Posts Tagged: embroidery

featured artist: bubbly shnooks

from the archives: 31.3.11

name: Michelle Clement
company: Bubbly Shnooks
links: etsy | blog | twitter | flickr

What do you make?
I make cute illustrated paper goods for my shop, Bubbly Shnooks, and am currently expanding my line to include crocheted goodies, soft dolls, and accessories. I also design a line of scrapbook paper for Sassafras Lass, as well as work in the local Vancouver animation industry as my ‘day job’, as well as making a lot of crafts just for fun: I love to scrapbook, embroider, sew, cross-stitch, and am currently addicted to crocheting!

What or who inspires you?
I’m really inspired by artists, crafters, and illustrators who have made their own little thriving indie businesses! Artists like Elsie Flannigan of Red Velvet Art, Susie Ghahremani of BoyGirlParty, and Emily Martin of The Black Apple, for example – those who make their own unique and adorable goodies and have remarkable branding & a smart sense for all things indie bizz. Chasing dreams really inspires me!

How did you get started?
I started scrapbooking when I was 12 at a beginner’s class with my mom, and everything’s kind of stemmed from there! (I’ve been sewing and drawing and journaling for as long as I can remember, too, of course). I got really into scrapbook products and goodies about 4-5 years back, and my love of drawing led me to doodle my own scrapbook paper tags, which then led to also making cards and art prints, and it’s grown out from there. The collage-inspired way I scrapbook has now also led me to designing lines of paper – where I use every crafty technique in my arsenal, from embroidery to dying paper to drawing to sewing. It all started with paper and has grown into a creative outlet that comes out in a wealth of forms!

What are your favourite materials to work with?
I love to work with heavy cardstock and walnut ink (a natural brown dye that ages paper in a lovely way). I’m also partial to my trusty HB pencil and plain old white paper for drawings, and Photoshop is vital for everything! Fabric is also a favorite – especially neutrals that I can dye and scrunch and make my own.

I’ve also always been really into the mix of aged vintage & bright colors, so thrift shops inspire me, as does the magazine aisle at a big book store. Scrapbook galleries, numerous crafty blogs, children’s book illustrations, and artists like Mary Blair, Dr. Suess, and Edward Gorey have my heart. Calgary’s own amazing ‘Uppercase Magazine’ is also an amazing resource! I find inspiration everywhere, really. The world around me inspires!

Do you have any advice for those in the biz?
I would say that the most important thing when you’re creating anything or opening a shop is to make what you want to make and stay true to yourself, not to make something because it’s popular right now or that it’s what everybody else is doing. It can be discouraging at first, sometimes, feeling like you’re a black sheep of sorts, but once you spread the word and find your niche, you’ll be glad you stuck with something unique that you love to do. You’ll find that other people will love that about it, to!

Do you consider yourself an artist or a crafter?
Oh, this is a toughie. I’ve bantered over it with art school folk a few times, because it’s such a blurred line, now. I would like to say I’m a ‘maker’ – lol – aka, a crafter & artist all rolled into one. I think today that craft & art have joined forces – crafts are just as beautiful and inspiring during this handmade movement as art, is, to me.

inspire :: takashi iwasaki

Japanese artist Takashi Iwasaki’s creates art pieces based on the visualization of his imaginary worlds and landscapes. Although each piece looks like they have been painted, it is actually embroidery.

“Those recent works may appear to be abstract on the surface, however, most shapes and colors have meanings and origins that are very significant to me in the way I feel them, therefore they are very representational and are reflection of my state of mind.”

See more of his work here.

giveaway :: hoopla: the art of unexpected embroidery

We are so happy to be working with Leanne Prain and Arsenal Pulp Press again to bring to you this fantastic giveaway of Leanne’s new book, Hoopla: The Art of Unexpected Embroidery.

I have never done much work in the field of embroidery, but I do remember being 10 and collecting a pile of embroidery floss to make friendship bracelets for all of my grade school friends. Those pretty strings of colour, still make my heart flutter, so it’s no secret that I first fell in love with Jenny Hart‘s work which has opened the door to the embroidery world for me.

Flipping through the book, Leanne’s writing is simple and easy to follow. Her book is divided into nicely presented sections ranging from interviews, the history of embroidery, projects and tools and techniques. There’s nothing snobbish or high brow about it either. Whether you have been embroidering for years or just a beginner, Leanne has you covered; teaching you all the basic skills that you can build on.

