Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Mary, Fraser and Boo

It's still only January and I feel like a years gone by already with how much has been happening. I've met some very lovely buyers and shall update with stockists soon and got through as a finalist to the Mary Portas/House of Fraser Homeware Designer competition.

 I've always loved Lianne Mellors tea sets
 it's me - wallpaper sample just in shot to
 Gorgeous skeleton lamps by Donna Walker
Emma Cowlams stunning hand embroidered art work

 this recycled furniture was just gorgeous (and typically I didn't note who's it is sorry)
Just to scare us

I submitted some samples (the Oranges & Lemons cushion, tea towels etc) and they got taken to be at Interiors 2012 at the NEC to join the other finalists work until we would meet again at the (insert dramatic music) pitch. In Dragon's Den (but much nicer and not a pile of cash in sight) style we each had a 10 minutes to give it our all in front of head buyers at House of Fraser and Yellow Door's Peter Cross. I also look along my, now travelling, freak show and I felt it only appropriate to have Mary's presence there so yes I made a Mary Portas doll.

Hands shaking, worried about mumbling, trying not to look at everyone else's amazing work around I managed to speak - and somehow it came out as sense as, well, they liked... some pieces got squeals - in fact they really liked - they really liked! I got the big "yes" to stocking while I was there. Obviously I shall update as the Mary, Mungo and Midge tale goes on but for now I can still say I am in shock.....

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Freak C'est Chic

My latest project has been a slight indulgence. I've always wanted to make freak show dolls but I could never justify, other things came up and I'd be making them for me blah blah blah ... 

Luckily for me The School for Creative Start Ups (ya know the thing I'm on) was planning an showcase event and the theme was Vaudeville (yes I know freak shows are pre Vaudeville but lets not nitpick). To get to the point the Vaudeville Hootenanny opened with a bang last night and is on this weekend at the Zabludowicz Collection.

So let me introduce you.....

 Phil & Grant the amazing Siamese Twins
 The tremendously tiny Tom Thumb
 The wondrous Lupe the Wolf Boy
 cast your eyes on Harriet The Bearded Lady
and have you met Lydia the Tattooed Lady?

All of these amazing wonders are at the Zabludowicz Collection 176 Prince of Wales Road London - nearest station Chalk Farm or Kentish Town on the overground. I'll post about all the other fab Start Ups showcasing later but seeing as I need to get there soon, I'm off......

Monday, 16 January 2012

Trading Places

Yesterday I visited HOME/Top Drawer London, the main reason being to scare the living daylights out of me as I'll be in the same venue showing at Pulse 2012 in June.

See, that's me in the corner.....

I got to have a snoop and jabbered with some lovelies - Zeenas stand looked gorgeous as did she. Her work has just gone crazy with new stockists etc. Zeena showed at Pulse last year for the first time and if I get a bean of what she's had I'd be over the moon... well done lovely!

Next door to smiley girl was one of my favourites, Lush Designs - Maria was so busy talking to the trade that I didn't want to even stop her to say hello. When I had a chat with her before she was a huge encouragement and help - such an inspiration!

Next door to Lush was Clare Nicolson who I'd never met before only loved her work. Clare was as lovely as her cushions! She's exhibited at lots of trade shows and so was tip top to hear from her.

I spent more time at HOME just because it was easier to go around, I kept getting lost in Top Drawer! I did spot work by Jay Jay Burridge (who I worked with moons ago on SMart), love the meat cuts of dinosaur place mats and tea towels. He does love his dinosaurs....
All in all, exciting and scary - I think I'm looking forward to June now... heaps to do and think about before then. January so far has been a manic month and it's only the 16th! Could 2012 be the year of the Boo?

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Maybe it's because I'm a ...

Poor Toby gets dragged round museums, mainly theres "the one with the trains" - Science Museum, "the one with the monkeys" - Natural History and "oh no, not the boring one" - The V&A.

Just after Christmas we went for the first time since it's makeover to the Museum of London. I remember going as a child and pretty much not remembering it but because it was, to be honest - dull. The millions put into it over the recent years have made it, to be honest - fantastic! As an adult who loves London I found it fascinating and can't wait to go again and for Toby it had just enough 'pick ups' to keep him really interested. Oddly, he says he liked the flint in the pre-historic section the most... fair enough. But it's huge and makes you want to walk the streets of London and really, really look.

I went from London Bridge and on the way it's a tourists dream of sights - for me it was just lovely to go past some of the churches that I've embroidered since the work has been done. I find it just amazing to think that there are people in London that don't make use of these incredible resources that are *FREE* When you go on holiday you pack as many museums and galleries in as you can and you have to pay most of the time but to have such fantastic places within reach and not go and see them - mad!

If you haven't been - go, if you haven't done the usual South Kensington museums - why not?! and not forgetting the Horiman - all free but sadly taken for granted by some. I can't see these places staying free forever and as much as I would pay to get in I love that I can just pop in and do a bit and come back a few days later and see other bits or revisit parts. I need to go back to the Museum of London to see a mummified cat I missed - how on earth do you miss that?

The Museum of London - London Wall. (St Pauls tube nearest)

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Lydia oh Lydia

Lydia the tattooed lady.... first in a series of 5 dolls, (unlike the blankets that proved physically a nightmare to do and never became a series) 
They are for an extravaganza of a shindig that showcases the School for Creative Start Ups - more details shall indeed follow but am too eager to get back to her....

Monday, 2 January 2012

A Rather Toby Christmas

So, another January is here and we say bye bye to the tree and all its wonders! Father Christmas did visit and shockingly like the boy in the John Lewis ad Toby woke and wanted to give me my present first. 

 We spent the day just the three of us, marvellous - Toby in his pyjamas and no turkey in sight. 

I just don't get the whole alternating parent thingy when you have a child of your own... go to his and it's his family Christmas and go to mine and it's my family's bizarre malarky - so when does it get to be 'your' family Christmas,  a mix of the pair of you? There's the rest of the period for reverting back to being a 12 year old when your with your siblings but for that one day why does it seem to be such a huge deal with couples and the 'his side - her side' shinnanagans?

 Toby shall remember his childhood Christmas as getting a glow in the dark baby Jesus from the priest after mass (oh yes), over doing the whole Father Christmas deal to the point where you get sucked in yourself, crackers to pull whenever he likes, opening presents as soon as he gets downstairs, getting up during the meal to play with nonsense, television - yes, television you family game type people!, Christmas music constantly and pyjamas!
 The top of my parents tree
 Toby was over the moon with his presents from Father Christmas - exactly what he asked for - a light up globe and Downfall.

 Yes Toby it's a mess.
Might have been some clip thingy on BBC2 that said the difference between common people and posh people is that posh people open their presents at 2 o'clock in the afternoon and common people first thing in the morning - well shove that common people sticker on me! My husband on the other hand can have a rosette.
 Toby couldn't understand why there was Christmas without snow so he drew some.

Just after Christmas was my parents 50th wedding anniversary. The boy did his best artwork so far for their card "pop has a boy bit sticking out and nana has a hole to wee out of" If that doesn't say 50 years I don't know what does.
Congratulations to mum and dad who never ever read this.

And what of 2012 and Tobyboo? Well  I have big scary trade shows ahead, stupid amounts of hospital appointments and my 40th coming up.... hmmmmm.... I sort of want to hide and wake up in 2013 when it's all over.