Christmas at The Orangery 2014

Last weekend was my first event in quite some time - Christmas at The Orangery 2014, organised by Rachel Goodchild -  
The event was held in my home from 2001 until 2008 when, due to the volume of people attending, it was moved to a beautiful Orangery within the gardens of Goldney House and Gardens, Bristol. With this venue move the name was changed from 'Designer Sale' to 'Christmas at the Orangery.' The idea being an annual event where designers can exhibit their work for one day only. Giving customers something a little bit more unique than regular shops.
I absolutely loved taking part.  I'd forgotten what a rush it is to get ready for the big day and the anticipation the night before.  I actually had quite a wakeful night as little Freya was up all night.  I really wouldn't have made it though the day without the help from my Dad.  So a big thanks to my Dad. 

 The next step on my journey is to get my Etsy shop filled up with all my new products.  Announcements coming soon when this has been completed.  Enjoy the last few days of festive craziness.  Happy Holidays everyone.



Upcycled Vintage Bag - Penny Brohn Cancer Care Raffle Prize

I'm running out of my hand made up-cycled bags as they proved popular over on Etsy.  I have decided not to pursue this product line (I'm going to concentrate on interiors) so to be in with a chance to win this one pop on over to the Christmas at The Orangery and enter the wonderful raffle in support of Penny Brohn Cancer Care
Hannah Redden - Upcycled Shopping Tote Bag


My Next Christmas Event - Christmas At The Orangery

Christmas At The Orangery  2014

I've recently signed up to exhibit in my first market in quiet some time (I wonder why that might be!!).  The event sounds quite exciting .. Christmas At The Orangery.

I'm looking forward to participate and meet some of the other exhibitors, especially this very talented lady .. Fiona Willis.  Her work really is an inspiration. 

''My prints start their life as wholly original works in pen, ink and watercolour. They are then scanned to produce a digital image from which the giclée prints are produced. However, the digital image is not manipulated in any way and is entirely representative of the original artwork. I've found this process to be the most effective way to reproduce the fine detail that characterises my work.''

I really like that Fiona works in an initially very traditional way.  Drawing by hand and not manipulating her work.  I think that we loose the essence of the image when we draw directly with a graphics tablet etc.  I also prefer to draw by hand, being honest with the medium you are using.
I think I may need to have a gander at her pitch at the event.


Competition Time

Calling all Creatives (Exhibitor Competition)

Christmas at the Orangery 2015 
Pretty Nostalgic Magazine
A competition open to creative people who 
make, sew, invent, design, build, draw, etc.


A product that is made with skill and creativity, and that would sell at a reasonable price. Your product can be made from any medium, and any type (eg edible, wearable, functional, visual, etc.) Please note that we will be looking for a product that shows great potential for an ongoing business and would be suitable for exhibiting at next year's Christmas at the Orangery. The competition is open to those aged 18 and over. Competition entry closes on Wednesday 10th December 2014 at midnight.

1. A free stand to exhibit at Christmas at the Orangery 2015
2. A business membership with Pretty Nostalgic Magazine
A number of applicants will be selected as finalists. The finalists will have their products displayed at Christmas at the Orangery 2014, for all visitors to see throughout the day. One winner will be picked and announced towards the end of the day.
1. Apply via the website Christmas at the Orangery
2. Pay a £5 administration fee to register and send your product image via email
3. All finalists will notified by email 
4. Finalist's products will be displayed on December 13th at Christmas at the Orangery 2014 
5. One winner will be chosen from the finalists and announced at the event


World Textile Day - 1st November 2014

The Spirit of the Cloth  1 Nov 2014 - Saltford, Bristol.  10 am - 5 pm. 

Can you believe it's almost November already?  It's also World Textile Day ...
''Every year we like to have a new, interesting and stimulating theme for World Textile Day. This helps to give the day a focus, both for us and for our enthusiastic visitors.  In 2014 our theme is The Spirit of the Cloth and our free exhibition of world textiles will take you on a journey of discovery.''

FREE admission to the exhibition of stitched, embroidered and woven textiles and artefacts from around the world.

Morning and afternoon lectures:

•11 am. Sacred and Spiritual Textiles of South West China with Chinese textiles expert and collector Martin Conlan.

•2 pm. Textiles of the Islamic World with world textiles expert, collector and author John Gillow.

•£2 per lecture, tickets at the door.
With these specialist world textile traders:

•Textile Traders
•The African Fabric Shop
•John Gillow
•Slow Loris Textiles - Martin Conlan
•Tukuru Textiles from South America
•Khayamiya Egyptian Appliqués
•Susan Briscoe Designs

Saltford Hall, Wedmore Rd, Saltford, Bristol, BS31 3BY

I unfortunately can't make this event but will definitely be searching the web for feedback and inspiration.  If you manage to make the event I'd love to hear your views...


DWELL - New Baby Textiles Range

I'm counting this as market research as I should really be doing some sewing today, but happened to get distracted thinking about revamping Freya's room...
DWELL have just launched a beautiful collection of textiles suitable for baby's and young people.  They have a new Safari and Meadow range which are both so adorable.  They have a retro simplistic feel to them that I just love.  Hmmmm now what would go in Freya's room?




