Bear hugs

This week we’ve finally got around to uploading a new print, a trio of bears (we’ve been meaning to do it for ages).

3 little bears lifestyleIn celebration we thought we would dedicate this weeks Treasury Tuesday to all things bear. We’ve curated a gorgeous collection of bear goodies including jewellery, illustrations, ceramics, greetings cards, cushions, textiles and more! If you love bears and need a bear hug you’re in the right place! These goodies can be bought here on Etsy: Bear hugs by Rose Filtered

BEARHUGS

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Featuring Jes Hooper Pyrography

This week we introduce Jes Hooper. When I saw her illustrations I immediately knew they needed sharing, she’s a very talented lady as I’m sure you’re about to agree!

Introducing Jes Hooper PyographyCould you introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about you and your Etsy shop?

Picture 1 Jes Hooper, photo credit to Thom Undrell

Photo credit artist and photographer:  Thom Undrell

I am a freehand pyrography (or “wood burning”) artist living in Brighton, Sussex. I am a self taught artist with an interest in animal behaviour and ecology. My material of choice is oak, and I work with local Sussex mills to source reclaimed timber that has interesting grains but would otherwise go to waste. I use large oak planks to create pointillism artwork, where I burn thousands upon thousands of dots into the surface of the wood that merge in the viewers eye to form complex images. I started wood burning in November 2015 as a hobby to lift my spirits during a lengthy time of unemployment. Having never been taught how to draw or burn, I posted my first attempts on Instagram to find there was a keen interest in my work and my art style. That month I set up my Etsy shop selling small wooden gifts, and just three months later I became a self-employed artist. Now in my shop you will find my original oak artworks and an ever increasing range of personalised home decor and gifts.

My artwork is also on sale at the Oriental Brighton throughout May as part of the Artists Open Houses exhibition, and at Thomas Rainsford Art Gallery in Brighton all year round.  I also sell my artwork and take commissions via my website and I will be attending Kirstie Allsopp’s Handmade Fair at Hampton Court Palace in September.

Tell us a little bit about how and where you work? 

 

For me, what started as a hobby quickly turned my already cramped bedroom into a chaotic workshop. Pine boards and huge slabs of beech were crammed under my bed, tree branch sections were drying (and often moulding) on all my shelves, and everything from wooden spoons to oak boards and various power tools were precariously stacked in piles on the floor. Essentially, everything you see in my studio pics was once crammed into my bedroom.

Then there was the problem of preparing the wood- I needed space for sanding.  This literally involved me chasing small sections of branch around our conservatory floor with a sander. Fun fact: I have tiny hands! Holding a piece of cross section with one hand and a sander in the other is somewhat of an advanced skill I have yet to master. One day, as I was playing tag with another piece of wood, my dad walks in and gives me a stern look… I’ve covered our entire conservatory in a blanket of sawdust. That’s it I thought-game over. Two minutes later he comes back into the room, and nails in a make shift clamp to the floorboards to make it easier for me – my Dad is one in a million!

A week or two later, we were both hauling out the furniture, and setting up the space as my studio. It has changed my life! I now produce large pointillism pieces which I was previously unable to do for lack of space. I can store all my tools and materials in one place. I can organise everything so I know what stock I have, what pieces I am working on, what materials need preparation, and I have areas for wood drying and oiling/waxing final pieces.

This is all however only a temporary workspace. In the coming months I will be joining my boyfriend, a professional carpenter, and his work colleagues in their new carpentry workshop, which is a beautiful converted barn in the Sussex countryside. I’ll be surrounded by wood, machinery, and farm animals- what more could a girl want?

Your new work space sounds amazing… and idyllic. I hope you manage to get some work done rather than spending all day admiring the views!

What inspires your work? 

noggindude

 

My main inspiration comes from my experiences travelling and working as an animal behaviourist. When I select oak I look carefully at the grain. Often I will place a piece if oak board in my studio in full view whilst I work, spending days glancing at it to really determine what the grain would represent in an animal’s environment. I then burn an image of an animal into the grain in a way which represents it’s interaction with its natural habitat. For example, “Noggin dude” (two sea turtles) depicts two sea turtles surfing the current, as sea turtles in the wild use currents as a tool for migrating to their breeding and feeding sites.

What are you currently working on? 

Picture 7 giclee printAt the moment I am working on a special collection of limited edition giclee prints. I really wanted to make my artwork accessible to everyone, which is not always possible to do when each pyrography piece takes weeks (if not months) to complete and are one-of-a kind art pieces that cannot be reproduced. Prints on the other hand, are a great way to offer affordable artwork, making my artwork accessible to more people.

In the past few weeks I have been making a start on a collection of ocean inspPicture 6. Giclee printired pointillism artwork on paper, to accompany my pyrography artwork. Like my pyrography work each drawing is comprised of thousands upon thousands of dots drawn freehand, which merge in the viewers eye to form detailed images. Each drawing is reproduced as a giclee print, the highest quality in fine art printing, all printed locally to me in Brighton to support the local art community.

