Off to class ….

Off to class, originally uploaded by gilfling.

The last few weeks have been full of exciting news, some of which I have been able to share and some that for now I have to keep secret. This week has been no different in that I have discovered that thanks to Seek & Adore, Tomas has been popping up in a few magazines and newspapers as part of a feature on Fairy Tales. I was then delighted to receive a phone call from Design Factory letting me know that they were featuring me on their website as their very first ‘Blogger of the month’.

So with a noticeable rise in my blog readers and comments received, I had better make sure I continue to write something as often as I can! Thank you so much for popping in here and/or leaving such thoughtful comments whether you have found me via the Design Factory website or are a long-time reader.

This morning I trotted on off to class. I have not mentioned it here but for the last few weeks I have been attending a creative writing course at my local Maggies Centre* and I love that walk up the above steps on Friday morning where I have a chance to do something completely different from my normal day to day. The tutor is brilliant and I have learned so much about how I can write and just be myself using prompts and various writing tools. The course is coming to an end soon unfortunately but I think the class members are hoping to continue meeting and inspiring each other with ideas to keep writing so I shall be doing that for sure.

One thing that I think may come out of it is that I am hoping to regenerate my very short-lived blog ‘A Notion To Wander’ which I began a while ago but the timing was bad for me to continue it. Now that I am writing regularly again I hope to revisit it and possibly share some of my meandering thoughts over there. I am also hatching another wee plan loosely connected to this so will keep you updated on that!

This afternoon is a date day with my husband and we are off to the cinema and for something to eat so cheerio for now!

*The Maggies Centre website seems to be down at the moment so I have linked to an article which explains a little about them and what they do

x x x

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A future antique?

 

As you may know, I have been selling my work on the wonderful website – Seek & Adore for a few months now. I love the look of the site, the quality of work and the extra wee touches that let you see behind the scene’s of the life of an artist and maker. Seek and & Adore are also dedicated to really promoting their makers with the idea that we belong in the studio- making – rather than stuck infront of a computer for hours on end trying to promote our work. A wonderful philosophy in my book!!

My work has been used in various ways for Seek & Adore – a large image was used in the Christmas catalogue promotion and as a banner at the top of the ‘Unique Gifts section’ on the website. I mailed them a few of my brooches a couple of months back and they took beautifuly staged shots of them – you can now see them gracing the top of the Valentines Gifts for Women.

Another unique feature of the website is Adored by… section where well known designers, writers and interiors specialists are asked to curate a selection of their favourite pieces from Seek & Adore and write about why they appeal to them. I was delighted to find that the most recent selection has been curated by Mark Hill who is an antiques, design and collectables specialist who appears on the Antiques Road Show. He has chosen Ada as one of his favourite pieces and writes…

“Combining the long-standing tradition of homemade painted fabric dolls with a haunting character that looks as if it’s jumped straight out of a contemporary illustrated book, I find this quirkily appealing.”

I am over the moon that one of my pieces was chosen for this selection. Everything I make is created with the idea and hope that  each piece will be loved by the person who purchases it – so much so that it will stay with them for a life-time and handed down to those who loved them also. I have never made things to fit into our ‘throw away’ mentality but items to be cherished and passed on. Some of my most treasured belongings have been handed down to me by my great grandfather, grandmother and great grandmother. Who knows if my dolls and characters will still be around in 100 years time – I like to think they will be!

x x x

Today on my worktable …

Today on my worktable …, originally uploaded by gilfling.

Well actually this was yesterday on my work table – I still have to make it up the stairs to my work table today!

So I have decided (once again) that I can’t always dedicate the time to long well thought out blog-posts and that possibly a wee snippet and a photo is better than nothing in the meantime? I always have something to share, even if it is just an image of my work table or my daily sketches that I have returned to when I have a free moment during the day. It wouldn’t be so bad if much of my blog was more photographic and a diary of what I get up to on a daily basis. I LOVE looking at what others get up to in their working lives and find it inspiring so that is the way I am going to go for now.

I have been feeling so under the weather lately and it is good to have something to refocus my mind whilst I am trying to work through the fog. It also helps me to remember how lucky I am to be doing what I do. Every day is different.

Yesterday was photographing and listing brooches in my Seek & Adore shop as it has been looking a little neglected since Christmas. Today I need to do some character making and get things together for tomorrow afternoon demonstrating my work at The National Centre for Craft and Design. I hope it doesn’t snow for the drive there. As much as I like snow, I don’t care for driving in it. It can snow as much as it likes on Sunday when I am home!

A wee bit rabbity….

whimsical creature, originally uploaded by gilfling.

Just a quickie this morning as it is time to go up to the studio and I have an exciting appointment later today (more on that later…..)

But I just wanted to show you the prototype that I made for the class I taught just over a week ago. I am going to make a few more of these whimsical creatures and also tinker with some variations on patterns and see where it takes me….

