Posts Categorised: News

Rustic Trends – Tactile Textures

I was doing a bit of searching around recently on t’internet for trends this year because we’ve been doing some work on our home.

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Rustic is a top trend for 2014 so I have put together some images of what I would use for a bathroom with tactile textures.

I really like this Cambridge Free Standing Bath from C. P. Hart Bathrooms. I would ideally have some exposed brickwork which really breaks up a room, adds extra character and accentuates the shape. I do have some in my sewing room but would’ve loved to been able to do this in the bathroom too. I do like a splash of colour so would go for a wooden floor – and would some boldness in the accessories – like this Liberty London floral fabric for the blinds and some chunky towels.

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The board is on my Pinterest ( I strongly recommend doing an inspiration board if you are thinking of designing a new room ) of how I would accessorise with this bath – and have added some of the pics to this post too.

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A lovely earthy candle scent would add to the overall feel of the room – and a few pops of colour dotted around against the white walls to finish it off and a heavy duty wire rack. I don’t think you can go wrong with an old style radiator – again, this one is by C. P Hart Bathrooms – who incidentally have a broad range of bathroom showrooms, ideal to gain some inspiration and get a true appreciation of the look and feel of their products. Also, for professional and interior designers, they have a trade section on their website that is well worth exploring. if you need some when you come to do your own bathroom.

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This post is in collaboration with C P hart – all opinions are my own.

You have to stand for something

We’re looking out for something to put our decks on at the moment.

A long time ago I had a stand made up out of wood but this is now spoken for, covered in my kids art and craft stuff. You can buy DJ stands for vinyl but we are after something a bit kitsch so that we can have it the living room. :) I’ve had a little look online for starters and found a few pieces.

Love the retro drinks cabinet on Ebay, above. I reckon we could squeeze the decks on to it and it would fit in a corner quite well.

The retro legs on this console do it for me – shame this is in the States ! It’s a nice piece to have in your home. I found it on Etsy.

This Soundbase stand is similar to the one we originally had made up. Simple design but probably the most practical.

Something that needs a bit of TLC would be nice too, plus you could store the vinyl underneath this one.

Nowadays, lots of people use DJ software or CDs much more which is understandable as it takes up much less room but I will always be an ‘old skool’ record lover because the sound is like nothing else. It’s also the feel of the vinyl and the beautiful artwork on albums.

If you have any ideas on stands – send them my way … and while we’re on the topic of music, what was the first record you ever bought ? Leave me a comment under this post or tweet @lucylovesyablog.

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Pocketful of dreams … Part 2

IMG_0652The second day started off with a trip to Macy’s to buy a few little gifts for family and erm, well…. a pair of Nike boots that confirm I am defiintely still a child at heart ! NY3

Being as we were both flying home later that day we thought a really nice way to spend the afternoon would be at Central Park. So we had some lunch which was absolutely delicious, the name of the place escapes me. NY4 Andy knew of a toy store called FAO Schwarz right nearby – and he was right in thinking it would rock my world ! They obviously have excellent buyers there – every product looked good and well presented. Not too much stuff all bunged together, if you know what I mean ? I’m kicking myself now that I didn’t get the Hello Kitty IPhone case – or the leopard print suitcase… or the Wonder Woman book… Damn it ! My daughters would’ve loved the Jim Henson puppet workshop going on there and the whole floor of sweets. I highly recommend this place if you’e ever close by the park. IMG_0582

We stumbled across a really excllent soul band playing nearby and I loved the fact that people were being really generous, popping their dollars on their tin. They deserved every single one !

 

As we headed back to the Hotel to get ourselves together it started to rain, which was refreshing and felt like good timing to head to the Airport. I’ve never been on the Subway before and you have to be on the ball down there ! I have to say though, I found everyone really courteous.. which is not always the case in London.

Going back to my comment in part 1 – it has been a really good, much needed break. It’s hard work on occasion being a Mum. It’s the best thing I have ever done, don’t get me wrong – but, you can forget what you stand for at times. It’s good to have a few days to get your head together, have fun and focus again. You could say that it’s has been a good kick up the derriere. :)

I am cracking on now with starting my online store. It will be at Etsy shop to begin with while I work on my website. I’m also writing a book and it has really helped for ideas with that too. Watch this space …..

