Monthly Archives: October 2012

Just as light pervades a rainbow…

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I just had to quickly share this before I toodle off to bed, because its VERY exciting (well for me anyway!)    I think I have finally chosen my colour palette for dyeing my Organic cotton! I took a quick screenshot so you could get a little sneak peek:

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I’ve decided to try out Dharma Trading’s ‘Fibre Reactive’ dyes, with the plan to hopefully experiement with natural dyes in the near future.  I have heard a lot of positive things about the quality of the F-Reactive’s and they seem to be the main choice of designers on Etsy too from what I can see.  It is a rather lengthy process to use these dyes involving lots of extra start up costs along side the costs of dyes….which is a little nerve wracking as my Etsy shop is still relatively new (7months and probably only 4 months really active) and very slow in regards to actual sales (13 and counting).  Extras needed for the Fibre Reactive dye baths are non iodized salt, soda ash and textiles detergent at the very least.  Dharma recommends a miriad of other products as well but for now I plan on getting my hands on the basics as cheaply as possible (non iodised salt and soda ash/washing soda are easily bought in shops) and trying to keep start up costs as minimal as possible.

So there is definately a pinch of trepidation mixed in with a far amount of excitement too at diving head first into this Organic/Hand dyeing venture, and I am feeling a little like a yester year struggling bohem….its quite a sweet feeling really.  Ah well, fingers crossed people will like what I make and be inpired enough by the time and love that goes into my future creations to be willing to part with some hard earned cash for them ❤

Now, Tom and I are off to the city tomorrow super early and im thoroughly ready to test my new resolve to stear clear of Fabric shops!

Until next time,

xxx

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Etsy Love Part1

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This is a eclectic and rather eccentric compilation of some of my fav new finds on Etsy at the moment, a mixture of clothing, homeware, everything!   A homage to the wonderful creative folks found on Etsy.  For prices and links to the designers online store just look under the photo! ❤

Handmade flats with a peacock embroidery (made to your measurements)
These cuties are handmade by Chebran ($395)
Custom Dyed Thigh High Socks
Hand Dyed by SewYeah and made by American Apparel these are so cosy with a touch of casual sexyness ($25)
Gold Chain Ear Cuff
I love this beauty! It brings a tribal/indian edge to any outfit.  Handmade by FrancisFrank ($18)
vintage storage drawer bin wood box hardware store display industrial rustic office chic home decor brown wooden box
I want this salvaged gem in my workshop.  Now.  By RecycleBuyVintage ($28)
Tribal Ear Cuff Earrings- Sapphire Gold Triangles
Another gorgeous little tribal gem, handmade by FrancisFrank ($25)
The Candle-log-ra - Natural Tree Trunk Candelabra - MADE TO ORDER - Rustic Home Decor, Bring the Outside In
Epic nature inspired table top chandelier, handmade by FrickandFrackScraps ($48)
Beautiful Unique Hill tribe Leather Moccasins
I need these in my life…well maybe not NEED, but want, definately want!  Handmade by HolyCowproducts ($385)
Hand Painted Mason Jar Lantern, with Peacock Blue Glass and Pearl White Eccents
A little pretty decoration for any self respecting nook or cranny.  Hand painted by LITdecor ($24)
Tribal, Nude, Meditative, Sepia  - "Within Silence" - 8x10
Think cushion pile, brick and board book shelf, and this Photography print by SatoriPhoto ($25)
Organic princess seam hooded black sweatshirt pocket dress handmade bamboo made to order

Simple, comfy and seriously sexy…and Organic!  Handmade by crossfox ($80)

