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Tuesday, 21 December 2010

A day to escape to bonny scotland.

Everybody needs a day escape from time to time and even more so when the weather has been so awfully cold recently. So i decided to take a trip north of the boarder to visit some dear friends before Christmas, and also spend some quality time with little brother before he goes off on his travels in the new year.
It was touch and go with heavy snow fall the night before we left but thankfully it held off long enough for us to venture into bonny (but very cold) Scotland.
I love Edinburgh it is such a grand city and as some are aware I am currently putting the wheels in motion to relocate there. Little brother and I had such a lovely day, drank alot of tea to warm us up and boost us through the Christmas shoppers, the German Christmas market gave the city an extra festive buzz ... and of course a trip to Edinburgh just is not complete without my Cath Kidston fix ... which this time consisted of not just one but four new tea cups!

This little trip was the start of the holidays for me so heres wishing you a very jolly christmas and a happy new year folks!!


The Grand Tour : Customs House Gallery

Those clever little knitters have been at it again!!!

After the Christmas fair we had a wonder on down to the gallery to see the Grand tour exhibit.
This was part two, which followed on from the project Knit a coat for a boat i was involved with last year.
The Grand tour gives the idea of the knitted boat going off on its travels around the world and returning with artwork from each country ... knitted of course!!

The collection ranges from Andy Warhol, to kimonos, to a portrait of Rembrandt and Van Gogh's sunflowers.
My personal favourite was the girl with the pearl earring ... which was constructed by cross stitch and quite possibly is the most amazing piece of stitch work i have ever seen!!

Hats off to you ladies!! i was sorry i was to busy to be involved on this one but you have pulled it off in style it looked amazing


Christmas fair & open studio

This year is the first Christmas to be celebrated in the Customs House gallery shop, and to mark the occasion they decided to run a Christmas market in store, by each day of the week having different designers and artists working in store.

This was a very proud moment for me, as it was my first event working under my label, and i was to be working alongside Zanna Designs who i worked with on industry placement whilst at university. It was nice to see my work come full circle and now doing it for myself alongside the company that got me started.

It was a very chilly day thanks to all the snow that hit so the event was quieter than it might have been but still alot of fun!!

many thanks to the gallery for inviting me


Culture Magazine December Issue

This week i had the privilege to be in print in time for Christmas!! my work was spotted at the Customs House gallery shop and was selected to be featured in the Christmas gift edition of the Culture Magazine.
This was brilliant coverage for both me as a designer, and my brand. I was thrilled with the amount of space i was given in the article and the imagery looks fab....which is down to my good friend and amazing photographer.. Grant Glenton.

Since my work was featured my website has had over 3000 more hits so fingers crossed for many more and get those orders rolling in.


Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Christmas market and russian dolls

I really love this time of year especially when the the Christmas market hits down in town.
Finished work early for a change this week so me and Roy went for a wonder around the little stalls all settled in the snow and highlighted with fairy lights ... looked so pretty.
Every year we both hunt down the little Russian lady who sells the the most amazing Russian dolls . . Roy buys a new one every year, me? miss indecisive? I never quite get there in making a purchase .. however this year the lady did good!! hidden at the back of the stall my eye caught a set of dolls with an old blue and white china pattern ... instantly fell in love and it now has pride of place on the shelves above my desk, along side my other bits and bobs ... sat looking around this bedroom/studio/office i am dreading moving day ... i have so many belongings im going to need a good month to pack .. ill cross that bridge when i get to it , and for now just admire my collection of kitsch goodness.

