Recent Commission: Doves for Veronika Maine Window Displays



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.

Hannah x

New Stockist: Ditchling Museum of Art & Craft

https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/123783041/origami-fox-brooch-red-brown-cotton?ref=shop_home_active_1
To tie in with their exhibition of the Animals of David Jones I was asked to send some of my Origami Fox Brooches to the Ditchling Museum of Art & Crafts in East Sussex and since the opening at the end of October they have been flying off the shelves.

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.

Hannah x

Christmas Order Dates

Hello Folks

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.


UNITED KINGDOM
Friday 18 December

INTERNATIONAL
Wednesday 2 December...Africa, Middle East
Friday 4 December...Asia, Cyprus, Far East, Japan, Eastern Europe (ex. Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia
Saturday 5 December...Caribbean, Central & South America
Tuesday 8 December...Greece, Australia, New Zealand
Friday 11 December...Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Poland
Sunday 13 December...Canada, Finland, Sweden, USA
Monday 14 December...Austria, Iceland, Ireland, Portugal, Spain
Tuesday 15 December...France
Wednesday 16 December...Belgium, Denmark, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Slovakia, Switzerland

All items are sent Royal Mail 1st Class or Airmail. If you miss the above dates convo me and there may be a faster service you can upgrade to.

Hannah x

It has been a while...

It has been a wee while since I reopened my online shops after the birth of my son and now stockists are restocked and restocked again my attention has returned to my blog.

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.

Hannah x

Happy New Year!

Hello folks.

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.

Hannah x

Now you can have a go too

One of the questions that I get asked most at Craft markets and Fairs is "How to you make origami using fabric?" Usually I answer, "Now that would be telling?" or "Magic"

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.

Hannah x

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)

Christmas Market

It is definitely getting colder, trees are almost bare and the John Lewis Advert is causing everyone to cry. Yup, it is that time of year again, but instead of getting stressed in a department store, do your Christmas Shopping in the relaxed and friendly atmosphere of your local independent retailers.

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.

See you all there

Hannah x

Shop Holiday

From today my Folksy shop will be closed while I head of to Switzerland for Cheese, Chocolate and Cuddles with my friend's new baby Girl.

You will still be able to get things ticked off your Christmas list on my Etsy store but no orders will be dispatched until next week.

I will still be contactable on Email and via the usual Social Networks if you have any questions or requests.

Hannah x

Easy Origami

Origami lovers you will love this! A brand new publication from the same publishers that gave us Mollie Makes and it is all about origami.

Wanna know what is extra special....

I am in it!

Back in September I was super excited to be approached to do a Textile Origami how to. So after playing, making, photographing and writing, I am now delighted to be sharing it with you.

Here is a little sneak preview and it should be hitting newsstands round about now!

Enjoy!


Hannah x

Feeling like a Disney Princess

This week I was very excited to be featured on the Disney Baby Blog. I have been a Disney fan ever since seeing the Little Mermaid as a nipper so it is a great honour to have my Origami Nursery Butterflies featured in their article about origami inspired nursery decor. Thanks Keiko!


Hannah x

West End Fair Week 3

It has been over two weeks since I packed up my temporary origami boutique at the West End Fair but it feels like only yesterday. Not least because of the recovery time, packing away time and re-organising and tidying my studio time, but now I feel recovered and organised again. Ready to face Christmas....well almost.

It was the first year that I had done the full 23 days of the market and it was incredible just how much of every waking moment it takes up. I know that I would not have got through it if it had not been for my amazing neighbours; bringing hot chocolates & donuts, helping to manoeuvre the wooden doors, playing shopkeeper for toilet breaks and in general keeping spirits high with excellent banter!

So here is a BIG thank you to Andy, Mike, Jenny & Mika my immediate neighbours as well as the many stallholders in the Boardwalk and Weekend Marquee.

If you didn't get a chance to say hello, here they are...

Andy of www.underthekitchensink.com
 
Jenny of Jenny Moodie Designs
 
Mike of www.wudwerx.co.uk
 
Mika of Mayovich Art

Til next year

Hannah x

West End Fair Week 2

Well, week 2 of the West End fair is done and we are heading full speed into the last weekend. I can't believe how quickly it has gone. I have been kept thoroughly busy keeping up with the restocking and Mamma bY Mi has been wonderful helping out at the stall for a few days. Did you meet her? She is quite the sales women.

In the past week and a bit I have had donations of Liberty cotton from ex-colleagues, propositions of science/art projects involving light sensitive electrodes, and countless other conversations with customers about the varying degrees of success they have had folding paper origami.

One of the things I am frequently asked is "have you made everything?" To which I answer "Yes, of course, everything is made by me!"

