Describe what you do,when you started doing it and what made you decide that was what you were going to do
I currently make pictures of simple shapes/outlines using a multitude of vintage and new buttons, beads and oddments. I only started it last Novemember after seeing a huge picture made out of buttons that I couldn't get out of my head. I love the tactile nature of the buttons and the depth they can give to something relatively simple. Colour is very important too in the work, and that drives me to try different things. I also work on pieces by using crochet and knitting.
I've not seen many people take the idea as far as I do, so its quite easy to say how I can be different from the crowd with my work. I use a lot of different buttons, including those with writing on them to make special individual gifts for people, or to brighten your home. I also deorate the inner edge of the mount with a selection of words that can be about the person specifically or the theme of the item. They can be made exceptionally personal in this way.
Where do you get your inspiration/ ideas from?
Colour is one of the factors that drives me, I like to try different things together. I also take inspiration from nature and the customers I have. Some work is in a gallery and the owner suggests ideas that she thinks may work in this medium too.
Do you do this as your business full time or is it just a sideline. If you don't do this as a job would you like to?
Its a sideline as I'm a part time teacher. I'd love to be more involved in crafts, and have just started a knitting group at the school I'm at with the pupils, which is being quite successful.
Where do you make your items, do you have a craft room/ studio?
I've a fantastic study that is decorated in white, and one wall in Dandelion Clocks wall paper by Sanderson in Blackcurrent, so the room is full of light and colour as it is west facing. I sit looking out of the window which helps my inspiration.
Where do you sell and how do you market yourself?
I am on Folksy, and I also have a few pieces in a local gallery The Box of Delights which happened on the off chance. I am not marketing myself too well, but its enough for me at the moment due to time constraints/work. I also have a Blog and post fairly regularly about the things I am working on but not aren't yet up for sale. I am enjoying being able to talk about what I enjoy doing. Someone on Folksy mentioned a site called Stumble Upon which allows you to 'like' pages which make them more likely to be seen by others, so I use that too.
More involved with crafting groups and creative teaching hopefully and a successful small sideline in my own work. I also knit, crochet and cross stitch so would like to have time to do more than I do now. British Wool is something I'm becoming very interested in.
Do you have any advice for people out there who might want to start a craft hobby/business?
Random question - if someone gave you £1million and you had 1 day to spend it what would you do??
I've been thinking about this for a while, I would pay off my own and close friends mortgages, buy lots and lots of vouchers for the shops I like and craft suppliers. Buy a 'space' that I could create into a place where crafters could come together and chat or create in a friendly environment. Also giving chance to display their work and maybe even sell it. Then there are things like hire a gardener (pay in advance) and a workman to do the jobs I need doing on my house. Its a hard one, but I am sure it is easy to use all the money!!!
Hope you enjoyed the interview with Charlee's Aunt - if you'd like to find out more then you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org