Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Boys, inspiration, polymer clay and poo.

It’s odd. I find if I’m not spending time with boys I do a lot more crafting and have a lot more inspirational ideas. Last July I went on a self-imposed boy-ban and took myself off to Crete for a week. The creative ideas almost became too much… so my friend bought me a little note book to write them all down for when I got home. I guess that’s how I ended up with all the stock for the CND Christmas Craft Fair.

I still carry around a little notebook. It’s not the same one. The Cretan one, I keep by the bed, as I have a lot of creative thoughts before I go to sleep. I also have a more elaborate inspirations and design book. That is hard-back, A4 and has various collages in and snippets from mail-outs from my favourite designers and makers. It’s something I learnt at school and at the time I thought was irrelevant. I had to do it again for a jewellery course I started in 2006. If I am ever having a creative block I can just open the pages and I start getting ideas just from looking at the collages and photo-montages.

Oh man, I can’t half rabbit on.

I made a list in my notebook of all the things I can do, or have tried, and all the things I can’t do, and would like to try.

One thing I haven’t given a go recently is polymer clay. ‘Recently’ as in, I used it a fair bit when I was 10. My friends and I would all buy different colours and then share them. My least creative friend (in the present) made me a badge that said ‘Take That’ on it, and I wore it most days. Polymer clay is also known as Fimo and Sculpey.

Anyway, these days I see some amazing things being made from it. I never realised you could make things quite so detailed. I’m not sure I’d have the skill or the patience, but I’d certainly like to develop some unique style of my own with it. I have been a big fan of Tarina Tarantino for a long time (although I think I only own one crystal hairgrip, location unknown L ) and have been after a Pink Head gothic style necklace for ages. Check out this page of her website for a beautiful polymer clay cross, and also have a gander around the rest of the site, it’s beautiful. Another polymer clay crafter I love is Komodokat. I love kitschy stuff and I think her poo and toilet roll charms are inspired! I also love her buttered toast and sparkly tooth earrings.

Great work :o)

PS I was really hoping to add more items to etsy tonight as I found a USB port that seems to work :o) and it keeps my drinks warm! Anyway, my mum and dad took me out for tea and have only just left (it’s 9.30pm here) so that’s out the window. I will def do it tomorrow as the Penthouse is clean and tidy and have no plans except eat pasta.


Tuesday, 29 July 2008

The Lone Crafter

As a normal person I do like living on my own. As a Craftster there are some drawbacks.

So on Saturday I was really hoping to crack on with some jewellery, as it's only a month until a pretty big fair at work. So I got to my computer to print off some designs... it's just been fixed so the printer wasn't plugged into the tower. So I plug it in and all the USB holes fall inside. Great.

So I think, it's OK, I'll get on with the wooden stuff. No, because the drill has run out of power. I'm a girl and I don't know how to plug in the charger. Bllleeuurgh. I need to get my head in the game and FOCUS! It's a double edged sword though. If I had some sort of boy around alot I'd probably never get anything done.

I am quite excited about this and everything it stands for. I'll submit to it tomorrow, keep your fingers crossed for me, I'd love to have something published. I'm also keeping my eye out for other places I can write about crafts. It seems like a good idea since I keep being told I am a good writer, or I should write a book! I got some ideas from another blog I like to stalk Craft Yourself Rich. A bit disappointed I missed out on some books about plastic though, that would have been ideal... ah well...

I'm going to do my chores now... it said in my horoscope today that I wouldn't focus for long. I don't always believe them but this appears true enough...


Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Movin' on...

I've got this thing about women (possibly men?) who wear pigtails. There's a certian cut off age, after which, if you wear pigtails you look like a tit. I don't know what the age is, but I know I am past it. And I also have a thing about older women with long hair. Again, I don't know what age it is, I think it may be variable according to the thickness and colour (overall=healthiness) but there does come a point when it's time to bite the bullet and get the chop. A bob might be OK.

