Looking for an unique present or a new piece of art for the home? Alex Hughes aka Stitch City is having a 20% off sale on all embroidery in her Etsy store. Alex's collection is full of one of a kind beautiful bespoke pieces so this is your chance to own something really special. The sale will run until the 27th of May.
I caught up with Alex to find out when she started working with embroidery.
When did your love of embroidery start? Who inspired you?
I started embroidery in 2007 during my foundation Art & Design course. I knew I wanted to study illustration but I was never strong at drawing, and I was never really a fan of working digitally. I did a couple of small embroidery projects and they got good feedback, and so I went on from there. It was only later on in university that it became a proper obsession! I remember reading the books Illustration Play and The New Artisans at about this time and found the artists featured really inspiring, it helped me realise what is possible!
What has been your hardest project to date?
Some of my London Map wall hangings which are currently on sale, were complicated because of the scale of them and level of detail. They required a lot of patience to design as well as finish. Some of my custom pieces that I have made for people have also been really difficult to figure out, especially if the customer wants a lot of features and illustrations added, or large amounts of type. It can be really challenging to figure out how to fit everything in. But all the more rewarding when the work is done!
What has been your favourite?
I really loved making the "Wales - Natural Forms" map, which you can now get as a cushion or a wall hanging in the shop. I love how that one turned out. It may be the only piece of work I've made which I don't wish I could go back and make better!
Do you have any favourite stitch artists?
Tilleke Schwartz was a huge early inspiration for me, even though her work is totally different to mine, I really liked the visual diary style of it, and the use of lots of random type.
I follow a bunch of talented embroidery/textile folks on instagram; Tessa Perlow, Sarah K Benning, Lora Avedian, there are probably LOADS more, I am a fan of anyone who stitches! I highly recommend the "Mr X Stitch" instagram account for daily inspirations!
To browse the Stitch City collection, visit Alex's Etsy shop. Find out more about Alex and see further examples of her work on her directory page.
It is indicative of the high standard of stalls at Little Otter Markets that many of our makers are also exhibiting their work at the renowned exhibition of contemporary craft Made by Hand held in City Hall, Cardiff this coming weekend - including poet and print maker Francesca Kay.
I love seeing Francesca Kay at our events. She has a fabulous personality and is such a lovely fun person to chat to. Her range consists of poems in seed packets and on postcards, lots of words made into letterpress prints, handmade books and badges - in fact, everything to do with the joy of words and ideas.
I asked Francesca to tell us how she spends her Christmas...
Come and meet Francesca Kay at Penarth's Handmade Market on Sunday 18th November 2018, 11-4pm in the Paget Rooms, Penarth.
This year's Penarth's Handmade Market on Sunday 18th November promises to be a Christmas cracker of an event with ten makers joining us for the very first time at Little Otter Markets.
From jewellery to ceramics, homewares to accessories, these makers will be showcasing some amazing work and if you are struggling to find presents for those hard to buy for relatives, come along in November.
I don't know about you but I love to get out of storage all of my scarves once the cold weather arrives, and there is always room for one more in my collection. So I am very excited to welcome on board Karen Vosmer aka the Artisan Scarf Lady. I asked Karen to tell us a little bit about herself and her work....over to Karen.
"My name is Karen Vosmer, and I am a Textile Artist living in Wales. I dye and felt, quality one-off scarves, accessories and other products using fine merino wool and silks. I love to “play with colour” and describe creating a felt scarf as “painting with wool”. "
"My current work for Christmas - inline with current fashion trends - includes wool felt neck collars in warm purples, mustard, teal and reds. I am also making silk roses and wool felt brooches.
How do you spend Christmas?
Relaxing with family, and playing games with my Son and Mum :)
Any worst Christmas "pressies"?
I won two prizes in last year's Christmas Raffle - A £5 voucher for the local Butcher - I am Vegetarian; and a gift box of beauty products - I only use natural skin Products!
What is your favourite Christmas song?
Band Aid - "Do they know it's Christmas"
Come and meet Karen at Penarth's Handmade Market on Sunday 18th November, 11-4pm in the Paget Rooms, Penarth. For more information on the event, visit our PHM page.
I've been a big fan of the work of Nicky Barter of The Catkin Boutique ever since she joined us for the first ever Rhiwbina's Handmade Market way back in 2013.
Nicky designs and makes jewellery and prints from original animal illustrations. She loves to make items that are cute, quirky and that have a sense of fun. She designs and makes jewellery, totes and scarves from original illustrations, taking her inspiration from nature especially animals.
I asked Nicky how she spends Christmas and what she is looking forward to this festive season...
Nicky will be joining us at both our Christmas events this November:
Penarth's Handmade Market on Sunday 18th November at the Paget Rooms, Penarth and
Rhiwbina's Handmade Market on Sunday 25th November in the Memorial Hall, Rhiwbina.
Both events are open 11-4pm, £1.50 entry fee adults, kids free entry.
April Liddell. Founder of Little Otter Markets. Lives a crafty life. Loves going for walks with her dog Betsi, listening to music, and eating chelsea buns.