Fat Quarter Toys is the latest addition to
a fabulous and popular series of stash – busting sewing books. There are 25
cute and colourful toys and games to make for young children, all from fat
quarters or fabric scraps to make use of your stash.
project is accompanied by step-by-step instructions and beautiful accompanying
photography, and there is the usual useful tools and techniques section for
those who are new to sewing. The toys are quick and straightforward to make and
none of them require any specialist skills or expensive materials.
book is perfect for using left over scraps of fabric or even repurposing old
clothes that might otherwise go into land fill.
The projects make great gifts or can be
made quickly and easily to sell at charity events. Included in the projects are
a tiger rattle, rabbit cuddle blanket, teddy bear, fox in a sleeping bag,
fishing set, bean bags, stacking rings, memory game, alphabet letters, number
cubes, rag doll, picnic blankets and more.
Susie Johns is a designer, teacher and craft workshop leader. She has written dozens of craft books and works regularly for consumer craft magazines in the UK.
As part of the Weavers of the Clouds exhibition there is a section on
the weaving of the women who make up Awamaki, a
non-profit organization that connects artisan women in the Andes to global
Here is some of the work designed and made by 21 weavers in the community of
Each of the 21 weavers took images from
their daily life and wove a piece that illustrates them, images include llamas,
alpacas, birds, ducks, bats, turkey, deer, condors, houses, cornflowers, stars,
eyes, foxes, native plants, mountains, lagoons, parrots, dogs, Andean geese
Huallata, hummingbirds and owls.
Awamaki was formed in early 2009 to support a cooperative of 10 women weavers from Patacancha, a rural Quechua community in the Andes of Peru. Awamaki’s founders, Kennedy Leavens, from the U.S.A, and Miguel Galdo, from Peru, had worked together at Awamaki’s predecessor organization with the weaving cooperative for two years. When the predecessor organization floundered and finally collapsed, Miguel and Kennedy formed Awamaki to continue their work with the weavers. The organization grew rapidly to include programs in health and education, as well as other artisan cooperatives and a sustainable tourism program. In 2011, Awamaki spun its health program off into an independent sister organization, and made the strategic decision to focus on income improvement and market access through fair trade artisan cooperatives and sustainable tourism.
provides training in product development, business skills and leadership.
Artisans have the opportunity to share their culture and sell their crafts to
tourists through Awamaki’s sustainable tourism program. They collaborate with
international designers to make contemporary handmade accessories throughout
Awamaki’s guiding principle is that
income in the hands of women is the best way to help families be self-sufficient.
In the rural Quechua villages where Awamaki is established, men leave to work
in the tourism economy, while women stay in the village to care for farms,
homes and children. Although highly skilled in traditional crafts, most women
do not read, write, speak Spanish or have anyway of earning money.
as the rural economy has shifted towards paid labour, traditional textile arts
such as spinning, plant dyeing and weaving have experienced a decline. Awamaki
was founded to give these women the opportunity to earn a living while
encouraging them to continue practising traditional crafts.
the majority of artisans who have been in the program for at least seven years
earn the same or more than their husbands. They invest in the health and
education of their families, and are building a prosperous, sustainable future
for Quecha villages in Peru.
Awaki is based in Ollantaytambo, Peru, in
the heart of the Sacred Valley of the
Inca. It welcomes volunteers, tourists and other in support of its work.
21 June -8 September 2019 at the Fashion and Textile Museum London
Weavers of the Clouds brings the captivating
designs of Peru to the UK, showcasing some of the world’s oldest and most
colourful art and textiles. Peru has a world-renowned heritage of fibre arts
and costumes, from a lineage that dates back thousands of years. Weavers of the
Clouds examines the vibrant applied crafts, heritage and traditions of Peru,
celebrating the culture and customs of the artisan and their influence on
design, fashion and beyond.
The exhibition features rarely seen objects from
private collections and national museums, including the Museo de la Nación,
Museo de Arte, Museo Nacional de la Cultura Peruana in Lima and the
British Museum in London, including full costumes, tapestries, adornments,
trimmings and accessories.
