Learning to dance in the rain

Catching up with my blog post for another Folksy Friday Film. ‘Rainbows and Unicorns’ involves a gorgeous selection of lovely makes from talented Folksy sellers. You can watch it here:

One of the makers in the film created something especially designed for the animation, this beautiful unicorn was created by Abbey Wright of Seen and Known – here we find out a little bit more about Abbey and her small handmade business:

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Hi, my name is Abbey! I’m the creator of Seen and Known. I live in Carlisle, in the beautiful county of Cumbria. For my business I make little keepsake soft sculpture animals. I love creating animals that have character, making each one with their own personality. I enjoy watching a flat design evolve into something that can stand on its own two or four feet! I started working with textiles 6 years ago during my A Levels and I started my business Seen and Known 3 years ago.

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How long do your makes take to create?

 Depending on the animal and the size, it can take a day or two. Getting everything just right with all the details and of course taking tea and cake breaks!

Your inspiration / how do you come up with your designs?

I’m inspired by other peoples work. Looking at what they’re making, their skills and being in awe of them. And obviously animals.

The designs I draw are straightforward, nothing too technical. The fun is in the face and accessories.

What is your personal favourite design or item to make?

It’s hard to pick one but I always enjoy the sheep and how they turn out. I also really like a panda I made a while back wearing a hat.

What’s your most popular item?

The sheep are popular I think. And the two lions I made found homes quite quickly.

Best feedback from a customer?

A customer bought a sheep for a gift and asked for a birthday card to go with it which I painted and hand lettered. I remember she was “delighted” with both the wooly sheep and card. That was a very nice commission to make.

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What does mean to you when someone buys one of your handmade items?

I’m always thrilled and surprised! For someone who doesn’t know me but trusts me and what I create is such a lovely feeling. For a person to want what I make is encouraging. I always hope that my little animals bring joy to whoever gives them a home.

Fun fact(s)? 

If I could wear slippers all the time, I would!

Making a unicorn for this film was a new, unique and magical experience.

What’s next? 

Next, I just hope I can carry on creating these little creatures and continue to grow Seen and Known. You can always find me on Instagram, Facebook and Folksy!

A very special thanks to Yas Bowley who animated the most beautiful leaping unicorn, turning Abbey’s textile creation into a magical animation, it is perfect and Abbey was thrilled to see her unicorn brought to life.

Also again a huge thank you to my lovely hubbie, Steven Warren who created some original ukulele especially for the film *I’m a lucky lady*.

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Now we meet Shelly Honey from by Shelly Lee maker of the magic jug that turns dancing flowers into unicorns!

Hello I’m Shelly Honey I have a little pottery business called by shelly lee, I live in a little village on the edge of Dartmoor in Devon, my business started as my full time job 8 years ago, I used to dabble in all sorts of crafts until I started pottery which took off and I haven’t looked back since, I used to work as a part time chef before hand and gave that up to do pottery full time, I love what I do and wouldn’t want to change it for the world, I have a little garden workshop that I share with Daddy Rabbit, he’s one of my two bunny’s, he’s a super fluffy lion head and is 8 years old this year, he’s a proper grumpy old man but we love him hugely.

How long do your makes take to create?

I make a huge variety of pottery, I only use porcelain, I chose porcelain as I love its creamy white colour and the way the colour glazes look on its body. Each item I make is made from hand, no wheels or slip moulds, each item is made using the slab building method, I am a very quick worker, once I get in the zone I can easily make up to 50 jugs in a day, plaques can take slightly longer as each letter is stamped by hand. I’m much more productive when making, but glazing takes double the time if not more.

Your inspiration / how do you come up with your designs?

Sketch, sketch, sketch. I have books of random drawings which very rarely resemble a finished product. I also like to be hands on, sometimes just playing until I come up with something new.

What is your personal favourite design or item to make?

That’s a difficult one, I think If I had to pick just one it would be the button jugs, even after making hundreds I still love them and still have the same joy in opening the kiln to them as I did when I first started to make them.

