March Spotlight:: An Interview with Lucy Snowden

Welcome to March’s edition of Spotlight where I shine the light on a crafter/maker/artist/creative from around the world.

 

This month I couldn’t help but be captivated by the wonderful knotting of Lucy Snowden. On Instagram Lucy posts about her macramé makes, from delicate wall hangings to plant hangers, and also the stunning views of her local area. I particularly like the intermittent pops of colour Lucy uses in her work that really adds a wonderful bit of detail.

 

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Please introduce yourself and your creative pursuits.

Hi,   I’m Lucy.  I live in the Mountains of North East of Victoria in Australia with my husband and two daughters.  I feel like I’ve always been a maker although its probably only recently that I really realized the extent of this.  In primary school I got the prizes for craft and some of my really strong memories are of needlework lessons and making an embroidered bag that I still have and love.  I also got really into making my own soft toys and cross stitch embroidery.  In my twenties I didn’t make so many things and pursued my other love of all things outdoors.  It was when I became pregnant that I suddenly started to feel a real urge to be creative again, discovered sewing blogs and really started sewing again in earnest, making most of my clothes (not baby ones though just to fiddly for me!).  Last year we moved across the country  and as winter drew in I felt the urge to start weaving and to try out macramé.  Actually I’d been wanting to try for ages but the time and the place just felt right.

 

Did anyone teach you macrame or was it self taught?

I learnt macramé from books and patterns and a tiny bit of Youtube.  We used to sail a lot when I was a kid so I learnt a few knots from my Dad back then.  I could tie and knew when to use a bowline, reef knot and a half hitch.  I love that many knots also have a very practical function as well as being decorative. Despite this it took me a long while to get into macramé.  I had a very unreasonable fear about cutting rope!  I borrowed a macramé book from the library and made my 1st very basic hanging and a little plant hanger.  Then a few months later I finally brought some patterns from Reform Fibers and haven’t looked back from there.   Now I just don’t worry and err on the side of cutting too much.

 

For your macrame pieces do you follow patterns or is it random?

Since those 1st ones which I used one for I haven’t followed a pattern.  The knots you tie are quite simple so for me it’s making up the combinations which is the creative part.  Unlike making clothes where the end product has to fit you, macramé feels very free, you are just making something that you like the look of.  I find that very satisfying.

 

Do you have a creative routine, if so what is it?

Not really.  My two girls are both at school now for the 1st time this year so I am hoping I will be able to get into more of a routine.  I prefer to work on things for a few hours at a time if I can to really get into the flow of it.  I will normally put on a podcast or two or listen to some nice folk music on spotify.  That’s kind of my perfect day…… home alone, creating, with a good cup of coffee, a good podcast and the beautiful mountain view out the window.  If it’s winter and I can have the log burner on then even better.  

 

What do you see for 2017?

I hope to turn my macramé from a glorified hobby into more of a business.  

 

How do you feel when you’re creating?

Happy, absorbed, peaceful…..like I don’t want to be anywhere else.

 

Do you have any other creative pursuits?

I love to sew too, otherwise parenting is a pretty creative pursuit if you ask me.  My other hobbies are paragliding, yoga, snowboarding, and hiking.  Kind of hard to fit these all.  The outdoor ones are pretty weather dependent so if the weather is right you will probably find me outside doing one of these.

 

Any advice for those interested in or learning macrame?

Don’t stress.  What’s the worst that could happen?  You waste a bit of rope?  You can always get more. I’m still learning.  Keep making and experimenting.  I’ve tried a few different styles and feel like I am slowly finding my own voice.

 

What do you know that you wish you’d known when you began?

Just that rope cutting thing again.  Otherwise nothing, it’s the learning which is half of the fun.

 

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You can find me @stringstories on Instagram and @stringstoriesdesigns on Facebook.

 

Thanks for that Lucy, I look forward to seeing your pursuits and makes in 2017.

 

You can find other Spotlight interviews below:

February – Charlie Blackman

Look out for another amazing creative in April!

Thanks for reading crafters, hookers, knitters, makers, artists and creatives!

Dominique
MyOtherLoves

 

Sunday Reflections 2

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I enjoyed cycling on my lunch break down to the local high street and I am definitely making this a regular feature in my week. A breath of fresh air and escaping from the computer screen is just what I need in the middle of the day.

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Spent an evening at Sop’s flat, she cooked me a lovely dinner and showed me all her crafty goodies including her weaving! So easy and unique, another project has found it’s way onto my to-do list.

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Finding inspiration wherever I go! Loved these decorative lamps, did a little sketch and busted out some ideas.

 

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Escaping the city.

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Appreciating nature.

Reflecting on Sunday.

WIP Wednesday 

Hook hook hook

70s stripes

Rainbow

Pride flag

WIP wednesday is always a time that I stop, look around and think “oh wow, I have far too many unfinished projects”. It’s also a time where I can checkstep my progress and see where I’m at. 