Highlights include a 16th century Quipu – knotted fibres that were traditionally used by the Incas as a form of communication – and a four cornered hat, dating from 600 AD. Also on display; a rare pre-Hispanic tunic created in orange, yellow and blue macaw feathers, a sequined and embroidered waistcoat, emblazoned with birds and flowers and a Shipibo costume from the Amazon Rainforest, embroidered to reflect the astrological map.
Tapestries and weaving from a private collection
include a ceremonial tunic created using a Scaffold weave, one of the most
unusual weaving techniques in the world, previously existing only in the Andean
region of South America. Despite dating to 800 AD, the influence of these
techniques can be seen across hundreds of years and in the works of many great
designers, including the Bauhaus and Anni Albers. These incredible costumes and
textiles are complemented by a selection of varied and engaging paintings,
photographs and illustrations.
Images by highly influential photographer Martin
Chambi and paintings by Indigenista Peruana – a group of painters who were
active in Lima from 1890s – 1940s – are accompanied by finely drawn paintings
by Pancho Fierro and Francisco Javier Cortés. A further selection of vibrant
watercolours by Francisco Gonzaláz Gamarra’s will be on show for the very first
time, illustrating and celebrating traditional costume.
Finally, The Fashion Studio hosts a display
curated by Claudia Trosso and supported by award-winning Peruvian restaurateur
and chef, Martin Morales, exploring the work of 15 contemporary Peruvian
artists and makers. These ground breaking artists combine the patience and
skill of traditional techniques with contemporary materials such as nylon,
copper, wire, photographic paper and thread.
Encompassing many different mediums and dimensions, Weavers of the Clouds celebrates Peru’s incredible history of traditions and skills, taking us on a cultural journey from the country’s rich past, to the vibrant modernity of its contemporary arts. The exhibition is curated by Guest Curator Hilary Simon in collaboration with Dennis Nothdruft, Head of Exhibitions and The Fashion and Textile Museum. Interviews available on request.
The Fashion and Textile Museum is at 83 Bermondsey Street, London SE1 3XF T: 020 7407 8664 | E: email@example.com
Museum opening times: Tuesday – Saturday, 11am – 6pm; Sunday, 11am – 5pm; Late night Thursday until 8pm; Last admission 45 minutes before closure. Ticket prices: £9.90 adults*, £8.80* concessions, £7 students and free entry for under 12s *including Gift Aid. Encompassing many different mediums and dimensions, Weavers of the Clouds celebrates Peru’s incredible history of traditions and skills, taking us on a cultural journey from the country’s rich past, to the vibrant modernity of its contemporary arts.
Rockett St George was founded in 2007 by long time friends Lucy St George and Jane Rockett. it was their shared passion for black clothes, flea markets, Manchego cheese, travel, Tom Hardy and (of course) interiors that cemented their friendship.
Ten years down the line, they are
still best friends and still love a good car boot sale but have also learnt a
huge amount about how to create show-stopping interiors. In this book, they share
their decorating mistakes along with their triumphs, they guide you through
tricky decision making, and offer top tips on how to achieve magical,
surprising and inviting homes.
The book is for your own personal use, with the goal of motivating you to be adventurous and plan properly so you can achieve an interior that dreams are made of. In between each chapter, there is interior inspiration from beautifully photographed houses and apartments owned by their friends and colleagues, as well as their own homes.
Decisions and how and why you make them.
‘With so many fabulous options available to
us nowadays, choice can be a bit of a challenge. And when it comes to making
choices about how to decorate our home, we all want to get it right first time
Some people spend hours deliberating over
colours, styles and textures while others find it easy to reach a resolution.
Regardless of which category you fall into, we believe that making decorative
choices should be fun; a pleasurable process that fulfills your creative needs
and leads to a satisfying conclusion. The result should be a home that creates
a sense of wellbeing and rooms that makes you smile every time you walk through
the door. This, my friends, is why ‘Make it Personal’ is the first chapter in
this book. Get things wrong and you could spend a long time regretting your
Indeed, Jane once had her entire bedroom
wallpapered at great expense only to arrive home and absolutely hate the
result. The wallpaper was patterned, colourful and gorgeous, but Jane didn’t
feel comfortable in the room. In fact, she felt irritated and edgy; exactly how
you don’t want to feel in your place of rest. If only Jane had asked herself a
few simple questions, she could have avoided making an expensive mistake. In
fact, she ended up having to pay to have the whole room done again.
