Creative corner – Anita Rose Designs

This week I’m delighted to have Anita from Anita Rose Designs in Creative corner. I absolutely adore her aprons which I first saw on twitter. She has a great eye for pattern and colour. So read on to discover more about her and her work.Anita Rose Designs

1. Introduce yourself.

anita rose designs
Hello there I’m Anita. I live in the pretty Ye Olde city of York, after many addresses and many towns I am now settled. Having found a passion for sewing but I have always enjoyed making things. I use sewing as a way to distract me from living with Multiple Sclerosis.

2. Tell us a bit about your Anita Rose Designs.

anita rose designs
I love using fun fabrics to make the mundane into something fun, an apron in the kitchen should reflect your personality as well as being functional.
People love to find something special and I love providing that service.

3. What made you start your own business?

I was encouraged by friends to start a business so I could work from home and with the help of a friend Anita Rose Designs was born. Its a big step from making things for friends and family to selling them to the public but my friends and family were supportive and it still amazes me to see my business grow and grow. My shop will 2 years old on the 8th October and goes from strength to strength.

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

I wanted a sewing machine for my 40th (4 years ago now eek) and taught myself. My Mum always sewed when I was younger making our clothes and costumes for Halloween and I wished I could be as good but never really took it up. As life got in the way (marriage, 3 kids,divorce, new partner,1 kid) I never found the time but turning 40 is often a turning point in life so I was determined to learn to sew as I had always wanted to.

5. Explain your creative process.

Organised Chaos perhaps! I have notebooks with sketches and designs of new things I want to try. I’m also inspired by fabrics, sometimes you just see a pattern and I just know what I want to do with it. Friends and family also provide inspiration and ideas so I channel them and see what I can do with these ideas. I even have a notebook by my bed as it is amazing how many ideas pop into your head while your trying to doze!

6. Describe your typical day.

No day is started without first putting the kettle on. While I have my 2 cups of tea I will catch up on emails, post on FB, Instagram and answer comments etc. Then once Spotify is booming in the background I get to the sewing table. Some days are spent cutting out and others then sewing. Custom orders are also done in the morning. While eating my lunch I will source fabrics and other items needed. Afternoons will be spent listing, photographing and admin tasks as well as the run to the post office. Evenings I try to relax and spend time with my children but a couple of nights I catch up with other creative peeps on Twitter and FB and join in creative and networking hours.

7. What’s your biggest seller?

anita rose designs
I would have to say aprons, I have found people love a fun, bright apron especially as a gift. I often get requests for a custom aprons as people love something special.

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

Lowest is the first year when sales are slow and you feel like you are invisible, your working hard but thinking is it worth it? The highest is having people ask you to make something for them, they have faith in you that you will make them something special for a loved one and then to get a heartfelt thanks makes you feel on top of the world.

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

1. Please dont think it will happen overnight and keep going you are good enough.
2.Networking is vital, its an online business so you must have an online presence.
3.Use social media to meet other creative peeps, the support, inspiration as well as fun I find are invaluable.

10. What are your aspirations?

What started as a hobby really has turned into a real business so I want to keep growing. I have lots of new ideas and lines to add so I am excited about that. I want to see my business grow and hopefully inspire my children so they can see hard work pays off.

11. Where can we find you?

Giveaway!

For your chance to win a Kitchen utensil apron, enter the rafflecopter competition below. anita rose designs

 

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 Anita Rose Designs to send them the prize. Full terms and conditions can be found in the widget.

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One Kitchen utensil Apron from Anita Rose Designs  –  no monetary exchange available

The contest will close Midnight Tuesday 14th November

Distribution of  prizes is the responsibility of Anita Rose Designs

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

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Creative corner – Homes for Bugs

Building a bug hotel was on our Bucket list this summer and I’m ashamed to say it was one thing that didn’t get done. It’s something we would really like to have in our garden as we recognise the importance of a diverse habitat and the youngest just adores creepy crawlies! So I am so pleased to have Homes for bugs in this weeks creative corner.homes for bugs

Introduce yourself

Homes for bugsHi there, I’m Steve Nestor – quickly becoming known as the ‘bug man’. I’m married to Tracy and we live in Wolverhampton. By day I work full time in social housing, but my evenings and weekends are filled with a different type of housing altogether. Creating and selling wonderful Homes for Bugs.