It’s all crochet this week! The first image is my actual WIP. I’m working on a crochet pouffe for my living room, which at the minute is distinctly lacking in homemade goodness. The second image was of the first attempt at a pouffe but I stopped because I really disliked the colour choice. It looked like something out of That 70s Show… And I just couldn’t be having that – maybe something to do with the yellow and green combo. So I left it, didn’t weave in the ends and now it’s a plant pot coaster with a fringe. 

I took a bit more time to choose the next colour palette and as my living room has a couple of pops of blue and yellow I thought I should vaguely match that. I prefer the grey/yellow/blue theme it feels a bit more…. Contemporary. So that’s my big scale project at the moment and I’ll update that when I get a little further with it. 

Now you may have seen some of my rainbow stripes on Instagram…. And that is now not a WIP. It’s finished! Yay! I hooked up a very simple Pride flag as it LGBT month here in the UK and I wanted a little flag to hang on my desk. 

I must say looking at these images makes me realize they’re all very similar… And stripey…. Must do something about that, must get out of comfort zone, must experiment! Ideas bubbling. 

So for this WIP Wednesday that’s it. I don’t have too many ongoing projects, in fact I only have one! Mainly because I’m busy with the 9-5 and also currently coordinating two exhibitions at Surface (more on those later) so crafting has had to take a backseat for now. 

How are your WIPs? How is your Wednesday? How is your week? 

Dominique 

Sunday Reflections

Sundays are often a day we like to prepare for the week ahead. The end of a week has rolledaround and we gear ourselves up to take on another one. 

Sundays are also a day to look back over the week gone by and remember time with friends, family and one’s self. 

I’ll be (attempting) to do a simple Sunday post of my reflections.

This is me and E! He’d worked a late shift and I went to meet him afterwards so we could spend some time together. 

We love cooking and cooking for friends is something we try to do on a semi regular basis. Last Sunday we had Mexican! 

Working on a little stash bust! Yet to be revealed. 

I was at Surface Gallery a lot last week. I’m co-coordinator of the next two exhibitions, a Jane Walker show and the NTU festival. The flyer above is a call for submissions for an exhibition in April. 

Writing group!! One of the creative highlights of my month. I’ve got lots to be working on for March so I’ve been setting time aside to write over the last few days and have scheduled some time in next week . 

More stash busting! 

Even more stash busting….. 
So there was a little glimpse of my week. 

How did your week go and what do you have planned for the week ahead? 
Dominique 

February Spotlight:: An Interview with Charlie Blackman

Welcome to my new monthly feature – Spotlight!

 Spotlight will be an interview with an artist whose work I admire. It could be a knitter, a crocheter, a carver, a painter – anyone! I want to shine the light on amazing crafters/artists/creatives all over the world.

First up is Charlie Blackman, a knitter from Australia. I fell in love with her knitted movie scenes when I stumbled across her on Instagram. Her dynamic use of composition, fun bright colours and pop culture caught my eye and I couldn’t resist getting in touch.

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– Please introduce yourself and your work
I’m a crafty girl from Melbourne, Australia. I’m currently living in Montreal with my boyfriend who is working as an acrobat in Cirque du Soleil’s new show. I’ve always loved to knit and make things and have taken advantage of this time living in a cold, snowy winter where I’m indoors all the time to create worlds out of wool – Woolly Worlds.
– What inspired you to create these amazing scenes?
I’ve always loved knitting and crafting, particularly making smaller things by hand that I can give personalities to and create stories around. I began years ago by focusing on knitting toys that I would give away as gifts, but then found it more creatively satisfying to work on more intricate projects, such as movie sets. Discovering stop motion was the next natural progression in my attempt to bring what I make “to life” and to tell stories through my craft.
– How do you develop/choose the ideas for scenes?
To be honest I don’t have a systematic approach, instead I have a list that I update constantly, adding and re-prioritising ideas based on what I’m most excited about in any given week. I absolutely love pop culture, film and music, so find inspiration in what I watch and listen to. I also find this an effective starting point, as people can usually look at something I’ve made and relate to what I’m referencing.
– What kind of preparation goes into a scene?
Everything you see has been entirely made by hand. I predominantly knit, however also dabble in clay, papier mache and paints. Before I start to make anything I brainstorm the idea and sketch out how it might look, then find a way to translate this into original knitting patterns. This and the stop motion element are extremely time consuming, but also very satisfying.
– I think my favourite image of yours is Fear and Loathing 1 – there’s such movement in the image – I feel like I’m along for the ride! Which one is your favourite?
My favourite is probably “Sandra in Space”, based on the film Gravity. It’s sentimental as it was one of my first scenes and I love how much expression I was able to convey given the lack of detail.
– Apart from creating awesome little knitted scenes what else do you like to get up to?
I’m a juggler in my spare time so have been enjoying living at Cirque du Soleil and having access to their training facilities.
– What are you planning for 2017?
I’m hoping to publish a book with some of my knitted patterns so that other people can create their own Woolly Worlds!
Thanks so much for that Charlie!
Instagram:: @woolly_worlds

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