As all the fairs I do are explicitly for artists, designers and crafters, I have always seen this question in the light of did you make the origami or are you manning the stall for someone who did? But last week I saw the question in a different light.

 

"Did you make this?" 

Surely this is obvious? Apparently not.

This was posted on Facebook by supposed supporters of crafts in Scotland, who also run markets throughout the year for people who hand make items to sell.

 I have decided not to name them to avoid further embarrassment to their members.

My first reaction to this was that I was personally offended. Do they include me in the "so many traders"? How could they possibly think that I could be "buying in" my pieces? I have spent years and months building my business and making everything I sell.

When you run a business where you are personally hand crafting everything, your personality is entwined with everything from the products to the packaging, signs and website and as such any criticism is felt personally.

My second reaction was anger that the Poster should force me to defend me and my business against this accusation made without evidence. The post does not name a specific market or business, however, by omission it implicates every stall holder at every market in Edinburgh at this time. By my estimate this would be up to 250 artists, designers and crafters, and "so many" could mean 20-30% "buying in their stock". Later correspondence with the Poster indicated that they had suspicions over just 3 or 4 stalls, that's closer to 1% or 2%

I believe that the sweeping statement above is highly irresponsible. Every market relies on the people who come to it and my fears are that if this kind of view takes hold visitors will be put off coming, fearing that they are being tricked. Lack of trust and confidence by the public would mean all crafts and all markets would suffer. Certainly if stallholders are selling pieces that they have not made this needs to be addressed. The correct way is to talk to the stallholder to understand what is being sold before parting with your cash, or if you think you have bought something that isn't handmade contact them and if you do not get a satisfactory answer contact Trading Standards. Please do not post irresponsible comments on social media which only goes to punish the innocent. Despite protests from many stallholders the Poster as not apologised, removed or clarified their statement.

So next time you are at my stall, or any others, please do ask "did you make this?" and I will happily say "yes!"

Thank you for taking the time to read this rather wordy post and if you have any comments please let me know.

Hannah x

West End Fair Week 1

Even though it is Friday today, today is day seven of the West End Fair and nine days since I started the set up.

So lets start at the beginning. Last Thursday I arrived with all my display and moved into what will be my home & hub until 25th August. 

will it all fit?
I knew roughly what to expect of my stall when I booked, however in past years I have been in what is called the Chinese Hat which provides a rain and wind proof home to 6 stalls. This year, as one of the many changes, 3D2D have moved the Hat and so I was to have one of the "shell units" or beach huts as I like to call them. This slightly more open aspect had meant I had to rethink my display as I didn't want to run the risk of my origami blowing all over Edinburgh!

So when I first saw the stall on the Thursday I had a quick look to double check that my display ideas would work and started home for an early night. That plan was quickly put binned as a last minute ticket to the Fringe Opening Party appeared and I jumped at the chance for a nosey around Summerhall. I felt a little scruffy having dressed for lugging boxes, but hey, it's the festival, there would be people dressed far more weirdly than me. The cabaret shows and live music were fab, I was only a little disappointed not to join the Red Door Gallery badge making workshop but I couldn't get near for the cool crafters.

Back to the West End Fair on Friday and the first thing to do was to sweep up the leaves that had accumulated over the weeks of the build. It takes two men over a week just to lay the decking! Next the wallpaper went up and the lighting cables arranged. I had been meaning to get new lighting this year but struggled to find what I wanted. After a chat from my neighbour Andy I now have a clearer idea of what to look for. The last job for Friday was to put up the shelves (more difficult than you think when the hut isn't level but you don't want things sliding off) then head home to print signs and try to relax before the 1st day of trading.

Saturday was an early start, this would be the reckoning, would all the stock fit and look good? Well it all fitted, I will leave the customers to judge the aesthetics...


 Trading was busy on the Saturday and Sunday, a great start to the market! The weekdays are quieter but it gave me a chance to do some hand sewing of much needed stock and to play with the display once I saw how customers used the floor space of my open, gallery style beach hut. The weather has been kind all week with just the odd drizzle and a short downpour yesterday doing nothing to dampen the spirits of customers and stallholders alike.

sun on the beach huts

sudden downpour temporarily clears the boardwalk
Yesterday was also the first day of the weekend marquee. Adding space for 20 or so more stalls and giving the weekends more of a buzz. Over the coming weeks I will be featuring some new faces and old favourites on the bY Mi Facebook page so be sure to check them out online even if you can't make it to Edinburgh.

Come along if you can and if not I will be back with more news from the West End Fair next Friday. I will leave you with a photo of Fudge, Mr Wudwrex friendly dog who visited earlier this week.


Hannah x

DesignMarket

This was me at the DesignMarket.



