Monday, June 3, 2013

Martyrs Day

Today us Ugandan Martyrs Day. You can read more on it here.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Ugandan Bark Cloth

 I bought my first bark cloth the other week. I was wandering around a market celebrating fairtrade at the Uganda Museum. I found a woman who was selling things made out of bark cloth. All her items were lovely, but having little money I had to be strong and decide on one thing. I bought a small bag.

Bark cloth is made from the inner bark of a fig tree (so I've been informed). 

Bark cloth is traditionally used to make clothes. They have some nice examples at the Uganda museum. 

Now I just have to try and source a bolt of the stuff from somewhere so I can play with it.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Dress a girl around the world (and boy)

I recently stumbled across a great charity called "Dress a girl around the world"  through Louise Horder (@SewScrumptious), who is their UK ambassador. This charity encourages people to make dresses (and shorts) for underprivileged children around the world out of pillowcases, or leftover fabric. The patterns are easy to follow and the resulting clothes are really lovely.

As someone who has recently started working with an orphanage in Uganda (more on this later) I can really see the use in this charity. So many poor children in the world wear worn second hand clothes. having a nice piece of clothing that is theirs and was made just for them can make a big difference to their self-esteem. It may seem like a small thing when these children often don't have enough to eat. But  I think knowing that a stranger cares enough about them to hand-sew them something has the potential to improve their lives, if only minutely and for a short time. The photos of children receiving their clothes speaks volumes I think.

Malawi 2011
Uganda 2012
You can believe if I had a sewing machine I would be making up a batch of these straight away. However, as I don't I will instead be collecting a bundle of clothes from Louise in August and bring them back to Uganda with me instead. 

If you have some spare fabric and time please think about making some clothes for children around the world. You can read more on this, including where to get patterns and how to donate here on Louise's blog. There is also a useful magazine article pattern here.

Let's all dress some children!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A portrait postcard of an Indian school girl

I have a whole bundle of travel postcards in my head - waiting to be made into reality. I finally finished an Indian one last week.

Isn't she sweet? Off to school in her pinafore dress.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Babble string with: Fritha Strickland

Fritha Strickland is one of my new favourite illustrators. I love reading her blog updates. Partly this is because she lives in my hometown and I get nostalgic glimpses of it in her photos. But mainly it's because she shares lovely glimpses of her life and her illustrations. Her work is bright, cute and quirky.

I sidled up to her (through the interwebs) to ask her a few questions about her life and work:

1. Were you arty as a child?

I was indeed! My parents raised us largely without TV and on a shoestring budget. Most of mine and my siblings games were made up and sometimes even our toys were drawn and cut out!

2. Where did you grow up?

A variety of places, different towns, cities and countries.. at the time I wasn't always so happy about this but I think it made for an interesting upbringing.

3. Did you study illustration? Where? Was it useful?

I studied Graphic Design at university with my final year focusing on illustration. I would say it was useful but as a young adult I didn't appreciate the help and resources being offered to me. If I was to be given that opportunity again I think I would have the life experience to know I needed to attend and make an effort!

4. How did you get into running your own business?

Ever since I was a child I have always wanted to work for myself. I've had many a disastrous business idea, including selling painted stone on the wall outside my house as a child!I have always been driven by wanting to create and not wanting to take orders from someone. My chance to work for myself came about fully when I finished work to become a stay at home mum. Although I have plans to establish myself more this year (the first year of Wilf's life I was rather overwhelmed and not entirely able to focus on working for myself).

5. Do you sell as craft fairs?

Not so much although if I was going to I think it would have to only be at Christmas time.

6. Where do you get your inspiration from?

Life, my family, nature, books and my sons toys

7. Do you carry a sketchbook with you?

I don't as most of my work is hand drawn on a sheet of paper then scanned and edited on photoshop. I would love to get back into the habit of keeping a sketchbook though I use Pinterest a lot for recording ideas and mood boarding.

8. What's your workspace like?

Currently (and always) a mess.

9. What do you think is most important for the creative process?

Don't force it, if you have been struggling with feeling creative take a break. Go for a walk, read a magazine and try again.

10. What's your favourite medium to work with?

Simple Sharpies, a medium sized rotering pen and Photoshop.

11. Which piece of work are you most proud of?

This changes constantly. At the moment this print is something that I feel very connected to, it seems it strikes a chord with people for all sorts of different reasons!

I love that in the a photo of her workspace it isn't in the least bit messy. It is the picture of organisation.

You can catch up with Fritha through these channels:

Her blog

On twitter

On Pinterest

Her Etsy shop

The good news is that many of Fritha's prints (and other lovely things) are available to buy through her shop (above).

Thanks for letting us get to know you a little Fritha!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Beautiful African Fabrics

These are block printed on cotton. I bought them from a tailor's shop but I plan to do a proper hunt for a good fabric shop. I need more of these. There was such a beautiful selection (forgot my camera - sorry). Choosing just two was really hard!

I chose the red and green one because it made me think of tentacles. No idea what to do with these fabrics yet but the collection has begun!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

A brief example of Australian quilting

I hastily snapped this pic whilst in bed under featured quilt. Hence the slightly crumpled look to the quilt. I thought it was a lovely example of quilting though. We went to Australia for two weeks around Easter and this quilt was made by a quilting group in Ballarat. 

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