Today, we are catching up with the supremely talented Nicole from Follow the White Bunny.
FQ: Tell us a bit about your creative journey. I wasn?t exceptionally crafty when I was a kid. I think the most creative thing I did was making dresses out of paper hankies for my stuffed animals. And I used to drive my mom crazy with all the paper cutting I did. No idea what I exactly made, but my rooms was always covered in snippets of paper.
I have always enjoyed drawing though and writing stories and making my own ?newspapers? and such. It was not until after I had moved abroad a couple of years ago and became a stay at home mum that I became interested in crafts. It actually started with an Ikea fabric that I wanted to use to make curtains.
A friend taught me the basics on how to use the sewing machine and together we made the curtains.
At the same time I got involved in Flickr and saw all the lovely crafty things there. One of those things was an embroidery by Georgia McDonald. I bought some embroidery supplies, books and just started. Not long after there was an Embroidery Design contest on Flickr and I made an (odd) entry for that of a Little Red Riding Hood figure with an evil Tree called ?Tre-evil?. I didn?t win but people seem to like my design.
Around the same time I, rather hesitantly, released my first (free) pattern on Flickr and started my Etsy
shop with (only one pattern) not much later.
FQ: When designing embroidery patterns, where do you draw your inspiration from? I draw inspiration from lots of things. Books and tales I read, art and illustrations and colours I have
seen, lyrics, history and every day things, it all potentially influences my patterns. I have a preference
for the less obvious, for bittersweet tales, vintage stuff and slightly odd things.
FQ: Which of your designs is your favourite and why? I must admit that I have a soft spot for Pindsvin, ?the brave Danish Hedgehog?. To me it?s like this image of a cute hedgehog in his teacup is a snippet of a huge adventure untold. He is probably one of my favourite characters.
Another favourite is my most recent pattern the ?Forty Winks Fox?. It?s the only embroidery I have done that is on display in my living room. I guess it?s more ?grown up? than many of my other patterns.
I also have much fun working on the ?Castle Peeps? embroideries that I?m doing as part of my collaboration with Lizzy House. It?s very inspiring to do something a little different from my normal work. I?m using different shapes and brighter colours now.
FQ: Do you have any tips for the beginner embroiderer. Start on simple patterns, learn the most basic stitches and try to build on that. When I just started, I found many answers to even the most basic questions and lots of support on Flickr. There are several groups dedicated to Embroidery with many very helpful members!
Recently there have been many ?how to?s? for the beginner embroiderer on various blogs too. I also did one for another blog and will be re-issuing it on my blog in the next month or so. Also, www.needlenthread.com has awesome embroidery video tutorials. Embroidery supplies aren?t expensive and you don?t need much to start: a hoop, fabric, some floss and the right needle and you are ready to go. But the most important thing is to enjoy the learning process and the craft itself!
FQ: Are there any new creative skills that you would like to try in the future? I like to challenge myself a little and take on different stuff from what I usually do. This summer I?m planning to learn myself how to cross-stitch and I?m pretty sure that will influence my patterns in one way or another. I also need to improve my quilting skills dramatically.
I?m getting better at putting quilt tops together but the actual quilting always fazes me. I would love to do so many other things as well, painting or print making for example, but there are only 24 hours in a day and I like to sleep a bit too.
FQ: Where do you see yourself in five years? I have no fixed plans for the future. If you would have told me 5 years ago that I would be making embroidery patterns today I would have not taken you seriously. I?m constantly trying to improve my embroidery skills and pattern making and drawing. I also like to write about crafty things so it would be great if I could do more with that. I also enjoy collaborating with others and explore the crafty world beyond embroidery so who knows what will happen?
You can also see Nicole here: