Saturday, 25 August 2012

Seeing Red

Every month my friend Catherine and I spend one day visiting an art gallery.  We have visited quite a number in the West Midlands area (often several times!) including Wolverhampton Museum and Art Gallery,  Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Compton Verney, New Art Gallery, Walsall, Herbert Museum and Art Gallery, Coventry, the Barber Institute to name a few.  
We have also travelled as far as Oxford and visited the Ashmolean Museum and Art Gallery as well as the Oxford Modern Art Gallery.  We enjoy these visits very much and have interesting discussions about the exhibitions we visit.  Sometimes we take photographs, or if there is enough time we pull out our drawing materials and attempt to do some sketching.
We often decide that there are exhibits that we like, but also others that we hate.  Mostly, I am looking for that extraordinary unique piece of Art that stands out above everything else, something that has me saying “Wow!”  To me, looking at Art or Sculpture, or Textiles or whatever piece it is, is all about the “Seeing”.  What I, or you see; what the artist sees; and often I try to get inside the artist’s head to see what they are seeing, and then I ask myself: What they are trying to say with their Art?  It is a question that is not always clearly answered, but it gives me food for thought.
When I thinking about what to write for this post I had also been thinking about making a Pinterest board using the colour red as my theme, so I decided to link the two together and so here you have my “seeing red” post!
Seeing red often means a state of irritation or annoyance.  It is often associated with becoming angry or losing self-control.  The colour red has many associations - heat, heated emotions and violence, communism, a sign of warning (as in traffic lights etc), ripeness (in fruit etc), and of course, blood.  Seeing red has many other associations.
For me, “seeing red” is also about seeing something unique, something beautiful, seeing something that catches my eye, or stops me in my tracks!  I selected a small number of red craft items from folksy and have used them to illustrate this blog post.  Red is a popular colour and there are thousands of craft items on folksy that have red as the principle colour.  I do hope you have enjoyed my selection, and liked “seeing red”.
If you are interested in seeing the full Pinterest board that I have created then here is the link.
TOP TO BOTTOM:  Handmade by Edwina, Dottery Pottery, Maisy Muffin Rag Dolls, noodleBubble, Abyjem handcrafted jewellery, Handmade by Mrs. K, Raven's Stained Glass, Marthamoo Beads.


Thursday, 9 August 2012

Buying and Selling on Folksy

So far August has been a great month for selling items from my folksy shop.  I have sold four items since the 1st August 2012.  I thought I would show them to you because they also show the variety of items available in my shop.   But when I have sales, I am keen for opportunities to purchase from folksy.  I love buying from folksy and I will show you what I have purchased since the beginning of the month!

The denim purse was a sale item because it has been around for a while and I thought it was time it found a new home!  When I started out making purses I did a lot of appliqué in this style which came from Poppy Treffry after reading her book “Free & Easy Stitch Style.  I liked her style and wanted to experiment with it.  I was very proud of what I achieved because I was then very new to sewing, and also using a sewing machine!  I still have a butterfly purse available in my shop sale section which came from the same time – no idea why this hasn’t sold!?
When I saw that I had sold my vintage lace bag I had mixed feelings.  I was over the moon for getting a sale, but it was tinged with real sadness!  I loved this bag, and because of the price I felt fairly confident that I wouldn’t sell it!  Some lovely buyer proved me wrong!  I didn’t have any feedback from the buyer because it was a guest login, so I have no idea what they thought when they received it!!?

I was totally delighted when I saw that I had sold my Owls tote.  This was a beautiful tote and deserved a new home.  It is wonderful when you sell items you have worked on with love and care, choosing the fabric and using a design you have created.  It is the best feeling when someone appreciates it enough to buy it.  Again, sadly I didn’t receive any feedback on this purchase because it was another guest login.
Love Buttons
Will you or will you not be surprised that I spent some money on buttons?!  Yes, my old favourite.  Just can’t get enough of them.  I have thousands of them – in fact I could open a shop on folksy I have so many buttons available that it would be instantly fully stocked!

Love Buttons

Of course, I had to have some more buttons too!  These are so pretty and unusual with the lovely weave pattern.  I love the colour too!

Vintage Dreams

So I purchased the buttons and now some vintage lace.  Again, I cannot get enough of this wonderful item.  I have lots and lots of lace in my stash, but there is always room for more!  This vintage lace is particularly beautiful, and I really need to come up with an idea for something special to use it for.  But, for the meantime I am content to handle it and admire it.  Aren’t you jealous?  Aren’t I lucky!?

