Thursday, 14 January 2016

Under the Spotlight: Snowbird Artworks

It snowed today!! Exciting, right? I do love the snow (for the first couple of days anyway, if I'm in the UK *insert snide emoji here*), but personally I usually get my Snow Lust round about September time - yes, I peak early. 

Anyway! I first met the lovely Zoe, of Snowbird Artworks, HALF. MY. LIFE. AGO at Sheffield Ski Village (RIP). We lost touch a few years later, but I came across her beautiful paintings last year on Instagram via a mutual friend. We started showcasing Zoe's work in the Craftroom just before Christmas, and I'm thrilled to (a) be back in touch with her and (b) have her on board as a Fickle Crafter! Here is a little interview with her for you all to share.........

So I'm intrigued. How did you develop your signature style?
I studied Art and Design at college and for one project I did an abstract painting of blood cells (I can't remember what the brief was, it's so long ago now!) using a layered style and I continued to develop it from there, using the technique to paint different subjects. And recently I've worked on ways to combine that technique with my love for mountains working in a geometric style.

Obviously you've spent a lot of time in the mountains. How do you stay inspired now you're back in the UK?
That's easy, I just spend all day dreaming about being back in the mountains!


What is your favourite thing about working for yourself?
Probably the flexibility, I can work whenever or wherever I want to a certain extent. Although at the moment, with it being winter, my working hours are pretty much ruled by daylight as it's difficult to paint in artificial light. 

Loving your fickle nature - I've seen some cross-stitch sneaking through within the paintings... are there any other crafts lurking on the horizon?
Yes hopefully. I've been doing cross stitch and embroidery since I was a child and I wanted to find a way that I could combine this hobby with my painting, so I'm working on a range of mountain and winter inspired embroidery. Also I finally got a new sewing machine a few months ago so I'm hoping to get back into sewing and learn quilting, Mountain themed quilts maybe?!

Snowboarding or painting?
Well I'm now a skier (I know, I know) I had to give up snowboarding cause I just kept injuring myself too much. I don't know if I can choose, when I got to ski everyday I did miss painting but now I get to paint everyday I really miss skiing! Maybe if I could ski all winter and paint all summer that would be the perfect combination.

Zoe, please sign me up for a mountain-themed quilt; I'm sold!!

You can see more of Zoe's work here.


Saturday, 9 January 2016

One Little Word: 2016

Much of 2015 was spent going with flow... trusting my instincts... and I think I did myself proud in that sense. For the first time I am feeling comfortable in my own skin. There were a lot of big changes in my life last year: I had my second baby - a girl - at the start of the year. We moved to a new city in the summer. My boy started school. And the Fickle Craftroom was born.

So not only did I have to adapt to life with a newborn, and as a mum of two, I had to say goodbye to a community and a neighbourhood that I knew, and was comfortable in. I had to find my way around somewhere I had visited only once or twice, AND make friends there, carving out a new routine and a new lifestyle with two littles in tow.

I wanted to continue with my passion: my first business Stitches & Lace, but knew I couldn't do it alone with such a small baby - so I sought and accepted help, in the form of the wonderful Sigourney! There was a bit of a dip in my income, but she came into my life for a reason, and I could never have kept Stitches alive and kicking without her. She has been worth every penny. But I wanted to diversify (my fickle nature to blame!), and so here we are! I'm following my dream in looking after my family full time AND making pretty things for a living.

I'm also doing things differently with my daughter, from the way I looked after my son as a baby... and I'm a million times happier. I'm following my instincts and not trying to do everything 'by the book', or as I perceive others expect. I used to be so anxious as to what other people thought of me! Breastfeeding successfully has been a big part of that, and increased my confidence no end. Attachment parenting, where I respond sympathetically and immediately to her needs, keeping her close to me (I cuddle my baby all night long, making no apology for that).

Now I'm in a better emotional place than I have ever been before, and have spent this past year laying strong foundations for myself and my family - I am going to embrace life. I will consider every opportunity thrown my way, and will throw myself headfirst into the new social life I have begin to create. I will slow down enough to enjoy my daughter's toddlerhood, and will continue striving to strengthen my bond with my son before he gets too grown up!

A very personal post, but one that I think encapsulates my hopes and my goals for 2016. Embrace.

Very First Fickle Blog Post

Well hi!

My name is Liz, and I am the founder of Fickle Craftroom - a space for craftspeople to come together and sell the pieces they have made. The vision was for it to become a kind of small community for us all to support and encourage one another; for newbies to get started selling, where they may not have had the confidence to set out on their own; and most importantly for me - to not feel tied down to one particular medium or craft!

I go through crazes of various crafts, from crochet, to embroidery, to calligraphy, to silverwork, furniture restoration........ and I become totally obsessed by it, needing to hone and perfect the skill. And I know that I am definitely not alone in this! I have family and friends that are the same way, and this has put them off ever taking the plunge to make their hobby a business. They know they may not be able to commit to maintaining their passion for just one discipline, and so give up before they have even begun.

So this blog is one of the first steps towards creating that community! There'll be tutorials, 'Meet The Maker' interviews, diy inspiration, organisational tips, plus on occasion pieces on the inner workings of my mind (oh, you lucky lucky people!) on topics close to my heart, such as 'Does the Work/Life Balance Really Exist?', 'Is The Grass Really Greener? Working Mother Versus Stay-at-home-Mum', 'How to Stay Inspired/Motivated'...

And I'd LOVE for you to join in too! Please get in touch if:
  • you fancy having a go at selling some of your work through the Fickle Craftroom
  • you would like to write a guest post
  • there is something specific you would like to see here on the blog
  • you are interested in collaborating on a project
  • you too are a Fickle Crafter and want to make friends and drink wine and eat chocolate and crochet together :-)
I'm very excited to get started! Much love,

Liz x