Friday, September 23, 2011

Introducing Carina!!

It is my great pleasure today to be featuring the multi-talented Carina here on my blog. I first came across Carina's blog when I participated in the Flowerpress Brooch swap way back in May.  Carina is originally from Denmark but is now based in the UK where she creates the most beautiful embroidery designs, vibrant and fun fabric designs on Spoonflower, and produces colourful crochet. She has also designed for DMC USA and blogs about her crafting life on Carina's Craft blog. There you will find lots of colourful inspiration, tutorials for embroidery stitches, crochet and more, plus some free patterns to get you started on embroidery. On top of all this creativity she also runs online creative blogger classes one of which I completed back in July. Carina has been blogging for about 8 years so has a wealth of experience to pass on to bloggers who are just starting out or feel like they need some extra help in making their blog more appealing to their readers. Read more about this class here! I thoroughly enjoyed it and can't recommended it enough!

Carina also creates and sells embroidery E-books and embroidery patterns in her shop Polka and Bloom!!
1. Spring Birds - new pattern, 2. Summer Garden pattern, 3. Sketchy stitches, 4. Sweet Posy - embroidery pattern, 5. Some stitcheries, 6. Christmas Stitches class - shisha ornament, 7. Satin bubbles brooch, 8. Orange stitchy brooch, 9. Stitchy brooch experiment
You can see more of Carina's latest embroidery designs here on the Polka and Bloom blog.

Some of Carina's vibrant Spoonflower designs...
1. My fabrics on Spoonflower, 2. Happy Flowers fabric, 3. Happy Triangles fabric, 4. Dots and Daisies collection
You can see more of her fabric designs on Spoonflower here.

Carina's designs for DMC in the USA

1. Pearl Cotton Display tea towels, 2. Winter Sunrise, 3. Blue Leaf Appliqué, 4. Doodle Heart

Some of Carina's colourful crochet projects....
1. Stack of happy crochet, 2. Another..., 3. Granny A Day blanket, 4. Crochet stack, 5. Crochet flowers, 6. Jars with crochet cosies, 7. Crochet bunting, 8. Granny A Day 1-20, 9. Folded

To get to know Carina a little better I asked her a few questions........
When did you start blogging and why? 
- I started blogging in 2003, completely on a whim. A few pals were doing it and I thought I'd give it a go too. Of course, blogging was very different back then - there was a lot of work involved just to make your blog look prettier etc. My first blog was mainly a personal journal and not really focused on anything. I started Carina's Craftblog in the spring of 2006 after I got into crafting.

How long have you been embroidering and who taught you or how were you taught?
- My farmor (paternal grandmother) taught me to do cross stitch when I was little, but there was a big gap between that and taking up embroidery in late 2005. So I am mostly self-taught, using books and the internet.

I can see your Danish influence in your embroidery designs, what keeps you inspired?
- I'm really, really inspired by colour. And texture and pattern. A tiny snippet of pattern can spark a new design. When I go actively looking for inspiration I tend to gravitate towards things like Ancient Roman frescos or Mexican and other folk art. Strangely, I don't often go searching for Danish inspiration as such.. maybe because it doesn't feel exotic enough..! ;-)

I love the name of your shop "Polka and Bloom". Can you tell us how you came up with this name?
- Thank you! :-) Well, way before Polka & Bloom actually existed, I made a couple of postcard designs, one was called 'Polka' because the background had polkadots, and the other one had flowers on it and I called it 'Bloom'. I just liked the two words together so I decided that if I were to set up shop at some point, I'd call it 'Polka & Bloom'. :-)

Do you have a designated workspace for your designing/crafting. 
- Unfortunately no. I'd love to have a space where I could make a mess and just close the door at the end of the day. For now, most of my crafting takes place sitting on the sofa, usually with a good film or documentary to keep me company.

Are there any other crafts that you like to dabble in?
- Uh yes! I'll have a go at pretty much anything that doesn't involve heavy machinery (and that's mainly because of the lack of space..!) ;-) When time permits, I'll do some crochet and sewing. Plus I draw and paint as well. Stamp carving, porcelain painting, fabric design, at one point I owned a Print Gocco but had to let it go because I just didn't use it enough.. etc etc...

Do you have any favourite embroidery tips you'd like to share with us?
- Patience is probably my best tip. When you start embroidering your stitches will be uneven, the French knot you did to perfection yesterday refuses to be replicated today. Don't worry about it, just keep on doing it. Oh and get some nice materials to work with; it really does make a difference to use threads from a good brand and not a six quid multi-pack.

What path led you to do the work you do today?
- Ugh, that's a good question but I'm not sure I have an answer that will make it seem obvious and easy that this is the path I would be on... But I've always been interested in creative things, like painting and drawing, but never really did much crafting. Until I moved to the UK. I  stumbled upon craft blogs plus I had some time to spare because initially I didn't have a job here. So I got into embroidery and the rest is history as they say.

Can you share with us any future ambitions/goals/projects you are working towards?
- I want to keep working on things that make me happy, and hopefully others too. In less lofty terms I want to make more embroidery books, 'proper' ones and ebooks. Plus more patterns and  teaching classes. I'd also love to devote some time to designing a proper fabric line.

When you're not crafting/designing/blogging what do you like to do?
- I might be reading a book or magazine, taking pictures or watching a film. Although.. even when I'm not doing any crafting/designing/blogging it's always kinda there anyway. Maybe I get inspiration for a design or a blog post; and the pictures I take often end up on my blog. If I'm watching telly I'm usually working on an embroidery or a crochet project. You can also crochet granny squares during the commercials before a film at the cinema - just sayin'! ;-)
If I'm really not doing anything, I'm probably wasting time on the internet!  

 I hope you enjoyed meeting Carina and take the time to look around her blog and shop
I would love to make these features a regular series here on The Sewing Attic so if you'd like to be featured or know of a blogger that you'd like featured let me know either in the comments or send me an email.

Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend!!   


Kathy said...

Thanks so much for this wonderful post Catherine. It's been so lovely to 'meet' Carina through you!I will be visiting her for myself as soon as I finish here :) BTW - this sort of post is just the sort of things I had in mind when I loaded my 'Local Heroes' page on Sew-Happy House! My first guest should be featured soon :)

Lara said...

Great post Catherine. Lots of inspiration to be found.

bearpaw said...

Thanks for introducing me to the multi talented Carina! Love all those gorgeous Embroidery designs! I will go and visit her blogs now.

Michele Pacey said...

What an amazing artist this Carina is Catherine! I love her use of colour. It's just alive. Will definitely be checking this one out. Great post!

Kathryn said...

I love Carina's embroidery style, probably because it's so Scandinavian inspired and unique - she is so talented! :)

Thanks for sharing!

Catherine said...

You're welcome Kathryn! All Carina's work is so beautiful it was hard to choose what to showcase. Very talented indeed!

Jennifer Rydell@Plushpussycat said...

Really nice interview! I'm glad to get a chance to know Carina better. :-)

Karen said...

Thank you so much for introducing me to such a fabulously colourful blog. Its one that just had to be added to my Reader. I love that crochet. Just gorgeous eye candy for a wanna be crocheter.

flowerpress said...

I love Carina's work, she has the most wonderful eye for colour and her blog is always inspiring! And she's lovely too :-)
I'm so glad to hear you found her through my swap!

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