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

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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

 

 

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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

Creative Corner Interviews – Flossie Inspired Art

This week is an artist whose work and story are fairy new to me, yet I felt compelled to share. Running your own creative business is a struggle for anyone. The job is made so much harder when having to overcome a devastating head injury. Yet the desire to create still burns within this weeks interviewee Liz from Flossie Inspired Art. Read on for her inspiring story.

Creative Corner Interviews - Flossie Inspired Art

 

1) Introduce yourself.

Hello, my name is Liz and I am an artist and crafter. I live in a beautiful  medieval market town in the Tyne Valley of Northumberland
Creative Corner Interviews - Flossie Inspired Art

2) Tell us about your business.

Flossie Inspired is fairly new, I only started out 3 years ago and it’s been slow going and had small gaps due to life but I have been blessed by loyal followers and supporters. My art is very personal, it’s driven by mood and events and even dictates what medium and colours I use. I’m very much an expressionism artist. I also have a love of Decoupage, it’s bright, it’s bold and unforgiving but what an amazing effect you can get using it with day to day things, making the mundane extraordinary!

I have Flossie’s Shed in the garden painted to look like a beach hut and my aim is to one day Decoupage the inside, I like a challenge. I show case my art and crafts online, using Facebook and Twitter, I have started a website but it’s still a work in progress. I have had some pieces for sale at a local gallery and I’ve been to quite a few craft fairs too.

My art is very much a need, I hid my artistic side for many many years as it was looked upon my some as “clarting” which is a North East term for messing about and making a mess! Real artists were in galleries in France apparently. It always reared its head though, from making my own wrapping paper for gifts to friends to wood work with my Granddad carving wooden animals in his shed. I think it all started with a tiny set of children’s water colour paints from the tokens I collected off St. Ivel Wizard Mousse when I was about 4 years old. I remember opening the tin box and a golden light shining from within like utopia, of course being a curious child, I had to lick my finger and have a prod!
Creative Corner Interviews - Flossie Inspired Art

3) What made you start your business?

My Nanna was very much my second Mother figure, she was an old fashioned traditional Nanna, who was the head of the family or maybe more like a Queen bee, she was the nucleus that held us all together. After my so called Dad ran out on us when I was born, my Nanna and Grandad raised me as if I was their own, though my Mam was always my Mam but we bicker and such likes more like sisters. We were delivered a devastating blow in 2013 that my much loved Nanna had cancer, even though in my thirties I honestly believed my Nanna would go on and on and be with me forever. As naïve as that sounds it’s true and I don’t think anyone is equipped or ever repaired to hear those words no matter how old you are. I was house and dog sitting for a friend at the time, I was agitated, mentally caged with no avenue of escape, I grabbed my car keys, headed into the next village and armed myself with every bit of artistry kit they had and set down to paint. I never saw a soul for days, I just painted – what a release! I found the courage to send a photograph to my close friend Colette, oh how my tummy churned waiting for a reply and there was no relief to be had when the reply came as the churning only became more of a spin cycle. I could hardly bring myself to read it! To my utter amazement the feedback was brilliant, being compared to the likes of Cézanne and Van Gogh. I was too frightened to expose my very personal art to the world for fear of criticism, I felt vulnerable and it was too personal and dear to me, I wasn’t in any place to shield myself, my armour was stripped away and everything laid bare. I decided to hide behind a pseudonym of Flossie Inspired. Flossie because that’s what my Nanna often called me and Inspired because she truly inspired me with her bravery throughout life.

4) Did you have any formal training?

I am completely self taught, no formal training or classes a part from the normal art classes everyone had throughout school, like I say, I hid a lot of my talent, it was very much a journey of self discovery and a coping mechanism. It was to become a secret that refused to be buried any longer. I feel and express with my art, though as most will agree, art is a very personal and passionate thing.

5) Explain your creative process.

My process is a little unorthodox and I remember a artist group being divided by outrage and tradition versus intrigue and fascination. You see I have painted with vivid water colours on to canvas and canvas board, my technique is fairly rough and passionate. Not deemed the correct or proper manner but I believe art has no boundaries and in my own little way I demonstrated this. I have used pastels, charcoal, oils and gouache in the past too. I never know what I’m setting out to achieve, I may have a scene in my head or a photograph that I’ve taken on my travels that I’m drawn to but as far as a process, it’s not methodical. Even the process of mixing my paints are dependant on my mood. I mentioned earlier that my feelings very much depict that, a great deal of the therapeutic side of things can be just sat bringing my colour pallet together. To this day I still hold my breath as the first sweep of colour guides across the canvas. A rush of anxiety, excitement and peace.