Tell us a bit about Homes for BugsHomes for bugs

In a nutshell, I individually design and hand make insect houses out of reclaimed and ‘rescued’ wood. Beneficial insects such as solitary bees, ladybirds and lacewings need somewhere safe and warm to rest, nest and shelter. Our Homes for Bugs offer stylish, one of a kind houses that not only look fab in any garden, but also give these all important creatures a much needed home.

What made you start your own business?

It happened by accident really. I love wildlife and did the RSPB Big Garden Bird Watch earlier this year. When I submitted my results, they suggested a few garden projects including building a bug hotel. I used pieces of scrap wood that were in the garden and filled it with pine cones, bamboo, small rotting logs and leaf litter. I really enjoyed being outside, creating something out of scrap wood so I decided to make a smaller version. Then I posted a picture on Facebook and one of my friends liked it so much they wanted to buy it. So, I made a couple more, which also sold quickly…and the rest, as they say, is history.

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

I haven’t had any formal training – I’m not sure there’s a course for bug house builders! Many moons ago I was a kitchen maker where I learned all the skills needed to build the frames for the bug houses. Since Homes for Bugs was formed I’ve had to do a lot of research on the types of habitat that insects such as ladybirds and solitary bees look for to nest and hibernate in…and I’m learning more all the time.

I’ve had a few different jobs in my life including sales, communications and marketing – all of which are helping me to build my brand, social media and online presence.

Explain your creative process.

I individually make every bug house and, because I only used reclaimed and rescued wood, no two designs are ever the same. I don’t plan any of my designs – I get bored easily so there’s no way I want to get into a rut of sticking to plans! Usually cuttting the sides to length first and go from there. I love rooting through my scraps of wood and seeing what takes my fancy. It’s fascinating watching the design come to life before my eyes – believe it or not, most of the time I haven’t got a clue how it’s going to end up until the last piece is in place.

Describe your typical day.

The weekends are spent either building bug houses at home or selling them at craft fairs and markets. On Saturday mornings I set up my mitre saw and drills on the work bench that sits under the awning in our back garden, pour myself a coffee and choose my first piece of wood.

No matter what the weather, I’m at my happiest when I’m out there working with wood… especially when Tracy, my wife, joins me. She’s the painter, gift tag maker and the brains behind our Tudor and Balamory style ranges.Homes for bugs

When we’re not building, we’re selling and when we’re not building or selling. We’re usually foraging for natural materials to fill our bug houses. We also love the social side to the business and have met some lovely people whilst selling at local craft fairs and markets. We’ve sold at Vintage and Handmade fairs, a Harvest Festival, traditional craft fairs and also have a regular spot at Bridgnorth Handmade Sunday market… no matter where we go, people seem to love our product.Homes for bugs

What is your biggest seller?

It’s hard to say as we never make the same bug house twice! I suppose our Balamory style (colourful) and Tudor range are the most popular with many being bought as gifts. Having said that, our rustic insect houses, made from things like old decking and fence panels, are really popular with the gardeners.Homes for bugs

The good thing about our product is that we’ve got a really varied audience. Gardeners buy them because they know the benefits that bees and ladybirds bring to their gardens and allotments. Children love them because they learn about mini-beasts at school and are naturally inquisitive. Other people simply like the look of them and buy them as unique gifts. Regardless of the reasons they buy them, everybody loves the fact that they’re all made from wood that was destined for the tip or bonfire.Homes for bugs

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

I love everything to do with Homes for Bugs. It’s fabulous taking an old, sometimes rotting, piece of wood and creating something that people really like, and bugs really need. It’s brilliant doing the craft fairs and markets and we’ve met some really interesting people.

A few weeks ago we sold a selection of our designs to a newly opened local gift shop. We’ve recently been approached to build houses for a solitary bee village that’s being created in a nature reserve.

We’ve also delivered a bug house workshop at a community event where children filled individual ‘rooms’ that were all placed together to create one big bug hotel. The building and selling of bug houses is brilliant. It’s fantastic being able to inspire others to think about recycling to give nature a helping hand.

The only downside is that we do don’t do it full time. It’s really early days for us though as we’ve only been making them for a few months, so you never know…watch this space.

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

My main advice would be to do what you love. Find something that makes you happy and allows to connect with other people. I’d also say that taking the time to build, and regularly update, a website. Plus creating and maintaining a good social media presence is crucial to building your brand.

Before you start selling, decide what your brand is all about and design your marketing materials to match. In our case we wanted to make it clear that all of our products are made from reclaimed wood. That everything is individually designed and handmade. We also wanted our brand to be fun… the world is far too serious. So we try and lighten the mood and bring a bit of sunshine wherever we go.