How have you found your Etsy journey so far?

I am relatively new to Etsy, having set up my shop in late November 2015 when I started pyrography as a hobby. I have found Etsy is a great way to display art and craft and offers a unique opportunity to interact with people from all over the world. I love the way in which it is a personal platform which allows sellers to show not only their craft but their creative journey and their inspirations. I am still working hard to make my Etsy shop the best it can be, but the support from different Etsy teams and administrators is really helpful and I have found a supportive home in the online Etsy communities.

Any lessons learned so far that you would like to share with other Etsy makers or online sellers?

My biggest lesson learned so far has been product photography. I found taking pictures of my work was quite challenging when working from home as I had limited space and natural light. With practice and a lot of trial and error I now have pictures that I am happy with, though I am always learning and improving where I can.

Your favourite make so far?

My favourite make so far has been my seahorse art pieces, because I can create endless shapes and patterns working with the grain and different burning techniques.

Your best seller?

My best seller on etsy is my homeware range, with my personalised wooden utensil sets a particular favourite. I like making utensil sets because the small surface space presents a unique challenge in design and intricate burning. I also love to create personalised items because I get an insight into the person who the item is intended for, like being let in to a strangers life for just a moment.

Your Etsy crush?

It has to be “Pocket Moss“, a shop run by Zoee Nuage. Zoee make the most magically cute folklore accessories. Plus, mushrooms. You have to check out her shop to understand!

There are so many cute and adorable makes, I can see why you love it!

pocketmoss

 

What’s your favourite Etsy purchase?

My favourite Etsy purchase so far is a lovely little coin purse made by TotesByWendy. I always find myself perusing through material wares. I can’t work out how to thread a sewing machine let alone make something!

 Where can we find you on the web to come and say ‘hi’?

Etsy: www.JesHooperPyrography.etsy.com

Website: www.jeshooper.com

Instagram: www.instagram.com/jeshooperpyrography

Facebook: www.facebook.com/jeshooperpyrography

Twitter: www.twitter.com/JesHooperArt

Facebook: www.facebook.com/jeshooperpyrography

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/JesHooperArt

Handmade Fair: http://www.thehandmadefair.com/whats-on/shopping/jes-hooper

Thanks so much to Jes and please pop over and take a look at her lovely makes and if you can go and say hello on social media I’m sure she’d love to hear from you. Every little bit of support you give means so much to artists and makers! In the shop there’s lots more to see and it’s well worth a look!

Next Friday on Rose Filtered we will be featuring Amy Donoghue from Hope the Black Dog I hope you can make it!

Leanne x

PS if you’ve still got time we have something completely different over on the Leapup blog this week… we feature Laura Bittles from Ip Dip Design with her quirky, colourful designs, well worth a look. Enjoy!

Featuring Natalie North Design

It’s that #FeatureFriday time of the week again where we say hello to an Etsy seller and get a look into their world, their inspiration and take a look at some of their lovely makes. I’m really please to be featuring Natalie North this week from Natalie North Design. Natalie is local to Rose Filtered HQ, she’s based up here in sunny Newcastle upon Tyne and I absolutely love her first range of geometric line designs. Welcome to Natalie North Design…

 

Hi! Could you introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about you and your Etsy shop?

Hello my name is Natalie and I am a designer; I’ve been classifying myself this way for so long because I’ve always felt like I was one. Now that I have my shop up and running on Etsy I feel I can back this statement up, not just with sporadic projects but a fully developed product line!

Logo

After I graduated from my degree in Architectural Venue Design I felt the same pressures as most to get that perfect job that made all the training worth while so I went
out into the world with the sole focus of getting a design job. Within 6 months of working for a playground design company I knew that I was on the wrong path and needed to reassess. I looked back at the projects I had enjoyed most and the work I was most proud of still. For the most part I realised the things I loved most were not the structures themselves but the imagery of them. Close ups, shadows, all the patterns that 3D elements make so that’s when I decided creating patterns should be my new path.

Since this moment I have been honing my process, and my Etsy shop is a reflection of this. I like to think of all my items as statement pieces adding a little bit of something extra to everyday items. I developed my cushions first as I love adding special touches to my home and hope to expand my business into a bespoke interior design service over the coming years. I added a range of items in the same launch patterns that I like to think add an element of style to someone’s everyday carry. At the moment my Etsy shop just stocks the 3 patterns I launched with but over the coming months I hope to expand with further patterns and products.

Do you sell on any other platforms and if so could you tell us about those? Alongside my Etsy shop I have built my own website to showcase my designs. I worked with the Squared Space platform to build it; not only for the flexibility when building but also their relationship with Stripe. The payment system Stripe allows me to take secure payments through my website and reassure my customers that I am a professional.

I also sell in a store in Newcastle where I am based. The shop Whosit & Whatsit is situated on the Quayside and supports independent designers. The shop is a cornucopia of treats and I often come away with something unique to add to my home or as a gift. All the staff are really friendly and have helped me to push my business further.

The shop sounds fab, I haven’t checked it out yet but it’s now top of my to do list!