Sticks and stones set
These are just stunning.  I’d have these as alternative wedding rings.   Real gems.  Handmade by colbyjune ($225)
caramel pink ballet leg warmers
These are handknitted by ileaiye ($45)
Sooo Sexy and Feminine..  Super Comfy Tight Mini Dress Eco Friendly Batik Fabric Off Shoulder 3/4 sleeve Available Many Colors Custom Made
Off the shoulder little number handmade by Cventika ($38)
Golden Lotus Flower Necklace - Hand Fabricated Mixed Metal Jewelry - Meditation / Yoga Inspired
Unique and stunning.  Handmade Necklace by SilviasCreations (£109)
Woodland nymph head adornment - Red Rose and Black crystal.
Ever have those days where you just want to reinnact The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe?  Well now you can.  Handmade costumery by Mascherina (£75)
fine wool garter-belt longjohns CUSTOMIZE YOUR OWN
Bringing sexy back…into Longjohns.  Didnt think it was possible, but low and behold…Handmade ‘Garter Longjohns’ by sartoria ($180)
Simmer - 11x11 - Print
Speaks for itself,  a real beauty.  Artprint created by yellena ($48)
It's Time for Tea Vintage Style Dress
Cute recycled adults dress, sadly doesnt come with the sweet little toddler to match.  Created by Clementinyclothing ($69)
FREE Shipping New Season Milky  Brown  Wrap Bolero Scarf Shawl Neckwarmer gift for Women Girl Mom Christmas Gift
Handknitted Bolero for days when you just need warm hugs, by denizgunes($79)
Lace Palazzo Pants with Side Slits, Built In Booty Shorts, Also Available in Black
This lady is epic, a real gem.  Support her amazing work, but dont sell her out of these before I get my hands on a pair ok?  Handmade lace palazzo pants by SacredEmpire ($75)
Printers Drawer Jewelry Holder
I’ve always loved peoples random collections in old type cases, but this salvaged Jewellery case is so much more sophisticated then that.  By bluebirdheaven ($168)
Thats all for now folks! Please support small designers and by through Etsy, this is proof that one off unique peices created by people and not machines dont always cost the earth ❤
And check out my shop  if you want to grab yourself a handmade bargain http://www.etsy.com/shop/TheSelkieFolk  because Ive got a massive Sale on at the moment!
Thanks for reading,
xxx

Holly Wedding Dress update (dont look if you are part of Holly Fosythe’s wedding party!)

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I thought I would update you guys on the Wedding Dress that I made for the wonderful Holly F. a few months back.  It was a serious learning curve and an interesting process to say the least….I learnt a lot from the whole experience and over all I would say it was a positive one.

I am really happy with the wedding dress that I made and I think it looks beautiful.  In the end I think that there were a few things that Holly would have liked to change (things that were not mentioned through out the design process sadly), but she seems to be happy overall with her Dress.

I learnt that trying to get a woman to descibe her dream dress to you is REALLY hard.  And I also learnt that trying to make someone elses dream dress, when your wedding dress is built up to be this MAGICAL thing, is also REALLY hard.  Another thing that really popped out to me as a lesson, is to make it clear up front when the design process is ending, and to give your customer a dated deadline as to when any major sculptural changes can be made.  I think that would have been so useful for myself and Holly in this experience and we both lived and learned 😉

But anyways, here are some photos of the finished product, sadly only fast snapshots all very last minute before posting.  Ill also put in a photo of Holly’s dream dress, that our dress is loosely based on.  Remember- this is my first ever wedding dress Ive made and I am completely self taught.  This was not from a full pattern too so…yeh im pretty damn proud of myself!  And it was made on a REALLY tight budget.)

(this is the image Holly gave me as her ‘dream dress’- its a beauty, very couture, and very expensive.

So there it is for you guys… looking back at the photos for the first time in a few months I actually feel really proud of what I accomplished with this project.  Its not the dream dress, but it was never going to be.  This is a Bexi interpretation, and a rather pretty one at that =)

Thanks for reading,

xx

*My October Etsy Wish List*

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Welcome to my dreams…

This is a compilation of the things that I am LOVING at the moment, from some fab sellers on Etsy.  This are things that I dont just love the look of (if it was then I would be here for a LONG time), but things that I would love to own.  Somehow Im just not sure my wonderful gentlemanly sidekick would approve.  Oh dear.
Get ready to be seriously inspiiiiired! (Ill put basic info including shop name and price underneath, you know, just in case you fall in love too!)

