Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Trying again!

OK so my promise of a new and improved blogging habit never quite occurred did it?  It's been a weird kind of a year and I just couldn't seem to yank the nagging 'what about your blog lady?' fret from the back of my brain to the keyboard no matter how hard I tried.

Reading back on my previous posts on here and over on Wychbury's old blog, it's not really suprising that I dropped out for a while as my state of mind was all over the place with launching my new site and collections and I'm not convinced my posts would have been very readable!  That said, I have had one of the busiest years I have ever had since starting my creative business; I've met more people, learned more skills, tried more things, experienced, enjoyed and grown more that ever before and my business is doing pretty well too! So, had I had the capacity to put it into words I would've had LOADS to say about my year but alas - I had not!

Now seems a good time to pick back up as there have been a few things happening lately that I've thought would not only have developed nicely into blog posts but also as emails for the subscribers to my mailing list who I have so far failed to acknowledge (in a totally 'omg I've got subscribers - what do I say!??' way NOT a 'pffft, whatever' way!).   I must be ready, so - here goes!

Products - LOADS of new ones have appeared in my range this year and I've really been exploring the idea of sewing notions and tools being part of stitcher's everyday apparel and of bringing beautiful, elegant tools and accessories back into the sewing box.  I've been fascinated by ladies' sewing tools for as long as I can remember, whether it's a mother of pearl thread winder handed down three generations or the first ever pincushion made as a little girl and kept forever. 

As a child I thought that ladies' sewing boxes were secret things - like handbags, and if you got a peek in one or better yet got to tip out the button jar or put the threads in colour order you were very, very privileged indeed!  During my own lifetime, women reused anything from around the house to store their sewing things in, biscuit and toffee tins being an excellent choice for buttons and entire kits, the button jar - jam or in my mother's case - Coleman's Mustard, needlecases and pincushions were always handmade by the owner, scissors always there - never lost like mine and needles always sharp.  The inevitable cards of press studs and hooks and eyes, velcro, zips and ric-rac never to be used again but they will never, ever leave the box!  Constant, reliable, always there for a torn seam or a popped off button, secret, personal and very precious.

But it wasn't always this way, a woman's sewing kit used to say so much more!  Our Great, Great Grandmothers would speak volumes with their stitching accoutrements and well off ladies would put their elegant little Etuis right out there for all to see!  Having a beautiful little sewing kit rather than an overflowing fireside basket full of patchwork and mending showed that you were lady of leisure, that you had time and money to indulge in refined, ladylike arts like embroidery and if your sewing tools were very fine then your embroidery probably was too!

The Shire publication Needlework and Embroidery Tools by Eleanor Johnson is a great source of info on the subject and one of my fave birthday pressies of last year!

I love the idea!  Proclaiming to the world with a visual accessory - 'I sew, therefore I am modern and creative with time on my hands, I am also dextrous, clever,  patient and serene...ALL the wonderful qualities we associate with that image of a woman sitting with her embroidery hoop in a sunlit window seat  - what could be nicer!? 

Although I'm not any of those things, I do love that people who know me know that I sew, that I make things and I love doing it.  I love that when I started wearing one of my 'Cross Your Heart' pincushion brooches on my coat that strangers would ask me about it and I could tell THEM that I sew things and I love doing it.  The idea for my first pincushion ring came from Johhny Depp's Mad Hatter costume.  'Alice in Wonderland' costume designer Colleen Atwood said that she really wanted his costume to visually include all the tools of his profession - there is NO mistaking that he's a Hatter!

In response to this idea, my collections now include tiny 2cm pincushion necklaces, needlebooks on chains, new designs in rings and brooches and even more sewing wearables are on the way including scissor case necklaces, biscornu's for the neck and as scissor fobs, chatelaine pieces and I'm working on a design for an entire Etui for the stitcher on the go so here's to a productive 2014

Paula x

1 comment:

  1. Recently bought one of your lovely rings for a friend, and a necklace for myself. We are both textile artists and just love anything related to our craft. I was also interested to read that you were inspired to make the rings by the fantastic Madhatter costume worn by Johnny Depp. This has become my favourite ever costume design, I became quite an anorak about it. I loved that his sewing tools were worn as jewellery. I recognised that instantly in your rings, so HAD to make a purchase or two!! Such lovely work. Wishing you continued success.