firstly, transfers, heat-pressed on to garments, using a variety of different, vintage images-Dick and Dora, vintage Russian children's illustrations, 50's sci-fi. Secondly, I rediscovered my passion, dormant for a few years, for vintage fabrics and clothing and began to stockpile some fab vintage fabrics to applique on to garments or trim blankets with!

I was lucky enough to be gifted a sewing machine from my Mother-in-law, old, but trustworthy and in great working order. Now, not having sewed since Domestic Science (remember that?) at school it took me a few days of poking at it, plugging it in and generally being a big wuss, before I bit the bullet and actually tried sewing something. Hurrah! It all came flooding back and I went 'sewing crazy'. You can see some of the results at http://www.therainboweffect.etsy.com.

And so some of my ideas came to fruition and I was very pleased with the results!

In October 2008 I was delighted to be accepted as a member of the Glasgow Craft Mafia-a fine and upstanding organisation promoting contemporary crafting in and around the fair and funky city of Glasgow. They have a great site, with lots of fab crafters/makers/artists on show, well worth a visit - http://www.glasgowcraftmafia.com. Additionally, I joined the Creative Entrepreneurs Club at the Lighthouse in Glasgow and did some groovy indie markets there in October and December.

A busy 2008 - so what's coming up for 2009? Well, I just go and have a cuppa and get back to you (very) shortly with Part 2! Until then......

Argyll, photography, words