What was the first thing you remember making?
I was forever getting crafty when I was little – from drawing and colouring in, to making Plasticine figures and pasta collages. One of my clearest memories is of trying needlework when I was about 6 years old. It was a kid’s needlepoint kit with a picture of a big red ladybird printed on plastic canvas and colourful wools to stitch with. Little did I know I’d eventually make a business out of stitching.
How did you find your creative side?
My hands usually want to get busy when I feel stifled. In my twenties I got into dressmaking as an antidote to my suited-and-booted corporate job. Later, I founded Floss & Mischief when I reached a frustrating career crossroad. Being crafty feeds my soul when I need it most.
What has been your favourite ever make? Whether that be for your business or pleasure – tell us about it.
The piece I still go ‘wow’ about wasn’t even my embroidery project, it was embroiderer JessicaAldred’s! But I was lucky enough to help stitch it. It was an epic 1.5m tall wall hanging designed by The Partners, which we hand-embroidered and appliqued to show Fine Cell Work’s brandguidelines. As a charity that teaches needlework skills to prison inmates for their financial and emotional benefit, its concept was beautifully apt.
It took over 300 hours and a small team of prisoners and volunteers, led by Jessica, to complete the stitching. I loved how we sat round the stretched fabric to stitch together. The wall hanging went on to win several awards and I got some lifelong friends out of it too. That’s the power of needlework!
What are your favourite ways to stay inspired?
I don’t look for inspiration, full stop! The more I stress about needing an idea, the more uninspired I become. Instead I choose to not even think about it. I find that if you just go about your business and keep yourself busy, inspiration eventually strikes.
Who are your favourite Designer/Makers right now?
I absolutely love what jewellers Oh My Clumsy Heart are doing right now, from their whole aesthetic to their stylish subscription box. The Alena necklace is top of my wishlist.
The first stand I always want to go visit at craft markets is another jeweller, I Am Acrylic because they bring it! They’re super creative with their event displays, so it’s always a joy to discover what they’ve done each time.
Also, I can’t stop staring at Cayce Zavaglia’s embroidered portraits. They’re so absolutely incredible, you’d think they were oil paintings, not made with humble needle and thread.
I could go on, but we’d be here all day. There are simply too many great makers out there!
What crafty item is top of your wishlist?
Ernest Wright & Son scissors. As one of the last companies in Sheffield to make scissors by hand, and a family firm to boot, they embody British heritage, craftsmanship and integrity. Their scissors are so beautifully made, they come with a lifetime guarantee! This little video of their Putter, the putter-togetherer of scissors, is utterly charming. Who knew everyday scissors could hold such beauty?!
What do you like to do when you’re not working?
Definitely not DIY. After relocating to the countryside over two years ago, and doing DIY around the house pretty much every weekend since, I’ve had enough of it!
Tell us a bit about what you have coming up? any little projects you want to tell us about.
We’re super busy creating new Floss & Mischief stitching products, cross-stitch patterns and DIY kits. I’m so excited about them but can’t tell you anything more just yet (that’s annoying isn’t it)! You’ll have to stay tuned to our Twitter, Instagram or Facebook feeds for behind-the-scenes previews.
Facebook: Floss & Mischief
We actually came across Floss & Mischief when we were at the Knitting and Stitching show, the lovely Mr X Stitch introduced her to us!
Which one would you choose to make first?
H & Sammy
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