6) Describe your typical day.

Ah, this is where things take a side step, my typical day at the moment consists of a different kind of art. In mid December 2016 I suffered a head injury which caused haemorrhages, Strokes and countless TIA’s, I was left paralysed down my whole right side, though I have some feeling and movement back now. I lost my speech and short term memory amongst other things, like learning to read certain words again and speech and cognitive therapy. Instead of the nine to five job, walking the dog and fulfilling customer orders of decoupage photo frames and lanterns or painting for my own pleasure, I have a team of carers, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and consultants to help me with daily needs like bathing, cooking and getting me back on my feet and get my body moving again. I’m often in a confused state and suffer seizures, flashbacks and jumbled up memories, though on good days like today and with the help of the Dictaphone on my iPhone, you’d never be able to tell, although it has gotten me into a few hilarious pickles recently with misreading text messages and emails!

7) What’s your biggest seller?

A selection of some of the art I have sold to date, they’re local landscapes to the Northumberland and North East area.
Creative Corner Interviews - Flossie Inspired Art

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flossie Inspired Art

8) What have been the high and low points?

The highs have been and still are, when someone sees and falls in love with my work or they are just discovering your arts and crafts. I get so much joy and satisfaction seeing my work enjoyed by others. My greatest achievement will always be having the courage to openly paint and create, most know the girl behind Flossie Inspired now. If I was to chose a defining accolade, it would be quite literally being found by the Publishers of Sachet Mixte, Simon O’Corra and Nigel Bray. They were thankfully intrigued by my story and wanted to give this girl a break and kindly published me in two of their series of art journals. They gave me tremendous encouragement and support both professionally and personally.

My lowest point I am currently experiencing. I’ve already mentioned the journey on which I have found myself. My friend Colette has donated her Daughters chunky door knob like paint brushes as she knows how much not using that output will be killing me right now but painting is very much a fluid movement, it’s very tactile, almost theatrical yet intricate and my right arm won’t allow for that just yet but they’re there waiting in anticipation along with my pastels and charcoals that I have hidden down beside my chair next to me. I can’t look at them if I’m honest but I know they’re there. I had the courage to place them there about a month ago but to this day I cannot bring myself to try, though I want to so badly. The urge and the want is also unfortunately just as strong as the fear and anxiety that I’ll make contact with the paper and nothing will be there, nothing will show, nothing will present, nothing. But like most defining things in my life, I’ll find the strength to challenge it head on at some point, so watch this space!

9) What would be your top tips for running your art business?

You’ve got to love what you do, I don’t know anyone that got into this game for money, not everyone will see your passion and creativity or concept, not everyone will be inspired or love your work, they may even want to be heavy handed with their criticism but use it as fuel to go forward and produce pieces for the people who love your work as much as you do.

10) What are your aspirations?

Despite my current personal recovery goals, my dream and aspiration would to be a full time artist – who wouldn’t, right?! I will face my fear and uncover those charcoals and pastels and even paint, I know I will, I can’t imagine a world again without it! I’d love to run an art therapy group and write about my experiences, another love of mine that I’ve just taken ownership of, the love of literature and writing. I was brave yet again, to write my first blog a mere 7 days ago, I found it cathartic yet invigorating and you guessed it, completely blown away by everyone’s support and encouragement.

You can also follow Liz on Facebook and Twitter.

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Creative corner interview and giveaway – Rebecca Handy
Creative corner interview – Rich Banks

Creative corner interviews – Rebecca Handy

This is the third week of my creative corner interviews with Rebecca Handy featuring. I can’t believe it’s going so well. I am so pleased with how many of the great crafters I have met through social media are willing to take part

Creative corner interviews - Rebecca Handy

This week I am pleased to introduce you to Rebeca, her work is so creative and beautiful I just had to share it with you.

1. Introduce yourself.

Hello! I’m Rebecca, a designer maker creating jewellery for those who love nature and the coast.

