Brown Lipped Snail

I have always wanted to have a go at embroidering a snail but shied away from the challenge. Finally I managed to get a photo that I thought would work well:

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I know that snails aren’t everyone’s cup of tea but I couldn’t resist that little face! I have named him Solomon.

First the sketch:

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And then the embroidery:

The stitch direction proved to be difficult, getting the curves to go the right way to give a three dimensional image caused a reasonable amount of unpicking.

But finally he is finished:

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Measuring 8x8cm he is my most ambitious piece to date and I am quite proud of him. But just to show the not so pretty side here is a gratuitous #Hoopbutt shot:

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2016

I am trying to put on a harder business hat this year. I have been told by many people, from other small business owners to actual customers who have just purchased my work, that I am not charging enough. I have struggled with this a lot, the urge to start paying off some of my initial outlay has led me to put prices so low that I end up paying myself less than minimum wage and not making any profit.

It is very easy to become scared of pricing. After doing a basic Etsy search for ’embroidered pendant’, the average price seems to be between £20-£25. I am at a loss as to how anyone can make a profit at this price.

To start this year I am working on five new designs after being introduced by Mother Eagle to embroidered jewellery frames by Kailea on Etsy.

2016 designs

The designs are inspired by my love of autumn but looking forward to the hope of spring and summer. I am also using a more stylized design, after doing some sketches inspired by Celtic artwork I am employing a much more free technique, I am loving the swirl.  I start with a curl to fit the jewellery shape and then see where it takes me.

Here is what I have done so far:

I had started on the field bindweed design but I wasn’t satisfied with it so I have gone back to the sketch.

This Saturday I am off to Libertys to attend their open call. I am not really going with the idea of getting my work stocked, I think it will be a great opportunity to get some professional advice. Can I really charge the amount I need to (probably nearer the £80-£90 mark) or do I need to completely rethink my work. I am extremely nervous, I can’t completely get the thought of being laughed out of the room out of my head. Ah well, nothing ventured, nothing gained. Wish me luck!

Update

I have now finished the Honeysuckle which is framed and available for purchase in my Etsy shop or my Folksy shop if you prefer.

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In total this piece took me 6 months and many tears!

I recently had a stall at a local Christmas Fair, my initial thought was to show the prints and cards that I have had made of my work to get some feedback, but I also thought it would be a good opportunity to sell the last of my jewellery. Well, I wasn’t expecting the response I got, not only did I sell more jewellery than ever before with really lovely feedback but my spider also found his forever home.

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Prints of the spider are still available in my online shops.

I am now considering my next piece, I love the idea of doing more insects, perhaps a dragonfly. I am also considering trying to create a piece of embroidery based on the photo I took of a grass snake which recently came 2nd in the Gwent Wildlife photography competition.

At some point remind me to show you my new office.

Honeysuckle progress

Just a quick post to show you how I’m getting on with the honeysuckle. The main flower is finally finished. I am having a few puckering problems but hopefully I can stretch them out when I mount it. I need to keep my hoop drum tight.
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Being a full time Mum it can be very difficult to find the time to set up and focus on the fine silk work during the six week summer holiday. To keep my fingers supple I have drawn up a practice piece that I can pop in a handbag and work on without using the magnifying lamp. The design is based on a Celtic shield boss found in the Thames, Wandsworth.
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After doing a lot of family research recently, I have managed to get back to 1726 and, while I do have Scottish and Welsh blood, I am predominantly English. As a Celtic race this has led me to start researching original Celtic art, I am very excited to visit the Celtic Art exhibition at the British Museum over Christmas.