Monday, 18 August 2014

What am I working on right now?
At the moment I am inspired by vintage linens.  I just love them and the fact that someone spent hours embroidering and crocheting them.  I feel sad when I find them because the original owners or crafters are now separated from their work and no one in their family cares to carry them over.  I like to give them a new life and either use them as they are, for their intended purpose or upcycle them into more useful items.  The long sandwich tray cloths I have been reworking into beautiful sewing caddies.  Some of these doilies have been stitched onto a cord to be used as bunting.  I do find it hard to cut up some of the doilies.  The easy ones are those which are damaged and I turn them into another object and make them live again.

How long does it take to create a project?
I like to finish a project in one day.  Or several projects on one day.  The little sewing caddies only take an hour or two.  The most time is spent in choosing a suitable fabric and vintage laces for the backing and little pockets.  I always find it hard to choose buttons from my pearl button collection.  They are absolute treasures to me and I selfishly want to keep them all.


Microwave oven mitts and a matching tea towel.
Embroidered and patchworked Sewing Compendium
All of the above mentioned as well as pretty colourful and retro fabrics.  I find it hard to break out of my old mould though.  I am getting better at culling my old country style fabrics.  I'm sure I won't still be around when they come back into fashion again.  I love the bright colours and patterns, the fruits and the flowers of the retro fabrics.  I guess it seems 'young and fresh' to me as they were around when I was a child.  And after WW2 women were looking for bright and colourful to decorate their houses with.  My sister recently gave me some scraps from my mother's kitchen curtain fabric from the l950's which I am going to mount into a bamboo embroidery hoop for the wall.

How does my creative process work?
I guess I am inspired by beautiful fabrics that catch my eye.  My main supply shop is Spotlight and sometimes when I go in nothing inspires me and I tell myself to go home and use up some of my own stash.  But other times I see fabrics that sets my mind racing as to what I can make with it.  I also frequent every patchwork shop I find as we are travelling around.  I find I work best with fat quarters as if I buy a metre or so of fabric I'm reluctant to cut into it in case I find something else I would like to use it for later on.  Sometimes I have to stop myself, as I'm cutting out a project, from looking at all the scrappy bits and thinking about what I am doing to do with those!!  I like to make useful everyday items so that you will have a smile  as you use the.

How do I become inspired and stay inspired?
Pinterest is a great inspiration.   I can trawl through Pinterest for hours.  I rarely buy patterns.  I like to see something and then make a pattern myself or just make up what it has inspired in me.  And encouragement from others also fuels me to continue on with my creativity.

What is my signature style?
I don't know how to describe my 'style'.  I sell my wares under the title of Simply Elegant, so I guess that's how I started.  But I seem to have evolved into pretty retro at the moment.  I have to create on a regular basis and  I sell my wares at an annual Craft Sale and Garden Party in our back garden.  Everyone loves the setting, being waited on by my 4 beautiful daughters and enjoying the company of their friends for a couple of hours.