Friday, 31 August 2007
To enter your article you don’t need to be trained, sell your own work, or even have your own blog, the only thing I ask is that your article reflects both your passion for crafts and of course, texture in some way!
Please note that each article will read… (Topic name) by Guest Writer (Your Name).
If you are interested, please email me at Sara’s Texture Crafts - email and I will send you the finer details of each topic.
Topic 1: Craft Shows, Fairs and Markets Around the World
Topic 2: Craft, Fabric and Haberdashery Shops Around the World
Topic 3: Museums and Exhibitions Around the World – Here is my last post Museum Focus #1 - Unwrap Japan at Horniman
Topic 4: Art and Craft Exhibitions Around the World
Topic 5: Craft Tip of the Day
Topic 6: Craft Tutorial of the Day
Topic 7: My Favourite Artist (A short bio)
Topic 8: A Concise History of a Craft
Topic 9: Craft Workshops Around the World
Topic 10: Business Tip of the Day
Topic 11: Street Art
Topic 12: Arts and Crafts Projects Around the World
Also remember that all photos should have copyright logos on them to protect your work. This also protect the rights of the guest writer and the artist/photographer/crafter involved. If you can't copyright your photos, please note that I do have a disclaimer written on this blog... so I have asked for protection of the blog and it's contents.
Wednesday, 29 August 2007
Please forgive my photographs - the lighting was dimmed to save the work and as I couldn't take any flash there is a little blurring and slight mis-focus! I have also had to take pictures at an angle to stop glare from the lighting.
'Journey Through Japan' - Sat 31st March to Sun 11th November 2007 (Free Admission)
This exhibition is a series of photographs that reflect diary entries from a family travelling through Japan in the early 1900s. The diary was written by one of the daughters, if I remember correctly and her well written entries are a real insight. So as you go around enjoying the scenic pictures, she gives you a detailed account of where they are in Japan, what's happening in the photograph, or the reason behind it. The photos don't actually depict the family, which would have been a nice contrast, but instead focus on scenery and local villagers, Geisha and monuments. I love historical exhibitions, so this was a real treat for me.
The photographs themselves are also a focus of texture, as black and white prints are delicately water coloured to add depth to what you are seeing. Simply stunning!
'Wrapping Japan' - Sat 31st March to Sun 24th February 2008 (Free Admission)
This is a smaller exhibition which covers clothing and small ornamental designs that are associated with the Kimono and other traditional Japanese dress. There is even an area where you can watch a video to learn how to create your own Shibori art and a look at the tradition of it. This gave me lots of inspiration!
Don't know what Shibori is?
Wikipedia describe it as;
Shibori - From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Shibori is a Japanese term for several methods of dyeing cloth with a pattern by binding, stitching, folding, twisting, or compressing it. Some of these methods are known in the West as tie-dye.
In Japan, the earliest known example of cloth dyed with a shibori technique dates from the eighth century; it is among the goods donated by the Emperor Shōmu to the Tōdai-ji in Nara.
Until the twentieth century, not many fabrics and dyes were in widespread use in Japan. The main fabrics were silk and hemp, and later cotton. The main dye was indigo and, to a lesser extent, madder and purple root. Shibori and other textile arts, such as tsutsugaki, were applied to all of these fabrics and dyes.
References: Yoshiko Wada, Mary Kellogg Rice, and Jane Barton. Shibori: the inventive art of Japanese shaped resist dyeing. Tokyo: Kodansha International, 1983.
I really do recommend a visit. Where is the Museum?
The Horniman Museum
100 London Road
Tuesday, 28 August 2007
Here's the link Slackstitches' Interview with a Dawanda Artist Do pop over, as it's a great blog and definitely one to keep an eye on in the future.
Monday, 27 August 2007
I wanted to tell you about a great project I have been involved with that has now come to fruition – the Diary Project 2008. An idea created and organised by Lucy of Fantazya it encompasses graphics donated by several creative artists. Here’s my interview with Lucy to tell you more…
1. Why and how did you decide to make a diary for 2008 featuring fellow artists?
I wanted a diary for myself, but the idea of collaboration came in a dream. I had that idea that every page was created by a different artist... When I woke up, the idea was still in my head and so I began the project.
