Monday, 29 November 2010

Snowy Shetland

I love the snow and have been feeling like a bairn all weekend, the thought of being snowed in is so exciting but it doesn't really work when you work from home!  Its very beautiful though, when the showers subside and the sun comes out we can see for miles.

Looking NE from the house:

Looking E from the house:

We have all enjoyed a few wintery walks to the nearby beach:

These frilly icicles were formed by water dripping off the marram grass

I think I am going to get a lot of good out of my survival suit this year!

Meanwhile, you have until 9 a.m. tomorrow morning to enter the prize draw in where the prize is a £30 gift voucher to spend on my website (could be handy this time of year!)  All you have to do is sign up to my mailing list by entering your email address on the form on my website - click here for the link.

 Good luck and keep warm!

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Christmas Exhibitions

I have work in a few Christmas Exhibitions this year, I was delighted to be asked to design new bags for the festive exhibition "Sprickle and Peester" at the Bonhoga Gallery in Weisdale, Shetland.  This exhibition runs until Christmas and features work from over 30 artists including several from Shetland.  Read more about it here.

Sprickle and Peester are dialect words meaning "to wriggle and squeal with delight", I love the poster, it reflects the title really well.  There is a large version of the phrase on the wall of the stairs landing, which leads you into the gallery.

The poster was designed by Jono Sandilands using his paper cutting technique to reflect the handmade qualities of the exhibition.  You can read about the design process on his blog by clicking here.

Two of the bags in the show are below, I had to take the photos in the half dark as the bags had to be handed in the next day, so they aren't the best!  You can see the more photos on my facebook page.

You can also see my work at the Newashgate Gallery, Farnham, Surrey in their Winter Contemporary Textiles exhibition which runs until January 31st.

If you are near West Kilbride, pop over to the Craft Town Gallery currently located in Happyhills, Main Street, where I am exhibiting in the Alternative Giving exhibition until 24th December.

For other places to buy have a look at the stockists page on my website.

I can't believe how fast these Christmas exhibitions have arrived, now I need to think about summer exhibitions!

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Prize Draw

At the Craft fair last weekend I held a prize draw, where people had the chance of winning a £30 gift voucher to spend on my website by signing up to my mailing list.

And the lucky winner is Margaret Irvine.  Congratulations!

Now you can have a chance to win another £30 gift voucher.  All you have to do is sign up to my mailing list: you can do this very simply by going to the page" mailing list" on my website and entering your email address (click on the grey text to get there!).  You will be asked to confirm by clicking on a link on an email that will be sent to you - it is really very easy!

By doing this I will send you my occasional newsletter updating you on new products, special offers, exibitions, etc.
Anyone that entered their details at the craft fair don't need to do it again, you will be automatically entered in the draw.

The second winner will be chosen at 9 a.m. next Tuesday, 30th November using a random number generator programme.

Good luck!!

Monday, 22 November 2010

Crafts sold, crafts bought

The Shetland Arts and Crafts Christmas fair last weekend went very well, I sold lots, met lots of people (got a sore throat from speaking!) and generally had a good time.

It always takes a while recovering from an event like this, putting all the display equipment away, sorting out orders and just generally getting back to normal; that's why I am a week late in writing this post!


I also managed to spend some money (it wasn't hard!), there is always such amazing work available at this show and I think it gets better every year.

1 & 2  Baby bib and Christmas decoration by Phatsheep Textiles.  Suzanne designs the fabric she uses to sew many items.  You can read about her work on her blog

3.  Christmas wreath by Jeanette Nowak.  This wreath has been made out of dockins (docks), I had to have it as I couldn't believe that something we consider to be ugly and a prolific weed (I have a never ending fight with them every summer) can be made into something so beautiful. 

4.  These gorgeous ceramic Christmas decorations were made by Kitt Mouat.  "Moorie Cavie" is a Shetland dialect phrase meanng blizzard.  Kitt doesn't have a website, but exhibits every year at the craft fair.

