Let’s hear what Sarah has to say about her new products which will be on sale at Brighton Craftaganza at Fabric on December 10th…
I am really excited about extending Shark Alley’s range into a whole host of handmade products and have recently been sewing lots of animals and birds. I used to love sewing as a girl so I am really enjoying this, plus it’s perfect to do on the sofa in front of the TV of an evening, especially as the long dark nights of winter are fast approaching (boooo).
I started by translating my owl brooches into embroidered felt charms/keyrings but then felt I’d like a bit more of a challenge, so moved on . . . . . . to otters. Why otters of all things?! Well, otters are currently my Number One Fave Thing ever since falling in love with them at London Zoo last year, and so I wondered if I could translate this into something for Shark Alley. I felt they wouldn’t work so well in papier mâché as this requires compact shapes and their tails stick out too much. I started by making keyring charms in a similar way to the owls, then moved on to a rather more ambitious 3D standing-up job. As I was making the pattern up myself from photos, the first attempts were VERY BAD. http://sharkalleyjewellery.blogspot.com/2011/06/evolution-of-otters.html
I visited various otter sanctuaries this summer and was so inspired by their hard work in rescuing, looking after and rehabilitating orphaned and injured otters that I decided to donate 10% of all the money I make on otter sales to one of these sanctuaries every year. This year, it’s Otters & Butterflies in Devon, where I spent a brilliant morning being a keeper and getting up close and personal with these beautiful animals (whilst taking good care to stay away from their sharp little gnashers). http://www.ottersandbutterflies.co.uk
I’m really excited to be part of the Christmas Craftaganza, and am preparing by putting together lots more ‘Sew Your Own’ kits, containing everything you need to make a bird or bear keyring/bag charm, which would make perfect stocking fillers, and I’m also stitching away at some new festively inspired products, including tree decorations and possibly some other things, but I need to work them out in my brain first!