Wednesday, 30 November 2011

I've moved....

As I've gained experience through uni and life my working style and tastes have developed so I feel my lovely LoulouMay blog pages do not reflect exactly where I am right now. I've begun a new page - Loulou The Brave - as a visual diary of my final year of study which will hopefully motivate me to push my boundaries and leave my fear of judgement behind. Go look!

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

*sneak peak* my final year begins.... to Barcelona this weekend!!!!

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Last project of the year! Accessories

Today I've been working on my very last project of 3rd year - Accessories - and as a change I've decided to design a fabric for fashion. As its such a short project I thought I'd choose a topical issue for impact and to hopefully make a small difference. Of course the issue that's moved me the most recently has been the disasters occuring in Japan and as I have a real interest in this inspiring and mysterious country I chose to focus my work on the positive aspects of Japanese culture and hopefully raise awareness of their problems.


Inspired by my current favourite brand 45 RPM I've decided to design a square scarf which can be adapted using a braided strap into a shopper or halter top..........

Yesterday I had the most fun trying my hand at Shibori as you can see in the image of my wall. I spent all day stitching and tying and dunking my fabrics in dye, there are so many possibilities - its so great and easy peasy - you should try it!

Proenza Schouler does Shibori

I had a little play with some colours for the braided strap on the remains of my last warp which lends itself quite well in terms of weight and pattern...

Will let you know how it progresses!


Monday, 21 February 2011

learning to trust money

i have a love/hate relationship with money but have recently realised that my negative attitudes towards money are having a negative effect on my bank balance....

'where attention goes energy flows'

as currency is fundamentaly a flow or current of energy from the hand of one person to another i've decided to change my spending habits to treat money as if it were a loved one or a part of me; with nurturing love and attention.

here's my action plan:

1. investing in a beautiful new wallet..... you might be thinking I've missed the point a bit here but please hear me out..... normally I cram all my cash, cards, receipts, hair clips, stamps, memory stick etc etc into one tiny coin purse never knowing exactly what's in there and prefering not to know. A new wallet will help me organise my spending and respectfully keep my beautiful bank notes in crisp condition.

2. paying with cash........

I've been told that very rich people always pay in cash and this makes sense to me. Often I pay for things on one of 3 bank cards, never really knowing whether its going to be declined or push me into the red.

'out of sight out of mind'

Budgeting at the beginning of the week and withdrawing a set amount of cash will allow me to keep a close eye on my spending and this will encourage me to make my money stretch further. Carrying my money with me will bring it closer to me forcing me to take good care of it.

3. digging my head out of the sand....

I'm guilty of avoiding checking my bank statements, even when I visit the ATM! I'm not sure why I bother trying to kid myself that this is a good idea but I'm determined to stop this and face up to the reality of the situation for obvious reasons.

4. value

The underlying reason for my disrespect for money runs much deeper than it may first appear. It basically stems back to a lack of value for myself and a fear of the responsibility having money and possessions would bring.

My biggest challenge - and one which I am approaching as though climbing a mountain, one step at a time - is to build up value and trust in myself which will accumulate and grow through every aspect of my life.
Do you have any hints or tips on how you look after your money? I'd love to hear them!

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

winter walkies!

Happy new year to you all! I hope you had as fun and relaxing a holiday as I did!
this afternoon I walked up the hill with my trusty companion Tala to gather some inspiration for my next weaving project
The light was breathtaking, shifting in an instant as scattered clouds sped past the low winter sun.

I was stunned by the rich colours of the landscape, seeing the land properly for the first time after the snow had gone.

I hope I can capture these vivid colours in my next stage is to take these photos into the studio to paint and collage.....

Wednesday, 10 November 2010


This week I've been busy setting up my loom to start weaving my 6 technical samples (3 x single plain cloth with extra warp figuring & 3 x plain double cloth). We've covered all the theory in class and now the exciting part of putting it into practice has begun. One of my favourite things about weaving is all the kit.....

i love tools and dream of having my own little workshop or shed - as well as a studio of course!

I won't bore you with all the technical details but basically the pegs are hammered securely into the lag chain (following the 'knots and crosses' design you can see on the point paper) and these determine which shafts lift and when......the shafts lift certain warp threads which allow different weave structures/ patterns to be created. The motif I've chosen to create is at the top of the point paper.

here you can see the physical manifestation of procrastination in the form of pegs....

...and after weaving like a demon for the past few days here is my first completed sample...

....and a felted experiment.

I love how the motif disappears on the dark striped sections and appears more clearly in the light sections in the felted sample - felting is really exciting as you never really know how its going to turn out. I'm really pleased with the result as I took a lot of care to get the cloth even and error down only five to go!!

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

a little paper tree

A simple thankyou card mum commisioned me to make inspired by the autumn colours on a recent trip up north...


