My latest crush

Posted by Red Ruby Rose Saturday, June 27, 2009 12 comments

After all my fussing and fretting yesterday, three lovely fabric parcels arrived in the post this morning. It's certainly made me a feel a little less hasty to banish all but my own fabrics (see my post below) as the new arrivals are real beauties and feel fresh and new.

I've been totally smitten with this fabric ever since I clapped eyes on the above picture in a recent edition of Country Living. It's such a clever design, contemporary but with a lovely retro flavour and the perfect balance of colours and shapes. The manufacturers don't state who actually designed it so it's hard to know whether it was one of their in house design team or a freelancer. I'd love to know as it'd be great to see more of their work. Either way I'm sure it will be an absolute best seller for them... it was out of stock twice before I got my consignment.

Handbags at dawn

Posted by Red Ruby Rose Thursday, June 25, 2009 9 comments

Several times recently I've started posts about copycats and then abandoned them. It's a tricky topic to broach but I've had a particularly unnerving experience this week so forgive me if I'm venting but it's the proverbial straw breaking the camel's back.

I make clutches, nothing original there. I even use some commercial fabrics so anyone can make what I make and that's no big deal. However, I've worked very hard to develop my own original 'house style' on Etsy - so it hurts me when new shops open up and quietly adopt said 'house style' as their own. I've toughened up quick and I'm not going to be a cry baby about it. Etsy is a warm and fluffy cupcake of a site and I still love it to bits but behind many popular sellers there are a raft of not very sisterly copycats chomping at the bit to get a slice of the action.

The trick of course is to stay ahead, ignore the rest and not get rattled. I'm still working on that last bit. Worrying about other sellers leads to negativity and sapping of creative juices - it's an unwanted distraction.

Without naming names or flinging mud, I was tipped off this week about a seller who was busily promoting to blogs and inadvertently including some of my bag photographs along with her own. One of the posts was a blog giveaway where over 300 people had posted, and of course they were all led to believe that it was one of her clutches when it was in fact one of my own. I felt like I'd been kicked in the stomach. I should add at this point in the spirit of balance that she apologised to me and explained it was an innocent file mix-up. That's right, my copyrighted clutch bag photo files were sitting on her computer hard drive and accidentally got forwarded as promotional puff. Great.

All this has got me thinking some more about slowly phasing out all of the clutches I make with commercially available fabrics and only making my originals and maybe keeping some of the sumptuous silks too. I would miss sourcing all the lovely prints from eclectic sources but I love designing new fabrics and I feel I should maybe play to my strengths in this department rather than using commercial fabrics. This would also mean I could branch into other branded Red Ruby Rose products, something I've been thinking about for a while.

Talking of new designs, I have two new prints that I'm really excited about. I'm like a kid at Christmas when my latest fabric delivery arrives.

Scots pine by Red Ruby Rose

Both fabrics were inspired by my recent holiday in Scotland. Scots Pine was a 'stop that car!' moment as I kept seeing wonderful vistas of tree trunks in the roadside forests but could never find a good place to stop. The days were ticking by and I felt that if I didn't simply slam on the brakes and stop the car I'd never get my picture. Maybe the subtitle should be 'the clutch that nearly caused an RTA between an impatient photographer, three German bikers and Mrs McCloud from Achiltibuie who was taking her annual trip to Inverness to buy her M&S smalls'.

Secondly. 'Pink thrift' which is a simple and breezy print. Just looking at it takes me back to the salty sea air at Badachro.

Pink thrift by Red Ruby Rose

Perfect poppies

Posted by Red Ruby Rose Monday, June 15, 2009 0 comments

The time seems to have flown by since my few days in Scotland at the end of May. A combination of catching up with work and sunny days have brought my blogging to a halt again. Now if only I had a laptop and our wifi wasn't so sketchy it'd be a constant garden chicken-cam. Those cheeky chooks have started laying the tastiest eggs and a quick tea-break in the sunshine always means at least a half hour chook-watch.

It's nice to be spending time in the garden again. One thing I'd completely forgotten I'd planted last year was an assortment of poppies. To my delight they have come up as absolute beauties. I think I may have pulled a few up at their early stages thinking they were weeds but a few have battled through and their blooms are magnificent but fleeting, only lasting a day or two at the most. The seedheads will look lovely going through to autumn though and then I can dry them.

I've got a couple of new clutch prints coming soon, based on pictures I took in Scotland. I've based one on the pink thrift pictures and another on roadside trees, I'll post them here when they arrive back from the printers. It's always an agonising wait as I never quite know how they're going to turn out as textile prints. It's such a shame that this amazing print technology didn't exist when I was a student in the 1990's - my work has always been so influenced by photography and montage and the textile screen printing methods at college never seemed to quite capture what I was looking for. I should make more use of it now it's available.