Creative corner – Twysted Roots wire sculpture

This week in Creative corner I’m featuring a craftswoman whose wire sculpture work caught my eye. Exceptionally intricate and beautifully detailed. Clair from Twysted Roots is the next person to take part in my interview series.wire sculpture

1. Introduce yourself.wire sculpture

This part always feels like I’m standing up at some group confession! Hello, my name is Clair and I make bead and wire sculpture trees. I’m also a mum, a carer, a home educator, dog walker and home baker just to name a few. I have also been recently diagnosed as Autistic.

2. Tell us a bit about your business.

wire sculpture

I launched Twysted Roots at the end of April this year (2017) and I sell handmade tree of life bead and wire sculpture. I have a large range of both bead and wire colours and welcome custom orders as well as create ones ready to buy.

3. What made you start your own business?

When I moved to Cornwall nearly 4 years ago I discovered that leaving everything behind that was familiar to me, that created a routine, it had a negative impact on my mental health. I knew I needed to have something that was not reliant on other people so I started exploring my creative side again – I have so many paints and art materials I could probably open my own shop!

I was also learning guitar around this time and in the process of restringing and making loops with the old strings, it made me think wire art might be fun to try. That sparked off a search and purchase mission over the course of months for wire and beads to try out different ideas. Actually that part hasn’t worn off yet – I’m still buying wire and beads and trying out new ideas, only now they’re tree related! After many months of trial and error in making self supporting trees (and having lots of positive feedback), it was a natural progression to start thinking about the possibility of making it into a small business, and after a lot of research, that’s what I did.

4. Did you have any formal training for wire sculpture or are you self-taught?

I took higher Art and Design at school but that’s as far as it goes in terms of formal training. For wire sculpture I’m entirely self taught. I find self directed learning works best for me; I struggle with other people’s explanations at times and find it really frustrating when I don’t understand something. Frustration in turn causes mental blocks so learning in my own time means I can take breaks from it and try again once I’ve mulled it over. With doing it this way, I’ve found out practically what works best; wire thickness, bead size, lengths of wire needed, tools and their different uses, and of course putting it all together.

5. Explain your creative process.

For new ideas, I’ll rough sketch what I envision the end result to be, what shape I can make the leaves or floral bunches to make a certain visual effect, or how I’ll assemble each branch. Sometimes I’ll take photos of trees when I’m out walking the dogs.

I gather up all my chosen colours of wires and beads and start threading the seed beads onto the wire in order to form the leaves. The height of the tree is dependent on the length of wire used so I use my lap tray as a rough guide when measuring out. Again, dependent on size, I’ll do as many leaves as needed and once I feel enough have been made, I’ll then twist them together to form the tree.

This varies slightly for larger trees, because they require a thicker wire core to add stability. This is needed to hold the weight of the beads as the more there are, the more top heavy the tree becomes. There is nothing more soul destroying to have spent hours on something that you can’t get to stand up! Once the tree has been formed, I will spend around one to two hours on the roots, twisting them together then making the intricate patterns to create a pleasing finishing effect and also strengthen the root base.

6. Describe your typical day.

I take the dogs out as soon as I wake up. Once I’m back in I have a cup of tea or two while checking emails and catching up on anything social media related. The rest of the day depends on what my boys are doing but it generally involves more dog walking, cooking at some point and house related stuff. I make use of the daylight and paint during the day when I have that to do, and at some point I’ll spend at the very least, 2 hours on tree making. Bed around midnight,sleep any time from 2am -4am and repeat the following day.

7. What’s your biggest seller?

Being a new business plus because I make ‘one off’ creations I can’t really answer that one. Everything has been received really well and I’ve had a lot of positive responses, the most popular being this one due to a recent feature on Deviant Art. wire sculpture

miniature trees

Use the code: Tree4Me at the checkout to get a 20% discount for the first 20 people

8. What have been the high and low points of running your own business?

I get ridiculously happy after finishing each tree. I wondered if that part would wear off or I’d become less enthusiastic after going from hobby to business, but I still love it. Meeting other creative people through doing this has been fantastic and the support that I’ve experienced within the crafting community has been incredibly touching. And of course that literal happy dance after each sale – I don’t think that will ever wear off either.

The lows for me have been the anxieties in the run up to opening up the business and after it was launched because I’m not a naturally outgoing presence online or in life. The day I announced it on Facebook, notifications came flooding in and it was so overwhelming I burst into tears. Not because that was anything bad, just the thought of all those people looking at something I’d done… it was the equivalent of walking into your house after a long day and having 100 people jump out and yell “Surprise!” (I hate surprises. Run away!!) The other downside is the inner critic and the self doubt which I think everyone feels to some extent at some point. Perfectionism is a double edged sword; it drives you to be better but it can also render you stuck and unable to move forward.

