Friday, 18 December 2009

I Love Lowie

Last night after a few festive drinks at my local pub I walked home surrounded by a flurry of dancing snowflakes. How exciting. How magical. How uncomfortable it became as the freezing wind bit into my cheeks, nipped my ears and pinched it's frosty grasp around my thumbs, which were peeping out through holes in my gloves. The snowflakes' dance had lost it's magic.

As I am writing this I am watching another snowflake dance outside my window. It's cold out there. It's time to invest in some winter warmers to cocoon myself. I need look no further than Lowie who produce hand knitted and hand crocheted clothing and accessories using traditional hand crafted techniques. The result is a colourful, modern and ethically produced range, which is perfect for snuggling into on cold winter days. Ideal for Christmas gifts too.

If you're around London's Covent Garden, check out their Pop-Up shop on Neal Street. For those who are not in London, or if you can't face going out into the cold, you can see the collection on I Love Lowie website.

Images by I Love Lowie

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Dark Dogs and Chinese Cats

I met Hannah Galvin-Horne - who runs Dark Dog Studio - at London Printworks last week where she experimented with Chinese cat designs to stunning effect. Hannah designs, screen-prints, dyes and makes a range of home-wares and accessories from studios in Ballinspittle, Co. Cork, Ireland.

Dark Dog Studio's work is produced using high quality inks and materials that are ethically sourced. Hannah tries to ensure that the production has as little impact on the environment as possible.

It is evident from Hannah's work that she is a talented painter and print designer, with a sharp eye for visual culture. Through her print designs, Hannah has created a bold, clean and contemporary range with a fun twist. Dark Dog Studio products are available on their website as well as being available from a shop in Kinsale, Co. Cork. Private commissions are also welcomed.

Products by

Monday, 14 December 2009

A messy week at London Printworks

I’m still scrubbing ink from beneath my fingernails after spending an enjoyable 5 days being creatively messy at the London Print Works last week. I was there along with a small group of people for a workshop induction course, which covered basic textile printing processes through to more complex techniques. Following the induction, designers can hire the fully equipped workshop to produce their work.

We were fortunate to have Dawn Dupree - a talented textile artist and extremely patient tutor - leading the course. Each day Dawn would calmly demonstrate new techniques, which would send us enthusiastically racing back to our print tables to incorporate these into our textiles.

I enjoyed combining colours and textures. I enjoyed experimenting with different techniques. I enjoyed the unexpected results. I enjoyed being messy and I enjoyed wiping my ink-covered hands on my clothes. I really didn’t expect to enjoy myself quite so much. And, I didn’t expect to spend a week with such an open and friendly group of people all sharing ideas and advise. There was a tinge of sadness at the end of the week as we reviewed our work over mince pies and a couple of bottles of wine. I’d like to think we would catch up again. Hopefully, my hands will be clean by then.

London Printworks Trust is the UK’s leading textile print resource. As a registered charity, the trust offers a diverse programme of activities, which combines textile print facilities, exhibitions, professional development and educational activities, particularly work with excluded groups or people who find themselves outside the mainstream education system.

Ethical fashion with X-Factor

Is that a leather jacket, Leona?
image via Google

As another series of the phenomena that is 'X-Factor' came to last night's not-soon-enough final, I was surprised by two things. The first that yesterday's Observer gave front page column space to the two finalists: Olly Murs and Joe McElderry. (If you're interested, it was Joe the 18 year old with a dazzling smile who won and who is now reportedly being whisked off to Hollywood by Simon Cowell to become South Shields answer to Zac Efron).

The second, is that Stella McCartney is rumoured to be linking-up with Leona Lewis - 2007's X-Factor winner and fellow vegetarian - to create a clothing range for 2010. The results of which I am interested in seeing.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Dreaming of a white christmas

'Crocheted Snow 08' by Abigail Doan

Abigail Doan - writer, editor, environmental artist and one of my blog-list favourites - creates eco-textile installations by combining yarns, textiles and nature. Her work is incredibly beautiful and thought provoking.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Festivities with Victoria and Albert.

Back at the V&A museum last week I was drawn into the crisp cold open-air of the centre courtyard. I paused in awe of the galleries shining brightly before me. Their grand facade framed by the clear dusk sky. To the other sides of the court yard, twinkling fir trees sat neatly in neon blue cubes. A blue that seemed to mirror the clear evening sky. I was entranced. What a beautiful start to the festive season.

Images by Re-Design for LIfe