2. How many artists are involved?
There are 392 pages and it's hard to say because a few artists did 2 pages... but I think that it's around 370.
3. What countries are the artists from?
Worldwide... US, UK, Belgium, Spain, Canada, Australia, etc.
4. Does the diary have information for each artist’s shop, including yours?
At the bottom of each page you can see the website address of the artist who did the page. The style design of the page gives you an idea of the work of each artist too... If you are curious and want to know more, just go look up the artist’s website... Personally, I will visit each shop, each day of 2008!
5. What date is the diary going to be for public sale and where?
It is already on sale for the public at the principal information page and at my Etsy shop - Diary 2008 Information page & Fantazya - Etsy shop
Also, some participants will sell diaries too, with their own cover decorations. There will be a link and a photo on the Diary 2008 Information page.
This sounds like a great way to find out about artists, their work and how you can shop with them.
So have you got your Diary for 2008?!
Here are my 2 pages…
Friday, 24 August 2007
I am looking for artists and crafters from all backgrounds, disciplines and skill levels to feature in future Crafts of Texture posts. I want to share with my readers all kinds of textural art forms and hopefully spark interest in some lesser know arts. You don’t need to be trained, or even sell you work, the only thing I ask is that your work reflects both your passion for crafts and of course, texture in some way!
If you are interested, please email me at Saras Texture Crafts - email and send me 1 picture of your work (.JPEG form and please make sure they are small in size). I won’t be able to pick everyone, so please don’t think this reflects badly on you or your work in any way. Participants will be picked purely be on the basis of subject (i.e. has there been a feature on that before?) and how many I can process with my current workload!
Enjoy your weekend,
Following on from an earlier thread about promotion on the DaWanda forums… I wanted to introduce to you ‘DaWanda Promo’ bags. Many other on-line shopping sites have similar collaborations like this too and from what I understand it works quite well for the artisans involved. The initial idea for DaWanda promos was raised by MagicPumpkinsandFaeryDust who was looking to collect together our promotional material to show off at Fairs and shows, but we’ve got together and would now like to extend this further.
The idea is now two fold:
Shows and Fairs - Promos will be handled by MagicPumpkinsandFaeryDust - dates and fair locations will be added when we have news.
On-line - Promos will be handled by me at SarasTextureCrafts – These will be sold through my shop for the cost of the bag I buy to pack promos in.
So this is our call for promotional material! All participants are welcome.
What we need are your:
Small promotional samples – no breakables
Give aways – no breakables
Each item you send should be clearly labelled with your DaWanda shop and all items should fit into a small bag approximately 15cm deep and 10cm wide.
Here is an idea of a small bag I got from Etsy, just in case you are thinking about making promotional samples. want-to-find-something-new-on-etsy
Your promos will have to be split into 2 packages; one for shows and one for on-line. Please contact the relevant person for shipping details.
DaWanda Show promos - MagicPumpkinsandFaeryDust
DaWanda On-line promos - SarasTextureCrafts
PLEASE CONTACT US IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN PARTICIPATING – I AM LOOKING TO START EACH AREA WITH 20 BAGS EACH.
Our initial deadline is the 14th of September, but do contact me anyway as later items can and will be filtered into the bags.
Wednesday, 22 August 2007
Here are the first four:
AMPere - stunning clothing here
TallyFiberWorks - great textured accessories
LeafPeople - creative creatures
Qdpatooties - vintage look creatures
The second four:
HandmadebyMia - lovely felted bags
Runzwithscissors - striking accessories
pinksunshine - texture for your cell phone
Homemadeoriginals - great for iPods
The final four:
Amyyang - textural paper crafts
Free2fly - great crochet
AhnoukEmma - vintage style dresses
Beautyflowerpoem - collage art greeting cards
Please do pop into my shop to connect to my favourites (Sara's Texture Crafts - Etsy Shop), as I couldn't post every one of my textural finds. I will however, be adding more finds to this blog in the next month or so.
The Game: 'Facts about You'
1. If you are tagged - add a new post. To that post firstly add the rules and then give your facts.
2. Using the individual letters of your middle name, list one word and provide the relating fact. These facts must be relevant to your. If you don't have a middle name, then pick a name you would like to be called.