What is your most popular item?

Equally button jugs and HaPea keyring, these are the biggest sellers with the shops who supply my items.

Best feedback from a customer?

The best one off the top of my head wasn’t something someone wrote to me but it was the face of someone when I delivered them their item, seeing the pure joy on that persons face made me realise I was doing something right 

What does it mean to you when someone buys one of your handmade items?

Pure happiness, every time I get a sale or order I feel the same bubbling joy inside, I feel so blessed that someone has chosen to buy an item I’ve made with my own two hands, even after all these years I still can’t quite believe I’ve got my own little business and it’s all down to each and every wonderful customer, for that I’ll be forever grateful. 

Fun fact(s)?

Few facts about me, I am double jointed and my arms bend back at the elbow. 

I have an addiction to dungarees, it’s all I ever wear.

I have two rabbits, ones called daddy rabbit who’s old, grumpy and rules over the garden, the other is called Nelly who’s lives in the house (garden by day) she very loving and I’m pretty sure she thinks she’s half goat as she’s recently taking a liking to climbing walls and fences.

You can find Shelly online, her gorgeous wares are available to buy from her Folksy Shop or on Facebook.

A massive thank you to all of the other Folksy makers who contributed to the animation, it has been a total pleasure working with you all and I hope to interview more of you for this blog in the future. All of the additional gorgeous makes that are included in the film are listed below and shop links included, please do pay them a visit and say hello on their social media accounts to see more of their wonderful designs:

Felt Me Up Designs – Felted Penguin

Shirley Rainbow – Dancing handmade flower designed especially for this project

A Touch of Wimsey Co – Weather symbols – taken from her beautiful cot mobile design

Fancy Knittles – Crochet love heart flowers in pots

Just to Say… – Crochet Doughnut

Cardology Ltd – Pop up Rainbow Card

downloadBy shopping small, buying from self employed artists, designers, and makers, as well as independent retailers and shopping on Folksy: you’re supporting British artisans, directly putting money in their pockets – supporting David not Goliath. To find out more about supporting Indie Retailers and British artisans visit: Just a Card to see how you can join the campaign.

 

Sunshine and showers

It’s Treasury Tuesday again, yay! Here at Leapup HQ we love to find some of the latest makes to help brighten your day.

This week’s treasury is themed around last week’s crazy weather. We had hail, snow, warm sunshine, thunder, storm clouds, basically all weather in one week… you’ve got to love our crazy British spring times! I continue to keep everything crossed that we’re in for better things this May!

So this week we have a themed treasury celebrating that wonderful British phenomenon, the weather. I was little bit spoiled for choice this week, with so many gorgeous, raindrop, clouds, rainbow and weather related ‘makes’ available to buy on Etsy. It was tough to choose, but after a little bit of pondering we have included our top picks which you can view in detail and buy here:

‘Sunshine & showers’ Etsy Treasury by Leapup

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So many goodies this week including those adorable little coasters depicting rainy storm clouds by TheCornishCoasterCo, and that lovely screen print with a little girl shielding herself from the rain by Little Blue Girl Co. How about that miniature embroidery hoop necklace with rainbow drops by Pixie Craft? Those bright and bold hand drawn posters by Ip Dip are always sure to put a smile on your face – no matter what the weather! So much talent and so many lovely goodies.

This weeks ‘STAND OUT’ is the adorable Cloud Desk Tidy by Pygmy Cloud.

STANDOUTclouddesktidyIt’s so cute and if you have a thing for clouds you should seriously take a look at the Pygmy Cloud shop as it’s simply bursting with white cloud cuteness including coasters, washi gift tape, greetings cards, a cloud cosmetic bag and even the most gorgeous hand crafted cloud side tables. Take a closer look you won’t be disappointed!

So that’s about it for this week but please don’t forget if you like what you see, please visit the shop and maybe help these talented makers who are all small business by sharing this post or their items on social media. They don’t get the same exposure as the corporate giants or high street stores so lets share the love and help get these gorgeous goodies seen!