Tuesday 14 October 2014

Meet the Maker: Kim of Kim's Handmade Cave

I saw this embroidery hoop work a few weeks ago via Twitter. It could not be more apt in the midst of the impending move as I strive to get my craft stash organised! I guess we should meet the maker as lets face it, all of us crafty folk will need one of these ;-) 

Hi to you this weeks Maker! First up, tea or coffee?
Tea please! Yorkshire tea if I have a choice, nice and strong. One thing I can’t stand is a weak cup of tea, its as bad as a weak handshake! (Agreed, I also enjoy yorkshire tea!) 

Biscuit or cake?
Ooooooo that’s a tough one, with my tea I like Caramel digestives for dunking but I only get them on a special occasion. Without tea to dunk in the cake is better, preferably something with a good quantity of icing on the top.

So, tell us a bit about yourself.
I grew up on a farm right on the west/north Yorkshire border with my parents, my younger sister and a variety of animals including cats, dogs, goats, sheep, cows, guinea pigs, rabbits and ferrets, although not all at the same time. I now live in Bristol with my boyfriend and our 2 guinea pigs, Teddy bear and Fozzy Bear. My crafts are still my evening and weekends job, outside of which I spend my 9-5 day job mainly at a computer or in the lab as I’m currently in my 3rd year of a 4 year PhD in Neuroscience. Though I can often be found on my shop at lunchtime and in between experiments.

You're already winning over the readers I'm sure. Amazing! What about the item that you are sharing with us?
The item which I’m sharing today is my most recent piece of embroidery, a 10 inch hand embroidered hoop art piece which would be perfect for any crafters wall. I had the idea after seeing wall decals on etsy. I didn’t really fancy the idea of physically sticking things to the wall so thought this was a great alternative to have something unique and hand crafted to display. In this piece I have used a mixture of solid dyed and hand dyed threads, using back stitch, split stitch and French knots. The hand dyed threads are gorgeous and give a wonderful effect as the colours change which is especially stunning for flowers like the ones here.

How long have you been doing embroidery and how did you learn?
I didn’t actually start doing any embroidery until the beginning of this year. My grandma passed away at the end of last year and I always remember these gorgeous vintage embroidered table cloths that she had. I loved them but wanted to do something a bit more modern so I started off with some things for myself then started drawing my own patterns to go in my shop. I like to embroider things that people will use so I mainly focus on tablet and phone cases with a few feature cushions and wall art pieces.

When did you start and why? 
I started my shop, Kim’s handmade cave in summer 2013 after making some things for myself. Initially I started as a hobby as I enjoyed making jewellery and cushion covers for myself and soon had many things that were surplus to requirements! I soon discovered that crafting and selling on etsy is addictive and I now have 2 shops selling a wide variety of different crafts including sewing, jewellery making and hand embroidery.

What inspires and motivates you?
I mainly craft for the love of making things. I like to keep busy and do things with my hands and embroidery is a perfect hobby for that. It is expecially nice that I can share my items with other people via social media and my etsy shop.

Any crafting heroes?
I don’t have any heroes as such but I do love vintage embroidery. The time and skill that goes into some of the larger pieces you can find is extraordinary.

Do you have a crafting space?
While I would love to have a craft room I also love to be around people so my crafty space is in the living room right in everyones way! I have a desk where I have my sewing machine and computer and a packed set of shelves that are always fit to burst. If I’m doing embroidery or hand stitching I often sit on the sofa.

Any big plans for the rest of 2014?
Plans for the rest of 2014 is hopefully to get my shop well established. I still feel fairly new to etsy but I would like to hit 75 sales by the end of the year. For now my crafting is a hobby/evening job as I still have another year left on PhD but we shall see what happens after that.

So can we join you in your virtual world?
You can find my Jewellery and textiles at Kim’s handmade cave on Etsy https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/KimsHandmadeCave?ref=si_shop
You can also follow me on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest or follow me on Facebook through the following links:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/KimHandmadeCave
Instagram: http://instagram.com/kimshandmadecave
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/KHandmadeCave/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KimsHandmadecave

Finally, some quick fire questions that we are dying to know the answers to.

Favourite colour?
Purple (can you tell? Ha)

The best season?

Your favourite food?

The best day of the week?

What is the best word?
Parallelogram, No idea why, I just like the way it sounds!

Favourite place?
North Yorkshire, obviously.

Your biggest achievement?
Shared between completing my degree and my masters although they will be surpassed when I (hopefully) become Dr Kim in a year or so.

Well soon to be Dr Kim, come back again for a catch up soon. We would love to hear more about your juggling act and how its all going. I have put one of these hoops on my wish list ;-)

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