This summer.

Things have been a bit quiet on here again. Mainly because this summer we moved house during a heatwave which was not fun.

However I did find a bit of time to make some new work, design some tattoos for lovely pals and create a gorgeous garden from scratch. It’s crazy to be thinking about making stuff for Christmas already and planning another Body Positive workshop.

I’m really excited to be thinking about lots of projects and hopefully showing my work outside Portsmouth.

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Etsy update.

Hello there!

I got round to updating my Etsy store last week and within 48 hours all but one of my toys had sold. So a big huge thank you to those lovely people who bought my creatures. I was absolutely beaming with happiness.

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We’re currently in the process of moving house so hopefully we’ll all be settled by the end of June. I will then start work on a new set of toys as well as some greetings cards. All this before the summer holidays!

 

Body Positive Workshop.

On Saturday 17th of March I ran the first Body Positive workshop and I’m glad to say it was fully booked. Donations from attendees covered all costs and we have a bit leftover to invest in the next workshop.

We discussed what the Body Positive movement actually is, very few had heard of it. We discussed disability, mental health, mindfullness and body image (amongst other things). After that we did some creative drawing exercises, drawing each other without looking at the paper which produced some great art work and made everyone feel happy and relaxed. We eventually got round to designing badges and patches. Some people started sewing, others took bits home and a couple of patches were left with me to do (always happy to help!)

We are starting a small library of books too and hopefully that will be up and running at the next session. These include books on feminism, equal rights and anything positive and empowering. If you would like to donate a book please email me oohlalapin@gmail.com

Dates for forthcoming workshops will be released soon.

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Why non profit?

If something costs more does it make it more legitimate? I’m not talking about selling art work but rather providing workshops. Being self-employed I absolutely understand the need to make a profit and I’m not undermining that, I need to earn a crust too. I’m more talking about ‘passion projects’. For me my passion project is body positivity as movement and the amazing people that make that whole scene so accessible. Especially artists who create imagery that explains it, motivates and delivers the overall message of self love and accepting your body.

When I decided that I would follow my heart and offer a body positive craft workshop I did question whether anyone would want to come…well it’s fully booked! I also questioned whether it was right to make money from people’s insecurities. After all they are the brave ones for wanting to attend an event where they will be sharing some intimate stuff about themselves and their bodies (if they want to) with a room of people they have only just met.

I’m not a counsellor or therapist but I have 8 years experience of running and facilitating art workshops, specifically art and health/mental health. I am also a recovered anorexic and have gone on that journey and I’m still on that journey to self acceptance.

Next year I will be starting University and so I can become a qualified art therapist. I know it will be completely worth all the studying and debt (unless my dreams come true and we get a Labour government) and education becomes free again!

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So the body positive workshops I will be running this year will be completely non profit so they are as accessible as possible. There will be suggested ticket price to help cover costs (renting the space, materials, snacks) for those that can afford to contribute. Any money left over will roll over into subsequent workshops. I will also be applying for funding with the plan to make the sessions completely free.

If you find something so good you should share it with others.

Moving Day.

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.

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Oh hi there, long time no see.

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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!

 

Online store is open!

Hurray finally my little shop is open for business! Expect more items to be added in the next 48 hours.

For the next two weeks if you use the special code HELLOLAPIN you get 15% discount off all toys.  Just a little hello and hi to all of you who have supported my work.

Expect more wonderful work and toward wintertime all of my pieces will come with a beautiful printed linen drawstring bag to keep your toy in.

 

 

All aboard the design bus!

Eriks Designbuss is a fantastic mobile studio and office. Based in Sweden and always hitting the road this fantastic vehicle is a great example of innovation and the idea that great art and design can be brought out into the community. Kind of like a mobile library or bank, bringing his design business to different communities, sometimes remote and heck it just looks like a lot of fun!

“I want to explore my role as a designer and be my own producer, in the same time challenge the norms in the business” says Erik Olovsson.

Maybe the local pizzeria needs help with new menus? The dentist a new business card? The local gallery a better logo, the farmer a new sign on the barn? The journey started on March 12 in Stockholm and is ongoing. The bus has visited several places in Sweden and Erik has completed around 20 commissions for people that he has got in contact with along the way.

Ideas for new makes

Let’s get fresh with some ideas for making super awesome things. It’s not hard just use your hands and begin to create something new.

Sometimes it’s hard to set aside a time for being creative. I find early mornings with a cup of coffee work well and sometimes I just don’t ‘feel’ like I can do it.

(click on images for links, yay)