3. At the end of your blog-post, you need to choose one person for each letter of your middle name to tag and pass on the chain.
J: Jovial - well most of the time!
A: Artistic - apparently?!! I make my own handcrafted jewellery, accessories and artwork, which I sell through eBay, Etsy and DaWanda
N: Natural - What you see is what you get... no unnecessary additives!
E: Entrepreneur - (sounds a bit extreme!) I run my own small craft business selling crafts at Sara's Texture Crafts
I tagged... jewelparlour, aussiepatches, numpty and ellebeestudio
Tuesday, 21 August 2007
- business cards
- small samples which included - a badge, a pair of earrings and a hair clip.
I think this is a great way to find new Etsy shops. Just type 'Promo' into the Etsy search bar and off you go!
Tana also explained a bit more about the 'Tree of Life' symbol;
The "tree of life" motif is quite common in historic crewel pieces. It showed up in English crewel as a motif from India as trade became more common in the 1600's. The exotic influence of Indian and Chinese textiles inspired English adaptations which in turn inspired Eastern designs to the point that both groups could really claim the motif. The hillocks are an adaptation of the much larger and steeper mountains portrayed in Chinese motifs. And as a rule, the leaves and flowers in such a motif are purposefully made exotic to the point where we don't recognize real examples of any such leaves and flowers. Since they are fantasy flowers, we can incorporate all kinds of beautiful stitches and textures and interpret them just as we please!
Tana goes further to explain the attribution of her piece;
It is from William Briggs and Company when they were located at Bromley Cross, Bolton, Lancashire. The design name is "Warwick." The piece that I worked did not have a date on the photo insert, but I think the linen dates from the 60's or perhaps early 70's. Although a color photo accompanied the linen, I thought that the colors and stitches that they chose were rather ugly, so I figured out the color scheme and stitches for myself--hence what I said about it previously. A lot of those William Briggs and Company designs were widely distributed over a number of years. And you may hear from some people who have a quite similar design from the same company. They did that a lot, too--changing the colorways or changing the design slightly and reissuing it. I understand that William Briggs and Company now does the actual fabric transfer work for Twilley's, whereas previously they put their own designs out there in kits.
For those of you who want to see an up-to-date version of the 'Tree of Life' from Twilley's, I am currently selling a crewel kit designed by Sarah May. You can see it at Sarah May Crewel Work Kit - Tree of Life There again are similarities to these two earlier versions, but differences in the size of floral details and the original bird has been substituted for a squirrel.
Monday, 20 August 2007
* Greeting cards on eBay and DaWanda
* Texture Packs on eBay and Etsy
Here are the shop links:Sara's Texture Crafts on Etsy
Sara's Texture Crafts on DaWanda
Saturday, 18 August 2007
I have always found Paypal easy to use as both a seller and a customer of on-line stores. As a payment system it's popularity is growing day by day and is widely used on both larger forums, such as Boots, eBay, Etsy and DaWanda to smaller business websites. I would recommend Paypal as a quick and reliable banking system.
Paypal describe their service as (direct quote);
Founded in 1998, PayPal enables any business or consumer with an email address to securely, conveniently and cost-effectively send and receive payments online. Our network builds on the existing financial infrastructure of bank accounts and credit cards to create a global, real-time payment solution.
PayPal has quickly become the leading payment network for online auction websites, including eBay. With over 100 million account members worldwide PayPal is also being increasingly used at other e-commerce sites. Users can send payments for free via their PCs or web-enabled mobile phones.
On eBay, DaWanda and Etsy Paypal can easily be used to make immediate payment for purchases at the checkout. Paypal make the payment on your behalf either from funds you have in your Paypal on-line account (which takes 10 days to add from your bank account), or your credit card (Mastercard, Visa, Maestro, Amex, Switch, Solo, Delta or Visa Electron), or by echeque (if you have no funds in you Paypal on-line account then Paypal will withdraw the amount from your bank account in 10 days to pay for your items).