I’m working hard to make my designs available in other shops and have meetings at the end of the month with shops in Guernsey so watch this space! 

Ooh, that sounds exciting, I have my fingers crossed for you!

 

Tell us a little bit about how and where you work? My workspace is pretty flexible and I’ve actually found myself working in some pretty strange places like the ferry or a coffee shop! I create each pattern by hand using a stylus on my iPad. I researched a lot of
different applications and stylus before selecting the ones I currently used, created by Studio 53. I found that they simulated hand drawing as an action the best for me while maintaining the vector finish that my aesthetic required.

For me each design I work on is a balancing act with a moment of decision after almost every stroke. With each pattern I aim to create a striking yet minimal pattern so it is important to not overcrowd the space but also not leave the design feeling empty. I generally start with the colours; I like to work with 3-4 different colours as I have always felt that minimal doesn’t have to mean black and white! Once I have picked out the tones  I start the process of building the pattern up; for this line of patterns I worked with lines only but for the next line I’ll be working with shapes as well.

The flexibility of my iPad means that I can work on my design whenever inspiration hits hence the weird workings spaces! When it comes to finishing the designs though I always work in the same space, my living room. Each design is refined and adapted for the various products on my computer at home which is hooked up to my television enabling me to blow my designs up to large scale and really get the details right.

After each file is finalised the work with my specialised printers begins; I chose early on to work with professional printers as I knew that I wanted to have a high end finish that I couldn’t achieve at this stage. I work with two printers to deliver my designs, one that specializes in high end textile printing and another for the items that involve paper. They are both British companies and I am proud to be an entirely made in Britain designer.

The process to finalise the items I currently have in my Etsy shop was a long one as I wanted to make sure that everything was perfect and consistent with each and every item that went out. I have to say that I am really happy with result and can’t wait to launch the next line of designs!

 

What inspires your work? Geometry, Pattern, and Straight Lines. When I look back at my work across all the fields I have dabbled in there is definitely one constant, my aesthetic. I have always leaned towards working with straight lines and geometry. From the scaffolding structure I built during my BTEC to the Stringwall I installed while volunteering at the Silk Mill Museum I have always worked with the straight lines and the patterns they make. This aesthetic still inspires me and I draw a lot of my starting imagery from architecture and modern art. I have always loved Piet Mondrian and I feel that it is his use of colour that pushes me to avoid the black and white of traditional minimalism.

So many things influence me on a day to day basis but if any of you are looking for a healthy dose of daily design inspiration you can never go wrong with Dezeen!

What are you currently working on?  I’m currently developing both new designs and new products to expand my shop. The big plan is to launch a new line of three more designs by the end of the summer and, as I mentioned earlier, I am toying with shape for these designs and I am really excited about the way they are developing. Alongside this I am developing some new products to expand the range of my designs available for your home. Natalie North Design has always been planned to evolve into a bespoke interior design service so I’m hoping through the introduction of more homewares we can continue to move towards this goal!

That’s sounds like a fantastic vision you have for your business and based on what we’ve seen of your designs I’m sure it’s going to be great success. 

How have you found your Etsy journey so far? In Etsy I have found a whole new community of supportive and fascinating people! It has been so much more than a vehicle for developing my business and has actually linked me to the people that I go to with my wins, my disappointments, and to ask advice. I couldn’t recommend it more highly to anyone considering it; not only is it a great place to show off your creations but a great way to meet like minded people! I have to agree with you on that one, it has been a little bit of a relief and inspiration meeting so many like minded people all on similar journeys facing different business and personal challenges, with the same doubts and insecurities. It really is a fantastic and supportive community!

 

Any lessons learned so far that you would like to share with other Etsy makers or online sellers? The biggest lesson I have learnt is to get your manufacturers form in early. It is easy to be daunted by it and worry that your printers won’t get approved but it is nothing to worry about! The team at Etsy are really good and understand that for some of us the creative process benefits from some professional equipment that we can not access on our own. Although the team are great the process can be lengthy and I made the mistake of trying to perfect my shop before submitting which ultimately slowed my progress down. So that would be my advice if you work with a printer or other outside help submit your manufacturer application early and perfect your shop while you wait for it to be approved!

 

Your favourite make so far? My favourite make so far has been the Asymmetric Scatter Double Sided Cotton Cushion.

Cotton Cushions

 

Everyone that sees it in person comments on how much they like it and how they love how simple it is; I always smile politely and thank them while silently lamenting about how complex it actually was to finish!

The pattern itself wasn’t too bad as I had quite a clear idea of what I wanted to achieve in my mind although this is still 1 of 5 designs that I tried! The true complexity came when organising it on the cushion. I experimented with a few different placements before deciding that I wanted the pattern to originate all from one corner spanning out across the cushion. Working on the templates for this was a little trickier than another alternative but I was determined; the cushion then went back and forth with the printer several times, each time adjusting how the patterns met each other at the seam, until it was perfect. I’m so happy with the result and wouldn’t change a thing but can’t help silently cursing every time I hear how wonderfully simple it is!

