Thursday, 27 October 2011

Vintagey bits - update

I've had a really good couple of days, getting new designs finished and stock replenished for the Craft Fair I am doing this weekend on Saturday 29th October. It's the first time I have done this particular fair, which is organised by Cuckoo's Nest Fairs I am very much looking forward to it. The event takes place at Victoria Hall in the heart of the pretty market town of Oakham. The town gets pretty busy on a Saturday, so hoping for lots of visitors, doors open 10.30 - 4.30pm and entrance is free, pop along and say hi! Fingers crossed for a good day :)

Yesterday I had a super morning at a fab vintage shop (it's more of a barn) based in Northampton, called A Most Marvelous Place to Shop and it truly is Marvelous, I found this gorgeous jug for a bargain £3.00 and it is now being used as a handy pen pot on my desk. Happy!

I've also been working on some new products using vintage and re-purposed fabrics, here is a pic of The Percy Cat Family. These are such fun to make and have all been made using upcycled fabrics and buttons, which makes me feel like I'm doing something good for the planet. In addition to this each cat is unique as I don't usually have enough fabric to make any more than one of each design. 

Coming soon to a Craft Fair near you ....

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Print workshop

I have a bit of a thirst for knowledge. But with having a child, who is now two and setting up my first business in graphic design in 2005 there has been a bit of a drought in the learning department. When the handmade business evajeanie took form I decided I really want to try to use my design and illustration skills as much as possible, so I could link the two businesses together.

Since setting up as a freelance designer, technology has really changed, much of it for the greater good, but some things have been a bit detrimental to the print industry. Many things have shifted to only being available online or by email and I can see the advantages, but I do miss holding my designs for the first time when they have come back from being printed. So I have decided to be proactive and do something to address the balance, I have been on a screen printing course and have decided to try to take the whole business back to basics, well as much as possible, don't get me wrong I won't be turning down any offers of web site design, but I want to offer handmade printing as another avenue for my business, producing small quantities of high quality illustrations and designs that are hand printed and finished.

I have added some photo's from the course. I worked with a really simple line drawing that had been the starting point for an applique and free machined piece that I designed this year:

My screen with the design on (this has been through the imulsion and light process and is ready to use:

My mess (which actually got less messy as I got into a routine of work):

You do your first print on the accetate that is sellotaped to the side of your desk for registration purposes, although this a bit fiddly and later I found it easier to line up by eye:

One of my first attempts on to a bit of new print (cheap paper):

Some of the first prints, I chose a simple design that would be easy to print so I could focus on learning the technique:

It would be fair to say, that I got quite into the process and had a brilliant time printing. I have left the course with a head full of ideas.I am going to be printing on to fabrics soon I hope.

One of the finished prints:

If you are interested in a print workshop visit the site, they are based in Leicester and it is a great place to learn :)

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

New Home

evajeanie was borne out of the wish to give original, quirky, personal and handmade gifts. It wasn't a business in the beginning, just a way for me to use my design and sewing skills and make nice things for the people I love. So I made lots of bunting, lavender bags and tea cosies, my friends and family seemed so genuinely pleased with these offerings, it sparked the idea that became evajeanie.

One of these early makes, was an embroidered applique picture for some friends of mine that were moving into a new home. As a house warming gift, typically I would have bought them a plant, or some biscuits, but I instead I made them an embroidery, it was personalised to them with their moving date. I have always really liked this piece and use it as part of my branding. So I was really delighted when a few weeks ago, a fellow folksier got in touch about a commission for a similar piece as a gift for their friend. I was so pleased about this as it promotes the whole ethos of my business, so thank you Helen74 and here is a little peek at your embroidery...

If you are interested in a commission please email me.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Craft Fair or not to craft fair???

I have been pondering over a question for sometime now, are craft fairs good for sellers or just soul destroying? You get up early in the morning, pack you car with your precious creations, drive through the mist, full of optimism and a bit of excitement at the thought of selling some of the new items you have spent the bulk of your recent life creating. You get there and set up stall, getting everything looking 'just so', and then the waiting game begins....

This is the bit I hate, waiting for that first sale. I have a theory, sales are catching, once you have sold one item, no matter how small, others will follow. But at my most recent craft fair I didn't make this first sale until almost lunchtime. There were many browsers and lots of chatter, but no actual sales for most of the morning. Whilst it's lovely speaking to other lovely crafty like-minded folks, my main aim for the day is to find a happy home for my makes and to add a bit of money to the fabric fund. But sometimes it just doesn't work out like that, and that can be very hard to deal with, all weekend I have been thinking what could I have done to turn things around? Could I have had more stock, made more chatter, tap danced?

