Friday, 30 April 2010

Fabric Friday - Heather Ross

No it can't be Friday already, I request somebody presses rewind as I still have so much to do!  Okay, drum roll please...todays Fabric Friday is featuring Heather Ross .  I am a huge fan of Heathers work and am planning on trying some more patterns from her book Weekend Sewing over the next few weeks.

Heather Ross grew up in the countryside in northern Vermont learning to sew and knit before she was six and creating clothes for gnomes and herself and friends from a  young age.  Growing up with creative parents and having the freedom to explore Heathers imagination was allowed to grow and flourish.  After college Heather drew on her love for nature and became a wilderness guide in Sierra Mountains and on the northern California coast which led to her first collection of fabric printed with her imaginative illustrations.  In 1996 she founded the brand Munki Munki with the ethos of producing simply designed clothing in great printed fabrics.  The Munki Munki label was very well received and successful however Heather sold the label in 2004 so that she could concentrate more on designing than the business aspect of having her own brand. 

The following year Heather designed her first textile collection and enjoyed success with Westmister and Kokka of Japan, with other collections following. Then in 2009 Heather published Weekend Sewing offering great patterns and recipes for a modern womans lifestyle.  This book is perfect whether you are a novice or accomplished seamstress offering you great ideas that can be used and worn everyday.  Whilst Heather now lives in New York City her illustrations are still inspired by a fairytale adventure of her childhood in the country. This is evident in her new collection for Kokka, Far Far Away II, with images of Rapunzel and the Owl & the Pussycat, which is available next month.

(Image taken from Heather Ross Website)

I will be adding these gorgeous new fabrics to my wishlist and can think of many projects to use them in, I may even start a long planned quilt.  Aswell as admiring Heathers fabric designs I find it truly aspiring that she followed her passion in designing fabric even though she already had a successful creative brand.

Whilst I count off the days until the launch of the new Far Far Away II collection I am going to look to see how the creative world is using her other collections!

These are just a selection of items made using Heather Ross fabrics.

Feeling inspired you can buy Heather Ross fabric at:

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Good Cause Giveaway

I received a message the other day from Kelly at A Place of my Own through the British Mummy Bloggers network regarding a crafty raffle in aid of Cancer Research.  Sadly this illness touches so many lives, with most people knowing somebody who has had cancer.  The Folksy community is currently supporting Macmillan Cancer Care with a shop for this cause and lots of us listing items with proceed going to this charity. So I gadly offered support to Kelly and have added one of my rings to the raffle. 

I am proud to be part of such a great blogging community.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Friday, 23 April 2010

Fabric Friday - Cath Kidston

Hang out the bunting, grab a cuppa, it's time for Fabric Friday.  Today we are celebrating St. Georges Day here in ol' blighty and who other could I pick for my Fabric Friday feature than Cath Kidston.  For me Kidstons fabrics are like a quintessential English Rose brightening up our beige world.  The beautiful floral prints mixed with the quirky kids prints are truly inspiring and are great for most projects, especially since the lauch of the haberdashery weight. 

The start of the Cath Kidston empire was relatively small fry in comparison to the size of her label now.  In 1993 Cath Kidston opened a shop in Holland Park, London and filled it with beautiful vintage fabrics and wallpapers, reminiscent of English country homes, with a selection of brightly coloured junk furniture to add to the mix.  Over the following years Kidston began to design her own fabrics and products creating homewares and clothes and accessories, with many items also being produced under license by other companies.  Cath Kidston has also designed tents for Millets and collaborated with Tesco in 2008 to produce eco shopping bags which also raised funds for Marie Curie Cancer Care.  She has also produced five books, one of which I was lucky enough to receive for my birthday last month.

Since small shop frontage in 1993 you can now find 28 shops & concessions in the UK and a further two shops in the Republic of Ireland, three pop up shops, seven shops in Japan and one in Kuwait, with the Cath Kidston brand being available internationally. 

I adore all the prints in the fabric ranges, but my favourite three are -

Now for a little more indulgence, I will pop over to Folksy & Etsy to see what is being made with Cath Kidston fabrics. 

There are plenty of other beautiful items to choose from!

To end my week I am having a special offer in my Buttons & Bows shop.

20% OFF All Ribbons & Buttons until midnight on Monday (26/4).

