A Fabulous and Frosty Mr Fox

This weekend, we took a fabulously, frosty trip up to London, to wonder round the Crafty Fox Spring Market and visit the exhibitions at Somerset House.

Crafty Fox was a cool mix of inspiring artists, illustrators, designers and makers, all very individual and equally passionate about their craft. Spread over three floors at the Dogstar in Brixton, the atmosphere was bustling, friendly and fun, with a D.J and The Teas Knees serving yummy cakes and warming pots tea on the top floor.

Some of my favourite designer, makers on the Sunday included the fantastic Jimbobart, who I exhibited alongside during London Design Festival,  belsartworld, stuffed Nonsense and A Threadbear production, who make the loveliest handmade creatures, each one unique to the next and so intricately and delicately crafted. A real treasure to find.

Crafty Fox Spring Market

We then braved the cold and set off to Somerset House to visit Creative Startups and the Wool House exhibition. I was particularly excited to see the room Donna Wilson had designed and the installation created by Dutch artist Claudy Jongstra.

The Wool House introduced me to Jongstra’s work and I was immediately captivated by her work ethos and dedication to her ethical values. Claudy and her team raise their own sheep, keep bees, cultivate their own botanical garden and grow their own plants for dyes, leaving no waste in their utmost respect for nature and commitment to the value chain of creation. The perfect exhibition for the Deer Little Forest eco-friendly folk and, I must say, the perfectly, cosy exhibition for such a frosty day.

The Wool House Exhibition

Made With Love

This week I have been reading about the ‘Wool House,’ the worlds largest showcase of wool, exhibiting now at Somerset House, a spectacular neo-classical building on the strand, nestled in the heart of London.

One of the leading interior designers asked to design a room is Donna Wilson, a favourite British designer of mine. I find her work and business ethos inspiring and now, since she has become a mother, I love reading her blog ‘birdie and bear’, featuring her beautiful baby son Eli.

Donna has always loved using wool in her work, loving the versatility of this natural material and the amazing array of colour. I too find it’s warm, textured, coziness interesting and intriguing and I hope to incorporate it into my work one day. I am though, unfortunately, not a knitter but rather fortunately surrounded by Granny’s who are. Loki is one lucky little boy, who is the proud owner of the most gorgeously, srummy array of cosy jumpers and cardigans I can only dream of owning. Much of their beauty comes from the fact that they are hand made with love. Every stitch carefully and delicately crafted, with the overwhelming joy of creating something to keep a much-loved Grandson warm and cosy.

I just adore the handmade craft and this week I have also been extremely lucky to receive some gorgeous, handmade gifts from two of my dearest friends, Emily and Anna. Emily is a talented textiles teacher and crafts person, who made me the most beautiful and magical sketchbook cover. I can’t help but touch it, as the texture is so intricate and the colours so rich! It’s utterly lovely and with a heartfelt message inside which reads, ‘jo’s book of dreams’. Yes I love it! Anna’s gift is one of my favourite photographs taken by her talented Husband Stu from Cooper Photography. I had admired it for some time now and Anna just knew how much I would adore it! I’m so lucky to have friends who share my love and passion for handmade craft. Those gifts are always the most treasured.

So after the wonderful Birthday week I’ve had, I’m incredibly excited to be traveling up to London this Sunday to view more creative, handmade goodies at the Easter Crafty Fox Market. I’m also really excited to be heading over to the V&A to view the awesome david bowie is exhibition. Now that is going to be a good day!

handmade with love

Tuesday Talk, Tweets and Treats.

My Tuesday are Mummy days. Work waits and I get to spend a day, playing, laughing, talking and walking with my two adorable boys, and what a glorious Tuesday we’ve had!

As my first Trade Show ‘Pulse’ draws closer, the tremendous ‘to do list’ feels never ending, so it was wonderful to take a tiny break and enjoy the sunshine today. We walked in the forest, took a trip to see Granny and caught up with dear friends, Anna and Stu from Cooper photography. We chatted over great coffee and got onto the subject of social networking and the importance of self promotion. As self-employed creatives themselves, they too share my interest in these subjects and as parents,  they also appreciate the, sometimes tricky, task of juggling family life with a creative business.

As we chatted, it dawned on me that I hadn’t blogged in a while.  I like to think I juggle work and being a Mum in a manner where they both thrive, but occasionally my blog is the one part that gets put on the back burner. Never forgotten though, always there, always on my mind, amongst the zillion other scribbles, doodles and ideas that leap about, snatching all the limelight.

The fact is, blogging inspires me. I absolutely love reading blogs and I love writing this one. It reminds me why I do what I do, what and who inspires me and it keeps my ideas flowing. Basically, it keeps me moving, pushing forward to the next idea, the next challenge and it keeps me on my toes.

So as Loki is tucked into bed this evening, my work day starts at 7pm and my first job at the top of my ‘to do list’ is to blog and to blog about an amazing artist I was fortunate enough to read about on a favourite blog of mine, sfgirlbybay. Artist Kirra Jamison‘s work and style is wonderful and just looking at the images of her beautiful paintings and the photographs of her beautiful home has left me feeling so inspired and ready for the week ahead.

Here is a snippet of images from her website. Go look, go read, go get inspired!

kirra Jamison