9. What would be your top tips for running your own creative business?

Do lots of research! Creating things is just one part of it. Getting your work out there takes time so be prepared and know what you’re getting into. It can feel overwhelming when you start out but each thing you accomplish gets you that bit closer to your goal.

Take good photos. Nobody is going to know what you’re offering if your product shots look like you took them in a dark room as you ran past, or if you hide it behind three house plants and a candelabra.

Love what you do. You don’t have to love the paperwork but love what you create. Even if I never sold another tree, I’d still make them.

An important tip is don’t be scared to ask for advice if you feel stuck with something. It’s ok not to know a thing and you’ll often find you’re not alone in that. A support network can be a huge help!

10. What are your aspirations?

I’d quite like to stock some of my trees in a physical high street shop. I’d also love to do more tree wedding cake toppers. My dream would be to create something really big, person sized big, just because I love massive projects. I think I’d need a lot more in the way of arm strength for that though.

11. Where can we find you?

Google +

wire sculpture

Mummy in a Tutu
You Baby Me Mummy

Creative corner Interview – Eweniverse

I love a good pun. The cheesier the better in my case, which is why I was so pleased to have Craig from Eweniverse kindly take part in my Creative corner interview series.creative corner interview

1. Introduce yourself.creative corner interview











Hey, I’m Craig and I’m the guy behind the sheep (that sounds wrong) of Eweniverse. Originally from Wales, I now live in Tewkesbury in Gloucestershire with my amazing wife and 2 boys and a very strange cat called Bert.

2. Tell us a bit about your business.creative corner interview

I create funny, punny illustrations and funny/cute gifts and have a lot of fun doing so. I create and sell prints, coasters, badges. Jigsaw puzzles & more!

3. What made you start your own business?

Working a boring finance/IT day job can be hard work – I needed to make something of what I love doing. So why not challenge myself and set up my own brand!

4. Did you have any formal training or are you self-taught?

I studied at Art College in Wales as a mature student but always had a love of art and in particular cartoons and illustration. The old Beano and Dandy comics are a huge inspiration!

5. Explain your creative process.

My work usually starts as either an image or a pun/play on words. I will then develop it as a pencil & ink sketch then scan into a digital file to draw & colour digitally. Although a few are painted with watercolours or acrylics.

6. Describe your typical day.

Sort and pack orders from the previous night. Open the sketchbook, put some good music on, some coffee and then get creating. This usually happens when the kids are out of the way! A lot of the time, the evening is my most productive time!

7. What’s your biggest seller?

The Ewenicorn is possibly my most recent big seller – a cross between a sheep & a unicorn! The enamel pin badges went down really well!creative corner interview

10% off code “EWE2017” at checkout!

8. What have been the high and low points of running your own business?

Highs – seeing people enjoy something of completely your creation – when people “get” your stuff it’s a brilliant feeling!

Lows – The amount of time in a day – someone needs to do something about this!

9. What would be your top tips for running your own creative business?

Don’t get hung up on competing with other creatives. Never compare yourself. Always do your own thing – it’s unique and is yours alone. Also challenge yourself and take that leap of faith!

10. What are your aspirations?

To turn Eweniverse into a household brand and my full-time job.

11. Where can we find you?

My shop




Creative corner interview giveaway!

Craig has kindly offered the chance to win one of his Chocolate Baaa! Ltd edition pin badges

You can enter multiple times using the entry options shown.  The winner will be picked at random by Rafflecopter. The Winner will be contacted by Eweniverse to send them the prize. Full terms and conditions can be found in the widget.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

One  Chocolate Baaa! Ltd edition pin badge –  no monetary exchange available

The contest will close Midnight Wednesday 4th October

Distribution of  prizes is the responsibility of Eweniverse, Craft with Cartwright cannot be held responsible for lost prizes and all winner decisions are final. The winner has 48 hours to claim or a new winner will be drawn
UK Entrants Only
creative corner interview

SuperLucky Blog Giveaway Linky
You Baby Me Mummy

Win a handmade wedding gift

Summer time equals weddings. Especially when you get to your thirties and everyone seems to be getting married off. The months of June and July seem to be filled with them! Getting a great gift can be so difficult. Many couples ask for money or have extensive wedding gift lists but if you fancy giving them something a little more personal with a handmade wedding gift.

handmade wedding

This is something that’s been crafted with love, by hand. Then you can’t go far wrong with this cute Mr and Mrs cross stitched hoop art. It comes framed in a wooden hoop and backed with felt. Easy to stand propped on a shelf or add a hanging loop of ribbon. Classic colours in white black and red make it suit all tastes and fit all home décor schemes. The Hoop measures 5”. So it would also be small enough to give the bride as a wedding charm.

