Friday, 20 August 2010

items, ideas and tiny objects

Well, I can't believe its Friday again so soon (Friday is blogging day, if you hadn't worked that out).  I'm starting to feel a bit more comfortable with this blogging malarkey, although I am still tempted to use more pictures than words (I am blogging about my work though, right?)

OH NO........The 4th week of the summer holidays is nearly over. That sickly feeling is starting in the pit of my stomach and I've already started to dream about being back at school......which is always a sign that September is on the horizon.  I'm not quite sure how much making is going to take place when I am back at school but I am going to do my best to keep it up. 

This week has been my most industrious by far. I think this has been, in part, because I have done a lot of finishing work, with previous weeks spent designing, pattern making and cutting out.  I have a proper little production line in place and even roped Damian into the process.  He was, of course, only trusted with menial tasks such as trimming, turning out rouleax straps, sweeping up and making tea.

It was this week that we decided to list a selection of items on Folksy (check out my shop by clicking here).  So far, I have only listed the peg bags but plan on listing my other work in the coming days.  The interest has been promising (like eBay, it tells you how many people have viewed you item) but no sales just yet.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

I've also used this week to explore ideas for other items and ways of making them. I really want to have a go at printing some of my drawings onto fabric, so we visited a couple of screen print works and have done some internet research.

Jo, a friend of Damian's, asked if I did a selection of diaries and notebooks, so that got me thinking.  I've been experimenting with a few ideas, and the first sample looks like this.



The idea needs a bit of tweaking but they are coming along.  Is this the type of thing you had in mind Jo?

Now that I've got quite a few things ready to sell, I decided to apply to stand at a local craft fair.  It's in the run up to Christmas and is organised by a local craft collective who go by the name of Craft Candy.  I'm told spaces are limited so competition is tough.  I'll keep you updated on how the application goes.

Well, that's about it for news this week so I though it would be nice to finish off this blog (now that I'm in the swing of it) with a little about what inspires me and why I do the type of work I do.

Ephemera....feelings in the most unusual items.

The ideas behind my work developed many moons ago from an interest in recording the passing of time.  This became even more pertinent when both my parents became ill, realising quickly how feelings and emotions can be documented through everyday, and mostly throwaway items.  When returning home to visit my parents I started to collect items like shopping lists, hospital appointment cards, train tickets, receipts etc; materials that documented this period in my life.  Although the items were very personal to me, I also started to think about their aesthetic qualities and how they could be introduced into my work. These ideas still form the basis of work.  As I still live in the house my parents left, I am surrounded by them in the tiniest and indiscriminate of items.  Its not just the obvious items (photographs, clothes, jewellery etc) that links me to them, but the obscure also. I have the character traits of both my parents in that I am a hoarder and I love making lists. Both my parents lived in this house for the last 30+ years of their lives, so you can imagine the amount of material I am left to work with! 

To help illustrate what I am trying to say, I will use the follow piece of mixed media work.
You may have to click it to see some of the items!
 This collage is made up of the following items:
  • A list of LPs, written in my Dads hand, with a a relief ink drawing of flowers from my garden
  • A packet of fishing line, from Bennetts of Sheffield
  • A vintage crochet pattern, given to my by Damian's parents
  • A torn strip of musical score, hand written by my Dad
When I am working with these items, I am thinking about their composition, colour, pattern and how they may contrast/complement each other. I also introduce items that I have collected and recorded from my life.

I hope this little insight into how my head processes the information it observes, adds some understanding to my work.  I feel my ideas are still in their early stages and I will continue to write about them as they develop. Until next time, thank you for reading.

Saturday, 14 August 2010

stings and other things

The third week of the summer holidays has been a busy one, there has been a great deal of activity taking place.....although not all of it good!!!

Damian is on 2 weeks leave and has taken up the role of reggie and olives marketing manager, he has been busy as a bee.  He continues to be very bossy, giving me direction and instructions. This has helped me to focus and get lots of things done but I'm missing my bumbling along a little. 

Here he is enjoying the kids climbing ropes in the park!!

The reggie and olive blog was published and a page has been put on Facebook. So far on Facebook, 77 people like the page, I've sold 4 peg bags and we've had interest from an independent gift store (more about this later as I don't want to jinx myself before anything is set up)

6 completed peg bags

On Sunday, we had a fun day trip to Filey.....until Olive was stung by a jellyfish on Cayton Bay, so we had to come home early.

The culprit

My sewing machine jammed, so it had to be repaired and serviced and now shes running like a dream.

So, jellyfish stings, monkeying around in the park and sewing machine repairs aside, here's the progress I have made this week.

Mixed media collage pieces.

Some inspiration from the garden

I've also been working on a couple of new tote bags so I'll post up some pictures of them, once they are finished. So there we are, a very enjoyable week all things told. 

Friday, 6 August 2010

..........and so it begins


My first week with my sewing machine has probably been more enjoyable than productive.  Ideas are starting to take shape but I know they still have a long way to go.  Here are a few photo's of this weeks developments.

Peg Bags

Tote Bags


Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Its all in a name

Here's a little indroduction to why I'm writing this, and more importantly, why you are reading it.

Writing a blog: not quite sure what this is all about, writing is not my favourite medium to put across my ideas but I am going to give it a go to share with you some of my creative meanderings........I think there may be more pictures than words!!!

Why reggie and olive?:  Reggie - that is me. Although my actual name is Karen, to some I am known as Reg, Reggie or Reginald.  This started way back when I was 17 and came about as a combination of my maiden name being Gutteridge (there was a boxing commentator called Reg Gutteridge) and my Dad working as an inspector on the buses (Reg Varney). The name was given to me by an old college tutor and it stuck, thanks Paul.  Olive - is my lovely Labrador cross, who is now 8 years old and going greyer by the day.

Here's a picture of Olive in one of her favourite positions, laid on the sofa relaxing on one of my cushions.

Family: Burt my significant other (who is really called Damian) moved into our family home 4 years ago and we got married on 22 May last year.  Olive still, on occasion, turns into the green eyed monster.

What I do: I work full-time as a secondary school teacher, teaching textiles and art.

Reggie dreams of: working part-time as a teacher and spending more time on being creative and living in a rural setting with a studio in the garden, a vegetable plot and some chickens, and maybe 6 dogs...... happily ever after!!!!  All of the above in New Zealand would be the top trump.

Olive loves: food (all varieties); sleeping on the sofa; going for walks; fetching balls/sticks/plastic bottles (but not very good at dropping them); swimming and chasing squirrels (but far to slow to ever catch one).

Olive hates: fireworks; thunder; gun shots; I suppose any loud noises and having a bath.

What's next: I am currently enjoying the summer holidays filling my time with drawing, painting, sticking, sewing and generally creating. Oh and also cooking, cleaning, washing and taking Olive on big walks.  My aim is to share with you my creative undertakings as they develop.