Sunday, August 30

a festival of 'granny love' ~ day five

and so dearest 'granny loving' festival goers we come to the end of our crafty gathering...
i think it is quite true to say, we have seen some fine talent amongst us... i also know it's true to say there are so many others out there in the 'granny chic' world that are unsung heros of the movement.
quietly going about their 'hooker' ways, slowly filling the earth we tread upon with warm crocheted goodness.

but before we trawl back to our tents for one more evening around the camp fires, let us finish off our festival of 'granny chic' with a special guest on stage...
so with out 'further a do' i introduce to you the lovely emma lamb.

(whoops and applause all around)

thanks emma for joining us at the end of our festival, of course many of us here today have already seen the work you do, marvelling at your ability to put a mosiac picture together and i think we all agree your treasuries for etsy are quite extraordinarily beautiful...
but i think the thing that intriques me most is your ablitities with the hook and needle.

if i can just tell our festival goers a little bit about how i met you and then we will get on with our 'question of crafting' finale...

a couple of years back i learnt to crochet, driven to it by the insane jealousy of seeing all things beautiful in the knitted world and then discovering the 'detail' turned out to be crocheted. i wanted these beautiful things i saw before me with a passion, and yet my lack of 'crocheting' knowledge was holding me back.
i took one whole month and sat down day after day until i untaught my brain to need two hands moving and retaught it to accept one hand moving. and with that began my love for crochet.
after a while i launched into a circlular cushion ("how hard could it be" i told myself)... well it went totally pear shaped to the point where i was so fed up i did a mortal sin, i tossed it in the bin, not even bothering to salvage the yarn... i was done.

and then in my little inbox came a message.
and that message was from the lovely emma, offering up her fool proof pattern for a granny round cushion. of course she had no idea that i was a complete and utter fool when it came to reading patterns and so i thanked her most kindly for her generous gift and then stared blankly at her instructions.

then it dawned on me after two days of staring blankly, why tear my graying hair out when there was a crafter out there doing her wonderful thing with 'granny' goodness... 'save my hair' and support a crafter at the same time, how perfect and so that's when i commissioned emma to make me a cushion, and from there our friendship has grown.

and now you find us together, side by side up on the main stage of this fab festival sharing a love of 'yarn' and 'granny chic'... so as the night draws in, our lanterns are lit and our knitted socks are keeping us warm, let's settle in for
an 'evening with emma lamb'...

tif: thanks for being here tonight emma, would you mind telling us a little about yourself and what makes you tick?
emma: i'm an english girl living in Scotland, but i've been here so long now (almost thirteen years) that i've picked up a wee bit of a scottish accent... :) i live with my man and my dog (my wee man) Spanner, he's an english cocker spaniel and full to bursting with his own wee personality. i design appliques and embroideries for childrens wear as my day job... and by night i'm a demon with a crochet hook or knitting needles... that is if i can tear myself away from flickr, etsy and blogland for five minutes... ;) oh, and i'm addicted to chocolate!

tif: would you mind recalling your earliest memory of creating something and what your gifted hands made?
emma: my earliest creating memory is from nursery school, about four years old... every day i would make a bee line for the painting easel and i clearly remember doing wee scenic paintings, you know ~ a strip of green at the bottom for the grass, a strip of blue at the top for the sky, a big green tree on the left and a bright yellow sunshine in the top corner! the rule was that you could only do one painting a day! but i have vivid memories of bending the truth a little so that i could eek out at least two or three paintings... ;)
my earliest crochet memory is of sitting in the kitchen with my mam, i think i was about five or six, not sure... anyway, we had our crochet hooks in hand and were working on lots of wee squares to make a good old fashioned acrylic granny blanket, with any colour yarn that happened to be at hand! i remember at that time i didn't know how to make the wee chain loop so i would pass my hook and yarn to my mam to get me started then i would happily build little squares all day... :)

tif: how many hours a day do you donate to getting a 'crafting fix'?
emma: i probably get in around six hours of applique and embroidery thanks to my day job, then in the evenings i try to ignore all the household chores that need doing and squeeze in a couple of hours crocheting or knitting while watching a bit of tv... 'Road Wars' is my current guilty pleasure!

tif: i am very suspicious that you are a flickr addict, or is that my imagination?
emma: totally addicted! it's the hub for everyone who blogs or makes and sells online, and it is such a wealth of inspiration... and i love, love, love all the groups and being able to share your pics with like minded folk. once i figured out how to set up my own groups and send out invitations i got sucked in completely. seriously, i can lose hours searching for the perfect pics to invite to 'all colours in' or 'granny chic'. but one of my favourite things to do is browse through other peoples favourites folder, it sends you in every direction to find the most beautiful images you might not come across otherwise! oh, and how can i forget the mosaics! i could make mosaics till the cows came home... ;)

