Rose Tinted Brooches







Pip and I did a little photo shoot in my garden this solstice day to get some decent photographs of the new brooches I've made for my Etsy shop. They're all up, for you to peruse (and perhaps purchase!) at your leisure.







I'm currently working on some top-secret bunting which may be finding its way into the Etsy shop in the next week or so; I'll be stitching it all day tomorrow, while sat in front of Orange Is The New Black, my latest addiction.

Things from the forest

I've been busy with a hundred and one different things the last couple of weeks, and thus have been neglecting Poesie Grenadine. But you can expect a whole raft of posts and updates coming over the next week.

One of the things I've been busy with is making lots of cute new brooches to put in the Etsy shop. I will be updating the shop tomorrow, but in the meantime, here are two sweet little 'shroom brooches.



Ghoul Guides


Back in September I bought myself a 50s Girl Scouts uniform with the intention of covering it in handsewn patches that were gathering dust in a ruby slipper sparkly box on a shelf in my room.

These patches were made by fellow artists and crafters, or "crafty babes" as we say on Tumblr. They include patches by Hanecdote, Milk Lake, and Dany Reede. Hanecdote is the Etsy alias of my dear friend Hannah Hill, who has vowed to create an "international club where it is now your duty to kick butt with sass and attitude" through her Ghoul Guides patches. Hannah creates dozens of designs from the cute to the saucy, stitching up alternative merit badges to be worn with pride. And, fingers crossed, she should be re-opening her wildly successful Etsy shop today!


Milk Lake is Rachel Parent, lover of growing her own and gardening, folk art, music and culture, and Joanna Newsom. Her hand-stitched wall art and patches are so charming in their soft tones and floral patterns; she puts a lot of detail into each piece and each stitch. As she's such a Joanna Newsom aficionado, I just had to commission her to make me a "poetaster" patch, which is displayed close to my heart on my dress. I consider myself something of a poetaster; not a master poet, by any means!


Next to my poetaster patch is a Girl Scouts Walthamstow Division vintage badge. I had to pay homage to my hometown somewhere!

I think this is my favourite Hanecdote patch. So punny.


Dany Reede makes a whole plethora of art, from painting and drawing to printmaking. He also makes the sweetest of broken hearted hand and machine embroidered naive patches. The "Lonely Hearts" one in particular is inspiring me, with my obsession with moons, paper or otherwise.



Thanks to Katrina Bautista for pictures. I will wear my Ghoul Guides dress with pride, and try to do Hannah proud too by kicking butt with as much sass as possible!

Radical Ma'am

My addiction to lino printing rages on, with many trips to Hobbycraft to satisfy my cravings. This latest print is based on an embroidery I did a couple of years ago.



 Now for sale in the Poesie Grenadine Etsy shop for £5. I shall be adding some more vintage threads to the shop tomorrow.






The quick brown fox




These crafty little fellas have been stitched up ready to go in the Poesie Grenadine Etsy shop when I reopen it in January.

The foxy fellas had been tucked away in a sparkly box for many a month, but they were just crying out to be made up into cute little brooches. And doing so afforded me the perfect opportunity to practise my blanket/buttonhole stitch and couching. I think they're rather fetching, don't you? Their leaping stance puts me in mind of the old pangram "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" More brooch designs are brewing and will be shared here shortly...

At a snail's pace


"Slow and steady wins the race" is an adage my mother is fond of quoting to me when I am bemoaning just how long it is taking to move things forward. Never is this more apt than with needlework; as a family we recently got 'round to watching Fabric of Britain, and in the embroidery edition of the series (which featured a certain Royal School) learned that it can take six hours to embroider just two tiny cheeks of a face in split stitch. This makes my progress with my Canvas Stitches coral garden look positively speedy!

Jacquard Stitch on my Canvas Stitches coral garden piece


I have never been good at sharing works in progress, whether in the contexts of work, academia, or on this blog. It must be the perfectionist in me. Right now, though, I only have works in progress to show. This feels fitting; it seems like my life is a work in progress right now, moving forward, though in no way speedily. Slowly, slowly, at a snail's pace, I am learning technique, and I am learning so much about myself. Learning what makes me happy and keeps me healthy. This new experience is an education, in every sense of the word.






Although it's tough, sometimes even mentally and physically exhausting, I am enjoying every stitch.

Perhaps all this is why snails have appeared so often in my artwork over the years; from my oh-so-"conceptual" GCSE art project in which a colourful character hid their light under a bushel (or more accurately, inside a box covered with snail shells) within a colourful inner sanctum that was literally bubblewrapped from the outside world;













...to Dale the Snail (not my choice of name!) who takes pride of place in the Jacobean Crewel Work I (finally!) completed for my RSN course (still needs to be mounted, though).



Or perhaps I simply like snails... the way they carry their homes around with them, their dual timidity and curiosity at the world, and if you want to get really "Dartington", how they leave a trace of their existence behind wherever they go.

