Thursday, 28 February 2013

Rob Ryan

As you have seen from previous posts I have really been enjoying paper cutting recently. My absolute favourite paper cut artist is Rob Ryan. He is probably the most well known artist that produces paper cuts but I wanted to share with you some of my favourite pieces. The images below are a selection of his paper cuts and screen prints. I love the romanticism of the pieces and how elaborate and detailed they are, I also am always drawn to pieces that include text. The complex nature of the pieces is perfectly offset by the way the are printed or cut in just one colour. 

Visit Rob Ryan's website here - (What a great website name by the way and the shop is called Ryantown!)

My Home, paper cut

Our Home, paper cut

Other Planets print

Everything That Is, paper cut
'For Haiti' paper cut

Can We? Shall We? print

This Bell Will Ring, paper cut

Windy Tree print

You Are My Universe, paper cut

Images from

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Seed bead plait bracelet

I've had two tubes of turquoise seed beads for ages now, I did initially want use them to make this kind of knot necklace that I saw on Pinterest but I just couldn't work out how the knot was made. So instead I made this bracelet by stringing the beads onto several pieces of clear beading thread and attaching one end to a multi strand metal finding. Then I wrapped the strands around each other to create a kind of plait which I just made up as I went along and then I attached the other ends to the second finding.


Desperately seeking Mollie Makes issue 1!

Since I went to the vintage fair on Saturday and bought two back issues of Mollie Makes I have really been on the look out for the two issues that I am missing so that I can complete my collection. I can find issue five easily and for a reasonable price but issue 1 seems to be very much sought after and there are very few available. The only two I did find were no good, one printed in German and the other was on sale for £34! Now I love Mollie Makes I really do but £34?
So I was wondering if anybody has the first issue of Mollie Makes (in English) that they wouldn't mind passing on to me? I would pay postage costs and for the price of the magazine. If you do I'd be very grateful if you could  leave me a message in the comments below this post. Or if you know somewhere I could buy it that would be appreciated too.

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Vintage fair

I've been buying vintage stuff again! Not surprising is it? There seems to be something about vintage items that I (and many other people) can't resist, maybe its the detail and the delicacy of many of the pieces or the fact that very few other people will have the same item. 

I've realised that I keep mentioning the vintage and handmade fair in Chipping Sodbury but I've never posted the link to the organiser's website, so if you want to go to the next one or find out more, the dates and extra information can be found here,

There was another fair on yesterday, so here are my buys...

On one stall there was a large box full of all kinds of decorative metal findings. I rummaged through and found this ring and pendant finding. I also bought a tiny reel of silk thread to decorate the saucer of a vintage teacup.

Vintage lace is a must buy every time I go to a vintage fair! I got a lovely doily, some lace motifs featuring birds and two large lace flower motifs which I am planning to sew onto a top or shirt. I also bought some large pearls which I had been looking for to use for a particular project for a while now.

I've always seen this kind of rose trim for sale in shops  and I love it but it is always so expensive, I was delighted when I found some yesterday for about £3.00 a metre and I love the colour variations of the fabric the roses are made from. There were also metres upon metres of ribbon with letters on, luckily there was some with H's on so I bought a metre of it. It will be the perfect thing to cut up and sew as labels into things that I make.

These ceramic pansy earrings are something that I knew I just had to buy straight away before someone else snapped them up.  

The first 100 customers through the doors received a free goody bag and guess what? Yes, getting up early pays off! In the goody bag there was two magazines and a small sewing kit, you can see the inside of the needle case in the picture below.

One stall holder was even selling her old issues of Mollie Makes and they are in almost perfect condition. I bought issue two and three, one of them even had the free gift still unopened. So now I'm only missing issue one and five. I want to have the complete collection someday!

Friday, 22 February 2013

Fashion Friday: Net-a-porter

As you have probably already guessed this week’s fashion Friday is about a website rather than a design collection. I’ve always known that Net-a-porter existed but I’ve never properly looked on the website. For some reason or another, I've now become addicted to it! In case you're not aware of what Net-a-porter is, it's a website that has a large amount of luxury design labels all in one place. It's the perfect place to browse ready to wear collections from those famous luxury labels that we all know and also some that you may not be as familiar with.
It's not like I could ever really afford to buy anything on Net-a-porter but it's still nice to browse for inspiration. The styling is just sublime and it's easy to find the designer you are looking for in the A-Z of designers section. There are other features as well such as the edit which is an online fashion magazine highlighting key trends and new products available on Net-a-porter. So here is my pick of my favourite items available at
Dolce & Gabbana - floral print dress

Erdem - Cecilia printed shirt 

Alexander McQueen - embroidered cardigan
Burberry Brit - striped shirt

Miu Miu - cropped trousers


Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Statement Necklace

At the moment I'm liking my jewellery big and bold so I've been working on a few statement pieces. It took me while to make this necklace just because I knew what I wanted the finished piece to look like but I just had to figure out how to make it. I tried out a lot of techniques and different stringing materials but eventually settled on one technique that created the desired shape in the neatest way possible. The necklace was made in two stages, first I attached the rows of beads together using a fine gauge wire and then I threaded the rows together with clear beading thread so that the necklace would be flexible. I then finished it off with silk cord and a clasp.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Fabric covered notebook

This notebook started out with a plain red cover but I decorated it to give as a gift for my friend's birthday. I have a large collection of beautiful fabrics so choosing one to use to cover the notebook was tricky but in the end I settled on this large scale floral print with birds and rabbits. First though I covered the notebook with a lightweight white fabric so that the red cover of the notebook had no chance of showing through the patterned fabric, then I covered the whole thing again with the patterned fabric. I also made a paper cut to put on the front cover which I stuck on and then created a border around it with vintage lace, for a finishing touch I added a few crocheted hearts in complimenting colours. Next I used some patterned paper to cover the front and back inside pages so that the raw edges of fabric that I had turned under were covered. 

