Sunday, 3 July 2011

From York to Sweden and back again

So where to begin? Do I start by apologising that it has been so very long since I last did a Sumptuosity blog -far back in January to be exact! Or do I begin by explaining the current 'travelling circus' that is Sumptuosity? or do I just get on with it???

Well, it has indeed been a good long while since I last wrote a blog for Sumptuosity. This has been because of the changing situation with the business and because once you get out of the habit of doing something it can be difficult to get back into the swing of it. Since the beginning of 2011 Sumptuosity has once again become me and John. The girls are spreading their wings, with Sophie emulating Dick Whittington and going off to live in London (although I have yet to find out if the streets are indeed paved with gold!) and Alanna (Banana) is doing her own work in between working for Gap and planning a trip to Canada. I promise to keep you posted with what the girls are up to as part of the general promise to keep up a regular Sumptuosity blog.

So where does the 'Sweden' part of the blog come in? well, I'll tell you. John was given the opportunity to do a bit of consultancy in Sweden (he is a design engineer by profession), in the early part of Spring of this year. The problems arose by the fact that we didn't want to be apart and of course the important issue of my beloved Sumptuosity! The post is a temporary one so we came up with the idea that I would come out to Sweden with John but with one of my sewing machines, lots of thread, lots of silk and bags of vintage fabric scraps. We come back to York every other weekend and then I can finish making up the work (filling lavender bags etc) and get everything packed and posted from our local York Post Office. Yes, it is completely crazy! to say the least and I can't begin to describe the nerves I had about the safety of my beloved sewing machine as it went through baggage control - not to mention the delicate attentions of the baggage handlers!! So, I do my embroidering in York and Sweden, although I haven't got around to re-designing my labels - I think that 'Handmade and designed in York and Sweden, with additional ideas coming while in Schipol airport, Amsterdam' might seem a rather long-winded! The contract was originally for three months but has just been extended another three months to the end of September.

It is hard work with the combination of travel and embroidery but there are great compensations in seeing the extraordinary wildlife in Sweden. The tiny serviced apartment where we live overlooks woodland and even when taking a walk with John to his office, you get to see wonderful wild flowers, birds and bugs. But more about that next time...

Bye for now,

Ruth xx

Three Beautiful Things (3 B.T.s)
1: The flash of Green Woodpecker seen flying past our balcony window.
2: Enormous Mountain Hares seen lolloping around the carparks and down the pathways.
3: The sight of Swifts flying above the offices of Kista.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

January - New Year - New Start - New Designs

Goodness, we are already 3/4 of the way through January, where does the time go?

John and I have been (and continue to be) busy with Sumptuosity. Firstly we have been working on redesigning the embroideries on the Mirrors (see image) and the square badges. The idea is to give them more detail with an appliqu├ęd image and an embroidered design to complement and complete the overall look. It obviously takes more time to embroider but it is fun to change the look of our designs and it is always good to keep things fresh and new.

Not only have we been working on the mirrors and the badges but the bookmark designs on-line have also been added to. Now we have added the designs that we make for Shakespeare's Globe Theatre and the designs for the Jane Austen Centre in Bath and to this list we have included three new designs of quotations from the poems of contemporary poet (and Friend) Angela Topping. These have been really great to work on and we hope to design more in the future. If you want to find out more about Angela and her work have a look at her blog you can also sign up for her blog and receive poems through email. I would really recommend this, as it is lovely to receive and read a new poem through the post (so to speak!).

John has been very busy working on a revamp of the website. This is of course still an on-going process as I need to make more items for us to be able to take fresh photographs. However we are getting there! I will be designing a lot more natural history based items, so if anyone has got suggestions for flowers, plants or insects etc, or favourite lines from poems or literature please let me know as I always like a new challenge!

2011 - I can't believe it! I shall be 44 this coming May but instead of having a mid-life crisis, I am having more of a mid-life epiphany! This means that I am returning to my first love of natural history. I recently found a notebook from my junior school days that is titled 'My Interests' and states 1: Birds, 2: Animals 3: Plants 4: Fossils. So expect in the blogs in the months to come comments about the environment and various campaigns. I don't want to nag anyone but I do want to mention things that I think are important.

3 B.T.'s

1: Pale pink tulips purchased on sale for 79p from Waitrose on Saturday evening. They are very pretty indeed and give a feeling of Spring.
2: I woke up early one morning this week and although it was still very dark I could hear a blackbird singing, another sign of the approach of Spring.
3: John made a delicious Martini this evening - a little decadent considering that it is a Sunday evening but a nice treat...

Bye for now,

Love Ruth xxx