Isn’t that always the way though? A lot of people seem to think that everything is simple, until they try it themselves! They maybe never appreciate how much time, effort and work goes into each piece, but I’m sure many, especially designers, will see it for the simple perfection that it is and appreciate the work it took getting there. Maybe now you’ve done this article hopefully your fans might have more of an appreciation too 🙂 Your best seller? At the moment my notebooks are my bestseller; I think the A6 size and slimness appeals to people. At this size they are great for slipping into a bag for jotting down your day to day thoughts. I even market them as ‘everyday carry’ because I know that I always have one with me for noting down my thoughts and important things to remember!

A6 Notebooks

What’s next for your shop? The next big thing will be the launch of my new line of patterns at the end of the summer but also keep your eyes peeled for different products over the coming months! Very exciting I certainly will keep a look out and maybe you can come back and share your lovely makes after your new products are launched.

 

Your Etsy crush: For my Etsy crush I’m torn between EcoDeer and GingerbreadJewellery.

 

The concept behind EcoDeer, they make me chuckle every time I see them, paired with their minimal aesthetic makes them an awesome shop in my books. They make plant versions of mounted antlers, it sounds weird but they are great – check them out! I love these, as a veggie having an antler head on the wall, even a cardboard or felt one isn’t quite my cup of tea, but plants and flowers displayed in this way are lovely, so unique and right up my alley! 

GingerbreadJewellery create beautiful and fun food inspired jewellery that make perfect gifts! I especially love their macaroon bracelets – so sweet! Excuse the pun.

 

Excused, I think every blog article should have at least one pun! I love the colours of the macaroons, yum! They really do look good enough to eat. The whole shop looks delicious and I hope my bestie isn’t reading as she’ll know what she’s getting for her birthday. 😉

 

Your favourite Etsy purchase? I have to say that my favourite buy from Etsy was a felt card from Mombi & Ted. Theirmombiandted shop is  full to the brim with fun gifts and well worth a visit if you need something to smile at! When I saw their Lumpy Space Princess, Adventure Time birthday card I couldn’t resist! It sums her character up perfectly and when I handed it over to the birthday girl she really laughed! In fact I think she liked it more than the gift I had bought for her!

 

Where can we find you on the web to come and say ‘hi’? 

Etsy Shop: www.natalienorthdesign.etsy.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nattily6/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/natalienorthdesign

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Nat_Tily

My Website: www.natalienorthdesign.com

A huge thank you to Natalie for sharing her story so far. Please, please, please if you have read this far could you (pretty please) take a moment to share this article to help spread the word about Natalie’s beautiful designs… the link to this article is: http://wp.me/p7t6oh-da

If you want to tweet it or post on Facebook that would be soooo appreciated. It’s hard work getting products seen and getting the message out with all the Etsy, Facebook and Google algorithm changes, it means we rely on readers to help spread the word more than ever! I hope you have a moment to browse the full range in Natalie’s shop and don’t forget to check back in a couple of months for her summer collection!

Next Friday we will be featuring Jes Hooper Pyrography, I hope you pop back for a read! 

Leanne x

PS you might also be interested in reading about some gorgeous paper cuts that are showcased on my Leapup #FeatureFriday blog post. If you get a chance pop over and meet the very talented Natasha Sorelli from Natsula Designs

 

A happy treasury

This weeks ‘Treasury Tuesday’ comes from an overall feeling of happiness. I wasn’t really sure where I was going with things when making this week’s treasury. I was thinking a happy yellow theme at first, but now here we are with a random mish-mash of lovely colourful goodies that make me feel… happy.

sunrunhappy

So here’s my thinking…

row1(1) Firstly the Ryan Gosling brooch by Frilly Industries – because who doesn’t need a Ryan Gosling brooch? Well, I do and I’m sure all the other Gosling fans might agree too. Ryan Gosling whether right or wrong makes me happy. I’m not going to deny it and the hubbie is quite accepting of it (or at least he has grown to deal with it over time, though I’m not sure how he’s going to feel about me blogging it – ha!) We are now at the point that if I ever really need cheering up we watch Crazy Stupid Love and well I just love the Dirty Dancing scene, it makes me soooo happy. If you haven’t seen it, you need to watch it!!!

(2) I finally dragged myself out for a run today. I get a lot of exercise walking the dogs each day but but there is nothing quite like a run to get those happy feelings going – so I’m glad I did it and now I’m feeling extra happy as I know it gets easier and more addictive the more you do it. I’ve made a commitment to myself three times a week going forward because as much as it’s hard to get out of the door it feels soooooo good when it’s done. Anyway this cute ‘stress lees, run more’ poster from Art of Your Success pretty much sums it up for me.

(3) The Grace Baskerville aqua ring is included because a) If I have anything aqua or turquoise near me I instantly feel that bit happier b) it’s a gorgeous ring that the world needs to see and c) Charlotte from Grace Baskerville has agreed to do an interview for Feature Friday with us here at Rose Filtered – YAY!!!

