Wednesday, September 21, 2005

The Fairytale Tarot is printed!

The cards are all done and printed and now just need to be cut and collated. The quality of colour is remarkable - somehow between our printers and Alex (who is always there as each sheet is proofed and printed) we've become good at getting very intense, rich colours - not always an easy thing with cards. We are now both pretty tired but happy to see that the deck worked out so well. It's slightly strange as the artwork is sort of Irena's style done by Alex (she did the early drawings, he did all the finals and colouring). But it has the traditional, Central European style that we wanted - this deck needs to feel fairly timeless and not too computery. Anyway, we are off for celebratory coffee and cake. Here is the Eight of Wands - for a lot of things happening and for conclusions! Whoops Now maybe I can actually spend a bit more time with the kitten - who so far is mostly being brought up by Lotte, which considering her eccentricities (such as a passionate love of thunderstorms and sitting in the rain) may not be the best of influences.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Mozart Memento Mori

We finally invested in this "Mozart" fabric that we've had our eyes on for ages. It is pre-WWII so what MAKES it is that the light pink yarn is silk - and the rest is cotton. Apparently nowadays they nearly always use synthetic to get the sheen - not at all the same. There is quite a lot of it and the condition is fabulous. However, it means buying some new dupion as I'm not convinced that the colours we have already are right with this. Ohter good news (skip this bit if the "washing and cleaning question" is becoming totally boring) is that it washes beautifully, which means we can do a full-colour print and a "hand-wash don't dry-clean" bag. So - it will obviously go beautifully with a print of our "Masquerade Cat" (edited to add this print) Masquerade Cat But I'm wondering about this fabric also (as an alternative) with a photo of the Bone Chapel that we're working on. Rather than go totally grim, we have taken the parts of the Chapel in which there are sweet little cherubs (clutching skulls of course - I mean that's the whole point of the bone chapel. Oh - link here if anyone is wondering what on earth I'm talking about - scroll down and you'll see a perky little cherub atop a nicely arranged pile of bones). Mozart Do you think this would be too much? Am I simply too keen to produce a bag that I can call "Memento Mori Mozart"? I imagine something that from a distance will look very sweet, and then from close-up will be slightly shocking - but in a good way (I very much like memento mori as I think they remind us to live well too). Anyway, I think I'll do it and just see how it looks. Unless everyone here goes "yeuch!" or something. ps - Moon-cat bag reached an embarrassingly high price on ebay thanks to some very generous people. We are really pleased that a good chunk of money is being raised. But someone here pointed out to me that it's also good publicity for the artists who contribute and as I (and she) feel a bit odd about that - though I guess it's fine - maybe I'll just leave commenting at that.

Friday, September 9, 2005

More on cushions

Yes, I know this journal is becoming positively conjusing - I really think I'm going to have to split it between work stuff (which goodness knows is diverse enough right now) and political/social diatribes (or vague meanderings, as I think they may more often be). But for now, here is a close-up of the Harry Clarke Harlequin cushion (just scanned, so the quality isn't wonderful I'm afraid). This was grabbed when I took it down to a local shop this morning - on the grounds that it's "so very Art Deco". It is quite lovely in fact. But most of all I like the little sting in the tail combined with the sheer beauty of the drawing/fabric et al. I wish we had more of this metallic fabric, but for now it's about to all be used up in some bags (it was only one dance dress worth after all) then it's all gone. Anyway, we can do more of these cushions with other fabric - they work particularly well with Japanese. I also have a fabulous, amazing 1920s piece covered with hibiscus blossoms that I think are hand-printed. It has a few moth holes in the centre so can be cut. But maybe it's too strong to go with this print. Hmm. Well, you see what I mean about the vague meanderings. I blame the heat, it's been a wonderfully hot day today. Art Deco

Tuesday, September 6, 2005

Mooncat bag is on ebay for Katrina!

I just saw it go on as I was looking on ebay for something else. Fantastic! (by the way, it's a 'perfect' - actually made by Anna herself).

Monday, September 5, 2005

Up and ready to go - well almost

Eureka! At last we have found workshops we can collaborate with. It's been remarkably hard finding people who can do the high quality we need, quickly and reliably and at the right price - and NOT in a sweatshop set-up. So, it's come down to two small workshops - one of which is basically a fine tailor, the other a place specialising in soft furnishings. In both cases the quality is beautiful and we feel confident that we'll get lovely results. But we must have tried out about twelve separate places - and that was only the ones we decided to try samples with - loads more didn't even get to that stage. The samples that aren't perfect we'll probably sell on "special". They are all fine to most eyes, but have either small snags (one person put the lining in the wrong way round, so that there is a small pleat at one side - wouldn't bother me, but perfect it isn't) or they are "one-offs" in the sense that the person sewing refused to do more (we found two people who did nice sewing, but it took them a long time so the pay for them worked out too low - it's why we went for professionals in the end, as they can run up a bag perfectly AND quickly). Oh - thank goodness we've solved it. Honestly, at one point we nearly gave up. So - shop is almost done (but is as we speak being linked into the Worldpay secure system - by a specialist UK company, that's way beyond my capabilities). I think we MAY (fingers crossed) be up and running this weekend. If you have any special requests for cushions or bags now might be the time to mention them, as we are about to design two batches. We can't take special orders (just too hard as both sewing places only want to do batches for now) but you CAN of course nudge us to do more cats, more fairytales or whatever. We'll be using a lot of vintage fabric - we've found some lovely pieces here recently. One issue by the way (sorry, this is probably boring), is that what a lot of people doing this style of digital printing DON'T tell you is that it fades a bit the first time it's dry-cleaned. Most colours simply fade a little, and it still looks fine (in fact not really noticeable if you aren't looking) but yellows and oranges - those sort of tones - fade badly. So for now, we will only do those on a few bags where we feel that it will be feasible to simply clean by going over them with a damp sponge (many of my bags have that cleaning instruction, and when I thought about it I realised I've probably in fact never cleaned a bag anyway). But for most of the bags we do - and for cushions - expect a restricted colour range until we have solved this. Lots of blues and purples and soft monochromes folks! The fairytale bag below will be fine - those colours stay true though the pink on the print will perhaps become softer. But we will only do full-colour cats combined with dark fabrics. It means we can't do really strong red and black vampusses - a bit of a disappointment although we can do more moody colours. Still, perhaps Vampuss bags were a bit of a niche thing anyway - though must say I would love one. Oh well, anyway, enough - the best thing will be to show what we have later this week. It is SO exciting after all this time!