I'm learning other ways of taking better care of myself in addition to endless meditative stitching; learning to be thankful for all the wonderful people and experiences in my life, reading the work of my favourite writers, surrounding myself with art that makes me feel good. That includes the art of my contemporaries, for example the wonderful Hannah Hill, a young artist and good friend of whom I expect great things (and who is already making great things happen!) This piece in particular has been a great comfort of late; the text is taken from a piece by another young Tumblr artist, Eryn (of the blog "botanicalmovement"):

Hannah has really made Eryn's words come alive

I am, as ever at this time of year, trying to look for the little things that make winter wonderful, when it is such a difficult time for people like me, who have a tendency towards depression. So I felt I'd stumbled on a literary, stitchery, wintry goldmine when I came across this cross stitched Annie Dillard quotation by Jessica Kelly on Flickr:


Dillard is definitely a writer I'll have to do some investigating into pretty imminently.

All these wise stitched words have spurned me into stitching some of my own; I've written a wry little manifesto for myself moving forward:
  • Being a damsel in distress went out with wimples; be your own hero
  • Red lipstick wasn't rationed for a reason; it's a shell to fling at the world, a suit of armour
  • Playing the invalid invalidates you; heal yourself
  • What to look for in winter; fungus, ferns, frost; two bodies under a blanket; a warm dog sat in your lap
  • Remember you're a milk thistle; unlily your liver
  • Shout boo at every hissing goose to cross your path
I am picking away at embroidering the manifesto (tentatively titled "The Tentative Manifesto of a Big Girl's Blouse"... I wonder why?) and practising my split stitch while I'm at it. Picking it up after a hard day's stitching homework and returning to sewing as a form of therapy, which is so important for me.




I've also made the decision to re-open my Etsy shop. The time feels right, when I am so full of enthusiasm for the future. When these two little fellas have been transformed into rosettes, I will be putting them up for sale alongside framed embroidered art from The Cure for Love and other projects, and a few vintage garments I'm very excited to share with you all.


When the time comes I will post all the pertinent information and links here on the Poesie Grenadine blog. Until then, I'll be stitching!


Trinkets

I'm not a fashion blogger by any stretch of the imagination (as the photographs below illustrate), but I do have a fondness (well, more than a fondness) for fashion, as my ever-expanding collection of vintage and thrifted frocks attests.

When it comes to clothes, I try to shop second hand (with the exception of hosiery and underwear!), partially for the good of the planet, but largely because it allows me to cultivate a more individual look. 

Cardigan: Charity shop
Dress: Vintage
Shoes: Juju
Brooch: Poptones
Hair clip: Poptones

When it comes to accessories, however, I try my best to support independent designers like myself, many of whom sell their handmade wares via craft vending website Etsy.

My most recent handmade goodies come courtesy of the wondrous Marlena Pope of Poptones, who sells her products via her proper good fashion blog.

Marlena has a wonderful sense of fun and colour in both her outfits and her handmade accessories. When I clapped eyes on her sweetheart barettes, I knew I had to snap one up. I wore it to work today, and every time I turned my head I caught a scent of sugar.




My collection of witch-themed brooches also appears to be ever-expanding (and as a committed Stitch Witch, how could it not be?)

I already have a sparkly number which spells out "WITCH" in beads from the cryybaby Etsy, which my fellow Stitch Witch Hannah Hill gave me (thanks Han, I wear it with pride). Mimi's shop is brimming with riot grrrl sparkle and sass, and she's trade friendly!

My other witch brooch is similarly riot grrrl inspired; also from Marlena's shop, its glittery design is based on a Hole fanzine.




As a self-proclaimed femme, sometimes I need something a little creepy to offset the sweetness of my outfits; and when that's the case, I turn to the fabulous Jen Johnson's Etsy, hoodratroughdiamond. Jen has bags upon bags of wicked cool style, and she comes up with the most wonderfully surreal, disco-morbid badge and barrette designs. Among my favourites are her new moth collar pins:


And her Halloween bone hair barrettes:


My very favourite purchase from Jen, however is the wonderfully witty tombstone pin that reads "Live slow, die whenever". It's a sentiment I live by!


Truly I could spend all my hard-earned pennies in the hoodratroughdiamond shop; there's such a wonderful plethora of naff 90s memorabilia, creepy cute kitsch, and twee, all aesthetics I endorse heartily.

Today's present to myself was a pair of cute ghostie earrings (ghostie is one of my favourite words and definitely one of my favourite things) from ginettepomette, who makes many adorable things which threaten my bank balance. Jen of hoodratroughdiamond alerted me to their existence; thanks a bunch, Jen!


I do love ordering independently designed/manufactured products through the post; when they arrive, it's like getting a little present from yourself that you needn't feel guilty about!

I will always support independent designers whenever I can, which brings me to the last (but certainly not least) designer of this blog post; Hanecdote, aka my good friend and fellow Stitch Witch Hannah Hill.

Hannah has recently reopened her Etsy shop with a ridiculously cute new product; the Ghoul Guides patch. These collectible patches range from "Halloween Queen" to the hilarious and pertinent "Donut Touch Me" (I ordered two; one for me, and one for a friend!)




