Archive for January, 2009


January 29, 2009


Applying for art schools is a funny old practice. Firstly you have to go to several open days across the country, view all the equipment, read all course outlines… Then you have to write a pretentious, self loving personal statement saying how brilliant you are. Next you have to divide five university choices between two bizarre things called ‘routes’. Once you’ve paid (yes! Paid!) it’s a waiting game to see who’ll offer you portfolio viewings. If you’re lucky enough to get one, you have to fill an expensive leather portfolio with drawings of naked people and other examples of your style. Then, should they like it they’ll give you an offer- either unconditional, or they’ll demand you have to gain a pass/merit/distinction on your Foundation Art year. Then you decide based on your offers which one you go for, the unconditional university which seemed a bit rubbish? Or the one demanding a distinction which seemed amazing? It’s an uncertain time, for sure.

I just managed to bypass half of that. Leeds University have offered me an unconditional place on their textile design course, sans portfolio viewing. They required only good A Level grades, which I got in the summer, and are now letting me come do this with them:
PDF of Textile Design Brochure

Hooray for Leeds University School of Design!


Too nice for an apron?

January 20, 2009

You know when you find a design that takes your breath away? And then you know the crushing feeling of not being able to obtain it in the format you wish for?

I found this stunning letterpress print by Julianna Swaney on Little Paper Planes, which is my go-to for when I need my pretty illustration fill. Alas, it comes only in a print and not in apron form. What’s a girl gonna do?

This one got out her needle and threads and started stitching away.

bear girl

I missed out the banner coming from the Bear Girls’ mouth mostly because I’m lazy. I’ve yet to apronify it but I’ve only just finished the embroidery so it’s the best I can do really.

I showed it to my mother and said “Do you think this is too nice for an apron?” to which my mother replies “Is there such a thing?” Lordy, do I ever love her.

Clothing the naked

January 14, 2009

Ok so, in our sewing room at college, a room used almost entirely by young, impressionable girls who are naturally concerned mostly about their waist lines and breast size anyway, we have a picture of a stark naked pin-up. I understand why we have pictures of girls in corsets, I understand why we have pictures of skinny, beautiful girls wearing (very little) high end designer wear down a catwalk. I get it, I don’t like it, but I get it. But why do we have this? She’s naked. She hasn’t got a stitch on her.

A friend and I were once sitting at the sewing machines, when I took a break. I looked up at the poster and said to her “Doesn’t that make you feel totally inadequate?” (referring to how skinny the pin-up was) and my friend says “You? You’re about four times the size of me!” Initially I was shocked, until I realised she was referring to her breast size, something I’d overlooked.

Maybe it’s me being over sensitive or easily angered- but it just seemed wrong to me. There has been a suggestion for a long time that it ought to be changed. Should we take her down and replace her with women we ought to look up to, women relevant to our subject? A picture of Vivienne Westwood, perhaps? The main flaw in the plan was that the room is closely guarded – we can’t be left unsupervised in the room, lest we sew ourselves together, or something. And the main woman who does supervise us is the type of woman that would find such an act nonsensical and think nothing more than the original picture looked good, and would be unable to see the bigger picture. In short, she’s an idiot.

In an unfortunate turn of events, the poor lass got ill. We got cover in the form of our other teacher’s cover. With two uptight teachers taken ill, we had only a woman from a fine art background, and a feminist too. We saw our chance. We took it.

Alas, we weren’t prepared- we had only the resources in the room and a short time span to work in. So we figured the best course of action was to clothe the pin-up. Acrylic felt was fished for in the fabric bins and snips were made and PVA glue was the bonding agent, not enough time for stitching. Up she went, this time masquerading as the ever present symbol of feminine power, Rosie Riveter.

marilyn the riveter

I feel proud of myself today.


January 1, 2009

It’s New Year’s Eve 2008. Everyone else is going out and getting drunk. Me? I’m sitting inside, watching Chocolat on the BBC and cross stitching. I am content.



I wanted to say thankyou to Amy Karol for this pattern. If it wasn’t for this I wouldn’t have been content with me being housebound on the party night of the year. In other exciting Amy Karol news, there’s supposed to be another Tie One On coming up, so I get to do some pinny making again soon. Woo!

It’s been a good year so far. Mostly. Minus my sister and her fiance being all lovey dovey sickly sweet and making my stomach turn. I’m probably just being jealous, but it’s still quite gross.