Sunday morning in Topsham

It’s a beautiful Sunday morning in Topsham, Devon. The November sun is soft and low and the estuary is calm and still – disturbed only by the movement of a small boat and the gentle splashing of the resident ducks. 

I’m sitting by the window of the popular Route 2 cafe enjoying breakfast and planning a day of sewing. I’m in the middle of making a batch of Reindeer cushions and looking forward to launching them at the Arty Craft Christmas Fair next month. I’ve had great fun with their antlers, using a lovely silky embroidery thread to create long sweeping lines and plenty of swirls. I love the design so much that I’ve used it as the basis for my Christmas cards and seasonal packaging stickers. 

         
I’ll post photos of the cushions when they’re ready. No doubt I will spend the evening sewing on buttons on the back 🙂

Playing with ‘straplines’

ETSY has been busy re-designing shop-fronts. I have used that as an opportunity to re-think how I describe what it is that I do. I seem to have outgrown my first strapline, ‘Coast and Country Textiles’: firstly because with the advent of my greeting cards range, I no longer offer textile products alone; and secondly because my work has naturally graduated towards the coast rather than the country. Time for a re-think.

Playing with straplines is an interesting  activity. It has forced me to take a step back and look at my work from the outside. I have had all kinds of conversations with myself as part of the process and in the end I have decided to go with ‘Contemporary Coastal Style’. I will live with that one for a while and see how it feels.

For the love of stationery

I have always loved stationery. As a child I used to look forward to the start of the new school term as it brought with it a new pencil case and new (second hand) text books which we would cover in brown paper (as per the school rules!). Growing up in Ireland, we had ‘copy books’ not ‘exercise books’ – each subject had a different colour – and I couldn’t wait to write the first word on the first line on the first page. Friends have teased me for having an addiction to ‘colour coding’ and to insisting on all folders in my office being blue! But I can’t help it. Stationery, and the smell of new books, is where it’s at.

This of course, brings me to the point. I have decided to indulge my love of all things stationery and design my own greetings cards. As with all my other work, the designs are based on appliquéd images of my favourite wading birds. I am delighted with how they have turned out. Have a look and see what you think…..

http://www.karenwalshe.co.uk/shop/4590220120/Greetings-Cards

 

 

 

In praise of the pinny

I’ve been branching out a little in terms of my product range which now includes 100% cotton screen printed Avocets and Oystercatchers aprons. I’m delighted with how they’ve turned out. They look great and are so easy to wash and wear. I’m certainly going to add a few more of these to the range and am already busy planning the next design…..

At home in my ‘studio’

In preparation for a ‘Meet the Maker’ feature to appear on the Devon Life website (next week) I arranged for my amazing product photographer to do a photo shoot in my ‘studio’ – aka the kitchen table. We had a lot of fun and for someone who absolutely HATES having their photo taken, I’m really pleased with the results 🙂

Here’s a sneak preview:

DSC_4755 DSC_4870 DSC_4799-2 DSC_4865 DSC_4797 DSC_4830

Branching Out……

The last few weeks have seen me branching out a bit in a bid to expand my portfolio of products. I have recently completed designs for two aprons to match my Avocets and Oystercatchers tea towels. They are currently in the process of being screen printed and I can’t wait to see the results. I’ve really enjoyed returning to the drawing board and having some fun with my sewing machine as it’s so easy to get caught up in the process of making already established designs to fulfil orders. I may find myself with a bit more time in the near future to focus on the design side of things as I’m currently ‘in talks’ with a local freelance sewer who I’m hoping, will turn out to be my knightess in shining armour. Exciting new steps ahead I think….

This weekend the postman delivered…..

……the August 2014 issue of Style at Home magazine containing a six page feature of our lovely estuary home.  It was so exciting to see our home unfold as I turned the pages. My handmade avocet, geese and hare cushions look fabulous in situ and I love the close up shots of some of our favourite pieces. It is strange to think that readers all over the country will see  our home but I am delighted with the way it has turned out and very grateful to that out of the blue email that started the whole thing off.

Walshe ADJ19

 

 

[contact-field Continue reading