Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Alexia's Personal 2012

I decided to split these posts about my 2012 into two. The first one you may have already read, about my achievements in 2012 as 'Alexia Claire' which was all to do with my brand and me as an artist. Well enough about that now, here is a snippet of my 2012 as Alexia! Places and things I got up to last year away from the design world.

Lots of fun in the snow last winter with visiting uni friends

A trip to Cardiff with my University swim team. Yep even though I am a graduate I still can't resist a good trip with the team!

I moved house! I now live with two of my best friends. Aren't I lucky! This was and still is my most favourite purchase for my new pad. And it was only £25.

I started a job in social media and web design...

Which was great and I had lots of laughs with my colleagues as you can see here, (I'm not sleeping! I'm probably being teased!)

And of course, I did lots of bird watching and walking. You can't keep me away from a bird hide for too long!

I did a charity walk in the park near me...

I went to V festival

I went to the World Snooker Championship final with my Uncle, as guests of Betfred. One of my favourite times of year.

I was part of the management team and helped to organise the On The Edge Festival 2012. A not-for-profit festival organised to bring communities together through the arts. 

Here I am helping to set up!

I watched the Olympic Torch come to Leeds!

I went on a much needed break to Mallorca with friends

Walks on the Yorkshire Moors, where there are plenty of these chaps.

A holiday to my most favourite place in the world. A small beach in Pembrokeshire, Wales called Wiseman's Bridge. My boyfriend took me, I hadn't been for four years and I was aching to go back. Especially as before then I had gone once a year for every year of my life!

It has a great beach with everything I love, sand for playing games and lounging, fresh water streams, small rocks for shell-finding, and big deep rock pools for crabbing. We stayed in the B&B directly on the beach. I'm so happy when I'm there!

I am also a bit of a sea spinning fan! 

The sun does come out in Wales believe it or not! 

Lots of flowers this year, very spoilt!

My birthday with lots of friends and family....

Which falls near halloween ... my lantern handiwork 

A kiss from Radio Aire's Rich!

My dad and I between us finally collected each and every Bob Dylan album... this picture only shows about 30% of it!

Monday, 28 January 2013

Alexia Claire's 2012!

Whilst making my wishlist for what I want to achieve in 2013, I was intrigued to have a recap on what I managed to achieve in 2012. It turned out to be a good move as some of my wishes for 2013 seemed a bit daunting. Once reflecting on 2012's little surprises I felt better! Sometimes you just can't plan for things to happen, these are quite often the most exciting achievements. Here is a quick recap on some of my favourite moments of 2012 for Alexia Claire (in no particular order...)

I was selected to be part of the Maker's Fair at the Saltaire Arts Trail

Not on the highstreet personally invited me to be a seller on their website twice last year. An offer which I think I will be taking up in a few months time this year.

I attended my first craft fair outside of Leeds at the Reetsweet Sheffield Millenium Gallery

I met a couple of owls... of course! This little guy was called Ben. 

I became a member at a nearby screen-printing workshop. I've met lots of great artistic people since being a member here, it's meant I can expose new silk screens and either print with them in the workshop or take them back to my studio at home.

....Which meant I could produce this brand new range! Each of these fabric baskets features a British species which is either currently endangered or in a threatened status. I will be making a donation this week to the People's Trust for Endangered Species, who contacted me to say they loved my baskets!

I did the Reetsweet craft fairs at the Leeds Corn Exchange numerous times during 2012! I always enjoy doing these events. You can usually find me knitting away on a top secret present or doodling. 

I was featured in Vogue!!! Back in June my laptop sleeves were in the UK Vogue. 

I moved house and studio! It was a lot of fun kitting out my new studio, something which doesn't seem to stop, I'm always finding new 'useful' things that I 'need' for it!

I collaborated with the lovely people at Out of Yorkshire to produce this screen-printed bee basket which they sold as a hamper containing all things bee related!

