Friday 30 September 2016

Meet a Member: Beadie Eyed Edie

Who is Edie?  Edie was a cat I had the pleasure of having in my life for 18 years and the inspiration behind the business name 'Beadie Eyed Edie'.  Back in 2010 my business Beadie Eyed Edie was born as a platform to sell my art and crafts. Having moved down to Essex from the North East of England to live with my now husband, I started looking for a creative past time I could do in the restricted space of our then one bedroom apartment. With no room to get out the sewing machine or my existing large stash of textile and craft goodies (which were away in storage), I returned to my love of beading and jewellery making.  Beadie Eyed Edie was purely jewellery in the very beginning but as soon as we moved into a house I started to add my passion of textiles to the business, it is after all what I trained in and  where my true passion lies. I must admit I am a total craft addict and I want to try EVERYTHING! I may have been to art college to study textile design specializing in embroidered textiles, but a lot of what I have learned  happened long after leaving college. I continue to nurture the skills I have gained as well as constantly wanting to learn more. I believe it is a priority in business to always look for ways to progress.

  Although Felting is something I touched upon at art college I never gave too much time to it since, focusing mainly on machine embroidery. I decided to practice and experiment with needle felting and discovered it is really just a tactile version of painting. I love being able to blend and layer colours, there is really no image you can not create with felt that you could with paint. My natural tool for drawing for a long time has been the sewing machine, with most of my work done freehand (no fully drawn out  image) I move at a crazy speed when I get started! So combining felting and machine embroidery happened, at times embroidering on needle felting is a nightmare and I break a lot of needles! I think the results are worth it though.

If I am needle felting, embroidering on fabric or indulging in one of my other many crafts I am inspired by everything around me. Nature is a big inspiration for me and you can see from my work I love flowers. I wish I could say I was a gardener but really the weeds in my little garden are as much of a love as the plants we have added ourselves! I also love to felt and paint seascapes, the northeast where I am from has an amazing coastline and I use photo references I have collected over the years for ideas.
My work does not stop when I switch off the sewing machine or put down the felting, my brain never switches off from it all.  I am always taking photos of things I see, sketching, making notes, browsing photos online and I even wake up in the middle of the night thinking of new ideas. If I decide to take a little time out I just find myself doing something creative, like an up-cycling project or a bit of soap making. If I have ever thought I might call it a day on the textile art, I realize I could not if I wanted to as it is a total addiction and passion.

I think the hardest part of running a creative business is all the non creative necessities. As well as being able to come up with ideas and follow them through you need to be good at promoting yourself, managing the financial side of things, navigating your way around social media, creating a website or finding the right person to do it.....and so much more! I currently sell my work via Folksy, Facebook and direct to customers. I have sold work via shops in London, Norfolk & Newcastle and love the face to face contact with customers at craft fairs. I still get a buzz from thinking someone has my work hanging on their wall at home or are walking round wearing my jewellery!

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