Introducing: Claire ♥

Claireabellemakes

Good Morning! Please forgive me for my LONG absence! I have been a busy little bee, however I am now, back! This week we have a lovely guest with us and I can’t wait to share her tutorial with you this upcoming Thursday! I won’t keep you waiting any longer (I feel I’ve kept you waiting long enough these past few weeks!)
So, lets welcome Claire…

Tell us a little bit about yourself…

I’m Claire aka Claireabellemakes and I live in Cambridge, UK. I spend my life playing Scrabble, riding bicycles and making jewellery and accessories, as well as crocheting and knitting. I have a huge stationery obsession and adore sending snail mail. I am also a crazy cat lady which I’m really not ashamed of.

How would you explain your style and and what is your work process?

Ultimately I like to make things that look nice! I tend to stick with pastel colours when working with fabric and when I make accessories, I prefer items that can be worn every day. Most of my projects begin with a notebook sketch or plan, and I often try multiple versions of projects until I get it just right. My preferred work space is definitely my craft studio space in my home, but I often meet friends for crochet and tea afternoons too.

Bicycle-Accessories

Where did your love of handmade begin for you? Do you have any upcoming projects?

My grandmother taught me to knit as a child and I would spend hours making garter stitch scarves with tons of dropped stitches! I’ve always been ‘crafty’ but over the last 3 years my love of handmade has really grown. There are so many talented makers out there, it is hard not to be inspired to craft yourself. My current projects include some crochet blankets and new Scrabble accessories for my Etsy store. I am very tempted to start another crochet jumper too as you can’t beat a handmade garment.

For you, what is the best part of working in the craft industry?

In a personal sense, it’s the community and how supportive everyone is. There is a great feeling of encouragement and such a willingness to help others. I’ve always been a people person and it makes me happy that there are so many people enjoying craft. Making something with your own hands is a great feeling and being able to share that with others is really positive. In a business sense, I adore the interaction with customers to create gifts and custom orders. I recently made a Scrabble Wall Art as a groom’s gift to his bride and it was such a special feeling to be part of their day.

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You’ve done a lot of work with many people in this industry, such as Make and Craft Magazine. Are there any you dream of working or collaborating with?

Over the last year I have worked with a publisher to contribute to some craft books alongside other makers. One day I would love to work with a publisher in creating my own title, but I know there is a lot to learn first! I think every maker would love to be featured in Mollie Make magazine too, it’s just such an inspiring publication!

And finally, what advice would you give to someone branching out in the handmade world?

Be brave and push yourself. Keep your eyes open for opportunities. I have done things I never thought I would be capable of and I’m pleased I did! I would also recommend being as organised as you can possibly be if you are planning to make as a business. I’m a big fan of my Filofax for organising and planning and I think I’d be lost without it.

Please join Claire on Thursday, where she will be sharing with us a tutorial, involving paper & embroidery! Two lovely handmade elements! In the mean time, do check out Claires work on her blog, instagram, pinterest, twitter and her etsy!

Introducing: Kate Marsden ♥

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Joining us today, is Kate Marsden. A textile designer and fibre artist. I stumbled across her blog and instantly wanted to know more! I love textile art and SO wish I could do it myself.
I hope you enjoy her interview with us this week and like me, can’t wait for her new designs and collections!

✎ Tell us a little bit about yourself…

I’m a textile designer based in far South London. My designs are inspired by life in the city and in particular mid-century architecture and textile design.

✎ Where did your love for fabric and textiles come from? Do you have any upcoming Projects?

I can’t really remember when it started, but my love of fashion (which led me to study Fashion & Textiles at college) started at primary school when I first tried making clothes, and use to make fashion zines for my friends and generally drive them crazy with it!
I’m currently preparing for Thread Festival of Textiles at Farnham Maltings (26-27 September) and looking to apply for some fairs and markets on the run up to Christmas. I’m also working on some new designs and ideas for products.

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✎ Whats a typical working day for you?

I tend to spend most of my time at the computer! Up until now I’ve had three nice long working days each week, while my son has been at nursery, but he starts school in September so I’m going to have to work around that (which could be fun!). I wrote a day in the life post for my blog in July, so you can see what my days (used to) look like there! http://madebymrsm.co.uk/2014/07/28/day-in-the-life-me/.

✎ For you, whats the best part of working in the craft industry?

Having the opportunity to do something I love. I’m so grateful for this after so many years working in the City and often dreading it. I don’t love every element of what I do now (still plenty of admin, spreadsheets and the like) but it feels totally different when you’re doing it for yourself.
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✎ You’ve been featured on many blogs, recently including UK Handmade. Is there a dream collaboration or blog you’d love to work with?

My dream collaboration would probably be Liberty. I’ve already used their fabrics alongside mine in products, and I would love to be able to do more of this. A slot on their craft blog would be a dream too!

And finally, what advice would you give to someone who is starting in the creative field?  

Make sure you’re really passionate about what you do before you take the leap. It is really hard work and it can be easy to become discouraged if business is slow/things aren’t happening as quickly as you’d like. It’s also helpful if you can learn to accept rejection and not take it too personally (easier said than done!). Oh, and don’t expect to be designing and making all day, as I said, I tend to spend most of my time on the computer, and although part of my design process takes place there, most of the time I’m doing admin or writing!

Join Kate on Thursday 14th August to catch her tutorial on making a vintage fabric cushion. Feel free to check out more of Kates work on her blog or her Etsy Shop (she will be moving her shop to Folksy beginning of September)! You can also take a mooch on her Facebook, Twitter: @madebymrsm, Instagram: @madebymrsm and Pinterest