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Pocketful of dreams … Part 1

IMG_0464I’ve had a super fabulous mind bending, surreal time in New York this week. Had little time to prepare for it and was in there before I knew it.

Thought I’d take the opportunity to visit Andy out there as he was working at Madison Square Gardens. Got there late, dropped my suitcase off and ( and really late if you count the time difference ) – popped into the gig, met the band he’s working with and crew who were all lovely and then caught an hour of Muse. They were excellent – I forgot my camera though so I took a few instagram pictures instead.

It’s not the first time that I have been to the Big Apple, but it always feels like a film set when you step out onto the street. The energy is just what I needed at the moment ( more about that in part 2 ) and I find New Yorkers so engaging. NY1

As we only had a few days, we squeezed loads in – the first day we wandered down to the fashion district and went to Rosen and Chadick – a store of my fabric dreams ! Literally every type and colour that you can think of  – some I’ve never seen before. Great service too. I got a few – the leopard print is actually silk and feels sooo soft. I looked down at the pavement as we were walking away and spotted the Betsey Johnson plaque right there by my feet. I chose to study her work when I did a design course at London College of Fashion so it was quite apt, really. NY2

Then a cab ride to SoHo for some excellent Boutiques and a very sweet cafe called Smile for a little bit of lunch. American Apparel is everywhere in New York but I do love that shop so it was a treat ! I love their hoodies and finally got their shiny leopard print leggings that I’ve had my eye on for ages. How cool is the massive television below and the caravan ? They were in the Orla Kiely store. I can’t recall the name of the one with the eye balls for heads but couldn’t resist this pic ! IMG_0460

After a few hours we headed over to Brooklyn as I had tracked down a really good Barbers called TomCats on India Street who specialise in Vintage haircuts. Andy was in need of a cut and it was well worth the journey ! He has had a really good late 30s re style. The place was buzzing and the staff – really lovely. I just sat and people watched. IMG_0481IMG_0479IMG_0477

It was only a short walk to a boat ride from Brooklyn ( on the way I snapped some awesome graffiti – too many to add all ) to East 34th Street and then we walked back, freshened up and went out for some Japanese food at Monster Sushi. Great Bento box – very tasty ! IMG_0518
A few people had recommended 230 5th – a rooftop bar – and WOW the view was incredible. We sat and sipped cocktails and listened to some Ambient House music. They give robes to people if they get a bit chilly – it is heated up there but it was nice and cosy to wear one. We looked a bit like something from a Star Wars movie though… but, then again – so did everyone else.

Pretty much passed out in a jet lagged and Bellini induced world of sleep once we got back to the Hotel…. Zzzzzzz.

Part 2 coming tomorrow….

Have you been to New York or do you live there ? Which are your favourite places and stores ? …

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Make Roman Blinds – a Tutorial

As promised recently, having shown you my new sewing room roman blinds – here is a tutorial on how to make one for yourself. I’ve had some emails and tweets asking where my fabric is from – Kingdom Interiors and it’s Perroquet by Nina Campbell.

Before we get started, you will need:

Main fabric ( we will work out how much shortly.. )

Interlining ( Optional )

Blind lining fabric

Thread and sewing needle, scissors, pins, fabric chalk, tape measure, scissors, sewing machine, staple gun

Wooden baton cut to size inside or outside recess

Dowel rod and base bar – both of which you will need to cut to size.

Eye rings, blind cord, blind acorn, screw eyes and 1 cleat with screws.

All of these things should be obtainable from your local fabric shop, if not, try eBay.

Measuring up

Main fabric

You will either want the blind to sit inside or outside the recess. As you can see the one I made sits outside. You can do either as I have instructions here for both. Either way this tutorial is based on you using a 20 mm deep wooden baton. There are other methods but this is how I like to make them. If you are going outside the recess, the width of the window sill is your guide on how wide to make the blind and cut the baton.

