Aunt Elsie’s Spring Fling
Aunt Elsie’s Spring Fling was last weekend -and a beautiful weekend it was too!
You may remember the Aunt Elsie event from one of my old blog posts. It’s lovely arty crafty market with refreshments and lots of good things to delight in and purchase. I hear there will be a Christmas Do again! I recommend coming along to get all your gift purchases sorted and to enjoy being surrounded by wonderful company and creativity! I didn’t take many photos but here is a display of some BomBella wares.
Jelly Open Studios
I also participated in the jelly open studios a few weeks ago. The jelly arts charity has use of a building, which is being used by artists/designers/photographers/knitters as studio and meeting space, and by Alexandra Vintage as a pop-up shop space. I’ve been using a corner for kit making. It’s been brilliant having a bit of space to spread out and organise myself.
You can see where I’ve been working on matching up Intrepid Fox mother of pearl button eyes and sewing them onto card.
In the gorgeous andsewtoknit bag (on the chair in the background) is a new kit design. It’s a spring time design knit in Fyberspates Scrumptious lace ooooh! It’s very nearly ready to release exciting! More on that very soon!
Springtime with the family
At home we’ve been enjoying the warmer weather and beauty that spring has finally brought us here in Reading. I’m a rubbish gardener but I love my garden. Love sending the kids out to explore and play!
Here they are in their pirate pub where you can buy a cup of tea in exchange for dandelion gold. Marley’s having a good old chew on a stick! Erik is probably at the bottom on the slide -trying to pull himself up!
I’ve been attempting to get to know my camera a bit better by taking flower photos. The apple blossoms are looking particularly lovely and in real life the colour of those tulips is stunning.
We did some flower drawings together today. I love looking at different people’s interpretations of the same subject.
Small glass of flowers by Mabel, aged 3, Bonnie, aged 6, and me, aged 32 (oops, should I admit to that!?)
Eeek, Cast On, not an exciting new cast on method but the title of my latest attempt at illustration. I’ve got lots of ideas for short knit-related comic-style scenes doodled in my notepads. An online chat about the ‘keep calm’ range of posters inspired me to finish this one off. Hopefully there are other knitters out there who can relate to the relaxing benefits of knitting in the midst of chaos. Knitting’s just so much more fun than dealing with mess!
I have a new logo for the BomBella knit kits. It’s a bit like the old logo but made proper by a professional designer; multi-talented fellow outcast Pat. She was amazingly patient and kind as I explained that I would like the logo to pretty much be traced from my writing. It’s not neat and ‘perfect’ and that makes it all the more ‘me’!
I still have the scrap of paper from when I first worked out the idea for the logo. I knew I wanted to do something with the ‘b’s.
I tried lowercase ‘b’s as cherries. A cute idea, but it didn’t work.
The butterfly wing capital ‘B’s seemed more promising so I kept experimenting with that.
I think my eureka moment was when I realised that the ‘k’s from the words knit kits could be incorporated into the design. Then the dots from the ‘i’s gave the final flourish and I was chuffed!
Sometimes I’m asked; why ‘BomBella’?
And I say; because, Ella Bom Bella Stickle Lella Fi Fella, Stickle Lella Fi Fella, that’s how you spell Ella.
Which doesn’t really explain things any further! It’s just a child’s rhyming song that we used to apply to any name. I haven’t come across anyone else who used to play the same name rhyming song. I think that if it was local to anywhere then it would be St Ives, Cornwall because (if I remember correctly) it came from the children we played with there.
I haven’t yet been asked; why a butterfly? But I can see how that would be a valid question. Surely a fox or an owl would be more apt as my little mascot?
But… if I was asked; why a butterfly? I would say; just wait a little while, you’ll see!
The new issue of Knit Now is out now! It contains not only my confessions of a love for the 60s/70s hippie fashion (gotta love flares!) but also two new designs from me. These photos are from Practical Publishing.
This mini dress is a lot more practical than you’d think. A small child in white is not something I’d usually do, but this yarn, Debbie Bliss Rialto 4ply, washes very well. This style of tunic dress lasts for ages too, as it can be worn with leggings as your girl grows.
I love the way they’ve styled Cilla, partly because I love the model’s haircolour! The design is not complicated or even a very original concept (tube scarf with pompom ends) but I think it works really well. The idea was based on a doll I love, she’s very old and tatty but still beautiful. Her pompom scarf is actually a stocking cap style hat. I thought a scarf version might be a more wearable option these days!
Or at least I want to be an illustrator. So of course I was super excited when Knit Edge magazine asked to use one of my Boys’ Knits illustrations for their fantastic magazine! I offered to redraw the ‘Dino Cool’ picture for the magazine, which was kind of terrifying! Usually my rule for blog illustrations is to draw quickly and once only, no over-thinking, dithering, refining or redrawing. Otherwise I’d never get it done! But I did attempt a more polished version of ‘Dino Cool’ and they did use it for the article, where it accompanied a brilliant interview with Katya Frankel and Joeli Caparco.
I have previously had my illustrations used for a project with my knit group, the outcasts in Reworking the Old and the New. I’ve done a few illustrated posts on the outcasts blog:
As you can see, these are all adhere to the draw quickly and once only rule! I like to pretend the scruffy unfinished look is charming, and in some ways I think it is, but I’d also like to practice slightly more polished illustrations. I have lots to learn!
One of my main struggles at the moment is trying to decide which is best, scanning hand finished drawing or attempting to master the scary tablet hi tech drawing pad thingy.
Here is an illustration from the Intrepid Fox assembly instructions, hand drawn and scanned:
And here is Tawny Owl drawn on the tablet:
To me the hand drawn image is smoother and more characterful. However, the tablet has other benefits. One being the pure white background rather than yellowy scanned paper colour. I’d love to see how other illustrators work to get the results that they want.
I need to research and practice techniques and skills and ‘find myself’ as an illustrator. To motivate myself I’ll be sharing lots more sketches here on my blog.
You may have noticed that Intrepid Fox kits been out of stock for quite a little while. They will be back soon! We’ve tweaked the colours slightly, replacing the yellow in the Lucky Ducky variegated skein with a lime colour. I hope you love the results as much as I do!
The current batch of Foxy Loxy orange colour yarn has come out a beautiful burnt orange. Some of the skeins are a slightly brownish autumnal orange.
These will make some lovely foxies!
Now we have the yarn back in stock I just need to get the pattern booklets reprinted. (Hopefully with a new BomBella logo that I am very excited about!)
The Bunty Mitts knit kits are now available in another colour combination: Plumberry and Stem Green. This is a gorgeous deep plum colour and a perfect vibrant green. The new colour Bunty Mitts knit kits are now available from my Etsy shop.
I just love hand dyed yarn and Skein Queen has amazing colour skills.