Sunday, 31 October 2010


After reading my sister Sarah Elizabeth's blog post a few weeks ago and watching the 'story of stuff' videos she linked to I've been thinking more and more about where stuff comes from and have been making a real effort to recycle old stuff instead of buying new. I'm a bit of a hoarder as it is (much to my parent's exasperation) collecting everything from wine corks to old jumpers that I've had in my mind to reuse in that magical utopia of 'someday' so I've certainly no shortage of materials.

As a designer in training I realised that I have the potential to use my creativity to promote sustainability by using recycled or upcycled materials in my work. This semester I'm designing a woven interior fabric with trees being my initial point of research. Here are a few pages from my sketchbook.....

I began pulling apart an old pair of jeans and a scrap of fabric (bought from the Borders scrap store) thread by thread and re-wove the wiggly little threads onto a tiny basic loom which I made from cardboard and cotton yarn. This created a lovely irregular effect but the lengths of yarn were just a little too short to create anything very big so I called in the boys.....

Ronnie & Kev from Hawick Upholstery Services very kindly let me raid their workshop for off-cuts and scraps, of which they have plenty, for these gorgeous fabrics. I particularly like the honeycomb weave and think it would lend itself to my theme perfectly. I then set about weaving a little circle with the new yarns on another small handmade loom which has turned out beautifully....

The plan is to incorporate this technique in my basic weave structure for my interiors fabric adding a contrasting texture as well as creating little circles and shapes like this one to add on as embellishment. the spirit of sustainability my Jones knitting machine kindly donated to me by the lovely Katherine through Freegle and the Jones sewing machine rescued from the dump!

Friday, 24 September 2010

a new skill

Last week I visited the Borders Textile Towerhouse in Hawick to view a small exhibition by Rosemary Eribe - a successful local knitwear designer who designs and produces a range of beautiful hand knitted garments and accessories. I especially love her use of colour in these fairisle scarfs.

Whilst I was there I was invited to attend a beginners crochet class being held at the Towerhouse that afternoon. Now I have tried crochet before but have never got past the frustration stage and so decided a proper class might remedy this.

The class was run by Helen, a lovely local lady, who says her granny taught her to crochet and knit before she even went to school! We began by learning a brief history of the craft - apparently Queen Victoria learned to crochet around the time of the Irish potato famine where the women were selling their crochet to make ends meet. Crochet was often looked down upon as being a crude imitation of lace however Queen Victoria played a key role in its popularization amongst the wealthy English aristocracy and in doing so helped the Irish cause. Most interesting!

So after getting to grips with some of the basic stitches (and a few cups of tea later) we all became a bit adventurous to the extent that we each managed to produce an actual completed flower corsage which you can see below.

A special mention to the lovely Eileen for giving me the amazing button from one of her old cardigans! Thank you - its the perfect colour! I've decided to give the corsage to Px's granny for her 80th birthday this weekend - as she is of Irish decent, and will no doubt be an expert crochet-er, I hope she doesn't spot too many mistakes in it!
I really enjoyed the crochet class, there was a really nice atmosphere and I'm glad to have fully completed my first little crochet project!

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

click click click

I've been taking some nice pics of jewellery for inisonline over the past week and I think they mostly turned out ok but I've been feeling a bit frustrated as my photography skills are not quite up to scratch and I can't bring myself to buy a book or trawl through the internet for decent rather than taking my usual approach of - 'i'll do something about it someotherday' I decided to take action......

Craig Mcbeth is the wonderful man who photographed Sarah Elizabeth's wedding in August and we were all blown away by the beautiful and unique shots he took so I emailed him and asked if he might like to give me a few starter lessons and amazingly he said yes and now he's coming over to give me a lesson on Sunday! I'm so excited and glad that I bit the bullet and actually did something rather than just 'someotherdaying' it! I'll be sure to post about my lesson next week!

Thursday, 26 August 2010

*!FREE GIVEAWAY!* antiqued heart necklace celebration of the launch of the brand new inisonline blog we are giving away this beautiful big metal light antiqued heart necklace to one lucky new reader....

simply follow
this link to find out how to enter.....

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

one spectacular summer

I'm feeling a bit guilty as I've done so little blogging of late but only as I've had the most spectacularly busy summer with....

photos by Craig McBeth beautiful sister's and cousin's weddings.... eldest sister and family visiting from Australia....

...a holiday on a boat...

...and falling in love with Scotland again on a trip to Assynt... you see I've barely had time to concentrate on my own bits and pieces...

....and that's not to mention my work.....

...I've started a blog and facebook page for inis the fashion boutique I'm working for and have been working hard to get it going and am loving every minute of it! It's a great challenge and I thrive on finding inspiration from the clothes and accessories instore and turning it all into an attractive and hopefully interesting post. Please have a look and let me know what you all think!

thank you
L x