Hello October and hello Blog Gem time! This month's interview features plenty of stitches, Stephen Fry and a bunny. Intrigued? Read on to find out more!
Hello there, who be the face behind the blog?
My name is Nicole Vos van Avezathe of Follow the White Bunny (a tiny one woman business!). I live in Rotterdam, the Netherlands with my 2 cats, kids and husband. I started making embroidery patterns in 2009 (available at shop.followthewhitebunny.com) and sometimes do craft or sewing patterns too.
What's your creative space like?
Last year we divided our bedroom in two so I could have my own creative space. It's usually very messy. I have a desk for drawing and computer work with some shelves above for items I use a lot (like the DMC embroidery floss colour card) or postcards I received, prints that are not yet framed etc.
I also have a small sewing/cutting table, a dresser filled with sewing supplies, a cupboard with fabric and books and lots of baskets and crates filled with half-finished projects and fabric and such. In the living room I have a corner by the window where I embroider and a cabinet filled with floss.
If you had to take only one of your crafts to a desert island, what would it be and why?
Embroidery, although hand sewing, like English Paper Piecing, would be lovely too. I think embroidery is still the craft that suits me best. I find it relaxing and there is still so much I want to create with embroidery!
How do you work and get inspired?
I try to work as efficiently as possible, which is not easy for a naturally disorganized person! I work during the children's school hours and in the evening too. I divide my time between working on my own stuff, working on commissions and the rest (blogging/social media etc). I also try and make time to sketch, experiment with my embroidery and develop new skills in other crafts. For example, I have recently enrolled in an online course for illustrating children's books. Not something that is directly related to what I usually do but it's something I want to try and I'm sure, in the end, everything I do will benefit from my newly learned skills!
So, doing new things is inspiring to me but I also get inspiration from lots of other things. I like to read and listen to music. I don't watch a lot of movies though. Like many others, I like to wander on Pinterest for colour inspiration.
What top tips would you give to any novice bloggers and those thinking of selling their designs?
Be yourself when your blogging, while keeping it positive. Make the layout of your blog so that it's easy to the eye and attractive (so not dark red Comic Sans on a black background, haha!) and personalise it a bit, if you can. There are a lot of resources on the internet where you can download things for free to use on your blog, like button-designs. Make the best photos you can for your blog.
As to selling your designs, be original and personally, I think it's important to test your patterns. I often change a lot of details when testing my patterns.
Is there a story behind the name 'Follow the White Bunny'?
The 'bunny' comes from my husband's last name, which has the Dutch word for Bunny in it and obviously it's a reference to Alice in Wonderland too.
The name is easy to remember, which is not unimportant and it has a dreamy, nostalgic feel to it I think.
If you could go to a Creative Blog Award dinner with any 5 people/fictional characters (dead or alive), who would you choose?
Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters, he seems like such a nice guy! Another favourite artist I'd like to hang out with is Tom Waits - I'm sure he has amusing stories to tell. My very own Pindsvin character; He's a brave Danish tea-cup sea faring Hedgehog. The Doubtful Guest from the Edward Gorey book and Stephen Fry.
And finally...book & tea or film & wine?
Book and wine please :)
Thank you so much Nicole! It's been wonderful hearing all about how you get inspired, how you work and learning some brilliant tips for running your own shop and blog. I think it's safe to say my reader's will be in love with the fabulous characters you and your embroidery floss create!
I hope you've all enjoyed this month's Blog Gem. Stay tuned for November's interview with an inspiring DIY crafty blog. Until then, keeeep blogging!
All of the images and interview answers are the copyright of Nicole at Follow the White Bunny. Please do not use without seeking permission first. Thank you.