tif: how would you describe your sense of style when it comes to crafting, and perhaps your style of dressing... does your craft influence your dressing?
emma: hmm, i'm not really sure there is a name for my key style... obviously 'granny chic' is a massive influence in my crochet at the moment, but it's colour that inspires my crafting the most. i do have a soft spot for the 'all colours in' approach which probably stems from my day job designing stuff for childrens wear... and i love playing with colour combinations, which is probably apparent from my flickr mosaics and etsy treasuries.but when it comes to my style of dressing and decorating i prefer a much calmer colour scheme... i live in my jeans so there is a lot of dark indigo, and i like mixing it with really strong colours such as olive, charcoal, red, teal, turquoise and russet. in my wee flat i have a lot of chocolate and deep burgundy against a backdrop of white and cream... although my studio is a riot of colour, but at the end of the day i like to close the door and enjoy the calm... :)

tif: if you happened to be hosting a 'yak and yarn' party, who would you like to invite?
emma: honestly, i would love to invite some of the wonderful cyber buddies i've met through blogging. while it’s great to have these lovely virtual friendships it would be amazing to gather everyone together for one big crafting session where we can ’oooh’ and ‘ahhh’ over what each other is doing! of course my wee man Spanner would have to be there too, so the invitation would extend to everyone's wee pals!but if i'm pushed to invite someone more well known, it would have to be someone like Jessica Ogden or Nathalie Chanin because of their amazing embroidery and clothes making talent... or maybe Tord Boontje or Rob Ryan for their paper cutting skills... i'm always attracted to the work of people who pay attention to the small for where, well once i make my fortune(!) i will be the proud owner of a georgian townhouse in Edinburgh's beautiful new town! the rooms are huge with fabulous high ceilings and stunning sash windows that let in so much light... so i would invite everyone to my house for tea and cake, and i make a mean chocolate fudge cake and lemon drizzle cake too!

tif: i know you too are a fellow chocaholic, but what's you favorite?
emma: pretty much anything with at least 60% cocoa content... if pushed i would choose Green & Black's because it has enough of a bitter edge so i don't devour the entire bar in one go! and if i was being indulgent it would have to be Lindt Lindor (60% cocoa)... although a friend of mine recently introduced me to Dolfin chocolate and they do a gorgeous bar with pink peppercorns ~ not too spicy but with a lovely fragrant flavour... hmmm, i prefer to think of myself as a little bit of a connoisseur rather than an addict... :)

tif: when you started crafting, who or what inspired you to go down such a righteous and goodly path?
emma: to be honest it is something i have always done... i have always been creative in some way and it's always been an inherent part of who i am, i really can't remember a time when i haven't been creative or crafting... my mam taught me to knit and crochet when i was five or six years old, at school i loved to draw and paint, and it was at school that i remember trying embroidery for the first time. i suppose a key decision was when i finished school at sixteen and i decided to go to art college rather than study 'A' levels. i did a foundation style course, so in the first year i tried my hand at every thing from embroidery to architecture, and in the second year i decided to focus on textile design. that's when i came to Edinburgh and focused solely on printed textiles. after that i went directly into freelance work designing womens wear. initially my work was mostly hand painted fabric but over the years applique, embroidery and crochet became my preferred techniques and i've moved into designing for childrens wear... and now, thanks to etsy and my blog, i've got a wider outlet for my love of knitting and crochet and i'm enjoying the new direction it's leading me... :)

tif: would you run a marathon naked for charity?
emma: no, no way, no how... i'm not a natural runner and never have been, at school i used to skip the PE lessons and go to art class instead... and trust me you don't want to see me naked, too many wobbly bits these days!
tif: well put it another way then, have you ever attempted to knit or crochet a bikini or underpants, if not would you consider doing so and then running a marathon in all your 'finery'?
emma: what is it with you and your obsession with crochet bikinis!? ...i haven't and to be honest i don't think it has ever crossed my mind, and no i don't think i would consider it for a second... how about you!?
tif: now that would be telling!

tif: do you have a crafting skill you have yet to master?
emma: i've always wanted to learn how make my own clothes, but it's one of those things that i just don't seem to be able to find the time for. there are a few japanese crafting books i have my eye on because the patterns look fairly simple, so maybe one day soon! ... and i've also always wanted to give hand quilting a go, but again there just aren't enough hours in the day! oh, and i really want to learn more about photography but i think that will come with practice and remembering to take my camera where ever i go!

tif: do you carry a 're-use' bag where ever you go?
emma: i try to, we do have a stack of bags that we always take to do our food shopping and i have a specific tote bag that i take when i go fabric or yarn shopping. my rule is that i can only buy whatever will fit into it and no more, i say rule, it's actually more of a guideline... unless there's a sale on, then the rules and guidelines tend to go straight out the window!

tif: if there was one thing you would like to be remembered for, what would it be?
emma: obviously i would like to be remembered for my good looks, wit and charm... ;) but it's more likely that i'll be remembered as the one who called her dog Spanner!

tif: what's in your secret black crafty book, does it contain 'secrets of the utmost kind'?
emma: i have a multitude of ideas i want to try and every day i'm being inspired and adding to the list... but really, that would be telling!