The Craft Centre & Design Gallery invited me to be part of their January 2013 exhibition.

I had my second brochure printed! 

I had lots of great custom item requests. Including laptop sleeves for a web design agency, iPad sleeve for JC Drums, stationery for a solicitors...

My involvement with MoonKo continued throughout 2013. With lots of support, sales of baskets and exciting possibilites...

One of which was being part of the absolutely amazing Ghosts of Gone Birds exhibition at the Onca Gallery in Brighton. There were endless fantastic pieces produced by artists for this exhibition across all forms of creativity. With even talk of a visit from David Attenborough and the exhibition even now moving to Swansea and beyond!

I had my first enormous wedding order of baskets! 

I gained a new stockist at the fabulous newly opened shop Chirpy. It's handily very local to me here in Leeds, located in Chapel Allerton I think we will all be hearing lots about it this year!

I also became a seller on the then new craft website Georgiana May. If you are a crafter /designer maker I highly recommend applying to sell on this website.

The book cover I designed last winter for Sublime Science was a roaring success in both it's printed and digital form! You can buy it here or download it here. Full of awesome science experiments for kids to brighten up those rainy days in! (Book two on it's way!)

I created a logo for the band Strike Up the Colours (the pirate ship!) which they now use on their merchandise.

All in all a very exciting year for Alexia Claire, I am already looking forward to doing this post for the end of 2013, who knows what this year will bring for us all!

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Alexia Claire at Christmas!

Christmas seems an age ago now, the many craft fairs I attended seem even further and yet I haven't written a post about them yet! So here are a couple of photos from the 8 (yep 8!) craft fair weekends I sold my baskets and gadget sleeves at. Not all were as successful as the others and I learnt a lot in the two months I was doing them. Mainly about how to display my baskets for full interaction from customers. I experimented a lot with signage and variations of offers. It was all quite fun! Very tiring when you work all through the week too though. However I now know which events benefit me the most and which I will definitely be returning to in 2013. 

Reetsweet hold their events at the Corn Exchange in Leeds. The organiser is such a lovely and helpful lady and the vents are always very well organised. I did two fairs here over the Christmas period, the latest one being the most successful as it was closer to Christmas. 

If you have never been to the Corn Exchange in Leeds, it's a stunning building in the round, with a breathtaking ceiling. 

Once dusk sets in it becomes quite magical.

My Kindle sleeves were an experiment at Christmas and seemed to go down a treat.

Great natural lighting in the Corn Exchange from the large windows in the roof.

Lots of people bought my baskets when they saw that I had put plants in them, realising that they could do the same. This spider plant is so much bigger now than it was in this photograph!

I am also now an artist registered with Artsmix. An organisation for artisans to sell their products at various locations in Leeds. The one I attended twice this Christmas was on Albion Street in Leeds next to WH Smiths. The stands are real market size, much bigger than a table top craft fair, so I had a couple of manic weeks making up enough stock to be able to fill one! It was well worth it though and I completely sold out of the Christmas bunting in no time.

It was blinking freezing though! Thankfully it didn't rain whilst I was there. My mum and two housemates all came to visit me separately meaning I got 3 nice hot chocolates delivered to me throughout the day!

My new British Wildlife range proved a hit at these events which I was very glad about. 

I then did the Harrogate Christmas Market. It was their first year producing this event and it seemed like a success from what I could tell! I was based in a big marquee for craft tables and their were your typical wooden hut stalls outside. Unfortunately it was so popular that people could barely move through the gangways between the huts! 

Christmas baskets were a huge favourite at this event. People came from far and near even in coach loads to come see the market. My new tote bags below also sold out.

I had some very very nice neighbours at this event. You always end up making friends with your neighbouring crafters at craft events, helping each other out with food, drink and loo runs! Especially when you're on your own. You learn a lot from them as well and vice versa. 

Another Christmas done and the next one seems to be on the radar already!