We now know exactly where she went wrong.
Jane rushed her decision, listened to other people’s opinions and was
influenced by a trend that was splashed all over magazines and blogs at the
time. Although she loved the design she had picked, she didn’t take into
account her personal style, the way she used her bedroom, or the atmosphere
that she was hoping to create.
If Jane had analyzed her personal style and
the ways in which she spends time in her room before making her choice, it
would have been obvious where the whole thing was heading. Here’s what she
should have focused on:
• _She loves a calm, gentle
• _She doesn’t wear colour or bold
• _She likes a rock ’n’ roll twist, whether it be zips on her clothes, stars on her jacket or snakeskin on her boots.’
In summary, you could say that Jane is drawn
to a clean, tailored look with a dash of punk thrown in. Her bedroom is a place
she likes to indulge herself – somewhere to escape during the weekend for an
hour or two in order to read, relax or grab a sneaky snooze. It was never going
to be the right place for high-energy patterns and colours.
The good news is that there was a happy
ending. Jane’s second choice of a subtle snakeskin wallpaper in natural hues
created the tranquil atmosphere that she craved but it has a cool twist that
makes her smile. The Moroccan cushions and wedding blanket draped over the bed
head provide a gently exotic and modern ethnic feel that’s luxurious and
calming. So she got there in the end!
We hope our first piece of advice will prevent you from making the same mistake that Jane did. What we are suggesting is that you have a good long think about who you are, what makes you happy and how you live your life. We will be encouraging you to ask yourself some questions about your personality and unique individual style. Don’t worry – there are no wrong answers here, this is not a test. The questions are just a tool to help you analyze your tastes and needs so you can make the right decisions when it comes to designing your home. But remember – you need to be honest with yourself in order to get the home that you really want. ‘
Now go and find a pen or pencil and a large piece of paper, pour yourself a glass of wine, relax and write down the answers to the following questions. If you share your home with a partner, you should answer the questions together.
1 Write down five words
that describe your personality, e.g. organized, eccentric, energetic, naughty,
serious, sporty, thoughtful, musical, quiet, etc.
2 Write down five words
that describe the way you dress, e.g. slick, colourful, monochrome, tailored,
boho, rock ’n’ roll, seductive, suited and booted, etc.
3 Write down five
things that make you happy. This could be anything at all, from the obvious
things such as spending time with family and friends to more subtle concepts
such as particular smells or feeling the sand between your toes.
You now have the key words that describe your personality down on paper, it is time to consider the room you wish to decorate. The way we spend time in the various rooms in our homes varies enormously. The atmosphere we want in the kitchen, for instance, will be very different to the aesthetic required in the bedroom. So there are just a couple more questions to answer.
1 Write down five
activities that you would like to do in this room (ok, this may be quite hard
for the bathroom but give it a go!).
2 Think of five words
that describe the way you want to feel in this room. For example, you might
want to feel indulgent, relaxed, peaceful and sexy in your bedroom or sociable,
organized and cheerful in the kitchen.
A whole page (or more) of words that describe you, and your taste , and the function of the room that you want to decorate. You can use these words to determine the right decorative style both for your personality and for your lifestyle. The combination of different styles might be surprising, but they will be right for you. They will provide you with a style template for your home and you can combine them with your room results to achieve exactly the right look for each space.
Having sorted out the basic priorities the pair then give you their top interior inspiration sources and then go on to talk lighting, colours and style spots. By this, they mean a focal point that grabs the eye. A style spot is a grouping of furniture, artwork and lighting that fits beautifully together and creates impact. When planning a room, we encourage people to split the space up into sections such as the fireplace, the seating area, the entrance and so on, then to consider each one as an individual style spot.
They give tips on using the space you have made look so beautiful.
1 Always maximize neutral light, take down heavy curtains and
allow the day light to flood in.