I have made my list of work I want to do for upcoming exhibitions and shows and rather than being scared… I am super excited!! Now that my studio is easer to move around and work in, there is no place I would rather be.

I have also been hatching plans to make some more ambitious pieces so I shall hopefully be able to take you with me on that journey too…..

This whimsical creature is now available in my shop at Seek and Adore – I have been gradually adding all the new original characters I have been making and am pleased with how my shop is coming together. I love etsy and feel it is great for my prints etc but to have all my original items in one clean, tailored space where they can show off their unique charms is a good feeling.

Wishing you a wonderful week

x x x

All framed up…..

Just a quickie post as I am sculpting, sculpting away and trying to stay clear of the distraction of the internet as much as possible in order to meet my deadlines!

It is always a thrill to see my original work framed up (and indeed my prints) and I just picked these up from the framers a couple of days ago. I have had a number of pieces framed up in these incredibly beautiful ivory baroque style frames and I like the fact that they are becoming another thing to trade-mark my work and make it unique and ‘my own’.

 A Moment in Time and Dreaming of the Dwelling Place are now both currently residing in my new shop on Seek and Adore as I am gradually moving the majority of my original work from Etsy to there whilst keeping Etsy for my prints.

I am now delighted to be able to offer my paintings framed as I have at long last found a solution to the packaging and shipping problem (for the UK) and to make it easier this is incorporated into the price of the painting. Progress indeed!

Righto back to work for me!!

xxx

Bits and pieces….

Aah tis the weekend and Saturday mornings are for relaxing, eating a healthily cooked breakfast, whilst watching Saturday morning kitchen and the bunnies playing in the garden. I have also been pottering around my vegetable pots and am amazed at how well they are doing. After my disasterous courgette plants that didn’t flower or fruit last year, now I can hardly pick them quick enough and we shall be making chutney soon enough in order to use up the excess.

This week has flown by and whilst I have been busy this has been more in the form of ‘planning’ rather than ‘doing’. But from Monday, for 2 or 3 weeks there will a flurry of ‘doing’ as the middle of July see’s a few deadlines all happening at once.  There is work to finish and finalise for The Art of Childsplay exhibition happening at New Brewery Arts in Cirencester to be delivered by the 15th and the Craft Candy Summer Fair on the 16th of July.

I am also incredibly excited to be creating stock for a brand new gift and lifestyle shop opening in the next few short weeks called Home…Oh in the beautiful town of Hebden Bridge. Warren and Marcus have been so enthusiastic about stocking my work and having already visited their beautiful shop The Yorkshire Soap Company, I can say wholeheartedly that I cannot wait to see the new venture which I know will be beautiful and quirky and incredibly stylish. (just visit the website for the beautiful YSC shop to see that it is the defintion of luxury!) Their new facebook page is here if you would like updated on the development of the new store and details of it’s opening. I will be hand-delivering my work their to coincide with a camping trip so will keep you updated on work that is created for them.

I am also over the moon to have been accepted to sell on a beautiful new Online Store – Seek and Adore which has the most wonderful vision and belief in the artists and makers that they represent. The photograph that I was fretting about the other day…. this is what it was for! I love the fact that Seek and Adore really want the customer to ‘meet the artist’  and that they believe that each product ‘has a story’. So my shop has been set up, my 60 second interview published and I will be gradually moving most of my clay characters and original artwork over to my new store on Seek and Adore over the next few days.  As much as I love Etsy, I often feel that my original items can become a little lost in my store which is full of prints. As someone who would rather be in the studio ‘creating’ I can’t dedicate the time it needs to promoting my original work as much as I would like to. So Seek and Adore seems perfect for me – a place to showcase my original work amongst a wonderful selection of other makers creating unique and one of a kind things. It has also made me think of how I package my work and present it – Hattie, the creater of Seek and Adore chatted to me on the phone (another wonderful aspect is the personal touch with the company – chatting on the phone!!) and she mentioned that the lyric

 ‘brown paper packages tied up with string

these are a few of my favourite things…’

was an inspriation for creating an online store that searches for beautiful things to share with their customers and that follows through to the packaging too! So if you order from me there I have the brown paper and string all ready with a fountain pen for your address – I love the thought of going back to the old-fashioned care and thought that went into packaging up precious things!

Anyway sorry to go on….(and for the gazillion and one links) it is just exciting to find something that ‘fit’s’ so well with what I want for my work and how I want it to be presented. Things are going to well at the moment in terms of my work that I often wonder what I have done to deserve it all, but I guess the years of hard work are finally paying off and I really, really hope it continues….

So I may be blogging and blog visiting a little less frequently over the next 2 weeks or so but I do hope to pop in from time to time to keep you updated on the characters soon to be appearing in my studio…

Wishing you well!

xxx