Creative corner interviews - Rebecca Handy

2. Tell us a bit about your business.

I’ve been a full-time jeweller for the past 9 years and make designs influenced by my love of the countryside. I’m inspired by the idea that an object, whether that be a treasured necklace, a small pebble or a wild flower, can be a reminder of a special memory or moment. I make my jewellery by hand primarily using copper, sterling silver, gold and polymer clay. My designs are crafted in my studio just a stone’s throw away from nearby fields and woodland and sold via my website, galleries and gift shops across the UK.
Creative corner interviews - Rebecca Handy

3. What made you start your own business?

 

In my early 20s there were two things I was very certain of: 1. I wanted to make jewellery and 2. I wanted a place to do it in. It sounds very simple and if I had overly thought about the ins and outs of a working business back then I may not have ventured into the world I’m in today! There were of course other factors! I had been making jewellery for several years prior and after gaining my first stockist TLWS based in Wales, it gave me a huge boost in confidence. A good friend had her own studio working as a glass artist and it showed a glimpse of what life could be like if I were to do the same. My family also believed it was a great idea and that lovely combination led me to make my first steps as a business owner, the rest as they say is history!

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

I studied both Art and Design and Textile Design before I started making jewellery. I became really interested in constructed pieces using metals, plastics and fabrics and it included a lot background knowledge in materials, the use of colour and texture, as well as design. I am otherwise a self-taught jeweller and have been experimenting and making jewellery from a very young age. I’ve developed a wealth of experience having worked in the creative industry for the past 14 years and I was lucky enough to have my first studio based in the heart of the glass making industry, gaining numerous skills along the way.

5. Explain your creative process.

My process can vary. An idea will pop into my mind and I’ll know it’s going to be a good one if I can already see potential for a collection. I tend to start by sketching out the ideas and plan how they will work/ look like in real life. I will then make an initial sample and the collection will develop from there. Other times designs can be created from happy accidents! When I’m mid -way through making other pieces I’ll often start to play with the materials at hand, creativity flies and I can end up with the start of something new by the end of it!

6. Describe your typical day.

I don’t have a typical day as such as I dedicate a specific day each week to different tasks. I’ve found this is the best way for me to get all the tasks related to the business done and gives me a much-needed routine. I tend to check emails and social media activity first thing in the morning, I’ll grab a cup of tea and then get back to anything that needs to be sorted straight away such as completing orders and getting them ready for the post office. In the afternoon’s, I tend to either work on new designs, plan social media posts, do a little photography or any admin tasks. In the evening (when I should be relaxing!) I am most likely researching or catching up with other creatives on Instagram or Twitter!

7. What’s your biggest seller?

I am going to be cheeky and say that I have two biggest sellers! My dragonfly jewellery has always been a huge seller. So many of us have attachments to dragonflies and I think they can symbolise someone you treasure and bring back childhood memories. My dragonfly collection has evolved and grown over the years and the birthstones offer that little something extra special. My dandelion collection has earnt a lot of attention since their first exhibition showcase! They were designed to capture keepsake ‘moments’ and are a reminder of the simple things in life. The Dandelion range are always a firm favourite when sold in galleries and they sum up my style as a jeweller to a tee!

 

Creative corner interviews - Rebecca Handy

 

Creative corner interviews - Rebecca Handy

http://www.rebeccahdesigns.co.uk/category/dandelion-clocks

Use code BLOG15 to receive 15% off until August 31st

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

There’s been so many high points over the years. I’ve won a few jewellery awards and have had the opportunity to design and write tutorials for jewellery making magazines. I’ve also been featured in Worcestershire Life Magazine as well as other blogs such as Just A Card. I’ve met some great friends and talented designer makers along the way and it enabled me to also grow a second career as a social media manager for other small creatives which I truly love.
Although the hours can be long they can also be flexible. I find managing every aspect of a business to sometimes be quite time consuming. I personally can’t think of an occasion when I’ve got to the end of the day and thought I’d got everything done! It can be tricky to turn off but I guess that’s how creative minds works! The other down side is being a small fish in a big pond of much larger fish or this case businesses! And by that I mostly mean in terms of marketing. Facebook and other social media platforms have changed so much over the past year and now encourage paid for ads and posts. It just means you need to work that little bit harder to get your designs (or voice) heard, but it is possible!

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

Invest as much time into marketing as you do making. Marketing doesn’t need to cost a fortune and there are many ways of doing it for free. Interacting with people on your favourite social media platforms each day is a great start. It’s important to know your niche and who your ideal customer is and to make sure you have a style for your business (or a brand). Most importantly share your story and have fun!

