Sunday, November 21, 2010

Smile- A Ruthin Craft Centre touring exhibition

Smile indeed! A Ruthin Craft Centre touring exhibition curated by Mary La Trobe-Bateman is showing now at the Mission Gallery, Swansea. This group show by 13 contemporary makers invites a response from the audience - maybe a smile, a glimmer of recognition or surprise. Exhibitors included: Abbot and Ellwood, Julie Arkell, Janet Bolton, Lucy Casson, Michael Flynn, Eleanor Glover, Jo Lawrence, Lindsay Mann, Linda Miller, Craig Mitchell, Deridre Nelson, Robert Race and Freddie Robins. Below are some of my favourite pieces from the Smile exhibition. 

Eleanor Glover:  Smile

Eleanor Glover is a trained Graphic Designer and uses mixed media in her work, she makes painted wooden sculpture, fretted reliefs and lettering. A mix of emotions culminate in each individual piece. Her work has been widely exhibited and her smile piece was one of my favourites of this exhibition. Each letter individually priced.

I responded to Lucy Casson's delightful  tin and metal work immediately, she is inspired by observations of people and animals; their gestures and moods; scenarios and narratives.
Lucy Casson, Kitchen

Lucy Casson, Upholsterer's chair
Lucy Casson, Formica kitchen table

I also love the work by one of England's best recognised folk artist's working in papier-mache and mixed media, Julie Arknell. She makes fantastical and cute 'little creatures' . This is what Julie Arkell says about her creations: 'Words and phrases I hear, read and put together inspire me. I use paper and glue to mould the figures. Sometimes they have wool features, doll heads, or painted faces. Their arms and legs can be papier mache or plastic, taken off old dolls and re-assembled. The clothes they wear are knitted, sewn and crocheted, with parts of their story embroidered on to them. Houses, boats, trees, chairs and prams are constructed to make up their environment.' She cannot resist the rejected debris of everyday life.  A paperback about her work can be bought on Amazon, Julie Arknell :Home.
Julie Arknell

Julie Arknell
Julie Arknell

A publication on the exhibition can be bought from the Mission Gallery shop or the Ruthin Craft Centre shop online for £6.
The exhibition runs from the 13th of November 2010 - 9th January 2011
Admission to the Mission Gallery is Free and is open daily 11am - 5pm.  01792 652016

Friday, November 19, 2010

Christmas Window Display - Harvey Nichols

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Christmas should be the most magical time of the year for our shops. I was really impressed by this festive window display in Harvey Nichols, Quakers Friars Cabot Circus, Bristol.

The theme is very cliche and festive, it's the opposite of tasteful with the ample use of tinsel and I love it, It's party time! It really made me stop and take notice when I walked past.  The theatrical windows bring traditional Christmas carol's to life with Frosty the snowman, Jingle bells and The holly and the Ivy.  I like the cartoonish distorted heads of the mannequins. Its a really fun window display. I went inside and the theme carried on througout the store, outdoor lights inside, lots of tinsel etc, fantastic!

I'm going to London next weekend so I'm really looking forward to more eye-catching and festive window shopping beautiful windows like Liberty's, Zara and Harrods....!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Style Tips

I'm truly inspired by these styling tips I found in this article written by SusyJack on Etsy's  The Storque today. I've just started following her lovely blog Heysusy. She is a surface designer who lives in Manhattan and makes and sells a line of paper goods.

 I found lots of helpful things to think about in her article when photographing your unique items to sell online and give them a really professional look.  

Helpful Things to Think About
  • What is the product?
  • What are it’s obvious qualities? Color, size, texture, function, shape...
  • What are the hidden attributes or uses that you find interesting? These are attributes which may not be obvious to buyers. But, these are the attributes which really sell an item.
  • Is it portable?
  • Does it make a great gift or party favor?
  • Was it made with a special process?
  • Is it all-natural?
  • What inspired you? List anything you think is interesting about your product.

       The colour palette and textures in this collage are great. 
       I like the vintage, nostalgic feel to the photographs too. 
  I'm going to play with some props now and show you how I get on in my next post! 

Flaming Autumn Colours

Clyne Gardens, Swansea

"Laden Autumn here I stand
Worn of heart, and weak of hand:
Nought but rest seems good to me,
Speak the word that sets me free"

Autumn by William Morris

Monday, October 11, 2010

I had a stall at the Canolfan Gorseinon food and craft fayre, last weekend, its held on the 2nd Saturday of each month from 9:30am-1pm at the Gorseinon centre.  Launched on the 10th of July this year it is run by the hard-working and dedicated Shirley Price and Sian Day. There are always a wide variety of stalls selling seasonal local food produce and art &craft made by local designers.The next fayre is on Saturday November 13th, see you there!

My contemporary handmade cards, cushions and corsages
were for sale with some new designs added.

Shirley Price also runs a successful craft business selling lovely things for the home, inspired by Cath Kidston. Visit her website to see more.

Shirley Price memo/notice board in gorgeous dotty fabric

I also especially liked the jewellery made by local designer 
Amanda Williams, she sells beautiful, unique and colourful accessories. 
Visit her lovely shop on folksy the bead life.

Amanda Williams- the bead life green necklace

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Thursday, October 7, 2010

Shabby Chic


A pretty Shabby chic heart I made one rainy Saturday afternoon at a Make&Mend workshop at the National Waterfront museum recently as part of the Swansea Bay Craft fair weekend.

My idea of heaven....mounds of lovely vintage fabric, jars filled to the brim with all sorts of  buttons, bows, ribbons and zips and lots of bits and bobs to get crafty with! 

