Saturday, 18 October 2014

Bags of Floral Love - Collection 2

The Linen Garden's first collection of bags launched late September and I had planned to write a few words in this journal of mine to announce the launch and the designs available. but. to my heart warming surprise most of the floral bags sold out within 24 hours.  Amazing...

I adore floral linen (have you noticed), it is a millimetre away from being an addiction. When a piece of old screen printed Sanderson arrives in the studio I like to just study it awhile. As a textile designer at birth it makes me rather giddy to cast my eye over the painterly marks and stylised observations, the beautifully considered compositions and the softness that only age can apply to a fabric.  The designs of the bags are made in a way to celebrate this...a miniature painting to rest on your wrist or an oversized 'skirt bag' that you feel as if you are wearing.  Most are vintage Sanderson prints or prints of that nature and style.  It is my little obsession to sit and look at the fabric and consider the shape of the bag, it's handles. its fastening, its liner, and, while assembling and stitching, a name is given that feels 'just right'.  

The collection is loosely designed with the thirties in mind a nod to Bloomsbury, the hand made, the artisan. Not one bag is ever made the same to make each pretty lady an individual..  Here is a little glimpse to Collection 2 (just a glimpse mind you)...there will be over 35 available so hopefully you will be able to purchase a floral that feels just right for you.  She will arrive carefully wrapped in scented tissue and placed lovingly in a named box as she makes the journey to her new home. The first collection has travelled many roads in the UK as well as over seas to Germany, Australia and the US....far better travelled than I.

It would be lovely for you to stop by at The Linen Garden shop, the new bags will be waiting from 6.00pm on Friday October 24th.  There are also currently just a few available from Collection 1 too over on the shelves - just in case you can't wait til next week.  xxxxxx

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Haberdashery . Hazel . Homewood . Happiness

I am sure you will agree that one of the best things about working for yourself is that you get to be ridiculously indulgent in all that you love.  Whether it is making, researching, strolling around on pinterest or losing your self in the world of instagram, it is officially 'work'... I don't find it difficult hibernating in these four walls of my home studio and not talking to a soul for the day, I have said it before that the school run can often be my social life for the week.  I 'like' my own company....I love to potter around in my own little world and can lose hours in what seems like minutes.  But, saying that, one of the simple pleasures of working in the way I do is that I have got to meet some pretty inspiring folk, some of which I can honestly say are now good friends of mine and can't imagine them not being in my life - they are found treasures.  I suppose if I worked in an office they would be my work mates, but they are indeed 'mates for life' so to speak.  An occasional phone call, a line thrown on facebook, a shriek of shared delight at a 'mutual appreciation of an image on instagram, a ram packed friend filled car on some journey down the motorway to a fair or exhibition...a giddy trip to the carboot...or a simple board room meeting in a cafe or two....I can't tell you how much it makes my heart smile.

Gorgeous, funny, gentle, kind Hazel.
I met this precious lady at a fair in Milton Keynes around four years ago.  She had made a special journey from Wales to ideally network and meet like minded souls.  Hazel is the owner, along with her husband John (gorgeous, funny, gentle, kind John - they are indeed a match made in heaven) of Homewood Bound store in Rhewl, North Wales.  We also meet up every year as part of a little collection of business folk called The Derbyshire Darlings - again like minded women escaping for the weekend to indulge in natterings and treasure shopping, swap ideas, catch up on news and generally eat and drink far too much in a converted barn away from it all I mean the internet.  

Over the years Hazel has asked me to supply her with my makings to sell in Homewood Bound.  There has always been one problem.  I am not really a wholesaler.  So I have always danced with the idea but have never really pursued it.  This year, brought the decision to run with experiment for me, a chance (and an excuse) to visit Hazel in North Wales and the idea of running a workshop to support the introduction of The Linen Garden. So, here is a snapshot of my visit....I wish I took photos of the views of the rolling hills...but being over-excited and time were against it was a flying visit.  

A big thank you to the ladies who attended the workshop on the evening...I hope you enjoyed the evening and the 'haberdashery buffet' and escaped and relaxed for an hour or was a pleasure to spend the evening with you all.

The Linen Garden Workshop
'Making a Floral Love Brooch'
using the Haberdashery Buffet