It is never to early to get in touch to discuss your weddingRead More
Emmaline Bride handpicks handmade gifts this Christmas, including bY Mi's Heart bookmark cardRead More
White Silk Origami Flowers for May Wedding at Kinkell Byre, Fife, ScotlandRead More
Four easy origami folds for wedding invitations, save the dates, info sheets and envelopesRead More
Hello and welcome to the new look bY Mi blog and website.
When I first started my textile origami business in 2008, I saw it as a learning journey and something that would morph and change as I grew and the techniques I developed found new applications. For some time now I have been doing more than just making for my Etsy/Folksy stores and craft markets and it is through these channels that some of the most interesting projects have found me. You can see some of the projects that I am most proud of in the Weddings and Projects menus above.
These projects have pushed me and the techniques I use. Sometimes I have been forced to rethink the tested methods I have developed by sourcing new materials. In other projects I have had to go back to basic paper folding technology. I have had to scale up production and logistics as well as make small one off pieces. In all of this I have thrived on the challenges and it has stimulated my creative process. This is what I want and need to be doing. This is what is exciting about textile origami. An endless list of possibilities is ahead of me and my folding studio.
Got 18 minutes? Well I highly recommend taking a look at this talk.
Currently I am looking at more mathematical and geometric forms of folding for a commission. I have always taken an interest in mathematics and problem solving, which might be why I was drawn to origami in the first place, but the work I am doing for the current commission has got my imagination and creative juices flowing. Robert discusses how discovering the mathematical rules dictating folding have led to software being developed to create crease patterns for complex designs. This framework has enabled origami folding techniques being applied to medical science, space exploration as well as the folding of more beautiful and naturalistic models.
I have always been aware of Roberts work as he published most of the origami books I had as a child. Up til now my own methods for creating new designs usually invloves playing with a square of paper and seeing where it takes me. Sometimes I have an idea of the finished model other times I don't. I am really excited about exploring this way of folding and hopefully applying it to the textiles that I love to work with..
You will have already seen the sneaky peak but now I am trilled to share with you images that Veronika Maine have sent me of some of the 216 doves I folded for the Australian fashion label's 2015 Christmas window display. I have often seen origami used in high street merchandising and always hoped that bY Mi would be able to create similar pieces with textile origami. They can be seen in 30 of the brand's stores so if you are passing do take a closer look.
Unfortunately, I have never traveled to Australia so had not heard of Veronika Maine before, but looking at their SS 2015 collection it was easy to see how the origami birds would sit with the Asian style minimalism and feminine cuts. I could easily see myself coveting pieces each season, although it was hard to get in the mood for summer fashion when it was blowing gale in Scotland.
Each bird is an almost life size version of the birds in my 20/12 collection mobile. The logistics of making and sending such a large number half way across the world was exciting as I hadn't worked on such a large scale before. Even the commissioning process had it's challenges as I replied to emails as soon as I woke hoping to beat the time difference. The doves are folded from a very stiff bonded white fabric, with some dyed a dove grey and jet black. Packing the birds up and posting them to Australia I felt like a mother sending her children off on their first camp. It was a relief to see the birds looking so peaceful in their places, perched delicately on the mannequin's hands and arms and flying high in the store windows.
Despite acquainting myself with Stanley Spencer and Eric Gill in my History of Art days I was unfamiliar with Jones' work and have been intrigued to read more about the artist, in particular an article in the Guardian
The exhibition is on until 6 March so do go if you are in the area. The Museum itself seems an interesting place, an old school house, it has been a museum since the 1980's but was reopened in 2013 to great acclaim, becoming an Art Fund Museum of the Year finalist in 2014.
It is that time of year again so to make sure you goodies have the best chance of reaching you in time here are the last ORDER dates for in stock items on my Etsy and Folksy stores. If you want something made for you get in touch now.
Junk mail could have been the undoing of this story. Fortunately I check my junk mail regularly and I was thrilled to find a lovely email from Christina asking me to design and make bespoke jewellery for her wedding in June this year. She had bought some of my upcycled range from the Red Door Gallery and was so taken with the butterflies. She knew they would be perfect personal touch to her wedding.
