RSS

Featured Crafter ~ Mini Challenge Winner ~ Cross Stitch Creations

08 Jun

I am very pleased to publish and introduce to you this Featured Crafter article on the very well deserved winner of our recent ‘A Touch of Royalty’ mini challenge.  Let me introduce to you Carolyn from Cross Stitch Creations.

Hello!  My name is Carolyn Malkiewicz and my business is called Cross-Stitch Creations.  I do what it says on the tin!   My main passion is making cushions, wall/door hangings and greeting cards and my aim is also to offer a bespoke service so I can take orders from customers wishing to create a unique gift for such events as weddings, new baby and christenings etc as these can be personalised to include names, dates of birth/wedding.

As a background, I am originally from Welham Green in Hertfordshire but spent 17 years living and working in Inverness in Scotland as a Legal Secretary.  Living so far away from family and friends has its drawbacks so in July 2011 I moved back to Hertfordshire with my husband to be closer to them.  I have now settled in Stevenage which is where I run my business from.

Since leaving Inverness, I had to give up my job and have struggled to find another.  Within the last three months, I have resumed my passion for cross-stitching and decided to try to make a small business out of it.  I have only had a Facebook Business Page for a month but have already got a good number of ‘likes’ although I have yet to make my first sale.  As I am still officially ‘signing on’ at the moment with the Job Centre, they have referred me to a local Enterprise Company who have helped me prepare a Business Plan, spreadsheets etc and I have attended workshops on how to set up in business.  I am presently waiting for my Business Plan to be ‘signed off’ and I can then officially ‘sign off’ from the Job Centre and I’ll be good to go!  So, as yet, I have not exhibited at any craft fairs.

I originally started cross-stitching when I moved to Scotland in 1995 as a number of my work colleagues did it in the tea breaks so I decided if you can’t beat them, join them!  I have been cross-stitching ever since although I have had various breaks from it along the way. I have created a number of cards and pictures in the past as presents for friends and family and these still adorn my family’s walls!  In 1999 I got married and, rather rashly, decided to cross-stitch all my wedding invitations – a definite labour of love!  Each invitation took at least 2 hours to produce and I had to do over 60 of them!!

Apart from my wedding invitations and the time pressure challenges I put myself under, my most challenging piece of work to date is actually the cushion with which I won the competition and there is actually a bit of a story behind that!

To make my cushion really unique, I wanted to design one to commemorate both the Jubilee and the Olympics on one cushion.  I had wanted to include the ‘Olympic Rings’ logo on my cushion but was aware there may be some problems with this because of it being a protected logo.  So, to keep things legal, I contacted the International Olympics Committee for permission to use the Olympic Rings.  I had got to the stage of my cushion where I had to get on and ‘do’ the Olympic bit but I had not heard from the IOC by then.  To be safe, I just used the words ‘London Olympics 2012’ on it and included gold, silver and bronze metals instead of the Olympic Rings.  I completed the cushion and, I have to say, was very pleased with the results, especially after nearly 12,000 stitches and 65 hours of sewing – I counted every last one of them!

I then finally received an e-mail from the IOC.  Not good news!!  Not only would they not give me permission to use the Olympic Rings logo (glad I never used it then!) but they said that even the words ‘London’ and ‘Olympic’ were protected by law.  Although they never actually came out and said it as such, they went on to state there were two Acts of Parliament under which I could be prosecuted for using these words, so, basically, if I wanted to sell my cushion, I couldn’t using those words.  So….. after much deliberation, I decided to alter my cushion so it solely commemorated the Jubilee, which meant taking the whole thing apart, painstakingly unpicking all reference to the Olympics and coming up with additional wording for the Jubilee – an additional 12 hours of work to unpick, re-do and re-stitch!!!!!  I am glad I decided to alter it though because I am even more pleased with it now than I was originally.

I particularly like creating ‘wordy’ cushions and door hangings and am always on the lookout for some good words or slogans to use.  I am trying to come up with a range of cushions that appeal to teenagers too (or that can be bought for them by their long-suffering parents!) which is how I have come up with my ‘Whatever’ and ‘OMG’ cushions – frequent teenager speak!  I have a few other ideas and constantly carry around a notebook and pen for when I see/hear something I can use.

I also like creating door/wall hangings with childrens’ names on or slogans that are a little catchy, hence my ‘Ssshh, baby sleeping’ and ‘Caution! baby teething’ door hangings.  I have a few more ideas in this theme and think they would sell quite well at craft fairs.

I came up with the idea of my ‘Keep Calm’ range of cards after receiving a wedding invitation in this theme.  I have now created some greetings cards and these are easily adaptable to suit the customer’s own wording.

I find I am very easily motivated to sew, in fact I am so sad that even when I went on holiday recently to Norfolk, I took some cross-stitching with me, albeit just to do a couple of greetings cards.  I was a little peeved to say the least that I never got the chance to finish them before I came home!  As my husband will no doubt verify, the housework has long since taken a back seat since I started cross-stitching again because I can’t wait to get up and get going each day!  I do use a sewing machine for the purposes of sewing up cushions and wall hangings although I have a relatively basic one at the moment and couldn’t be without it, but ideally I would like to upgrade to something a bit more substantial.

