Your help please?

IMG_4085As many of you know I am very passionate about the materials I use as an artist & maker & many of you also know that ever since I was given the go ahead at the very beginning of this year to produce a wool dress as part of a collaboration project for Organic Wool Wales (many of you very kindly supported my making of it, helping me with many of the decisions while I worked in the searing heat of the Asian sun https://loutonkin.com/2013/04/09/hedgerow-dress/) that I have become even more passionate about the value & wonderousness of these materials- so much so that I have been quietly working on the production of a clothing & accessories line.

My clothing design will be using much of the same techniques I have used in the past but to create a more ‘off the peg’ product which you can all share in (& some of you might just stop cutting holes in woollen things just to get me to repair them with something lovely)

IMG_7125 IMG_7126

Well, I have been saving every penny & ploughing all of my artwork earnings into this new project which is a slow going process (I have now bought the screens to do my own printing, found the lovely organic cotton/hemp fabric to print onto, had a pattern & a sample dress made by a lovely dress maker in Penryn, which could be made into both a luxurious British wool cloth dress with one of my hand finished designs or a crisp hand printed cotton dress, found a supplier for scrumptious wool cardigans for women & jumpers for men & set up a brilliant collaboration project for children’s clothing with Picaloulou) but an opportunity has come up for me to enter a competition.

To enter I have to submit a 3 minute video pitch about my idea accompanied by a 250 summary. If something wonderful happened & I am picked as one of the 10 finalists I would have to submit a full business plan (profits & losses & all of that stuff I normally screw my eyes very tightly shut & hope will go away) The competition prize is a small amount of cash to be invested into my business but more importantly a lot of support from a very large number of sponsors including good solid financial help, design, marketing, business support, shipping, advertising & all sorts of other lovely things which would give me a really good start.

But I was sitting here thinking… How do I get them to realise how brilliant my product is? I will have just 3 minutes…I have all of the lovely comments you have made about my work before, I could submit them? but I need to write something really great!

The competition is all about local regeneration which is very important to me but to make this work I would hope to sell my products nationally- globally! But what I need to make sure before I write even a single word is to ask you lot what you think? While most of you who are interested in my work & follow me are in the UK many of you are all around the world & you after all make up a large proportion of my market audience.

My business  vision:: ‘To produce a clothing & accessories line using sustainable British/organic materials championing quality & the value of UK/ local production with bespoke, unique design’.

IMG_7124

Is this all a good idea? Am I focusing on the right products? So if it’s ok could you answer some questions for me?

1. Do you love the idea of a new clothing line using local sustainable materials? (with my designs making them a bit special…) Is this important to you?

2. I like the idea of creating something which is a real treasure, something which becomes an heirloom piece which you want to keep or pass on, does this sound good to you? or do you prefer to change your clothes/get bored of things quickly?

3.If you were going to buy something which was a bit special- hand finished etc.. do you think it is more likely that you would buy it for you? As a present? for your home? for your partners? for a child? other? please let me know.

4. Favourite items of clothing? skirts? Dresses? Jumpers? Cardigans? Which do you buy more often?

5.What haven’t I asked? Please send me any thought you have.

Thank you in advance for helping me & sending me your thoughts.

(& a little p.s. if you have a FB page please could you share my questions with other people you know by sharing the dress picture on my timeline which has this blog link attached to it the more people I can get feedback from the better)

 

 

Lou

Winners!

Ok- We have spent the morning scribbling down all of your names from the giveaway & reading your lovely comments, thank you so much!!
The winners of the butterfly giveaway are……. Laura Esther Rivers, Claire Read, Tracey Anne Beck, Lotte Sturgess & Esther Renwick. Congratulations! & I hope you really enjoy having them around.
If you could email me your addresses I will post them off to you.
info@loutonkin.co.uk

 

Thank you!!

Oh Lordy!

I think I have created someone even more ‘making’ obsessive than me!!?!! (Look out for the lions at the bottom)

We have had a lovely time playing with the screen prints from Friday. What do you think?

