Monday, November 23, 2015

Monday Maker - Jemima from the label Pure Cute

Hello Jemima and welcome to BrisStyle! We'd love to know a bit more about you and your label 'Pure Cute'.

Were you creative as a child?

I was an unruly child. "Wild" they said. But not in a good way.

How would you describe your work?

I create beautiful clothes for precious little people to wear. My designs are more like those I'd create for Mums, only scaled down for their daughters.

I felt that most kid's clothes available were too 'practical' and unattractive.

The kind of clothes I make are the sort I'd like to remember my children wearing as they dream, play and explore.

Adventures were not made in a Department Store.

And how has your work grown since you started Jemima?

My early designs were unique but not very wearable. Over time, my work has become more tailored and intuitive. Lines are cleaner allowing little bodies to move with more freedom.

I don't pay much attention to 'trends' but rather trust in my own integrity of what I am making, and I am more confident in what I like. I focus on creating pieces that our babes adore wearing.

How did you start selling on Etsy?

I opened my Etsy shop because I wasn't afraid to fail.  Even with early clients, the layout of the etsy market space and the selling process had me longing to build my own website for my label. I knew I'd be able to really own and make that space mine. And the investment would keep me focused on making it work!

What inspires you?

Pastels! I'm unashamed of pastels. And anything metallic or sparkling. Reckless bravery inspires me as well as challenges and beginnings. ( I find that tying up loose ends is my Achilles heel ) I'm also inspired by what others create from their imagination and experiences.

Do you manage to reduce, reuse or recycle as part of your creative process?

Yes, I use recycled fabric and remnants where I can, for drafting and refining designs - it also helps me to learn about textiles that I haven't worked with before. Running a small home-grown design studio forces you to make your materials go as far as they can!

Can you describe your workspace for us?

A glorious tiny wedge of our apartment with one hour of gorgeous golden afternoon light. - on sunny days.  The rest of the time it's a maze of of Ikea clothes racks, perilously piled fabric and half finished projects laid out carefully in order.

Woe befalls the fool who moves anything without telling me!

Do you have a favourite thing to make?

I love finishing rolled hems on Flamenco dresses and fiddling with the oven temperature when I'm baking beads. I feel like a chemist.

How did your business name "Pure Cute" come about?

I was joking with my husband about what to call a baby modelling agency. "Pure Cute" popped out of my mouth. He laughed his head off and then started talking seriously about it. He wouldn't drop it. Wrong business idea but great name.

I had wanted to start my own children's label for years .... and when I found the courage to dive into it,  I pinched "Pure Cute" and here we are!

Yes, that is a great name Jemima! So where do you see your creative journey taking you in the next 12 months?

I want to know what people dream about dressing their little babes in. I know what I like, but it's not just about that! Design is a collaboration.

What's your top tip to others wanting to break into the handmade market?

Never give up! Plan things....and do them. Keep going.

Describe your typical creative day?

Stolen bursts of time madly churning out work.....Sprinkled in-between with playing, walking, screaming and dancing with my little girl. I hop in between different hands on projects but save all the admin/marketing and writing for after bedtime.

Plus, there is a brand new newborn on board now too, so imagine extreme multitasking!

Do you have a favourite quote?

           "But what if I fall?
           Oh, but my darling...
           What if you fly?"

Do have a favourite program you like to watch or listen to while creating?

Re-runs of 'Sex in the City' - I know them by heart, so it doesn't distract me. It makes me feel like I'm still part of it - even with two babes at my feet.

What is your favourite handmade item you have ever bought?

A stunning handcrafted copper ring by Curiously Obsessed - it arrived as a gift from the designer Emma McKimmie two days before our beautiful babe Goldie was born.  I look at it every morning and remember that.

Where can we find you online?

How long have you been a member of BrisStyle?

I joined in August 2015 after reminding myself to do so, a million times earlier in the year.

How did you find out about BrisStyle?

I saw BrisStyle in several places.  On etsy, Facebook and just googling when researching where I'd like to try selling at markets.  I kept saying " Oh I have to get involved in that".  So I did!

