I named 'Oh Squirrel' because I have always been a squirrel. Collecting beautiful old things has been a hobby since I was little, and the nostalgia that old finds hold is something I feel deeply and love to share. To celebrate 10 years of Oh Squirrel (which is something I still can't believe) I wanted to go back to these roots and create a small collection of one off pieces using old textiles. The stars aligned and the perfect fabrics came into my hands, let me tell you all about it.
Back in the Summer I was mindlessly scrolling a local facebook group for the area where my studio is. Gone are the days of being in leafy Muswell Hill, the studio is now based on an industrial estate in Tottenham - the estate is less appealing aesthetically, but oh the things you can find! To cut a long story short, I ended up collecting sacks of beautiful old cut up pieces of fabric from someone who was moving studio - cut up corners of old embroidered tablecloths and the like. You know when you see a small child the first year they 'get' Christmas? Well, this was me this Summer.
I sorted through the pieces and was able to find some large enough for a small textile product - I wanted to make something with heirloom potential that could last a lifetime. That's when the idea of Christmas stockings came to me. Something you bring out every year and look forward to hanging in pride of place, and something that is personal and special. I've brought them up to 2022 Oh Squirrel style with the option of adding a name on the moss green ribbon, which will be printed in gold in my handwriting.
Some of the pieces were absolutely tiny, but still so beautiful that there was no way they could be wasted. One afternoon I just sat at the sewing machine and stitched these little squares together. It took a very long time, but was one of the most pleasing jobs I have ever done. The pieces just hung on the wall for a while until I decided what to make. A thought a trusty special pouch was a great idea - they're a good size and lined with strong calico so you could use it for a myriad of different functions.
It's just a little range, but it's a true labour of love. I am so glad to give a new lease of life to these beautiful textiles, and to be able to use my skills to create something special. It's why I started this business to begin with, and in a year as difficult as this one, remembering why you do what you do and the joy it can bring you is so important.
Photographer and friend Ellie Smith
captured some moments of me in the studio making these pieces. There are more images that I look forward to sharing soon to continue celebrating 10 years of Oh Squirrel. I wish I were celebrating with a big party or pop up shop too, but I'm hoping there will be plenty of time in the future for that. The product shots are taken by the equally wonderful photographer and friend Holly Booth
There are just a couple of dozen pieces in total. I've priced them at £28 for the stockings and £25 for the pouches. These prices are incredibly reasonable given the amount of work that went into them, however I hope by them being so, that they find the perfect new home.
I do have some more of these fabric pieces and have other plans for those too in the new year. It's great to be 10 years into a business and still brimming over with ideas and love for what I do. I don't take that for granted at all.