being the inquisitive little feltmaker that i am, i thought it might be interesting to hear about other maker's stories. so a little while ago i asked if anyone would be interested in being interviewed for my blog. i was hoping to make it a monthly feature but have been so overwhelmed by responses that it will now be a weekly feature!
so, grab a cuppa, put your feet up and lets meet susan bonnar from dottie designs.
Please introduce yourself … I am Susan Bonnar, I live in Lee-on-the-Solent in Hampshire beside the sea. My maiden name was Cotton and I spent 20 years in the Royal Navy being called Dot - hence Dottie Designs.
How would you describe your work / style? My work is quite simple, hand decorating photo albums, guest books and keepsake boxes with simple, stylish designs. I have a slight obsession for butterflies!
Who, or what, inspires you?I am inspired by all sorts of things. The album I am working on designing now has a heart of seashells as its main feature and is tied up with raffia. I live by the beach, so my inspiration for this was just a winters walk along the beach with my 3 children.
Do you sell your work? If so, what helped you decide to start selling your work? I do sell my work. Initially I made cards and sold them to family, friends and colleagues. This gave me the confidence to do Craft Fairs and eventually to approach retail shops.
Where can I buy your work? My work can bought primarily on line at my website: dottie designs website
my ebay shop: dottie designs ebay
and my Folksy shop: dottie designs folksy
Do you have a website or blog I can visit? See above! I also have a blog: dottie designs blog that is very new!
How did you learn your particular craft? How long have you been creating? Just picked it up and have been creating for about 5 years.
Is there any other craft skill you would like to learn? I would love to learn to knit as I'm hopeless. I'm really envious of people that can draw too.
Anything exciting planned for 2010 you’d like to share? Nothing as yet!
Have you had any work featured in magazines/books/galleries? Featured in the Navy News! How to survive life on the outside by working for yourself!
Has your work won any prizes/competitions? Not yet!
If I wasn’t doing this, I’d be … Working as an Air Traffic Controller....
I couldn’t do this if it wasn’t for … An understanding husband as my craft has taken over the house!
Any funny stories you’d like to share? I sold a large photo album last week and was very proud of how it looked so took a photo of it. As the cover slants down slightly without photos in, I put in some socks (clean/odd) to hold it up. Photo done, parcel posted, ahhh feeling good. 2 hours later I gasped with horror, I’d posted out the odd socks inside the album…Tweenies, Star Wars etc!! Nightmare!
Describe your perfect day. Happy kids (no fighting) somebody else cleaning my house, doing the ironing, a couple of proper hours to myself (very rare) to work on new ideas.
Describe your proudest moment. When my 2 sons (6 &9) won a trophy for a duet they did at the Portsmouth Music Festival. The looks on their faces as they collected it were unforgettable. They had worked really hard and deserved it. I was also happy that they hadn't fought over who had the most stool to sit on!
What do you do to relax? What's relaxing?
Marmite … love it or hate it? Love love love it!
What animal would you be, and why? An eagle. Power, freedom....
What’s your weakness? Chocolate, red wine, chocolate, red wine, chocolate, red wine....
How do you keep motivated? Try to picture the end result
What do you wish you’d known when you first started out? How thick skinned I would need to be for knock backs!
What advice would you give to someone just starting out? Follow your instinct, stay focussed and keep proper accounts!
What question did you hope to be asked but weren’t? What would I like to be when I grow up?
What would your answer have been? A Zoo Keeper!!!
thanks to susan for a really interesting chat, i would have loved to have seen the face of the person who opened their lovely new photo album to find tweenies socks!
please pop back next monday when we meet amanda robbins from chicita