Wendy Stephenson uses her skill with both embroidery and painting to create beautiful cushions, bags, toys and other items. Her charming craft products can be found online and also at the Mums and Bubs markets locally …
Hi Wendy. Thanks for sitting down with us today! Tell us a little bit about yourself …
I moved to Port about 4 years ago from Sydney to be near my two adult children and five grandchildren. One of my grandsons has a disability, and I like to be able to lend a hand when needed.
You make children’s accessories like bags, pretty shoes and toys. How did you get into this?
I’ve always loved painting and crafts so when I came to Port, it was a chance for me to explore my creative side. I was looking around online and discovered contemporary embroidery. I started embroidering, and now I’m hooked. The biggest embroidery I have attempted was the cover of a Tintin book (Red Rackham’s Treasure). I did this for an online competition, and I got into the top ten! Lately, I’ve been designing my own patterns and then embroidering them. My work has been featured on some online embroidery sites, which is pretty exciting!
Where do your cute ideas come from for making your children’s accessories?
I love children’s illustrated books, and I think I’m still a bit of a kid myself. I just think of things that made me happy when I was a child, and having my grandchildren around definitely helps!
What’s a favourite piece you’ve made?
My favourite piece is probably a cushion I made with a little felt pussycat sitting in a garden with embroidered flowers around it. It’s based on the nursery rhyme Pussycat, Pussycat, Where have you Been?
You’re also a keen painter. What sorts of paintings do you do?
I do watercolour and ink illustrations. They mostly feature little girls, rabbits, owls, and fish. I love fish!
Artistically, where do you get your inspiration from?
My inspiration comes from walking along the beach and through the bush. I love looking at the patterns in the water and rocks, I love the colours of my embroidery cottons, and this will sometimes inspire a little watercolour painting.
How long have you been painting, and how did you discover you were good at it?
I have been painting as long as I can remember. When I was little, we had a neighbour who was a well known artist. He used to hold art competitions for all the kids in the street! I did art at school and have done painting and drawing classes on and off through the years.
Do you have a logo of sorts, or signature, so we can recognise your work?
I use a lot of calico in my work. I like to embroider on calico, and it is easy to draw on as well. My signature is ‘wendalene at snapdragon’ .
You sell your children’s accessories at the St. Paul’s Mums and Bubs Market. Do you also sell your paintings there?
Yes, I do sell prints of my paintings and some small original pictures also, along with the embroidered cushions and the embroidery hoops, felt rabbits, pussycats and owls and little cotton teddy bears. I share the stall with my friend, Elga. She makes lovely big owls, elephants and dolls using colourful fabrics and felt.
For those who would love to purchase your handy work, aside from The Mums and Bubs Market, where can they do so?
My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org and my blog is at http://snap–dragon.blogspot.com.au/ I also have a small online shop at Big Cartel, where I sell my original embroidery designs.
What’s in the future for your amazing crafts and paintings?
I have so many ideas in my head and not enough hours in the day. I’ve just started making pretty fabric bags for little girls. I recently embroidered some photos my sister took in New York and would like to explore this method further, and I would love to embroider some more Tintin book covers as well. And more cushions, of course!