In 2020 I created The Bristol Blanket in response to the daily walks I had around Bristol’s colourful houses with my family during the first lockdown. This was also to raise money for MIND – the mental health charity.
If you’re familiar with my home city of Bristol, you might have noticed that the inspiring painted houses overlooking the harbour frequently get a makeover. If you’re not, here’s a photo from a recent harbourside walk. Spot the new additions in luscious ochre and grey.
This gave me the idea to subtly alter the design and the shades I’ve used the Bristol Blanket. The news additions to the harbourside view, plus the fact that the weaving technique which I use to create the blocks of colour for the blanket is called Summer and Winter, made the new micro-collection an obvious choice.
Now there are three fabulous options for you to choose from this season; Original, SUMMER (left), and WINTER (right).
EARLYBIRD DISCOUNT ON NEW EDITIONS
The official launch of these new colours is Spring 2022.
But if you like being ahead of the pack I’m offering an early-bird discount. Simply select SUMMER or WINTER from my online shop. Then use the code EARLYBIRD22 to receive a whopping 20% off your blanket. They’re available for immediate posting so will be with you in a matter of days.
The blankets are a warming addition to any bedroom or sofa. And they are just the thing to snuggle up with if you’re trying to turn your heating thermostat down a notch or two.
Lots of the recipients have fed back that they feel they were sent a soothing, cosy hug through the post, so why not send the gift of warmth and joy to someone special.
There’s really no need to point out that this year has been challenging for everyone, in varying degrees, and as we approach World Mental Health Day on 10th October, there’s never been a better time to shine a light on the work of MIND – the mental health charity. They are actively trying to help those who are suffering from new or worsened mental health problems as a result of the pandemic, as well as campaigning relentlessly to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding.
Charities have been dealt a double blow this year. Demand for their services has increased significantly and fund raising opportunities have been scaled back for obvious reasons. Whilst I can’t fix the negative impact of COVID-19, I can make a small change to the way I sell my luxury woven textiles, and the decision to donate 10% of the profits from sales of The Bristol Blanket to MIND works for me on a few levels.
I could have done this privately of course, but I’m making the donation part of the story for a few reasons. The main reason is that I think that now, more than ever, we need to keep the conversation about mental health at the top of the list. I’ve no specialist experience in this area, but I do know that things need to change with attitudes and the way many of us handle this part of our lives.
Another reason is that it’s slightly unsettling to have a business that’s doing okay when so many industries and individuals are suffering this year. (Rest assured, I’m thankful). Making this one change means that not only can I see a percentage of my profits go towards helping an organisation that can make a real difference, but it’s also helping my own mental well-being.
The Bristol Blanket is all about feeling good. The bright colours in this sumptuous lambswool blanket are designed to lift spirits and bring joy to homes. Inspired by the colourful Bristol houses which brightened up daily lock down walks, the blanket was created in partnership with Bristol Weaving Mill. The optimistic design reflects the connections with our neighbours and local community, which for many were strengthened during lock down. As an artist, I set out to design a textile that reflected the special bonds that formed from the shared experiences, in the hope that we continue to strengthen them and support each other more in the future. The response so far has been astonishing.
Saturday 10th October is World Mental Health Day and the message from MIND for this year is ‘Do one thing…for better mental health’. Whether it’s going for a brisk walk or doing something creative simply do one thing that improves your mental well being. There’s loads about it here.
Angie Parker is a weaver, designer and colourist, based at BV Studios in Bedminster. She trained in rug weaving in the 1990’s and started her textile practice in 2014. Her latest collection of handwoven designs and small batch produced textiles has been launched ahead of schedule in September 2020. Subscribers to her newsletter are the first to see new designs and also get access to special offers and exhibition news. Sign up here to keep in the loop.