No, not me, in case you were wondering! :D
In November 2010 (which seems a hundred years ago now), I was approached by an American magazine ~ Her Nashville ~ to create a cover for their bridal edition...and here follows a story full of twists and turns and angst and upset and frustration and finally, a Happy Ending.
The art director of the magazine had seen some images of my textile work somewhere online, and liked the style.
I think it was this kind of thing that she had seen...
So I got busy sketching brides...
...and sent in some samples for her to see. She really liked the second one so I got to work with their colour scheme, choosing fabric and embellishments like tiny pearls and vintage buttons. It felt like quite a challenge to be commissioned to do something like this, as my usual commission work involves paint and canvas! Still, I love a good challenge, love stepping out of my comfort zone to explore new ground and all that so it was full steam ahead!
The first job involved making templates, cutting out the figure and laying it all out, then I began to freestyle embroider the first pieces with my sewing machine...
It was quite a project, and I found I was thoroughly enjoying myself. I had to get the piece ready for dispatch shortly after Christmas (2010) so that it would arrive in plenty of time for their January deadline.
Details were added when the Little Person was tucked up in bed asleep...
...little buttons and hand sewn pearls...
You'll be pleased to know I trimmed her hairy arms before she was sent out! Anyway, the bride was soon finished and ready to be packaged carefully up for posting.
And that's when the trouble began.
The bride was taken to a small village post office on our way out to somewhere else right after Christmas. It was quiet, there was hardly a soul about and I remember feeling under par, that feeling you get when you think you're coming in for a cold and your head's a bit fuzzy and you're not quite with it. So the parcel was dispatched and off we went for a pub lunch or something like that and I felt delighted to think of it finally winging its way across the Atlantic to the magazine offices.
It must have been a few days later I was tracking its progress online...only to find there was no progress. There was no news about my bride at all.
And suddenly it dawned on me.
There hadn't been a customs label attached to the parcel!!!!!!
Have you ever had that dreadful sinking feeling in your belly, like a ten tonne stone has just settled there and a doom laden feeling clouds your head?
What should have been roughly a five day service to the States turned out to take four weeks. There were strong restrictions in force at all US customs offices back then and things were being delayed by days if not years. What chance did my parcel stand without that Very Important Label? I felt so annoyed at the Post Office woman, she ought to have known an overseas parcel needed one of those, but at the same time I felt annoyed with myself - I knew from previous experience that international parcels needed that label but feeling under par had entirely overlooked it. Perhaps otherwise I may have had the forsight to mention it...but c'est la vie!
The parcel arrived at the latter end of January and missed the deadline for the February edition. I was gutted.
However, all the way through this awful problem I had a great communication with the Art Director. Between us we contacted US customs, the American postal service and Royal Mail with umpteen phone calls and emails to try and find the AWOL package
It finally arrived, and although it was late, they decided it was better late than never and decided to save it for THIS years bridal edition!! Hurrah!!! But oh what a wait!
You are welcome to take a look at their digital edition here.
So there we have it! I'm proud as punch to have my textile art on the front of a mag, and it's one of those moments that's up there with the time my 'Harbour' painting was featured here. I am forever in awe at the way the internet can bring the world into your living room, how it opens up opportunities and doors that may otherwise never open. I am eternally grateful to it and feel quite blessed sometimes by the things I've been asked to do or be involved with.
Talking of bridal related things makes me think of Valentines day which is creeping ever closer. I'm contemplating a design for a card and hoping I have the time to do it! One thing I've discovered since my little girl went to school is that despite her been gone until 3:15pm, there doesn't actually seem to be any extra time to do things...this baffles me slightly, but on I trot, making art as and when I can...and I recently made this which I hope you'll like. It's something new, a bit different...
It's called 'Three Little Words' and I imagine it would make a lovely romantic gift for someone. I have plans for a sea themed one next and am enjoying working on these little mixed media art boxes enormously!
You can find out more about my new work here.
Well I think I've waffled on long enough! What a lengthy post it turned out to be! Are you still with me??!!
Thanks for reading and visiting, I feel a BIG cup of tea coming on...
See you soon,
Love Julia x x x