Studio Unpacking = Vintage Fabric Finds

So, I'm in the process of unpacking my studio in our new home (This may take some time!), I happened to stumble upon some of my vintage fabric finds that I'd forgotten all about.  I was soon distracted from unpacking and lost myself in fabric and possible cushion creations..
Soon to be cushion covers! .... https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/HannahRedden
I just love the large bold floral print of this fabric.  Unfortunately (I don't think you can see this from the image) there is a faded line right across the middle of the print, I guess where the fabric has been folded for so long, or possible sun damage?  However, the colours are luscious, very suitable for this Autumnal time of year to warm up any interior.  I have a vision in mind for two new cushions, I've got the perfect trim in mind. 
Soon to be cushion covers! .... https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/HannahRedden
This vintage, hand sewn cross-stitch is so unique, I can picture this paired with a lovely bold backing fabric.  This will have to be made into a cushion cover.  Maybe for our guest room as it would fit the vintage theme perfectly.
Soon to be cushion covers! .... https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/HannahRedden
This table runner is stained in the middle, but at either end has this hand embroidered design.  I really like the bold coral and yellow.  I will need to get my thinking cap on for this as I am unsure how to transform this into something yet.  More to follow on this one ...
 New Cushion Covers - https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/HannahRedden
Here are my two latest additions to my handmade vintage cushion covers.  I found a pair of 1977 Silver Jubilee Tea Towels and thought they would make a delightful one-off pair of cushions.  I've yet to add these to Etsy (I need to create a new photo booth in my studio), but will announce soon when these are in online.
Right, I'm off to attempt to do some more unpacking.  Have a good productive week. xx


So... When should we be posting to all the different Social Media sites?

I've been doing a bit of research on this and have found the following site quite useful:

ADD THIS  - Content Engagement Made Simple.

Anytime someone shares, follows, or interacts with a piece of content, there's a good chance AddThis has something to do with it. According to comScore, we reach over 98% of the US — that's more than Facebook or Google. Our team is focused on building the best social tools, content recommendations and targeted advertisements. It's growing like crazy and we're proud to be the leader in content engagement.

Although an American site the information can be transferred across to the UK depending on your market.  So, my next plan is to make a schedule!


Childrens Fabric Pencil Roll / Holder

I've been searching for a box or bag for Freya to store her pencils in, for some reason she loves tearing up the boxes that they come in!?
This blog post I've found by Kath Red is ideal!  Why didn't I think of sewing one earlier?  I will attempt this over the weekend.  I'm sure Freya will find some way of destroying it!  Extra strength thread? :)




Cushion Making Step by Step

Well, I now have a few Christmas events to prepare for so thought I'd better get sewing again.  I thought I'd share my recent sewing project with you ...



1. Wash the fabric beforehand in the way you normally wash the type of fabric you've selected. Otherwise, unwashed sewn fabric can shrink in a hot wash or dryer later and cause seam rippage.
2. Always Iron the fabric before sewing. It's important to do this before you cut: a piece of wrinkled fabric will be a slightly different size and shape once ...pressed.


1. Cut a square of paper the same size as your cushion pad. Now cut two more pieces of paper: the first should be the same width and at least half the height, the second should be the same width and at least three quarters of the height. (Don't add an extra 1cm all the way around for a seam allowance, as most patterns do, because when the cover is slightly smaller than the pad, the cushion appears plumper.)

2. Take a good look at the fabric's pattern and choose a section you like for the front of the cushion. Lay the first piece of cut paper on top. Pin it to the fabric in all the corners, and once on each edge. Then cut around it.

3. Pin the other pieces of paper to your fabric and cut around them. Hem one long edge on each piece. Lay the fabric right side down, fold one long edge over 5mm. Iron to secure the fold, fold over 5mm again. Press again and backstitch 2mm from the edge.

4. Now lay the front piece on a flat surface, with the right side facing up. Stack the smallest of the back pieces on top, right side facing down: line up the un-hemmed long edge with the top edge of the first piece.

5. Add the third piece, right side down: line up the un-hemmed long edge with the first piece's bottom edge. Pin at the corners and once on each edge.

6. Use a backstitch all the way around the cushion cover, 10mm from the edge. (To help keep your line of stitching straight, use a pencil or a piece of tailor's chalk to add a guideline first.)

7. Once done, turn it inside out using the slit at the back. If everything looks neat and tidy, turn the cover back inside out again. Snip each corner off, 2mm from the stitches.

8. Finally, turn your cushion cover back the right way round, and use a pencil or chopstick to carefully push out each corner into neat 90-degree angles. Stuff the cushion pad in, and it's ready.
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Cheltenham Christmas Market

Well after finding this draft from January in September!! You can probably guess that things have been a bit manic this year :)  We ended up moving into our home in March so only a month delayed.  We have now settled in and have unpacked, apart from my studio which still remains Dan's tool room!  This will soon have to change ;)

January 2014: 

I've settled back into a more productive (artwise anyway) way.  I set myself the New Year resolution of doing a drawing a day, and although I haven't quite achieved this I have started doing more drawings and quick sketches.  I feel motivated and ready to take the next step.  MORE design work.  I have been collecting all my ideas this month on Pinterest ... you can check out my boards, from HomeDesign Inspiration, Baby Makes, to Small Spaces (we have a very narrow house).  We've set the date to move into our new home on the 28th of February so we have a month to make final arrangements.  We had a painting party for our birthdays where our very VERY generous friends painted the whole house for us!! I was very surprised, firstly I didn't think anyone would actually turn up.  I mean really, doesn't sound like much fun for most people (although I actually LOVE painting,) does it?  I left early as little Freya was getting tired, however we returned the next day and I was amazed.  Really, we owe all our friends big time for the work they did for us.....

I managed to keep up the drawing throughout the year and have built up a portfolio of design work ready to be turned into fabric designs.  I have also recently found my sewing machine again (I missed her!), so I do feel like I am getting my feet firmly on the ground again (16months after having my little one!!).  I had planned to return to work part time (Facilities Manager in a hospital), but this wasn't to be.  I have now come to terms with being a full time mother but am also rather excited about the possibilities which this allows me. 

I have just agreed to take part in an Etsy Christmas fair in Cheltenham which I am rather excited about.  This feels like the next step in my journey to being my own boss.  More details to follow soon.



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