The market was great fun and i have had a few good ideas about how im going to set my stall up at the fairs im doing in the next few weeks. If the postman manages to battle through the snow with my new camera ill be able to upload some photos for you all to see after the events.

keep you posted


Culture Magazine December 2010

Several weeks ago i got a phone call from the gallery saying that culture magazine wanting to include my work in the christmas issue ... i was obvioulsy over the moon with this, fab coverage in time for the festive season and it couldnt be a better time with the rebrand and the new launch for 2011. Iv yet to recieve my copy but i have been able to look at the article on line and its brilliant. If youd like to have a look before i can get the imagery on my blog click the link below ... click to view the latest edition and turn to page 40 & 41 ... all comments welcome . xx

let it snow let it snow....let it snow

So if your not aware of the snow ... where have you been hiding? and is there room for me? ... i knew it was forecast but i didn't think it would be quite as much as it has been. I opened my front door this morning to a mini avalanche .. as i stood there in a now snow filled hallway i decided that venturing out wasn't the best plan ... typical that it is my day off work and i have so much to do but never the less a productive day in doors to catch up on my blog it is .. so kettle on and here it goes. . .

This week started out a good one, with a night out with the lovely tiv and allen. We have tickets to see the rather divine mr leto for a long time and we were not dissapointed!! 30seconds to mars were bloody brilliant! and the night continued to be eventful as we left the arena to find a blizzard .. and very almost got stranded in the pics show the snow was coming down fast! Our taxi never showed up and myself and allen pushed a total of 12 cars up a hill that got stuck on the ice .. while men sat back and watched i may add .. proving even more so my point that the gentleman is an extinct breed!
Was humourous though and kept us warm, i just do hope this snow does not delay the postman i have so many wonderful new materials arriving this week in time for the chirstmas fair at the gallery ... fingers crossed they get here in time .. xxx

Saturday, 20 November 2010

new collection photoshoot for Culture magazine

imagery by

This week i had some fabulous news from the gallery, Culture magazine are doing an article on must have gifts for christmas and yes. .. you guessed it ... frayedtextiles hair accessories will be listed!! soooo its been a mad dash to make some new goodies and get booked in with grant for some imagery for the magazine. As usual grant has done a grand job, the shots look amazing!! well i think so .... what do you lot think? ...

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

forever changing ..

Iv been doing alot of thinking lately about my work as a designer and my brand. I have come to realise that i take too much on and try to do too much at once!! i really need to learn to say no :)

Although there are many strings to my bow, and the business is made up of two main halves focusing on a FrayedFrocks my clothing label, and the accessories line of FrayedTextiles Im realising how confusing this may be to potential clients and may put people off. So i have come to the conclusion that i need a re'shuffle and revamp the brand. Im am as they say ''going back to basics'' and taking the brand back to its orignal roots and trading under the one label, FrayedTextiles. I will be focusing my time on my accessories label with a limited clothing collection every now and then. This way i can create more intricate pieces that i love so much without compramising my time and trying to do so much at once.

Sooooo please stay with me on this revamp, the only thing changing is the name and thats only ever so slight. The web address will be changing to and it will be this logo i will be using on tags and business cards.

If you have any comments or suggestions for us to keep in mind with the revamp they would be much appriciated!!

fee x

yann tiersen, a lovely early christmas gift

Yann Tiersen

One of my favourite films is the french classic 'Amelie', i have loved this film for so long, always the one i turn to on a down day, (asides from coco avant chanel)
I love the unusual way it is filmed, the quirky characters and of course the fabulous music.
That music coming from the genius mind of Yann Tiersen.

i discovered that the man himself was going to be playing at our cities university and my lovely little brother decided to take me as an early christmas gift.

The gig was quite possibly one of the best iv been too, iv not seen someone change between so many instruments on one set before, he has definatley inspired me to take piano lessons, something iv wanted to do for so long but just not got round too. We were also lucky enough to meet Yann after the show, as you can see in the photo my brother was pretty happy!!


Sunday, 10 October 2010

British Textile & Surface Design Association @ The Sage 2010

(left to right)
Andrew Brady, writer & Poet... Newcastle college students, Claudia Van Lieshout smit, Tutor and BTSDA rep, (far right) Myself, Textile artist.

Press release :

A group of Foundation Degree students have published a book which celebrates a collaboration of north east creative arts.

‘Reaction’ a book combining textile and surface design and poetry, has been produced by students from the School of Creative Industries at Newcastle College and local writer, Andrew Brady.

Students on the Foundation Degree Textile and Surface Design were given the project as part of a live brief. They were asked to source patterns, textures and images which reflected a maritime theme.