I also have a thing about grown-ups (let's say post-school age, for argument's sake) who use Zippy/Elmo/Sean the Sheep bags... you're not cutting edge, you're not totally crazy cos you use a kids bag... you look like a tit.

So it brings me to this place I enjoy, Fred Flare. They're quite a good outlet for cutesy, kitschy items, some by independant designers/makers. I need a new handbag and just had a look. It's not happening for me... but I do enjoy sickly kitschy jewellery and housewares... am I a tit?? I'm particularly enjoying...

Also check out their blog. Every year they host their 'Next Big Thing', independant designers competing for the title.

And I have started listing in my Etsy!! Only two products, I'll list another two today... I don't expect a vast amount of sales now, if any, I just want to build it up in time for the big craft fairs at Christmas, as I often get asked if I sell online... now I can say I do!

Over and out... x

Thursday, 17 July 2008

Luddite by default...

Why can’t stuff just work? I got home from work yesterday harbouring mixed feelings about my new internet connection. I had to not only set up the broadband router and that, but I had to install a network adapter thing too, because my computer is so old it doesn’t have one built in. It took a couple of attempts to get the adapter going on. Then I tried to install the broadband software and it said I didn’t have one. Well, it was flashing and everything. So I spent over half an hour on the phone to a delightful boy with a speech impediment who ultimately told me I had a shit old computer, but couldn’t advise me to buy a new one in case I sued o2 further down the line. Anyway my pal’s boyfriend is coming on Friday to sort it for the fee of 3 bottles of cider. Wiggity wack.

Here's a new creation... well I say new, it''s been in the pipeline for some time, I made about 6 using manga-style images but didn't think they were really me... anyway it gave me some practice to get the techniques right. It's made from wood, paint, vintage comic image, varnish... I can't decide if I'll sell it or keep it - it looks really nice on if I do say so myself :D Sorry the photo isn't right cracking.

Something I love… N.E.E.T Magazine. It’s basically just a magazine full of advertising for Indie designers, but it’s a treat on the eye, a delicious source of inspiration, and a first port of call if you have any ££ left at the end of the month! Click on the page to turn it, if you want to visit a designer’s shop, click on the web address.



Tuesday, 15 July 2008

An introduction...

Welcome to my first blog!

I suppose, since it’s my first, I should introduce myself? I’m Rowan (female!), I live in a flat I affectionately call The Penthouse, which is situated with a canal on one side and a train line on the other, in Shipley, West Yorkshire, UK.

I grew up making stuff. My aunt used to save toilet roll tubes for me and I’d turn them into families of toilet roll people. I spent a lot of time with my Grandma; she was a Flortist by trade and art-school trained. She had a chest full of crafting treasures. I think my Mum was worried Grandma was getting annoyed that I used up all her materials. Grandma said she was just glad I had an interest and didn’t want to spend all day watching TV. So we painted pictures of the garden, knitted scarves, crocheted some sort of weird tube (I think it just kept my finger warm), embroidered, decorated eggs, glued, cut, knotted…

I started dabbling with jewellery in 2005. I saw some earrings in a boutique made from scraps of ribbon selling at £8. I was quite disgusted, since little imagination or skill had gone into them, and yet they were so expensive. They weren’t even made from designer ribbon. Or sterling silver wires! Anyway I was unemployed at the time. And skint. So I made some jewellery from bottle tops. I out them on Ebay and couldn’t believe it when they sold and was even more delighted with the feedback I received from the buyer who bought another 3 pieces. I moved on to using bits of toys, which is where my theme centres now - childhood memories.

Skills and ideas develop over time, especially when you aren’t following traditional techniques. I have previously used charms and so forth to create pieces, but endeavour to create something more unique, and so am now working with wood, paper and resin, along with bits of toys I find here and there!

So anyway… I am opening and Etsy shop! I’ll let you know the url once it’s up and running. I’m not adding products until I have internet connection at home (8pm 16th July, hopefully!)… the clock is ticking!