Why did you become a member?

Like many creatives, I'm a bit of a 'quiet extrovert' 'outgoing introvert' and I don't always put myself out there in everyday life.  I wanted a place to connect with other local makers that wasn't competitive.

Seeing what others are creating is inspiring and drives me to 'pull my finger out' so to speak.  So I actually create all the things in my head instead of just dreaming about them.

Finally, Why do you craft Jemima?

Because a day where I don't make damn boring!
I want something to colour each day.

I want to paint a story with the things I make and do.

Thank you so much for sharing your creative words of wisdom with us Jemima, it's been very encouraging and inspiring.  ~ anita

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Monday Maker : Bernadette from Two Roads Studio

Hello Bernadette and thanks for taking the time to participate in this week's Monday Maker's interview.

So first up, were you creative as a child?

Yes I was always interested in arts and crafts as a child, with my earliest two memories being making a timber rake with wood and nails at kindergarten and sitting with my grandmother while she attempted to teach me to knit. 

And do you come from a creative family?

My mother has sewed all my life and is creative - she has her own vintage caravan full of interesting vintage wares.  
My love of textiles and sewing is definitely from my mother, but I didn't take an active interest in sewing until I started work at 21 and needed some new clothes!  

Jewellery making came much later in my early thirties, when I was subconsciously looking for an activity to do to manage the stress of my corporate day job.  I loved that jewellery has no rules about how it is created.  

How would you describe your work?

I create unique 'one off' found object jewellery that uses a range of techniques, tools and mediums.  Typically I incorporate vintage and modern items together, as it adds an interesting dimension to the piece.  
I particularly like to juxtapose items, as they add an element of intrigue and innovation and result in pieces that attract attention.

You could say that my pieces are for those who like to be different and are not afraid to wear jewellery that becomes a talking piece with complete strangers! 

Importantly I only create a jewellery piece once.  That means the overall designs are unique and the components used are unique.  For me, the constant changes in design are stimulating and keep my creativity.  I can never imagine creating designs that are repeatedly 'punched out'.  It's the story that I weave with the jewellery that is important to me and those who wear my creations.

How has your work evolved since you started?

My work was originally very simple and traditional, using beading techniques with new materials predominately.  
I have evolved from this to more complex pieces using a great variety of found objects that are not usually seen in jewellery.  You could say that I have become more fearless in creating, with a more diverse, edgy range of items in my collection.

How did you start selling online?
At first I created a website using Wordpress which I found quite frustrating!  I then moved my website to wix services and have an online shop at, as well as a small collection on Etsy.

Who or what inspires you?
I love Pinterest and collecting ideas - mostly sources of inspiration I use when I am feeling blocked or looking to develop a new skill.  If I am learning a new technique such as etching on metal,  I research on the internet to learn the basic techniques and read all I can about how that technique is completed.  

Thank goodness for YouTube!  

As for artists, I love Nina Bagley, Stephanie Lee, Diana Frey and the French Circus.  These artists inspire me with the detail, innovation and general love they put into each unique piece.

How do you reduce, reuse, recycle as part of your creative process? 

Nearly all components of my jewelry are re-cycled or up-cycled.  I have been collected (some would say hoarding!) a lot of materials particularly in the last five years.  Many of my jewellery components have been in my collection for more than 20 years :)

Can you describe your studio for us?

I am fortunate enough to have a dedicated Studio space which is 6m x 5m. And I have managed to fill every wall space with large bookshelves (got to love IKEA!!), desks and re-cycled furniture from family members.  
In the centre of the Studio is a large custom made cutting table on wheels, which is for pattern cutting/drafting.  It has two sides which can be raised and lowered, based on the needs.  

As I have high ceilings in the Studio, I have a large collection of retro hand stitched art works and paintings on the walls.  Despite a vaguely aqua, pink and white theme, nothing in the Studio matches terribly well.  It is reflection of the creative part of my world and essentially contains things I love.

It is filled with 'essentials' such as vintage Mason Jars, retro clocks, retro china collection, glass paper weights, tools, fabrics, jewellery supplies, imac and fairy lights.   