Local writer, Andrew was invited in to speak to the students and was asked to write a series of original pieces which would fit with their designs. Andrew’s poems were based on his personal feelings and experiences and given a maritime feel to fit with the artwork designed by the students.

The book was unveiled at the NewcastleGateshead Art Fair. The department has close links with the British Textiles and Surface Design Association (BTSDA) which the new book exclusively on its stand.

Production of the book was made possible with the help of Aim Higher funding. This project is just one of several funded by Aim Higher. Previous live briefs with the Foundation Degree textile and Surface Design include the Butterfly Project at St Teresa’s Hospice and the design of a cope, stole and tapestry for the Church of England in Newcastle upon Tyne.

The Foundation Degree in Textile and Surface Design covers textile design for both fashion and interior applications. The emphasis is on creative design using traditional techniques and new media processes. Subjects include stitch, print and surface pattern.

Claudia Van Lieshout Smit, Textile and Surface Design Course Leader and lecturer in the School of Creative Industries, said: “This was a fantastic project for our students to be involved with. To be able to see examples of their work in print and the way in which the arts can be used together to create a commercial piece of work has been very valuable.

“Andrew was excited to work with our students, having worked with textile artist and former students, such as Fiona Ray. His original works inspired the students and allowed them to see how different areas of the creative industries can work in collaboration.”

Andrew Brady said: “Being asked to be involved in this project was a privilege and I am forever grateful. This is a brilliant starting point for a future in writing and the student’s art work excelled my expectations and brings the book together beautifully.

“Thank you to Claudia for the invitation and to everyone else involved in the book.”

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Newcastle Gateshead Art fair 2010 @ the Sage

Frayed Textiles @ The Sage
30th september - 3rd october

So this weekend my work went on exhibition alongside hundreds of other artists at the fabulous Sage on the Gateshead quayside.
I love the Sage, as well as other buildings along the quayside, soon as I am back home from my travels i don't feel I am home until i see the bridges and the buildings along the river. I often attend the arts fair as a visitor so it was a proud moment for me to be an exhibitor this year, and even more so to experience it with one of my dear friends, Poet, Andrew Brady
This event was a chance for us to publicise the book, 'REaction' alongside all the original artwork and the stand looked amazing and we recieved some brilliant feedback.
The VIP opening went very smoothly and i was pleasantly surprised at how many people showed up, it was a little over whelming but in a good way!!
Iv given you a sneak peek photograph of the stand (above) and i will upload the articles and imagery from the newspapers later this week.

Many thanks to the British Textile and Surface Design Association for represting me.


............. break time over

Break time is over

soooooo i lasted a grand total of 3 weeks off work, i knew it would be hard taking a break from things but i guess i am addicted to sewing i just cannot give it up!!

I thought i had picked a good time to leave off things and raise funds to go travelling....however him upstairs had different plans for me ... as i pack away
(my beloved little sewing machine)
and took a week of much needed R&R the postman carried in sale slip after sales slip from the gallery which means my stock has sold out ... which made me think
ooooooooooooops am i doing the right thing? I then got the phone call saying id been accepted into the British Textiles and Surface Design Association and they wanted to exhibit my work at the Sage in Gateshead as part of the annual arts fair.
Of course i
couldn't say no, so that was it, done deal i am officially back in business after a mini break, i still plan to go travelling but with opportunities like this i just cannot turn them down.

Soooooooo now starts the mammoth run up to Christmas where i eat sleep dream breathe designs for gift orders. So if you don't see me in a while ..... just stick ya head round the studio door and check the pile isn't over my head ... bring me a cuppa and i will be forever grateful :0)


Sunday, 22 August 2010

to be or not to be, that is the question ......

