Indie Design

Going, Going…

I’m going to be discontinuing a bunch of badges at the end of the month, so they’re now reduced to just 50p each. I’m also clearing a forgotten stash of some cross stitch kits, prices from just £3.50.

So, you know, you should really click over to the Sale section and pick up some bargains before it’s too late.

Go on, you know you want to.

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Indie Design, Travel

Fleas

If there is one thing America knows how to do right, it’s a flea market. I’ve been to a couple in my time, but this time I made it to not one, not two, but THREE. My cousin Anne loves antiqueing, and we both have a ruthless policy of strategising our approach to both looking and purchasing, with me being the haggler, so we make a good team.

This trip, we made it up to Springfield for their twice-yearly outdoor extravaganza at the county fairgrounds. I think the cannibal hotdog was my favourite spot. SO many pieces of industrial furniture I could have brought home, and most of it so cheap – next time, I should book a container ship.

The other type of flea market is the City Flea, Cincinnati’s premier independent designer/maker monthly event. It’s held in Washington Park in the Over The Rhine district, which is full of cool art, shops, restaurants and stuff.  I’ve been a couple of times and I think it must have been the first one we went to that I first saw the work of James Billiter, the smiley guy pictured above.I finally got to meet him this time properly and as well as being super-talented at the artwork game, he’s super nice and also a bit of a sneak, as he and Lee cooked up between them to send me an absolutely beautiful piece of art for Christmas – look how excited I was to open it!

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Can’t wait to get that framed and on the wall. Hooray for fleas.

Indie Design

Where To Shop Now

Now that it’s all over, I thought you might appreciate some tips on where to buy awesome needlework from now. Here are a few of my firm favourites.

Kate Blandford

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Kate’s shop is small but perfectly formed with music-based banners and hoops, as well as these pretty ace skull brooches. I have one of those on my shelf of curiosity.

Emily Peacock

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Big, bold colours and simple lines, my love for the work of, and the person, Emily Peacock knows no bounds. Emily is probably the most generous person I know in the craft world, with her time, her knowledge and her advice and you should check her work out because it, and she, is beautiful. One day I WILL finish my Kiss and Hugs.

Satsuma Street

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If I am really honest, Jody’s work is basically everything I wish mine was. I never took the time to expand my range beyond typographic style works and that’s something that always rankled with me. People think of me as the slogan stitcher but in my head, I have so many more elaborate designs that may never see the light of day because I’ve never had time.

That aside, I think Satsuma Street is awesome – I have stitched up the New York design and it was super-easy but also super-effective. I’d definitely recommend her charts.

Floss + Mischief

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Another of the goodest of eggs, Genevieve from Floss + Mischief is a full-on dedicated purveyor and advocate of brilliant needlework. Those feathers have been on my to-stitch list for about as long as they’ve existed.

Subversive Cross Stitch

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I don’t think my gal Julie Jackson would mind me calling her the grand doyenne of the modern cross stitch world, because it’s a) true and b) she’s fucking rad as all got out. Another person who is generous of spirit, with their time and always has good chat. Her kits and books (both cross stitch and Kitty Wig related) are where it all began and are worth checking out. Now.

This isn’t an exhaustive list but it’s a good place to start.

Giving, Indie Design

Gift Guide

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Image by Little Dot Creations

Y’all know already that I am a very strident supporter of buying local, independent goods all year round, but this is even more important at Christmas time. Christmas for the little guys can totally make or break your whole year. Some years, I’ve taken more cash in November and December than the rest of the year put together. It can really be a massive deal. I try to buy at least 50% of my gifts from indies (I still buy from big box retailers for things like electrical goods, clothing, etc and for people like my dad who pretty much only ever gets books anyway) and year on year, I try to improve on that.

This year, I thought I’d put together a few finds from friends of mine that you might like for inspiration if you’ve still got last-minute gifts to buy:

Custom Made

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I love matt gold and turquoise together, so this Altair clutch from Custom Made caught my eye. Also, Anna, the gal behind the name, is really just a super-duper person who always makes my day brighter when we meet all-to-infrequently at craft fairs in the Big Smoke.

Hilary Grant

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If you’re looking for a special gift for someone who appreciates a good woolen, then Hilary’s Scottish designed and made knitwear is a real winner. These new blanket scarves are truly divine – at £120, they’re a special purchase for someone you really want to please, but will be a lifetime staple.

Finest Imaginary

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I love Kim’s work (and she’s super-funny, helpful, generous and all-round awesome, too) and her new cacti collection is just IMMENSE. They’d make equally good ornamentation for your home as they do for your body, I reckon (but they’re not real plants, just to be clear, ho ho).

La La Land

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Pop Cult pencils by La La Land are the best stocking gift ever. There’s so many designs to choose from, there’s something to raise a smile from just about anyone. Sarah is a long-term Glasgow craft scene colleague of mine – another smart and funny female, knocking it out of the park when it comes to being awesome in business.

Paul Revie

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This fellow has wise words to impart in a variety of mediums. I’ve long-admired his artwork and have high hopes that this year, I might own a piece come the 25th of December. Another awesome talent in Glasgow, there’s a lot of us about.

Neil Slorance

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You should totally buy a piece of Neil’s art before he becomes too busy and important being a Dr Who freaking illustrator to bother with us peasants. His comics and travelogues are really both super-cute and funny, too – awesome gifts.

Emily Peacock

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I can’t express to you just how amazing Emily is – both her work, and her as a person. She’s a great friend, and though I haven’t spoken to her in a while, I know that when I do, it will be like we just left off our conversation. Her work is bright, bold, colourful and cheerful, just like her. Her tapestry kits are a great gift for anyone who likes to keep their hands busy – they’re very well put together and fun to work on.

Umm, also, buy my stuff, please.

Indie Design

Things You Should Know About

A collection of things you should know about.

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1 > Bolden ceramics has re-opened. I have 2 of the wee dash bowls and they are divine.

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2 > The annual Bonbi Forest sample and seconds sale is on just now. I bought one of these for a mere tenner.

3 > Some people are setting up a weekly urban market in Glasgow. For once, I want to believe it could work. Fingers crossed.

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4 > This exhibition is on in Glasgow and I really want to go see it.

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5 > I also really fancy this series of lectures in Edinburgh.

And I got a new Dyson that’s really good. That’s it.

End transmission.

Coveted, Indie Design

Will Steal Your Kidney

Another Christmas gift that Lee gave to me is this awesome cross stitch hobo sign by Alicia Watkins.

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It fits nicely into my house shelves from Dusseldorf, along with the tiny mountain Lee also gave me (told you I was spoiled). The tiny paper clay mountain is by Sweet Bestiary.

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Oh, and I also received this. Yay! New year’s resolution of blogging more just got easier.