Yesterday was a wonderful day because I moved into my new studio space at The Makers Guild. I’m looking forward to adding to it and making it my perfect little creative environment. It’s lovely to share the space with other makers, the studio is open access and you meet all kinds of wonderful people.
I’m a bit excited to be hosting this workshop and hopefully it’s the start of a whole series of empowering and creative workshops.
So what’s it all about?
Firstly it’s about body acceptance of all body types, sizes, genders, abilities, differently abled and ages. Maybe the starting point of a journey to recognise something about yourself you love? It can be the smallest thing, like how soft your hair is or how strong your arms are. After all lots of us struggle to accept and love our bodies, but it’s a journey and all journeys begin somewhere right?
This amazing patch is by Naomi Hope Designs. You can find all sorts of fabulous patches in her Etsy store. I hope she doesn’t mind me borrowing this as an example.
What happens at the workshop?
You arrive and get offered a drink (vegan cake and savoury snacks on hand) with a warm welcoming smile, if you’re a bit anxious don’t worry you won’t be alone, others will feel the same. It’s a relaxed environment and hopefully conversation will start to flow as we try some short experimental drawing games (no drawing experience is required). I will give a little talk about body positivity and the worldwide movement it has become.
We can then begin to think about what our patches will say or what image it will depict. I have purchased ready made round patches that are perfect for sewing onto a jacket, bag or dress or just sticking up somewhere at home you can admire it. There will be a selection of threads, fabrics and fabric pens to use and help and tuition if you want to learn some different embroidery techniques/stitches. Focusing on making your patch will help you to dwell on something positive about yourself. The act of making and creating is empowering in itself.
Where is the workshop and how do I book?
The workshop will take place at the Makers Guild which is located inside the Portsmouth Guildhall. I will be in reception at 10.45 to greet you, there is also a helpful receptionist on hand if I’m in the studio. The workshop is accessible to wheelchair users.
You can book by emailing me email@example.com
Payment can be taken by paypal and financial assistance is available.
I really hope you can make it!
Hello, its been a couple of years since I last stepped out as Ooh la Lapin. You see I’ve been a bit busy. I met a man named Willis and I married him and then this little guy above popped along, we named him Wilson. I went back to college and worked for a bit in care looking after people.
Life got very complicated with three children, especially as Joel my eldest is severely autistic and needs 24 hour care. Throw a baby in the mix and it’s a recipe for a lot of love but a lot of stress.
I have decided to return to the place I am most happy and alive and that’s being Ooh la Lapin. Like having a super hero identity but without any cool abilities, just the ability to make funny looking toys.
I’m happy to be back and can’t wait to see what this year has in store!
Hi it’s Lou here from Ooh la Lapin, I have a big announcement to make. Due to increased love for my toys I have welcomed Emily Neale to become part of Ooh la Lapin. You have probably seen that recently Emily has accompanied me to lots of events and adventures and it just seemed right that now she has graduated with first in Illustration that I snap her up!
I never imagined how successful Ooh la Lapin would become and in the past year it has surpassed my dreams. Having a solo exhibition, working on wonderful community arts projects, making beautiful creatures for lovely customers, getting my first London stockist at Tusch and Egon in Boxpark and of course being given the opportunity at Liberty of London at the end of August.
I would like to thank everybody who has supported my work in one way or another (you know who you are).
On Sunday Emily and I went to visit Liberty of London as I have been selected to give a presentation about my work on August 30th. Fingers and toes crossed they might like me enough to stock me. Along with my wonderful friend Riella (a film maker for The School of Life) we wandered around Liberty wide eyed at all the many wondrous beautiful things. I came away with some fabric, trim and some pretty dachshund cards from the stationary section. I also feel a bit more confident about going back at the end of the month with my toys!!!
Emily and I visited my favourite label Lazy Oaf.