(4) I’ve featured Laura’s work from Ip Dip Design before… look at it, how can it not make you happy? The actual print that I’m sooooo totally in love with is her ‘Awesome Sauce print’. “Awesome Sauce” has become the most used prow2hrase in our house at the moment, nothing is ‘cool’ or ‘awesome’ anymore it is only ‘awesome sauce’. So I thought I’d save that print for when she joins us over on Leapup on Feature Friday and instead we’ve gone for a very, very happy rainbow YAY!

(5) Anything mint green makes me happy – it’s such a pretty, fresh, happy colour. After ripping out our 70’s kitchen and having some building work done we now have a light and airy mint and cream theme going on in the kitchen. I think this little ‘hello’ sign from Norabella would look soopa adorable. I can just imagine walking into the kitchen on a morning and it putting a smile on my face – it’s very cute and has made it onto my ‘earn more money because I must buy soon list’.

(6) My hubbie Steve and I recently adopted Oscar (our King Charles Cavalier) after my Gran passed away. This weekend Steve and Oscar lost each other while out on a walk – they came home about an hour and a half later than I was expecting and were both a bit exhausted and traumatized. I’m happy and relieved to report that Oscar was found running up and down like a mad thing looking for Steve and Steve was found like a jibbering wreck looking for Oscar and the two were reunited. I honestly don’t know what we would have done if anything had happened to him. I love this little guy soo much. So Oscar makes me happy and so I’ve included a cute King Charles Cavalier watercolour from Dyls House.  Charlotte Johnson’s shop will be featured on the Leapup blog in a few weeks time so you can find out more about her and her work then – can’t wait!

(7) I’m happy to report Steve and I are soon to adventure off to the Lakes for some walking, photography and general relaxation. It’s exactly what we need. Other than our cameras we are going tech free, eeek! So it’s going to be just us, the dogs, hills to climb what ever the weather throws at us and the obligatory county pubs to frequent. ***Bliss.*** With that in mind I just love the little adventure locket and its very cute colours by Melrow3issa Morgan Designs. It has has me thinking of our get away and I just can’t wait!

(8) I’m in love with the Eldris Creations little red fox though I do hope it’s not for all the wrong reasons! I know he isn’t a gremlin and is indeed a fox, but I just think of little gizzmo when I look at him. He’s so adorable, I Ioooovee the Gremlins and everyone needs a little fellow like this foxy gizzmo in their life!

(9) I only discovered Past Your Porchlight bears last week after the very talented Tori Lo told us about them in our Feature Friday article. Since then I’ve fallen in love with that shop. I’m obsessed with all ting animal and after seeing grizzly bears and black bears in the wild in Canada I adore them, and well who couldn’t love these little plush bears, they are so beautifully made? Just another thing to add to my shopping list (it can be so dangerous selling on Etsy with so such much lovely temptation).

(10) I’ve included this very cute washi rainbow tape from Lava Lamp Designs because how couldn’t it make you happy? I’m loving sorting the packaging side of things for the business, stickers, tape, tissue paper, you name it… all those extra little touches, lots of fun and hopefully happiness for the customer too when they receive their goodies!

(11) I love geometric. Geometric plus pretty colours makes me happy, happy, happy. I currently have some minty cloud magnets on my fridge but think these cute little finds from Dream Twee would look soppa cute alongside them.

(12) Today the sun was shining so I walked the dogs at the beach. The sun shining plus feeling warmth on the skin is a very rare event in the north East of England, even when it’s summer time. So, today at the beach was pretty special when I saw a sailboat, it really felt like summer and I took a moment to breathe it in, locked the memory away and treasured it because who knows when we’ll have anything row4as nice again? Anyway getting back to the point – how lovely is this little sail boat print by Natsula Designs? This shop is worth a visit. The designs are so beautiful and unusual – look out for the birds coming out of the piano for any music lovers or piano players… gorgeous!

(13) I discovered SKIllustarte‘s shop this week and fell in love with Sarah’s doodles, there are so many gorgeous ones but this week I’ve included this pretty rainbow couple under umbrella, with rainbow rain drops. Take a little look at the shop it is full of the must intricate little doodles – gorgeous!

(14) I’ve included the smile sign from Lala Loves Decor because of pretty much all of the reasons above.. I like it and today I just feel like smiling. To be honest I could have included anything from the shop, there is a lot of lovely going on!

(15) After talking to a fellow Etsian about the self doubt that can creep in, those moments where you really wonder if the financial and time investment is justified, I think we all need a poster like this hanging somewhere visible in our living space. ‘She believed she could so she did‘ pretty floral poster by the Paper Space Boutique.

(16) Finally this little washbag could be the perfect accompaniment to a little trip away to Keswick, I’m always loving the classic colour combination of yellow and grey and most of all the words say it all… ‘THINK HAPPY, BE HAPPY’ which is pretty much ‘awesome sauce’ as far as I’m concerned so thanks for that Knight and Gray.

You can buy all of these lovely items on Etsy at: Rose Filtered (Sun+Run=Happy) Etsy Treasury.

