Sunday, 3 February 2013

Inspiration at last!

My workroom is restored and I can finally settle to work. I've been reading a lovely book "Natural Home", a Christmas gift, and the gorgeous images have inspired me to store my essentials more attractively.
Love being able to look at these colour coordinated cottons and vintage linen buttons.

It goes without saying that I've had to hang onto the less appealing Ikea baskets in order to store the myriad pieces of fabric that are just as essential.
I was glad I hadn't cleared out too ruthlessly this weekend when I attended an inspirational workshop at the Welbeck studios. Louise Presley of Hope and Elvis has run workshops from her studio for some time but this was my first. I had seen Sally Falkner's work at Lustre, Nottingham University's prestigious designer maker event,  last November and loved her quirky characters, so when Jane suggested we go to a workshop run by her I jumped at the chance.
Sally generously shared her pattern and ideas for the face and body and offered suggestions as to how we might dress our inventions.
She uses all manner of fabrics to make and clothe her creatures but says she is most often inspired by a piece of doll's clothing or furniture by way of a starting point. Often she creates an installation placing her character on a bicycle or chair.

Mary is accompanied by her lamb.

I love this vintage machine although have to say really fell in love with Louise's computerised Brother machine which I used a couple of times. It was very much a hand sewn creation however and I love the organic way Sally works waiting to see how the character develops before finally choosing accessories and colours

I loved needle feltinga pair of slippers complete with pom poms; I'd never tried needle felting and was impressed by how quickly it was achieved even for the impatient like me
My starting point was this piece of bluebell blue cashmere sweater which made the perfect jacket and turban for my mouse. Jane bought a fab velvet hat from Sally's collection which inspired her choice of outfit

I was pleased to have a completed creature to take home and show off ( didn't actually distract my husband from the rugby but you can't expect miracles) but it had taken all day so I think Sally's prices are very reasonable!
I'm looking forward to trying again and will be looking through those scraps and digging out my Sindy knitting patterns for inspiration but in the meantime really need to make some cushions etc to sell. Have bought lots of lovely fabric recently so watch this space; do get in touch if you're looking for something in particular

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