Sunday the 29th of June was my graduation/open day for my Level 3 AMUSF upholstery qualification and I was nervous. We all knew we had passed but not what our mark was and after having got Distinction last year the pressure was on. To be fair, this year was very hard so maybe shouldn’t have had the expectation but I did. I did however get Distinction…yay!!! I was pleased for myself but also that I hadn’t let anyone down. My entire family were there, I think I had the biggest entourage and I didn’t want to have to put on a brave face if I was really disappointed. To be honest some of the marks are given based on the examiners personal preference so if I had got a lower mark then it may just be down to them not appreciating my style! It was really a lovely day and I was extremely happy I had basically everyone I love in one room with me when I got my certificate!
As it was an open day of sorts, we also had a table where we were displaying and hopefully selling cushions that we had made. As keen readers of this blog or followers on Twitter/Facebook will know, I am working on my newest range and having only received the fabric the day before, I only had time to make one. It is a departure from the Harris Tweed and when I open my shop I wanted styles that would appeal to a broad range of people. It is bright and colourful and stands out..the kind of cushion I would buy. I think that its important to love the things you want others to spend money on!! Anyway, I saw a woman admiring it and then she looked at the price tag…. and quite literally rolled her eyes like she couldn’t believe the expense. I can tell you right now that when I saw that my heart dropped. I always feel like the things I do may not be any good and for me this seemed a little like I was being proved right. Then I thought about it. She was wrong.On many levels. First of all, to roll her eyes in the first place. If she is at a prize giving for students whose work is being displayed it is probably most likely that person will be in the room, watching you. Oh yes, yes I was.
Secondly, I hand drew and designed the print. I had the fabric printed and have spent many an hour with the very patient man in Centre for Advanced Textiles, getting exact colour matches and print size. I have designed my own labels and had them printed. I then made the cushion from scratch and had put it on that table because I was proud of it.
Thirdly, it is not expensive. The many pieces of advice I have read about making and selling your own things, is not to undervalue what you make. It wasn’t made by a machine, it was made by me and the price reflected that.
For the record, it was £36 pounds and that was me taking around £6 off what it should be. If I am completely honest, it has irritated me perhaps more than it should but because in that moment when I should have been happy about the things in the room that I had made, she made me feel small and like I was valuing myself too highly.
I was not. My work is good and I wouldn’t have put it out if it wasn’t. So woman I say to you, please continue to buy your cheap cushions wherever you can get them, and I will continue to make a quality, unique product and sell it for the price it deserves. Put that in your rolled eyes and smoke it!
Oh how I love a good rant. So in the spirit of paying for quality I thought I would share some of my personal favourite recent interiors style finds, primarily from Scandi chic websites! They are not all handmade nor are they all expensive but they are all gorgeous.
If you want to eye roll at the price, feel free. I will just be here, admiring the beauty and ignoring you!
Diamanti & Domericoni Half time cuckoo clock
I am not partial to a clock, that sounds weird but I just don’t like them that much. Most of the time people just have them because they are practical, obviously, but no care has been taken to choose it.. I am thinking the hideous plastic ones that adorn many a classroom wall. This however is a delight. It is a pared down, simple yet elegant design with a wee added fun bit of the cuckoo popping out. Lovely stuff.
Grey rattan chair, HouseEnvy
Ever since I started typing ‘Scandanavian Interiors’ into Pinterest I have a new love and appreciation of these chairs. Especially lovely and cosy looking when paired with sheepskin below. As I type this it is clear blue skies and boiling here in Glasgow but I am thinking for the future, mentally planning where to put this in my flat.
Mint green Mongolian Sheep skin
This is the rug. I love the colour of it. I think it would look gorgeous paired with the grey and add extra texture and depth to a simple wooden chair.
Incase anyone actually doubted me, here it is styled on the HouseEnvy website. I am in love.
Sticking with this entirely unseasonal blog I point you to Nordic House. Oh its beautiful. I love a good throw and these are good throws. Chunky yet elegant and in this girls favourite shade of grey!
Colour washed stool
Ever since doing my Level 2 project on 20th Century furniture design I have been slightly obsessed with The ‘Tube’ chair by KiBiSi and the ‘Handle’ chair by Peter Johansen. Both of these chairs have the natural pale wood with white on the legs and I just think they are so simple yet so effective and this does the same job, for a fraction of the price!
Skagerak Georg console table
Hus & Hem
In a similar vein I love this pale wood table and chair which would be perfect in my imaginary hallway. Just classic and clean to be dressed up or down.
Oni glass cabinet
I really really love the clear glass frames you get to put pictures, photos, postcards etc in, so it stands to reason that I really like these. Perfect for displaying tiny trinkets that may otherwise be lost.
Natural World Dessert Plate
I think I wrote a while back about my new found love of plates on walls. If displayed correctly, of course. This one is just so pretty and yet weird and slightly ugly at the same time. Tyra Banks might call it Ugly Pretty..hmm I may watch too much ANTM! All the same I real like it and they have loads of other ones so you could have the whole collection on the wall. Or I suppose you could use them to eat off!
Now I included this not because I love it but mainly to show that while hand made things can be expensive for the reason that they are one off and unique and handcrafted, I am a tad bewildered by the £700 price tag on this and I don’t think its a one off! I mean…really?? Now I am all for a bentwood style chair but this slightly looks like a half completed craft project. To each their own.
White Lilac Flower Ceramic Tile
White Earth Studio
This however is made up of individually hand crafted petals made from white porcelain clay and its gorgeous. I can see this propped up on the mantelpiece of my new home. Yes in my mind my flat will have a glorious, real fire with gorgeous surround!HA!
Another Etsy find which I love, grey and white pattern serving bowl. Just simple but really beautiful.
This one is for my wee sis really, she loves this kind of thing and I saw it and thought of her. Its a very nice sentiment too!
I have many more but I think I have popped enough up for today. Oh wait, my cushion. Here you go..
price tbd (to be determined!)
Excuse the rubbish photo. Any thoughts gratefully received. Just not negative ones!! Im joking, seriously I would love to get feed back before attempting to sell.
til next time