And the best part is, if you order three badges, you receive a membership badge free of charge! I just know I'm going to have to collect them all!

That's my haul of my favourite indie designers! I'd love it if you could share yours, I'm constantly on the lookout for new trinkets handmade with lots of love.






Stylin' Stitch Witch


Jen of hoodratroughdiamond wrote the sweetest little blog post about the swap we did. I love the way she styled the rosette; she’s definitely a new fashion icon of mine.
Stitch Witches Collective on Facebook is going from strength to strength, with crafty swaps being discussed and plans for meet-ups afoot. Plus we now have 146 members! Fellow founding member Hannah and I are meeting up the week after next to initiate the next stage of making the Stitch Witches zine a reality.
PS You can get your hands on your own Stitch Witches rosette here.

Swaps, sales, and sinister sewing


Last Wednesday evening I had the most delightful January pick-me-up; I made my first sale on Etsy! The item which sold was Dishwater Eyes, one of my first embroideries for my project The Cure for Love, and was a romantic present for the buyer’s wife. I’ve yet to hear whether she was happy with it yet, but I’m very happy that one of my embroideries can be so meaningful for somebody else.
dishwater eyes
As well as selling work, I’ve been doing some swapping of late; the fabulously stylish Jen ofhoodratroughdiamond wanted to know how  she could get a hold of one of my Stitch Witches rosettes (illustrated by Hanecdote and simply sewn by me):
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Well, I’d been hankering after some of Jen’s ghoulishly gorgeous creepy cute accessories for a little while, and so I was chuffed when she suggested we do a swap. I can’t help feeling I lucked out with my goodies; I got this witty little brooch (a much better motto than “Live fast, die young”, wouldn’t you agree?):
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I also received a bone-shaped hair barette which I’m going to describe, in true fashion-twerp style, as “disco-morbid” (it’s covered in glitter!)
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Today I’ve confirmed another spooky swap with Oh Hell Clothing; an embroidery of mine for this rather fab over-sized Ouija tee:
OVERSIZED OUIJA TEE
You can now get your hands on your very own Stitch Witches rosette over at my Etsy shop. Now seemed like a good time to make the rosettes available to buy, as Stitch Witches is becoming something of a movement! Our Facebook group has 135 members and counting, and has become a real (virtual) social hub for crafty young women, a source of inspiration, advice, and celebration of our creativity. Hannah and I can’t wait to get the zine out and get other Stitch Witches involved in our little (but quickly growing) project.
Finally, a silly photoshoot with a fantastic old book I’ve discovered via Significant Seams; it seems one I definitely need to share with the Stitch Witches coven:
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The book isn’t quite as sinister as it might appear, however, rather quaint and English and old-fashioned in fact (a bit like the author of this blog, perhaps?) and really warrants a blog post all of its own…

Poesie Grenadine - the "brand"!


Here for your viewing pleasure is the preview of the Poesie Grenadine shop! I will be selling pop punk/riot girl brooches, jeans/jacket patches, and original fine art embroidery which has featured on this blog.

The shop is scheduled to open next week, or whenever my new credit card arrives (I'm just about to head off to the bank to order it now!)

Here are my current patch designs, which will be made to order in a colour combination of your choice:



I'm lucky enough to have a Dad who is also an accomplished photographer, and he very kindly took some product shots of the first three brooch designs for me:

"THUNDER THIGHS ARE GO" brooch






"Abject Loveliness" brooch





"Femmeinist" brooch









Hope to catch some of you talented art and craft makers/consumers over on Etsy soon!


Time flies when you have no funds

Sorry for falling off the face of the planet (or at least the small nugget of it which is this blog) recently. I've been rather busy. In the past month I've exhibited in the Art Trail, done a few "official" reviews for said Art Trail, graduated, started a new (paid!) job one day a week, helped to launch Significant Seams'/the Craftivist Collective's/Oxfam's GROW project, got a Poesie Grenadine Tumblr and Facebook page up and running,set up the Psychobitches Go Wild! Tumblr with my collaborator, and set up my Etsy shop (just waiting for my credit card to arrive and then it's good to go!) Phew!

There's still quite a lot of projects/stuff to do on the horizon, but I feel like I'm on top of things now, rested, and ready to take on the next few months. For a start, there's my hugely exciting group exhibition at Viktor Wynd, and the opening of my Etsy shop next week (fingers crossed!) A couple of exciting "businessy" ventures/arty projects are under discussion too, so fingers crossed for those as well.

So, now for a round-up of graduation photographs.

Here is the only decent capped and gowned photograph from graduation (and the mortarboard's still too small!):



My gorgeous grandparents rented a house near Falmouth for the week, and my Grandma was able to join my Dad and I at the ceremony.


With my favourite tutor - I may look unimpressed, but I assure you I wasn't! He's looking most profound and pensive, too:


A photograph of my ex-housemate Mark and I, in which we look like a colour-coordinated couple at a relative's wedding, taken by our friend Butler with a disposable camera.



And my family's favourite photograph of the lot:


I am trying to take that Love Heart's advice!