Monday, 19 June 2017

My reasons for blogging abandonment...

I seem to have inadvertently taken a really long blogging break and I'm finding it very hard trying to get back into it. As a result of the abandonment of the Textile Candy blog, my page views have fallen from around 1000 views per day to only double figures.....yeah...that sucks. So I'm going to try again....I need to give the Textile Candy blog a new lease of life and actually commit to it properly- I am well aware that this is something I've said before but this time I'm serious!

I've wanted to write so many posts commenting on; the terrorist attacks that seem to be becoming a monthly occurrence, the UK elections, global politics, new fashion technology and future fashion trends..... getting the motivation to do this, however, seems to be becoming more difficult. I have observed people on social media becoming increasingly less tolerant with opinions that differ from their own and increasingly more obsessed with political correctness. So this is one of the reasons I have been avoiding blogging. I do not like confrontation, particularly when it involves political aggression, but going forward I am going to try and write about what I want, and if people don't agree with it then they don't have to read it.

As it's Monday I'm going to avoid writing about anything too heavy, because who really wants that on the first day after the weekend! Instead, I'm going to do a little update post of whats going on in my life and the new direction I'm trying to move into...a lighter topic than political discussion and a lot more palatable for a Monday afternoon!

So....when I move countries I always do a little post about my new home but, because I was living in company owned shared accommodation for my first 3 months here, I haven't able to do this. However, I have now been living in my new apartment for a whole month, all of my belongings have been delivered from the UK and I have bought a sufficient amount of candles and plants from IKEA to make me feel at home.

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The apartment pre removal van arrival.
 As you can see from the above image even the empty apartment looks quite beautiful.  It has; really high ceilings, large windows, beautiful wooden parquet flooring and a big bright kitchen. It is a corner apartment on the ground floor of a yellow art deco building with a rounded exterior. One of my favourite things about this apartment is that, because it is on a rounded corner, I can stand in the entrance area and turn 270 degrees and see outside through all of the rooms- when all of the windows are open there's a lovely breeze. Sometimes places give people vibes(I know I sound like a hippy here) and when I had my first viewing of this apartment I immediately felt like it was my home- I felt the same way when I found my loft in Brussels. 

Despite the initial feeling of comfort, an apartment doesn't feel like a home until your belongings are all inside. Unpacking and organising my things is one of my favourite things to do, it helps my brain understand the relocation process and ensures that I don't feel displaced in my new surroundings. Prior to the move, even before Ghana, I had been quite organised in sorting out some cheap furniture which I then up cycled to look a bit more shabby-chic(see the DIY blog post I did here). I was so excited to finally see how all of the furniture looked in situ and here is the final result....my super cosy, colourful apartment.....

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Ma maison

The smaller room is the one I chose as my studio. I've put the pallet sofa, coffee table and bookcase I made using the old scaffolding planks and ladders in there along with all of my crafting bits. I make sure my laptop and work materials don't leave this room, so that when I go into my bedroom its a completely work free, relaxing space. My bedroom is my little colourful haven :) I found a bargain Moroccan boucheroutie rug on etsy which sits nicely alongside my fluffy ikea rug. I also bought a black and white patterned kantha quilt from India on eBay, similar to the one which I have on my studio sofa. There are freestanding clothes rails down the right side of the room with all of my clothes and jewellery hanging on them and I have floor length, white, cotton curtains that let just the right amount of sunlight in. I also have the free standing mirror I bought in the UK which was a steal at only 10GBP, one of my furniture upcycle babies. I've decided not to purchase an internet package for my apartment, partially because Switzerland is mega expensive but also because, since I haven't had the internet at home, I have been so much more productive and have been having far less sleeping problems.

One of the things I really love about my new home is that I can compartmentalise my life, as the apartment has two rooms(as well as the separate rooms for the kitchen and bathroom) I can finally have my own studio space and when I'm done working I can close the door. Why do I need a studio you ask? WELL.... I have a new, borderline crazy, venture to rival the 'van plan'. I have spoken to a few friends/family members about this to check that it isn't a completely insane idea but haven't really broadcasted it on social media/on my blog yet so here goes.....

.... I want to start a jewellery business. Just a small side thing to begin with, maybe sell a few bits on Etsy but the 'new plan'(as I am calling it) extends far beyond Etsy. 
As you all know my trip to Ghana had a lasting effect on me, having a taste of slow, ethical fashion and then having to come back to a fast fashion career was something I found really difficult. While in Ghana I was fortunate enough to see how the small businesses that work with Global Mamas make the beautiful glass beads that are then sold at Krobo bead market and elsewhere. I loved seeing this process and couldn't help myself from buying a stack of beads from the artisans, despite not having any idea what I would use them for.  

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Shortly after I moved to Switzerland I began doodling some designs for some earrings, I didn't take them too seriously to begin with but then the creative cogs finally started turning...

I have always been obsessed with statement jewellery, all those who know me will testify to this. I have also always wanted to start a small business.  I am also so sick of fast fashion and want to move into the ethical side. My main problem has been that there are so many different creative areas I want to involve in my small business that I have never been able to find a starting point.  I would love to start an ethical fashion and accessories brand but, realistically, the financial start up cost of this is way above my budget. An ethical jewellery start up, however, is manageable....

So the plan is to use the handmade beads I sourced in Ghana and some unfinished wooden beads I have purchased from a small wood factory in China(via Etsy) and use them to create a collection of colourful patterned statement pieces. If they turn out well then I will pursue this idea further.....if they turn out awfully then I will wear them myself and we shall never speak of this plan again ;) 

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Wooden beads from China and a selection of the colourful Krobo beads from Ghana.

Above you can see a selection of the wooden beads and Ghana beads I have purchased and some of the design development I have been doing on photoshop to decide how to paint the beads. 

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Design development boards in my studio room.

 Here are the noticeboards in my studio, filled with necklace and keyring prototypes. Obviously none of these pieces are finished yet as they are still at the design development stage..... but, as you can see, I intend for them to be very colourful.

Textile Candy, handmade jewellery, ethical fashion, handmade, wooden beads, handprinted necklace, krobo beads, ghana beads, handmade in africa, african jewellery, statement necklace, wooden keyring
Some of the designs I have been working on, including the earrings I'm wearing in the bottom right image.

I am really hoping that this works out, that the designs are popular and that this idea is received well and not dismissed as another of Becky's hare-brained schemes. It might be like the 'van plan' and never become more than a pipe dream but I'm going to give it a try anyway!If all goes to plan I am hoping to launch the first collection on an Etsy store around the end of October, just in time to hit the Christmas shoppers....hopefully!

I would love to get to a stage where I can sell a jewellery line, produce it ethically in Ghana and expand into textiles and home accessories. This would be amazing and then maybe my van plan can also happen.....first things first...I need to make some products that will sell......this is where your feedback(whoever reads this) will come in really useful!

So that's what has been stealing my attention away from the blog :)




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