The weekend started with a launch night complete with wine and guests. Light and airy (and hot) it was great to be exhibiting in one of my favourite art galleries with some hugely talented designers and makers.

So rather than tell you about the new Kaleidoscope collection and the gaggle of girls who bought matching earrings or the lovely lady who got me enthusing about collectives or even the cute little puppy, I am going to share with you some of the other makers and their work.

Firstly I would like to introduce my neighbour for the weekend, Fiona Luing. I first came across Fiona's work at an open studios  which was part of Leith Late 2012. Crammed into a tiny studio with wine and cake circulating and a band playing I managed to try on and convince the other half to buy me a ring. Made from silver, it seems delicate at first but it has not left my finger since that night. Here is a picture of similar rings at her stall at the DesignMarket

The Pointy Silver ring & studs set will definitely be on my birthday list

Also on the upper level was Lynsey Walters who makes beautifully embellished felt jewellery and accessories. I am sure that at an early Out of the Blue Arts Market I purchased a grey bird brooch for my mum's Christmas and with lots of stockists in the UK and US her pieces obviously have worldwide appeal, even appearing in a MAC cosmetics advertising campaign. What caught my eye was her hand cranked sewing machine and her use of classic Kraft paper in her display. I also discovered she lives in Porty too!






Opposite my stall a surly Merman was catching my eye. On approach I discovered that there was quite a tale behind his creation. Emily Mackenzie had been dip dying fabric to make a quilt when she also managed to dye her hands blue. The project was abandoned but the fabric spoke of a watery home and inspired the screen printed Merman plushy that I had been admiring. Emily's hands soon recovered and the great range of illustrated prints and gifts is testament to her skill and humour. I loved the seagull threatening to steal your chips.


Merman is making eyes at you from the Great Spotted Bird Nerd tote
Of course there were countless other great makers but I share with you a few that I got chatting to.

The weekend was great fun, so much so it wasn't until I was on the way out the door that I spotted some "origami" artwork from the Fruitmarkets Own Art collection, but more on that in another post.

Hannah x


Pay by card at the DesignMarket

 Next weekend I will be returning to the Fruitmarket for a bit of a overture to the West End Fair next month.

I was last at the Fruitmarket for two of their pop-up markets before Christmas 2012, where the bookshop and cafe were the back drop to half a dozen stalls.

Iain, Manager of the Bookshop has been running the summer DesignMarket for a few years now but in the past the dates have always clashed with my summer holiday. I was thrilled that this year I received the invite a few days before heading on holiday and was able to send off my booking form straight away.

At the market next weekend over 30 artists and designers will take over two floors of the gallery, and with a launch evening with wine on the Friday it is sure to be a great weekend!


I am familiar with one or two of the names listed and but I will be as keen as the customers to see what new designers are emerging. It will be a struggle to keep the takings in the till!

As well as premiering some new pieces I will be bringing out a new gadget, SumUp. This clever bit of kit (combined with a trusty iPhone) will mean that you will now be able to pay with Credit or Debit card.
 
In the past year these have merged as an alternative to expensive and immobile machines supplied by banks and both MasterCard and Visa have approved them ensuring the security is up to scratch. It does mean that where a MasterCard can simply be plugged in and signed for on-screen, Visa customers will need a Smart Phone of their own to receive a text link to enter their payment details. Either way it sure beats walking to the cashpoint!
 
Take a look at this video from the SumUp website to see it in action.
 
I will of course fill you in on feedback I get on the day.
 
Hannah x

 

Show Us Your Arts

One of bY Mi's newest stockists, Shop of Interest, is helping put together a unique project to raise money for Scotland's leading mental health charity, SAMH (Scottish Association for Mental Health).

Show Us Your Arts is a crowdfunded auction of prints, jewellery, paintings and crafts donated by the artists & designers with an exhibition at the end of July. From as little as £10 you can get an Art bundle or if you donate £30 or more you get a portrait sketch of the person of your choice. One lucky donor will even get one of my limited edition Golden Arrow pins.

Go on take a look at the the great selection of pieces that have been donated, it would make a great investment or gift and will give you that warm fuzzy feeling inside too.

I plan to head along to the exhibition at the end of the month and will report back how it all went.

Hannah x

PS if anyone is struggling to think of a birthday present for me next month, a Show Us Your Arts art bundle would be very gratefully received

new stockist

For the past 18 months, COVE has been my go-to place for gifts & cards. Just around the corner from my home & studio, I am thrilled that they are now stocking a small range of my origami brooches, accessories alongside other great local artists & makers. If it isn't already your favourite gift shop, it soon will be.

I will be popping in regularly to up date the range so keep your eyes peeled for new pieces.

As the schools break up for summer it is the perfect place to pick up a Thank You present for teachers

Hope to see you in there
Hannah x