Friday, March 30, 2012

A Week On...and We have a Collection!

This time last week, I was home from our Open See whirlwind at Henri Bendel. I was back home in my living room, with our luggage and samples piled by the front door. Back home to my sweet son, with his new muppet from FAO, and back to the cutest little cottage house with the big backyard and red chairs sitting on the green grass.
I was so in a daze, it's quite an effort taking your sick baby to New York City.
And it was quite something having shown the buyer my British wool pieces and seeing that there was no interest in my fall pieces in half of a New York minute (for now anyway).

But tonight finds me and Jo Ellen in the same living room, surrounded by English dresses for our little girls. Laughing hysterically as Jo Ellen clutches one of the dresses that smells so lovely of English laundry soap, she can't stand it- while Mimi insists on wearing her new Peppa Pig dress over her footed pajamas. and it says, "Peppa Pig to the rescue!"
Last Friday two minutes before they opened the doors at Open See. me, no sleep, and minor panic attack happening.

The line.

the night before:
My lovely Mimi in a Selima Bondbon at Henri Bendel. (Mimi is wearing a special Henri Bendel inspired outfit with a houndstooth print, that Grandma bought her for the occasion).

A room of dreams. For those who design hair accessories anyway.

and downstairs on the lower level:
Mimi and I met Indie, of Indie Lee at her trunk show. She created her line of natural products after she survived brain tumor surgery. She is very inspirational, her line is fabulous, and she put me at ease over my own skull tumor situation ("frontal sinus osteoma"/Hopkins neurosurgeons will watch and wait w/me, and rescan this fall-UGH). She was so tender to Mimi, and let her wear her bracelet while she treated her to lotion. So sweet.

Matt and I, in 17 months had never spent so much alone time with Mimi. It was good for us to experience our gorgeous and sweet daughter together. Even if she wasn't feeling well- she was such a little trooper. and loved all the mini dogs walking with their owners on the streets, and all the sights and sounds.

It's been a hard week for me. Wondering if I'm truly crazy for being obsessed with British wool, wondering if I've gone too far dragging my family into all this. But now in retrospect, I think it was just the struggle of the trip that caused me so much stress. (Open-See dictates you line up early on 5th Avenue, so I had a husband on the street at 5:30am so that I could mind my baby back at the hotel til we switched places at 8am. Craziness.)

(the Lou Lou band, from Izzy Lane tweed offcuts. heavenly!)

I want to take a moment and say thank you to everyone who has encouraged me during my 3 year British Wensleydale wool felting career. My family, my friends, customers, and my shopkeepers. You're all the best. XX

Monday, March 26, 2012

Just in time for Easter.

hand dyed and felted British Wensleydale wool, on a thin metal satin covered band.
wool is from Yorkshire, England.
I am recovering from our NYC trip. Recovering is absolutely the correct word. However, now that we're back at Home Sweet Home, my yard seems enormous, everything is blooming, I have freshly planted English daisies at my doorstep, and new coffee in the cabinet. So Look Out Spring.
Yours, xxx

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Henri Bendel Open-See

I brought my new line of British Wensleydale wool and Shetland tweed accessories to Henri Bendel on Friday for the fall-fashion Open See. The buyer said they
"are heavy, for fall, and are preppy." I said politely, "oh yes, they are for fall."
from the website "Our buyers will be viewing product for the Fall 2012 season..."
The moment threw me, and it was downhill from there.

I had barely opened the second part of my line, my lovely collaboration British Shetland tweed headbands and she repeated, "yah, these are preppy." Those I agree are very Classic- of course they are! they are made from British tweed. They are meant to be worn with British knits and tweeds:) She said something about uptown, but I can't remember if it is they who are uptown or if they think my pieces were uptown. Probably the first one? I don't know! It's already sort of a disappointing blur, as right after she said preppy (for the second time) I was trying to tie the brown satin ribbon back on my white box, having barely showed them any of it.
I'm rather confused over the whole thing. Maybe they were just talking out loud. Even though it was the Open See for "Fall Fashion" perhaps, in 80 degree weather, they weren't really ready to select things for fall just yet. And maybe preppy meant too plain, too simple? I'm just unsure what happened, I don't understand, really. I'll just continue to stay in my own creative zone, and begin my spring and summer pieces. My friend in England emailed, "it's a total bloody bummer though."

See me at 24 seconds, chatting with those around me in line. Every passing by New Yorker seemed to come to me to answer the "what is this line for?" question. My new friends said it's because I look friendly.
(you'll have to stop my playlist first so you can hear the video, just stroll to the bottom of my blog to turn the music off).

Bill Cunningham was snapping shots of a few in line, the very famous photographer- another photographer with a very large camera from I don't know where, asked me to pose with my boxes of pieces for him. I looked behind me, and said, "me?" and then smiled for him.
I will blog later about our two day trip with a coughing, fevering Mimi (I just loaded the washer with the "more" puked on clothes, mine and hers- UGH)- we took some photos that I'll treasure even though the outcome with the buyer wasn't what I'd imagined. She did keep my look book and pricing list, maybe I'll be reconsidered closer to fall.
I will still plug away at working at what I believe in, the revitalization of the British Wool industry, the switch to fashion that is long lasting, Ethical fashion, and helping people to rethink how they feel about wool. I know that I am supported in those causes, so I am ok, just tired! I have a gorgeous new line though, all ready to go, and I can't wait to introduce it, and my collaboration with the whole wide world!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Oh Designing!

Oh Dear, the blog has suffered in 2012. I have to admit it. My handful of subscribers probably think I'm in a strange bored seasonal depression, and my customers at the shop downtown must think I'm only good for three items on the shelf- that I must not care much about making much of anything, or writing much about stuff.

but oh no, that's just not the case. My home is a pile of headbands. My once tidy vintage pink kitchen table, is now overloaded with glue gun, potatoes, a sack of charity donations, ribbon, and tape, and string. It's actually a slow creative madness over here. Coffee drinking, laundry folding, cooking things, glue-ing things, felting things, emails to the UK at night, internet researching. An Extravaganza. And this is how one creates a hair accessories line.

So back to some photos of when we've left the house. Here's the market, the fish shop, and the park. In that order. I'm such a great blogger now. Such detail. Yada yada.


Thursday, March 8, 2012