Whether making for inside or outside the recess – measure vertically and horizontally , the top of the blinds will be stapled to the very top of the baton so remember to add allowances in the fabric length for this –  plus 5cm for a return at the top and 12 cm hem for the bottom. Each side of the blind will need 5cm return = 10cm total.

Work out all of these measurements below before buying your fabric to ensure you have enough – make sure too that your fabric width is wide enough for your window. Unless you have a plain fabric or a non obvious pattern you won’t be able to use the fabric sideways.

Horizontal: Desired width of finished blind + 2 x 5 cm ( 10 cm ) = Total width to cut.

Vertical:  length from very top of baton down to window ledge or desired finished drop + 17cm ( return and hem ) = Total length to cut.

NB. Before you cut, if the fabric has an obvious pattern – make sure you have decided on which parts of this you want to use and that you have it the right way up. In other words, frame in your mind the finished blind and how you want the it to look. I made sure on mine that the birds were as central as possible.

Interlining ( optional )

Same measurements as main fabric. I like to use this as it makes the blind more sturdy and it blocks out some light. You could use black out lining instead if you are making a bedroom blind – this will make your room much darker when they are down.

Lining fabric

Horizontal: Finished width + 4.5 cm either side ( 9cm ).

Vertical: Finished drop + 5cm return for top edge.

You will also be adding rod pockets to the lining – so will need to also add on 2.5 cm per pocket ( dependent on size – the larger the blind the more rod pockets will be required )

Putting your baton up

I recommend cutting to size and stapling the rough side of your velcro on to the top before doing this. You can always do it afterwards but if you have little space between baton and ceiling it will be trickier once it’s up.

Making the blind

Cut out your fabrics. Double check you have the right measurements ( above ) and go for it. Do the same with your lining fabric.

Starting with your main fabric – lay out flat with wrong side facing up. Place the interlining on top of the main fabric so that all corners match up and press both sides towards you by 5 cm. The interlining should be sitting inside the main fabric. Snip the corners ( see pic below ) off the interlining at the bottom of the blind to avoid too much bulk later when you mitre them ( you will see what I mean .. ). Then fold the lining fabric in by 5cm each side too and press.

Now, you need to work out where the rod pockets are to be sewn in on the lining fabric.

To give you an example – my blind has 3 rods and so is divided into 7 sections ( the number of sections is always the number of rod pockets multiplied by 2 then add 1 ) from the base of the screw eyes to the bottom of the finished blind is 121.5 cm so divide this by 7 and each section measures 17.4 cm – therefore the spacing between each rod pocket is 2 x 17.4 cm which = 34.8 cm.

Making sure the wrong side ( the side you have pressed the seams into ) of the lining is facing up Stick a pin where each rod pocket is going to be and then mark 125mm either side of each pin. One by one, fold and press each pocket so that the marks are facing each other ( each ” loop ” should total 2.5 cm ), press them and then machine sew all along the widths of the blind. You now have your rod pockets.

As above, lay out you main fabric ( if you have added interlining this should still be sitting inside ) with right side facing up. Lay the lining on top, wrong side up – checking that the top and bottoms of the main and lining fabric are adjacent and that the lining is placed centrally, you’ll find that the lining is just short in size of the main fabric – about 2.5 cm each side. Ease out any wrinkles, then mitre ( fold corners ) the bottoms of the main fabric inwards ( this is why you cut the the corners off the interlining ) so that they are the same width as the lining and pin to the main fabric. Machine sew a 1 cm line along the width off all of these layers to hold them together.

Turn the main fabric and lining out the other way so that the right side of of each is on the outsides. The interlining is now in the inside, still folded inside the main fabric. Pull the top of the lining up so that it matches the top of the main fabric and ease out any creases in all layers and then pin all along the top and sides. The recess bottom of the blind should look like this:

Give the blind a pressing all over. Double check for any creases because you are next going to machine sew a 1 cm line all along the top width of layers. Once you’ve done this, either machine or hand sew the soft side of the velcro all along the top of the wrong side of the blind ( above ).

