The 'Original' Creative Crafting Magazine written by Crafters, for Crafters

Creative Crafting magazine began in August/September 2009, when a group of crafting friends on the Creative Connections network decided that it would be a good idea to raise awareness of the crafting community. From this point they started work and the first issue of Creative Crafting was published in October 2009 and the last was June 2014.
Now we are bringing you everything crafty from the home and beyond.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Interview : Beadwork and Coe.

Tell us about yourself

Well, I am in my mid thirties *cough* and a stay at home mum of two - my son is 6 and my daughter is 4.
I was born and grew up in Germany with a little sister that is 14 years younger than me. All women in my family are very crafty and love DIY. My grandmother knitted, crocheted, painted and wallpapered amongst other things and my mother's ambition was to become a mechanic. She didn't make it as it was just not the thing to do for a young woman in that time, but times change and I actually trained as a Vehicle Electrician. After completing my apprenticeship I went to university for a degree as Technical Author and worked for Volkswagen and Bosch. Still in Germany I met my husband who served there with the army and as we moved around from posting to posting our little family grew. After my son was born I was a bit lost at what to do with the time I had at hand and went into a craft shop, hoping to find something interesting to do. They had seed beads and some free instructions to make a bead woven necklace. People that know me can confirm that I usually jump right in with both feet and my way of thinking is "How hard can it be?", so I took the instruction leaflet and bought the needed beads ... In 2011 my husbands time in Germany ended and we relocated to the Midlands where he is originally from. To give the children and us enough time to settle in I decided to stay at home and because my beading skills had developed quite nicely I got registered as self employed and opened my Etsy shop
So here I am now.

Your work looks very intricate, does it take a long time to create?The time varies a lot really. Of course it depends on the size of the piece and the detail, but especially the unique designs can be very time consuming. When I start I have a picture in my head of how I want it to look finished and then it usually develops a life of it's own. Sometimes a new piece is nearly finished and I decide “ That other bead colour would have been much better there!”. At that point I'll take it all apart again. It's a luxury I take for myself to not care too much about the making time and if I consider it necessary to get a
more satisfying result I will start over again.
What is it that you enjoy about your work?
I find it very relaxing, almost meditative and I forget everything around me. Sometimes my husband will touch my shoulder after the fifth attempt to talk to me and I jump. Also I am absolutely hooked on the endless possibilities of beads. With the same beads and the same thread I can either make a really romantic design with lots of flowers and fringe or they can become a minimalistic geometric shape – which is definitely more my style. The choice in colours of beads available is another thing that keeps amazing me. Just a change of
colours can make such a difference to the overall feel of a piece. You see, there are so many reasons to love and enjoy what I do ...

What is your biggest crafting achievement and why?
I don't think I have a specific achievement. In general it makes me feel really good when I try something new and after a lot of effort and work it turns out well. I made this dinosaur costume for my son a few years back. To see his face when he went into school with it and the pride in his voice when he said his mum made it was just THE BEST. Or my first venture into sugar craft because he had to have a Nemo cake for his birthday and I thought “How hard can it be?” It wasn't quite what he expected in the end, but he loved it anyway. I learned that spending the money to buy a cake is probably the much easier option, but
the experience still was priceless :)
Other than crafting what else do you like to do?
I do enjoy a good book, the thicker the better. That does not mean I don't read thin books, I just really enjoy the elaborate descriptions and details which you usually just get in the thick books. At the moment I am working my way through the “Outlander” series by Diana Gabaldon again or another one worth reading is the Avalon series by Marion Zimmer My husband is a Scout leader and a keen hiker and geocacher, so we do spend a good amount of time outdoors, either hiking or now that the kids are a bit older on the bikes.
If you had to choose a favourite from your creations which one would it be?
Ohhh, I hate this question. It is like asking which one of my children I love the most – impossible to answer. If you insist though, I think the one I am working on is kind of my favourite at the time, because until it is finished every piece is so full of possibilities and it is almost a shame to do the last stitch. Then it has the final form and is done with – closure is not always a good thing.

What advice would you give to someone starting out in the craft world?
Think it through thoroughly, what you want to sell, where you want to sell, how much competition there is, what you can charge, what you need to charge and of course all the legal stuff. Then decide whether you want to do it as a hobby to just cover cost or as a business to make a profit. Both is perfectly fine, but stick to your plan. Stepping up and turning that hobby-business into a professional business can be tricky and a lot of work without return can be frustrating - even if you start like that intentionally.

If you could change one thing about what you do, what would it be?
I wish my hands could bead faster – lol So many beads and so many ideas, but so little time.
What do you think has helped your buisness the most?
Even though I still find it difficult, networking is key. May it be in the Etsy- teams, following others on facebook etc. or reading good business tips on blogs. I intentionally don't mention any names (I'm aware that most people hope to discover the holy grail in posts like this), because I believe you have to find the ones that suit you yourself. I have followed and unfollowed many pages/people/blogs since I started and some of them are quite popular amongst other crafters. First, my time is too valuable to spend it reading every rubbish people write and sometimes even a good tip or approach that works for someone else might just not be how I want to handle my business. So I only have a few that I “connect” with and really enjoy – that makes the networking much easier too :)
Where do you get your inspiration for your work?
Everywhere! My husband took our old computer apart before scrapping it and it had some really interesting parts. I didn't know what to do with them straight away, but as I liked them somehow they went in my box with odd bits and bobs. That box is usually my place of inspiration and I dug those pieces out again when I started experimenting with bead- embroidery. So I put them on center stage and then let the creative juices
flow to find an appropriate setting.
Tell us a random fact about yourself
I cant whistle for my life! Many people have tried to teach me, but it just doesn't work

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