This is such a good way to show off your most treasured pieces of fabric that I don't think I will ever be able to buy a notebook again without covering it in fabric! I now want to make dozens for myself!

Friday, 15 February 2013

Fashion Friday: Mary Katrantzou

How gorgeous are these foreign stamp and bank note inspired garments by Mary Katrantzou? The fabric has been digitally printed with the brightly coloured stamps and bank notes to create truly unique garments. It's one of those 'why didn't I think of that?' moments, a simple idea but executed to high standards when combined with the carefully considered silhouettes and expert cut of the garments. My favourite pieces have got to be the silk shirt and pencil skirt and the A-line skirt printed with a bank note.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Sequined felted heart

I finished making this last night and I thought it would be the perfect thing to blog about on Valentine's day! I made the heart shape by felting merino wool in a heart shaped mould and then I sewed on the red sequins, very simple but effective and I got hooked on sewing on sequins. Weird I know, but I really felt like sewing a whole load of sequins onto something! I think I'll make this one into a hair accessory but I also had an idea to use one in a necklace, keep watching and you'll see it sometime...

Tuesday, 12 February 2013


Yesterday I decorated a new sketchbook in preparation for starting a new art project. I always like to mount my work in a sketchbook and I love decorating the cover myself, it makes it more personal and exciting than a plain cover. I absolutely cannot get enough of paper cutting at the moment (as you might have realised) so I thought I would make a paper cut for the front cover. First I drew the writing that I wanted for the cover onto a piece of paper and then traced it and transferred it to the back of a thin piece of card. I then set about cutting out the letters and then I cut a scallop edge to soften the sharp appearance of the edges of the paper. I have to admit I did cheat by using a hole punch when it came to cutting out the holes, but can you blame me? All those holes cut out with a craft knife might just have driven me mad! 

Similar to my paper cut I posted about last time I used a background that I had created from brushing blue and purple water colour paint all over a piece of water colour paper. I'm particularly drawn to this colour scheme because I think it creates a calm and peaceful atmosphere. Then I stuck the whole thing onto the front of a plain brown paper sketchbook, this one was from Paperchase, they have a great selection of plain sketchbooks and notebooks that are perfect for decorating, I always buy mine from them. I also used the leftover cut out pieces from the words 'Urban Societies' to title the first page of the sketchbook. 

Urban Societies is the theme for this project and I have chosen to study historical urban societies in particular the architectural aspects of these societies in my work. The specific urban societies that I am beginning to use to influence my work are Rome and Barcelona and if I need some more influences for this project I think I'll visit Bath to take some photos of the architecture there.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Dreams and Rage paper cuts

I made this paper cut using one of my drawings that I posted about the other day. I traced the drawing and transferred it to a piece of paper on the wrong side so that the pencil lines wouldn't be showing after I had cut out the letters. Once I had cut out all of the letters I created a background by spreading water all over a piece of watercolour paper and then adding blue and purple watercolour paint to the paper so that they merged together. After this had dried I stuck the paper cut on top.

When I was cutting out the letters from the paper cut I made sure I did it carefully so that the individual parts that had been cut out of the letters were all in one piece. I then used these parts to create another piece in which I used sticky foam pads to lift the word 'rage' from the paper, I then stuck the other letters directly onto the floral paper.

On both of these pieces I wanted to create emphasis on the contrast between the words 'dreams' and 'rage'. This had already been partly achieved in the drawing because I used a delicate, more detailed font for 'dreams' compared to the bold clean lines of 'rage'. In the first piece I also created a contrast by making a calming background in cool blue and purple that merge together gently, which is offset with the boldness and connotations of the word 'rage'. In the second piece the contrast was caused by the foam pads which made the word 'rage' stand out from the page and creates an impression of it being in the foreground of the piece while the gentler word 'dreams' recedes into the background. Again there is a contrast between the beauty and delicateness of the patterned paper and the words as well as the stark white colour of the letters contrasting with the soft colours of the floral pattern.

Friday, 8 February 2013

Fashion Friday: Alice Temperley

You may remember that I blogged about Alice Temperley's debut collection for John Lewis a few months ago, now she has created her second collection for John Lewis. The garments show some of the same features and influences from her previous collection, tailored cuts, feminine blouses and lace inserts. The garments include scarf prints combined with lightweight airy fabrics. I love the loose cuts of the blouses combined with sharply tailored shorts and trousers and the subdued colour tones.

Images from