I absolutly LOVE this shop! Full of textures and colours which makes you want to buy, buy, buy! and why wouldn't you? hmsdesign, definatly the place to spend your money and you certainly wont regreate it.
Please can you tell us about yourself and your back ground?
My name is Helen Smith and I live on the lovely Wirral peninsula in north-west England. My former life was as a computer programmer until I escaped to become a full time taxi service to my children. I needed something to keep me sane and, as I had always enjoyed stitching I signed up for the City & Guilds Creative Embroidery course – which turned out to be a life changing experience (thank you Carole!).
Can you tell us a bit about your work
I am very much inspired by the natural forms and textures of rocks and shells and the colours of the beautiful sand and sea views we have hereabouts. I started to collect bits and pieces on the beach because I don’t really enjoy building sandcastles so I needed to look busy! And this collecting has since become something of an obsession for the whole family. From this it seemed a natural step to start including these finds into my stitched work. My most recent pieces have all been about working with this collection and the surfaces I create by adding colour and texture to layers of recycled paper.
and how did you start your Etsy shop?
Hmmm, Etsy. I read about the craft blogging phenomenon in Embroidery magazine so I thought I’d check a few out… and of course they were all talking about Etsy… and I thought, I could do that! It took me a little while to work out what form to present my work in and I started listing seriously at the beginning of the year. I consider my work to be quite a niche product so I have been pleasantly surprised by the reaction I have had so far.
What usually sparks off an idea?
That is a good question! It can be anything; something I have collected, something I have seen, a new technique I have learned. But it is always the natural colours and textures which inspire me. An idea will buzz around in the back of my mind for ages before resolving itself – I wish I were better at getting these half formed ideas down on paper because I’m sure I forget a lot of them – that is something I need to work on!
Please tell us about your latest products:
A new departure for me has been the sketchbooks I am making. When I was doing the City & Guilds course, something I looked for but never found was a sketchbook filled with different types of paper. So when I found I could get a gadget to do wire bindings at home that was the first thing I made for myself. Then I wondered whether perhaps other people would be interested… so I have listed a couple on Etsy to see.Another thing I am working on at the moment is a line of ‘Mermaids Treasure’ corsages; these are layered silk and lace flowers with the centre filled with pearls and beads and little seashore treasures. And I am expanding my range of Seashore Art to include more pieces ready for framing. Then there are all those ideas buzzing around at the back of my mind… I would like to do more work with silk paper… and with felt… watch this space!