Di Keeble Beads and Jewellery
I don’t buy jewellery except earrings occasionally, but I do love these bag charms and have purchased a few from folksy.  I gave one to my sister for her birthday and she loved it.  They make great gifts.  I haven’t decided what to do with this one, but I am so glad I purchased it.  It is so beautiful.
Material girl
Yes!  More lace!  What can I say?  I am addicted!  This lace you will be interested to know is better than the photo.  The photo really doesn’t do it justice.  It is lovely and I have an idea for how I am going to use this lace.  Just need some time so that I can work on the project, but I am confident this vintage lace is going to be perfect for what I have in mind!
Creative Treasures
OK more buttons?  Just couldn’t resist them!  Teresa from “Creative Treasures” makes the most fabulous jewellery, and if I wore jewellery I would certainly be purchasing jewellery from her wonderful shop.  When I saw the buttons, I thought WOW!  (I don’t have any polymer clay buttons.)  I have trillions of other buttons in all kinds of materials, but nothing in polymer clay.  Isn’t that sad, kind of?  But I love them.  I’m sorry I do.  They are perfect for projects and I am sure it won’t be long before I find a use for them!  Teresa has lots more beautiful buttons so do check them out AND the most amazing jewellery.
So there you have it buying and selling on folksy.  I do hope you will check out the sellers shops because they have lots more beautiful items for sale – don’t be put off by my choices.  I am sure they will all have something you will love.  “Vintage dreams” is a lovely shop.  I am a romantic at heart and I love this shop and its contents because it makes me feel so romantic!
Finally, do have a look in my folksy shop – my sale section has some lovely bargains and I am adding to the stock regularly, so I am sure you find something you haven’t seen before!

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Have you seen Titan the Robot?

“Craftsmanship is doing what you love and doing it right.”
Every year for the past six years Titan the Robot comes to my home town on a day in August.  I first took my niece to see him when she was four years old and she was terrified of him.  She told me that her legs felt like jelly. All she wanted to do was run and hide from him. (A bit difficult with jelly legs though!)

Now six years later Emily stands so close to Titan she gets get soaked when he spurts out water from his eyes!  Over the years, going to see Titan has become an annual family tradition in August.  This year Emily invited two of her friends to come with her.  Also,this year my other niece and her three year old son came to see the spectacle that is Titan the Robot.

You might ask: What has Titan the Robot got to do with crafting? I believe that Titan the Robot is a supreme example of technological craftsmanship and my theme for this blog post is about craftsmanship. 

Craftsmanship encompasses great skill, passion, experience, creativity, innovation, knowledge, and quality.  The uniqueness of handmade, as opposed to mass produced, is that the craftsmanship is owned by the individual maker.  I am confident that all the crafty folk on folksy desire to be the best at their craft and to exercise excellent craftsmanship.

When you take a theme like craftsmanship it is quite difficult, because folksy is full of items that demonstrate craftsmanship – so what do I choose to illustrate my blog post?

I could have chosen and infinite number of items, but I had to restrict myself to a few.  In the end I just chose items I liked, but I also chose sellers that I thought demonstrated surperb craftmanship, and I have not previously included on my blog (I think!).

Titan the Robot is entertaining and apart from the few children who were scared or crying, the majority of children and adults were in awe of this technological wonder who sings, farts, cries, tells jokes, and seduces the audience, etc. As my niece has proved, the scared children of today will grow up to love him, as she does!
The idea that Titan the Robot is a “show off” must resonate with all crafters.  We want to show off our best creations, don’t we?  We want to hear people say “WOW”.  We want people to be in awe of what we have achieved through skill, passion and dedication to our craft.  Is this what you want too?
“Love your craft every day.”
Loving what you do and practising daily will enhance our skills and creativity.  I enjoy what I do and if I am distracted by other things in life then I can’t wait to get back to being creative!  If I have what I call a “non-crafting” day, then I always promise myself that the following day, if feasible, will be a crafting day. 
I hope you have enjoyed looking at my chosen items for this blog on craftsmanship.  As always if you click on the photo it will take you directly to the sellers shop.  Please visit my folksy shop too where I have many items for sale and I hope they “show off” my craftsmanship.  But I know one thing they will not be: they will not be as entertaining as Titan the Robot!
TOP TO BOTTOM: Funky Mosaics, Far Up North, Margosha, Creative Treasures, Patchwork Castle, Far Up North, SESH, gemmaclarkhome, Handmade by Edwina