Sunny handmade leather flats, MADE to your MEASUREMENTS
These beauties cost $195 and are handmade to your specific measurements by the
wonderful Olesya at ‘Chebran’ on Etsy.  Check out her beautiful creations
Yellow Infinity Crochet Scarf With Colorfull Floral-  Necklace Woman Scarf-Shawl--Cowl-2012 Winter Fashion Accessories-Handmade Scarf

This ‘ infinity scarf ‘ costs just $22.90 and is the most gorgeous mustard colour…

can you see that im going through a mustard colour phase at the moment?!

Its from Selen at ‘ Womens Scarves ‘ on Etsy and you can find her creations

@   http://www.etsy.com/shop/WomanScarves

Hand Painted Tooled Leather Belt - Flowers - Adult sizes
This beauty is made from handcarved and painted leather by the seriously talented Sarah
at ‘ SarahsArtistry ‘.  It costs just $39.95 and I love how bold and colourful it is!  Mmmm yum.
You can find her Etsy shop @  http://www.etsy.com/shop/SarahsArtistry
Reserved For Sharon Exspress Delivery - Mustard Gold Yellow Crochet Shrug / Any Season
Here ends my mustard madness.  This gorgeous little bolero/shawl is handmade by the
very clever peeps at ‘ StarKnitting ‘.  It costs $70 and I think is worth evvvvery penny. YUM.
A-symmetric open back dress, pixie dress, fairy dress, goddess dress, funky dress, bow dress
This open back multiway pixie dress is….oh man, see for yourself.  Epic.  And it only costs
$42 too, made from the wonderful goddesses at ‘ Picarona ‘, with a price like that it comes
pretty guilt free too.  Mmm…..yum!  Check it out here:  http://www.etsy.com/shop/Picarona
gypsy tudung. hooded cowl tunic. organic bamboo hemp blend. hand dyed color- ochre red. 'made to order'
This beauty is wonderfully named the ‘Gypsy Tudung’ and is an Organic, Handdyed and HANDSEWN
magical creation made by Queen of the Elves herself  Miss Rose of ‘ Run with the Tribe ‘.  A magical
woman who creates the most amazing handsewn(no machine) beauties and you really should check
her out.  This costs just $90 (think of the time!) and can be found here:
And for now peeps, that is where my story ends.  I could carry on for days of course……. but, Ill save that for another day.
Thanks for reading!
xxx
Aside

Were you ever told off for being a copycat at school? Well I was, in fact I think its pretty human behaviour to have a little sneak at the A+ students’ test paper next to you.  But when it comes to the creative industry the line gets a LOT more blurry between being inspired by other designers and completely stealing peoples designs.  And recently Ive started to notice that there are a LOT of copycats out there. 

I have seen articles circulate recently around Facebook and Etsy about big fashion businesses stealing the designs and prints of small time designers, which seems to actually be well within the law due to the difficulty of copyrighting creative ideas.  Thats not to say that they would stop doing it if they were outside of the law, Im sure us small designers still wouldn’t stand a chance.  But its not NEW news to me that the fashion industry doesnt stick to any sort of moral code, and im not suprised in the slightest that the big time corperations are happy to step on us ants so to speak.

What DOES suprise me however is just how readily ‘we’ (ie small time businesses) are willing to do this to each other!  And its pretty fantasmagorical just how blatant this Copycat-ting can be…here are just a few obvious examples from Etsy: (original designs on the right)

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This has been really bought to my attention recently in a particularly sticky Copycatting situation occuring between two of my favourite Etsy shops, one being a ‘featured seller’ I have bought from in the past with over 6000 sales, and the other being significantly smaller and less well known.  Cutting a long story short, it turns out that the ‘unnamed’ large shop has been stealing a large collection of the best selling designs from the lovely lady with the smaller and newer Etsy shop! And were not just talking about getting inspired and making a similar peice…were talking full blown replocation down to the smallest details, and multiple designs(I spotted at least 5 designs that were identical between the shops but Im sure there were more!), and listing them as her own unique creations.  Now that stinks of immorality to me.

