Monday, 4 May 2009

Rubyruby on facebook

I have just created a new fan page for my Rubyruby bags.  Here you can check out archive photographs of past collections, forthcoming exhibitions and special offers.
Just search Rubyruby in the search box and click on fans.  You are entitled to a 20% discount on anything in my etsy boutique when you become a fan.

Great Expectations

Ihave just finished creating a lovely natural merino felt and silk handbag ready for a forth coming exhibition in Maidstone. The exhibition is  focusing on Charles Dickens and is organised by the Nucleus Gallery which is part of the NAC in Chatham.  The Nucleus gallery has recently relocated from Rochester High Street to next door to Dickens World at Chatham Dockyard.  This highly successful gallery showcasing the cream of local medway artists and a couple of Kent artists (myself included).  During the month of May, the gallery at the Hazlitt Theatre has opened its doors to the Nucleus gallery to showcase some of the artists work.  From the 15th May, the exhibition changes to highlight art works in relation to Dickens.

I have created and designed my 'Great Expectations' nuno felt bag with Miss Havisham in mind.  The merino has been fused onto habotai silk in a technique known as 'nuno'.  This is a technique created by Polly Stirling and involves rolling the merino tops on top of silk to enable them to join together, the fibres of the merino penetrating the fibres of the silk to make one fabric.  I also felted in wensleydale tops.  The wensleydale has come from a local organic farm which keeps six rare breed wensleydale sheep.  Each year after shearing I go and buy the raw fleece which I then scour, clean, and hand dye.  In this instance I kept the wensleydale its natural cream lustre colour.  It is a beautiful fleece and shines gorgeously in the sun.  I also felted in pieces of antique lace to signify the ancient lace worn by Miss Havisham.
The handle loops over the bag and was taken from the front highly embellished and beaded lapel of a vintage jacket.  The intricate detail is exquisite.  The handle has been lined with butter soft vintage cream silk.  Crystal chandelier drops, mother of pearl buttons, glass and beaded buttons embellish the sides of this beautifully soft bag.

I envision this handbag being used by a bride on her wedding day, or someone who wants luck on Race Day.  A gorgeous one of a kind handmade handbag.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

new bike, new buns....

Can you ever forget how to ride a bike?
Well, I embarked on revisiting my youth by purchasing a smart Tiger about town bike, modelled on the ones you see bright young things riding around on in Amsterdam.  I had spent a few grey days in January and marvelled at how everyone seemed to be riding bikes.  Masses of them, in fact, they had right of way.  All shapes and sizes were jumping on and off them with great ease as though the bike was actually part of them.
I vowed that I would get a bike when I returned home and ordered one online.  It arrived flat pack!!  Argh!  Flat pack bikes and me are not a good combination - Ikea flatpacks - no problem!  Hand me one of those babies and I'll knock you up a wardrobe in less than 10 mins - but bikes!
Aren't they all oil and chains?  Normally that prospect might have quite excited me but in this context, no!
I bravely put all the pieces together and then with a few rattles and a tight front brake I set off.
I live on top of a hill so I sought out quiet country lanes in which to wobble and roll.  That was the bike i might add, not my spare tyre but it join in just for the fun of it.
Where would my newfound freedom take me?
To be continued..........

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Give all to love, obey thy heart Rubyruby bag

Give all to love obey thy heart  Rubyruby messenger bag

Catwalk Threads interview

Just been interviewed for the excellent online blog diary and all round fabulous vintage website Catwalk Threads.  Louise is a very passionate, lovely lady and what she doesn't know about vintage is not worth knowing!  She also champions individual designers, artists and creatives.  Read my interview here:  and please leave a comment or message.
Many thanks!

Friday, 17 April 2009

Bassets Vit C tablets

I have to recommend something fab.  I have been taking Bassetts orange flavour Vit C plus zinc chewy tablets for a couple of months now and have noticed a marked difference in my nails, my hair has grown longer so have my eyelashes.  It is fantastic!  I was ill for 1 day throughout the whole of the winter, through those awful bouts of flu and sickness that everyone was having.  They definately work!
Been very busy with making handbags, cuffs and brooches recently.  My business is booming at the moment, I'm selling in lots of different galleries and boutiques and getting lots of good feedback.  Please have a look on my website and enjoy browsing whilst drinking a cup of tea and eating a chokkie biscuit.
Keeping an eye on lovely things on's fantastic for presents for everyone, especially yourself!

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

the view from my window

There was a mysterious man who called at my door the other day. He said he was a pathologist but he didnt look like one. His black trainers all muddy and torn by thorns held his sockless feet.  He was wearing black tracksuit bottoms like the ones my PE teacher in the 80's used to wear.  Nylon with a white tramline down the side.  Not Adidas.  His hairline receded as it tends to do at that age, the 50-60 age when a man too scared to shave off his hair just lets it fade away like the tide at Southport beach which goes out for miles.  Except this mans tide is not coming back, its gone, waving goodbye.
He was carrying a cardboard box in his hands and he put it down to rest on the bonnet of  my husbands royal blue van.  I thought that was quite rude, just to put a cardboard box down on top of someones vehicle.  It might have scratched it.  Was it so he could see more clearly into my house?  I could see very clearly into his cardboard box, you see, I was above him, peering down from my bedroom window.  It had papers and envelopes in it but he told my mother in law who answered the door that it held important trays that he did not want spilling in the car, and did we have any tape he could use to tape up the box?  He was renting a nearby cottage with his wife, he mentioned the name, something cottage, but my mother in law is not from round here and couldn't recall the name.  I don't know of any holiday cottages to rent locally but the information washed over me.  
My mother in law cheerfully obliged, as northerners tend to do, even though she was still in her nighty.  She dashed upstairs to retrieve sellotape from her travelling bag, which is usually stuffed with things for every eventuality.  She taped up the box for him as my husband slowly wandered down the stairs to eye up this stranger.  
The stranger grew nervous as my husband looked him over silently, and thanked my mother in law shouting much obliged over his shoulder as he walked off back to his car which was parked further down the road.
I watched him closely as he left from my undiscovered vantage point.  He arrived at his black BMW and opened the boot.  He placed the cardboard box he had so carefully taped up into the open boot.  Then he opened the drivers door, sat there for a while, minutes, opened the rear passenger door, removed the box from the boot and placed it on the rear passenger seat.  He then took out a pad and pen and reached in again for the box, removed it from the car and locked the car.  He then walked off down the hill.
Mysterious!  With a capital Mmmmmmmmm.  More of a Hmmm! than a Mmmmm.  Unless you are Miss Marple of course in which case it definately would be the latter.
There are a few unanswered questions....
Why did he call at my house for tape?  We are minutes away from the shops, 
Why did he say the box had trays that may spill when I could clearly see it had papers and envelopes in?
Why did he move the box around so much in the car and then take it out?
Who did he call on this mobile when he first put the box in the boot?
Why did he say he was a pathologist when clearly he was a pathological liar?
We never did find out the answers to these haunting questions, his car sped off about an hour later.  Had he managed to be invited in to someones house and then robbed them?  We'll never know!