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Meet The Maker – Stitch City – Prints By Nature – Twin Made

For our final Meet The Maker blog we will look into all things upcycled, renewed and handmade to gently encourage you all to shop a little eco this year.

Stitch City

 

We start off with the lovely Alex from Stitch City. Based in Cardiff Alex produces wonderful handmade stationary and homewares to suite all yours crafting needs.

DSCF8894 copyready“I run Stitch City from my home studio/living room in Penarth! I have been ‘officially’ running my business for about 5 years but I opened my Etsy shop back in 2009 while at Uni studying Illustration. So I’ve been a maker for almost 10 years.”

 

 

What is your chosen craft/trade? 

My main interests are maps – making and embroidery, and I’m also passionate about recycling/upcycling, and so my product lines really reflect this. I make recycled map notebooks, and embroidered map cushions and wall hangings as my main lines, but I also do smaller scale stuff such as badges and earrings.

DSCF3471readyWhat skill and techniques do you need to create your products? 

The most crucial skills for me are bookbinding and sewing, but I’ve picked up a lot of other things over the years as well. I have had training in bookbinding through university and work placements, but with sewing, both by machine and hand I am self taught. I only really do super basic machine stitching! The other skill I definitely need is PATIENCE. Hand embroidery is time consuming and as a result its really hard to get a lot of new products out the door in a short space of time. Being able to focus and work on one project with getting bored or distracted is super hard, but basically essential to get anything done!

What most inspires your creativity?

Most of my inspiration comes from looking at materials and textures and trying to figure out new purposes for them. Also I have a vast collection of vintage maps, and in addition to using them for paper goods, I get inspired by them to create my own maps. I love the abstract forms and patterns found in maps, and figuring out how to translate this into embroidery is my absolute favourite work to undertake.

DSCF5254ready We absolutely adore Alex’s hand embroidered map of Wales, we’re already picturing it above the mantel piece or by the bedside table.

Where did it all begin and where do you see yourself going? 

It began during my illustration course at the University of Westminster. I studied illustration because I liked the functional nature of the work and the flexibility that it offers, but I was never particularly strong with editorial or narrative design. I had to find a way to make my skills applicable to my course and that was where the idea for opening a shop started, it gave my work a purpose. I actually have no idea where I see the shop going! I am currently working full time in addition to running my business, and so I am happy to let it tick along, for the moment at least.

DSCF3905readyWhat is your favourite part of EML? 

I really like being part of the Facebook group, as it helps me stay updated and to an extent, in touch with the maker community. Seeing people posting there also keeps me motivated!

Where is your favourite place to relax and unwind after a busy day 

As mentioned I work full time in addition to running Stitch City, and so for the majority of the time I use my making as a form of relaxation! I also play video games and get out into the countryside for walks whenever I can.

We can’t wait to meet Alex and pick her brain about the secret she holds to time management and how she manages to find the energy to create such stunning unique items. If you can’t wait another week then head over to her Facebook and Instagram for more info and products to ogle over.

 

Prints By Nature

 

Our second maker is textile designer, crafter and owner of Prints By Nature, Zoe . Based in Cardiff she creates bespoke organic textile homewares and accessories that we are sure you will fall in love with.

portraitready“ I started my business around two years ago following a mild obsession with quilting and all the beautiful fabrics you could buy. After realising (probably a little too late) that these lovely fabrics were quite expensive and not exactly the most ecological of choices I decided to get back in touch with my creative side. I started block printing and hand dying a whole collection of items to make my own cushions and book covers at home. Before I knew it, I had a new found love for textile design, natural dying and creating beautiful handmade items that use foraged and vegitable dye stuff to create an array of organic homeware.”

 

 

What skills and techniques do you need to create your products.

Oh gosh what don’t I do! Ok, a general creative day can be anything from block printing a lino cut; sewing up various designs I have made, attempting some sun printing in the garden whilst praying the clouds keep at bay, growing my own dye-stuff, or foraging around the local parks and countryside like a crazy lady to staring into multiple pots of simmering foliage hoping all my hard work is worthwhile. That’s not to mention experimenting with my new line of beeswax-based products.
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What most inspires your creativity.