What are your aspirations?

We’d love to get to the point where we’re working on Homes for Bugs full time. We’ve got lots of exciting ideas that could make this a possibility. So we’ll be working really hard over the coming months to see if we can make this happen.

Where can we find you?

We’ve got a website www.homesforbugs.co.uk that includes our blog and customer photo gallery for you to have a look at. We’re also on Facebook Twitter   and Instagram  and would love you to come and say hello… see you soon hopefully.homes for bugs

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Branch Beads creative corner interview

I first spotted Branch beads on Facebook and was charmed by the whimsical designs. So it was an obvious choice to ask Branch Beads to participate in my Creative corner interview series. I hope you like her work as much as I do.branch beads craftwithcartwright

1. Introduce yourself.

branch beads craftwithcartwrightHello my name is Sarah. I live in Suffolk with my other half, twins (a boy and a girl) 4 pet rats and a dog called Neo. I started jewellery making when I became a mum. My twins were born very premature so I found bead weaving very therapeutic, to help me take my mind off what they went through in hospital.

In the first few years of my twins lives I discovered that they both have special needs. My son has severe cerebral palsy and my daughter has non-verbal autism. As a result of this I have become a full-time carer and my business Branch Beads is helps me to stay motivated and is my obsession! MY second obsession are my 4 pet rats. I kept rats when I was younger and was delighted when my other half brought me a cage for them at Christmas time. They make great pets!

2. Tell us a bit about Branch Beads.

branch beads craftwithcartwrightBranch Beads is a handmade jewellery shop I have on Etsy and on Conscious Crafties. I originally started making bead work based on nature but soon discovered wire work and I loved it!! I really enjoyed the fact that I could create my own shapes out of wire and made little wire animal to add to jewellery. Recently I have been making jewellery for rat lovers. This has narrowed down my target market a lot and brings me great pleasuring making jewellery which actually reminds the buyer of their beloved pet.

3. What made you start your own business?

I was making jewellery to help me get over the trauma of having twins in NICU so it made sense to try and sell it. I set up my Etsy after making a quite a few items and not having anyone to gift them too! Then in October 2016 I join Conscious Crafties which is a seller platform and big community of crafters who suffer from chronically ill, disabled and the carers who care for them. This made me feel apart of a family. Starting a business to me was a way for me to have a purpose other than just a home carer.

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

I learnt the basics of jewellery making and bead weaving by watching video on youtube and taking inspiration from jewellery making fb groups. The rest is practice makes perfect!

5. Explain your creative process.

I make animal pendants by looking at a picture or a photo of the animal then bending the wire with my pliers until the shape of the body fit the picture. I then fill the rest by coiling wire around the frame and give the animals faces and character with beads and gemstones.

6. Describe your typical day.

My twins have both just started special needs schools so I get them set for their day and sent to school. Then I check my social media. Share photos of my work or my pets and promote my business. Do the house work…. Then get working on custom orders or new items I am making.

7. What’s your biggest seller?

branch beads craft with cartwrightA lot of my items are one off items but this year I have been listing custom order Rat Lovers pendants. Here is my design for a Rat/Mouse Dreamcatcher Pendant Necklace

Custom Made Wire Pet Rat Dream Catcher Pendant Necklace

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

The high point is that amazing feeling when you sell items that you have created yourself! I really love making personalise necklace because you know who ever is going to receive them will feel very special to be gifted that item that reminds them of their favourite pet! I have made a few items that have be memory pendants. These items are an honour to make.

The low points … as a carer I always have to put my children first so sometime I don’t advertise my business as much or share so much but I always get my custom orders made in the process time!

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

Make sure you are making something you enjoy because you will have to make a lot of them to get noticed and make sure to share on all the main social medias! If you do not advertise people will not be able to find your art! Also don’t go on your journey alone make friend with other crafters share their work too and create yourself a network. My friend I have meet on my journey have helped for a lot!

10. What are your aspirations?

I want to continue making jewellery that make people happy and give brilliant customer service so people enjoy the experience of shopping with Branch Beads!!!

11. Where can we find you?

Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

Instagram

Etsy

www.consciouscrafties.com/Crafties/branch-beadsbranch beads craftwithcartwright

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Sunlightstrand Creative corner Interview

What I love about my creative corner interview series is that it gives creatives of all different mediums and stages in the creative businesses a chance to let their work shine. So I’m really pleased this week to share with you the work of sunlightstrand who is just starting out in their creative business.sunlightstand craft with cartwright

1. Introduce yourself

sunlightstrand craftwithcartwright

Hi! I’m Emma the founder and creator of the handmade jewellery boutique sunlightstrand. Positive thinker and day dreamer I love sharing my handmade jewellery online. I am friendly small jewellery boutique owner with big dreams!