On meeting Christina we clicked instantly over ballet (she is a dancer), non traditional wedding suppliers and the excitement of planning a wedding as an expression of love and individuality. Ideas flowed and between us we worked out a design to capture her personality and make the most of her vintage-style dress. Earrings had to be dangly, the Sterling silver and butterflies small and delicate but the colours joyful and warm. I had taken with me a stash of vintage and upcycled Liberty fabrics and Christina picked out her favourites which we narrowed down to compliment the bridesmaids dresses and shoes.
|Christina noted down her ideas for the design of the necklace and bracelet after our first chat and brain storm. I added the design of the earrings|
The design process was very much a collaboration. I really wanted her to be thrilled with the pieces and feel wonderful wearing them and I think this helped. Our next meeting I had made the Sterling Silver bases for the necklace, bracelet and earrings and a selection of butterflies in the different fabrics so that we could place the them on each piece. Each of the butterflies highlights a different part of the delicate prints and making sure the set looked right as a whole was important. Christina hoped to wear the pieces again and again.
|The completed set with the bride's perfume. Photo Chantal Lachance-Gibson|
The finished jewellery was hand delivered with a hug and a "Have an amazing Day!" The day of the wedding I was eagerly following her wedding photographer Chantal on Facebook to the first glimpse of the bride and my heart leapt when I saw these beautiful photographs.
|The Beautiful Bride. Photo Chantal Lachance-Gibson|
|Christina always wears dangly earrings and these are finished with freshwater pearls. Photo Chantal Lachance-Gibson|
|Christina chose an Upcycled Butterfly Brooch to pin her train for dancing. Photo Chantal Lachance-Gibson|
Chantal Lachance-Gibson and Christina have kindly given me permission to share with you these stunning photographs. Since following Chantal on Facebook I am whisked away every day to Romantic locations and beautiful people. Try it for yourself www.photographychantal.co.uk
Last year Phillippa entrusted me with creating a small posy of flowers for her Wedding at the High House Farm Brewery in Northumberland. The brief was a few stems tied with ribbon, Violets as that is her Mothers name and a little while later a letter arrived with coloured notepaper and envelope in the colours of the wedding.
|The flower coming together|
To make a petaled flower it was necessary for me to use a new technique to me and textile origami, a modular design using repeated shapes interlocked to make the flower. This meant that I was able to add an extra element to the design. Each flower is made of five petals in five different types of silk and cotton fabric. The subtle differences in tones and textures gave a wonderful dimension to the flowers and stopped them looking flat. It also made them even more special. I finished the wired stems with wrapped grosgrain ribbon and a satin bow. Swarovski crystals at the centre of each of the 6 flowers as a touch of sparkle.
I was lucky enough to attend the wedding on a beautiful although chilly Autumn day and the Bride was as pleased as I was with the final bouquet. I only wished I had done this for my own Wedding. I would love to make more bouquets and plan to build a catalogue of flowers to inspire brides.
Paul Santos and Phillippa have kindly given me permission to share some of the photographs from the day. Paul was a cool cat and drew many compliments for his leather camera holsters and his pictures have perfectly captured the romance of the day. Check him out on his website www.paulsantosphotography.com
I am delighted to be able to share with you not only some recent one off pieces I have made but also the talented photographers who have captured the beauty and elegance of the Brides and their wedding days.
It is completely delightful when I get an email asking me to make something bespoke. Especially so when I am asked to make a reality something that the client has dreamed of for years. Sometimes it is that first contact that sparks the inspiration, other times a meeting in person is the melting pot of ideas. Either way I hope to listen to the clients imaginings and use them as a foundation for any design.
In both the pieces featured in the following posts I have done things with the textile origami that I hadn't had the time or confidence to try and afterwards felt a burst of inspiration and energy. Commissions often push me to expand the boundaries and try new things.
So please get in touch if you would like something bespoke and we get creative. I can't wait!