2 Don’t automatically push furniture up against the walls. Try
placing it in the middle of the room as this gives the illusion of more space
3 Never arrange your seating around the television.
5 Beds should always have a view if you don’t have
one create a style spot to look at (perhaps a dressing table or
4. It’s impossible to
overestimate the importance of lighting
6 Ensure that every seat has a view too. There should be a
beautiful style spot to to please the eye wherever you sit.
7 In the kitchen take advice from the professionals with regard to layout space and storage. Then adapt the plans to suit your style.
8 Creative storage -and lots of it is essential. Think tall kitchen cabinets, beds with drawers beneath and capacious cupboards. How can you have a beautiful interior if you haven’t got somewhere to hide all the things you don’t want out on display?
9 If you don’t love it, upcycle
it, swap it or recycle it.
10 Keep mixing it up
There are many more tips too. This highly recommended book is both beautiful and practical and will probably inspire extreme home envy so sorry about that, but enjoy.
winner of the BP Portrait Award 2019 was announced this week at
the National Portrait Gallery, London. The exhibition is now open for the
public to view until Sunday 20 October 2019.
2019 marks the Portrait Award’s 40th year at the National Portrait Gallery and 30th year of sponsorship by BP. The BP Portrait Award, one of the most important platforms for portrait painters, has a first prize of £35,000, making it one of the largest for any global arts competition. This highly successful annual event is aimed at encouraging artists over the age of eighteen to focus upon, and develop, the theme of portraiture in their work.
As I write this I am very aware of the opposition to BP sponsoring the Portrait award. Despite the controversy the work is an incredible standard and the show is worth visiting. This year is particularly good as the work depicts people from all walks of life different ages cultures and ethnicity.
“There should be no role for an oil company in the artistic decisions of any cultural organization, and especially not in determining the winner of the world’s leading portrait award.” wrote the award’s judge, artist Gary Hume in a letter published with the group Culture Unstained. “This is the 30th year of BP sponsoring the Portrait Award, and I would argue that 30 years is enough. As the impacts of climate change become increasingly apparent, the Gallery will look more and more out of step by hosting an oil-branded art prize.” This highly successful annual event is aimed at encouraging artists over the age of eighteen to focus upon, and develop, the theme of portraiture in their work.
first prize was won by Brighton based artist, Charlie Schaffer, for Imara
in her Winter Coat. This is a
portrait of a close friend of the artist. It was selected from 2,538
submissions from 84 countries. The judges admired the mannerist style of this
portrait, which has a strong sense of a living presence in Schaffer’s composition. The
judges went on to say, ‘the skilful depiction of a combination of several
different textures including faux-fur, hair and skin are revealed by prolonged
looking and together these produce an image that is traditional, but clearly
from London, Schaffer studied at Central Saint Martins before graduating with a
degree in Fine Art from the University of Brighton in 2014. He has gone on to
win the Brian Botting Prize ‘for an outstanding representation of the human figure’
portrait Imara in her Winter Coat portrays Imara, an English
Literature student he met after moving permanently to Brighton. Schaffer said:
“She immediately struck me as someone who is uncompromisingly open and who
wants to learn about anything and everything.” Sittings for the portrait took
place over four months, with Imara posing in her warmest winter coat to
withstand the studio’s cold conditions. Schaffer set out to paint only Imara’s
face, but subsequently added the coat after being inspired by Titian’s Portrait
of Girolamo Fracastoro in the National Gallery, London, with its pyramidal
composition and the subject’s similar attire
Toksvig presented Charlie Schaffer with £35,000 and a commission, at the
National Portrait Gallery Trustees’ discretion, worth £7,000 (agreed between
the National Portrait Gallery and the artist).
London in 1992, Schaffer studied at Central Saint Martins and then the
University of Brighton where he graduated in 2014 with a degree in Fine Art.
This is the first time he has been selected for the BP Portrait Award exhibition.
Schaffer’s practice is mainly concerned with the act of painting, and how the
process that allows the painter and sitter to spend time with one another forms
unique and intense relationships.
