Objects of Use No. 6 Lincoln House Market Street Oxford OX1 3EQ United Kindgom
Telephone: ++44 (0)1865 241705
Wandering around Oxford – some may call it lost, we like to call it exploring – we stumbled upon THE most amazing shop. And I do not say that lightly. Objects of Use is quite simply the loveliest shop I have ever stepped foot inside. Filled with a vast array of usable items of the most exquisite workmanship and quality. The time the proprietor must have spent in choosing each piece is impressive, to say the least. What was most refreshing and touching, really, was the lack of slick brand goods. This is not a design store. Although it is, in my opinion, exquisitely designed. It is a store filled with Objects for Use. Simple in its function. Stunning in its execution. Again, the loveliest shop. My heart leapt when I spotted a selection scissors lovingly hung from wooden pegs along the wall. I may have to take a trip back for the little gold stork handled embroidery ones. At only 15 pounds, I would be a fool to pass them up.
the lovely lady of the shop
the very gracious owner - a supremely brilliant human being who is - in his own words - 'against throwawayism'
Some of the lovely woolen fabrics I found at Cotswold Woollen Weavers in Filkins. They weave wool grown in the area. Very sustainable - which makes me feel good about using it. They will make fantastic big market bags. The plain brown is speckled with very delicate flecks of almost pastel colors - so faint you can just see it. And it is so soft to the touch it feels like cashmere. I will be turning that into really big, squishy pillows. Perfect for cuddling up with on the couch - or on a nice sheepskin rug in front of the fire!
I have also reserved my booth for the upcoming Fall Urban Air Market in Hayes Valley. You can check out a list of other designers on their website. There are some beautiful goodies! Hope I don't shop too much.
Thank you to all my wonderful friends and family for the birthday wishes. Such a special day. It always feels good to feel loved. I do. I hope you do, too. Because you are.
Off to explore Woodstock some more - and hopefully keeps the kiddos out of trouble. xoxo
A little collection of new goodies I have been working on. I am especially fond of the shams. Everything has lots of hand stitching on it and, as always, everything is naturally hand dyed. I am trying to move away from the straight blue/gray...which I have been obsessed with but now am a little weary of. I am not sure if I will put any of these in the shop, or just amass a large pile in the hopes that I will get into one of the craft shows I have applied to. Gulp! Juried. Scary.
We are off to England in a couple of weeks to spend some time with the family. My sister is having her first baby. So I will get to spend three weeks holding my little niece or nephew. Yeah!! I can't wait! I am giddy. My daughter is excited about the plane flight - gack - and my son and husband are excited about the pubs and the food. Mum lives in a tiny - and I mean tiny, tiny, tiny - town in Gloucestershire and my sis lives just outside Oxford in another tiny town called Woodstock. Both come with their own older-than-anything-we-have-in-this-country houses and pubs. My sister's home looks like it belongs in the Shire from The Hobbit. Really. I kid you not. Complete with tiny front door that you would absolutely miss if you did not know it was there. I am hoping to visit some fabric shops. Mum brought over some gorgeous French linen last time she visited. So hopefully I can sneak out of the house for a while and pick up some lovely fabrics to bring home. So...that leaves me two weeks to bust out as much stuff as I can.
Until next time...be well. Enjoy the sun if you have it. Or the rain. Or your warm home. Or... xoxo
A new pillow for the shop today. You can find it here. My new goal is to get at least 4 new items in the shop per week. Hopefully more. Including some nice naturally dyed linen napkin sets - because everyone deserves nice cloth napkins - and a great new bag I have a sketch for.
This is the new packaging I came up with for some of the goodies sold in the shop. Cute muslin bag with a small blue antler hand painted on wool felt. It has a nice drawstring and can be reused for whatever your little hearts desire. I like it.
And finally, a new batch of natural dye for a napkin order. The color came out really pretty. In the left over soup I added some minerals and got a soft grey-pink. Still deciding what I should make with the left over fabric.
On to other news...we went bird watching this weekend, which we are always doing to some extent. But this time we took binoculars and our Western Bird Book. Wow. Nerd alert! We identified 19 species of birds in our neighborhood. Which was completely addicting once we started. And we ignored all our other chores. Next year we want to participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count, a joint project of The Cornell Lab of Ornithology, The Audubon Society, and Canadian Partner, Bird Studies Canada. But for now we are obsessed with naming all the little black, brown and grey birds in our backyard. What is it about grouping and naming things that we are so driven to do? Mystery.
Have a lovely week. Treat yourself well.
find out more here.
A friend sent me the link for this bag today with the subject "thought of you." Which is a very big complement. Thank you a million times over. I would love to apprentice in Kapital's workshop for a day or two.
So today is the big day...the day I have been mulling over in my head for months - perhaps years would be more accurate. It may have even been a lifetime. Today is the day I begin to stitch together the fabric for a the Victorian Parlor chair which has been sitting in my garage, ever so patiently, waiting for me to get my confidence together to tackle the project. I know this will be a long process. I am resigned to the fact that for a stretch of time I will hate my work. I will feel incredibly uncomfortable and I will want to quit. I am also resigned to the fact that I will keep sewing. And eventually, I will reach the point where I look down and smile and know I have created something good. It always works like that. The same predictable evolution. The difficult part is remembering that I have been there before. Remembering that the discomfort is a natural part of my creative process. And after getting a bolster of confidence from the Kapital tote above, I have to say, I am quite excited to begin the journey again.
A small peek into my mind/work space. As you can see, it is a little cluttered today. I spent the day digging through fabric, dying some, cutting more, making piles all over the sitting room. I am preparing to cover a beautiful, old, Victorian parlor chair. It will be my first cover with my own fabric - hand dyed, hand stitched in my own rustic industrial fiber art design. A tad intimidating. Hence...the work space and clutter in the brain. All will be well. Just have to push on. Tomorrow is a new day. Bright and new. And clean. xoxo