2. Tell us a bit about your business

sunlightstrand craftwithcartwright

If I could sum up my little Etsy boutique in three words it would be bohemian quirky and creative!

Within my Etsy boutique I create statement daywear necklaces and prayer malas which incorporate natural gemstones beads. All statement necklaces showcase eye-catching pendants, such as shiny gemstones, beautiful findings, which are surrounded by gorgeous beads. Everything is handmade for that personal touch, and many genuine premium quality gemstones are used in each piece.

3. What made you start your own business?

At the moment I work part-time on sunlightstrand so it’s more of a side-line at the moment than a fully-fledged business. But with time and a lot of energy and hard work I want to make sunlightstrand a business I can be extremely proud of. The reason I opened my etsy shop is because I love creating handmade jewellery and I want others to wear and enjoy my unique pieces. I always had a passion for design, and I am drawn to beautiful things like a magnet that’s the main reason I why I like to make jewellery.

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

From an early age I’ve always been interested in the Arts, from drawing to painting to playing bass guitar, it’s always been a burning passion which I have needed to ignite. I’ve had no formal training when it comes to jewellery making but I do a have a Visual Arts Degree which has allowed me to become a full time Artworker.

But when it comes to making to jewellery I am completely self-taught and I love reading jewellery books and craft making magazines. I like to watch craft training tutorials on YouTube, as I believe you can always learn new techniques. I have been making jewellery for about a year and a half, I started crafting bracelets for friends and family and then for colleagues at work.

5. Explain your creative process

As jewellery maker it’s important to visualise how a piece looks, and how that piece will showcase the natural beauty of the gemstones, but most importantly it must positively influence the mind and spirIt of the wearer. I do a lot of historical research into all the gemstones I use. As for colour combinations I usually look at natural elements within nature, for this collection –

Aqua Accents I have studied the tranquil and calming hues of blue and white to craft this unique jewellery collection.

6. Describe your typical day.

I work as a full time Artworker from 8:30am -5:00pm Monday to Friday, but in my spare time I create my handmade beaded necklaces. Designing and promoting everything myself. I drink a lot of coffee, as I am always spending a lot of time on social media promoting my new online Etsy boutique.

7. What’s your biggest seller?

As I’ve just launched my Etsy shop I haven’t got a biggest seller yet but my Howlite crystal mini mala necklace has had many views by far and is the most liked jewellery piece in my collectionsunlightstrand

 

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

As a high point I recently ran I mermaid giveaway and received numerus entries, the winner of the giveaway was very impressed with the quality and design of the necklace I sent her. I haven’t had any low points yet, but I am prepared to work very hard at improving my online Etsy boutique which will also feature bracelets.

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

My top tips are firstly never give up, and always plan ahead when possible. Keep improving your skills and learn as much as you can for others. Take each day as it comes, and always make time for the people who love and support you. Learn, create and appreciate!

10. What are your aspirations?

Well as for my aspirations I would like to work full time on sunlightstrand as I absolutely love jewellery making. I would like build up a stronger following which would allow me to become more successful. This would be my dream as this would enable me to work from home whilst creating more handcrafted jewellery.

11. Where can we find you?

Where to find sunlightstrand – the beaded gemstone boutique

Etsy 

Website

Instagram

Twitter

Get £5.00 off your order with coupon code HIGH5

valid until the end of September

Get 10% off sunlightstrand etsy shop products when you use the coupon code Sunlight10

valid to the end of October 2017

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Animal artwork in Creative corner

It is such a delight to showcase a wide variety of artists and crafts people in Creative corner and it continues to get great feedback. So I hope that you enjoy this week’s instalment. When I saw this beautiful animal artwork on twitter I knew I had to feature Laura’s work this week. Apologies with it being  a day late!animal artwork craftwithcartwright

1. Introduce yourself.

animal artwork craftwithcartwrightHi, I’m Laura, I’m a 23 year old animal artist based in Newcastle. I have been running Laura Mary Art Limited since January. I am a massive animal lover so since graduating last summer my focus has turned to animal art. I do a lot of commission based work as well as some of my own stuff too, mainly working in graphite and coloured pencil or watercolour!

