Sunday, 24 November 2013

Crafting without Compromise


Do you craft without compromising what you do?  Do you work on projects that you feel you need to make, rather than want to make?  Do you make short cuts in your crafting?  These are some of the questions that I have been thinking about recently.  The reason is because I am not sure that I craft without compromise.

Before I go any further I would like to say that today I am showcasing a selection of beautiful blue items from the daily listing thread on folksy.  This month they have named themselves “November Nutters”.  I often think the title is so apt.  We must be nuts to list daily!  We must be nuts to try and sell in a tough handmade market!  We must be nuts to keep promoting in the hope for sales!  I do hope you enjoy looking at these lovely items.  Please click on the photos and have a browse in the seller’s shop. You may get inspired with gift idea for your Christmas shopping!

Right, back to crafting without compromise and the reason I came to the conclusion that I am making compromises in my crafting.  I love to work on a variety of things at the same time.  I have a low boredom threshold!  So one minute I might be machine stitching a zip in a purse or pencil case.  The next minute I might be adding buttons and lace to a project.  Or I might be hand stitching the pages of a notebook or journal.  Or I might be threading beads and making a bag charm.  So, I do lots of different tasks requiring a variety of skills.  I can’t help it – it’s just the way I am!

Hopping from one project to another might not be the best way to work.  But I am trying not to be a conveyor belt and to get the maximum enjoyment with what I do.  However, I am also aware that I am putting huge pressure on myself to complete items, motivated purely by the need to stock my folksy shop.  If I did not have a shop, would I work differently?

Also, one of the pitfalls of working in this erratic way is that some projects fall by the wayside and never get finished at all!  A handmade card maker I met at a craft fair once told me she placed her unfinished cards in a box marked UFOs!  I suspect that all crafters have unfinished projects and they are unfinished for a variety of reasons.  Sometimes I look at an unfinished project and asked myself “Why did I never finish that?”  Sometimes the reason is no more than a loss of interest or lack of enthusiasm – whilst it was there at the start of the project, it has now vanished completely!

What I want to do is start working in a different way.  Not be dominated by the fact that I have a shop that needs stocking – this is where I am crafting with compromise.  I make smaller items because they are quick to make.  I take short cuts in the way I make things to make it a quicker process.  Now, I don’t want to do this!

I want to take time, be more creative, to spend time on a project, designing more, and spending less time using a pretty fabric because it is quick and easy to make, and you know people will like it and therefore buy it!  To really be uncompromising you have to be dedicated to your craft and not worry about how long it takes.

This is where I envy artists.  Painting a picture takes a lot of time, skill and concentration.  It can’t be hurried.  When I used to create huge collages using a variety of materials, and also create huge charcoal and white pastel drawings they took a huge amount of time.  I would spend hours and hours working on the detail, refining and reworking and sometimes you need to stand back before you finish it, so you are sure you have reached that stage where you can say – it is finished!

I want to spend more time working on projects that may not sell.  Recently, I sold my Wedding Journal to a lovely young woman on Facebook who is getting married next year.  That particular journal is one of the most beautiful things I have made and I derived a lot of pleasure from creating it.  It was a one off, unique piece of work made with white silk dupion, creams beads and a most lovely piece of vintage embroidery.  But, it sat in my folksy shop for months and months, in fact so long, I have no idea when I made it.  I despaired of ever selling it.  It took a very long time, but it SOLD!  I just had to wait for the right person!

I hope you have enjoyed reading today’s post and looking at the beautiful handmade items from the folksy daily listing thread.  Do leave a comment if you would like to.  I love reading them.



Shops with featured items include:
Leanne Woods Designs
The Card Jeanie
Uniquely Your Designs
Clare Sherwan
World of Cards
Midnight Star Designs
Wisteria Cottage Crafts
Juniper Spools
I Love Sparkly Stuff
daisycrazy creations
Paper Chain and Beads

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Will you buy my wares?

Wares noun [plural] 
small products for selling, in a market or on the street but not usually in a shop: Some displayed their wares on stalls, while others had just spread them out on the pavement.” Source

You won’t find my wares currently in shops, galleries, in the high street, in markets or craft fairs.  My wares, however, have been displayed in the past in these aforementioned outlets.  They are available to purchase on-line only.

Why should you buy?
You should buy because my wares are made with passion.  You should buy because they are unique and quality made to a high standard.  They are not massed produced, but individually created with love and attention to detail.

What are my wares?
They are hand crafted notebooks, journals, all kinds of purses, diary covers, sketchbooks & pencil cases, bag/purse charms and various other small items.  They all make beautiful gifts for giving.

Where can you buy them?
You can only on-line at my folksy shop, but I am happy to take orders on Facebook too.

What have customers have said about my wares?
“Your items are fab!! And I will definitely be returning to you for future orders.”
 “I would highly recommend this lovely lady as a seller. Her stuff is amazing and from one sewer to another the quality is first class.”
“Fantastic products, really happy with them - I will revisit your shop.”
“Arrived this morning, beautifully packaged and beautifully made."

Will you buy my wares?

Sunday, 3 November 2013

SPECIAL FEATURE: Louise from Loutul

Welcome to my blog.  Today I have another special feature.  Louise from Loutul makes the most exquisite handmade items.  Please visit her folksy shop.  You won't be disappointed. I asked Louise tell us about herself and her work. 

"I first opened my folksy shop in February 2012 but stopped trading in October 2012 and I have only just started listing again."

"I am an avid crafter who loves embroidery and pewter embossing. I am also a keen scrapbooker and spend most of my free time doing one of the three. I do work a 5 day week as a business analyst so I don't have as much time for my crafts as I would like.

I am a South African by birth and relocated to the UK in 2011 with my husband and 2 dogs."

"Pewter repousse has become my favourite pastime these days. It isn’t very well known in the UK but is very popular in South Africa and in the States. I only became involved with this wonderful craft about 5 years ago."

"I have to blame my cousin for my obsession. I saw a set of pewter sculptures she has in her bathroom and I fell in love. She gave me my first lesson. After that I joined a pewter school close to where I lived and attended classes twice a week for about 2 years. In fact I only stopped going when we moved here to the UK."

I asked Louise about her inspiration and motivation behind her designs: 

"Just about anything and everything motivates me. If I see a drawing or picture that I think would look good in 3D either in pewter or as an embroidery I’m hooked."

"I rarely plan on what I’m going to do next – it purely depends on what design I see. Most times I only decide what its going to end up as is when its finished. I’ve a number of sculptures that haven’t become something yet because I haven’t been able to decide whether I should frame it, make a box and embed it in the lid, put it on a leather case of some kind. I’ll have to wait for the inspiration!"

"I quite often use the same design for both pewter and embroidery. Like my Art Deco Ladies, I have embroidered them and “pewtered” them. You can see them here in both forms if you’re interested: "My two favourite pastimes"

I asked Louise if she had any favourite items in my folksy shop.  This is what she chose: 

For more information about Louise and her work become a follower on Facebook, Twitter, her blog and Pinterest.

I would like to thank Louise for sharing her work and telling us a little about herself.  Personally, I had never seen Pewter repousse before and when I did, it blew me away.  I am happy to say that I have a lovely framed piece of Louise's work and it is a much loved treasure.  It was supposed to be a gift, but I couldn't part with it! 

Thank you for reading my blog.  Please come back again soon.