10. What are your aspirations?

Short term I hope to launch a new Coastal themed collection inspired by my love of the Cornish Coast later this year, my birthstone dragonflies are to have yet another transformation and will be re-launched at the end of summer. Long term I hope to grow the businesses further and have my work sold in several new stockists.

11. Where can we find you Rebecca?

www.rebeccahandy.co.uk
Twitter: @handyjewellery
Instagram: @rebeccahjewellery
Facebook: @RebeccaHJewellery

Use code BLOG15 to receive 15% off until August 31st

Rebecca has also kindly offered the chance to win one of her beautiful Dragonfly birthstone pendants worth £30.00

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

a Rafflecopter giveaway

One Dragonfly birthstone pendant –  no monetary exchange available

Contest is open until Midnight Saturday 2nd September

Distribution of  prizes is the responsibility of Rebecca Handy
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

 

Rachel Bustin

Creative corner interviews – Maisy Plum

Last week I explained that over the past few years I’ve been blogging and running my etsy shop I have come to know and admire other creatives one of which is Maisy Plum. The great thing about social media is it give the opportunity to showcase your work to so many people. I have loved being a part of Facebook groups and twitter chats that champion the hard working creative minds all around.

 

Creative corner interviews - Maisy Plum

So I am continuing to showcase so of my favourite makers and designers I have had the pleasure of tweeting, liking and sharing over the years. This is the second of my series of creative corner interviews.

1.       Introduce yourself.

Hello! My name is Jo and I am a mum of 3 teenagers and two dogs, living in rural East Sussex. Life is a little chaotic, but most of my time is spent creating enamel jewellery and gifts using copper and sterling sliver which I then sell online through my website.
www.maisyplum.co.uk


Creative corner interviews - Maisy Plum

2.       Tell us a bit about your business.

I started my little biz up about 3 years ago with the aim to bring a little bit of colour into peoples lives! I am drawn to vitreous enamel as it is such an old art form dating back to 1300BC!! .I am constantly looking for ways to incorporate it into my work and create wearable jewellery with a pop of colour!

Creative corner interviews - Maisy Plum

 

3.       What made you start your own business?

After raising my 3 children, I wanted something that would work around a very busy homelife as well as my avid gym obsession!

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

I am completely self taught, having read a lot of books and watching online videos. I am also a member in a lot of forums where the help from other enamellers is second to none.

5.       Explain your creative process.

Once a design is decided upon, the item is cleaned thoroughly before being layered with enamel and fired by torch or by kiln at extremely high temperatures. This fuses the powdered glass to the metal. Depending on the metal in use, determines how the enamel reacts and results in a beautiful coloured product.

6.       Describe your typical day.

I normally start off in the gym otherwise I cannot seem to concentrate! Then I walk my 2 dogs. Once those tasks are complete I will attend to any emails and deal with orders. Schedule a few social media posts and then start making whatever the orders for the day are! It gets very hot in my workroom! I also spend a lot of my evenings networking!

7.       What’s your biggest seller?

This is a tough one to answer as it changes from month to month but I would say at the moment it is my ring bowls. They are made in an assortment of designs and colours and are a great gift for weddings, new homes and men, who are notoriously difficult to buy for!

Creative corner interviews - Maisy Plum 

Ring bowls use coupon code JUST4YOU to get 12% of all orders.

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

The highs are definitely when I receive a really lovely review from a customer – this is when it makes it really worthwhile as you realise that your own products have made an impact. The lows – definitely trying to keep on top of it all as I do everything so there are never enough hours in the day!

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

Stay positive and plan if you can – that is something I find difficult to do with a busy family life but when I do it certainly helps!

10.   What are your aspirations for Maisy Plum?

I would love to supply a few of my products on a wholesale basis.

I love the beautiful colours that Jo creates in her work. I have been a big admirer of the ring bowls and I am definitely putting one on my Christmas list this year. I also love her poppies. She has a great range of work, so it’s definitely worth taking a trip to her website or her Etsy page.
Many thanks to Jo for taking part. If you’d like to keep up to date with Jo’s work you can follow her on twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Especially for my lucky readers Jo has also kindly created a coupon code JUST4YOU TO GET 12% OFF YOUR ORDERS!