 

 

Introducing Tori Lo Designs

Welcome to our brand new article ‘Feature Friday’ where we showcase a different Etsy designer, maker, or artist each week. In this regular feature we will explore how they work, what inspires them, and of course take a look at some of their lovely makes… perhaps learning a thing or two that we can apply to our own journey along the way! 

This week we are talking to the very talented Vicky Wade from Tori Lo Designs. Vicky is a designer based here in the North East, just up the road from Rose Filtered HQ, and her beautiful designs really caught my eye when we first started networking with other makers on Etsy. I thought her shop would set a great benchmark for the type of work we are looking to showcase each Friday.

Introducing Tori Lo Designs

Could you introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about you and your Etsy shop?

Hi!  My names Vicky, I’m a Leather accessories designer based in North Shields on the North East coast of England.

“My brand is all about experimentation, taking simple styles and enhancing them to create something truly individual.”

I created my brand Tori Lo Designs around a year ago now, a lot of people ask where the name came from, truth me told, I wanted the brand to be me, my name.  However I didn’t think it had the right ring to it, so I took bit’s out of my name vic’TORI’a ‘LO’rraine, to finally come up with Tori Lo Designs.

logo

I had previously worked for a great small company in the jewellery industry, to which I owe a lot of my knowledge.  However, I never had the freedom in which Tori Lo gives me. My brand is all about experimentation, taking simple styles and enhancing them to create something truly individual.

My debuting collection on Etsy is a range of tie dyed leather goods, these are vibrant and exciting and each one is individual to it’s owner, I experiment with the dyes to create vibrant and loud colours that really stand out.  Though all products are also available in a plain option for those less daring!

“I experiment with the dyes to create vibrant and loud colours that really stand out”

phone_pouch

Tell us a little bit about how & where you work?

All my products are handcrafted from start to finish.  I use a vegetable tanned leather base, that I cut, dye and stitch by hand.  All products are made in my home studio (which used to be my bedroom, the bedroom got downgraded for the love of handbags!)   It’s a great room that offers me the space to be able to work on a few different projects at a time.  However, the dream is to get myself a studio overlooking the beautiful North East Coast!  It’s only year one, I’ve got time!

What inspires your work?

I love nature, living by the coast I always turn to the sea when I am unsure of what direction to take, I’m not saying it necessarily inspires me, but it is an integral part of my creative thought process.  I can find inspiration in the smallest of things, whether it be a silly conversation or a colour combination in architecture.  This year I am starting to create my work in collections, these will hopefully see more direct inspirations.

What are you currently working on?

I bought myself an industrial sewing machine at the beginning of the year, and although I love hand sewing, and a lot of my products still will be hand sewn, I am working on ways to improve the products without dramatically effecting price.  Whether this is extra pockets, fastenings, or just making them larger and more complicated.

I am also always working on new dying techniques, fun and creative ways I can manipulate the leather to create something new and interesting…these however are top secret!  Sorry!

How have you found your Etsy journey so far?

I have loved my Etsy journey, it’s not as easy as it may look, but it is the most rewarding thing you can do.   There is nothing more satisfying than someone choosing to order something handmade by you, it’s a feeling that never gets old, no matter how many orders you get though.

Any lessons learned so far that you would like to share with other Etsy makers?

The best lesson I have learned in my year of trading is that you have to keep working at it, if you sit around waiting for orders, unfortunately, unless you are very lucky, you will be waiting a long time.  Look at your shop and the ways it can be improved all the time, there are always things that can be done to make it better.  Mine is far from perfect, but it’s a vast amount better than it was when I started.   Product photography is key, everyone buy’s into the lifestyle that you are portraying, you don’t need to spend a fortune on a fancy photographer, there’s plenty you can do even do from your iPhone!

“You have to keep working at it”

I have worked on my product photography from two angles, both by myself and with a photographer.  A lot of my more basic images I take in the house, using my camera or phone, especially for social media, I always use my iPhone, sometimes it even seems to work better than my camera.  It’s a really great tool, so use it! I have a little set up under the window in my studio, it’s great, I can just put something down and shoot…

Here’s some examples of images I have taken on my iPhone…

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I have also had the great fortune to work with a fantastic photographer, Gavin Forster.  For the shoot with Gavin I wanted some model images that would really capture the look of my brand, I had an amazing time finding a venue, model (Kayleigh Falcus) and make up artist (Maximillion).

Working alongside a professional photographer gave me the chance to stand back and really style the images, think about what I wanted in them.  If you are looking for more of an editorial shoot, I think it is really valuable to spend a little more money and have the chance to be able to stand back and see the bigger picture.  I had the most amazing experience with Gavin, and would highly recommend him to anyone looking to do a shoot.  Here are a few from my professional shoot…

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The photos are fabulous! You’re right an iPhone can do a great job but I must say the edgy ‘high fashion’ look you’ve achieved in those professional product photos by Gavin are fabulous! Looking through the site my favourite professional picture is the tan clutch in the ‘kitchen’… love it! Your favourite make so far?