The next Swansea bay Craft fair workshop will be on November the 6th from 1:30pm,
£3 per person. The theme will be Fleece and Fibres. Places are limited, so advance booking recommended (01792) 638950

I was inspired to make some of these lovely  shabby chic hearts 
and birds which are on sale at my Folksy Shop Now!  
I hand stitched  an old piece of Laura Ashley dress material  and up-cycled
my mums old fabric from the 70's to make these hearts and Birds below.

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Sunday, October 3, 2010

Vintage Fashion Fair

Well it's been a long time since I have been on here!
Today I went to the Vintage Fashion Fair in Swansea, at the Brangwyn Hall. Organised by Edwin at Blind lemon Vintage  it was filled with Vintage treasures from the 1900's to the 80s! I found some wonderful clothes and accessories. Fashion is always inspired by vintage and this Autumn is all about knitwear and jackets and I tried on a some fab faux-fur coats, an aviator jacket and tweed jacket. I found a rail filled with original wool cardigans and chunky jumpers perfect to wrap up in when the nights get colder! Velvet is back in fashion, influenced by the 80's, so there was a lot of that there too. The gentlemen weren't left out, there were some great authentic shirts, waistcoats and jackets and bow-ties and hats to be found. I didn't leave empty handed, I bought a vintage scarf and some buttons. My friend bought a pretty 50's dress and opulent brooches. There are more Vintage fashion fairs coming up, the next one is next weekend, the 10th of October in Gloucester.
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Friday, May 14, 2010

Happy Photos

This beautiful vintage effect print was taken by New Zealander Hilary Upton,  in Whangamatashe, NZ. She sells original fine art photographs from her Etsy shop. Her nostalgic style photos are so lovely.

On my travels to the beautiful land of the white cloud of new Zealand I took some photos and this is my favourite below, of a jetty on lake Rotoiti, Nelson Lakes National Park on the South Island. I would so love to be back there now!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

The Genius of Design

You should see this new BBC TV series, The Genius of Design, the first episode was on Friday 7th of May that I will be following. The series looks at the history and beauty of design and how it has shaped our world, from handmade to the industrial. Have you ever thought why your toothbrush or teapot is shaped the way it is? In the first episode it also looks at the iconic work of William Morris and Co, and how the great Victorian pattern designer influenced textiles.

Book by Penny Sparke that follows the series
William Morris & Co 'Artichoke' design  from Collection

Saturday, May 8, 2010


Inca inspired collage.
I have seen a lot of colourful Latin America influenced prints in S/S10 collections recently, and thought I'd blog some of photos from my travels to Peru and designs I have seen on the high-street..
Clockwise from left, Peruvican lady in Cusco carying her baby wrapped in a blanket; textile weaving; Dress from Acessorize  
Machu Picchu after a 4-day trek!; Flip flops, Accessorize ; Weaving at The Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco ; Girls dressed in traditional peruvian costume, Cusco; Textiles for sale

Monday, May 3, 2010

Teal and vintage gold cushion

blue and gold cushion (front)
Originally uploaded by Heulwen Lewis

This is a recent opulent cushion I designed. Hand-screen printed, the foliage pattern was discharge/extract printed onto reactive 100% natural cotton dyed fabric.

Discharge printing has the ability to create bright, opaque colours on dark fabrics. Years ago the idea of opaque colours on dark fabrics and light on dark printing couldn't co-exist!

Measurements: (50cm x 30cm) envelope cushion and is for sale at my Folksy shop


Green, Gwyrdd, Verde.

Photographs taken in the Great Glasshouse at the Botanical Gardens in Wales. Exotic and endangered plants in a beautiful Welsh landscape.
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Sunday, May 2, 2010

'Delicate Balance' - Carol Kingsbury Gwizdack

I went to the Botanical Gardens of Wales today and the contemporary jeweller Carol Gwizdack is exhibiting her latest work there that focuses on current ecological issues. She works with media that challenges the concept of jewellery and draws attention to our idea of what is precious.

Pre.cious adj 1. worth a great deal of money 2. highly valued, much loved, or considered to be of great importance 3. rare or unique and therefore to be used wisely or sparingly or treated with care.
(Encarta 1999) 

The artist received the Gold Medal Award for Craft and Design at The National Eisteddfod of Wales in 2006.

The exhibition will run at the Botanical Gardens until the 25th of May
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Saturday, May 1, 2010

Little devil cupcakes

At the Penllergaer Local Produce market today Little Devil Cupcakes launched her fabulous stall selling these naughty but nice cupcakes! yuuummmy!! For more information contact Nicole on 07973 939 352

Monday, April 26, 2010

New Brooch and folksy finds

Above is a new brooch I have listed on Folksy shop 

While I was looking at other handmade items I came across 
this cute screen printed and hand embroidered 'Teal Owl Pattern scarf' from Bonbi Forest on Folksy

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Gorseinon Food Festival

It was the first annual Gorseinon food festival today, in the Canolfan Gorseinon Centre, Swansea and it was a fantastic day for everyone involved!! Thousands visited the festival, thanks to all the organisers especially Shirley Price who runs her own business Millie's Market selling beautiful handmade items for the home and Sian Day who runs the Kid's Cooking Academy in Swansea, I hope it will be the first festival in Gorseinon of many.They both organise the monthly Penllergaer Produce and Craft Market.

Aprons handmade by Millie's Market

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Beach collection

I have created a new collection of digitally printed colourful cushions, the colour scheme was inspired by the seaside and old fashioned rock sweets. I also added hand-made corsage brooches and buttons. These photographs were taken on a beautiful sunny day in Swansea Bay. These cushions will be on sale at the Gorseinon food festival this Saturday, April 24th
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