Archive for Folksy
There are days when I long for something a little more whimsical, more light-hearted, more comforting than terrible twosome tantrums and online bank statements. This is when owl cushions such as these come into their own.
Little Blue Elephant is the brainchild of Nina Mistry-Rhoades and as the company name might suggest, has a more dominant line in four-legged elephantine friends. However, Nina’s owls are equally covetable: as she explains in her own words: “my elephants are very graphic and simple and the owl shapes are the same, very stylised.”
This back-to-basic line of design is just what I need amidst the maelstrom of colour and pattern that seems to adorn most owl-related items in the shops at the moment. Nina instead focuses on ”textile design, from florals to repeat patterns. But my work really leans towards a childrens palette of geometric patterns and bold colours.
I like the simplicity.”
Nina is inspired by “modern fabric designers and colours. I love Cloud9 fabrics, Lecien dots and little ditsy floral designs. In fact I like most things that are bright and colourful.” Yet the patterns and colourways featured in the owls illustrated here reflect her interest in current design, and also hint at a deep appreciation of more retro/vintage combinations of fabrics and motifs.
I was not surprised to learn that Nina honed her creative skills studying textile design at university before pursuing a career at a leading UK card company. However, her frustration with briefing designers rather than getting stuck into the actual work herself, followed by the arrival of children, meant that it was evening classes in dressmaking that finally unlocked her artistic confidence.
Quite frankly, I know I can harp on about owl eyes, but anyone who can make the most of an owl’s derriere in such a stylish manner deserves much applause and acclaim. And here’s hoping that Nina’s plans to design her own “nursery range, from bedding to wallpapers and not forgetting, cuddly toys” comes to fruition quickly and successfully.
I’ll keep you posted with any Little Blue Elephant updates here and on Twitter. But in the meantime, you can seek out Nina’s creations via her Folksy shop here, and her Facebook page here. And don’t forget to check out her latest designs on Flickr, follow her on Twitter or read her blog for more background information on how she sources her materials and where she draws her inspiration from.
The whole knitting frenzy has passed me by, and I am gutted: I really wish I could knit and pearl and increase or decrease without inexplicably large holes appearing and then mutating so that I have to throw the whole thing in a heap and put the kettle on. Perhaps if I had some of these lego owl stitch markers, things would be different? While catching up on the latest blog post from The Bothered Owl, I found the above beauties in their Folksy shop and set about researching a few owl-related knitting ideas.
For example, there are some wonderful knitters out there, creating true owl delights. Like Kate Davies. Her blog Needled combines a love of The Archers (woman after my own heart), knitting, writing and hill walking. I’m going to skip the hill walking bit for now, and move straight on to these delicate and intrinsically beautiful knitted owl jumpers for babies and adults. I mean seriously, this is just too gorgeous:
Once you’ve finished reading Kate’s inpirational text, you can buy these patterns for yourself by scrolling about half way down the ‘Designs’ page of her blog (‘Owlet’ for babies aged six months to twelve years; ‘Owl’ for adults) and get knitting straight away. They’re only a couple of pounds each, so all you need is a PayPal account, some wool, stitch markers (for the purpose of this blog post) and the ability to knit. I shall be relying heavily on my aunty Gilly for the latter.
This simple cotton bag is, in my view, achingly awesome. My shoulder would just love to have a bag such as this dangling from it (note to self…). I can already picture the simple jeans and T-shirt combo that would just set off nicely against the bold colours of the bird – in itself, just the right size to indicate true birdiness. Check out Kate Broughton‘s other birdy merchandise on Folksy (a true gem of a place) – I especially love the colouring book of birds which is probably going to feature in more than a few Christmas stockings this year.