Sometimes it's just how it works out, sometimes there is no reason for it. But these rational thoughts don't occur to you as you are driving back from the fair feeling deflated.

Today, however is another day and I have given myself a bit of a talking to. I'm not sure that Craft fairs are the right place for me to sell my designs, but I find the impersonal internet a bit sterile, I'm a people person (deep down)! I will let you know how the next one goes. Below are some photo's of my most recent stall :)

Friday, 14 October 2011

Latest offerings from my Kettering Sweat Shop.

Wow it's been a busy week, I can't believe it's Friday already. I have a stall at Warkton Craft Market tomorrow, which also seems unbelievable as it means it is the third Saturday in October already and it's still so sunny and warm here. This week I have making things for my stall, these items won't be for sale online so if you would like any of them please contact me .

I have found a bag of old fabric a real source of inspiration (curtains and my daughters old clothes mainly) most of these makes have come from this bag. This means not only is each design is a real one-off, it also helps me keep the fabric stash manageable and help the environment. Good times :)

Free machine embroidered linen Christmas Tree Hangers

Percy Cat, my first attempt at making toys

Badge on a Tag, made from vintage scraps and trimmings

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

More christmassy things

Well I thought I was done with my xmas designs but as I have had a bit of a coldy bug thing, I have spent a lot of time sitting about hatching more ideas (I'm not good at sitting still). So here is my latest offering.

These little trees are free machine embroidered and made from vintage cream linen with a jute twine hanger. I have got a range of different patterns and will make some plain designs with a red gingham linen on the reverse. I don't intend to sell these online, but you can pre-order, or visit me at the craft fairs I will be attending:
Saturday 15th October (this Saturday)
Saturday 17th December


Cuckoos nest fairs
I'm at Victoria Hall, Oakham
Saturday 29th Dec 2011

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Christmas bunting now for sale!!!

Yes! I have finished off my Christmas bunting designs and they are available now in my shop (with some other Christmas items) I have got lots of other projects that are half finished too so will keep you up to date with those. It's super busy right now and I have a cold as does Eva my 2 year old, but we are soldiering on :) Although it's very rewarding to watch your shop slowly fill up and even more rewarding so when the orders start rolling in!

Sunday, 9 October 2011

More bunting: Union Jack Navy and Sage

I have had a bit of a rush of orders this week, seems like I'm not the only one thinking about Christmas. I have completely sold out of my Claret and Sage Union Jack bunting. It has been popular so I will make some more when I track down the ribbons.

In the meantime I have made some in a different colourway (just to keep things fresh in my shop)...

Enjoy your Sunday :) I am making Christmas patchwork stars, pics v soon xx

Friday, 7 October 2011

New Autumnal Plum and Mustard Bunting

It's been a very busy week in the evajeanie and squarepear furniture household. We have both been developing and uploading new products (in fact I don't know what we did with our lives before we opened our online shops, we must have been mega lazy)!

My latest addition is this lovely shabby chic, handmade fabric bunting. Made using gorgeous plum, mustard and a hint of turquoise cottons, just right for autumn (and the sudden drop in temperature we've had)...

The bunting measures 2.2 metres in length but I can make to a bespoke length if you email me.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

New vintage button gift tags

I have designed a new range of traditional gift tags using recycled manilla tags and vintage buttons. These are available now from my shop using an assortment of red and green buttons, but I will happily make bespoke tags using your colour choices. Each pack contains four tags.

Bunting Update

So here is a sneak peek of the Christmas bunting that will be available my shop soon. Each purchase will be made to order and bespoke so you can choose the wording, the fabric colour and the motifs.

I just need to get some good photo's and decide upon the descriptions (the boring bit).

Is it Christmas already???

But we haven't even seen Halloween yet?!

For weeks now I have been getting reminders from the places I sell telling me to prepare ahead for Christmas, which is all fine but it was 31 degrees last week and I was sewing Ho Ho Ho bunting! I am just putting the finishing touches to the Santa's and it will be for sale in my shop this week, along with some other Christmassy lovliness. Including Noel bunting, patchwork star tree toppers and button gift tags.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Another major sort out

Following the success of my last post, reporting my fabric stash sort out (I haven't lost any fabric in weeks) I have now gone through my two year old's wardrobe and selected all the clothes that she has outgrown and are suitable to upcycle.

I have got big plans for this project, and will be offering this as a service from Jan 2012 but for now I am just turning them into cute little cats. They have to be little as the clothes are teeny tiny too :)

The finished article will be posted shortly, but here is the work in progress...