2. Tell us a bit about your business.

animal artwork craftwithcartwrightThere are two sides to my business; I take commissions for pet portraits which are usually done in pencil (either graphite or colour). I have been commissioned to draw a whole range of animals from cats, dogs and horses, to longhorns and bulls. As I work from photographs I am able to send portraits all across the UK and have also done some work to be sent to the US too. I also have a range watercolour paintings, and home wares such as candles, mugs, coasters and place mats.

3. What made you start your own business?

I’ve always dreamed of being an ‘artist’ and I’ve always absolutely loved animals. I started taking commissions for pet portraits while I was at uni, it started off just drawing pets of some friends and family but then I started getting commissions from other people. The positive feedback I got definitely gave me the confidence to put myself out there and start taking more commissions. While I was finishing my degree the pressure was on to start looking for grad jobs but I knew that wasn’t something I really wanted to do so I went about setting up my own company. I like the idea that I can do exactly what I want and art is something I’ve always wanted to do.

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

I studied Fine Art at Lancaster University, although I think the most valuable lessons I learnt were at school. I studied Fine Art and Fine Art photography at A-level and I had the most amazing teachers – I was taught lots of really valuable skills which I have been able to put into practice and develop since.

5. Explain your creative process.

For commissions I work from customers photographs, I am often sent a number of photos and discuss the most suitable one to make sure the portrait will best capture the personality of their pet. I sketch out the outline of the portrait and then work on it bit by bit, sending updates as I go along. I usually start with the eyes as I feel that they are really important in capturing the personality then work outwards from there.

When I work on my own stuff, I just like to have fun. I started doing the watercolour prints at the start of the year and now have over 20 different designs. Similar to the portraits I start with a sketch, which I then add ink and watercolour to bit by bit. I often work on a couple at the same time, so I can add bits and wait for it to dry while I’m working on another. The final part of the process is to create the splashes in the background.

6. Describe your typical day.

My days completely vary depending on what I have to work on that week. I’ll usually spend a bit of time doing admin in the morning before working on some commissions in the afternoon and evening. I’m a bit of a night owl so I often work late into the night as I find that is when I’m at my most creative so lots of my work is done then. I work from a home studio which is perfect for me as it means I can come and go as and when I need or when I’m feeling creative!

7. What’s your biggest seller of animal artwork?

It is constantly changing, I find that some weeks it will be one design then the next week people seem to like another one. However I’d say the biggest seller across all prints and products is the pig!

You can get 10% off with this exclusive discount code CREATIVECORNER10 animal artwork craftwithcartwright

 

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

It is definitely a rollercoaster, as with running any business, there will always be highs and lows. For me the most rewarding thing is hearing lovely feedback and seeing happy customers with my artwork. I’ve had quite a few emails from customers once they have received the portraits saying they have teared up when seeing them and that is really what I love, being able to create artwork which is really special to someone.

On the other hand, it can be very stressful and sometimes I can find it very overwhelming, especially all the business side of it. I’m not the most organised, I’d be more than happy to sit around and make art all day but unfortunately my admin doesn’t do itself so it can be a struggle to keep on top of, as well as working on commissions, new products as well as a part time job and trying to have a life. There will be days when I will be working 18+ hours, and then to wake up and do it all again the next day so sometimes I do wonder if it is worth it but then selling my work and getting such lovely feedback makes it all worthwhile!

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

I think one of the most important things when running your own creative business is to work hard and never give up! There will always be setbacks and mistakes made but I strongly believe that these are all lessons to be learnt from and they will help you get to where you need to be in the future. Another thing I think is really important is networking. Meeting other like minded people whether it be at shows, craft fairs or online can do the world of good to any small business!

10. What are your aspirations?

I absolutely love what I do at the moment, so to continue and develop what I’m doing is the dream! I’ve recently been taken on by a couple of shops so I’d really love to be able to continue getting my work out there in different areas! I also have hundreds of ideas for new designs and products so hopefully I’ll have the chance to develop those in the future too!

11. Where can we find you?

www.lauramaryart.com

Facebook

Instagram

Twitter

Many thanks to Laura for taking part. I think she has a great work ethic and I just love her beautiful watercolour animal artwork. I wish her all the luck in her future endeavours.animal artwork craftwithcartwright

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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?

https://www.twystedroots.co.uk

https://www.facebook.com/twystedroots/

https://twitter.com/TwystedRoots

https://www.instagram.com/twystedroots/

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

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

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.

creative-corner-interview

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

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Creative corner – No Frills Cosmetics

Something a bit different this week in creative corner. The first cosmetic crafter to take part in my interview series. Ann from No Frills Cosmetics has an inspiring story and amazingly scented products. I love the Rose Geranium Moisturiser! no frills cosmetics

1. Introduce yourself.

No frills cosmetics Hello everyone. I’m Ann and I make natural moisturiser. I live in Liskeard, Cornwall. I am happily married with 2 dogs with which we enjoy an outdoor lifestyle.

