Affirmative Art, Learning, Materials

Making Uncovered at Brixton East 20th April 2013

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handmade affirmative applique oyster card wallet in turquoise and  blue and white vintage Liberty print lettering.

I’ve set up a Hope in Your Handbag™ workshop page, which you can see on the tab next to “About”

and “Sewin Studio”. I will be holding a workshop as part of Making Uncovered at Brixton East on 20th

April as well as demonstrating my hand bag making . It’s going to be a fantastic day with lots of energy

and buzz, there are lots of artists and crafts people taking part, so there is plenty to see and try. Plus the venue

Brixton East is a fabulous space- it’s going to be a pleasure to experience .If you are local hope to see you there!

Affirmative Art, Heart

Who IS…?


multi coloured Affirmation written in white cloth font appliqued onto blue african background fabric.I once led a guided walk for a  group of teenagers from Capelulo to Llangelynin Church,(in Gwynedd North Wales)

I was 9-10 years old and was one of the six children who lived in the village of Capelulo.

My friend Marion and I became territorial when these young people invaded. We planned

an early morning raid on their tents, hoping to sabotage their sleep and their stay. These teenagers were camping

in a field 200 yds up the road from where I slept. They were from Liverpool and were in our village.

Marion and I gathered our sabotaging tools, which amounted to a  torch each , met at 3am, proceeded up to the field,

and tampered with the guy ropes, loosening them , hoping for the tents to collapse. Nothing much happened. It was dark.

We went home.

A couple of days later they, the teenagers and their adult leaders, were walking along the bank of the small river and so was I. Was I

slightly nervous about being told off? Did I expect to get into trouble ? yes I did. One of the adults began talking to me,telling me the group was  called TOC H and was from Liverpool, asking me did I

know the way to the little church? Before I knew it the day had been set, I was to take them all on a guided walk from the village up and up

the steep narrow path to the top of the fairy glen, rambling over spongy grass, pounding earth, all the way along till we reached the tiny,

isolated church. A good three hour walk there and the same back. Except for some of the party who had walked on ahead and missed the turning for the path down.  They finally made it back to camp a couple of hours later.

Making my ‘guide’ affirmation has reminded me of this little tale. When I recounted it to my daughter she was amazed at the freedom and innocence of it all- especially with current legislation for health and safety and I can see her point. For my memory though, it is a fantastic example of  direct and indirect guidance, based on trust.

Affirmative Art, Heart

‘Aim for the stars…

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'Aim' affirmation in cloth font, hand embroidered onto stripy fabric ground.

…you might reach the moon-‘ is a memorable quote (although I don’t recall the author/ess)

But  another refrain, ‘My Aim is True..’ the lyric in ‘Alison’ by Elvis Costello has been singing my mind.

Handbag, Process

38 Steps and ‘Hope in Your Handbag’™

'Hope in Your Handbag' #1 ©2012 Maggie Winnall
‘Hope in Your Handbag’ #1 ©2012 Maggie Winnall

The first  bag from my ‘Hope in Your Handbag’™ collection has over 38 different actions taken in it’s creation. From the preparation and execution of the letters that make up the  appliqued and hand embellished Affirmation, to cutting, stitching and piecing the cloth, to building up the bag structure and internal layers, to glueing it all into the kiss lock frame. It is a create as you go method, working within a pattern shape and trying out the varying elements, adding some detail, removing others, much like composing a painting or a quilt, until the whole works well together.

Glueing in the bag shell is the final irrevocable step, great care is needed

Not least because fear of the glue spoiling all the work.

The bag shell is tacked into place a couple of times at this stage, to check the fit and make adjustments. It is quite a learning curve and thanks to Lisa it has been possible.

Accessories, Art

Sewin Studio launch November 1st

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Affirmation in progress ©2012 Maggie Winnall
Affirmation in progress ©2012 Maggie Winnall

Sewin Studio is launching on Etsy on November 1st 2012 ! This is my first online shop !  It opens with a new collection of Affirmations, this time applied to handbags. This series  comes under the banner name of ‘Hope in Your Handbag’™ a phrase I coined to encompass portable optimism .

The Affirmation series grew from my journal writing. I wanted to check out their efficacy , to see if writing out statements of  truth made a difference to my mindset. I chose ‘Yes I Can’ as a statement to support confidence, as an antidote to doubt. So whenever those negative internal messages surface, now the images of ‘Yes I Can’  do too! And so it has worked for me, I want to share it with you.

Try writing your own affirmation-if you do not already- and write it every day for 30 days …and see what happens.


Art, Colour

‘I Believe in Myself’ and other affirmations….

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It is the first monday of the month which means  ‘Shared Space’ evening down at the Loughborough Centre in sunny, warm, beautiful Brixton (UK). All are welcome and all turned up (well, quite a few….) to join in this month’s  ‘Hope in Your Handbag’ ™ workshop. The knitting group joined us too, so we had a convivial creative evening. The next Transition Town Brixton ‘Shared Space’ will be on monday 1st October, 6-9pm Loughborough Centre, Barrington Road, Brixton (on the corner of Angell Road).You are invited to come along and sew your own affirmation and see what the others have made too. The ‘Hope in Your Handbag’ ™ workshop is suitable for all ages and abilities. It’s  free and there is delicious food cooked by the lovely Sibylle. See you there!