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Life-long crafter and hospital Social Worker, Carolyn, cuts, crochets, sews, embroiders and knits an eclectic range of handmade wares. From cards to handbags, cushions to necklaces, Carolyn’s constantly evolving online store is a showcase of creative spirit and a testament to the makers’ movement

24 May 2019

Designer Spotlight: Creative By Design

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Social worker and life-long creative, Carolyn: ‘The things that I make are all crafted from a drive to create and a love of making’

My name is Carolyn and I’m the crafter behind Creative By Design. The range of items I make are best described as eclectic, but I primarily focus on handmade cards and knitted / crocheted accessories.

‘The good things in life are better with you’ handmade card at the card-making workstation of maker, Creative By Design

I’ve been selling on Madeit since 2012 as A Slip and A Stitch, but changed stores in 2018 as I wanted my business name to evoke more than knitwear.

Life-long crafter and hospital Social Worker, Carolyn, cuts, crochets, sews, embroiders and knits an eclectic range of handmade wares. From cards to handbags, cushions to necklaces, Carolyn’s constantly evolving online store is a showcase of creative spirit and a testament to the makers’ movement

Madeit has given me an opportunity to reach a ‘local’ audience of people who value handmade and the effort that goes into creating each item. I prefer Madeit to other selling platforms because of the community atmosphere and because of the support offered to stallholders.

Carolyn from Creative By Design in her home craft room: ‘I love all of the roles that I take on in my life, but crafting is when I most feel like myself’

Aside from crafting as much as possible, I work 4 days a week as a hospital social worker and have two young children. I love all of the roles that I take on in my life, but crafting is when I most feel like myself.

Carolyn reluctantly modelling a pair of her crochet fingerless gloves: ‘The descriptor ‘creative’ has been ascribed to me since childhood’

I’ve grown up doing craft and learning new types of craft with my mum, and the descriptor ‘creative’ has been ascribed to me since childhood. As a child, I primarily focused on cross stitch and long stitch, which are crafts that were favourited by mum; but also did twilling, stamping, beading and fine arts like drawing and painting.

Card-making process: hand-stamping specialty papers

Card-making process: adding sparkling gold embossing powder

Card-making process: setting the embossing powder with heat

I’ve always loved specialty papers and have been making cards for as long as I can remember.

Just some of Carolyn’s range of handmade cards: ‘I’ve always loved specialty papers’

I learned to knit in 2007 and added crochet to my skill set approximately 6 years ago. I’m gradually improving my skills in hand embroidery, punch-needle embroidery, and machine sewing, and hope to add more of these elements into my products.

Carolyn at work honing a new skill of machine sewing

I’m fortunate to have a whole room that I can devote to craft, but in reality, my workspace is wherever I feel like setting up at the time!

An ever-expanding range of craft supplies, tools and books in Carolyn’s home craft room

I have craft spread throughout the house, and you’re just as likely to find me working in my craft room as sitting on the couch and knitting in front of the tv.

Carolyn knitting in her lounge room: ‘you’re just as likely to find me working in my craft room as… knitting in front of the tv’

In my creative process, I’m inspired by new materials and learning new techniques. Unfortunately, this is not great for my budget – but purchasing new papers or wool does lead to a lot of joy!

When I’m feeling stuck for ideas, I can always find inspiration for ‘new possibilities’ by browsing online.

Just a slice of Carolyn’s fabric and yarn stash

I love products that are handmade because I value the skill, effort and thought that goes into creating something from nothing.

Carolyn sewing in her craft room, her young son watching over intently: ‘you know that you’re purchasing something that holds great meaning and value to the maker

When you buy handmade, you know that you’re purchasing something that holds great meaning and value to the maker; and you can be confident that it is unique and of a high quality.

This heirloom-worth bassinet / pram blanket by Creative By Design took two years to make

I think that’s why I like to make a wide variety of items, and feel unable to focus in on one product type. The things that I make are all crafted from a drive to create and a love of making.



Visit Creative By Design to find everything from cards to scarves, all made straight from the heart: CreativeByDesign

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