2. Tell us a bit about No Frills Cosmetics.

No frills cosmetics

 

 

 

 

 

I started making natural moisturiser a year ago so my business is in its infancy. I have 4 fragrances and I sell through my website and also locally through a health shop in Liskeard ‘The Natural Way’ and ‘Trevallick’s Farm Shop’ in Pensilva.

3. What made you start your own business?

This venture started when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. During treatment I was advised to be careful what I used on my skin as it would be very sensitive. There are a lot of natural products on the market but they are often very expensive. Having been involved in manufacturing for over 30 years, I had a light bulb moment and thought ‘I can make this myself’. I am passionate about making affordable
natural products.

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

I am a registered Pharmacy Technician and have worked in product manufacturing for over 30 years. Having manufactured external products including creams, ointments, lotions and potions. I have transferred these skills to natural moisturiser, but of course it is all a learning experience
with different ingredients and different regulations to work with.

5. Explain your creative process.

Has included reading the European Cosmetic Regulations (no
mean feat!) which includes information about good manufacturing practice, what ingredients can and can’t be used and in what percentage, labelling, safety assessments. I have produced a technical file with all the necessary information including worksheets and labels.

My moisturiser has a safety assessment and preservative challenge test and is registered on the European Cosmetics Portal. That may not sound creative but is necessary for user safety. The best and most creative bit is making the product and the lovely aroma of essential oils.

6. Describe your typical day.

This is at my day job as Deputy Production Manager in Pharmacy
in the NHS, but you don’t really want to know about that! I don’t work on Wednesdays so I devote this time to No Frills Cosmetics. I get up early because I am a morning person. Try to get as much as possible done before lunch so I can take my dogs out in the afternoon. Then I continue until I am happy with what I have achieved.

I may be manufacturing a batch of moisturiser or I may work on marketing which I find the most difficult – getting my product known about. A local regional magazine is currently interested in writing an article about No Frills Cosmetics which is fantastic. I may visit my suppliers hoping to top them up with stock. I may have orders to pack up and send off, so a trip to the Post Office is necessary.

7. What’s your biggest seller?

No frills cosmeticsRose Geranium Moisturiser (RG) closely followed by Neroli (Ne). www.nofrillscosmetics.co.uk

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

High points are when a customer gives me some positive feedback. It gives me a boost. I approached my local health shop in January and they agreed to stock my product. They excitedly rang me on the first day to say one had already been sold! I give a donation to my local Breast Cancer Support Group to say thank you for supporting me during a difficult time. It’s nice to put
some money into their account. Low point, My first foray into at a charity fun day. No sales and hardly anyone came to look at my wares! It was a good learning experience though.

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

Never give up. Believe in yourself and your product. Take what others say with a pinch of salt. Advice may be useful but not always.

10. What are your aspirations?

To have a range of natural cosmetic products which may have to wait until I retire. Currently I am dipping my toes into the water.

11. Where can we find you?

www.nofrillscosmetics.co.uk
www.facebook.com/NoFrillsCosmetics Twitter @AnnNoFrills

Giveaway.

Ann has kindly offered a chance to win one of her Moisturisers.

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 No Frills Cosmetics  to send them the prize. Full terms and conditions can be found in the widget.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

One Moisturiser in the scent of your choice  –  no monetary exchange available

The contest will close Midnight Wednesday 27th September

Distribution of  prizes is the responsibility of No Frills Cosmetics.
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

no frills cosmetics

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Creative corner interview – Polka dot

This week in my creative corner interview series, I am so pleased to have one of my favourite twitter crafters. Her work is so full of joy and you can find something to suit everyone in her etsy shop.

Creative corner interview - polka dot



 

1. Introduce yourself.

Hi, my name is Donna and I live in Devon with my partner and two children. For as long as I can remember, I have always made things. Over the years I’ve tried out many crafts including mosaic, crochet, appliqué and papercutting. If I’m not crafting (for my business or pleasure) I’m usually baking, running or gardening. 

