Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Snuggles for little ones

Amanda set up 'Amanda Hawkins Knitwear' in 1990 with the help of a small grant from the Prince's Youth Business Trust. She had gained an Hons. Degree in woven textile design at Birmingham, but a loom in a bedsit was out of the question, hence she bought a knitting machine. For the first few years Amanda  produced  ladies textural wool & chenille jackets with co-ordinating hats, which sold at prestigous fairs, such as 'Chelsea Craft Fair' & 'Country Living', as well as in galleries throughout the country & in the USA. With their spiral toggles & scalloped edges, they lent themselves to childrenswear & in 2000 the 'Tassles & Toggles' childrens range of knitted cotton accessories developed, including hats, scarves & mittens, which sold at Covent Garden Market.

In 2002 Amanda & her partner moved to Stroud in Gloucestershire to start a family. The 'Made in Stroud' shop stocked her knitting immediately, (& still does today) giving her the opportunity to become a full time mum working from home.  It was in September 2009, when her youngest daughter was starting school that Amanda came across 'By Local' by chance on a shopping trip.
'I knew that this was something I would like to get involved in, & was very excited to be accepted. The response by the public was amazing'.

In 2009 personalised knitted bunting was added to the range, & a year later, smaller door plaques. They cost £4.00 per flag for the bunting & £3.50 per flag for the plaques. They are both available in all the colours shown, & beautifully lined with gingham. Choose end design flags or just the name. Orders take about a week.

New for this season have been the trio of 'Nelly Noodle' teddies which were designed after the arrival of a new cousin, & took inspiration from a range of new hats.

To complete the look, Amanda has also recently added co-ordinating soft cotton baby blankets in two sizes; swaddling blankets & moses basket snuggles.

P.s. if it's not clear from her blog - Amanda loves knitting!!

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

The colours of inspiration

Annie Rowcraft was born and brought up in Great Yarmouth, but left when she first married at the age of 20.  She moved to the west of England in the mid 70s, with her 2nd husband, Pete, when his work took him him in this direction, along with her son and her 2 stepchildren from Pete's 1st marriage.

 Over the years Annie has worked in a wide variety of fields, fitting it around her family, and resulting in a broad spectrum of skills - for instance, when she was young she worked in a large printing company, which has given her an above average understanding of what is required to print her work well. 

She didn't start painting till 2000, when she joined an art club, and took classes in watercolour painting,  Watercolours didn't really suit her style, and she moved on to oils, then, being impatient for the work to dry, onto acrylics!

Annie is inspired by colour, and nature, and combines the two inspirations to produce atmospheric work, reflecting her changing moods, and those of the season.

She started exhibiting in cafes in Wells & Bishops Cleeve in 2005, then at the Open Air Exhibition in Cheltenham in 2007. She was an instant hit in Cheltenham, being voted 'Artist of the Week' in her first week!  Today, she mostly exhibits at By Local and the Gloucester Arts & Crafts Centre, at 4 College Street, Gloucester.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Seasonal selection!

There's a theme to much of the new stock arriving at By Local at the moment, a happy one - Christmas!  If you want something by way of a card or decoration that isn't the same as all those mass produced ones in the High Street, come and peruse our offerings!  This is just a taster, more coming in all the time ;o)
We have some decidedly different cards for you . . .
And some very different ornaments for your tree . . . . .
This is just the beginning, as the next few weeks pass, there'll be plenty more variety - and all unique!

Happy Christmas, make it a hand made, locally made, one!

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Tara Davidson - Lace & Clay combined!

I love to reflect the feminine beauty of lace and other fabrics in my love of ceramics.  Creating something unique, timeless, and elegant. 
Some of my pieces incorporate patterns from lace heirlooms passed down through generations of my family. 

Other fabrics come from searching through forgotten corners of French antique shops, English country fayres, and flea markets in Africa.
 I’m always amazed how each piece turns out to be so individual even though I might use the same lace time and again.
I love to do commissions so if there is an old piece of lace that you love and would like to use but can't because it's damaged or stained, then why not let me make something special from it - it won't damage the lace at all! It makes a very special gift.

and facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/tarajaneceramics


I also sell in Made in Stroud http://madeinstroud.co.uk/