Place the base bar inside the bottom of the blind. They generally come in metre lengths so you may need to cut to size.Now, from the very bottom of each side, herringbone stitch the reverse of the main blind to the lining. Don’t yet stitch up the rod pocket as you haven’t inserted them yet :)

Hand sew eye rings 5 cm in on each rod pocket and then space others in between, depending on how many cords you are using vertically, to pull the blinds up ( I used 3 on my blind ) and then stab stitch just under each of the rod pockets. I tend to do two stitches as find it holds all layers together better, especially if you have interlining.

Insert your cut to size dowel rods and then sew up the ends of the rod pockets. 

Screw the screw eyes into the base of the baton. They need to be directly above the threads and one above the cleat – time to decide here if you want this to be on the left or right of the window. Screw the cleat in half way down the window ready.

On each bottom eye ring attach a cord by tying a knot and then thread up through each eye ring above then to the left or right, dependent on which side the cleat will be.

Putting the blind up

Velcro the blind together at the top. Now cut and thread the blind cords up through the relevant screw eyes above and then if going left thread all cords through each screw eye including the one above the cleat or vice versa if you are going right. Gently pull all cords down at the side so that the they are all taught at the back and threaded without any loose cords and then braid all cords together down the side ( this is for safety too ). Cut the braid where the cleat is and attach a weight on the end by threading the plait through and then knotting it underneath.

When you pull the braided cord the blind should pull up evenly ! It might take a few days to sit “right” so I recommend leaving it up for a few days for the folds to settle.

My new Design Room – Ta-da !

You may have noticed a lack of posts showing my makes recently, it’s been a transitional phase plus I have been doing alterations. Also, you might have heard me banging on and on about wanting a sewing room and then about it being on the way  – with the crescendo tweets of “I have a new space to sew.. finally !” – So I thought I would share my new love with you.

It is so much easier now to do dressmaking, the kitchen table just wasn’t cutting it anymore. A family friend who’s a carpenter made the craft block to my specifications which is amazeballs – now I don’t have to keep bending right over to draw patterns and pin clothes.

To have a permanent place for my machines feels like such a luxury, I’ve put pictures up and things around that inspire me – like this Magical Bunny lamp from MiaFleur. It was my Birthday present from Andy.

My Sister painted this old dresser top for me. She used two colours, one as the main and a green just peeping through where she distressed it. I really love it. If you are looking to have something up cycled look no further than Clare ! Email me if you want more details.

I made these blinds with Nina Campbell fabric from Kingdom Interiors. Look out very soon for a Roman blind tutorial, here on my blog if you fancy making one.

Hope you like my room ! Do you have space where you can work ? Or is it in the pipeline, like this was for AGES !

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Feel free to use my images – just please ping a link back to me here at LucyLovesYa.

INSPIRE ME – with Tatty Devine

Rosie_Harriet_TattyDevieToday is a good day. A really good day and I’m a little bit excited… because I am sharing my recent interview with the creators of a brand that I LOVE more than all the tea in China…

Rosie Wolfenden and Harriet Vine have made a big name for themselves over the last thirteen years as Co Founders and designers of cult jewellery brand Tatty Devine, creating the most unique, fun and clever pieces made from often from perspex, but also wood, veneer, leather and enamel.

Their designs are featured around the clock in magazines such as Vogue, Grazia, Elle, Cosmopolitan… and stand firm as one of United Kingdoms most original and exciting brands.

As it’s coming up to Christmas, I thought I might also mention their fab  “How to make jewellery with Tatty Devine” book – a really good idea for any crafty, jewellery loving people in your life. It’s 125 pages of creative inspiration and shows you how to transform any object into a new accessory and, what you will need to get started. At £12.99 I think it’s a very good price ! It’s on my list ! You will also find on their website that they sell stitching patterns and run jewellery making workshops too.

When you met at College, did you hit it off straight away ?

At Chelsea the year was split into 4 groups over 2 floors, Harriet and I were in different groups on different floors, so it look a while for us to become friends. In the second year the roof fell in on where I was living, I’d heard that Harriet had a spare room so I rang her up. Once I’d moved in we hit it of straight away.

 

 

 

 

 

You opened your first boutique on Brick Lane, thirteen years ago – did you know even then how loved and popular your brand would become ?