When I graduated from university, my wise old dad said to me "keep writing". In the world of work you write emails, endless emails, reports and the odd line of marketing speak but no prose, no long essays with argument, structure and creative flourishes. Well, I did History of Art and Architectural History so flourishes were de rigour. I often felt that the pressure of the exam hall lead to my most creative (although not most factually accurate) work. Needless to say I didn't follow his advise, until now really.
I write this blog sporadically, I send a newsletter sporadically, I write a digest to friends and family of the happenings of my wee family. Inspired by friends, on a daily basis we write in our "Reasons to be Cheerful" book, noting down the lucky chances, first moments, good judgements and serendipitous coincidences that we experience each day. So I am writing a lot. I have always mulled over a children's story book or two or three. Next month the Festival comes to town and I feel the need to take the wee man to expand the library of books we read daily, I might even taken in a workshop myself, perhaps 2015 is the year I put pen to paper for the opening lines.
After university my parents said to me, keep writing, the real world doesn't make much room for writing so it is a skill you need to keep practicing. The posts I wrote for this blog and (formerly) regular newsletters were my practice as well as another creative aspect of running the business that I really enjoyed.
So whilst pottering around the website, updating this and that, I re-read my about page and the core themes that I hoped to explore on the blog. It reminded me that the blog was not just a marketing tool but a way to share information, inspiration and intrigue.
Next time it won't be so long.
After the Christmas Break the bY Mi Folksy and Etsy stores are now open! Over the coming days I will be posting some bargains in the sale section so keep your eyes peeled.
Thank you so much for your custom and support over the past year and I am looking forward to exciting times over the coming year.
Late week I even got an email from Indie Magazine to let me know they had featured my Polka Dot Butterfly Hairgrips on their fashion blog. They have brought together a great collection of Butterfly accessories perfect for up coming Mothers Day or putting Spring into your out fit.
It is however sad to read that the Monarch Butterfly population is being threatened by pesticides. As our many other species of course. Do feel free to sign the petition, I have.
In 2007-8 when I was first trying out origami using fabrics no one else was doing it and I had to figure it out for myself. I had a lots of dud samples, burnt fingers and friends who looked dubious at the creations I had just given them. But after a while it started to work and work well, friends started to look pleased with their new presents.Since then I have been perfecting everything from the type of fabric to the temperature of the iron.
Now, I am not gifted with special powers of some mystic origami master I just spent time and effort creating because I was passionate about origami and textiles. This didn't mean that I was going to tell the first and every person that asked my technique. I don't mind competition but I think it is only right that if someone wants to make textile origami they put in similar time and effort to hone the skill to make something unique rather than simply watching a You Tube video and ordering some stationery.
Earlier this year I was asked to create a How To for two different Magazines, Easy Origami & Mollie Makes and I said yes. It surprised me too!
In 2008 when you searched Fabric Origami on Etsy or the like you might have got some pleated stitched quilting or crane covered in glue or varnish. Neither Origami nor pretty (in my opinion). Now if you do the same you still get the above but there is an increasing number of interesting and unique artists using textiles to create abstract jewellery and accessories in what I suspect is a similar technique to mine. Great, someone else has put in the time and effort to make something that is theirs.
I started to realise that it wasn't the technique that I needed to protect but my own designs and folds. So why not promote Textile Origami through some "how-to" articles, if anything it will show the work and skill that is needed to make even the simplest piece.
Now if asked I will tell you look out the issues and have a go yourself, alternatively find something you like on my online shops or commission me to make something just for you. That would be ace.
Note: This post was originally drafted in December 2013 however it was not published on the blog until May 2015 (A baby got in the way)
Better still head along to an Arts Market, meet the makers and buy something truly unique that your friends and family will love.
If you like the sound of that I would love to recommend my favourite market, the Out of Blue Arts Market which I have been attending every year since I started bY Mi and this year I will be setting up stall on 7th December.
It is the perfect combination of finding interesting and beautiful art to buy, the warm fuzzy feeling from supporting a community project and stuffing yourself with bacon rolls, mince pies & mulled wine.