Friday, 25 November 2011

Capolana cloth... hanging on my line, drying in the winter sun. Actual capolana cloth from actual Mozambique. I am very excited about this.

Capolana cloth

My Aunt Pru (known henceforth as VAP - Venerable Aunt Prudence) is currently spending a year in Mozambique with VSO, having been given a sabbatical from Amnesty International. She is doing a spot of excellent blogging about her experiences there; I find it a fascinating read, not just because it's by VAP, but because it has real insight and describes a place and culture that is about as far removed from the rich hustle of London.

She wrote a brill piece back in July about Capolana cloth and me being me put in a cheeky request for some samples to play with back here in Londres. And VAP being VAP, she purchased some bits, dispatched them with a friend who was traveling back to the UK, organised for my cousin Omar to go and pick them up, and then got Omar to pop round to deliver them with a cheeky smile. Now that's what I call service!

Capolana cloth

I'm loving the colours and patterns; they are certainly brightening up a dull London winter. It seems a shame to chop them up as they work so well as large pieces, which of course is how they're designed; I'm going to hold onto them for a while and decide what to make with them after we've got to know each other a little better.

Thanks VAP, my dear. You totally rock. xxx

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Designers Makers at Old Spitalfileds Market

Gosh, well, what can I say? A slow old day at Old Spitalfields I tell yee. Having never done a 'normal' market before I wasn't entirely sure what to expect. All raring to go, and having not slept the night before due to excitement/anxiety, my trusty slave labour for the day (Mrs Becci Augur, highlighted goddess, gossip merchant and all round good egg) picked me up early and we hotfooted it down there. It was bleedin' freezin', but we set to with great gusto.

My slave labour

Our stall always looks a little, er, over-egged compared to some of the clean-lined modernist splendour achieved on stalls nearby. I would like to think of it as welcoming and vibrant. Perhaps it just looks a tad rubbish. Hey ho.

Setting up

We met some lovely neighbours, and wiled away the hours catching up on gossip and making the odd sale here and there. I sort of managed to give quite a lot of stock away, in an effort get some good karma flowing around. Eventually, I got a bit grumpy and wanted to leave early but Becci made me stay, and by the packing up time of 5pm, we'd made enough sales to cover the cost of the stall, parking, lunch and a baby sitter for that evening. Not a resounding triumph, but better than nothing. So either my products are wrong, or wrongly priced, or it's the wrong location for me. I have one more go there before Christmas, 17 December, when I'm hoping that people will be panic buying pressies and thus will rid me of my stock. I'm going to drop my (already low) prices, as I have an overwhelming desire to clear the decks before the start of the next year of sewing.

Looking at all my products this weekend made me realise I need to have a good hard think about what direction I want to go in. And I cannot consider any direction while I have boxes of stock sitting under my desk reminding me that they are not sold. So, if you're in the market for a kindle or ipad sleeve, a cute coin purses or indeed a man quilt then give me a shout. I'm open to offers ;-)

In the meantime here are some of the cuties I showed this weekend:

Dupion silk coin purse

Dupion silk coin purse

Klimt style coin purse

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Even urban warriors need tote bags

Don't they? How else are they going to transport their essential warrior items as they warrior their way through town?

Even urban warriors need tote bags

Thought it might be an idea to test some alternative fabric approaches on all my products at my upcoming stall for Designers/Makers at Old Spitalfields Market. Seeing as it's quite the funky hipster spot and all. The HusWife reckons men don't use tote bags. He clearly hasn't been to Hoxton recently, where the skinny-jean wearing, assymetric hairstyle types spend all day long carrying tote bags.

I've only made a few, just to see if they sell, like. If they don't, I'll owe The HusWife a million pounds. Let's hear it for the urban warrior tote bag!

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Rummaging in my silky stash ;-)

Finally got my hands on a new kindle (hurrah! for kindly cousin Imran) and so the pattern is perfected! And a rummage through a hitherto un-rummaged through bag produced the loveliest bits of silk; samples from a shop long forgotten - embroidered flowers, and weird quilted silk and every sort of silk in between. So now I have some lovely lux kindle sleeves ready for action!

Silk kindle sleeves