I’d been making macramé wall hangings for about 3 years and one of the main questions I would get was “do you do classes?” Just before I started the book I'd made my first tutorial on YouTube and people loved it. I was so lucky to have this opportunity with David and Charles so I can share all my macramé secrets
Who do you think is your typical reader, if such a person exists? Who would you love to read your book?
Someone who loves arts crafts and interiors with a whimsical feel. I’d love this book to be read by someone who needs a new creative outlet, when I started Vanir creations I hadn’t crafted in about 10 years! Macramé gave me back my creative side id love for this book to do the same for others.
The COVID-19 situation has affected us all in different ways. How did you manage during the lockdowns?
It was a hard time for many but for me I enjoyed the time, I had so much time to make new projects and take long walks. All I need is a spool of string and a stick and I’m happy.
Virtual socialising in lockdown has been invaluable. Now that we’re allowed to meet up in person again, who would be on your fantasy dinner party list and why?
I would love to meet all the people who have inspired me over the years! That would be like meeting Elvis or something. Earth2jaz teddyandwool unfetteredco dyekween - I could go on but all the Instagram artists that have hugely inspired my work.
If you were teaching children how to create things, how would you begin, and what would you suggest they made?
I have a children’s DIY kit and tutorial, the first thing I taught my son who is 3 was how to add string to the hoop. He also loves to wrap the hoop like mummy, but it often ends up a bit tangled. Just letting them play and watch is the best thing when they are very young but the tutorial I’ve made has all different stages that can be completed at different times.
What’s the most unusual creative project you’ve ever started, and what would you absolutely love to make?
I recently started a macramé eye with crystals, weaving and beading; its very unusual even for me - that’s probably why I’ve not finished it, sometimes it’s good to makes things just to see what will happen. I’d love to make a piece really huge that covers a whole wall. Something in a restaurant or fancy bar.
Do you think all children should have the opportunity to learn crafting at school?
Yes! It’s so important because a lot of kids thrive off making and creating. I’m dyslexic so would struggle with some subjects at school and it affected my confidence massively but when it came to art I always felt so confident.
Do you think social media is useful in raising awareness of traditional crafts (and newer ones!)
YES! It’s full of amazing creations; I’m never stuck for inspiration - social media has been fantastic for the handmade and crafting community
Sustainability, specifically recycling and repair rather than replacing items, is vitally important. How would you advise people to make their crafting more sustainable?
Something I always try to do is reuse boxes when purchasing craft items, the amount of carboard being thrown away at the moment is insane. We are also looking into recycled cotton cords for our shop. I’d definitely say recycling old clothing.
We’ve seen that more men (especially younger men) have taken up handicrafts over the last few years - Tom Daley’s famous Olympic knitting, and the men who take part in the Great British Sewing Bee, for example. How do you feel about this?
I love it! these men are going to be inspirational to the next generation! I think some young men may think crafting is just for women but it’s not; just think of all the people that haven’t given crafting a go because of this. I’m sure there are some amazing male artists that are going to come out over the next few years.
What would your perfect day look like, and what’s the first place you want to visit once we can travel freely again?
A perfect day for me would be helping set up a wedding with macrame backdrops and quirky décor everywhere then later get on the dance floor with my son, husband, friends and family, and lots of live music. I love to visit somewhere with lots of culture, I always find it really inspiring, I also love being around nature, but it could be anywhere.
Do you have a favourite genre or author? What books or authors would you say were significant influences on you?
I like to listen to true crime and thrillers especially while I work
What are you reading at the moment?
I’m listening to – My Sister the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
I find it easier to listen to books so then my hands are free to knot.
What was your favourite book as a child?
My Naughty Little Sister, and Goosebumps
Thank you very much for speaking to us, we wish you every success with the book.
Order your copy of Elemental Macramé HERE