Of course, there’s only one answer. FRESH POT OF COFFEE! I’m joking it’s nature of course; everything I do is to protect and preserve the world I live in, taking only what I need from it to produce my beautiful sustainable products whilst leaving as little a carbon footprint as possible. From my lino prints, reusable book covers, beeswax food wraps and natural dyes there isn’t one step that hasn’t had the question “how can I make this better for everyone without harming the environment”

 

One of our favourite makes of Zoe’s must be the sun printed botanical tote bags. We just love the striking results of the fern, and hope she’ll have some for sale at this years EML.

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Where did it all begin and where do you see yourself going?

In all honesty it probably started when I was pretty young. Being brought up to live a respecting and appreciative lifestyle for nature as well as a genuine curiosity of the outdoors. I’ve always loved making things and keeping my hands busy I started ‘crafting’ when I was at Uni – studying photography – when a friend showed me her handsewn quilts and I just kept crawling further down the crafting rabbit hole ever since.

 

In the future I would love to have my one of a kind items sold in local stores and begin running workshops for other eco/creative minded people who want to learn a new skill that betters their beliefs whilst encouraging them to think a little more alternatively to their consumer needs.

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What’s your favorite part of EML?

Has to be all the shopping I’ll get done. I really can’t help myself I just love to support other business that have chosen the same path as myself. I love to support the little people and can’t wait to meet so many of the newcomers this year that have such incredible talent – I’m pretty sure my debit card wont enjoy the day one bit.

 

Favourite place to relax and unwind after a busy day.

Pretty much anywhere outside where all I can hear is the rustling of trees, birds chatting away or somewhere with a stunning view to take photographs. Having an endless supply of tea and coffee nearby is always a great start too.

 

If you don’t fancy searching for Zoe amongst the trees or hillsides of South Wales then head over to her Instagram and Facebook page for more insights and behind the seams (see what we did there?) shots of Prints by Nature.

Twin Made

 

IMG_20180925_104149_614readyWe are delighted to showcase the very talented duo that is Twin Made. We’re sure you’ve already seen them somewhere or even attended one of their many wonderful workshops at The Bone yard in Pontcanna. BUT, on the off chance you haven’t Twin Made create some of the most colourful and playful upcycled and creative gifts and homewares you have seen! Witty embroideries, sparkly bumbags to the all alluring pom-pom cape of dreams. We managed to grab them for a quick meet and greet during their very busy creative days.

Lets start it off easy. Tell us a little about yourself and your business 

By day I run creative workshops from Dungaree to lampshade making. By night I sit and create in front of the TV

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What is your chosen craft/trade? 

Anything where I can take something that could easily go in the bin but I could transform into something amazing.

Charlotte will be running the Etsy Made Local workshops this year and we just can’t -wait for the all the amazing results that will come from this. She’ll be hosting Christmas decoration, wreath making and painted pot workshops for you all to enjoy! Simply email twinmadethings@gmail.com or get in contact with them via {Facebook} to book your spot.

 

IMG_20181024_160725_622readyWhat skill and techniques do you need to create your products? 

Awesomeness & Rainbows

What most inspires your creativity?

People and colour.

 

 

 

Where did it all begin and where do you see yourself going?

From making gifts for friends to becoming the Queen of creative workshops.

We have to agree that Charlotte is well on her way to becoming the workshop queen, we are already queuing to sign up to her dungaree or terrarium workshops.IMG_20180618_092811_728ready

Our favourite make has to be this wonderfully framed embroidered piece. We just love the colours and how bold the text looks.

What is your favourite part of EML? 

The totally rad and supportive makers.

Where is your favourite place to relax and unwind after a busy day 

My sofa or the pub!

 

We wholeheartedly agree with these guys and can’t wait to meet all of their wonderful creations in person, there stall will certainly stand out from the crowd, but don’t forget to ask about their capes too!! If you just can’t -wait then head over to their Facebook and Instagram pages for a full colour overload.

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We can’t wait to see you guys next weekend on the 2nd of December at the Tramshed, but don’t forget to follow and share the event on social media to keep yourselves and gifting friends up to date with all things Etsy Made Local including the incredible workshops Twin Made will be running this year too – doors open from 10am – 5pm see you there!