I would have to say the Yellow BiFold Purse,  I think i am just in love with yellow at the moment!

yellowbi-foldpurse

I’m so with you on that! Yellow seems to be the colour of the moment, your block Yellow Tassel Clutch Bag and matching phone pouch are gorgeous. Your leather hand dyed cross body iPad bag in blue stripes is also to die for – I’m a sucker for anything with a stripe. Also loving the little leather heart earnings so cute! Your best seller?

It depends where I am, on Etsy, I think it’s a mix between phone pouches and glasses cases

 

phonecase

What’s next for your shop?

I’m bringing out a lot of new products in the summer month’s, working on improving the current designs and as I said earlier, new dying techniques, which I am very excited about!  Really over the next couple of months I am looking to streamline my business and get everything perfect, if such a thing exists!

Your Etsy crush?

Anybody who knows me, will understand my love for bears… so I am going to have to go with Past Your Porchlight. This shop create numerous felted bears, which I am just in love with!  There’s one with mushrooms and a little mouse that is just adorable!

Mushroom bear

Readers must take a look, it’s a gorgeous shop! Your favourite Etsy purchase?

Now this is going to sound a little sad, but a while back I purchased a load of zips from an Etsy shop called Zip It, and honestly, they are the best zips, and at a great price!

I have a slight addiction to buying unloved furniture and upholstering Ercol chairs so that information could be exactly what I need, thanks! Where can we find you on the web to come and say ‘hi’?

Website: www.torilodesigns.com

Facebook: facebook.com/tori.lo.designs

Instagram: instagram.com/tori_lo_designs

Pinterest: pinterest.com/torilodesigns

Etsy: torilodesigns.etsy.com

Thank you so much to Vicky Wade from Tori Lo Designs for agreeing to be our first ‘Feature Friday’ subject, she’s got us off to a cracking start. I think you’ll agree her work is beautiful? We’ll keep you updated and look forward to hearing hear how things have progressed with her shop. We’ve even booked in a ‘Feature Friday’ update six months from now!

After so much support and help from other Etsy makers since we set up our Rose Filtered shop (just over a month ago) Steve and I are both really keen to create this ‘Feature Friday’ to help share the love and create a platform where Etsians can show off their lovely wares. It’s only when you actually start selling online that you get a real understanding of how hard it it is to get your work seen. A lot of new Etsy businesses don’t have thousands of pounds to spend on marketing and they certainly don’t have the footfall of an art gallery, never mind the high street giants. So this is about doing our little bit to raise the profile of some of the talented makers. We truly hope this will be a small step to help these businesses on their way to even greater success.

If you’ve made it to the bottom of the page please can we ask that you comment below if you have any feedback you’d like to give about the format of this feature and of course please can we ask you to share the article across social media and go and visit the Tori Lo shop – have a browse… treat yourself? Rose Filtered HQ and Tori Lo look forward to hearing from you!

Thanks

Leanne @ Rose Filtered x

If you are an Etsy shop in the UK and are interested in ‘Feature Friday’ then please contact us here and simply send us the name of your Etsy shop, providing a few brief details. If we think you’d be a good feature then we will be back in touch. Please be advised that your photos should be light and bright and you should be actively involved in social media to be considered. It may take up to a month until you hear back as many slots in the coming weeks are already taken due to receiving a lot of interest. Thanks again for your interest and we look forward to hearing from you!

The recipe for deconstructing a dandelion clock

Ingredients

  • Canon EOS 450D
  • Sigma DC 18-50 f2.8 EX lens
  • Tripod
  • An intact dandelion clock
  • Blu-tack
  • Tweezers
  • Black bed sheet
  • Too much time on my hands
  • Persistence
  • A healthy amount of anal retentiveness

Method

Step 1 – find a healthy looking dandelion clock

This proved to be an easy task. I went down to my local park and they were there in abundance. I selected the best looking one then realised what step two would entail….

Step 2 – get in-tact dandelion clock back home

Given these things have evolved to be masters of wind borne seed dispersal this was not as easy as I first thought. Let’s just say my journey home attracted a few strange looks from passers-by.

Step 3 – set up studio

My original plan was to photograph the dandelion in colour against a black background. I hung the black bed sheet on the wall behind the dining room table which was positioned next to a south facing window for optimum natural light conditions. I set up my tripod and placed a reflector (home made from scrunched up tin-foil stuck to a piece of card. Hey – it works brilliantly) opposite the window to reflect some natural light and fill the shadows.

Step 4 – get photographing!

The first photo was of the whole dandelion clock. This proved to be the easiest shot as it was a case of simply holding the dandelion in front of the lens. I don’t own a dedicated macro lens (though I would love one) but my trusty Sigma lens has a very close minimum focussing distance which came in very handy here. I shot at the maximum focal length of 50mm and went for an aperture of f11 to give good overall sharpness but soften the edges of the seeds.

