Sunday, 26 May 2013

A different kind of creative challenge

Yesterday I did something I've wanted to do for years, a different kind of creative challenge from sewing, or running a business - the UK Photomarathon.   It's creativity under pressure, and lots of stamina required but was great fun.

Bascially you get given 12 words in 12 hours (4 at a time - every 4 hours) and you have to take a photo to represent each word.  It starts at 10am and runs until 10pm at night, you can only submit 1 photo for each word and they have to be in order.  So if you later see something that's ideal for the first photo it's too late unless you want to wipe all the ones you did inbetween.

The marathon aspect comes from running around Cardiff trying to find suitable things to photograph, some of the words were pretty taxing and I spent ages wondering around looking for inspiration. I am certainly feeling the pain from all the walking today!  Plus you have to head back to pick up more words every 4 hours too so there was a lot of running around involved.

All the photographs will be displayed in an exhibition in the Old Library in Cardiff next month, they will also announce winners on the opening night too.  I'm looking forward to seeing how other people interpreted the words we were given.

I've put a few of my entries below along with the words they represent.
A bit on the side

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Trip to Abakhan Fabrics

I spent most of last week with one of my site sponsors, Abakhan Fabrics, in Chester.  Despite working with them for almost 4 years I had never actually been to any of their shops there are none near me.  I've only ever bought off them online or at shows until now.  So it was very exciting to finally get to visit, I started off small with their Chester store and still managed to buy lots of fabric. I think if I hadn't had to carry it back with me on the train I probably would have ended up with an awful lot more.  Afterwards Will from Abakhan Fabrics told me they could have posted it down to me, probably a good thing he didn't tell me that before...

I think I need to work up to their biggest store, the Mostyn one, I gather I could easily spend a whole day (and probably several months wages) there!

I was amazed to see that you could buy fabric by weight rather than by length, and that in amongst their cotton prints there were loads of designer fabrics.  So by taking the time to pick through I managed to get around 15m or so of designer fabrics for just £60!  There's a pic of my haul below.  I'm quite into textured prints at the moment so although some of these look plain in the picture they are actually textured but some are quite subtle so don't show well in photos.  My favourite is the lovely book fabric, I think it'd make a great Kindle cover.

I wasn't just there for the fabrics, that was a lovely side benefit.  I've started delivering social media, SEO and marketing training lately (more news to come about that soon) so Abakhan asked me to come spend a few days training them.  We came up with some really great ideas so do keep an eye on their Facebook and Twitter over the coming months to see the changes.  

This picture is of me with their social media team from left to right Beth Abakhan, Will Abakhan, me and Lisa Reece.  I promise we didn't do all the training in the pub....

I've got a few more training gigs lined up over the next few weeks in Exeter and London which I'm really looking forward to.  It's great to get out and about as I run The Sewing Directory from home so tend to be stuck in the house most the time.  Plus it's so much fun coming up with creative ideas for businesses other than my own, I think I've found a new passion.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

What would you make with these fabrics?

Minerva Crafts want to see what you creative bloggers would make with these 3 fabrics from their site.

We will select a few lucky bloggers to receive the goodies they chose in exchange for them blogging about what they make and allowing us & Minerva Crafts to share pictures of their creations on our sites or social media.

The product for this challenge is a choice of 3 stretch cotton canvas designer dress fabrics.  What would you make with them?

How do I join in?
If you have a great idea of how to use this month’s product comment send us an e-mail on giving us:
·         A link to your blog.
·         Details of what you plan to make.
·         Tell us which fabric you want, and how many metres you need for your project.
·         Details of which country you are in if you are outside of the UK; this won’t exclude you but allows us to calculate the postage.
Please get your entries in by midnight on the 15th.  Don’t worry if you don’t get picked this time there will be plenty more chances to take part. 

  • Can I submit more than one idea?     Yes you can but please send each one separately.
  • Can I use the supplies to make up a commercial pattern or project from a book or magazine?  Yes you can.
  • Can I enter if I am outside of the UK?  Yes but please tell us what country you are in
  • Can I enter if I’ve already been picked in the past?  Yes you can.
  • What do I have to send you if I am chosen?  A link to your blog post & a couple pics of what you have made.
  • When do I have to blog/send pics by?  Within 2 months of receiving the supplies.

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