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We kick off with meeting the talent behind this beautiful cross-stitch beetle, Genevieve of Floss & Mischief
Hello Genevieve, tell us a little bit about yourself
Hi, I’m Genevieve – a coffee-guzzling, rice-pudding hating, countryside-dwelling embroiderer. I live in the Cotswolds, mostly in wellies and a parker, from where I run a modern needlework business called Floss & Mischief.
I am intrigued already! When and why did you decide to turn your creative skills into a business?
Floss & Mischief started because of an argument about taxidermy! My boyfriend wanted to fill the house with very on-trend stuffed and mounted insects, but I put my foot down as it’s just too creepy. As a peace offering I wanted to cross-stitch some beetles for him, but I couldn’t find any suitable cross-stitch patterns. So I designed my own. Four years later, Floss & Mischief still rocks the taxidermy trend and keeps putting a modern twist on needlework.
How is that for compromise? I think I agree on the actual mounted insects front. So what item are you sharing with us?
This cross-stitch beetle was one of the cross-stitch patterns I designed and stitched for my boyfriend and I, which led to starting Floss & Mischief. So it’s pretty special to me. It’s based on a scarab beetle, with jewel-like colours. I originally framed it in a box frame to look like taxidermy, but later reframed it in its painted embroidery hoop for the kit packaging photos. The Purple Beetle, as it’s now known, remains a Floss & Mischief bestseller.
I am not surprised. It is a great design and lovely colours. I can't wait to see what else you will have at your stand. So how long have you been stitching and how did you develop your skills?
I first tried needlework at the age of six, with a kid’s needlepoint kit that used plastic canvas and wool thread. As an adult I fell in love with dressmaking, but despite earning a City & Guilds, I was rubbish at it! Later on I rediscovered cross-stitch and embroidery, and found my thing. I’m self-taught, but I’ve been lucky enough to pick up some good habits from friends at the Royal School of Needlework and the Embroiderers’ Guild.
What inspires and motivates you?
Getting newbies to pick up needle and thread. I wish more people experienced needlework like I do.
What a fabulous source of inspiration. I also love encouraging people to craft. Where can we find you online?
You can visit the Floss and Mischief website, follow us on Twitter (@FlossMischief) and Instagram and you can find us on Facebook and Pinterest.
So, is this year your first at The Handmade Fair?
I visited the first ever Handmade Fair and quickly signed up to exhibit last year. For an awesome day out, get stuck in to everything you possibly can! Book in for a workshop, watch a Grand Theatre make-off, tuck in to all the food, shop all the things, seek out the photobooth, collapse at the bar! Just make sure you bring enough cash and water, plus shoes for any kind of weather.
They are great tips Genevieve. I have no idea what to expect but I am super excited! What are you most looking forward to about The Handmade Fair?
I’m really looking forward to the atmosphere. It’s the closest to a festival vibe that I’ve ever experienced at a craft show – it’s brilliant!
Oh my! Enough now, I am not sure I can wait until September. Let's talk more about you. What will visitors find at your stand (except a very happy Genevieve)?
I‘ll have all of your favourite cross-stitch kits with me including the Purple Beetle, and hopefully some new kits too, plus pretty sewing tools and my crafttoo temporary tattoos. I’m super excited to reveal that I’ll also be signing copies of my new cross-stitch pattern book! Be warned, it contains rude words!
You heard it here first guys. So where do we find you to get our books and kits?
Come see me at stand W36.
Anything good planned between now and The Handmade Fair?
Asides from launching the book and designing new cross-stitch kits, I’m determined to make a flower crown to wear at the Fair. You’re all invited to give it points out of 10, when you visit me!
Well I will be heading over for a selfie with that bad boy and that will be my first ever request for a selfie with someone. I hope you won't reject me Genevieve!
Here's a quick fire round to finish up.
Your crafting hero?
Everyone at Ernest Wright & Son for continuing to manufacture scissors by hand in Sheffield.
I have my eyes on these also!) Name three stands you will be visiting at The Handmade Fair?
Ernest Wright (I desperately want a pair of their superb scissors), Tilly & The Buttons (to buy her book so that I can sew a Megan dress), The Paper Hare (for one of her My Happy Place prints).
You're the girl in the know! Your favourite handmade item?
A wooden contraption my boyfriend made, to help me measure and cut thread more easily for kit-making.
Your favourite place?
My bed. I love my sleep!
Favourite chocolate bar?
SPOT ON! Mine too. Three things that make you happy?
Cross-stitch, needlepoint, embroidery.
Your biggest achievement?
Floss & Mischief.
Describe The Handmade Fair in 5 words or less.
Awesome craft festival with booze!
A great interview to get us started Genevieve. I am genuinely 10 x more excited for The Handmade Fair which I didn't think was actually possible. I look forward to meeting you there with your flower crown.
Well Crafty Bs, are you excited to go on a (cross-stitch) bug hunt?! Have your entered to win tickets or booked with your discount?!
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