We had no idea ! We were just having so much fun and our criteria was to have a good time, make original things ( we just didn’t want to look like everyone else ) and not get ‘proper jobs’. We’ve stuck to all these things, although it could be argued that we now have proper jobs !

I can spot a ‘Tatty Devine’ piece a mile off.. what would you say makes your jewellery so unique and distinctive ?

I think its a few things, the first being that our techniques are unique to us as we have created and developed them, that we never want to go for the obvious – so I think there is always an unusualness to our jewellery and we like to think our jewellery is of the highest quality – which makes it stand out.

Do you have a current best seller ?

Other than the perennial name necklace we have been selling out of fox brooches and the Arrgh Necklace has been doing very well.


You have collaborated with lots of creative people so far, who would you love to work with next ? 

We’d love to work with Grayson Perry.

 

Where do you get your inspiration for new designs and how far ahead do you work on new seasonal pieces ?

We’re currently finishing off AW13, so for the non seasonal collections we tend to work3-6 months ahead.

Are you music fans ? If so, what do you like to listen to when designing ?

We love music, it’s always been central to what we do. When we’re designing we listen to whatever we are currently into, although there are always old favourites like Belle and Sebastian, Electrelane or ESG.

As well as making your products, you also run jewellery making workshops and sell a “How to make jewellery” book – what inspired this ?

We’ve always done events to celebrate Tatty Devine and get involved with the customer. Our customers just love anything experiential and at heart we are all about DIY so we thought it would be fantastic to do a book with making ideas and to support this with workshops to give people the chance to make some of the pieces with the Tatty team.

With your jewellery stocking in over 300 stores worldwide as well as your own, how do you make it all happen ?

We’ve got a team of 30 people that make it all happen. Harriet and I design and oversee everything, but then we have people making, packing, doing the admin, working in the shop and workshops, doing the press and marketing, the accounts, the customer care and someone to look after our wholesale customers and attend trade shows.

What do you love most about  being designers and having your own business ?

The freedom to do what we want to do and the joy of making people happy with our jewellery.

 

What are your career highlights to date ?

Opening our shop in Covent Garden, the pop up in Selfridges and working with people like Rob Ryan, Gilbert and George and Tate.

 

Can you offer advice to anyone reading this who has a unique brand idea but doesn’t know where to start ?

Start small, let it develop organically and put all your energy and enthusiasm into it. Most importantly have faith in your idea and in yourself.

What can we expect next from Tatty Devine? Personally, I can’t wait…. :)

So much, 2013 is going to be a very exciting year.

Highly inspirational stuff and thanks so much to them both for taking the time out for a little chat. Here’s hoping for a Grayson Perry collaboration soon !

Do you have a favourite Tatty Devine design ? Please do leave me a comment below and spill the beans… ? :)

Follow Tatty Devine on Twitter, Become a fan on Facebook and you can see an abundance of cool jewellery, learn more about their workshops.. oh, and check out the brill book on their website.

All images copyright Tatty Devine 2012.

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INSPIRE ME – with Chie Mihara

91There are certain shoe designers who radiate individuality within their work. To be able to do this – and mix it up with beauty and vintage inspiration is my idea of heaven !

Chie Mihara started out in 2002 and now ten years on, stocks her shoes, boots and sandals with over one thousand clients worldwide, including Selfridges in the United Kingdom and Neiman Marcus in the United States. She even has a really pretty and distinctive bridal range.

I have been a bit of a fan of Chie Mihara for some time, so am pleased to be sharing some of her inspirations with you today…

How did you originally get into shoe design ? Was it always a dream of yours ?

I was always into fashion. For me, shoes was a big unhappy story because I could never find a shoe that I liked for my 40 feet… but never thought I would be a shoe designer !!

Being into fashion takes you to all it’s areas.

Can you tell me the process from design to actual fruition ?

The longest process is the searching. I go to the shoe museum and look for images from different decades, also look for my fashion and accessories book archive I hold in my studio, do trips to Paris, Milan and look around what´s cooking…shops, movies, music, everything is feeding your mind with information.

