On Saturday I did my first ever window display. unusually for someone who doesn;t have a bricks and mortar shop! It all came about when a crafty friend of mine, Mo (a.k.a. Crafty Mo), was given the opportunity to move her fantabulous craft shop into a larger premises. Once in the new shop she found herself with two big windows to fill, instead of the previous one window. Mo happened to mention to me one day that she was concerned she wouldn’t be able to find the time to change the displays as often as she would like, to keep things fresh for her customers, and keep the shop looking wonderful. I offered to help out! It seemed like the perfect storage solution for all my lampshades!!
Now I have to admit that despite having taken down the measurements of the display area, and booked a time to come and set the display up well in advance, I was still somewhat unprepared when I arrived on Saturday morning. And I quickly learnt that dressing as window is not as easy as one might imagine! Fortunately Mo was able to provide me with all the things I had forgotten to take – staple gun, scissors, pliers and screwdriver (to get out the staples when you put them in the wrong place!).
Once the basics had been done I was able to mess around with the placing of the lampshades and other bits and bobs. This involved rather a lot of tea drinking and standing outside the shop with our hands on our hips, heads cocked to one side!
And then it was done – ‘ray!
A great ‘two birds with one stone’ solution – Mo gets her window dressed, and I get somewhere to store and display my work. And Mo is also rather pleased that she now has other people interested in window displays at her shop, and is pretty much booked up until Christmas!
So if you are local, or just passing through, go and take a look and see what you think – make sure to pop back at least once a month to see the latest displays by local artists, designers and craftsmen/women.
Those of you who are not local will have to make do with this little slide show (taken on husband’s iphone and EOS still out of action).
Just a quick one to say thanks to all those who contact me through the various forms of social media I am plugged into to let me know their thoughts on a name for the lampshade. There were some really interesting suggestions!
And the winner is…….
It was so lovely hearing from all of you with your thoughts. Next time I think I may even turn it into a little competition with a prize!
Check back later for my blog post about the window display – should be finished shortly after I get back from the school run!
So yesterday I spent all my snatched moments and then half my evening making a new lampshade. I have been thinking about this new style for a while now, and thought it would be perfect for summer, and as the sun has been out for the last few days, it all seems to have come together nicely.
The problem is that I don;t know what to call it – I am torn between two names, as the inspiration from the design has come from two places.
Firstly, since having children, I seem to spend rather a lot of time blowing bubbles. I usually keep at least one pot of bubbles in the bottom of the pushchair for emergencies, and we have hundreds of pots at home, an dpossibly a few in the car! I have to admit, it will be a rather sad day when the smallest one tells me he is too small big for bubbles. Can you get away with blowing bubbles just for grown-ups?!
The second place of inspiration is a great love of mine – pebbles. The best pebbles are to be found on the big long stretch of beach between Aberdovey and Tywyn. We try to get down there at least twice a year, and I always take a pebble home, much to my husbands dismay! Alternatively, if you are down south, the next best beach is at Littlehampton, by the fab restaurant that looks like a big dog poo (according to small daughter) – the East Beach Cafe – but it does serve the most wonderful food.
And so…. I thought I would leave it up to you to decide if this shade should be called ‘pebbles’ or ‘bubbles’. Take a look and let me know what you think….
…..look no further than your own home! Seriously, when I am stuck for inspiration, often a wander around my house can help. I did this a few days ago when I was a little lost on a project, and thought I would take my camera along so I could illustrate exactly what I mean. I just snapped away at little details that caught my eye as I wondered round aimlessly from room to room. Well, perhaps not aimlessly, just looking for inspiration I guess.
I should warn you that these are not terribly good photos – the reason is twofold – firstly, the Eos is broken (I tried to clean it – BIG mistake) and so I was using the Ixus, which I don’t think I have used for about 4 years, and it is nowhere near as good. The second is that I wasn’t trying to take amazing pictures, just to snap at what caught my eye, so that you will hopefully see it the same way – does that make sense, or does it sound a bit to artyfarty?!
Would be interested to hear if anyone finds any of these inspiring, or if it’s just me!
Right stop the rambling, here are the pics…
I have been so wrapped up in my lampshades and a load of commissions lately that I was feeling towards the end of last week like I had lost my creative direction somehow – like I had stifled my own creativity by limiting my work. As if often the case, the root of the problem is that there are just not enough hours in the day, and so any non-essential creativity has been on hold for a while. Not good when my New Years Resolution was to do at least one creative thing every day! I suppose one could argue that my work is creative, but I think I had in mind something more organic in nature.
