Emmaline Bride handpicks handmade gifts this Christmas, including bY Mi's Heart bookmark cardRead More
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
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
When I first started making my Upcycled Butterfly earrings I tried out a few different sizes and settled on the current size (made from a 5cm square) partly thinking that surely I couldn't make anything smaller. Happily Christina's commission meant that I revisited the miniature and actually made some butterflies from an inch square!
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
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
Christina always wears dangly earrings and these are finished with freshwater pearls. Photo
Christina chose an Upcycled Butterfly Brooch to pin her train for dancing. Photo
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
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!
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.
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.
Stay tuned to all the 26 Present events on their Facebook Page
In this recipe by Carnets Parisiens, filo pastry is used as the "paper" to create super cute little boats to float atop a sea of chocolatey goodness. Thank you also to Handmade Charlotte for pointing me in the right direction. Enjoy!
PS there's more...
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
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.
Surely this is obvious? Apparently not.
"Did you make this?"
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.
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?|
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.
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|
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.
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|
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.
The Summer Wish List has recently launch and so I thought I would share with you my favourites just as many Bloggers were kind enough to do for me in Spring.
|H is for Home - Eleanor Stuart|
|Kaleidoscope Table mat set – Fun Makes Good|
|Don’t Drink and Jetpack Card – Hole in my Pocket|
|Dudley Lion Jumbo Screenprint – Peskimo|
|Colour In Art Gallery Poster – Claire Close|
My prize, a pair of her very cute illustrated earrings, arrived beautifully wrapped and all I had to do was share the last handmade creation I had bought and keep my fingers crossed!
These pink rose earrings will definitely be a favourite this summer
I usually use the Shop Local function on Etsy as I like to support local designers, perhaps re-acquaint myself with a brand I have seen at a craft fair or discover something new in Edinburgh, Scotland or UK. Also I was in a hurry and didn't want to wait for overseas mail.
This time I was sorely disappointed, nothing was coming up in searches. I tried Folksy too, but not one card would fit the bill. Too many blue nosed bears and not enough bloody good design.
It wasn't until my The Market neighbour of old, Vivid Please tweeted their Flirty 30 sale that I took a gander at their new collection. And I am glad I did. Instead of a card I would get a print. It was a great price and a New Home card & Gift in one.
It was only the day before that my Other Half and I were talking about the merits of Mac 'n Chesse Vs Coni-Cheese Vs Macaroni Cheese.
It came smartly wrapped by 1st Class Post with a bit of Washi tape & a "Words are for Nerds" pencil for good measure. A pressie for me and my friend. Now just to find an A4 frame...
|"home is where the mac 'n cheese is..." Vivid Please, £12.00|