Later I start defining last shapes, heel shapes, soles, platforms…go to leather fairs in Milan and Paris to see and buy from the tanneries. Once you get all these information you can start drawing…that can take three to four weeks…

Then you pass the catalogue finished with all details to the factory, once the patterns are made. The factory makes the samples and now we are ready to show to our customers from all around the world. we do fifteen to eighteen fairs per season and from the selling season we go to production time, that could take another three to four months until the stores would receive the goods to sell.. shoes

How many seasons ahead are you with your designing ? 

I finished summer 2013 a few months ago.  Right now for example, I am working on the fall 2013 /14 wich will be shown in fairs of early december through march and the shops will have it delivered by July / August.

Are all of your shoes handmade ? 

Yes. All shoes are hand made. even in China ! but of course the process we use here in Europe is more hands on and little details are watched carefully.

Which era’s do you draw inspiration from ?

I love the 30´s and 40´s because it was a very down to earth times and fashion was very utilitarian. Also enjoy the late 70´s and early 80´s for the fun and funky of disco and the explosion of youth. MG_06092

What would you say sets your style aside from other shoe brands ?

Comfort and the very personal style. I never look to what other brands are doing, I dont care. I only look and work for my never ending joy of  creating ! can´t allow myself being too comfortable or relaxed, I have to be hungry at all times !

Do you like to listen to music when working and if so what inspires you ?

Always ! music carries you to another state of mind…sometimes when I´m creating, I repeat the same cd over and over again…

With your shoes stocking in over a thousand stores worldwide now, this must keep you super busy! How do you relax when you get the time ?

I have three children (15, 13 and 11) and my husband, we do lots of things together. I have a very balanced life. I don´t live in a big city, we are sorrounded by mountains and the beach …we are in the mediterranean, its really nice.

But, I´m a very active person, I don´t know what´s relaxing and watching tv…never do that.

I take work on weekends and thats relaxing for me !

How long have you been designing wedding shoes as well ? They are stunning :)

Thanks ! I started wedding shoes four or five years ago…it was an easy choice, because my shoes are already romantic. Some clients would do the white combination and i decided to do it myself.

Could you give a bit of advice to new designers out there ?

You have to work hard on exploring your creativity. Develop techniques to get more original ideas and concepts. Don´t copy other designers! keep your personal integrity ! be original !

tomillo-tanasha-tamaia1

Good looking shoes designed by a very inspiring woman ! Thanks so much, Chie.

I love the fact that Chie focuses on her own idea’s and remains unique !   

You can follow Chie Mihara on Twitter – @ChieMiharaStore, become a fan on Facebook and see more designs right here.

All images copyright Chie Mihara 2012.

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INSPIRE ME – with Paris – Coldplay’s Artist in residence.

A few weeks ago, I talked about my evening at the Coldplay concert at Emirates stadium on the leg of their Mylo Xyloto UK tour.

As my husband is currently working with them, myself and a few friends went to their show and our first impressions of the huge stage area were all literally “WOW”.

We were completely blown away by the graffiti artwork, the enormity of it all and how totally captivating it was. A massive beautiful work of art !

This week for ‘Inspire Me’, I feel very lucky indeed to be interviewing the artist who has created all of this – Paris, and to find out more about his artwork, inspirations and plans for the future as well as what it is like to be collaborating with Coldplay, one of the biggest bands on our globe…

Firstly, Paris, what an amazing gig to get ! Please tell me how your collaboration with Coldplay came about ? 

I’ve been so lucky to land what I reckon is one of the best jobs in the world !….

The band already had an interest in graffiti , but they wanted to meet a real graffiti artist… I was recommended through a friend of a friend.

I met the band, we had fun spraying in their studio, and before you knew it we were painting the Album cover for Mylo Xyloto and getting jetted around the world to paint all kinds of things for their shows !…

 How does it feel having 50,000 people a night at the Coldplay shows looking at your graffiti work ?

It’s an amazing feeling, I got to see quite a few of the Stadium gigs last month in Europe, and the other week in Manchester was one of the best yet… the whole show, the whole production is incredible ,so just to be a part of that is great…when I think how many people see it in just two days its staggering…and our artwork is hard to miss, it’s all over the stage, instruments, screens & stadium !

