Thursday, 28 February 2013

Dreamer Spotlight: Manda - Handmade with Love

Meet Amanda and her bright and colourful softies ...

Tell me something about yourself?

I am married to a wonderful and understanding husband who doesn’t mind living in a house full of fabrics, yarn, pieces of felt and safety eyes! We have a fur kid who has us wrapped around her little paw.

I am also blessed with a loving extended family and a supportive network of friends. 

During the week I have a busy day job with an investment manager which I enjoy but I am a firm believer in having work/life balance and being creative with my craft brings me joy.

What are your sources of inspiration?

I get inspired by everything I see, read and hear. A colour can spark a whole new softie design in my head! I am partial to Japanese animation and I am very attracted to bright and happy colours. 

Where and when did you learn your craft? Who taught you? 

I think my mum and my paternal grandma started my interest in crafts at a young age. My earliest memory was watching my grandma embroidering a little pillow for me. I also have a very vivid memory of mum coming home with a stuffed toy turtle from her sewing class.
As a child growing up, I was always making something crafty, whatever was fashionable/on trend at the time. I don’t actually remember being taught how to knit or crochet. I took a sewing class around 13 years ago when I was given my first sewing machine but I didn’t pursue it further after that.
About 4 years ago, I had an idea to make a stuffed toy for a friend’s new baby so in the wonderful world of the modern technology, I found amigurumi patterns (Japanese crochet toys). I found myself obsessed by all things round and cute with big safety eyes on them. I watched a few youtube videos and read a few books… Before I knew it, I was crocheting and sewing all sorts of softies!

Aside from your craft, what else do you enjoy doing?
I love to read, mostly thrillers and historical novels. I also love travelling and learning about other cultures. And of course, I enjoy spending time with friends and family.
What piece of advice can you give to other artists? 
Not sure if I am qualified to give advice but if someone asks me whether they should create, I say “follow your dreams, do what makes you happy!”
What are your plans for the future?

Keep sketching and stitching and continue to make people smile with my toys! I would like to stretch my skills and start an online store for my creations. It’s all about learning and edging out of my comfort zone.
Visit Manda - Handmade with Love at the Dreamers Autumn Market on Saturday, March 16th.

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