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:

uni1.jpg

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.

20190429_122640.jpg

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.

unijug

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*.

flowerpower

 

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.

 

Feel the joy this Folksy Friday

Following on from the antics of animating the Folksy Mr Mouse Christmas film, I’m once again teaming up with Folksy and lots of talented British artists, designers and makers to create some new short animation films. The aim is to help you (and hopefully me) feel the joy and spread some handmade Folksy vibes. Tomorrow is the first in the series of Folksy Friday film and fun days, the first animation short will be released and you’ll find more about the talented maker at Feltmeupdesigns who created the gorgeous handmade chicks for the first film.

Hopefully you can visit Folksy (their website or social media) and have a look, have a browse and see what gorgeous handmade goodness is on offer? This blog post explains more about Folksy Friday Fun…  https://blog.folksy.com/2019/04/29/folksy-friday-fun-films

Look out for the first of the Folksy Friday films tomorrow to find out what’s in the box, and please, please, please, like, comment and share when you see it! As British self employed makers all the comments, likes and shares we can get to help spread the handmade & Folksy message means the world to us!

58741769_2470258362998314_5642714843640233984_n

I’m really looking forward to this challenge of creating nine animations (one a week in May and June) and hope you can offer your support. The animations will all be very basic and rough around the edges but I hope they make you smile, that’s the aim anyway! It means a lot to me as I’m just pulling myself out of a very deep winter ‘rut’ and and it feels exciting and exhilarating to get the camera out and get the creative juices flowing again – phew! My head has literally been exploding with ides over the last month, it’s a really great feeling.

chickchick

Image: Taken by Leanne Warren features the beautiful handmade goodies: needle felted chick from Feltmeupdesigns; and crochet love heart flower pot from Fancy Knittles – both on Folksy.com.

I’m also very excited to be working with the extraordinarily talented designer and animator, Yas Bowley who created the most beautiful Folksy animation earlier this year. Please head over and take a look at her animation, she spent months creating this gorgeous film, in support of Folksy and British designers and makers. Yas will be creating a little 2D animated ‘Folksy’ logo for the end of each film so please look out for those and (eeeek, exciting) we are planning more animation collaboration in the future – so watch this space!

Anyway I hope you enjoy the animation. I can’t wait to get started on week 2 – animating zombies, in the jungle? Intrigued? I just need to get the ideas out of my head and into reality – which should be a lot easier thanks to all of the talented Folksy makers who are helping me with this project. Thank you so much you talented bunch.

Find me on Folksy:

leapup.folksy.com

rosefiltered.folksy.com

Find Yas here:

IndaBayi.folksy.com

PS for all the lovers of the fabulous (and on occasion diva-ish) Mr Mouse, created by the ridiculously talented Amanda Barnes … you might be glad to hear he will be making a reappearance and he has a new friend, eeeek, more to be revealed 🙂