Howdy-do lovely readers, with my needlecraft adventures now being brought to you once a month I’ve decided to increase your portion sizes and give you a double helping of crafty goodness in today’s ‘Exploring Etsy’. No stranger to the wonders of the natural world, even living in a bustling city like I do, over the last few months I’ve had the joy of foxes, bees, butterflies, robins and blackbirds all popping in to partake in our all you can eat garden buffet. Perhaps the most surprising encounter though, in recent months, was when a starling flew out of the side of our window frame and found itself trapped in our front room. After much panic and shrieking on my part the more grounded of our household reunited bird and sky. It seems then only fitting that first up to the pass today is a stunning collection of pieces celebrating the wonderful world of wildlife, made by the very talented Heather Everitt and found in her shop ‘Heatheremb’ aka ‘Heather Everitt Embroidery’.
An embroiderer and artist based in the beautiful landscape of North Devon, Heather is inspired by all aspects of the natural world. Studying at, and graduating from, Manchester Metropolitan University with a degree in embroidery Heather had the opportunity to develop her artistic skills whilst learning all the techniques of embroidery from world class practitioners. With a family history entwined with textiles – weavers, sheep farmers and even a court dressmaker – fibres are in her blood stream; her parents even met in a Tootal’s fabric factory. Her current ‘Papillio & Lepidoptera’ work is fuelled by a fascination with the ephemeral world of butterflies and moths. Beginning with an observational drawing, or painting, her embroideries are mostly pure silk appliqué, embellished with machine stitching and hand-beading. She’s also introduced gorgeous Liberty prints, on cotton and wool and more recently pure linen.
What is your earliest stitching memory?
My earliest stitching memory is being taught how to make French knots by my lovely Granny Mary.
What fires your imagination?
I’m inspired by nature but a piece of fabric or a collection of threads can also fuel my imagination. I get ‘itchy’ fingers and just have to make. A day without stitching is a poorer one for me.
I love the fantastic way Heather combines all the wonderful elements in her beautiful work, to create pieces that are full of depth and sing with colour and detail. Make sure to check out her shop to see more of fabulous work, maybe treat yourself to your very own flighty friend.
Next up on our crafty menu is a new venture a little closer to home. That’s right, not satisfied with the work having one shop entails I’ve partnered up with one of the best people in my universe and any other, my gorgeous sister Emma. As demonstrated pretty clearly in the image below we’ve always had a very special and close relationship and I can’t tell you how much fun it is to be starting out on a creative adventure together.
So what could this new creative enterprise possibly be I hear you say? Well without further ado I present to you ‘Totes Crafty’, stitchy colouring in on customisable tote bags. But not just any old tote bags, our specially designed limited edition totes come with a selection of four mouthwatering colours of DMC floss, a needle and a handy stitch guide full of ideas to get you started. Each quarter we’ll be launching two brand new designs with four more yummy flosses to get you started, but don’t let that stop you adding more details using things from your own craft stash. Stitch in the lines, outside the lines, on the lines, over the lines, however the mood takes you!
I wonder if you can guess who designed this one?? The overabundance of bobbins is rather a big clue. Yes, you’ve got it, it is I your very own loadofolbobbins, in all its bobbiny glory my design celebrates all things stitchy. Our next rather yummy offering was designed for us by the rather talented Martin Homent, aka my sister’s hubby and my fabulous brother-in-law, perfect to start customising snuggled up in an armchair, with a cuppa and a piece of cake at your side!
To keep up to date with our Totes Crafty adventures you can follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook where we’ll be sharing sneaky peeks and hope you’ll all join us in sharing your works in progress under #wearetotescrafty. As an extra special treat for all my lovely UK based readers we’re running a discount especially for you over the next two weeks, just click on the ‘Apply shop coupon code’ at the checkout and type TOTESXSTITCH to get your kit at our special craft fair price of £15. Apologies to all my international brethren, but as soon as we expand to sell our kits overseas I’ll make sure you get your very own special discount. Until next time my lovelies!
Jessica Taylor aka Loadofolbobbins is a Textile Artist and Illustrator based by the sea in Portsmouth. At her happiest with a needle and thread, with a passion for genealogy she often explores old photographs in her textile art. With her fingers in many creative pies she loves to experiment with new techniques, creating illustrated and stitched goodies for her new Etsy shop.