Thursday, 22 April 2010

English Designers / Makers Part 4

I cannot believe that it's Thursday already!  Today I am going to focus on Dwanda, which is a European version of Etsy, Folksy & Misi.  I have only recently discovered Dwanda but am impressed with the range and quality of items for sale.  With regards to fees, there are currently no listing fees on the en platform but you pay 5% commission on sales, however listing fees will be introduced later this year.  There is also a forum community and a gift finding service, the Gift Detectives.  I will certainly look into this sales channel over the next few months to get more European exposure.

So it's time again to to grab your shopping bags, baskets or trolley...

Don't forget it's Fabric Friday tomorrow, featuring Cath Kidston.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

English Designers/Makers - Part 3

I am heading into unknown territory now, as I head over to Misi to bring you todays picks of English creative talent.  Whilst I have registered an account with Misi I do not have a shop on the website.  Yet I am led to believe that fees are similar to Folksy but cannot comment on selling here or about the forums and support provided.

So let's see what we can find......

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

English Designers /Makers Part 2

As promised yesterday I will be featuring English designers/makers on Etsy.  For those who have not yet discovered Etsy it is a fantastic site based in America on which there is a plethora of handcrafted items alongside supplies and vintage items.  I am fairly new to the wonders of Etsy and currently only have a supplies shop and one ring in my shop, which is pathetic but I am planning my attack with a new project very soon....remaining tight lipped at the moment..sorry!  Anyway back to Etsy....the fees are low and the coverage high, with sellers and buyers all over the world.  Whilst the forums may seem a little daunting there is a huge mountain of knowledge to be gained from some posts. 

So grab your shopping bag...or trolley and off we go!

So who filled their trolley first?!?!

Monday, 19 April 2010

English Designers / Makers Part 1

After sucessful posts for St. Davids Day and St. Patricks Day in March featuring Welsh & Irish designers/makers respectivly, I have decided to write about English designers/makers for St. Georges Day.  Yet this seemed like a mammoth task and as I already have my Fabric Friday planned, which falls on St. Georges Day, I have chosen to to dedicate the next four days to featuring English designers/makers. 

Firstly I considered splitting the country into North, South, East & West to cover the four days or choosing a particular medium to highlight each day, eg. jewellery making, sewing, photography and knitting, but this would not have covered all the areas in four days!  So I think I have solved the problem by choosing to feature English designer/makers on Folksy, Etsy, Misi & Dwanda.

So we'll start at the beginning of the list!  Folksy is a great website to sell your handcrafted items or craft supplies.  However you have to be in the UK to sell on the site, but like Etsy buyers are worldwide. One of the things I love about Folksy is the community spirit in the forums, designers supporting designers all over the UK.  With low cost fees and a growing community Folksy is set to be a strong competitor in the UK handmade marketplace over the coming months and well worth a visit, even if you only need a birthday card!

(I'm off now to check with Tim which Suffolk beach this is as it looks very familiar!!)

English Roses, teapots, union jacks, bunting, red telephone boxes and beach huts....quintessentially English! The little birds reminded me of my late grandparents garden.

Friday, 16 April 2010

Fabric Friday - Window Shopping

Hip hip hooray it's Fabric Friday!!  I have been digging around my studio this week looking for some patterns as I have felt inspired to create some new clothes for myself and maybe my girls too....if the boys are lucky I may even run them up some PJ trousers!  Whilst my Boden wish list is as long as my arm I know I am capable of running up some fantastic new clothes, especially as there are so many gorgeous fabrics available. I have some great Amy Butler patterns and Weekend Sewing by Heather Ross  which has some great clothes patterns and Seams to Me by Anna Maria Horner even teaches you to make your own skirt pattern, so I'm sure I can add to my summer wardrobe.  Obviously the next stage is fabric shopping....ohh I love this part!  So I am now going window shopping and will share some of my favourites with you.

Groove - Caleb Gray

Heather Bailey - Pop Garden

Heather Ross - Mendocino Seahorses

Echino Nico - Furuya Cars

Michael Miller - Zoology

Alexander Henry - Birdseed

Amy Butler - Tumble Roses

Amy Butler - Paradise Garden

Kristopher K Designs - Daisy Garden

Birch Fabrics - Cars Circa 50

I could list many many more but this post has to end sometime!

(Appologies to regular Fabric Friday readers that I have not focussed on a specific designer.  Business as usual next Friday, with a feature about Cath Kidston to celebrate St. Georges Day).
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