Hi it’s Lou here from Ooh la Lapin, I have a big announcement to make. Due to increased love for my toys I have welcomed Emily Neale to become part of Ooh la Lapin. You have probably seen that recently Emily has accompanied me to lots of events and adventures and it just seemed right that now she has graduated with first in Illustration that I snap her up!
I never imagined how successful Ooh la Lapin would become and in the past year it has surpassed my dreams. Having a solo exhibition, working on wonderful community arts projects, making beautiful creatures for lovely customers, getting my first London stockist at Tusch and Egon in Boxpark and of course being given the opportunity at Liberty of London at the end of August.
I would like to thank everybody who has supported my work in one way or another (you know who you are).
On Sunday Emily and I went to visit Liberty of London as I have been selected to give a presentation about my work on August 30th. Fingers and toes crossed they might like me enough to stock me. Along with my wonderful friend Riella (a film maker for The School of Life) we wandered around Liberty wide eyed at all the many wondrous beautiful things. I came away with some fabric, trim and some pretty dachshund cards from the stationary section. I also feel a bit more confident about going back at the end of the month with my toys!!!
Emily and I visited my favourite label Lazy Oaf.
After Liberty I was really excited about visiting Boxpark in Shoreditch and delivering some work to my first London stockist Tusch & Egon. This was beyond exciting as I now have an outlet for my creatures in such a beautiful, contemporary space as Boxpark. It was all a bit overwhelming so we went for a drink down Brick Lane before returning to Southsea.
My toys safely arrived at Tusch and Egon.
Yesterday Emily Neale and I visited the charming historic city of Chichester. The main attraction for us is that there is a huge fabric and craft shop there called Eternal Maker. Emily hadn’t been before and I couldn’t wait to show her the sheer array of fabric, haberdashery, notions and other tempting crafty bits.
After fabric heaven we decided to visit cake heaven and made our way to bakery ‘Whipped and Baked’ which lies in the north of the city on the edge of the gorgeous Priory Park. I’d heard so many good things about the hand baked breads and especially the decadent oreo chocolate brownie. We plumped for a fat squidgy cinnamon roll, an oreo chocolate brownie and a gorgeous garlic, sun-dried tomato and mozzarella focaccia. Clutching our paper bags of baked goodies we sat in the sun soaked park and watched the world go by. Sadly soon it was time to return home but we will definitely be making our way back for more!
Delicious and delightful record cafe Pie & Vinyl have now taken delivery of some new little friends! Fear not if you don’t live near by they are also in my Folksy shop.
However I thoroughly recommend a visit to P and V as it is one of the most magical shops ever dreamt up. Where else can you eat pie, ice cream sundaes and drink ginger bear out of tea pots and buy records?
On Saturday 19th July you will be able to join me at Make for a toy rabbit workshop.
The workshop has been especially developed for Make with an exclusive toy patterned designed by me for you to keep and use again. The class is suitable for ages 8 and up, but can be enjoyed by all ages. I would recommend if a young crafter wants to come that they team up with an adult partner as we will be using sewing machines.
Apart from it being heaps of fun as you get to bring to life your own Ooh la Lapin bunny you will also learn skills like hand embroidery, basic machine sewing and toy design.
Here are the details:
Cloth Bunny Workshop
Saturday 19th July 10am – 12noon
Cost – £20 includes all materials and toy pattern.
Make – Southsea Craft Cafe, 4 Albert Road, Southsea, PO5 2SH
Places are limited so book by calling Make on 023 9282 2026 or email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
I am pleased as punch to announce I now have a shop on Folksy!
If you haven’t heard of Folksy then in a nutshell it’s just for UK makers and no ‘vintage’ tat or mass produced stuff masquerading as ‘craft’. Here is there kind of mission statement:
Why do we ‘do’ Folksy? We mainly do it because we believe in:
Craft skills. We love craft and design skills, the process by which people use their creativity and talent to make beautiful work. Most of all, we love making.
Strength in numbers. Professional, portfolio and hobbyist designer-makers can reach a mainstream audience, test markets and grow their business more effectively on Folksy rather than through costly galleries and boutique shops.
Cottage industries. Small scale production and handmade goods offer ways to be creative, manage resources effectively and support local economies.
Meritocracy. Any designer-maker can list their work as long as it is hand crafted (no vintage or mass manufactured work is allowed). This creates a meritocracy where great work from hobbyists can rub shoulders with the best from established professional crafters. The work should stand for itself.
David not Goliath. :)
This is me and my lovely friend, collaborator and artistic pal Emily Neale. We sometimes sell our stuff together like at Crafty Fox (pictured above) and we hang out lots, walk our dogs together and dream up lots of creative plans! You should check out her work, its great!
Some of mine and Emily’s toys.
Photo by Josh Knill
I still can’t believe how amazing this year has been so far! Ive moved studio twice!!! I’ve just been offered another work space which is top secret at the moment and i’ll reveal all soon. I’ve had some fabulous commissions too.
My next big project is working for Portsmouth City Council and with the residents of Somerstown to create public art work for their new community hub. Im so happy they liked our idea and that we get to work in a part of our city that deserves wonderful aspirational creative work.
I have been very lazy in updating my blog recently. Oh so much has happened including trips to London, selling at Crafty Fox, meeting my idol Julie Arkell at Ray Stitch, having my first solo exhibition at Pie & Vinyl and taking part in the fab Castle Road Fete/Record Store Day.I had a pop-up shop with Sweetie Pie Bakery, I think a bakery/toy shop has to be the happiest shop in the world. I’ve also sent some work off to a brand new travelling gallery called The Rusty Alexander, do check them out, it’s a double decker bus and totally awesome.
There is currently a sale on in my shop to make way for Summer things, lots of lovely happy bright things. Im working on some special painted animal dolls (you can see one below).
In other news I am moving studio next month where I will be sharing with toymaker and illustrator Emily Neale where we will be collaborating lots and building a little puppet theatre plus puppets!!! I can tell you how excited I am. Well hopefully I will update this blog more often so I can share all the happy goings on.
All the best! x
Hurrah! I made the cut to become a trader at the Crafty Fox Spring Market, it will be held at the Bussey Building in Peckham on the 12th-13th April. I will be trading on Sunday 13th April so do come say howdy!
Yesterday I added some artwork to my store available as beautiful prints. All work is printed to order so expect 5-7 days for delivery. Click here to see more.