Its been a chaotic few months for me, work wise and personally. Sooooo sooo busy, no wonder people in the fashion world retire around 3o haha you can totally burn yourself out.
Having waved farewell to the vintage clothing industry and had my fingers burnt with not so friendly follow designers twisting those knifes after i have helped them out, i have decided to take a step back.
Giving up fee? i hear you say .... no no not me not ever, i could never give it up. I have decided to take a gap year. 12months of some much needed rest and find new inspiring places and people so my collections next year will be bigger and better!!

i have wanted to inter-rail Europe for some years now, so its time to knuckle down and get some money behind me so i can go off on my travels sourcing new fabrics and finds and return home bursting with new ideas for collections.
This decision has made my blog the most important part of my work now. The reason i set this up was so you could get to know me as a person and what makes me the designer i am, and what makes me tick. So keep following me my little lovelies and see what i get up to on my travels over the next 12 months.


FrayedFrocks for Vintage @ Goodwood

hits vintage @ goodwood

Iv been having a few weeks off as a well deserved b reak recently. Having left my role at Between the Buttons vintage i felt like i was hitting a mini mid'20s mid life crisis and not sure what i was doing or where i was heading.

But by having time out i still kept sewing, managed to get that huge pile of alliterations for my self finished which i think has been sat in my sewing basket since last
xmas!! and i was able to make things for friends and in doing so re'discoverd my love for clothing.
Accessories are my passion and I describe myself as an accessories designer but i do love making the odd frock here and there. So i jumped at the chance when a friend asked me to make her a dress for her trip to
Goodwood for her friends hen party.
Unfortunately I couldn't make the festival due to other commitments but i was proud of the dress i made for
Zan and she looked amazing in it.
Shes so petite it was like dressing a doll ( she needs to eat more dam it
but the dress fit like a glove and i waved her off to go twirling at
goodwood and spread the word of frayedfrocks.

If you too would like a dress I would be glad to make one for you, just give me a comment on this post or email


Reaction : The long awaited Book.

It was really nice to see that the student who worked with me at FrayedFrocks on her work placement was selected to have her work used on the front cover. Ami Carson is a very talented designer... look out for her in the future, i am sure she will go far ...

The introduction to the book explains the story behind the work and how the collaboration was pulled together, it was nice to see I got a mention ...

Textile artist Fiona Ray .. thats me :)

The left hand side of the double page shows my favourite piece of my collection

The right hand side of my double page, my work is the bold machine embroidery illustration of a mermaid.

I was lucky enough to recieve a double page spread in the middle of the book

The back page is mug shots of everyone involved.
Im the bottom far left :)

a collaboration of poetry and textile art.

As some of you will know i mentioned in an earlier post that I was awaiting the publication of a book that would be showing some of my artwork along with poetry from a dear friend.
Well it is hard to believe that 3 years have now passed and the book is finally finished!!!

Back in the day of my student life of all night work sessions fueld by alot of tea and toast (and when things got worse switch tea for red wine) the stress and tears of a looming deadline paid off when I saw my work exhibited at the Queens Hall in Hexham, Northumberland.
This is where I was able to introduce a friend of mine, Poet Andrew Brady to my tutor and explain that he was the guy behind the poems used in the text on my work. Few handshakes and a chat later the deal was struck. We would both work alongside Newcastle college and students from the textile degree programme and together produce a book inspired by the original maratime collection I had produced.
Andy got to work writing more poetry and the students were asked to interpretate them into art work, and therefore visually giving there 'reaction' to his words.

Then here were are, the book looks fab and I am very proud of both myself, and Andy, it has been even more rewarding by being able to give him this platform to showcase his writing ability. Last but not least I am also proud of the students who I was able to work with and see develop through critiques held in the college studios. Its been lovely to see the work progress and finally have it printed on paper for everyone to enjoy!
This is something that does not happen often so a big thank you to the college and aim higher scheme for funding the project.

The book is to be launched at the Sage in Gateshead in October at the annual christmas trade show. I am super excited for this. The book along with all the my original artworks are on sale and we hope to grab alot of attention :)

Its a very proud time for me, and a happy one. This work is what first got me noticed as a upcoming artist, and I have had many opportunties since the exhibition that first got us thinking about the book. Three long hard years later the book is ready, and as i try to decide whether to take a year out to hunt down new ideas and inspiration, what better way to leap off into the unknown than the launch of the book that started everything.

Let me know your thoughts on the book. Comments are always valued!