One of my favourite interviews in the book is with Aubrey Longley-Cook, a mixed media artist that combines the art of embroidery and animation creating images that look like moving objects. Titled, a Manbroiderer, he writes a blog called Spool Spectrum, whose tagline is “Give us this day our daily thread, and lead us knot into temptation”. I also have to give mention to friends Siobhan Long from magpie and cake and Rebekah Nathan from bliss in a teacup who both have projects featured in the book. Oh, and what a surprise when I discovered a pincushion handmade by yours truly on page 112 – hooray!

Want to win your own copy? Leave a comment below and a winner will be randomly chosen on Wednesday, November 30th, 2011 at noon (PST). Winners will be notified by email and their prize will be sent by post.

Contest opened to residents of North America only. UK residents stay tuned for your own giveaway soon!

featured artist :: jenny hart

from the archives: 23.11.09

name: Jenny Hart
company: Sublime Stitching
links: | sublime stitching

What do you make?
I am an artist, author and designer. I make fine art with embroidery, I write books on needlework and update instructions and I design contemporary embroidery patterns in themes that were never available before, through my company, Sublime Stitching. I made it my mission eight years ago to update the aesthetic and resources for hand-embroidery to inspire a new generation of stitchers.

What or who inspires you?
I’m inspired by anyone who has a unique vision that clearly stands apart. You know it when you see it, because it makes you feel something. It makes you feel your own kind of inspiration that can take form in you that is totally unique as well. I feel this is true in art, music, film, writing -anything. There are endless forms that inspiration can take and I think the incredibly diverse offerings of work within the DIY community alone is a remarkable testament to that. For my own work, I often find I’m inspired by what I don’t see. Meaning, I end up looking for something I’m curious about, or have imagined or wanted. Then I seek it out -if I can’t find it, I’ll try to make it myself. That’s how Sublime Stitching was born, after all!

How did you get started?
When I first took up embroidery, I had never tried it before. But once I did, I became completely addicted to it. This was in the summer of 2000, and the handmade movement was just really starting up, but with a heavy focus on knitting. No one was really doing anything with embroidery in the contemporary sense, and there were no new resources for it. I was so taken with embroidery because it’s illustrative (and drawing is my first passion). I wanted to turn other crafters on to it as well, but knew they’d need updated patterns, starter kits and instructions -exactly what I was looking for but couldn’t find anywhere. The idea of tattoo designs for patterns was considered outrageous!

My mission as a company was to change the way people looked at and learned embroidery. I began with a very modest but generous loan of $1,000.00 from my parents, I had to outline an entire budget to my father and account for every dime he loaned me, which I did. It covered my first manufacturing costs, shipping, packaging and my first print ad. They asked that I pay back half once I turned a profit which I did six months later. I never borrowed money again until five years into running the company. I have been very careful about the kind of debt I’ve acquired and have tried to avoid costly loans or over-use of credit cards.

Do you have any advice for those in the biz?
I do! Read my column, “Crafting a Business“! I’ve poured more of what I’ve learned into those columns than I could ever offer up in a few sentences.

What is the hardest and most favourite part of crafting?
The hardest part always comes about two-thirds of the way into a project, when the outcome is still unsure and I’m not yet satisfied with its direction. I always want to abandon the project at that point and start over. I’ve learned to keep at it though and push through that stage. The best part is when you have that “magic momentum” where you are working, but not really thinking –just doing it. That’s the dragon I’m chasing when I work. To enter that zone of creativity and satisfying work and making it last as long as possible. Each time I do a project, I’m hoping that I’ll re-capture that experience. It’s even more satisfying than finishing the work and being happy with the results, for me. Because I look at a piece and I think about how it made me feel as I was working on it, and the finished work is like a record of that experience to me.

images via Jenny Hart / Sublime Stitching

got craft :: uk vendors

Got Craft? is happy to announce their London, UK debut on Sunday, November 27th at the Tooting Tram and Social. Featuring 20+ vendors including a DIY lounge hosted by Crafty Pint, tea and cake and the DJ skills of Craft Guerrilla!

Visit our website here for event details and RSVP on our facebook page here. More details to be announced soon. In the meantime, a list of participating vendors can be found here!

vendors: pretty zoo, petitplat, robin & mould, Charlotte Farmer