And it’s not to say that I havnt been sorely tempted myself, to recreate beautiful garments seen in other peoples shops, I mean I get most of my inspiration from a small number of Sellers who I trowl through again and again enthrawled by their designs and colour choices.  But there IS a line, and I have never wanted to cross it…and if I get close then I do feel guilty….because humans have an innate ability to be empathic and ‘put ourselves in their shoes’, and I know that I would hate to be in that situation myself, with my hard work being ripped off and sold on as someone elses.

So this post is a homage to all us creative folk who know when enough is enough, and a reminder to us all (me included!) to think before we create, because I’ve seen first hand the pain and frustration that can be caused by the stealing of other peoples designs and its just not nice.  Im sure there must be enough creative energy out there for us all to come up with our own amazing ideas?  It certainly would make the world more interesting…and colourful!

Xx

 

Shades of Grey: the line between being inspired and just being a copycat

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Its been a long while since Ive posted, partly because its Spring here in Australia and for the last 2 months I have been suuuuper busy in the organic veg garden weeding and planting and mulching and all things ‘hard work’ before the good bits like picking and eating what you’ve grown!  Here is where most of my energy is going, doesnt it look worth it though??

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But I’ve been reading some amazing  creative blogs through out this intermission and am super reinspired to get this one cracking again. 

Its an eclectic bunch, but some of the blogs that I have been munching on recently and highly recommend are:

http://thecosmiccollage.blogspot.com.au/

http://bauhauswife.ca/

http://www.omwoods.blogspot.com/

All fantastic and inspiring reads that satisfy the crafty handmaiden in me and also the holistic/grow-your-own side!

I’ve also been productive on the sewing front too, making a few commissions (particularly the cropped jackets which have been doing really well in my Etsy shop http://www.etsy.com/shop/TheSelkieFolk) and some sweet dresses too- it is coming into Summer here after all!  Here are a few snapshots of recent creations:

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Some major decisions about the direction of my clothing line at TheSelkieFolk have been slowly and calmly coming about over the last month or so too.  Something that I’ve been thinking about more and more (particularly whilst wandering around the multitude of fabric shops in Melbourne!) has been the ethicality and ecological background of the materials that I buy.  I have always enjoyed using recycled materials, bedsheets, curtains to make creations out of and love to upcycle old garments to create new peices, but recently with my want to start from scratch and create more tailored garments, I have found myself buying almost all of my fabrics of the shelf.  And ladies and gents the guilt has definately been building!  So after a lot of pondering and also research into costings etc I have decided to gradually move TheSelkieFolk in the direction of using only Organic Fairtrade natural fibres, and also to handdye using Fibre Reactive Dyes (which are the most ecologically friendly dye you can buy other then Natural dyes which need heavy metal mordents).  Obviously these materials cost a lot more then what I am used to buying from what I am starting to sweetly rename ”Junky fabric stores”, and also a lot more time and money is taken in the whole Dyeing process too.  But I’ve decided to make the commitment, and fingers crossed will have the support of the Etsy community in this new venture!

As we speak I have 18 metres of the tastiest Organic Cotton being driven back from the local town, which has flewn all the way from India! It is a mixture of beautiful hand blockprinted Organic Cotton (dyed with natural plant dyes and Indigo), a few yards of plain dyed Organic Cotton and also some undyed unbleached cotton for Dyeing myself.  I was really hoping to be able to source locally grown Organic Cotton here in Australia, but as of yet have not found a viable source under $30 a metre, so India it is.  For now.  Photos to come!

So in aid of these changes, I am having a Sale on all the beautiful clothing I have listed on my Online Shop

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So feel free to grab yourself or someone you love a bargain or feel super virtuous and get organised ahead of time for Christmas, and support my journey into owning a completely ethically aware clothing line!

Much love and thanks for reading ❤

Bex

Cuppa tea and a catch up