The second prize of £12,000 went to Norwegian painter, Carl-Martin Sandvold, for The Crown, a self-portrait in existential thought. The judges were particularly impressed by the assured handling of paint, and keen observation, creating a portrait that had made a memorable impression, and lingered in the mind.
The third prize of £10,000 went to Italian artist, Massimiliano Pironti, for Quo Vadis?, a portrait of his maternal grandmother, Vincenza, a former miller and factory worker now aged ninety-five. The judges were captivated by the excellent depiction of the subject, in particular the sitter’s hands in contrast with the surrounding textures including rubber, tiles and curtains.
The BP Young Artist Award of £9,000 for the work
of a selected entrant aged between 18 and 30 has been won by 30 year-old
Brighton based artist Emma Hopkins for Sophie and
Carla, a portrait that depicts the photographer Sophie Mayanne and her
pet dog. The judges liked the way negative space had been used in the portrait,
and how the artist had refreshed the traditional depiction of the nude with an
interesting mutual gaze between the artist and sitter. Emma Hopkins was
born in Brighton in 1989 and turned to portrait painting after graduating with
a degree in Make-up and Prosthetics for Performance from the University of the
Arts, London. Self-taught, Hopkins first exhibited her work in a staff show at
the Chelsea Arts Club while working behind the bar, now she is a member of the
Royal Society of Portrait Painters. Hopkins’ expertise has fed directly into
her painting, which focuses almost exclusively on nude portraits and studies of
Hopkins’ portrait Sophie
and Carla depicts the
photographer Sophie Mayanne and her pet dog Carla. Mayanne is known for Behind the Scars, a photography
project about people’s scars and the stories behind them. It is an interest
that Hopkins shares, she says: “I want to understand as much as I can about
what it means to be human. We are not just the clothed person we present to the
world. We are the mind and body that we inhabit.”
winner of the BP Travel Award 2019, an annual prize to
enable artists to work in a different environment on a project related to
portraiture, was Manu Kaur Saluja for her proposal to travel to the Golden
Temple at Amritsar, India. Saluja intends to make portraits of the men and
women from all walks of life who volunteer to work in the temple kitchens that
operate year-round, providing meals to over 50,000 people free of charge, every
day. The prize of £8,000 is open to applications from any of this year’s BP
Portrait Award-exhibited artists, except the prize-winners.
The winner of the BP Travel Award 2018 was Robert Seidel for his proposal to travel along the route of the river Danube by train, boat and bike to connect with people and make portraits in the regions through which the river passes. His excellent portraits work are displayed one floor up from the BP Portrait Award 2019 exhibition.
Sarah Hamilton is a designer of cards and prints, she started the not-for–profit ‘Just A Card Campaign’ about four years ago.
As it says on it’s web site, The Just a Card Campaign, aims to encourage people to buy from Designer/Makers and independent Galleries and shops by reinforcing the message that all purchases, however small, even ‘just a card’ are so vital to the prosperity and survival of small businesses.
JB Did you go to art school originally and if so where and what did
SH I studied fine art and print making at Manchester
and then I did a post-graduate course in print making at Central St Martins.
JB After art school, what did you do next?
SH I always knew what I wanted to do and I was very focused. I made myself a press and printed some sample cards. I took them to Paper Chase, Heals and The Conran Shop. They all liked them and took them. I sold 1000’s and printed every one of them myself by hand.
JB You have written a book called House of Cards?
Brilliant name by the way, were you asked to do this or was it your idea?
SH The book was my idea and I had it for a while. I met my
publishers, Pavilion, at an event and pitched it to them. They loved it and
were so receptive that they went with it immediately.
JB Why did you come up with the concept of Just a card?
SH The campaign came about when I saw the quote “
If everyone who’d complimented our beautiful gallery had ‘just bought a card’ we’d still be open” by storekeepers who’d
recently closed their gallery. This prompted a call to action! Designer/Makers
and independent shops and galleries need a voice. People seldom realize the
considerable costs involved in exhibiting at design shows or keeping a shop
open. Stand fees, power, materials, wages etc, need to be met before even a
penny of profit can be realized. Running a shop is often a labour of love.