I don’t think I’ll ever be the next Alan Sugar (or should that be Alana Sugar!!) but I would just like to make a reasonable living with my ‘creations’.  I have a real passion for what I do and love the thought that one of my cushions or wall hangings is being loved and treasured in another person’s home.  My advice to anybody starting out? The same advice as I have been given – stick with it, stick with it and, oh, stick with it!  Keep networking and hopefully the sales will come.

My full details are Carolyn Joy Malkiewicz, 86 Priestley Road, Stevenage, Herts,   SG2 0BP, mobile number 07513 022646, e-mail@ cjmalkiewicz@googlemail.com

Facebook:  Cross Stitch Creations

**********************************************************************************************************************************

Thank you Carolyn for this great insight into your work and good luck with your business.  Please visit Carolyn’s Facebook page and comment you saw her on this Blog.

Our next Mini Challenge will be week commencing the 11th June, with the challenge theme published on Tuesday 12th June and all entries must be in by midnight Wednesday 13th June.  I hope you can join us, either by sending an entry in or by voting when the entries are published. 

Do you want a little hint what next weeks theme will be? 

“If music be the food of love, play on!” (William Shakespeare)

😉

Advertisements
 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

3 responses to “Featured Crafter ~ Mini Challenge Winner ~ Cross Stitch Creations

  1. Jackie

    June 9, 2012 at 10:24 am

    Thank you for such an interesting piece Carolyn, I love reading about how other people get started. Keep up the beautiful work! xx

     
  2. Yowe

    June 9, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    Hi Carolyn, I really enjoyed reading your article, thanks. What a shame about the Olympic restrictions on your cushion! Your idea for cushions to suit teenagers is super. Wishing you good luck with the business.

     
  3. lizzierosejewellery

    June 11, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    Love the ‘Keep Calm’ cards. I must say you are very patient to unpick all the stitches on the Jubilee cushion, I would have given up long before … good luck with the business. Cath.

     

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
IreneIrving's Crafty Creative

Hand made creative capers, needle felt, fibres and mumbles ;)

Itchy Crochet

on love, life, and crochet

Life with Crafts

How to make the most of your crafty time.

AlikiArtyCraftyMagpie

Just another WordPress.com site

craftyscrappershop

A fine WordPress.com site

Gembobs Inspiration

Gemmas Tutorials, Inventions, Ideas, Inspiration and Creations

Grab a coffee

I felt creative today ... - http://grabacoffee.etsy.com

UK Crochet Patterns

We seriously heart crochet and love to promote patterns in UK terms!

SteinerMomma

Our learning journey; rural life and Steiner education

Catatan dari Zion kota damai

Aku adalah anak Gembala

Baked By Mummy Iris

Behind the scenes! A space to document adventures as Wife, New Mummy and Owner of BAKED BY ME, www.bakedbyme.net

Crochet Eclectics

Exploring the world of crochet

bewishful

Start Making Jewellery

Timetobeme's Blog

a mother/ housewifes jouney to find herself.

Ed Muirhead

New-fashioned folksongs

jojococonut

Rescue a Hidden Gem, Sprinkle a Little Magic, Relove and Treasure.

My Blanket Box

Crochet, crafting and creativity. Join me on my adventures x

Scavenger Annie

Sharing my adventures in alternative embroidery and vintage sewing whilst traversing the world of social media.

designedunique

An artist's struggle to design, make and sell unique creations.

sylviasclosetuk

Speaking my mind and some arts and crafts

Purple RaRa

Stuff I've made

Amiguruthi

www.amiguruthi.wordpress.com

Shoebox2keepsake's Blog

creating custom-designed scrapbooks... just for you

Plums Are Also Round

...well kind of! The ramblings, findings and the little things in life that inspire and make me smile!

Little Me

A little craft bird with insomnia and glitter in her hair

Handmade By Mel Hearn

Made-to-measure curtains and bespoke fabric gifts

trickyfairie

practical magic, pain management and joyful journeys

Mrs M Makes

Join me in my crafty adventures!

Crocknits's Blog

Designed,Handmade,Crochet & Knitted by CrocKnits

Sticky-Back-Tastic

HERE'S ONE I MADE EARLIER

Offbeat Beads

Making and creating contemporary Jewellery and Crafts

carajilloblog

Smile! You’re at the best WordPress.com site ever

SciFire

From South Africa With Love

Handmade by Hannah

Day to day life, one crafting adventure at a time.

The sock garden

Cute & Crazy handmade creatures

JustinaWei

The Fashion/Make up/Lifestyle Blog

HandmadebyClaireBear

confessions of a fabric obsessive

made.in.transylvania

an archive of traditional and modern transylvanian crafts

Life isn't so much a puzzle as it is a plan

I live. I think. I write. I shoot. Unedited.

Ondine Blue Designs

The Blue Faerie's Adventures in jewellery making

hopelovesjohnnie

All that sparkles and glitters-handmade with love...

Card Times

for handmade cards!

Crafting Glass

My Bohemian Life

Wood and Rope

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside ⚓

embroiderycrazy

I run an online site selling embroidery machine designs.

%d bloggers like this: