Thursday, 24 May 2018

carpet bags, coffee mornings, clocks and carpentry!

We love a bit of alliteration.

Well it's been a busy month in the world of leathersmithing.  First, Hilary put the finishing touches to a new selection of magic carpet bucket bags featuring two very different kinds of rug.  A gorgeously tactile weave - so soft you could fall asleep on it and fabulous kilims in muted hues of raspberry and caramel.  That particular new year's resolution is still going strong.  

Then Hilary had a stall at the Witheridge Tennis Club coffee morning - lots of chatting and cake and only up the road which was lovely.

As for the clocks - check this out! A clock made into a bag for one of the Exeter red coat city guides (as modelled by Louisa who just happened to pop into the shop after school - thanks Louisa!)

And finally the carpentry - Nish has been busy shoring up the window at the front of the shop in preparation for major renovation work on the frame.  It's going to look fantastic!

Friday, 11 May 2018

win this bag!

We'll keep this bit brief then get on to the exciting competition...

New data protection rules come into force on 25th May and to cut a long story short we need to double check that everyone who receives emails from us is pleased to get them and is happy for us to keep hold of their email addresses in our special lead-lined bank vault (we don't send many emails out, but if we have a special offer on it's handy to be able to tell people - especially those who aren't on facebook).

Anyhoo, we know everyone has been asked a gazillion times to resubscribe to lists recently, so whilst we were looking at the issue we thought we'd take the opportunity to make it a bit more fun and to thank everyone who is a valued customer or who has shown an interest in Hilary Johnson Handmade (which is you, by the way, seeing as you're reading this) by giving them the chance to win this glorious green tote.

We're going to pick a name out of the bag on 25th May and everyone who subscribes (or re-subscribes if you are an existing friend) to our mailing list or who likes our facebook page is in with a chance of winning.  The subscribing/re-subscribing/liking needs to take place on or after 11th May 2018 and before 5pm on 25th May 2018 and you have to be aged 18 or over.  After 25th May, our old mailing list will disappear in a puff of smoke and only new joiners and re-subscribers will be left.  

We'd love it if you'd like to join in.

Please click here to join or to re-subscribe to our mailing list.

Please click here if you would like to visit our facebook page.

If you do join in, you can, of course, unsubscribe from the mailing list or unlike our facebook page at any time (although if you're going to do this, we recommend you wait until after 25th May!)

And finally, here's a picture of our friend Kate with another little lamb - we've been bottle feeding this one and it's very, very cute!

Friday, 23 March 2018

Plymouth College of Art takes on a challenge

The cut throat world of advertising may not feature regularly in our sleepy little backwater (although there are a surprising number of leading creatives at the tops of their games who've nailed the work-life balance by leaving their 24 hour city lives to set up their own international practices round here - in fact it's turning into a bit of a mecca when we think about it.  Must be the lure of the weekend surf lifestyle.  Not really surprising when you realise how accessible the world is from anywhere these days - providing there isn't a flock of escapee sheep in the way, obviously).

Anyway.  We had another opportunity to work with students from the PCA recently which is always fun as you never quite know what they're going to come up with.  

This time they were working on images to be used in advertising campaigns.  They had to acquire props, build sets and then run the photoshoot. 
We sent them a selection of random items from the shop and here are a few examples of the photographs they produced.  We particularly like the hand breaking through the screen - a really powerful, edgy image and not one we would have come up with ordinarily.

Thanks guys!

Friday, 23 February 2018

Trish's lovely new bag

It was a balmy winter's day in Chulmleigh (hovering somewhere just above freezing) when artist and designer Trish Mohan came in from the cold to hijack Hilary's sewing machines in order to complete her top secret personalise a Beech Workbag for her husband Robbie's birthday. 

Trish and Robbie love the wilds of Dartmoor and have an enviable view of the moor from their home, so Trish decided to add an applique view of a tor and surrounding hills to the front of the bag. 

She added a sky-blue lining to finish it off and the result, as we're sure you will agree, is stunning. 

Think we may have to copy your idea and add it to our range Trish!


Friday, 26 January 2018

(nearly) spring greens

It was freezing cold so we nipped outside very quickly to photograph this lovely fresh tote about to wing its way out of the workshop to brighten up someone's day.

(We thought the red gloves looked better against the green than the mottled blue/grey of the actual hands).


We even found a chilly helper - thanks Mick!

Friday, 12 January 2018

baked goods heaven

These things - no idea what they're officially called - are the yummiest things we have EVER tasted.  I am not kidding.  

A sweet dough flavoured with cardamom - we were literally fighting over them when they came out of the oven (in a not very professional manner I have to say).  

And look what the thought of them did to Oz and Bill!  

Bonio either of you?  Didn't think so.*

* Unfortunately for Oz and Bill a quick internet check suggested that cardamom can have a bit of a laxative effect on dogs.  Best not to (mumble) risk it then (mumble mumble).  Sorry.  Mouthful of crumbs.

Friday, 5 January 2018

has someone speeded up time?

We're no experts on the general relativity v quantum mechanics debate, but if we were pressed we'd have to say it does feel a bit like someone's turbo-charged the clock during the last year.  The merry-go-round of life appears to be hurtling us all round in circles ever faster: we're sure we're not the only ones saying we can't believe it's January again already.

Same people, place, time and bobble hats as last year.  Just as chilly.

Sooooo, resolutions anybody?  Susan's thinking of going to our friend Andrea's FitSteps class - the Christmas cheese mountain (which has shrunk to a reasonably steep tor but still has some way to go before it acquires molehill status) has definitely taken its toll mentally if not physically (she's been overheard referring to Oz as Gromit - it's a slippery slope to that green hand-knitted v-neck tank top).  

Hilary's new year's resolution is to take Arnie for  long rides across Dartmoor which will be amazing - the constant changes the weather and seasons bring on the moor are breathtaking.

Hilary's also going to bring out a new range of carpet bags early this year - we're hunting down lovely vintage kelims as we type.  If you see any beauties in junk shops or auction houses please let us know!

Here's to a happy, healthy, wonderful 2018 for everyone!