Monday, August 23, 2010

Stamping, sticking, cutting, stitching, selling

After much editing, fiddling, switching and trouble-shooting, the Boy has finished my little e-shop and we are finally getting to put up bits and bobs of stock.

P1050173 Perhaps I should state my credentials in one sentence… I learned to use a sewing machine when I was seven years old… It was clear that this would be neither the beginning nor the end of my craftiness... Since then, I was frequently to be found surrounded by fabrics, needles, paper, glue, clay, beads and a multitude of crayons, pens, paints and pencils, ready to wreak crafty havoc on anything in my vicinity.

I will freely admit that, had Tilly popped out three years old and ready to grasp a pair of safety scissors, I’d be golden. I have once or twice found her (nine months at last count) ravelled in yarn, but that is, thus far, the only creative streak we’ve discovered…Waiting for the next 24 months to pass, I am reduced to finding time for my own crafty fun as a mum, which it transpires, is harder than ever before.

There have been a myriad of successes and failures in my artistic output over the years. The coordinating tennis racket/tennis ball earrings were perhaps not the height of chic, but the our little handcrafted wedding certainly managed to feel homespun without feeling ‘homemade’. And that is where I am today. There are only so many times you can hear the phrase ‘Gosh, that’s fabulous, where did you get it?’ before starting to think that you really ought to think about selling things…

And my little crafty internet shop Homespun Living really all started from there. A place to sell and share some of the successes of my many crafty ventures.

P1040637 My Reel Necklaces, each made from a vintage spool of silk thread on a sterling silver chain, hit the shop of the Barbican Art Gallery in London during their last fashion exhibition and rapidly sold out. Made, as they are, from original vintage stock, sourced from many an old sewing drawer, they are each individual and thus each unrepeatable. I have never received more comments about something that I have made than I have when I wear my Reel Necklace, so I hope to spread their vintage charm around blogland and maybe even beyond!

For my Illustrated Alphabet Cards, each letter of the alphabet is adorned with illustrations that start with that letter, making it fun and only a little bit educational too! Each hand-drawn image is printed onto an A5 card in black and white that can be coloured in by your child, by you or, if you’d prefer, by me in bespoke watercolours on your behalf (for which I’m more than happy for you to claim the credit if you like!). There is room under the letter for your little one to write the name of the recipient, or again, I am happy to scribe on your behalf. They are suitable for birthdays, new babies, naming ceremonies and so forth and make a nice personalised change from the mountain of identi-cards we find in every card shop. In a sea of disposables I thought this card could also form a gorgeous keepsake and even, framed, would make a delightful nursery or bedroom decoration.

I hope to expand my stock on the site over the coming months, particularly with some seasonal ideas to bring a little homespun goodness to P1040464the same old gifts and decorations that we bring out year after year. For ease, there will be no postage costs for any UK orders on the site, or through my Folksy shop either, EVER. All transactions will be handled by PayPal, so no credit card or account details will be held on the system, leaving you safe to make your purchases with complete peace of mind.

There is plenty of scope to expand the site, and I hope this will be the beginning of a growing crafty Homespun presence. When I get my current little stockpile of craftiness complete, my homespun goodies will be available in two little interiors and lifestyle shops in Harpenden and Hitchin… I’m in cahoots with a couple more boutiques in St Albans, so keep everything crossed if you’re at a loose end…

Do drop on by and have a mooch. I’d love to see you there!

I have decided to concurrently list bits and bobs on Folksy too, mostly to sell more specific products: either one-off trials that took too long or products that I only had enough fabric to make one or two items of… Keep an eye on my goodies and again, NO POSTAGE! Hoorah!

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