tif: if you had to choose between fabric or yarn, who would win your heart?
emma: really, that's an impossible question to answer... okay, how about this ~ fabric, because i could also cut it up into thin strips for knitting and crochet! woo-hoo!!!

tif: have you ever cooked a fish in a dishwasher before?
emma: nope! i've never even owned a dishwasher, and my current kitchen is way too piddly, even for a work top sized one! it's rubber gloves and oven baked fish all the way for me!

how fabulous of emma to humor me with her wonderful answers tonight, i think we all agree that was a brilliant way to finish up our 'granny' festival... i also know there will be a lot of you that would like to come on over and meet emma, she has lots of examples of her work on display, some of which are here tonight.
you can also find emma on etsy seven days a week and so it just leaves me to say thankyou to ingrid, michelle, my man and emma for being such lovely guests, a big 'hurrah' to you, my dearest readers who for the past week have 'camped out' with me under the stars supporting my festival of 'granny love'...
and also to the fab victoria for giving me space on her truly beautiful blog, to ramble about my addictions.
sad as i am to being leaving in the morning, i take with me such fond memories, and of course many inspired thoughts from the talented crafters i have met... i shall look forward to meeting up with you, over on our 'granny chic' flickr pool, where the lovely emma has promoted me to great, great granny... giving me responsiblities i could only of dreamed of, until two days ago.

fare thee well, my 'granny loving' festival goers, you have made me proud to be a 'granny chic' addict...

she will see you on tuesday, and if you don't mind just checking for litter when you leave, that would be a great help for her and her clean up crew, aka 'little olive', 'used dog' and some backyard chickens ~ Tif
footynote: all images today, flew in with emma lamb from scotland, she is the lovely owner of them and sadly i am not :)


. said...

Thank you... I have loved every minute of the festival. I'm off back home to NZ now to shower, change my undies and sleep for a week!

melissadc76 said...

I am listing some granny-chic leather shoes in my vintage clothing shop on etsy to celebrate your Festival!

dottie angel said...

jus, i know what you mean... it will be good to have a hot shower and change out the old slip for a fresh one :)

melissa, true granny shoes if ever i saw a pair. i do feel with the appropriate attire (ie, no tweed skirt or wrinkly stockings) they could find a 'second' life and be a true style statement :)

Kylie said...

So much loveliness... I'm a granny-novice, no longer a granny-virgin though! I'm still on my granny squares, but oh those circular pieces are calling to me! :) Thank you, Tif, for this festival of granniness... I've had an elegant sufficiency of inspiration and I'm inspired and ready to add more granniness to the world now :) K

Unknown said...

oh miss Tif...
it has been the most wonderful week of granny chic goodness! thank you so much for having me as your guest of honour, it was an absolute pleasure... :)

and i loved your lecture on how to turn a 'no' man into a 'yes' man... i shall persevere with mine and see if i can get him to be a 'maybe' man at the very least!

it's a little sad seeing all the colourful tents and garlands of bunting being taken down, but at least we've got next year to look forward to... ;)

have a wonderful day my cyber buddy... :)

Hear Me Roar! said...

I am sad to see the granny love days come to an end, if only because it is a way for me to look with a new light at the world of crochet, a world I had previously denied due to my having an auntie with crochet skills that were used mostly for bad rather than good. We always hated presents from that auntie, I'm embarassed to admit. Crocheted slippers, a doll with nothing but a plastic head on a crocheted dress that was somehow also a handbag... she also went through a period of combining the crochet with the earlier method of "recycling" known as cutting up beer cans and combining them with acrylic yarn to make a lovely hat. So perhaps that could be another type of crafter who is not quite as chic as the granny, and so we might look forward to an episode of 'misplaced auntie love'. Oh yes, and thank you SO much for letting us know more about the people I always see down here in the comments section. I feel that I've come to know them even better, now that I've seen photos of their houses and learned about whether or not they bake fish in the dishwasher. Yeay!

Mary said...

Lovin' all the "granny love". Thanks for all the wonderful links :)

Teresa @ good-grace said...

Super duper post!! I'm completely enamored with Emma Lamb (along with our dear, sweet Dottie Angel!) ... actually just emailed a link to my cousin with her lovely granny square pillow!!

Michelle said...

Oh Tif what a fabulous festival...
I am still admiring the pics...
Love that you man can understand at least your granny ways...
Amazed at Ingrid's creative talent...
Love Emma's true style and bursts of colour along with a great blog to read as well ...
and I am not going to forget for a second you dear Tif who has managed to get the grannyism message out to the masses...
thankyou so much for a festival filled with love, crafting and treasures...

~ Junkyard Jennifer said...

The granny festival was fabulous! Thank you! And, I really enjoyed your interview.

This little festival has inspired me all the more to learn how to crochet--and to teach my daughter. I've a feeling she may pick it up much more quickly than I will!

~ Jennifer