Anyway, this weekend I redressed the balance and did some sketching with the scalpel. Of course I made that little card for Immy (see post below) and then in a few snatched moments here and there I did a bit of experimenting to see what would happen, in two areas that have been at the back of my mind for some time.
The first was to try to cut in very fine detail. There are some amazing paper cutters out there who do this brilliantly, and I wanted to see if I could get anywhere close. The most amazing of these is Hina Aoyama
As you can see by the pictures at the bottom, although the work is a lot finer than my normal stuff, I have a very long way to go to get close to that level of intricacy.
The second experiment was to see if I could cut felt. I have been thinking about this for some time, but never at a moment where I am sat near some felt and a scalpel with half an hour to spare! But, I managed to do it at the weekend, and I am rather pleased to find that it is possible to do, and not as difficult as I thought it would be. I am now looking forward to my next trip to the fabric shop so that I can buy a meter or two of felt and see what happens!
‘Please can you make a birthday card for Immy?’ from my 5 year old. This afternoon we are going to the party of the century – Immy the next door neighbour is going to be 5 years old! Actually really looking forward to it! Well, it is an afternoon off work for a start, and also there will be lots of lovely grown-ups to talk to and plenty of small chimps running round to entertain my small chimps. Just hope this drizzle goes away – soggy bouncy castle anyone?!
Anyway, I have made a little card for the birthday gal – I quite like it – I might do more! (like I need more projects at the moment!) I would be interested to know if people out there can ‘read’ it – it took my husband quite some time….
Well, here it is, the helicopter lampshade, finished, and fully approved of by my happy client (client? customer?!).
What do you think? I must say, I am rather pleased with it! It was all a bit tense during one of the stages of assembly, where the plastic backing is attached to the papercut – at this stage, if you get it wrong, you have to start the whole thing again – several hours worth of cutting would have to be started again, from scratch. So yes, pleased that it worked!
In fact, I am so pleased, I may even do another one. Not yet though, I have several other commissions that need finishing first – more news on them another time.
… I am sure I wrote it down here somewhere! I could really do with it a the moment as I seem to have a block – like writers block, but for cutting, or to be more precise, for curving!
Here I am, uninspired….
Don’t worry, it’s a camera, not a gun, things aren’t that bad yet!
I am working on a project at the moment that I ALMOST have right, but there is something niggling me about it…. it needs a really big tweek in the right direction to make it work the way I have imagined. I guess this is the drawback of trying to be as original as possible – I can’t just copy something, which would be so much easier!
I have tried the usual distractions – beer, tv, biscuits, taking lots of photos of silly things, Pintrest, random google searches on odd words, looking through old books, and …… nada, zip, diddlysquat.
So am going to take it outside – perhaps a trip to playgroup and the supermarket and the fabric shop can help. And if my thoughts haven’t, at least my son will have had a good time, some chores will have been done, and we will both have had some fresh air and exercise.
Yes, must remember to play as well as to work – the problem is that when you love your work, it doesn’t feel like work, it feels more like play!
Commissions is what it is all about for me at the moment – I have three lampshade commissions that I am currently working on. One is top-secret, so I can;t tell you about that! But the other two I can.
Firstly, I am preparing a lampshade for a dog lover – now, I had kittens (ha) at the thought of having to cut dogs into a lampshade – I just couldn’t get any inspiration, and every dog I tried to cut looked either really naff or like a 5-year-old had done it. I kept looking at the invitation over and over….nothing. Then it hit me – there was a lovely four line poem at the top of the invitation (nothing to do with dogs!) so I thought maybe ask the client about using the verse. Turns out she thought this was a fantastic idea, and so much cutting later, and here we are…. well on our way…..
Once it is finished, I will post some pictures.
The second commission I have been really excited about as it is for a fantastic lad called Ed, who is a big fan of helicopters. His Mum and I are hoping this will be grown up enough for him to enjoy for many years, as it is suitable for helicopter loving boys of ALL ages!
I am really looking forward to getting this one finished – its such a great project – it always makes it special when you know your work is going to someone who will really appreciate it (at least, I hope he will!).
I have been thinking a lot about inspiration recently, thanks to Pintrest! Am sure most of you will heave heard of it by now, but if not, go anc check it out – it is like an online place to store images of all the things that inspire you, make you laugh, or products that you want. Warning – it is a bit addictive!
Anyway, I have so many images all over the place – Pintrest, photo albums, computer files, books, magazines, scrap books, files, and most importantly in my head. I thought I would share some with you – these are just going to be random ones that I find from my computer files today….