Creative corner interview - polka dot

 

 

 2. Tell us a bit about your business

 
I love crafting special one-of-a-kind cards, gifts and needle-felted artwork, and that’s the basis of my handmade business. I enjoy working with a variety of materials and techniques and sometimes incorporate driftwood collected on my walks along the Devon and Cornwall coastline. Mostly I make one-off designs, and even if I repeat a design there will be subtle differences because it’s important to me that my customers are getting  something handcrafted with love and care that is unique and special to them. 

 

Creative corner interview - polka dot

3. What made you start your own business?

In May 2016, I posted some photos on Facebook of my first attempts at needlefelting and got asked to make a commission, this was a huge confidence boost and spurred me on to set up Polkadot. Previously I had sold my cards and gifts to family/ friends and colleagues, and at a few craft fairs, alongside working and looking after my children. I now sell via my Etsy shop and Facebook page. I have embraced social media, and can also be found on Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. My business is growly steadily and I’m really proud of what I’ve achieved so far. I believe things happen for a reason , and I’m so glad I took the decision to post those first photos! 

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

After taking my A levels, including art, I went on to do a BEd honours degrees, specialising in the arts in order to become a primary school teacher. During my time as a teacher I was head of art in the school where I worked, which I really enjoyed. As far as craft techniques are concerned, I would I’m mostly self taught. My friend, Lynda, a fellow crafter that I’ve known for many years, introduced me to needle-felting. I wasn’t sure it was for me at first, but soon became intrigued, bought myself a kit, and haven’t looked back! 

5. Explain your creative process.

 
I’d say my creative process is informal and instinctive. I don’t make many sketches or plans before I start work, instead I prefer to handle the materials and be inspired by colour and texture combinations. My inspiration comes from all kinds of places, including nature, quotes, colours and pattern around me. 
 

6. Describe your typical day.

Three times a week, I usually start my day with a run. Once my children are off to school I’ll head out for about an hour (in all weathers!) I find it helps to clear my head and sets me up for the day. The rest of my time is then divided between making, sending out orders and posting on social media platforms to let everyone know what I’m working on. My days are always busy, and I love the variety of tasks I’m involved in each week. 

7. What’s your biggest seller?

As I mentioned earlier, most of my creations are one-off designs, so I don’t have a biggest seller as such. I make cards for all occasions and I sell lots of those. But my commissions tend to be for my needle-felted artwork , both 2D designs on canvases and 3D figures such as fairies and mermaids.  
Creative corner interview - polka dot

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

 
I love running my own business and don’t regret my decision at all. It can be hard work and long hours, but the flexibility of working from home, is great for fitting in around family life. I get a high every time the Etsy kerching notification goes off to tell me I’ve made a sale, and I feel proud and honoured when I’m commissioned to make special bespoke pieces, or when followers take the time to leave comments on my social media posts. There are lows and moments of self doubt but the positives far outweigh any negatives. 

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

 
My top tip for anyone wanting to run their own creative business, is to ask questions. I’m learning all the time. There’s a lot to juggle owning your own business, and you have to embrace the idea of learning new skills such as marketing your creations. I’ve found the online community of small businesses so helpful, and I try to pay forward the help and support I’ve received as much as possible. 

10. What are your aspirations?

 
My aspirations are to keep building my business and enjoying what I’m doing. I want to keep providing great customer service and honing my creative skills. 
Links  
instagram  @polkadotcraftsuk 
twitter @polkadotcrafty 
Donna has also kindly offered a giveaway of three chances to win a £5.00 voucher for her shop.
Here are some examples of more of her beautiful work.

 

 
Creative corner interview - polka dot
You can enter multiple times using the entry options shown.  The winner will be picked at random by Rafflecopter and contacted by Polka Dot to send them the prize. Full terms and conditions can be found in the widget.
 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

One £5.00 evoucher for Polka dot–  no monetary exchange available 

 

Contest is open until Midnight Wednesday 20th September



Distribution of  prizes is the responsibility of Polka Dot



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

 

 

SuperLucky Blog Giveaway Linky
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Interview in Creative corner plus giveaway!

This is the fifth creative corner interview. The series continues to be well received and its great to be able to showcase so many different talents.

This week let me introduce you to Aeyshea Jones from the Boutique of the Kitsch and Strange. She has kindly answered my interview questions and she has showcased her work. Which is so creative and continues my aim to show a wide variety of skills and styles.

1.Introduce yourself.

