21 Nov

#shoutoutrevolution – Lizzie Skinner

Who are you and what do you do? 
I’m Lizzie, I paint watercolour pop culture portraits, bold mixed media posters and I hand sew dolls and figures, usually in felt. Also pretty good at existential crisis.

When did you begin making your incredible art?
I’ve always been a creator, I was actually more prolific as a child (although I can’t speak to the quality of that work) and my family really encouraged my creative streak so I was lucky enough to try lots of difference mediums early on. I settled into watercolours during college, I really enjoy the flexibility of their use for different colour payoff and effect, and the easy way they glide into paper. I’ve also been sewing since I was a teenager, I used to put pockets in all my dresses and became quite proficient at taking clothes in due to a long fascination of vintage aged antique clothes. I started making small felt mice in Victorian dresses a few years ago, and then making the dolls and creatures just sort of followed from there…

What inspired you to create your form of art? 
I like things that are tactile but also give quick results- I’ve got a really busy mind and get bored or distracted easily so I’ve learnt through the years that I’m more likely to finish things if I can see progress on it. That’s what I love about the little figures and the embroidered dolls, and I suppose it’s what I fell in love with about watercolours and ink. I take inspiration for the subjects from all over the place, at the moment I’m enjoying doing tiny pop culture portraits inspired by religious iconography, but it really depends on what I’m doing and what I’m into at the time! I do better when I’ve got a commission from someone as it gives me a focus so I’m more likely to run with it to try and make something that’s going to be loved. I don’t think I’ve settled into an art form or a style that’s fully ‘me’ yet, but I’ve always been an experimenter so maybe I never will!

What is your one essential tool that you cannot live without (for your art)?  
Probably the internet! It’s so so vital for references, especially taking on the icon dolls I make. I’m making a Syd Barrett doll at the moment for someone who adores him so being able to find lots of pictures and information is critical to my process.

Where can I find you on the web?
I’m on instagram @fannyspangles
My Etsy shop is FURYmoonriver

What do you like to do when you are not creating?
I’m a great lover of film so I love to get stuck into a picture or a series, I also love video games and reading and get very drawn in (read: obsessed) luckily my SO is the same and our dog is patient and independent so neither of them mind!

Have you got any pets?
Currently one gorgeous dog Maya, I’ve only had her a month but I can’t imagine her not being here! She’s a rescue and she has some anxiety (like me) and trust issues from previous trauma that we’re working on together, she’s also going through her moody teenage phase so she can be a right little madam (also like me) but she’s so sweet and hilarious and genuinely brings me so much joy, I’m hoping that as we build our relationship we’ll both be much happier, more confident individuals.

What is your favourite art book? (or, what are you reading at the moment, your choice)
I subscribe to this incredible film magazine called Little White Lies, and every issue is beautifully illustrated so they’re very inspiring and just generally pleasing. I love reading but I’ve either got 3 books on the go or I’ve got a stack of 10 that I mean to read but don’t get around to, there’s no in between.

04 Nov

#shoutoutrevolution – Just Sew Helen

Who are you and what do you do? 
I’m Helen & by day I’m a midwife working with high risk pregnancies. I have a small textile art business ranging from dressmaking to embroidery and fabric ornaments.

When did you begin embroidering? 
I have been sewing all of my life, well as long as I can remember, as Mom taught me as a little girl.  She worked from home as a dress maker in the 1970’s and I made little dresses for my dolls and teddies whilst she took in orders.  Over the years, I have undertaken many different projects and returned to needlework & embroidery in 2015 when I started creating remembrance pictures.

What inspired you to create your beautiful pictures and keepsakes?
Sadly, after a very short illness in 2015, my mom died from Ovarian Cancer (OC) and I wanted to use the skills Mom taught me to raise money for an OC charity.  At the same time, two friends also lost their Moms to cancer and I created each of them a picture in memory of their Mom using applique and embroidery.  Over time I researched the handmade market and joined Etsy and finally created my own website and launched my small business in 2016.  My most popular items are Angel Baby Remembrance pictures and I’ve been privileged to create some very personal keepsakes.

What is your one essential tool that you cannot live without (for your art)?
As with any craft, many tools are required to complete a job – some vital and some just to help overall process.  However, I think my most essential tool would have to be my sewing machine as many of my items involve additional construction rather than just decorative hand embroidery.

Where can I find you on the web? 
I can be found in lots of places and would love you to come and say ‘hi’ –

justsewhelen.com
twitter.com/justsewhelen
instagram.com/justsewhelen
facebook.com/justsewhelen
justsewhelen.etsy.com
pinterest.com/JustSewHelen

What do you like to do when you are not creating? 
I procrastinate very well and can get lost on the laptop on Pinterest etc but I’m usually researching projects or techniques and so actually spend a lot of time creating in one way or another.

Our family is expanding, now with 5 grandchildren, elderly parents and our two boys at home are still at school, so spare time is precious.  We enjoy spending time as a family at our holiday home in Wales  – such a beautiful country and I can sit and embroider to my heart’s content.

Have you got any pets? 
We have two 15 year old ginger cats,  a boy Tigger and a girl Winnie.  Tigger is showing his age and is slowing down but is perfectly content to plonk himself on top of me and my laptop. His sister is a bit more particular often enjoying her own company.

What is your favourite art book?
My go to craft book is The Embroidery Stitch Bible by Betty Barnden and although I research a lot online nothing beats being able to flick through pages for inspiration. I also have a nice collection of vintage sewing & embroidery books that I inherited from my mom and I love flicking through and reminiscing my childhood and memories of Mom using these books for her crafts.

08 Oct

Custom Dr Martens

As we stroll into the soft sun of Autumn and feast our eyes upon the rich russets and golden browns of the falling leaves, we may not want to be wearing our lovely customised Converse, or custom Toms any more.

Now is the time to get your Doc Martens out again and be able to happily skip through the mud and puddles (and snow?) without worrying about getting soggy socks.

Maybe you’re getting bored of your monotone black DM’s? Maybe you want your footwear to be as bright and as colourful as your soul? As beautiful as you are?

You know what to do.  I’m here if you need me.

Custom Dr Martens. Hand painted with Angelus. No, the paint won’t wash off.