Love Design: Shilo Engelbrecht Fabrics

Images from ALV Textiles

The last three years have been spent coming to terms with my darkest desires: I love a bit of art and craft. How shameful.

More to the point I love crafting with fabric, and have developed a real appreciation for excellent quality. There’s a particular heft that gives a deliciousness to nice fabric, so much that the only thing that can make up for actually cutting up a couple of metres is the shivery crispness of hearing sharp scissors snip through.

I’ve been inspired to look into printing my own fabric, and a recent Twitter conversation led me to the Cambridge-based, Australian-raised artist Shilo Engelbrecht. Based on a series of summer paintings, the textile collection was “an exercise in spontaneity” with an “emphasis on brush strokes and colour.”

I adore the wonderfully vibrant nature of the fabrics, and while the cost is a little beyond my purse, I think it’s exciting to see a visual artist’s approach to textiles. I picture myself drinking lemony cocktails, with a fresh spread of food out in the Australian summer heat. They’re just so evocative.

Ignite. Create. Discuss.

Photos by Tracy Affleck of The Rochester Flea

I’ve fallen a bit back in love with blogs recently, reading and finding new ones whenever I can. But this hasn’t necessarily translated into me writing a lot more. In fact, almost the opposite is true – I feel as though I’ve got nothing to say.

What I need is some direction, and a little bit of the focus that was a key part of the Box of Crayons Great Work MBA e-conference, which aired recently. As I seem to be in an information-devouring mood at the moment, I’ve done what any self respecting self improvement junkie would do, and signed up for every blogging and photography e-course I could get my grubby hands on. It’s intense, and I don’t work on them every evening, but I’m definitely learning things. I’m focussing on this one by A Beautiful Mess.

I’m in the middle of a longer than expected re-brand of my bespoke bunting business’ website, and so have been lusting over great photography that I’ve seen on other craft websites. I did a shoot with the lovely Tracy Affleck of some of our bunting, the spoils of which can be seen above, and when you get real photos done it’s amazing how different (and how much better!) they look.  Natural and restful, not amateur and filled with bits of everyday clutter poking in.

I’m not at the stage where I’ll have a fantastically designed blog and perfect photos. I want to get a bit closer to that soon, but my gut tells me I need to work on my content a little better.

Enter ‘Ignite. Create. Discuss’

Three words I’m  tossing around at the moment, and I’m deciding whether they’re the three words that really sum up what I want to happen on my blog. I want to have a place to be inspired and to express what has ignited my mind’s appetite. I want to be able to share my creativity and talk about the creativity of people I know, and some I don’t!

But it’s the discuss part I’m keenest to work on. I want to use my blog to open up a new little area of the internet where I can share what’s in my mind, and to be able to feed back to others. I want to develop an audience for the things I say, but what I would love more would be to be able to develop an online (or offline for that matter!) dialogue about the things that matter to me.

I’m working on it.

My weekend has Been Mainly Spent #3

In keeping with my most recent tradition of stealing ideas from some of my favourite blogs (this time thanks to Love Audrey) here’s a summary of how yours truly spent the last weekend:
Yeah. Cabaret de los Muertos was definitely a thing. Our homage to the Mexican festival of the dead was a brilliant night, and (dare I say) possibly the best night yet. See if you can spot me as Frida Kahlo…
But organising and performing in a Cabaret, a mere month after the last show is no mean feat. Luckily, I am supported by two amazing women Lisa Carpendale and Michelle Woodland. I say supported by, and I really mean I have a supporting role to them! Kudos where kudos is due, these two powerhouses of enthusiasm really know how to get shit done. I adore being involved, but what I’m definitely best at is maintaining an air of mystery alongside a facade of being truly competent, and then swanning in and taking all of the glory at the end. Ahem.
I’m getting back into performing, and for the first time on Saturday (in a very long time, at least), I just let the fear drop away. Something in me released for the first time in years, and my self consciousness left me, and I just acted like a total diva songstress. After my act, I marched out of the bar at top speed to have about ten minutes quiet time to let the adrenaline pass. All this, and in a monobrow. Whatever next? I was subsequently told it was my best act yet. There’s something pleasing about this cabaret malarkey.

After our third event, it really feels like we’re getting somewhere with the shows, and I’m absolutely delighted to be a part of something that’s adding a bit of life to the area!