Without dedication and passion, and crucially sales, it would be another
boarded up eyesore.
JB It seems to have taken off in a big way, how
has this come about?
SH To be honestnothing much happened for the first year and a half of the
campaign and then I got support from The Design Trust. I put out a shout for
people to get involved and last year it became massive. We now have a team of 11 of us working on
this. Everyone gives their time for free.
At the end of last year we got financial
support from funding circle. As they say on their web site.
‘Funding Circle was born from the belief that when small businesses succeed, everyone benefits. We have been able to help more than 42,000 British small businesses to get finance through Funding Circle since 2010. However, we know times are tough for independent businesses across the country, which is why we are delighted to announce that we’ll be supporting the Just A Card campaign.’
is next for the Just A Card Campaign?
have had 15 posters designed that are going to be put up in five different tube
stations. We have photographs of different actors entertainers and those in the
public eye each wearing a ‘Just a Card’ pin. Included are Twiggy, two of the
actors from Game of Thrones, Michael Palin and many others. They have all given
their time for free.
JB Describe your typical working day?
SH I am either in my studio making art, working
towards exhibitions or fulfilling commissions. I may be chatting to the team
about developments for the ‘just a card campaign’.
JB One of the reasons I am interviewing successful
women is that they have often had to take a career break, or had to slow down
to deal with child care and or aged parents.
ever had to deal with either of these of issues and did it impact on your
creative life or business?
SH Having a child had a big impact on my work. Before I had him I worked from a studio away
from home, once he was born it was more practical to work from home. My husband
is also freelance so we were able to share the childcare. I didn’t have the
option of stopping work, as I don’t have a private income, and I needed to make
a living. I wouldn’t have wanted to stop
JB Do you run creative workshops?
SH Not at the moment, although I have done so in the past. I have run social media classes with The Design Trust and I taught on a foundation course for a couple of years.
JB How long have you been working as a
SH Ever since I left art school 30 years ago.
JB I understand that you are a trustee for the charityAnno’s Africaa UK based children’s arts charity running educational arts projects for children living in slum conditions in Kenya, how did that come about?
SH I have lived in Africa on and off during my
life and my mother was half South African. I felt it would be good to be
involved in a charity that was relevant to my work and the arts in general.
JB How do you find your clients or do they find
SH They find me, often through word of mouth or
they may have bought my work previously.
JB What is the best part of your work and what is
the worst part?
SH The best part of my work is having the creative
freedom to do what I want. This is one of the reasons that I don’t license my
work, as for me the most important aspect of it is the creativity and the
stimulus to learn and not to be forever driven by what will sell. Obviously I
need to sell my work in order to make a living, but that is not the most
important part of my work.
worst part of my work is having to write
so much. I need to do this for the Just a Card web site, but it is very time
consuming and I am a perfectionist so it has to be well thought out and
JB Who or what inspires you?
SH I am inspired by the creative community that I
have around me. I have always taken part in group shows and love working with
other people. As artists and designers everything we do is about communication
JB What is next for your work?
SH I shall be holding an open studio event at Christmas so I have already started working towards that.
This is a fun and practical book written by the author of Crafting for Cat Ladies. So if dogs are not your thing you can go and get her other book.
She opens the book with the introduction
“ My dog inspires me daily with her
loyalty, humour and love. Sharker greets
me when I return home after work, always joyful.”
The book opens with the usual techniques tips and materials. As this is a multi craft book there are quite a few of these. There is a mixture of items for your dog and items inspired by dogs. The first chapter called Home includes silhouette portraits of dogs, paw printed stamped gift wrap, a banner and a bone shaped Welcome mat.
The next chapter has accessories including
a journal, a fido phone case, a mans best friendship braclet and a Dachshund
There are fashion items including Dalmation
shoes, a canine clutch and paw print elbow patches. There are fun ideas for DIY
dog themed entertaining and finally a chapter on items that you can make for
your dog including a name tag, a dog coat, a dog bed, and an up-cycled dog toy.
If you love dogs, have a sense of fun and also love to craft these projects will definitely fit the bill!