I do admit to have a moderate obsession with fairy lights.  These are all over my Studio, across the high ceiling and at every window.  Somehow fairy lights make the space feel magical.....  

Do you have a favourite thing to make?

My favourite thing to create is vintage jewelry assemblage.  This is my favourite activity because of the interesting pieces that I find and put together.  I marvel at their stories and think about the people who may have owned and worn the pieces previously.  Some of the older found objects I have are sometimes damaged.  This doesn't make me sad as I give them new life through a new piece that reflects my own story.

How did your business name come about?

Two Roads Studio was named in honour of  the American poet Robert Frost's most famous poem 'The Road Not Taken'.  I have had a passion for Robert Frost's poetry since high school, so much so, I took a dedicated trip to travel around all Robert Frost's many farms in New Hampshire, USA in 2003.  My website tells the story in more detail.....

Where do you see your creative journey taking you in the next 12 months?

Interesting question - I would like to get more into silversmithing, since I have taken some basic classes at the Brisbane Institute of Art and loved it!  Just finding the time to dedicate to learning this interesting medium.

What’s your top tip to others wanting to break into the handmade/creative market?

Have confidence in yourself, get out at markets, network, talk to customers and of course in all things have fun!

Describe your typical creative day?

During the week I am a full time professional and part time mother, wife and student.  I typically have to crunch my creative time in on the weekends and find myself working typically in the evening when all of household or family commitments are completed.  

I usually have an idea in mind what I want to create when I go into the Studio.  It may be a new design or a new medium or technique I want to explore.   I tend to be quite implusive, so as a result I have explored many crafts and mediums over the years.  However, when I don't have an idea, I  might tidy up my messy Studio and find something interesting I had forgotten I had.  This can result in a new interesting piece being born.

Do you have a Favourite quote?
"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -
  I took the one less traveled by,
  And that has made all the difference." ( Robert Frost )

Do you prefer to listen to music while creating or watching a movie?

I generally listen to books on CD while I am creating so I can get two things done at once!
If I don't have a good mystery or historical Roman novel to listen to, I admit to listening to movies or TV series in my iPad, rather than watching them.

Do you have a favourite handmade item that you have bought?

I love all handmade and have a lot of interesting creations in my collection but my favourite recent purchase was a bag created by Wimcee that I re-made into a skirt. The fabrics were so pretty and crazy coloured I just had to wear it.

Where can we find you online?
Currently just through my own website at but I would really welcome some retail outlets in the future.

How long have you been a BrisStyle member and what made you become a member?

I joined BrisStyle this year after deciding to re-invigorate my handcraft work.
And I found out about brisstyle through Google while looking for great markets in Brisbane.
Then I joined so I could learn from others and to find like minded people, who just love to create.
It's so refreshing to spend time with people who are passionate about handmade and creativity.

Why do you craft Bernadette?

I originally crafted to keep balance in my life. Like so many others, I have a lot of different roles and responsibilities in my life.
Crafting was and still is my escape. My time to create things.
I love it when people buy  and I can tell them the story of the piece.
They are often touched by the inspiration and take this with them into their lives.  

It's really about sharing my passion with others and sharing some joy.  We create unique pieces that carry their prior histories as found objects and are lovingly imbued with our stories during their creation.

We would like people who wear our pieces to create their own special stories, incorporating the love and joy we felt in the creation process into their lives.

Our dream is that wearers of Two Roads creations feel special, encouraging them to pursue their many roads in life with love, hope and courage.

Thanks so much Bernadette, it was a pleasure to chat with you

Anita x

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Monday Maker : Millie from the label Miss Emilie in BlackLace

Hi Millie and welcome to Brisstyle. Can you tell us a bit more about yourself and your label Miss Emilie in Black Lace.

Something we ask everyone is, were you creative as a child?

I come from a family of crafters.  Actually my maternal great grandfather made jewellery using gemstones and both my grandmothers sewed clothes for me as well as making teddy bears and lace.
My mother sewed and made copper plaque art.
My world was making. There was always someone making something by hand from scratch.