My husband, Andy, is blown away by your speed ! You turn Chris Martin’s piano and Will Champion’s drum kit into pieces of art so quickly. Do you pre plan what you are going to create and do you always work at a fast pace ?

I think working fast keeps you on your toes, and it gives your artwork an added vitality.

This is what first attracted me to graffiti as a kid, when it’s done well it has a lot of visual power.., and a lot of this comes from painting at night, the thrill and the energy comes through in the work.

For the Coldplay artwork I’m creating a look that is playful and loose, and this can be a lot harder to create in a studio than it looks…one way of getting the right effect is to do it fast, get loads of paint & pens and just go at it !

At what age did you start graffiti-ing and what inspired you ?

I was about 7 or 8 when I first saw graffiti, in about 1981, at that time it was just Punk graffiti, stuff like the Anarchy symbol & “The Jam” & “Sis loves Saz” written on walls near my house, even then I remember it fascinated me, to think who did this ? and when did they do it ?..

By about 1984 there was a lot more breakdance style graffiti around Hull, and this was more colourful, that stuff I loved.

In the middle of a housing estate you’d see “Egyptian Lover” in 6ft high letters in reds, oranges yellows blues & greens…I’d see this from the school bus every day….I just thought “I want to try that” it looked like so much fun.

Did you study art at college?

Yeah, I had a really good tutor at Hull College called Connie Littlefield, she taught a whole bunch of us Hull kids about the Great Masters & the great art movements..The Cubists, The Impressionists,  Art Deco.. all that.. and took us to London & Paris ( this is where I chose the name….in 1992 )..she really opened my mind to what was out there, really really inspired me…, after that I studied in Bolton for 2 years, then in Bristol for 2 more specialising in Printed Textiles for Fashion.

This was definitely the best course for me, so much looser than Graphics, and Fine Art was a bit too snooty…

I came out with a First Class honours so that was okay, but I had to build my business myself, and that took years !

 

Where did you used to do your graffiti art and do you know if any of it has survived the test of time ?… 

I used to live near a big park as a kid and like everywhere in Hull back then there where a lot of abandoned buildings.

There was an old boat house that we called the “Acid Hut” and this is where I did some of my early pieces with my mate Xenz and later we teamed up with an older lad called Eko. We painted an old swimming pool in the park too, the Lido, and the basket ball courts, it was good fun in there, not bothering anyone, and if you painted when Home & Away and Neighbours where on it was so quiet you had the place to your self and all the time in the world to spray. Sometimes the Park-keepers would chase us off but it was all good fun.

Most of those places have been re-developed or knocked down now, the handball court is still there but that gets re-painted every month or so…..it’s a legal graffiti wall now…haha.

I guess its the nature of graffiti to be temporal, even if it survives the test of time the weather will one day wash it away, there might be few bits & pieces around, maybe in someone’s back garden!

Your girlfriend, Milk, is also an artist, do you ever collaborate ?

Yes, Milk has helped me out a lot with some of the bigger Coldplay jobs, and we often get the chance to paint together at Festivals and on walls around the city. We met through painting, and our styles compliment each other well, I think it’s a match made in heaven ! X.

I’ve discovered French street artist Koralie and Swoon, from the States.. Are there alot of female graffiti artists in the UK ? 

I think there are a lot more female graffiti artists in general these days, though even in the beginning in 1970s New York there was Barbara 62 & Eva 62 and in the 80’s there was Lady Pink who still paints now.

I think it can be daunting for girls who want to paint, as graffiti can be a bit of a boys club, but the female influence is vital, I think it really freshens it all up. That’s how I met Milk, I saw her work and it was a hundred times more original than most blokes graffiti out there, with really beautiful colour combinations too.

Milk’s done a few pieces with my sister K184, and they also did a show called “Great Birds of the British Isles” with Amour and Dora who are also female artists.

How do you get inspiration nowadays ? 

Even if it’s just on the walk to my studio I’ve started noticing all these amazing marks on old walls and doors, and the effects corrosion can have on buildings. I find I’m looking at all of this around me with new eyes, I guess it’s just looking properly…, its always been there.