Win a Handmade wedding gift

To enter simply complete the rafflecopter form.

handmade wedding


handmade wedding

You can enter multiple times using the entry options shown.  The winner will be picked at random by Rafflecopter and contacted by Craft with Cartwright to send them the prize. Full terms and conditions can be found in the widget.

One Mr and Mrs cross stitched hoop art –  no monetary exchange available

Contest is open until Midnight 29th July
Distribution of  prizes is the responsibility of Craft with Cartwright
 Craft with Cartwright cannot be held responsible for lost prizes
All winner decisions are final – the winner has 48 hours to claim or a new winner will be drawn


UK Entrants Only


Free cross stitch advent calendar pattern, Santa Hat

I couldn’t help myself had to finish the Advent calendar with Santa, or at least Santa’s hat. I hope you have enjoyed this series. If you missed some of the patterns, you can find them all on my Free cross stitch patterns page.
PDF Advent cross stitch pattern
Free Advent cross stitch pattern
















I have loved making this series of mini cross stitch patterns for Advent. As I’ve designed them I’ve thought of lots of other uses for them as well as the calendar. They would be great stitched up for cards, made into decorations and used for gift tags. Have you got any other great ideas for them? I’d love to your stitched versions of my designs.

As always just click on the pop out button for the printable version of the pattern, if you don’t like stitching from the screen.

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Gluten free winter granola recipe
Why I’ll be giving books this Christmas
Gluten Free Chocolate and Banana tray bake


Back to school Free cross stitch pattern

Here’s a great free back to school pattern for you. It’s only just been two weeks into the Summer holidays here in the U.K. I know many of my readers in the states are getting ready for the start of the new term. The previous back to school cross stitch patterns have been popular so here is a new pattern for the next academic year.back to school

Cheeky book worms are more interested in jotters than apples. Now you can save all your apples for teacher. It’s free to download and comes in PDF file format. Just click on the pop out to get it and print it.

back to school
 Back to school Free PDF Pattern

This cute little book worm and red and green apple motifs are perfect for back to school. How adorable would they look stitched onto a pencil case or for a planner cover. If you didn’t want to use them for back to school how about saving them for thank you teacher card motifs or for a graduation card?

back to school

The design is perfect for beginners as the majority of the pattern is full count stitches. A tiny bit of back-stitch is used for the apples. If you really don’t like back-stitch, leave the outlines and just add the stalks.
With many thanks to Jeni Lynn Ingram for model stitching this cute design. If you would like to work with Jeni you can contact her via the Facebook group Embroidery Model stitchers and designers. Do you want to model stitch for me? You can contact me via Facebook or twitter.
If you like my free patterns, why not stop by my Etsy store and see what else I have to offer to back to school this year.
I also have a co-ordinating back to school fabric in my Spoonflower shop.
back to school

back to school

Free cross stitch black cat Halloween PDF pattern

Here’s a quick and easy Black cat Halloween cross stitch pattern for you. It uses only full count stitches and only one colour. It’s so easy you could whip up a few in an evening, so why not sew them onto napkins for a sophisticated Halloween dinner.

Free cross stitch black cat Halloween PDF pattern
 I love the design on red aida. Do you stitch much on coloured fabrics? I would really like to but tend to always chicken out and but white! I’ve seen some great hand dyed fabrics and even some with glitter! Glitter fabric may well just make an appearance at Christmas time. Who doesn’t love a bit of glitter.
Free cross stitch black cat Halloween PDF pattern

 Black cat Halloween cross stitch downloadable pattern.

You can just click on the pattern below and get a pop out so that you can print your pattern to keep. I know many of you like stitching from your screens these days, but for those who like to old school it (like me) I’ve included a free printable.
Don’t forget to check out my other free Halloween Cross stitch patterns.


Like this? You’ll love


Back to craft

Just returned from the family holiday and after doing the mountain of washing. All I wanted to do was get back to some sort of craft. I love being on holiday but after a while my hands long to get creative.
Back to craft















My boy and I felt in need of cake. I wanted to make, double chocolate cake with chocolate icing as any cake lover would do. Unfortunatley there was no icing sugar in the cupboard so a sandwhich cake wsa out of the question. A change of plan and the boy and I went with decorated cakes chocolate cupcakes instead. As i found a stash of icing pens in the cupboard. They are a bit tricky of little hands to master, but he did quite well. I’m never quite sure on green icing but my boy loves it!