A purge and a pose

Posted by Red Ruby Rose Saturday, January 31, 2015 0 comments

After only three months living by the sea I have accumulated enough beach-combed beauties to fill multiple surfaces, windowsills, boxes and jars. Coupled with the unmistakable hum of an identified whelk or winkle slowly rotting away in a deep dark recess of one (some) of the shells I decided it was time for a purge.

This morning a large bag-full of shells were scattered back on the beach to carry on their natural erosion and decay and I'm left with the real treasures; the enormous weathered scallop shells brought up by the storms earlier this month, the barnacled whelks and the delicate little feathers and cowrie shells.

Now they have a proper place in my studio, collected in a lovely wabi-sabi wooden bowl I picked up at Cothay Manor in Somerset over the summer.

My studio is now nearly complete apart from a long picture shelf I'd like to install at some point. It's such a joyful space to work in - light and bright with the sea just over my shoulder. On one wall I've put together a little collection of bits and pieces I've gathered over the years. The metal and glass birdcage was an Etsy splurge from the USA, I love the arched shape and etched glass. The black circular starburst shape is a candle-holder from a very cold trip to Helsinki many moons ago. The square box is another Etsy find (a vintage egg holder with square compartments) and the shells, feather and driftwood branch are of course from the beach.

Mini purses

Posted by Red Ruby Rose Sunday, January 11, 2015 0 comments

I've made a new collection of mini coin purses featuring a mixture of original and vintage fabrics with leather trim details. So much fun to make and they are all one-offs. Available in my Etsy shop now.

Groatie Buckies

Posted by Red Ruby Rose Monday, January 5, 2015 0 comments

My Summer holidays as a kid were often spent searching for cowrie shells between Saunton and Croyde in Devon. It wasn't the easiest place to reach... a scramble over rocks or down the cliffs but it was always worth the search for the beautiful little shells that I've never found elsewhere since.

So, I was pretty delighted to find two tiny little cowries on Big Sand beach a couple of days ago. I didn't think I'd find them this far north but it turns out these are arctic cowries or Groatie Buckies as they are known in Orkney. Apparently finding the shell is looked upon as a token of good fortune. Even better!

New year, new ideas

Posted by Red Ruby Rose Saturday, January 3, 2015 2 comments

I've spent the last couple of days getting my new studio together. When we first moved here I had grand plans to convert the garage into a large new workspace but gradually I've changed my mind. It would be a big renovation job to get the space completely insulated up to spec and with all the building work we did on our previous house I just don't fancy taking on a new project right now.

Instead we have decided not to do our originally planned knock-through in the house which means I have one of the wonderful south-facing rooms at the front with wooden floors and this view.... dream come true! The island to the right of the picture is Longa and on the horizon behind is Skye, with Raasay and South Rona to the front. Right about this time the lighthouse on Rona lights up, although with the stormy weather we've had of late it hasn't been so clear to see.

View from my studio, Big Sand in Wester Ross

Now I'm pretty much set up with my studio I can start making and creating again. Bliss after a year of change and transition! The shell photos I recently posted have been converted to silk fabric and here are three new designs.

Red Ruby Rose shell print clutch bags available from my shop

I'm working on some new prints which will be here soon, and the elusive leather printing is top of my list to finally crack. Happy New Year and here's to a creative 2015!