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Creative corner interviews – Rich Banks
How to make a sea glass necklace

Creative corner interviews – Rich Banks

Over the past few years I’ve been blogging and running my etsy shop I have come to know and admire other creatives. The great thing about social media is it give the opportunity to showcase your work to so many people. I have loved being a part of Facebook groups and twitter chats that champion the hard working creative minds all around.

Creative corner interviews - Rich Banks

 

So I wanted to showcase so of my favourite makers and designers I have had the pleasure of tweeting, liking and sharing over the years. This is the first of what I hope to be a regular spot on the blog.

So welcome to the first creative corner Rich Banks, whose detailed and intricate work I have admired during many a #creativebizhour

1.       Introduce yourself.

 

Creative corner interviews - Rich Banks

 

Hi I’m Rich, I’m a freelance illustrator, designer and artist based in York.

 

2.       Tell us a bit about your business.

I have been working as a freelance artist, illustrator and fine art printer for the past 8 years. I have created bespoke illustration work for global brands, and exhibited my artwork internationally in places such as London, Sydney and New York. I specialise in unique and detailed handmade drawings, which are easily translated into limited edition prints, and other accessories. I also print all of my own illustrations, either digitally or using screen printing techniques. Which I then sell either online, through my website or through art galleries and markets.

3.       What made you start your own business?

I graduated in 2009 from the University of York with a Ba in Graphic Design, and the design agency I was meant to be going to work for went bankrupt due to the recession, so I didn’t have a job. My friend was in the same position and after a few beers one night we decided to set up our own design business. We ran that for 2 years before a string of bad business decisions meant that financially we were struggling and we had to close the business.  I knew I wanted to stay in the industry so I then went freelance and I am where I am now.

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

I have a Ba in Graphic Design from the University of York. But I have been drawing my whole life. Some of my earliest memories are sitting at the dining room table with my Grandad, who was an architect and drawing buildings or playing with a Spirograph and creating endless pages of patterns. Since I graduated I realised that you always have to keep learning, whether its a new version of illustrator for my design work or a new drawing technique for my artwork. You have to keep learning and improving your creative practice.

5.       Explain your creative process.

So for the digital client work I produce, normally it
starts with exchanging a few emails to figure out what the client needs and to
see if I’m the right fit for there business. If we decide to go ahead with the
work then we will meet up and discuss the work face to face. Then say it is a
logo design, I will go back to my studio and produce 4 or 5 logo concepts
for the client to choose from. I will then work up the chosen concept into a
finished logo. All my client work tends to follow that pattern whether its a
logo design, poster or website. Or if its hand-drawn not digital it will follow
the same pattern. For my own hand drawn artwork generally all my ideas come
from doodles in a notebook that I carry everywhere with me. If I have
a drawing in there that I think could work or just be fun to draw I
will sketch it out roughly on a piece of A4 to figure out the layout and
position of objects. Then I will draw it full scale at either A3 or A2.

 

6.       Describe your typical day, Rich.

I get up at 6am and make coffee and check the news and my emails. Then normally I’m drawing by 7am, whether that’s client work or personal work. I like to start work early because I find there’s less distractions, so I’m very focused and I can be really productive. I will then work until about 2/3pm when I will stop and have some lunch and chill out for a couple of hours to try and refresh. Then I will go back to my drawing board or computer and pick faults with what I spent the morning drawing, try to figure out what changes will improve the work. Generally be quite self critical for half an hour each day so I know at the end of a project I’ve given myself the best chance to create something that is as good as the idea allows. I will then work until about 8/9pm when I try and switch my brain off for the next days work.

7.       What’s your biggest seller?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tree Of Life

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paris

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

The high points are being able to do something you love and are passionate about as a job. Meeting some incredible people and working on inspiring projects. The low points, like most freelancers, generally involve money. Not being able to find work, clients not paying on time, having your artwork stolen by large companies. It can be a very insecure way to make a living at times.

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

Find something you love doing and work hard at it. If you work doing something you love it doesn’t matter if the clients an idiot or the money is terrible, or whatever, you will be happy.

10.   What are your aspirations?

I try not to set goals, I just go day by day, enjoy the journey and see where I end up. So I guess if in ten years I’m still doing what I’m doing now I will be a very lucky man.

Thank you Rich for taking time out to be involved in creative corner. I think you have a great mind-set and are an exceptionally talented artist.

You can view more of Rich’s amazingly detailed work on his website where you can find my personal favourite of his work a fabulous illustration of a coy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can also follow him on twitter and Facebook

Joyful Homemaking