A gift for every occasion.

A new term has been established. To be ‘Jacksoned’ I am led to believe is a good. It simply means you are the recipient of a hand made apron from yours truly. Back in 2012 I did not know my attempt to make a present for someone who has absolutely everything a girl could wish for would herald my statement present. From this first gift now each apron I make is themed appropriately for the person it is intended for. The first was for a photography teacher so the idea to use a camera slung round her neck was easy.

The camera is freestyle embroidery for the main part with a few details of hand embroidery. This was then appliquéd onto the black denim apron. A more personal touch was added to illustrate the initials of the person, ET. Again this was made entirely from freestyle embroidery.

Whenever things were not going to plan or something was wrong Emma would always start a sentence with “Oh this is ridiculous…….” so I could not resist using it!

Four years would pass before I would make another significant apron as a leaving present.

I did make some simpler, less elaborate aprons but none worthy of photographic recording!

When I really like someone I think it is incredibly memorable for both of us and a cathartic process for me to produce something that I hope will be cherished and more importantly used. The majority of people I know are creative types in one form or another. Elly is a printmaker so by making her an apron I kind of knew it would be put to good use.

I adopted a new approach for this one and started off with batik images of artists materials appropriate to Ella’s practise. Scalpels, paint brushes, rollers, masking tape and a ruler.

I added colour and detail by hand embroidery before adding them to the apron base with free style machine embroidery.

Subject specific words were then free style embroidered to add a finishing touch.

In quick succession I needed to make a unique wedding present therefore a pair of aprons were required. A good quick way to produce an effective start is batik, especially when time is tight and you want something effective that in reality does not take too long.

Here the wax is still on the fabric and I have just painted the indigo dye on. When the ink is dry I will iron off as much wax as possible through newspaper.

Again I added freestyle machine embroidery and colourful hand embroidery to embellish the birds and add detail. I am not sure how I came up with the idea of chickens but they seemed somewhat ideal for a future man and wife!

I did joke at the time that the ‘Lady’ apron had the addition of eggs on the pocket for obvious fertility reasons and I am happy to say they eventually seemed to do the trick!

I did make a couple more photographers aprons for a birthday and a leaving present which were well received. Slightly less detail in the embroidery but effective batik I think.

A year after the wedding pair I made my most enjoyable apron to date. A teacher was leaving who had so much ammunition in terms of imagery I could draw on, it became a labour of love.

Looking back on my photos I am kicking myself that I did not take a pic of the bit he loved the best. When he first stated and the students were getting used to his name he was mistakenly called Mr Hedgehog, a name which stuck. It was something similar to this little chap but batiked and sewn.

His nick name is The Bard as in Shakespeare so the obvious start for me was Shakespearean style lettering for his initials.

As with Elly’ I included artists materials as he is a talented artist and passionate about art and teaching it.

The best bit for me was his weekly bribe to get students to stay after school to finish artwork. That preferred Orios but Mr Hedgehog always made sure a packet of Party Rings were available for when I popped in!

Not sure if this one will ever get worn but I like to think it will be hung up in an art room somewhere to be admired and discussed. Plus I have Mr Hedgehog to thank for coming up with the term ‘Jacksoned’

My latest apron gifts have again been for a wedding. This time for a very special couple who tied the knot after 23 years, now that it is legal for them to do so.

Subject specific again to differentiate which belongs to whom and a timely reminder of their marital anniversary.

They couldn’t have gone to a happier couple. I wonder who will be next to be ‘Jacksoned’

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