Friday, 25 May 2018

Catching You Up

It's been over a week since I last wrote on here, and how different things are in my life!! Two weeks ago today was my last day at my full time job which I gave up for several reasons, one of them being wanting (needing) to spend more time on my sewing and Dotty Textiles. I have several big craft fairs coming up in the next two months and I am going to need so much stock to make sure I have enough!! Don't panic Mr Mannering! (A Dad's Army reference for you there.)
Consequently I am spending a lot more time at home or in the studio, and am trying to balance a sort of working day which is a lot harder than it seems. Because I am so used to sewing in the evenings, and I sew for fun, I tend to do more in the afternoons than the mornings which I'm not sure is what I'm meant to be doing, considering that I would usually be at work and cracking on from half eight.

Things are getting done though and I am pleased with my progress in the last week or so. I have completely overhauled my website (see here) and re-edited the homepage with a list of all upcoming craft fairs and workshops. The next craft fair is on this coming Monday 28th May at Barnsgate Manor if you would like to pop along. 
I have also revamped my studio, which was a very necessary thing to do as unfortunately Tunbridge Wells Artisans (TWA) decided to close its premises at The George Stables whilst they find a better location. They are still online, but due to my change in circumstance, I am no longer part of them and wish them well for the future. 
I enlisted the aid of The Parents and we went along to take down my bookcase and pack up the stitchscapes which then had to be reinstalled in my tiny shed of a studio. Most of my really big stitchscapes had been displayed at TWA so it's a little bit of a squeeze, especially as I rebuilt the bookcase to hold all of the embroidery kits, stitchscape pebbles and little framed pieces. I am very pleased with how homey it feels in there, especially with the door open and the radio on. 

I am still working on some tiny little frames, don't you just love these sheep? It has to be one of my favourite fabric prints to work on and generates a lot of comments on my social media pages. There have been several comments about the sheep appearing to be a little bit tipsy!
I have stocked up on different types of little frames in different colours and my aim is to fill them all before buying any more frames as it is quicker for me to make lots of mini pieces for craft fairs- although it is the big pieces that I can then turn into cards and prints which I tend to sell more of. The business head is clashing with the creative one!

As well as sewing sheep, I have also just finished another swan themed commission, and have been working on a secret project for the-stitchery in Lewes, with whom I am doing a spot of collaboration and cahooteration (can that be a word?). The images below are all that I am allowed to show you of this project, and my lips are sealed! I cannot be persuaded to talk regardless of how many fat quarters you try to bribe me with.

The Mother and I tootled off to Brighton this week to go fabric shopping!! Wooo, one of my favourite pastimes. These fabrics are specifically for kits, both current ones which we have run out of fabric for, and the Naked Stitchscape kits which I haven't released yet due to lack of fabric and ribbons and fun stuff. We are slowly collecting these and I hope to start putting some of the kits together next week once I have had a delivery of threads come through to match. Aren't these patterns just gorgeous though? I had to really restrain myself....

On Saturday I had a photoshoot to attend with the Bridge Arts In Uckfield gang to raise awareness of an exhibition of our work currently installed at Uckfield train station. (You can read local news reports on it here and here.) My Sea Pink Shore stitchscape is featured there and I love the way that the print seems to glow as the acetate it is printed on allows some light to pass through making all of the artwork really stand out! If you wanted to pop by, the exhibition is on until August so there is plenty of time! I am also exhibiting with Bridge Arts on the 15th-16th June at Uckfield Civic Centre, and am offering a quick workshop on mini stitchscapes as well which you can book onto during the event, or by emailing Bridge Arts beforehand. Just click here to go to the events section of their website and find out more.

So that just about catches us up I think! I am very excited to see where I can go from here and I hope you will continue to join me and follow along this mad ride!

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