Aubrey’s Daughter

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I love my dad’s name, Aubrey. It’s unusual, I have not come across someone with this name yet.

It has become my online shop name — along with my partner, Brendan, also known as Charlotte’s son. http://www.eco-create.co.uk/shops/aubreys-daughter-charlottes-son/

The shop is filled with up-cycled and handmade clothing. DSCN2637

So far I am offering simple designs, very loose fitting and mostly suitable for small to medium size. I will be developing more up-cycled clothing when I have some free time over the Summer months. Teaching work will ease up around this time too, which means less lesson-planning and exemplar making to stress over. Yay! I love all the aspects of my work, but some rest is always nice.

Brendan’s beautiful mini top hats and fascinators will also be available to buy. They are crafted from cardboard tubing then decorated with paper mache or sewn with fabrics.

I have been playing around with a zip neck dress concept. I discovered the idea a few years ago in a book that provided annoyingly little in the way of instruction. I do read pictures more easily than words, though, so I figured it out by analysing the illustration! My finished piece is actually quite different, but I am pleased and looking forward to creating more.

This style of dress will be lovely and cooling, perfect for the warmer weather, and I have collected some unused shawls which will work as a great base. I will be crafting them this month coming, and they will be available to buy soon after.

As well as my designs, I offer one to one classes for simple machine sewing techniques, creating your own clothing and/or mending and up-cycling items from your wardrobe.

In addition to my sewing skills I am an artist with a background in printmaking, painting and drawing and I am pleased to offer tuition in these subjects.

I can tailor sessions to meet the needs of the learner and have worked with a variety of ages from child to adult, including people with special needs.

If you are interested and live in the Derby (UK) area then please get in touch for more details.

‘I would highly recommend using Liz’s services to anyone. I was made to feel very welcome in her home and found her to be professional, well prepared, approachable and a fabulous teacher. She was passionate about what she does and inspiring. I look forward to seeing her again in the future for further learning.’ Simone (Student, one to one machine sewing tuition)

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Marching On

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This month has been all about celebrating women and the power they hold. Since my childhood a huge inspiration of mine has been a character known as Buffy the vampire slayer. The whole show sum’s up feminism perfectly, for me anyway.

The concept demonstrates hidden strength, sometimes a strength that may not be realised.This show helped me through many difficult times growing up and still does during adulthood. The characters have become like old friends who I revisit whenever I re-watch it.

The time has come again when I aim to fire episode after episode into my eyes, not for seeking comfort. But to act as a distraction whilst I make exemplars (teacher word for example). Strips of fabric, rag dolls, zines, sewing and lesson planning are just some of the prep work that need to be done for the next few months…Buffy marathon it is then.

This is one of the reason’s why I love being an artist though guilty pleasure ‘TV watching’ can be easily done when creating. (This mostly only works when it is a show previously seen and concentration is not mandatory).

My big 30th birthday gift was a 2 day corset course. A dream of mine is learning to work with more delicate fabric’s and difficult patterns. Why Corsetry? because I would love to eventually create couture clothing.

I discovered that once understood, corsets are a lot easier to make than what I previously expected. My dyslexic brain had been daunted by consuming so much information in just those 2 days. During the course I met many other students who were more experienced in dress making but I am proud to say that I managed to produce a finished corset by the end of the 2nd day. corset 6

I think I may have made a few errors which may or may not be obvious, but I am keen to get started on making more to perfect this new skill. Future idea’s of embroidered and screen printed/fabric painted corset designs will have to wait… for now.

The 8th march was international women’s day. IWD Face

I had been commissioned back in November by women’s day derby festival committee, to run a bunting workshop. Themed around the suffragette colours and images of female empowerment, I designed stencils ready to demonstrate a simple stencil printing technique. IWD derby

I was very impressed with the prints that were produced, they were all inspiring. Here are a few of my favourites. IWD bunting favs.jpg

After an additional workshop to print the last of the bunting squares last month, the time had come to sew it all together. I did not realise how long it would take to sew it all. I have learnt from my mistakes though, having had approx 20 meters of bunting in the biggest tangle…never again (#firstworldproblems)

The results of the finished bunting hung up at the festival were amazing.IWD fest  I felt very proud to have facilitated decoration that is both beautiful and empowering. Although march is drawing to a close it is important to note that is has been women’s history month. A time for recognising and remembering inspirational women throughout #HERstory.

I have created a zine detailing 3 female artists who inspire me and my work. I strongly feel it is very important to recognise women who contribute to the art world and incorporating this into education is a necessity. As is teaching art as part of the curriculum, but that subject is for another blog post.  Pictured is the exemplar for two #HERstory zine workshop’s I had run earlier this month.12718394_1012336132180185_2807574299606816858_n

2016 so far

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At the very beginning of the year I took part in a group exhibition, Fairy tales, myths and legends. Organised and curated by Eco-create. They are a fantastic online marketplace who source eco-friendly handmade gifts from UK artisans.
My entry ‘How does your garden grow’ won a Gold award that is a beautifully made up-cycled trophy which sits proudly above the fire place.

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As you can see from the picture I was amazed, surprised and so very happy to receive this accolade at the Exhibition preview.
Eco-create also interviewed me to find out more about my work and what I do http://www.eco-create.co.uk/find/meet-our-gold-award-winner-elizabeth-blades/
2016 brings the start of a new self-employed venture. My partner, Brendan McDowell and I are now running a day time art class aimed at home schooled children. This is following on from a successful after school art class we started just before Christmas.
I also managed to squeeze in time to work on my own art inspired by our cat Penny. She went missing for, possibly, the worst 24 hours of our lives. (Yes we are both incredibly dramatic and our imaginations ran wild as to what could of happened to her)
When she did return, I sourced inspiration from the adventure I dreamed she may have had. Going back to my roots of Illustration and for the joy of drawing intricate and detailed pictures I produced a series of images.

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I am still undecided on the title of this story, perhaps it will be called ‘the queen of lost things’.
Another exciting venture I will be working on this year is a rag-doll project.

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More details on this coming soon, so watch this space!