How would you describe your work?

I don't believe in fashion but I DO believe in Style.
Style is about pulling your outfit together with complimenting accessories.

I LOVE making accessories!

Anatomy Resin Brooch

How has your work evolved since you started?

I started with some things that weren't completely handmade which progressed to making hair flowers.
Now I am working with brooches and earrings. I know slowly over the past year I have 'found myself' as a crafter. I now know what works and what doesn't. 
And I am making items that I enjoy on a personal level rather than just at a customer level.
This seems to work.
I think being passionate about what you do, forces you to grow and change.

How did you start selling on etsy?

I discovered etsy when searching for jewellery findings then I started selling a few things on there myself.
I tried to work around the postage prices to make reasonable prices.
I have found that other social media also helps.

Who or what inspires you?

I guess I have always been a fairly solitary person. I don't take inspiration from anyone specifically or anything.
I just try to do my best with the things I find.
I think it's my visual language skills that just see something and want to turn it into something else.
I see creative potential everywhere.

Recycled Jar Tea Light Lantern

Do you reduce, reuse or recycle as part of your creative process?

I make tea light lanterns from recycled glass jars.
Over the years I have tried to be more eco-friendly but sometimes feel it's a compromise to my vision.
Although recently I have been inspired to keep trying after my involvement in the Green Heart Fair. 
I recently made a trip to Reverse Garbage for supplies so here's hoping it all goes to plan.

My Studio

Can you describe your studio or workspace for us?

My work space is so complex. ( joke ) It's an IKEA side table in front of a couch! Basically I tend to craft in the living room in front of the TV watching a movie. I also have an enclosed patio area for the 'smellier' parts of my process. It's here that I try to reuse as much as I can.

Do you have a favourite thing to make?

Yes, I love making my Tea Light Lanterns. It's a long and involved process, but the end product is just lovely. So I feel it's all worth it.

How did you come up with your business name, 'Miss Emilie in Black Lace'?
My business name came from a vintage book my best friend, Sheryl gave me for my birthday ten years ago. It was Miss Emily Black Lace. I loved the story and how determined Miss Emily was to be herself. It resonated with me and here we are.

Where do you see your creative journey taking you in the next 12 months?As a kid, I hated these kind of questions, and as an adult, I still do. I'm never sure where It will all go, but I'd like to think that I'd be doing bigger and better things. I'd like to find something that I adore and don't want to change from. I currently swap so often because I get bored.  I'd really like to find something that challenges me and that I love so much I don't want to swap. What's your top tip to others wanting to break into the handmade/creative market? To broaden your horizons. I thought I had an idea of who my target audience was until I joined Brisstyle. Now I realise that my target audience can be anyone and everyone. I was so grateful for doing different markets and learning more about my work and what others felt. So now I suggest you try everything and always take something away as a lesson. Crafting is a huge learning process!
Embrace the good with the bad.

Anatomy Resin Brooch

Can you describe to us your typical creative day?

The mood just sort of takes me. I grab everything and make a space in my lounge room. I always have some noise on, it helps me concentrate on what I am doing. I just do it.
Sometimes I can be really proud of something or very excited over something I make, so I will post a 'sneak peek' on social media.
I am passionate about what I do and I think sometimes I get quite taken with doing it and my poor man has a late dinner or walks in on my 'craft tornado'.
Luckily he doesn't mind too much.

Which do you prefer while crafting away, music of movies?

I love music, but I find I get distracted by singing along so I prefer to watch movies. Movies mean I can hear and look up occasionally, but I find I concentrate better.
Luckily I have a terrible memory and don't mind watching some of them heaps of times.

What is your favourite handmade item that you have bought?

It's a felted eyeball from Winnifred's Daughter. I bought it at the Green Heart Fair last year. It's so me.
I love anatomy and I had to have it.

Where can we find you online?

How long have you been a member of BrisStyle?

I joined in April this year. I'd tried other markets but didn't feel that I'd had much success.

BrisStyle is more than a market, it's a community.

How did you find out about BrisStyle?

