I have made cards, mostly just for Christmas for friends and famliy, since a pre-Christmas, Christmas meal with my flat-mates when I was at college and realised that I had forgotten to buy any to go with the presnts. Being an art student, I had a useful supply of stuff in my bedroom, coming up with some card, a gold ink pen, gold paint and a wine cork, and 5 speedy minutes later I had elegant gold holly leaves wit golden berries on black card Christmas cards. They were received so well, that I made them for everyone I sent cards to that year. 28 years later & it has become a ‘thing’. I have to make our Christmas cards. My cards haven't always been ‘cards’, some have been designed to hang on the tree like the ones inspired by a Harry Potter film - I painted cork coasters dark blue, stencilled a gold crescent moon on one side and on the other were little spots of glittery stars, they hung from gold thread and were weighted with gold beads and a little bell. Others have been stitched, like the clove scented hearts with part of the ‘Little Donkey’ carol printed onto them. Another year it was the front of the Boots catalogue that inspired the design, interlocking Christmas trees. I'm afraid I don't have any pictures of thse past creations.
I decided to make some cards for sale this year when I went to the Handmade Fair at Ragley Hall. I had a beautiful display of lampshades but knew that not everyone would want one (sadly!) so I made some cards from painted and stitched fabric left over from lampshade making. I hate waste and couldn’t just throw these painted pieces away, So I had been keeping them thinking that one day they would in useful... I decided to buy 100% recycled card stock & envelopes which are made in the UK. Being a fervent supporter of the reduction of single use plastic items, I didn't want to put them in cellophane envelopes, so I had some paper strips printed saying that the card is a Needlesmiths Original, that it is a hand painted, on recycled card, & made in the UK. It also gave me somewhere to stick the price label. They were admired and lots of people bought them. As a supporter of the ‘Just a Card’ campaign & now participator, I was very pleased with the reaction. Each one is a different and tiny artwork, I have gone on to make more and they form a regular part of my stock now. Many have been taken home to be put into frames and not sent to anyone as they are ‘too nice’!
As I make cards but am not a ‘card-maker’, I have only recently discovered another movement ‘Naked Cards’, and as you can see from the sidebar here I have 'Taken the Naked Card Pledge'. This campaign encourages card-makers not put their cards into plastic sleeves. Some use ‘paper belly wraps’ which turn out to be that strip of paper I had ‘invented’ to keep my card and envelope together and to put a price tag on!
I’m really pleased to support and be part of two great networks and grateful to be supported by the many visitors to events, fairs, and the Studio Barn, who buy “Just a Naked Card”.
Do support the 'Just a Card' Campaign if you can. You can find them on Twitter & Instagram & Facebook. And of course if you can support an independant artist, designer, retailer or gallery, then all the better!
More again soon
I was at the Argyll Festival in Glasgow at the weekend. Organised by CHArts Argyll & the Isles (Culture Heritage & Arts) who are charting all the culture, heritage & arts activities in the Argyll area. Argyll Fest was about the best that Argyll has to offer by way of food, drink and artisan crafts. I was delighted to have been accepted and been part of the event.
We had arrived in Glasgow the night before as I hadn't wanted to travel across country in the early hours & it meant we could go to the cinema and see something loud and nonsensical the evening before. Glasgow was fully booked up, my favorite hotel had run out of beds. So we took the first one we could find with a vacancy. Not the nicest but we went to see Mission Impossible which was loud very nonsensical and just what the Dr ordered!
After a late night, as I was up until all hours sending emails for Artmap weekend, we left the hotel to get to the venue, slightly antsy as I was tired and feeling stressed by the day to come. Arriving early, when we realised that we had driven past the venue twice before eventually finding it, I had written it off as a waste of a weekend. If we couldn't find it what chance did was there of any customers coming in? Then I discovered that there wasn't any electricity as had been requested and promised. I was stomping around by this point. We hadn't been able to park terriby near by so I had a lot of to-ing & fro-ing to do before I could start to set up. However an electrician arrived and power points produced, I stopped being hot and bothered & fakely smiley, was provided with a cup of tea and gradually I calmed down and properly smiled at people! I discovered later flags and bunting etc got hung out and so people did come in to see what it was all about, LOTS of people!
The Briggait is an interesting space/venue. Now full of workshops for over 100 artisits and creatives with a huge central space, fantastically light and bright. (I was actually quite pleased it was a bit of a grey rainy day so that my lit lamps and shades did show up.)
It is situated in the medieaval part of Glasgow, Merchant City, a category A listed building originally built to house Glasgow's fish market, it was completed in 1873 and used for the market until the late 1970's.
I didn't take this picture but have nicked it via Google from discoverglasgow.org. I probably should have googled it before we went so that we knew what to look for when we arrived! There's also a, now restored, steeple/clock tower, which can't be seen in this picture, that dates back to 1665, an interesting building.
I was very rubbish at taking photographs that day and was too busy chatting to customers and fellow stall holders to remember. Periodically Mr B brought across a sample of one of the gins or whiskys or ales that were on offer and food. It turned out to be a really nice day and we decided to stay an extra night and managed to book into our favorite quirky urban chic hotel 'The Z'. Also an interesting old building, formally a printworks.
A very mixed weekend!
Author - Me!
I am a ‘Creative’ - designer/maker/teacher/writer, Art/Homewares/Creativitea Craft Kits/The Needlesmith.