Friday, 22 March 2013

The Wool House

Yesterday was a very exciting day for me as I was in London at Somerset House for the Press Launch of the School for Creative Startups.  I first heard about this via FW Media who were promoting a book by Doug Richard called How to Start a Creative Business.  More about this later.

However, as I was going to be at Somerset House, I had a little peek at what else was going on.  I was delighted to see that there was an exhibition called Wool House, run by the Campaign for Wool.  And I have to say that it was amazing.  The house had been created by a range of designers working in all areas of the textile industry - artists, interior designers, tailors, fashion designers.  Each room encompassing the exhibition was decorated or styled with wool products throughout.  There was a cornucopia of colour and texture.  And you were allowed to touch some of the exhibits, and take photos.  It was like being set free in the sweetie shop!

I took about a 100 photos, and not all will fit onto my blog here, but it was so wonderful, I just wanted to carry those memories around with me forever.  And my camera was the next best thing to help my sagging brain remember all the wonderful sights surrounding me.


There was a modern room designed by Anne Kyyro-Quinn which was my favourite by far.  Made with wonderful thick felt, it was a room you would just smile and smile in.  Bold and bright colours hit you, but then there was the odd subtle touch of calm and gentleness.

I loved the wall here - made of felt panels twisted to create a pattern.  Depending where you stood,  you saw a different pattern on the wall.  In the far corner, it was a honeycomb lattice, whereas nearer to us, the curves were more fluid.

The design on these poufs were amazing.  So beautifully and perfectly stitch that I would never allow ANYONE to sit on them.

This wall panel was all created by tucks in strips of shocking pink felt.  Lovely and thick felt.

These blinds were exquisite.  They looked like fretwork, but provided a fantastic contrast to the vibe  in the room.  They were so beautiful and delicate, but on a window would allow privacy without blocking the light.  And the pattern that would shine through into the room would be astounding.
There was a Nursery by Donna Wilson, which had wonderful wall art in the shape of felt trees and leaves:

The room itself was a child's dream room (seen through the eyes of adults - no McDonalds Happy Meal toys here cluttering up the place).  Donna Wilson's many talents included a huge range of soft toys and accessories, and she was the Elle Decoration Designer of the Year in 2010.  I loved her room as it was the epitome of where a 'designer child' would live.  We all know our own children would mess it up in 2 minutes, but to see a little bit of loveliness untouched by sticky fingers was enough for me.

There was artwork displayed everywhere as well.  I particularly loved the vibrant pictures of Anna Raymond:

and this amazing picture by Melissa Watts for Maud Designs, which was wool on canvas:

Finally, there were wallhanging by Claudy Jongstra which were huge and beautiful:

And I haven't even got onto the Krafthaus pieces of work.  I will have to do another post again shortly to carry on where I left off.

I could have spent a lot longer there than we actually had time for.  After the Wool House, it was onto the School for Creative Startups and their Showcase and Press Launch.  More about that in my next post...

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

A fable (without the moral at the end)

I put quick posts on my facebook page the other week, but wanted to put some more details about what I have been making recently.

I have a sister.  She had a skirt. She wasn't wearing the skirt much because it was too long.  It was a lovely skirt - grey wool felt with a flocked design.  She was going to give the skirt to charity.  I said "Don't do that.  I will shorten your skirt, and then I will make a bag out of it for you".  I'm not adding that I said I'd give it her for Christmas, as it's now March and I only finished it recently.

SO, I shortened the skirt and my sister was much happier to wear the skirt.  Then, I was going to make the bag.  The plan I had was to make a little handbag (small and cute), but then my sister works a lot in that skirt, and it needed to be a bit more practical.  Something to fit her many gadgets inside (or at least some yarn, as she always seem to be carrying that around and knitting).  So we agreed on a bowling bag style.  Luckily I had a great book with just the pattern:

Ooh, you can see a tiny little picture of the bag style in the bottom centre picture.

This book Bag Boutique, by Amy Barikman, had some great bag patterns and shapes.  I had made a couple of them before. This bag was new, so it was quite exciting.  I had just enough fabric to make it.

So, I made the bag.  You overlock all the edges of each piece (outside, wadding and lining) on the right side, and then sew all the pieces together to make the bag up.  There is no fiddling with the lining separately.

It was a good bag to make.  The Soft n Stable wadding gave it a good shape.

The lining was Tilda fabric, Bella Red bought from Lovely and Lovely.

I think my sister will like it.  If there was a moral, it would be that if you are busy before Christmas, don't offer it as a present.  But what I have also learrned is that it's good to try something new, as you might surprise yourself.