Friday, 20 November 2009

To the ball...

I've recently felt (well a month or so ago...because there's a slight time-lag in my blogging at the moment) that I had so many ideas bubbling away in the background that I wasn't giving any time to that I just might go into melt-down if I didn't get them stitched and out of my head. With custom orders and trying to make stock for the craft fair (intermingled with going to spinning classes and the gym, which may seem like a self-indulgent way to spend time, but really my days are so sedentary that it began to seem a necessity if I was to have a hope of seeing my 33rd birthday) there didn't seem to be time in the week to set aside vast chunks of it for more experimental stitching that might be less likely to sell.

So one very wet and rainy weekend, the lovely Mr Teacakes let me spend two entire days and nights (yes, it was a this-is-so-much-fun-I-can't-waste-time-sleeping sort of affair) cutting out small bits of fabric, while he and the children pottered about playing board games and watching videos together and occasionally coming in to sit on the floor where I was working for chatting and the nibbling of jelly beans (vegetarians take note - delightfully, the Jelly Belly and M&S jelly beans are all free of gelatine and so are perfect for making up for all those lovely looking jelly sweets that are out of bounds...and the colours and flavours are so lovely that, luckily, my children find them far more appealing anyway). Cinderella going to a ball was first on my list of things that I really wanted to do. I love the fairy godmother and carriage scene and golden thread seemed the only way for me to go to attempt to make it seem as sparkly and magical as the written story is when read aloud.

It took me hours to decide on fabrics...I have the most enormous pile of wheel-shaped rejects, which was a piece over which I seemed to become particularly indecisive. I framed the final picture in white.

My next picture is of a girl on a swing. I think there's something inexplicably lovely about swings, both to children and adults and I know that Zebra-girl loves them (although more recently I just experience horrible vertigo-like feelings whenever I go on one, which I feel so annoyed about)...if only our own tree was strong enough to hang one from. This feels both spring-like and wintry to me, depending on whether you think of the background as sky or falling snow.

This was the picture that I ended up being most pleased with, as I really like the colours.

And because I really love her hair...and would quite like to have hair like that myself occasionally.

I tried each one hung on our own walls to see how they looked...to do this I had to take down one of our existing pictures and was greeted by forgotten evidence that it was me who had hung that picture, as the wall behind is covered in failed attempts to get the nail in properly. Oh dear. Picture changeover was done while Mr Teacakes was out of the room.

And finally, I've felt desperate to do something involving a hot air balloon for well over two years, so it was with complete happiness that I cut out the pieces for the balloon. I decided that this one needed to be a little more boyish and so I changed my thread to silver and stuck to bold primary colours.

There is a little grey cat peeping over the edge of the basket, although dinosaur-boy assumed that this was a wolf. I think I like the idea of a wolf in a hot air balloon floating over the tree tops and roofs tops even more, so I'm sticking with his interpretation.

Wishing you a lovely weekend.

Florence x

**UPDATED** Thank you so much for your enthusiasm and all your lovely comments - they are so appreciated. I'm delighted that all three pictures have now been sold. If anyone is interested in commissioning one they are priced at £40 - this includes framing and P&P within the UK mainland (I am happy to ship overseas, but this will cost a little more). x

21 comments:

  1. These are gorgeous, I particularly like the coach - the fabric reminds me of delicate china cups!

    I'm sure these will be commercial who wouldn't want some original art that is made with love? I guess the problem is pricing to reflect the time put in. Good luck with your craft fair!

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  2. Wow! I love these! My favorite is the girl in the swing. And I love the way you've framed them (being art framer myself) works very well!

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  3. All of them are just beautiful - have to admit a preference for the girly ones though (although I accept boys must not be forgotten!). Love the coach going to the ball; beautiful colours and fabrics (the wheels look perfect)and I love the gold thread. You have also captured the fairytale element wonderfully well. The movement you have captured with the girl on the swing and also a certain wistful quality is fantastic. You have crafted works of art Florence. I am sure too that they WOULD sell and I think you could ask a decent price too (have you noticed that some people under price their work terribly while others ask for (and get) seemingly ridiculous money? - although if you factor all the time and the cost of materials in perhaps the top price ranges make more sense - if only materials were not so expensive!) Sometimes I think that people feel they have a better quality product if they pay more - I think that is true up to a point only, but certainly you deserve to get a fair price and I am sure you would). Your pictures are very charming indeed and lovely for both children and adults. But could you part with them? Well worth the investment of time to come up with such beauties!
    Siobhan

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  4. Oh so much to say here Florence that I will have to edit in order not to bore you rigid!