A friend of mine posted on social media about going to BrisStyle events and then another friend became a member. She talked about it and I realised I needed to just take the leap and become a member.

I'm so glad I did.

Were there any other reasons you took the leap and joined BrisStyle?

I needed to take my business to the next level. I wanted to get 'my brand out there' and into the world.

I wanted to succeed. I don't know if I'm there yet but BrisStyle has helped me get a lot closer.

Do you mind if I ask 'why you craft?' 

To me, it's therapy. I needed a way to keep busy, to feel better and to distract myself from my worries after a serious incident in December 2013 which put me in hospital.

I have always been crafty but in January 2014 I really went into overdrive.
I found it helped me manage pain, loss and anger.
It made me feel whole again.
I coped with everything in life better by having a simple output to get me through.
Crafting has helped me remain sane and intact.
It's a passion I never want to lose.

Thanks so much for chatting to us today Millie, we wish you all the very best on your crafty journey.

Anita x

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Monday Maker - Lana Le from kidcandoodle

Lana Le believes every kidcandoodle ... Let's find out why.

Were you creative as a child?
Creativity wasn't nurtured in my family, but I'm told that my grandfather (who passed before I was born) was an architect, and my aunt is a talented seamstress and cook.

I learnt to draw in primary school watching a video every week called "Let's Draw" by drawing things such as bunnies and buildings. Art came easily to me and I have a penchant for making things look good.

How would you describe your work?
"Whimsical" and "pretty" are adjectives that describe my design work. 

I design and sometimes illustrate lifestyle books for Potter (Random House), Storey Publishing, and Harper Collins under the pseudonym "woolypear."

I enjoy making books so much, but work really slowed down when I moved to Australia 4 years ago, so I devised Kid Can Doodle as a way to create my own books. 

I love seeing kids' drawings, and wanted to encourage kids to contribute to, so I have periodically Gallery Show call-for-entries. I try to inspire them to draw by giving prompts (Weekly Doodle Challenge), fun doodle downloads (most recently “Holy Hairdos!”), sharing work by other great artists.

How has your work evolved since you started?
I only started last October, so I'm still trying to figure it out. Hopefully my website,, is clearer to prospective viewers. I try to make the mini magazine and kids' activities fun and silly, and hopefully creative.  

Are you selling on etsy?
I haven't yet, but with the second issue of Kid Can Doodle mini mag coming out soonish, I plan on listing them on Etsy, in addition to my website.

Who or what inspires you?
I'm inspired by nearly everything I see. I love to see what other people are doing, but often get ideas whilst driving or walking or doing dishes! 

For the “Holy Hairdos!” printable, I had seen a picture of a chicken with a mullet on twitter, and then I kept seeing pictures of Trump in the media. I thought it would be funny to have the kids draw an animal with a famous hairdo, such as a monkey with a mohawk.

Do you reduce, reuse, recycle as part of your creative process?
I print the mini mag on recycled paper, and most of the work is online.

Describe your workspace?
I have a [very messy] office at home, that gets very hot in summer because we lack air conditioning.

What is your favourite thing to make?
I love making books. And yummy food. I love to eat.

How did your business name come about?

I originally wanted to call it "Noodle Doodle" because of the rhyme and that noodle could mean your brain, but it was already very popular. Then one day, I thought of “Kid Can Doodle“ and like that it describes what its purpose is, and that it sounds like the saying "kit and kaboodle."

Where do you see your creative journey taking you in the next 12 months?
I hope to collaborate with more talented creators. For The Big Draw worldwide drawing festival, I started an online exquisite corpse with friends, “The Exquisite Story,” and each day someone else contributes another page for the story. 

For the mini mag, we're introducing a recurring comic strip that will feature a different guest artist each time. 

I am also experimenting with doing videos. I'm camera shy, so this is a bit out of my comfort zone. I'm trying Periscope because it's immediate and I don't worry too much about editing but hopefully will introduce some on the website too.

What’s your top tip to others wanting to break into the handmade/creative market?
I would say to find your own voice, find a way to inject your own personality or style into whatever you're doing. 