5.  Tablet by Boannie Isles.  I was glad to be across from the tablet stall but they were so busy I had to grab a few bags before they were sold out!  These sweet treats are handmade in Burra, the same Island I live on. 

6.  Cardigan by Neila Nell.  Neil makes striking contemporary knitted textiles.  I'm thinking I will make a denim dress to go under the cardigan, if I find a pattern I like.

For more information on the full members of the Shetland Arts and Crafts Association have a look at the website:

This weekend was the first time I hadn't been flat out making for a while so I spent Saturday shopping interspaced with the obligatory lunch and stop for tea, then headed North on Sunday.  It was a beautiful day, not a breath of wind (unusual in Shetland!), the loch at Gunnister looked like a mirror.

It was hard to tell where the land stopped and the water started.

We also headed up to Eshaness

The rain was never very far away....

Shetland always has the ability to relax and inspire, now its back to normal work, getting out more orders.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

New Product - Flowerpot Brooches

I have never been very good at looking after house plants.  My Mam can't understand it because I completed some courses in plant biology at university.  I might have been able to tell you about photosynthesis or transpiration at one time but it doesn't mean that I can keep them alive.

I don't need to worry about these felt flowerpots, these are my newest creation, felt pots with felt flowers on wire stems.  They are around 7.5 cm high, retail at £9.95 and the pink and lime green one looks great on my new Boden cordorouy dress.

They will be available at the Shetland Arts and Crafts Christmas fair in Lerwick this weekend, or email me if you would like one before I get them uploaded onto the website.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Shetland Arts & Crafts Christmas Fair - this weekend

I've not had much time to blog lately, as well as working on the usual orders, I have been making stock for the annual craft fair in the Clickimin Centre where I am exhibiting this weekend (as well as setting up as I am a member of the Shetland Arts and Crafts Committee).  Life has had to be timetabled, every waking minute is spent making where I can, the house has been neglected - there is a film of fluff over everything and there is tumbleweed in the corners.   This morning I was up at the crack of dawn painting display boards for my Christmas decorations and jewellery.

Mr Smith is very good at making things and last year he whipped up these display boards.  We didn't have time to paint the backs of them, and I, as usual have again left it to the last minute even though I have had a whole year!

Sometimes people ask me if all the effort is worth it.  Well, I think it is, as well as providing a welcome pre-Christmas boost to my bank account, it is a great weekend all round meeting lots of people, many you only ever see at the craft fair and spending time with the other exhibitors.  The feeling you get once everything has been done and set up can't really be beat.

I have several new products that will be on sale this year including Christmas decorations and brooches, which are always popular to give as Christmas presents.

I will also be running a prize draw at the fair - all you have to do is enter it when you are there. 

So, if you are in Shetland this weekend, drop along the Clickimin Centre, the food festival is also there this weekend so you will be able to pick up loads of pressies and inspiration - I look forward to seeing you!

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

New Products - Vintage Rose Brooch and Hairslide


Here is a sneaky peek at a couple of my new products that will be on sale at the Shetland Arts and Crafts Christmas Fair in 12th - 14th November.

Felt Vintage Rose Hairslide:

 Felt Vintage Rose Brooch:

The hairslide will retail at £4.95 and the brooch at £9.95, so they make ideal stocking fillers, and are light so are ideal for posting.  They will be available on my online shop before Christmas in time for those present orders or email me for details. 

I always try to have new products at the Craft Fair, its a good place to get feedback on new work, and it gives me a deadline to actually make the ideas that are rattling around my head.  It is always really busy in the run up to the fair making stock, organising the marketing of the fair - however, this year has been a particularly busy year with one thing and another, I think I am becoming a master of multi tasking - I am writing this blog while cooking the tea...

Meanwhile, earlier today the latest order of felt arrived (25metres) so I can finish the orders that are waiting.  Thankfully no-one saw me and the postie carrying this into the house - I thought it might look a bit suspicious!

Must go now and tie ribbons on Christmas decorations!