There are so many amazing crafters and makers that inspire me with their books, blogs and makes that I decided it's time to start a new series on the blog. In 'Meet the maker' I will have a chat with the crafters I look up to and show you where they work and what they make. To kick the new series off I would love to introduce you to craft book author extraordinaire Clare Youngs.
Clare is a designer/maker working with paper and fabric and has written numerous of craft books on subjects like wall art, Scandinavian embroidery, mobile art and book art. She's currently working on her first adult colouring in book and having tried out a few of the pages I can say it's going to be amazing. Other books by Clare are Woodland creatures, A year in Crafts, the perfect Handmade bag, Letter art and Folk art needle craft to just name a few.
I first heard of Clare when I picked up her book Scandinavian needle craft which fast became my favourite craft book ever. The book is full of modern designs to create bags, slippers and cushions with simple embroidery patterns creating a cool Scandi look. That is what I love about Clare's books, her art work is just simply stunning. Her drawings are simple, have a slight folky edge and are very original. When flipping through a craft magazine I can always spot which project is hers.
Six years after picking up the needle craft book I'm actually good friends with Clare and no I didn't stalk her until she agreed to have a coffee with me ;) Clare and I both moved down to the south east coast from London around the same time and joint the same stitch&bitch group. Once a month this group meets up in a local cafe to chat, knit, crochet or do whatever craft you fancy, our friend Debbie even brought in her spinning wheel at the last meet up! :) The stitch&bitch group is a great bunch of people but how surprised I was to find out that the lovely Clare from stitch&bitch is actually the Clare who's books I adore! Clare is so humble she would never tell anybody she's an amazing craft author so she probably will find this blog post very embarrassing ;)
Clare and I often meet up for a cup of coffee and chat crafts, Scandinavian design and books we love so my first interview felt very natural. Have a look at the video below to see Clare's amazing garden studio, wouldn't you love one of those? We were lucky that the sun came out when I was filming making the studio look even more idyllic then it already is.
Isn't she one inspiring lady? And how about little Otis, the sausage dog with the shortest legs I've ever seen! He's simply adorable even though I had to do a couple of retakes on my intro as he kept licking my legs making me burst out laughing :)
Clare dropped a few hints in the interview she might start work on another paper craft book and I sure hope that's true as the paper artichoke seen below from her book-art book is just simply define. I also love the idea of keeping a sketch book to doodle all your ideas in, I already use a notepad to draw up my furniture inspirations but wouldn't it be nice to have a sketch book like Clare's with paper cutting, doodles and much more? Whenever you are stuck for an idea all you have to do is look at your old scribbles and new inspiration will come running.
I'm a big Instagram fan but I mainly shoot things I notice around me and find funny or inspiring. Clare actually sets up a little still life every day and posts that on to her account. That got me thinking maybe I should do that as well? I love the cohesive grid people like Clare have on their Instagram. What do you think? Do you like somebody with a distinct style or do you prefer a more random selection of images?
Clare's first colouring book, Colour yourself to happiness will be out on the 24th of March and is well worth a look at. In the fast amount of colouring books out there I've never found one I actually like, I think most of the drawings are a bit naff but Clare's animals are so detailed they are a lot of fun to colour in.
I hope you enjoyed this first episode of Meet the maker, hopefully this will be a monthly series showcasing a lot of different crafters and makers. Do you like me doing more lifestyle video's or do you prefer the tutorials? Would love to hear your thoughts.
I'll be back next week with another Hester's House Updates video, see you then! x Hester