Friday, 20 August 2010

show & tell - kate ulman


I first got to know Kate Ulman when I joined the pincushion swap on her FoxsLane blog earlier this year. It was the first swap I'd ever done and I nearly choked on my tea when she emailled me back to inform me my swap partner was none other than Pip Lincolne from a little known blog called Meet Me at Mikes!!! Luckily Kate was very encouraging and I went on to have great fun making my pincushion to send to the lovely Pip.

Since then I've been a big fan of Kate and her blog FoxsLane. I love her honest, busy posts and her thoughtful view of life. And as I told her when I asked her to be a Show and Teller, I also like living vicariously on her organic vegie farm, but without the mud and early mornings ;-)

Kate is a talented and innovative crafter who absorbs new skills with awe inspiring speed and talent. I'm sure I'm not the only one who watched amazed as she picked up the knitting needles a couple of months ago and turned out a cardigan, with an intricate lace pattern as one of her first projects.

One of my favourite posts of Kate's, and I have a few (like this one and this), tells of when she was walking down the street of her local town and ran into a woman who's tablecloth she was wearing - reused, recycled and turned into a wonderful dress! It's a perfect illlustration of why the label she uses for her clothing line is called Everything but the Thread - everything in the making of her clothes line is thrifted and recycled, except the thread. What a wonderful way to work. Another thing to admire about this talented blogger. Welcome Kate!

Kate Ulman
Foxs Lane, Daylesford, Australia

Short description of your blog/style/work...
I guess I am what my Farmer Boy would describe as a Jack of all crafts but a master of none. I work in lots of different crafts and I love it when I can combine a few of them at once. I love having a new idea and figuring a way to enable it to become a reality, to learn a new stitch, to see something I've made, loved. I don't like making anything twice or sewing in the ends.

1. Why blog? How did you start?
My farm blog came first. My sister set it up for me as a way to have an online presence after we won a high profile award last year. So there I was writing a farm blog when I realised that all the blogs I was reading were craft blogs. After much thought about whether or not I could commit the time to another blog, I realised I had no choice. My sister came back over, set me up, and Foxs Lane was born.

2. Family taught/Self-taught/Trained?
I am a really bad student. I can't stand being told what to do. I'd much rather muddle through it myself and come out of it holding the needles in the strangest way but at least the stitches are right.

3. Workspace - studio or kitchen table?
My whole house is one big studio. I have a sewing table and some shelves for fabric storage in our office and then the rest of the house is dotted with little nests of projects. I know from experience that if I pack an unfinished project away it will forever remain unfinished.

4. Blog/Shop name, where does it come from?
It's where its at! We live on Foxs Lane.

5. Favourite medium to work in?
I am a textiles chick through and through. I love to cut it and stitch it and tie it and measure it and crochet it and knit it...

6. Ambitions/future directions/future projects/medium you'd like to try?
I won't know until it wakes me up in the middle of the night.

7. Are you neat and organised or, ahem, creatively messy?I think I can safely say that I am the messiest person you have ever come across. I struggled with it for years, trying to pretend to the world that I was a domestic goddess. But a few years ago my dad posted a description of me on his blog for my birthday and called me messy. It was then that I decided the charade was up. I had tried and failed as a pretend neat person, it was time to embrace the mess.

8. Favourite handmade, handcrafted item you own?
I have a framed painting my Indi did in her first week of prep. It is a self portrait done with all the naive confidence of a five year old before they grow up and become self conscious. I have to walk past that painting to get to my sewing table and it is a constant reminder that the best work is unselfconscious and proud.

9. Favourite food/recipe?
I am an eat to live rather than a live to eat person so this a hard one for me but I really can't go past toast spread with fetta, some thinly sliced tomato and more than a sprinkling of salt.

10. Favourite colour?
 It changes daily but today I think it is green.

11. Star sign?
Scorpio. There are three of us in this house!

12. Favourite place, landscape (not necessarily Australian)?
I like home. I do love to travel and see new places and experience new things but at the end of the day I like my own space and my own stuff.

13. Any tricks for juggling life/work/family with creative pursuits?
None! I just make it up as I go along. Oh actually, I do believe strongly that a parent can only be a good parent when they are inspired and expressing themselves. To me that means crafting, so I ensure there is always a little bit of crafting time to balance me.

14. Favourite artists?
It changes according to what medium I am working in at the time. At the moment I am knitting-obsessed so I am cruising knitting sites, Googling knitters and spending way too long on Ravelry.

15. Favourite blog post/thing you've made/photo?
Usually it's the latest thing I've made because it means I've answered the niggly questions that were keeping me up at night. Would it work in that yarn and how could I get it to take that shape and if I put that bit there will it sit right? I also love that I can use my craft to outfit my kids and love nothing more than to watch them choose something I've created to wear.

16. Three words to describe you?
Maker, obsessor, looker afterer. (My farmer boy just yelled out talented, amazing, sexy)!!

17. What do you like to do besides creating?
Be with my family and friends, farm, play.



  1. A lovely show & teller, I'm a little in awe of Kates crafty talent, along with her ability to run a business & a family!! thanks for sharing...

  2. Great read - I did a post last night about our visit to Kate and the farmer boy's farm!

  3. I just found your blog via Kate's link and will be adding you to my must read list - great interview and you have a lovely blog!

  4. Great interview. I've been following Kate's blogs for a while so it's nice to find out more about her.

  5. a great interview I love Kate's blog and work too. I am loving your blog too!!

  6. I love Kate's blog and (if you can love someone without knowing them) I love Kate too! ;) It is always the most refreshing place to visit and picks me up no matter how low I feel. She is a wonder. Thanks for the beautiful interview Susie :) Kx

    p.s. Aren't Kate's photos amazing?! Natural talent there too methinks :)

  7. Great interview. I love Kate's blog too. Very honest, funny and creative. Lou.

  8. Kate is amazing and so is her wonderful blog & creations!!
    great interview and as Little Ted Canvas said, alot of people are definitely in awe of Kate.
    Apart from all her amazingness, she is also very generous & of course lovely.
    Pop by my blog to see why.

  9. What a wonderful show and teller! Having met Kate a few weeks ago I can say that she is just a wonderful person too.

  10. Superb show and tell ... again! Kate is a gem!

  11. I really enjoy these interviews Susie...see I didn't know Kate was a scorp. It makes me love her more.

  12. Ah yeah, love the KATE (despite being a scorpio!), and love these interviews Susie. Nice one ;)

  13. Great interview, she's such a petal.

  14. Oh my goodness! Thank you so much Susie and all you gorgeous commenters for your kind words. I am overwhelmed. What a wonderful start to the weekend.
    Thank you. X

  15. Ah, she's a good egg isn't she? Love it that she can talk whimsy, making, parenting while standing with two feet firmly on the ground.

  16. Lovely lovely interview! Thanks again for introducing me to another wonderful blogger.


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