My latest project, which is all entangled with lots of other things I'm doing, is launching a new company called Folkski.
You can find them over on facebook and there are links to ebay where the first items are being sold.
Folkski has come about by meeting my new neighbour Tatiana who is from the Baltic. I visited the USSR in 1978 with my Dad, at that time they were closed to outside visitors unless you booked with Intourist who organised escorted trips around the country.
It was to be one of the greatest adventures of my life. We travelled all over the USSR from top to bottom on internal Aerophlot planes (held together with tape and string I think) and experienced all aspects of this vast country. Not jut Leningrad and Moscow but also down to Tashkent, Samarkand and right down to the Afghan border. This tweaked my interests in arts and crafts from far flung places.
My interest in folk art from the north of Sweden, across Estonia and over to Russia has propelled me into wanting more authentic items and when I told Tatiana she researched how to get some of these items that we can bring to the UK. The Babushka scarf has the most fabulous colour combinations and patterns, particularly the large roses on black.
The wool is extra fine and as they are large they can be worn or used to adorn furniture, we plan to make cushions and lampshades at some point too.
Whilst I still have some props bought in Russia on that 78 trip, I did manage to find a few things in charity shops and around in the uk at excellent prices.
The lacquered spoon, still with its Russian makers sticker, was bought for £1 in a charity shop in Bucks.
This glorious Scandi vintage light was less than £10 in another charity shop nearby where I live.
As a collector of Dala Horses this one came home from Sweden with me and the tin clockwork Russian toy came from e-bay.
I have also started cutting stencils and decorating furniture influenced by the colours and patterns in these scarves, all using Annie Sloan paints. These stylings will be unveiled in the new year at the launch of a special project that Annie Sloan is beginning.
Meanwhile, Im on the lookout for more Folk Art from the frosty north and furniture to makeover. Hopefully another trip to Sweden while the snow is on the ground and maybe next year to Estonia.
Folkski are also investigating how to get felt boots at a reasonable price so more of that to follow.
Until then "Dasvidaniya" from me x
To buy a scarf from Folkski please look on ebay from the following seller : click here