After Liberty I was really excited about visiting Boxpark in Shoreditch and delivering some work to my first London stockist Tusch & Egon. This was beyond exciting as I now have an outlet for my creatures in such a beautiful, contemporary space as Boxpark. It was all a bit overwhelming so we went for a drink down Brick Lane before returning to Southsea.
My toys safely arrived at Tusch and Egon.
Yesterday Emily Neale and I visited the charming historic city of Chichester. The main attraction for us is that there is a huge fabric and craft shop there called Eternal Maker. Emily hadn’t been before and I couldn’t wait to show her the sheer array of fabric, haberdashery, notions and other tempting crafty bits.
After fabric heaven we decided to visit cake heaven and made our way to bakery ‘Whipped and Baked’ which lies in the north of the city on the edge of the gorgeous Priory Park. I’d heard so many good things about the hand baked breads and especially the decadent oreo chocolate brownie. We plumped for a fat squidgy cinnamon roll, an oreo chocolate brownie and a gorgeous garlic, sun-dried tomato and mozzarella focaccia. Clutching our paper bags of baked goodies we sat in the sun soaked park and watched the world go by. Sadly soon it was time to return home but we will definitely be making our way back for more!
Delicious and delightful record cafe Pie & Vinyl have now taken delivery of some new little friends! Fear not if you don’t live near by they are also in my Folksy shop.
However I thoroughly recommend a visit to P and V as it is one of the most magical shops ever dreamt up. Where else can you eat pie, ice cream sundaes and drink ginger bear out of tea pots and buy records?
On Saturday 19th July you will be able to join me at Make for a toy rabbit workshop.
The workshop has been especially developed for Make with an exclusive toy patterned designed by me for you to keep and use again. The class is suitable for ages 8 and up, but can be enjoyed by all ages. I would recommend if a young crafter wants to come that they team up with an adult partner as we will be using sewing machines.
Apart from it being heaps of fun as you get to bring to life your own Ooh la Lapin bunny you will also learn skills like hand embroidery, basic machine sewing and toy design.
Here are the details:
Cloth Bunny Workshop
Saturday 19th July 10am – 12noon
Cost – £20 includes all materials and toy pattern.
Make – Southsea Craft Cafe, 4 Albert Road, Southsea, PO5 2SH
Places are limited so book by calling Make on 023 9282 2026 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
I am pleased as punch to announce I now have a shop on Folksy!
If you haven’t heard of Folksy then in a nutshell it’s just for UK makers and no ‘vintage’ tat or mass produced stuff masquerading as ‘craft’. Here is there kind of mission statement:
Why do we ‘do’ Folksy? We mainly do it because we believe in:
Craft skills. We love craft and design skills, the process by which people use their creativity and talent to make beautiful work. Most of all, we love making.
Strength in numbers. Professional, portfolio and hobbyist designer-makers can reach a mainstream audience, test markets and grow their business more effectively on Folksy rather than through costly galleries and boutique shops.
Cottage industries. Small scale production and handmade goods offer ways to be creative, manage resources effectively and support local economies.
Meritocracy. Any designer-maker can list their work as long as it is hand crafted (no vintage or mass manufactured work is allowed). This creates a meritocracy where great work from hobbyists can rub shoulders with the best from established professional crafters. The work should stand for itself.
David not Goliath. 🙂
This is me and my lovely friend, collaborator and artistic pal Emily Neale. We sometimes sell our stuff together like at Crafty Fox (pictured above) and we hang out lots, walk our dogs together and dream up lots of creative plans! You should check out her work, its great!
Some of mine and Emily’s toys.
Photo by Josh Knill
I still can’t believe how amazing this year has been so far! Ive moved studio twice!!! I’ve just been offered another work space which is top secret at the moment and i’ll reveal all soon. I’ve had some fabulous commissions too.
My next big project is working for Portsmouth City Council and with the residents of Somerstown to create public art work for their new community hub. Im so happy they liked our idea and that we get to work in a part of our city that deserves wonderful aspirational creative work.