Hi my name is Aeyshea Jones, and I am a Welsh vegan crafty lady who loves roller derby I skate with Reaper Roller Derby. I graduated in Carmathenshire’s West Wales School of the Arts. Where I specialised in fine art and painting whilst also undertaking a large deal of sculpture working with molten metal materials such as Bronze and Cast iron. In recent years I have applied my skills and material based knowledge to the realms of a much smaller body of work. Including crafts such as jewellery making, sewing, polymer clay sculpting and even up cycling old mannequin and doll parts.

2. Tell us a bit about your business.

Aeyshea Jones – Boutique of the Kitsch and Strange, well what more is there to say! It’s right
here in the title haha……. I am an eclectic eccentric individual and my Boutique of the Kitsch and Strange is essentially a real reflection of my personality. This in turn means I find myself making a lot of miniature crafts, art , jewellery and more with a kitschy, weird, wacky, nerdy, fan-arty, alternative fashion and even roller derby accessories.

3. What made you start your own business?

My idea to start it all was totally born from my passion to live and breathe all things creative and to maximise my time spent in an artistic and craft based environment. I just have to make things! No really I do! But it’s a real joy for me so it just came naturally and made total sense to work towards turning my love for the artistic realm into a dream career working with like minded creative individuals who share my passion.

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

The creative areas that I am formally trained in would be Fine art, Painting and sculpture. The jewellery making has been all self taught, as with the polymer clay sculpting. I have worked with much larger scale sculpting with traditional clays during my college and university training but nothing so small as the polymer clay jewellery I work with now.

5. Explain your creative process.

Well in the beginning I was fresh out of uni and just making stuff for myself, I enjoyed making it but I had no market as such to sell it to. I was making a lot of big expensive things that were time consuming and never sold. I started making smaller things, jewellery, cards, ect and I saw lots of people making really cool things with polymer clay and wanted to give it a go, a friend asked me to make a sandworm gauged earring and even though it was extremely ambitious as a project I found I loved the challenge.

From then on I realised I could make much more complex things than I ever thought possible and started selling them alongside my other crafty things, and now I love being challenged with commissions to make something new. But the actual creative process I guess, is to have a thought, sketch a visual plan out and then get hands on with my materials making whether I am sculpting clay, painting or making jewellery.

6. Describe your typical day.

My typical day starts as any good day should with a nice healthy brew of tea. I have recently embarked on the most extraordinary journey of motherhood spawning my greatest creative make yet! My beautiful 8 month old daughter. This means my typical day is no longer organised as it would once have been. So I work around the clock as an when I can, normally nap times and evenings. So I have become a bit of a crafty night owl that avoids night time sewing to avoid stirring the little beastie. My Fiance helps out a great deal looking after her so I can work and also helping to paint and sculpt some of the pieces we work collaberatively on.

7. What is your biggest seller?
My biggest seller has to be my fan arty polymer clay Beetlejuice Sandworm Gauged Earrings

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

Highs have got to be when I can see that my customers are genuinely thrilled with what I have made for them. It really gives me a sense of achievement when somebody gives me that sort of feedback. I have received a few emails where a customer has told me how thrilled their child has been with a necklace for instance and having a sense of something I crafted made somebody else smile and brought a bit of joy to there day is what I take home at the end of the day.
Lows would be there never seems to be enough hours in the day to get everything I would like done, but I am told that I can be extremely hard on myself so maybe being my own boss
sometimes makes me my own worst enemy?!

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

Top tips would be,
1, Network, surround yourself with other creative people. Don’t lock yourself away it’s very important to bounce ideas with other creative thinkers
2, Social media presence. Its such a powerful tool to reach your audience and it is totally free and a great visual way to reach out and find those people looking for all the beautiful art and craft that you have to offer
3, And of course always make sure that you dip your paintbrush in the water vessel and not the precious cup of tea!

10. What are your aspirations?

My aspirations are to keep crafting and making for as long as humanly possible. Whilst also helping to inspire others to find self expression trough arts and craft. I always quite fancied the idea of becoming an art teacher or art therapist. So who knows what the future may hold

11. Where can we find you?

You can find me at my Etsy store and on Facebook: Twitter:  Instagram: Tumblr:  Website:  WordPress

Thanks to Aeyshea for taking part in my interview.  She has kindly offered a prize for a giveaway for my lucky readers.
You could win this Moana style Heart of Te Fiti Pendant

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 Aeyshea Jones to send them the prize. Full terms and conditions can be found in the widget.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

One Moana style Heart of Te Fiti Pendant  –  no monetary exchange available

The contest will close Midnight Wednesday 13th September

Distribution of  prizes is the responsibility of Aeyshea Jones
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

SuperLucky Blog Giveaway Linky

”U


Rachel Bustin