IMG_6873

IMG_6874

IMG_6875

IMG_6871

Rosie very much liked that some of you said you would like a lion yourself & of course she sees me making & selling things all the time- so after a long discussion about selling things & how it works (& that it would be silly to spend all of the money you ever earn in Digby’s sweet shop :/ ) we agreed that we could try to sell some lions.

These lions are smallish- as you can over see & hand printed from a drawing by a 6 year old child, they are wonky all over the place, some have very ‘special’ 6 year old stitches, some have variations in the print quality.

BUT- with all that… if you would like a lion from Rosie they will cost £10 each (I talked her down from £19) This includes the postage (UK) & it also includes a £2 donation to a charity of her choice which is the butterfly conservation trust (part of the money talk)

It’s first come first served, but the money from them will go towards buying some blank t-shirts which she wants, so she can print some more things (to sell of course!!) & towards making BIGGER softie lions.

Money can be sent to my paypal account using my email:: info@loutonkin.co.uk

Thanks on behalf of Rosie.

 

 

 

Small genius

I’ve sort of given up trying to do work for me at this point in the school holidays, the children wanted to have a go at the stuff I was doing (lampshade pictures below)- & why not! So we had a lovely creative end to the week! Here are some of the results…

The pictures are sort of in the order of:: Rosie’s screen printed lion, my lampshades, Rosie’s new Mousehole mouse house for her Mazey mouse toy & finally the children’s first flutter with screen printing (I think doing it as paper-cuts with 3 children in 1 day might have been pushing even my luck). A lovely time was had though & I don’t think it will be the last time they do it they all loved it so much.

.Rosie's Lion Lampshades £55 each Lampshades £55 each Lampshades £55 each Lampshades £55 each

IMG_6644 IMG_6664 IMG_6665 IMG_6666 IMG_6667 IMG_6668 IMG_6669 IMG_6670 IMG_6671 IMG_6672 IMG_6673 IMG_6674Ned's designThe boys decided they might like to make some new curtains for their room. d a Rosie pink! The boys decided they might like to make some new curtains for their room. Billy-What a nit! Rosie's fish design Rosie's fish! My example-made to complicated as ever!! Ned's design

Giveaway update

While my children are outside in the sunshine doing their valuable 15 minutes for the ‘Big Butterfly count’ http://www.bigbutterflycount.org/ (there are only a couple of days left if you haven’t done it) I thought I would admit defeat inside over my giveaway game plan (which nobody really did https://loutonkin.com/2013/07/24/birthday-workshop-success-a-giveaway/ & there are still more butterflies in my kitchen felted out of wool than there are in the garden) & change the rules.

NOW, If you would like to enter the giveaway to win a hand felted peg butterfly (there are 5 to win) just like & share the picture from this link on my facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lou-Tonkin-Art-Graft/118577118182463 – if you are not on FB just leave a comment below to enter. I will find someone suitably amusing to pull the names out of the hat on Friday the 30th of August.

IMG_6426

Is that easier?

xx

Lou

A grand sort of week.

Oohhh it’s been such a lovely week of beaching & playing around with the children, it makes me feel very lucky to live in Cornwall by the seaside, it’s also been a week of great personal indulgences- I’ve really been catching up with those things that I should have done at home but never quite get around to… I’ve made some beautiful curtains out of the saris we brought back from Malaysia, put up the Chinese lanterns as lampshades, made some scrumptious cushions out of the screen printed squares from the Newlyn workshop & even started painting the outside of the house!

It’s been a good week for selling work as well, some of my very favourite pieces have gone off to new homes & bless her, lovely Suzie at The Four Crows Gallery in Porthleven has been selling like a real trouper. I was featured on this weeks ‘Day in a Life’ by Maker’s Boutique- http://makersboutique.tumblr.com/post/56866158573/day-in-the-life-of-lou-tonkin & I’ve also finished a commission which I’m pretty proud of- a wool rug (pictures below)

For the bits in between it’s just been the normal whirlwind of painting on the table, dressing up, face-painting a plenty & baking galore!

Today however is the most exciting day of all- friends coming to share it with us. (rain, rain go away!!)