Monday, 14 February 2011

Silence-breaking post

Many apologies for not posting for ages. I think I am still on course for my two-bears-a-week thing - if you count the little heart bears of this post as being equivalent to two bears. It's a bit of a stretch, I admit, but it will have to do. I have now sold two of those little bears, and a third appears to have been stolen. I'm never sure what tone I should adopt when saying that: is it "curses - someone stole my bear!" or "hooray - someone wanted my bear enough to steal it!" It is slightly annoying though, when you've spent ages making something.

I have not posted for so long (an entire week!) because I have been busy with the dress agency, which we are setting up at the Art & Craft Centre. Henceforth, you may address us as 'The Wardrobe'! We will hopefully be taking in people's designer clothing and occasion wear, and selling it for them, with a commission on top. In addition to this, each of the unit holders will sell some of their own stuff. For my part I will be doing vintage clothing.

I started out buying vintage clothing on Ebay. The problem is that vintage clothing doesn't come cheap, so I have had to price the things that I have quite highly. Really, I ought to be buying from second-hand shops.

I have tried this. There is a lovely book called It's Vintage, Darling by Christa Weil (see here): it's a great read, and when you're finished, you're all fired up to rush out to the second-hand shops and find some fantastic designer-label stuff. Sadly (and obviously), it's not as easy as that. I'd say I do know a little about vintage clothing now - but put me in a second-hand shop and within a few minutes, I become hypnotized by the mountains of modern rubbish. In this state, I wouldn't recognise a piece of vintage clothing if someone smacked me in the face with it.

The first time I went, I was thoroughly demoralised and left with nothing. The second-time, I did buy two things, which I think are vintage. One of them is, I believe, a long 1970s fair isle jumper dress by St Michael. The trouble is, its brown(!) And it has some bobbling to it. The second item is a 1980s faux-wrap dress in a gorgeous blue with big pink roses all over it. I looked at it and thought, 'is that out-dated and horrible or gorgeous and vintage?' I honestly had no idea. Anyway, I bought it and brought it home, and I am beginning to warm to it slightly.

So, I will go back and try again! I'm sure one gets better at it with practice. It is rather awkward though to be following the same group of people in a little trail around the charity shops. I am sure the staff must feel rather miffed. At one point I bought a [modern] blouse for the unit, priced at £3.95, and the lady at the desk told me it had been reduced to a pound. I just could not fathom the idea of buying something for a reduced price in a charity shop (bargain hunter, I ain't). I had to put the extra £3 in the collection box on the counter. It was very awkward.

Anyway, in the meantime, I have just about managed to complete one bear. I am out of practice at making big mohair bears though, and I'm not sure whether I'm happy with this one. She has a wide face anyway, and the addition of an applied lower jaw makes her look as if she has double chins. To top it all off, her neck and body are made from a longer pile mohair than her head, so her chin sort of sinks into fur of her neck, making it look as if she has no neck at all.

I finished her too late to take photographs, but I will post some tomorrow. In the meantime, I wanted to show some video clips. I have discovered The Pogues on Youtube, with Shane MacGowan - he of the wonderful voice, but rather sad, alcoholic appearance...

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