Equally you can also receive payment from buyers through the same methods and the monies will be stored in your on-line Paypal account. You can then transfer any money received to your personal bank account, but note charges may occur if you withdraw less than the limit (see your account for details - in Britain the limit is £50). You should also note as a Seller, that Paypal will charge a percentage per transaction. Details of these are avaliable on the Paypal site.
All you need is a UK, most European or US bank account to open a Paypal account... I think there are plans to role this sytem out to other countries soon.
The link to Paypal is http://www.paypal.com/
Monday, 13 August 2007
Today I would like to start this feature focus by introducing to you one of my eBay customers – Tana Dixon and ask her to share with us her work and tips on crewel work. Here is our interview...
1. Please tell us a bit about yourself and how you started in Crewel work.
I am 49 years old, and I have been embroidering since I was about 5 years old. I was perpetually bored as a child, so my Mom tried to introduce me to things that would catch my attention. I've been embroidering ever since! When the last crewel rage came along in the mid to late '70's, I was in high school and tried it, because I liked the bolder look of crewel as opposed to floss embroidery. And I was hooked, although I was using inferior quality materials. Now I know (and would advise anyone starting this type of needlecraft) to use only the best materials in both cloth and wool. And after that many years of experience, I have lots of hints on how to get best results. When I go to our State Fair and compare my work to the people who typically win second and third place ribbons, there is just a world of difference in the finished technique. There are some rather simple things that you do in crewel that make a total difference in your finished design, but many people just don't know what these things are. For example, I ran across an obscure hint buried deep in a crewel book that has made an astounding difference to my recent work. And that one book is the only place where I have ever heard this even mentioned!
The 2006 piece (exotic bird in the tree) is a vintage William Briggs & Co. design that I bought without the yarns--it was the printed linen only. So I sat down and decided the colour scheme and completed it with Appleton yarns.
I really love crewel and would love to see more people take it up again. It is sort of out of fashion at the moment. One of these days it will be so rarely done that people will "rediscover" it and there will be a high interest in it again.
2. Should a crewel work beginner have basic needlework experience before they start?
Basic embroidery skills would be helpful for a crewel beginner but not absolutely required. Floss embroidery and crewel are worked in many of the same stitches, so the person with that experience would have a head start on a crewel project. If you love the look of crewel, just try your hand at it and enjoy the stitching experience!
3. What would be your top 5 tips for a crewel work beginner?
6 Tips (one for good measure, I suppose!)
- Start with and always work with the best materials! Even as a beginner, enjoy using the finest wool and linen materials. It’s as though you are learning to cook with inferior ingredients or learning to sew on the cheapest fabric you can find. Will you get fabulous results in those instances either? Inferior materials will give you uneven results, an unattractive finish out, and some stitching frustration in-between!
- Always work with clean hands to keep your work from getting soiled. And never work around food or drink!
- Always work a crewel design from the back to the front. Within the design itself, do objects at the back first, followed by those in the middle, followed by objects at the front of the design. This is a subtle difference, but it is an important one in crewelwork. A crewel design worked in the correct order actually creates depth within the piece. It is a detail that your eye picks up. Observe two samples of stitching where the spatial order has and has not been observed, and you will see the difference!
- Be willing to pull out an unsatisfactory area and re-stitch it. I know, I know, this can be discouraging to a beginner who wants to see some progress on her piece, but it is important to be able to do this in order to get the "look" that you need. Hopefully you will be looking at this finished piece for quite awhile, so don’t hesitate to make it right. Practice does make perfect for many of the stitches like Satin Stitch and Long and Short Stitch, so don’t get discouraged! The more you make these stitches, the better you will do them in the future. The makers of a quality kit know that you will need to pull out an area now and then, and you should find that you have spare amounts of yarn to do so.
- The yarn has a nap. This is never mentioned in books or stitching instructions, but your work will definitely turn out smoother and prettier if you feed the smooth end through the needle. Take the length of wool that you are getting ready to use and run it gently between your relaxed thumb and index finger. Notice one way that the yarn feels smooth. Reverse the yarn and notice how the yarn feels scratchy. Feed the smooth end through the needle so that the smooth nap goes into the fabric. You will see the difference immediately in your work—a very subtle difference but vitally important, especially to Long and Short Stitch!
