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Busy days ahead

Sorry it has been a while since I updated - we've really been busy here, and sometimes I struggle to think of what to write that others might find interesting!

Ganutell butterflies from Gina-B SilkworksI'm back on Create & Craft on Sept 20, at 1pm with a new kit - Ganutell Butterflies. I'm really lucky that I have a great design team (Gillian & Chris) and right back when we first launched the Petal and Leaf Jig, Gillian made a little butterfly. Then we saw an auction with a Victorian butterfly brooch with cartouchage wrapped wings - so, inspiration strikes from many sources.  The kit will be available in two colourways.

C&C have asked us to put together a new materials bundle too, and hopefully we've included some of the materials that you need to carry on with your ganutell making. Part of this is a new Heritage Pincushion Vase design. This new vase includes printed fabric with an original design so you can have a little blue & white vase to display your flowers. This has been really exciting - the first time we've ventured into printed fabric and that has lead to a whole host of new ideas....


Silver thread buttons by Gina BarrettI've been working on a few other projects. More silver thread buttons for La Masion Du Roy. The exhibition opens in Milan in October, I'll post up info when I have it. It's always nice working on buttons!

I've also been - from a distance - working on a few royal items. The first is a small tassel to be included in a book to be gifted to HRH Prince Charles. The second, is a pair of small gold tassels to be fixed to the ends of breeches garters for livery for Buckingham Palace. Pretty cool. I'll post pictures when I'm able.

Part of my long term projects are flower buttons, I've been busy designing a new range. I think I have flowers on the brain since researching for the Ganutell book! I have so many different images of beautiful flowers growing both wild and in gardens, and I seem to have a bit of an obsession at the moment in recreating them with textiles. For me, this is a return to ideas I had many years ago, so it is nice to get out old sketchbooks and develop them further. Another 'watch this space' as we have come up with a few exciting new products. 


So, speaking of buttons, there are still a few places left for the Buttons 101 workshop on Sept 17th, so do book now if you'd like to come along. You can find out more about forthcoming workshops by clicking here.

Don't forget, we'll be at The Big Textile Show on Sat 26- Sun 27 Sept 2015. This takes place at Leicester Grammar School London Rd, Leicester, Great Glen, Leicester LE8 9FL . Find out more here: Do come along if you can, it would be lovely to meet you! 

Flower themed passementerie buttons by Gina Barrett

And breathe...

Flowers from the Ganutell Country Flowers HandbookPhew! Well, thank you to everyone who helped to make the launch of the Ganutell Country Flowers Handbook a success. I really appreciate it. We've been really busy getting the orders out - not a recommended job in the high temperatures of last week. :).

It is lovely seeing so many of you who have already received it and are making flowers! I love seeing what you have created. 

If this keeps up I'll have to start on the new one sooner than I thought. Thank you.

Speaking of the heat, I do hope everyone is enjoying the weather. Our dog is, (longer evening walks!) but it is proving a bit too hot for our cat, she likes to be on my lap in the mornings, and she just gets too hot. 

Lucky coin buttons by Gina BarrettBut it doesn't stop there. I'm of course still making buttons. I've been playing with inserting special items - such as coins - into buttons. I can think of alot of possibilities with this idea. Foil, flat gems, pictures and paper. In fact they remind me very much of something my Grandmother made many years ago that could be further worked into a button... 

We are also developing a new range of moulds. We are having a new selection made based on early historic examples, little domes, acorns, and so on. If the trials go well, these will be great for Elizabethan styles. We are also working on some more modern variations - such as acrylic rings. Much easier to wash! Being clear, they also lend themselves to interesting, 'floating' buttons. All of the new moulds should be available by the end of the month.

Snail button by Yoko Odaira



And last but not least, I have to show you this stunning button by artist Yoko - tell me this isn't wonderful! I wish I had thought of it! You can see more of Yoko's terrific creations at her blog.

Ganutell Country Flowers Handbook

Ganutell Country Flowers HandbookWell, nearly there! Tomorrow (Sunday 28th) my latest book - the Ganutell Country Flowers Handbook - will be released.

The launch will include a show on Create & Craft tv on Sunday at 3pm - a great way to see some of the techniques in action. There will also be a giveaway for viewers who email in to the show - a little heartease brooch, so do email in!

As part of the launch I am currently running a giveaway over on my Facebook page - all you have to do is comment on the image and tag one of your friends to be entered. I'll be giving away the wood violet brooch shown below. The draw will take place on July 12th, so do visit the page and take part!

(Please note that this draw is in no way affiliated with Facebook)

Ganutell wood violet brooch by Gina Barrett


We're also going to be giving free UK post and packing on the book sales for a limited time - effectively £3.50 off. This amount will be discounted at checkout -even for those of you outside of the UK.  

So, a bit more about the handbook - it is A5 and spiral bound so it can lie flat on your table as you work. 

There are instructions for ways to make 20 different petals, leaves and centres using traditional passementerie techniques. These techniques are then brought together in the projects section with clear and concise instructions to create 16 beautiful flowers inspired by the English countryside.

Flowers included are : Dog Rose, Tulip, Crocus, Pheasant's Eye, Celandine, Ox Eye Daisy, Primrose, Hellebore, Flax, Wood Violet, Heartsease, Field Poppy, Bluebell, Small Daffodil, Iris and Cornflower.

Ganutell Spring flowers by Gina Barrett

Golden buttons

Gold embroidered buttons in the making stage (H&H/Gina-B Silkworks)


Now it's a bit of a waiting game with regards to the Ganutell Flowers book, and I've been busy putting together some stunning embroidered buttons. I can say that - as I haven't actually worked the embroidery :) .

The embroidery is by Hawthorne & Heaney of London, I've had the job of making these into covered buttons. They will ultimately go onto a stunning reproduction of the suit shown below from the eighteenth century. The suit itself is being made by Henry Poole and Co. of Savile Row. 

Gold buttons embroidery by Hawthorne & Heaney, made up by Gina Barrett

In order to give the buttons a slightly domed shape, I used a small circle of wool felt (the same as the coat is being made from). This allows the edges to be sewn a little tighter without damaging the foil base of the embroidery. The foil can crack and break if a domed button is used and no padding at all. Look closely, and you will see that many embroidered buttons of this period are rather flat, I suspect that the same process may have been used.

I was interested to see that the foil was pasted into place prior to the other embroidery being worked. It was peeled away from the surrounding area, and this method certainly helped the foil to stay neat - so something to perhaps think about for those of you wanting to work with foils.

I can't wait to see the final piece!

Man's suit France c 1760 Photo © Museum Associates/ LACMA

Man's suit France c 1760 Photo © Museum Associates/ LACMA



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