It's never too early to start crafting for Christmas! Our Early Bird Christmas Crafting shows coming up tomorrow, Tuesday 24th May, will get you in the festive spirit and inspire you with new card making and home decoration ideas.
We'll be bringing you a host of experts and guests including Amy Shaw, Marion Emberson and new guest Wendie Rhodes from Kanban. Look out for lots of Kanban goodies, including their brand new foiled die-cut Christmas sentiments kit.
We caught up with our guest ahead of her first show to find out a bit more about how she got into crafting and what inspires her…
How did you get into crafting and how long have you been doing it for?
I've been a crafter most of my life and a professional for over eight years. As a child, both my grandparents and my mum encouraged us all to be creative both in thinking and with our hands. I decided to pursue a career within fashion and textiles and studied as a trainee teacher majoring in art and specialising in textiles.
I taught in primary schools for over ten years and eventually got my big break in professional crafting when my designs were made into a stamp collection by a UK based company… and the rest is history!
Are you excited about your first QVC appearance this week?
I am thrilled that I now have the opportunity to present my favourite brand on QVC. I have always watched the craft shows as a crafter and professional and I'm so excited to have this wonderful opportunity to share my passion for paper crafts.
What do you love about the brand Kanban?
Well, what is there not to love? As an official paper stroker, you cannot mistake the quality and crafting vision of Kanban. I'm so proud to be a member of the team and have the opportunity to work with such inspirational and exciting products.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
I've been blessed with a wonderful art education and I'll always be eternally grateful to my tutors for opening my eyes to our amazing world. This may sound a little crazy but when you really open your eyes and mind to everything around you, well it all becomes a source of fascination and inspiration.
What do you think are the hot trends in crafting right now?
There are so many influences from the world of fashion and the media; 'Steampunk' is an intriguing mix of Victoriana combined with industrialisation, creating an eclectic mix of curio and ephemera. In total contrast there's a strong flora and fauna trend, from delicate lace to sculpted and dimensional flower embellishment designs.
What is your top tip for crafters?
This is probably the hardest question for me to answer as I have so many for different skills and tools. So I guess the one with the widest appeal would be not to be afraid as it's only a piece of paper. I often feel the biggest mistakes can be the start of a whole new trend, skill and idea, so just go for it!
What items do you think are essential for every crafter to have?
A range of inspirational card and papers (of course), comfortable scissors in a range of sizes, a variety of wet and dry adhesives, and if nothing else a great scoring board and tool. Then you can build up your skills and interests with stamps, die-cutting and punches, and before you know it you’re hooked.
What are your hobbies?
My boys are possibly my biggest hobby, I also enjoy digital photography and dressmaking and sewing when I get a chance. I do love visiting galleries, the theatre and historical buildings and their grounds, as they are a great source of inspiration and leave me buzzing with ideas, colour palettes and design concepts.
Join Wendie in the Early Bird Christmas Crafting show on Tuesday 24th May at 2pm!
Check out our craft department for more inspiration in the mean time.