Describe your typical creative day?
Every morning I wake up and check my email because many of my clients are in the US, so I check to see if there's anything that needs to be answered right away. 

I spend a bit of time checking social media and posting things too. 

I start my work day after having breakfast and taking the kids to school. 

Ideally, I would spend an hour daily sketching, but often I go straight to whatever needs to be done. I try to create a new blog kid can doodle post on Mondays/Tuesdays, and create content for the website or the magazine whenever I can. If I have client work, then those deadlines take priority.

Favourite quote?
"All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up." - Pablo Picasso

What kind of Music do you like to listen to while creating?
I listen to Pandora, NPR, or watch tele on the computer whist working.

What is your favourite handmade item that you have bought?
I love Claire's ( Zillpa ) bowls, and a piece of art that was created using a typewriter that I have next to my bedside.

Where can we find you online?

How long have you been a member of BrisStyle?
This is my second year.

How did you find out about BrisStyle?
I went to Kirsten Devitt's talk at the Brisbane Square Library and she recognised that our kids go to the same primary school. I saw the brochures and wanted to meet more creative people in Brisbane, so I joined, even though I'm not selling things through the markets.

Why did you become a member?
Kirsten can be very persuasive.

Why do you craft?
I have always enjoyed making things. Sometimes I make things because I can't afford to buy them, and other times I like making things because it gives me pleasure and a sense of purpose.

Thanks so much Lana, we can’t wait to watch your journey as you continue to inspire our little people to be creative.

Anita x

Monday, October 19, 2015

Monday Maker : Kumihimo Designs experts - Lesley and Wal from Offbeat Designs

Who hasn't heard of 'French Knitting'?

Well how about French Knitting WITH BEADS! Pretty clever.

One of the trademark features that make 'offbeat designs' easily recognisable.

Let's have a chat with Lesley:
Hi Lesley, firstly would you say you were creative as a child?
No, I wasn't.

Well you certainly are creative now, how would you describe your work?
I love to create distinctive designs. We also welcome Custom jewellery as well as Repairs and Workshops.

How has your work evolved since you started?
We started off with simple techniques, which we then constantly refined and updated by studying the work of successful designers.

And by participating in workshops at the Tucson Bead and Gem show.

Kumihimo Bracelet

Do you sell online or on etsy?
Not yet, but we intend to do so.

Where does your inspiration come from?

I'm always inspired by Creative design and Innovative use of colours and materials.

Do you reduce, reuse, recycle as part of your creative process?  
Yes, we use some Vintage beads dating from the 1940’s

Describe your studio?
We enclosed our balcony to create a secure workspace totally devoted to workshops and a workroom.
One of our Workshops in progress

 Do you have a favourite thing to make?
No, I just love to make anything that appeals to my creative fancy at the time.

How did your business name come about?
It is the same name we originally used for our interior design business – before the jewellery bug got us.

Where do you see your creative journey taking you in the next 12 months?
Our redesigned website with our new product range should be up and running.

And we are also excited about our new branding. 

Do you have a top tip to others wanting to break into the handmade/creative market?
Study your craft, pick a direction, then go for it.

Describe your typical creative day?
Simply put, Chaotic !

Do you have a favourite quote?
-  “ Jewellery can change an outfit more than anything else.  TRANSFORMATION, PUNCH, 

INDIVIDUALITY - is why you should wear jewellery”. - Iris Apsel - ( Famous New York Designer )

French Knitting Beaded necklace
What is your favourite handmade item that you have bought?
An original African Feather Headdress

Where can we find you online?

How long have you been a member of BrisStyle?
About 12 months

How did you find out about brisstyle?
We did some workshops for Tracey from Side Street Vintage and Tracey recommended Brisstyle to us.

Why did you become a member?
It was an excellent fit for our business - designing and making jewellery, and teaching.

And lastly, my favourite question that I love to ask everyone, Why do you craft?
Because Design is our passion.

Thankyou Lesley and we look forward to seeing both you and Wal at a Brisstyle market soon.
Anita x