Saturday, 11 January 2014

To blog or to sew, that is the question? x

Have never been the most conscientious blogger and for the last year or so I have been seriously focusing on my sewing projects so blogging has got less & less.  Added to that, I seem to find Blogger really slow these days, whatever browser or laptop I am using, and in addition I am unable to comment on my fellow bloggers' blogs in the way that I would like due to "long running scripts" & other teccie glitches that are way beyond my comprehension
So, for now, have decided that sewing must take precedence.  Please follow & like me on Facebook on my Karen Vallerius page if you have time as I am uploading short posts & photos there.  Also have some Pinterest boards going with more photos so please see what my inspirations are here.  A few more photos of my workroom below - and please be assured, small dog may be allowed to keep me company by sleeping on a chair but he is NEVER allowed to touch my textiles and NEVER allowed to help with the sewing!  Bye for now, Karen x


Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Etsy & Everywhere

Finally listing some of my handmade items on Etsy, please visit my brocobelle shop there.

Monday, 2 December 2013

Vintage style jewellery using Laura Ashley textile

I was one of Laura Ashley's biggest fans back in the day (circa 1974 onwards).  I remember those early dresses with Victorian inspired prints in subtle colours.  I was thrilled to combine some tiny scraps of Laura Ashley cotton from the early 70s into my new jewellery designs.  This ring & brooch are photographed against the 19th century design classic "A Handbook of Ornament" by Meyer - I liked the fact that I found a page full of griffins ...

Christmas shopping at the Selvedge Winter Fair

Had a wonderful time at the Selvedge Winter Fair on Saturday.  Saw lots of great textile products & chatted to some lovely textile artists.
Bought this gorgeous ink stamp to brighten up the invoices I include in my ebay & etsy parcels, I loved the style of the stamps from noolibird as they are a million miles away (in design terms) from those you normally find in craft shops ...
Find that my blogging is getting less & less frequent, whereas I am putting more things on pinterest & facebook, so please join me on those sites soon xx

Monday, 4 November 2013

Vintage textile jewellery making

I cannot believe that it is three years since I learned some basic jewellery making skills at the excellent Riverside Beads in Market Deeping - above is one of my charm bracelets - Forget Me Not Secret Garden - made using vintage bits and pieces as well as modern coloured glass beads attached to some brass ox tone findings (no great surprise that I prefer the vintage look of this colour of findings!!). 
I still have several boxes of findings I bought back then, as well as all my jewellery tools, but these last few years haven't made anything much more than bead earrings and bead necklaces incorporating pieces of vintage textile as "ribbon" trims, other than of course my handstitched flower & embroidered brooches.  I wanted some new findings and was sorry to see that two of the companies I used back in 2010 have since closed down.  Anyway, a few hours searching on etsy has found some new suppliers, so hopefully will be able to begin jewellery making again soon.
I have experimented with beads wrapped in textile pieces, but was never really happy with the result, I always felt it looked a bit bulky.  I want to find a way of incorporating small pieces of vintage textile - yep, you've guessed it, cut from my stash of vintage scarves which are slightly damaged but too beautiful to thrown away - with the metal findings as although my flower brooches are good sellers, I want to increase the range of jewellery I offer.  So, watch this space!!
(wanted to upload more photos to this post but Blogger seems to be having a bit of a wobbly!)

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Living the dream

Sewing away here in the Fens, maybe not quite living the poem like the lady above from a 1930 magazine!
I have been working on some of my bag designs and made up my Kathy Handy Tote using some upcycled vintage scarves.  Really pleased with the results.

Also have made some of my Jessie Book Bags out of scarves, I loved this vintage 50s poodle scarf and couldn't resist adding bow ties for these two pampered pets

I must admit, there was a moment when I thought, why am I stitching bow ties for poodles???, but as usual that moment passed ....
Some of my bags are now in a wonderful new shop in Lincoln called With Love From Lincolnshire on Rasen Lane at the top of the hill (donkeys may be needed if you are carrying lots of shopping!)
Fab shop, lots of crafted goods, definitely worth a visit.


Wednesday, 9 October 2013

A note from me to you

Still sewing, not blogging!  So time for a quick update.
I have been trying, sometimes it seems in vain, to develop the handmade side of my business for the last year or so now.  I find that so many "crafts" organisations are aimed more at those who have studied arts/design at uni or college, rather than little old homespun crafters like myself, so wanted to share a recent discovery with you.  I had seen the Design Trust's website a couple of times over the last few months, but a couple of weeks ago a google search directed me to it once more and I started reading.  & reading some more.  & yet more.  Their stated aim is "The Design Trust helps professional designers & craftspeople to create and run better businesses - for themselves, their families, communities, and the world."  And, quite amazingly I think, they actually deliver on this undertaking.  They have lots of brilliant blog posts - one I am finding really useful at the moment is the one on how to create a range of items - and provide loads of information for anyone who, like me, is trying to make progress in the contemporary crafts world with zero academic design background.
So currently stitching away like mad, hoping to stock my Etsy shop with a new "range" in time for the Christmas season.  Hope you are all well.  K. x