    The designs are fantastic and surely would sell, though I agree about the pricing problem as it is one I struggle with constantly. I think finding the right market is the key and that would be the higher end. How one goes about this I haven't a clue, but they are so beautiful I can't believe some research isn't worthwhile.

    Next, I want to know how you find working with silver & gold thread? I use a lot of silver for my hand embroidery work and do find it a little tiresome as it tries to tangle in on itself, but I love the effect so much that I persevere. Haven't tried it on the machine yet, but would be interested to know how you find it or any tips.

    Sorry, I do seem to nag you for tips on such matters as quilting and handy tools to use! Really, really lovely work Florence and the movement in the swing picture is exceptional x

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  5. the girl on the swing is lovely Florence... i love the movement in it and also how you have used the rose.
    you have been busy...
    i too make holes in the walls but alas so does my husband.
    hope all is well,
    with warmest wishes
    ginny x
    p.s. i will look out for your sister's new book... i love her first collection and refer to it often.
    x

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  6. Those are lovely, well done. It been really good to see how you have moved on your designs. You have alwasy made lovely things but I think these have more of "you" in them
    Well done

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  7. Wonderful designs, you can see how carefully you have chosen the colours and patterns to bring life to each picture. I can see the little girl swinging to and fro, perfect.

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  8. How absolutely lovely. My favorite is the girl on the swing. Now I have even more ideas bubbling in my own head than I had before...

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  9. Funnily enough, I can't cope with swings any more - I think it is since the physical trauma of having Princess B! But it is rather sad - I even get seasick now, as well. I really love your beautiful pictures - especially the swing one.

    Pomona x

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  10. These are so lovely - the blue spotty and starry fabrics make such super skies. I long for two days left alone to do nothing but create - well done, Mr Teacakes,too. (If anyone thought caring for small children was demanding, elderly relatives beat that hands down - and they don't go to school or off to play with friends.) I'm sure there's a market for these, the colours are so appealing.

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  11. WOW!! I think you have excelled yourself Florence... those pics are just divine!!! I know what you mean about the swing thing ... it must be old age! I feel exactly the same and very annoyed as swing'ing (in the child sense!!!) used to be one of my very favourite things to do and I prided myself on how high I could go! xx

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  12. Girl on a Swing took my breath away!!!

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  13. these are incredibly lovely -- really beautiful. well done!

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  14. Hi Florence
    I love the girl on the swing. It reminds me of my daughter in so many ways. She loves swings, and has a brown bob. I would certainly be interested! Jo

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  15. Gosh - thank you so much for all the lovely, lovely comments about my pictures. You've made my day (or actually, my weekend). Thank you. x

    JuliaB - yes, I chose my phrasing very carefully when writing about that too...whichever way I put it sounded awful. But how odd that at some time point motion-sickness seems to become so much more pronounced as we get older - I was talking to friends about it today and it seems it really does creep up on everyone.

    Ginny, that's so lovely to know - thank you.

    Pipany, long email with thoughts on metallics and even more ponderings on quilt wadding on its way to you.

    x

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  16. Your stitchery is beyond lovely. So precise and the finished product so delightful. How I have the gumption to share a table with you I don't know (although since I currently have almost nothing to bring it really won't matter).

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  17. Wow , those are all so beautiful !

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  18. These are beautiful pictures. I agree that these would sell. While I was reading I was thinking that I would pay more for something like this because they are lovely, and handmade and each picture would be unique and also I think that because they are pictures in a frame they will stay lovely for so much longer (decades) than for example a cushion which over time and with washing etc would get a bit shabby. So I'd be prepared to shell out more for a piece of art.

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  19. Your pictures are beautiful. I would love to have the imagination and creativity that you have, but as with you, lack of time is a big problem.

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  20. Those pictures are absolutely stunning. I am in awe.

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  21. They're absolutely beautiful! I was hoping I'd be able to admire them at wemake, but well done on having sold all 3 already.

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Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a message - it's always really lovely to hear from people.

I now tend to reply within the comments section, so please do check back if you've asked a question or wish to chat.

Florence x