Question: What do cheerful dancing skeletons, beautifully decorated skulls and artist Frida Kahlo have in common?

Answer: They all appear on Gosh! & Absolutely’s gorgeous range of Mexican ‘Day of the Dead’ inspired lampshades, cushions and accessories!

Day of the Dead’ (‘Día de los Muertos’) is a Mexican holiday where people come together to celebrate the lives of deceased family members and friends. It falls on 31st Oct to 2nd Nov, and the Day of the Dead is technically the third day of the celebrations.  The occasion isn’t sombre or depressing; people gather at gravesides to reminisce, share fun memories and pray for their loved ones. They also leave offerings of food, candles and sugar skulls. Frida Kahlo was a hugely popular Mexican artist who is celebrated during this holiday. Sugar skull representations of Kahlo feature her famous mono-brow.

You could be forgiven for thinking that the ‘Day of the Dead’ directly relates to Halloween, given the time of year that it falls, and because recently it has become a popular costume choice for parties and trick-or-treating. However, it is believed that the celebration is Aztec in origin, possibly dating back 3000 years! It has evolved over time, like many celebrations throughout the world, to become the occasion it is today.

Although our Day of the Dead ranges will feature in our Halloween shop window this October, customers enjoy our lampshades, cushions and lanterns all year round. Our most popular seller by far is our ‘Baile de Muertos’ cushion featuring Alexander Henry ‘Baile De Calaveros’ and ‘Las Golondrinas’ fabric in Tea and Eggplant (aubergine to us Brits!). My own favourite is our new range of lanterns with gorgeous Calavera Sugar Skulls fabric by David Textiles.

Pop along to the shop later in October to see our fabulous display!


We just love all of the beautiful fabrics that we use here at Gosh! & Absolutely. The variety of patterns and designs available are amazing, and we love nothing better than sourcing the perfect fabrics for our lampshades, cushions and craft pots. Haberdasheries, vintage fairs, markets, bazaars, online fabric shops and well-travelled family members have all been scoured for their textile goodies!

As a result, we make the most of the odds and ends of fabric that get leftover at the end of a project. These little remnants (by Liberty, Michael Miller, Robert Kaufman, Riley Blake, etc.) are like small pieces of art. We like getting creative with these and it is amazing what you can do with relatively little material. Bookmarks, pincushion, collages, notepad covers, buttons – you name it, we’ve made it!

Our latest creative endeavours are our fabulous fabric covered rings. These were inspired by people seeing our fabric covered buttons and saying “wouldn’t they make lovely jewellery”!

To make our rings we sourced flat backed metal button blanks (to cover with fabric) and silver plated adjustable ring blanks in two sizes (for adults and children). Then came the fun part; finding the perfect pieces of fabric to cover the button blanks.

Busy floral fabrics by Liberty are simple to use, and fit perfectly with this season’s floral fashion trends (we read fashion magazines occasionally you know!). But we also like a challenge here at G!&A and use our quirkier textiles too. Zombies, 50’s pin ups and tattoo designs provide rich pickings. And for the abstract fans, larger patterns provide the perfect canvas.

We have had so much fun making our rings that we might consider making earrings next. Watch this space!!


Gosh and Absolutely has been getting out and about for the first time recently, setting up stall at various craft, vintage and Christmas markets. We have had a brilliant time; meeting new people, sharing ideas and bopping along to classic Christmas tunes!

We had practised putting our stall up before we went to the first venue – something that I would definitely recommend for Fair ‘first timers’.  With a colour scheme to match our online brand and a shiny new banner to put on the front of the stall, we felt ready to go!

However, I have to admit, it is quite scary putting your handmade, bespoke designs out there for the first time (“will anyone like it?”, “will someone want to buy it?”, ” will I hear people laugh as they walk off?!?”).  It is quite different to online selling, where your clientele is potentially endless and (more importantly) you can’t tell what they are thinking! In a town hall with 1000 visitors you hope that enough people prefer your cushions to the ones on the stall next door, and that there is one visitor with an ‘African Peacock’ or ‘Zombieland’ lamp-shape space in their living room.

On the whole it has been a really positive experience. We have met some really terrific stall holders who were full of useful hints and tips. We have perfected our stall set up and layout. We have met lots of people who really like Gosh and Absolutely’s brand and products. And, most importantly, there were people amongst those 1000 who prefered our cushions and who did have a lamp-shape space waiting to be filled!

Bring on the next challenge!!

 

Craft kits on display

Craft kits on display

 

Hooded scarves on display

Hooded scarves on display

Cushions

Accent Cushions and Christmas Lanterns