- Always use a chain stitch or a split stitch edge for areas to be worked in Satin stitch or Long and Short Stitch. This gives the stitching a smooth, firm edge. This is also a subtle difference but a very important one for these areas. It gives your stitching a raised appearance, and it ensures that all design markings are well covered by smooth stitches.
3. What would be your top 5 items of essential equipment?
- A comfortable wooden hoop is essential. Find one that suits you. Many people prefer scroll frames, for example, but I cannot use one conveniently. You can find round and oval wooden hoops of all sizes. Fanny hoops can be wonderful, as they leave both hands free to work.
- The correct needle will probably be provided with most kits. If not, be sure to choose a crewel needle with a very sharp tip that is the right size in diameter. A needle that is too thin will wear out your yarn; a needle that is too big will create "holes" as you stitch and will also be unwieldy. You want to create a stitch hole that is large enough for the needle to pass through but that will snug up against the yarn as it passes through.
- Good lighting is essential. Daylight is best for stitching, especially if you are working stitches into each other such as Long and Short Stitch.
- A pair of small, sharp embroidery scissors is helpful, especially when you need to snip out stitches for correction.
- A thread organizer is essential in order to keep the shades of color in the proper order, especially since you will often have 3-5 shades that are closely related to each other in one color series.
4. Can you recommend a crewel work book ideal for a beginner?
I like Jane Rainbow’s Beginner’s Guide to Crewel from Search Press. I also like The A-Z of Crewel Embroidery by Country Bumpkin Publications. Both of these books are beautifully illustrated and offer plenty of inspiration for the needleworker. Both are generally available in fine bookstores or through Internet booksellers.
5. Can you recommend and brands to look out for, when buying a crewel work kit?
I love traditional English crewel available from sources such as Sarah May Designs, Jane Rainbow, The Crewel Work Company, the Coleshill Collection, and similar companies. The most important thing, however, is to invest in excellent designs worked in excellent materials from whatever source. Crewelwork is always done with the attitude of permanence. So does the subject have beautiful, lasting meaning? Would you tug on someone’s sleeve to come have a look at this design? (For example, I would not waste my work on a depiction of a jar of strawberry jam on a country table.) Furthermore, a quality kit will feature a design permanently printed on 100% linen or a linen/cotton union cloth worked with 100% wool yarns. Some kits have a wool/silk blend yarn; that should be perfectly suitable, because both fibers are known for their archival quality. Reject any kit that works on 100% cotton or manmade fibers or a blend of those. Any material besides linen or union cloth will give you unsightly puckers that cannot be pulled out. These materials also will be literally difficult to pull the wool through and will wear and break the yarns. And cotton just isn’t quite the permanent fabric that linen is; it does deteriorate over time. Some inexpensive kits feature acrylic yarns (perhaps especially to feature bright colors in the design). These yarns are very wiry and will not lay down beautifully and feather out into each other as they should and will also give you problems while stitching, so I would not work with those yarns.
I have two samples of stitching from my high school days in the ‘70’s that illustrate perfectly why I want to work on linen. One is done with 100% wool worked on 100% linen, and it looks the same as the day I finished it. The other is wool and acrylic worked on a cotton blend fabric. This piece has an entire area of fabric that has rotted away, taking the stitching with it!
The Mary Jane Collection has some small "Crewel Tile" kits that look perfect for beginners. They feature the beautiful, traditional English designs in small, easily achievable projects. Completing a small project will give you a great sense of accomplishment and a taste to try a more extensive project!
Thank you for your helpful insights to crewel work Tana! Here is Tana’s latest piece and entry to the Texas State Fair… Good luck Tana!I hope that this feature has been useful and has given an inspirational starting point to beginners.
Please visit my eBay store for my current Crewel work selection - Sara's Texture Crafts - eBay shop/embroidery section
Here are some crafts in which you could easily use your scrap fabrics;
- Creative patchwork
- Card making
- Scrap booking
- Freehand machine embroidery
- Creative hand embroidery
- Jewellery making
- Accessory making
- Clothes making
I made this brooch for my Etsy shop, as part of my first Etsy collection - Sara's Texture Crafts - Etsy Shop and included buttons, beads and on some of the brooches; antique pieces.
