Wednesday, September 8, 2010

My Whimsical Animal Bags

Hello again,

I thought I would re-post my "Whimsical Animal Bags" photo (for the fun of it).

I've joined the world of Etsy!

Alright, I didn't "just" join the world of Etsy...I opened an account almost a year ago, but I hadn't submitted anything until yesterday. I have now switched my profile username to "WillowbirdDesigns" and have uploaded my first item, my leather "Clarisse" (Whimsical Animal) Turtle handbag.

I really don't know why I've waited so long to try Etsy but thought now was the time to do so. Over the next couple of weeks I plan to list more of my Animal bags, plus other leather goods and jewellery I have recently made.

You can find me at this link :)

I have recently discovered the very interesting and growing trend of "Steampunk" and I am fascinated by all the various components that make up the garb and accessories that people wear to Steampunk events. I love the mixture of Can-Can girl meets Goth girl, meets Victorian lady, Aviator and Fantasy Time Traveller (phew large description!).

Never before have I "been" into any trends or "followed the crowds" but this has totally hit me as both exciting and imaginative, and fun! I'm starting to collect gadgets, cogs, gears and other assorted items and will start playing with them and incorporate them into various new leather pieces (Pouches, arm bands, belts, jewellery etc).

The clothing looks like fun also but if I make any pieces they will likely just be for myself to wear :)

It's fun to explore different worlds within this world :) (and time-travelling ha!)

tada for now! :)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Upper Canada Village Medieval Festival 2010

Last week I spent 3 days at the Upper Canada Village's 3rd Annual "Medieval Festival". I saw my fellow merchant friends that I had met last year as well as my own SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism) group. I set up my booth beside the archery range (with my SCA group) where I could participate in shooting before and after the event along with my husband and fellow archery friends.

It was a great weekend with a huge turnout on the Friday (aprox 4600 grade 4/5 children showed up for their Medieval Studies Educational Day) plus a good turnout on the weekend as well. The weather held for us even with the dark threatening clouds on the Saturday. We lucked out!

The jousters, jesters, birds of prey, musicians and my own Middle Eastern Dance Troupe ("The Alika Farasha Dancers") performed throughout the weekend. During my shows my husband covered my leather goods booth for me.

We had lovely audiences! Some folks came back to watch several of our shows (we performed 3 to 4 times daily).

I sold quite a bit over the weekend and was happy to hear comments regarding my leather work and artistic paintings/tooling on my various pieces. I love getting feedback, every artist should be critiqued (for positive and negative, as there are always ways to improve things!). The only negative comment I had been given was that I should perhaps make my leather leaf necklaces a bit longer...good point!

I sold a variety of goods from my leather shoulder bags to the Medieval style belt pouches, to water bottle holders and leather jewellery :)

When I arrived home on the Saturday evening I received a call that my episode from "Regional Contact" that originally aired last Oct 31 (yes on Halloween!) was also aired again this past Saturday night. I wasn't home in time to watch it (and I had also missed the original airing as I was away that weekend but luckily CBC sent the DVD of my episode to me, plus it is also posted on their website).

All in all it was a very enjoyable weekend and I look forward to returning to it again next year!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Medieval Themed Leather Goods

Leather Works and Celtic Jewellery!

As the time is flying closer to the Upper Canada Village Medieval Festival I am keeping busy making leather goods and also wire Celtic-inspired jewellery to have for sale at my booth. I will be merchanting there again this summer.

My jewellery will be made of Copper, Leather or Aluminum (for the wire work I create the designs and hammer the pieces and will be oxidising several pieces to give them an "Antiqued Age-Patina").

I won't be bringing my "Whimsical Animal Bags" to this event as they don't fit the theme (though I may bring one for the fun of it). Instead I will have a good selection of Medieval/Renaissance style leather belt pouches and purses, leather water bottle holders (they hold beer and wine coolers as well...these holders have Celtic-themed designs burned or painted on them), leather roses, coin pouches and other various items.

If you are attending the festival please feel free to drop by my booth to say "hello" !! (my booth is likely going to be near if not beside the archery demo area, plus I will be performing on stage with my Middle Eastern Dance Troupe "The Alika Farasha Dancers" throughout each day of the event as well as performing during the Kings Banquet on Saturday night!

Please check out the link for the festival!


Monday, November 30, 2009

Commissioned Work

Although I have thought that I wouldn't take on any commissioned work at this point, I have since changed my mind on two recent occasions.

After the two TV shows appeared showcasing my animal bags I had received beautiful emails and phone calls from viewers of the show, people I had never met called or emailed me to congratulate me on my show and my business! Words of praise that humbles me to the core :)

One of the viewers is interested in purchasing one of my bags and wants to commission another bag of a bird. I love birds (they are my passion) and thought "yes" I would very much like to make that particular bird bag for her.

I do not however want to make bags of certain animals (ie cats or dogs) or some other creatures that I've been asked to do in the past. Those animals simply did not interest me enough to want to spend the huge amount of hours I pour into designing and making them. I have seen various cat and dog bags etc made of fabric mass-produced in other work is not of this type.

Therefore I feel I have to take each idea given to me with much thought and if I feel inspired by it then I will do so. I do not want to get into the rut of making something just for the money...this is not my goal. I have to have the passion and the desire to do a specific creature.

My goal is remain as "the artist" and have the freedom to show my artistic "flair" in my creations :)