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Step 5 – deconstruct

Once I was happy with the ‘full clock’ photo I started the deconstructed images. I began by carefully removing an individual seed using a secretly commandeered pair of Leanne’s eyebrow tweezers (shhh.. don’t tell her) and positioning it in front of the lens, rooted in a blob of blu-tack. I moved the camera in as close as my lens would allow at 50mm and shot at f16 for good depth of field. All that was left was  a bit of Photoshop work to re-create the bottom of the seed that had been lost in the blu-tack.

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Step 6 – the ring of irritation (yes, I realise how that sounds…)

I had subconsciously left the most challenging shot until last. I wanted a perfect circle of individual dandelion seeds to mirror the shape of the original dandelion clock but show a simple, uncluttered composition highlighting the essence of the dandelion. All very well in theory – not so easy in practice! Employing the same blu-tack tweezer method as for the single seed I intricately placed 7 seeds in a perfect semi-circle…… did I say perfect semi-circle? Well, after reviewing the first batch of shots they were all far from perfect. This is where I had to draw on my many hours of playing Operation as a child. If I could remove all those organs without a single buzz then I could damn well make a perfect semi-circle of dandelion seeds! After a LOT of intricate tweezer work I eventually got a shot I was happy with (the persistence and healthy amount of anal retentiveness well and truly used up by this point).

Next up was a lot of intricate Photoshop work to clone out the blu-tack and re-create the missing seed ends.

IMG_5495

Step 7 – Computer time

To create the full circle of seeds I took the semi-circle image and flipped it 180 degrees to create the bottom half of the circle then cloned out the overlapping seeds. So now I had my final set of dandelion images against a black background but I wasn’t happy with the final look. I played around with the levels but still wasn’t happy with them. I decided to try inverting the images in Photoshop. This converted the black background to white and turned the dandelions blue – a little strange, so I desaturated the images to make them black and white and adjusted the levels to improve the contrast.

Conclusion

I finished off with some careful cropping and finally ended up with a set of images I was pleased with. I hope you enjoy them too! Our deconstructed dandelion print is available to buy here in our Etsy shop.

 

Rustic_dandelion_3square

The Rose Filtered ‘Feature Friday’ starts this week!

I’m really excited to announce that Rose Filtered’s first ‘Feature Friday’ will start this week. This is your chance to meet an Etsy artist, maker, designer each week and find out about what they do, why they do it, their learning curve selling on Etsy and of course gives a fantastic opportunity to showcase their latest makes and best sellers. This feature will be published each Friday and is currently only open to Etsy sellers.

If you’re wondering how you can promote your Etsy shop, details on how your small business can be featured will be posted on Friday.

Our first feature will be the very talented Vicky Wade from ‘Tori Lo Designs’  – I look forward to sharing her talent with you and hope you’ll come and say ‘hi’ on Friday!

#RFFF

Say “cheese”

How quickly the Treasury Tuesday comes around!

Here at Rose Filtered HQ we are ever so slightly addicted to retro cameras. Here we have a lovely collection of photography finds and camera related goodies to drool over!

Firstly who wouldn’t want an actual retro camera??? How about a vintage Polaroid in cream with rainbow stripes, available to buy from Purple Lane 168. Watch out though, their store is bursting with retro goodies so you might need your cash at the ready!

There are so many lovely designs this week including a gorgeous embroidery hoop which is so cleverly done by Stitches of Anarchy, a gorgeous pastel camera pin by Fairy Cakes and how about that stylish and highly unusual laser cut necklace including the hands holding the camera by My New Fave  which immediately reminds me of the fabulous series ‘Mad Men’. How about that gorgeous art print of girl with camera by the very talented Terri Hall?

This weeks Treasury Tuesday ‘STAND OUT’ is that lovely cushion with retro camera illustration. STANDOUTcameracushionIt has a fabulously bold mustard and fuchsia colour combo, to really help make a statement in your living room! This gorgeous cushion is designed by the very talented Helena Carrington. Helena also has this same design available to buy in notebooks as well as the inverse colour combination of fuchsia with hints of mustard – her shop is worth a look.

All of the items featured in the treasury below are available to buy here on Etsy: “Say Cheese” Treasury on Etsy by Rose Filtered

SaycheeseSo that’s about it for this week but please don’t forget if you like what you see, please visit the shop and maybe help these talented makers who are all small business by sharing this post or their items on social media. They don’t get the same exposure or footfall as the corporate giants or high street stores, so lets share the love and help get these gorgeous goodies seen!

Enjoy shopping!

Feeling Creative?

Hello creative followers, family and friends just a note to let you know that I have an Etsy voucher that gives you 40 free lsitings on Etsy to sell your products – so you can give it a try and see what you think! If you’re seriously thinking of selling your creative makes on-line you could try starting with an Etsy shop as it’s a seriously low risk strategy, with minimal investment required (logo, your products and that’s about it). Pretty simple really.

Get started selling on Etsy with 40 free listings here: Etsy Voucher – 40 free listings

If you do start a shop using the voucher please let us know, say hello and introduce yourself so that we can come over and offer some support!

Thanks

Leanne x