Here are some of my project ideas for using your scrap fabrics – be unique, thrifty and green!
- Doll clothes
- A patchwork tote bag
- A patchwork soft toy
- A fabric postcard – send one to a friend!
- Make a fabric brooch or pair of drop earrings
- What about a fabric cuff (bangle)
- A cute patchwork skirt for summer?
- A patchwork cushion for your sofa
- A needle safe
- Cover your journal in a fabric picture
- A cute hair scrunchie or slide
- A coin purse
- New oven gloves, if you can get the wadding lining!
- An Ipod/MP3 player case
- Christmas decorations
As many a fellow crafter and textile artist will tell you there is often so much waste fabric, that you don't always have the time to use it all yourself. So, I currently sell some of my own scrap fabrics for £2.00 per pack at Sara's Texture Crafts - Scrap Packs
You can find lots more of my craft guides in my eBay shop at Sara's Texture Crafts - eBay Craft Guides. Please feel free to rate an guides you find useful - Thank you.
Monday, 6 August 2007
This is going to be a quick update today, as I am presenting the first of my DaWanda Seller features.
We have a few new members, with some really great blogs so please pop over and take a look (Member List). You can also scroll through each of the group member's blogs by pressing 'next' on the webring logo on the right hand panel of this blog. Tigergirl has also contacted me to highlight an up coming blog entry all about DaWanda... so keep an eye out for that at tigergirletsy.blogspot.com
That's it for today...Sara x
For anyone interested in joining, please find the application form link here DaWanda Sellers Blog Group - Application form
DaWanda Seller – Spotlight Feature
Today is the very first of these new features and for this I have chosen a personal favourite and member of the DaWanda Sellers Blog Group – Guerilla Embroidery. Here is our interview…
1.Tell me a bit about your background and how long you have been an artist/crafter.
I was lucky enough to be introduced to fine art textiles at a relatively young age. My GCSE art teacher was really into it, and she taught me lots about different artists such as Alice Kettle and Michael Brennand Wood. We had some really battered old sewing machines, and it was at A Level that I started to learn about free machine embroidery, something which I have continued to develop throughout my career. I studied textiles during my art foundation course, and last year I graduated from the Embroidery course with a BA (Honours) from Manchester Metropolitan University, UK. Since then I have started work as a freelance workshop artist, and volunteer in art classes for young people with mental health problems; as well as trying to start my own designer/maker business!
2.Where do you find your inspiration?
Predominantly in nature. From the smallest cells in the human body, to the beauty and structure of a bird's wing. Nature will always provide an infinite amount of inspiration for me. I also deal a lot with juxtapositions; male and female, evil and good, life and death. I have strong political beliefs, and have also been known to express these through my work; that's also the reason why I chose 'Guerilla Embroidery' as the name of my business. I like to think my work is a juxtaposition in itself; using the traditional skill of embroidery in a very modern manner; to deal with modern issues.
3.Do you sell your work?
Yes I do! I just recently opened my shops, so I am learning hard and fast! I have an etsy shop: guerillaembroidery.etsy.com and a new dawanda shop: guerilla-embroidery
4.You mentioned that you sell on DaWanda. How did you find out about the site and how long have you been selling there?
Dawanda approached me, after seeing my Myspace page. They were just starting out, and I was lucky enough to be able to take advantage of free listing forever! I joined in May, but it has only been very recently that I 'opened' my shop there. I wanted to wait and build up a collection with some cohesion before launching myself onto an unsuspecting world wide web! Dawanda is new, but it is a great idea; hopefully it will start to build up the kudos that sites like Etsy already have; and offer a viable marketplace for European crafters and craft buyers.
5.Tell me a bit about your current DaWanda collection.
My current collection is built around a very simple base of black and cream wools. I then create bright, eye-catching and detailed textural drawings using my sewing and embellishing machine. I then finish these off with sequins and beads to add a little sparkle. At the moment, I am selling small purses, and embroidered brooches. I am also offering a bespoke embroidery customisation service, to jazz up people's clothes!
If you sell on DaWanda and would like to be featured in the future please do drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org