The Hockney show in April had a pretty profound effect on me..that was very inspiring, just the scale alone, it helped me see “the bigger picture”… a true master, and Jeremy Dellers recent show was also a real eye opener.

I find travel is one of the greatest sources of inspiration, wherever me & Milk go we’re always searching for the ‘down at heel’ bits of a city with Dusty shop fronts and old cafes.

We went all over Europe in 2010 and when we got back we just had hundreds of photos of old logos, shop fronts and bits of fabric !

 Are there any other artists/bands that you would really love to work with ?

I’d have loved to work with the Beastie Boys, as I admire everything they’ve ever done….

Jay Z would be cool to do something for, or I’d like to create something for a Detroit Label, I love that futuristic sound.

It would be pretty cool to create artwork for a sci-fi film …maybe just decor or graphics.

Your website www.paris1974.com showcases your paintings for sale – is this something you’re focusing on more now .. and what is happening for you in the near future ?

Yeah, now I’ve got a lot more time in the studio it’s really helped my painting to flourish.

This is something I really want to push, hopefully I can exhibit in London & further afield.

I find painting on canvas pretty scary, but you’ve just got to persist at it.  Doing a wall anywhere, in front of hundreds of people is nothing to me, but I really feel the pressure with a canvas. One way to get over this is not be too precise about it. I’ve got a big wall behind my studio and I nail a load of canvass to this and then just go off!, have fun then work back into each painting individually over time. The work’s selling really well and the prices are rising so hopefully this is something I can keep doing for years to come.

The Coldplay work has made all of this possible, and a lot of my new paintings have been inspired by this collaboration.

Do you have any advice for aspiring artists ?

Keep doing what you LOVE doing, theres a lot of distractions out there, but if you feel that art & creativity is your chosen path you’ve got to grab hold of it with both hands, Hockney’s work showed me that , he’s 70+ and all he’s been doing all his life is painting & drawing and being creative..and his work shows it, and its all totally possible, you’ve just got to believe in it, no-one will make it happen – but you.

Thanks so much to Paris, for giving me this interview and us all an insight into his life and inspirations. Really interesting, eh ?

If you would like to find out more about Paris’s artwork for sale, head on over to his website www.paris1974.com – that’s where I’m off to …. :)

All images are copyright of Paris 2012. Thanks Peeps

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My home made 50s wedding dress…

Wedding 2As I may have mentioned *ahem*.. a few moths ago, Andy and I got married.

I’m not sure what possessed me at the time to want to make my own dress in only a few months, but I’m glad I did. It was a really great experience and I learnt so much about dressmaking.

I was lucky to have some help from Sarah Belinda who knows loads about wedding dresses – it was invaluable, let me tell you !

My hair flower was from Rose Garden Accessories and the heels –  Rachel Simpson.

Our wedding photographer was Laura Babb she was really great to have around. Have a peek at her site..

Wedding1Of course there was the little issue of needing to make three little bridesmaid dresses too….

One night whilst sitting at my sewing machine, literally covered in silk dupion threads I did question my sanity…. but got there in the end !

Andy wore a Paul Smith suit – he looked very handsome and rather retro :)

Wedding 6We got married at The Theatre Royal Bury in St Edmunds and it was an amazing day. The crew were so helpful. We chose this venue partly because it felt right as both of us come from an entertainment background *jazz hands* although it was quite low key and easy going really.

The wedding was inspired by the 50s, my love of kitsch and of course the theatre itself… Dahhhling :)

Our light up letters hired from the super lovely company Vowed and Amazed..

The main thing for us was that everyone felt at ease and that we avoided doing anything that was alien to us. It’s sometimes hard when you’re in the thick of it but it’s important to be yourselves… in my opinion.

Weddign 3How clever is my friend Juliet ? The cake she made for us was just so amazing. The stage looked really effective once the curtains were back with the pom poms and disco balls hovering above us all whilst we ate curry and then some theatre ice creams…. :)Miserable Man sang at the ceremony and he was brilliant. So chilled. I really recommend our band later in the evening too – Ready Steady Go.

Wedding7Hope you like these pics ? :)

If you’re thinking of making your own dress and want some tips – get in touch..

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 All Photography Copyright Laura Babb 2012.