Nic James of the yardage girl blog recently spent a long sojourn with her family based in Spain and travelling around Europe. It was wonderful to go along with Nic and her camera both via her blog and on instagram, hitching a ride as a virtual tourist as she saw the sites, enjoying them through her beautiful photos. I managed not to be too jealous in the process, well maybe just a little bit!
Nic runs an independent fabric design company based in Melbourne called Yardage Design. She handprints her own original fabrics on natural fabrics and has recently moved into new studio space at the Abbottsford Convent. She also celebrated her third blog birthday a couple of weeks ago so its the perfect time to share her blog.
Like me Nic is a fan of flowers, fabric and food. She also likes to shop vintage and designs and prints her own fabrics, so we have that in common as well. She shares all of this on her blog and also posts about her crafting, her designs and production. She is also an enthusiastic and generous member of the blog and craft communities and was one of the first to join my brooch swap last year.
Nic has always been a great supporter of the Show & Tell series, since it first began three years ago, so its a delight to feature her today, please make her very welcome. Thanks Nic :-)
1. Can you give us a short description of your blog/style/work
Hello! I am a screenprinter and textile designer. I design and print my own fabrics and homewares under the business name of Yardage Design. My style is simple ~ influenced by patterns, geometry and my surroundings. I love fonts and text, and colour.
2. Why blog? How did you start?
I didn’t know anything about blogging or the independent craft scene until 2009 when I accidentally stumbled across the Incubator section at the Stitches and Craft Show. My eyes were opened to blogging, cool crafting and people like me having a go at doing what they love for a living. I “stalked” some of my favourite blogs for a while to find out how it all worked, then took the plunge and started my own.
My blog is really my journal ~ I want to be able to look back on these years at some stage in the future. My blog has been an amazing connection to people who like making things ~ I have so many friends who I have met via this blog ~ both virtually and in real life. Running a business, also means that my blog is a great way to let people know what I’m doing/making/thinking/observing.
3. Family taught/Self-taught/Trained?
My mum taught me to sew at a young age, and I also did sewing at school. Until I had my son 5 years ago, I had been busy with university and a professional career, and I hadn’t really done anything crafty for years. I took a weekend course in screen printing, and so began my passion! The rest of my training is on the job ~ I basically learn as I go!
4. Workspace - studio or kitchen table?
I’ve done both, and everything in between! I have just recently (a couple of weeks ago) moved into a lovely new studio at the Abbotsford Convent.
5. Blog/Shop name, where does it come from?
The name Yardage Design came from a simple circular design (my logo) that was one of the first graphics I created when thinking about starting a textile business. The circle motif represents the end of a bolt of fabric, and that got me thinking about words associated with fabric. I settled on “yardage” because I like its vintage appeal and it was my goal to print fabric by the metre.
6. Favourite media to work in?
Fabric ~ I love printing on it, and sewing with it.
7. Ambitions/future directions/future projects/medium you'd like to try?
My goals are to print more of the ideas I have in my head and in sketch books; and experiment more with printing techniques.
8. Are you neat and organised or, ahem, creatively messy?
I’m mostly organised, but have been known to make a mess or two.
9. Favourite handmade, handcrafted item you own not made by you
Beautiful, handpainted ceramics from Spain.
10. Favourite food/recipe?
I love almost anything French ~ butter, butter and a bit more butter, really does make it better!
11. Favourite colour?
12. Star sign?
13. Favourite place, landscape (not necessarily Australian)?
Favourite city (to visit) ~ Lisbon, Portugal. Favourite city (to live) ~ Melbourne, Australia (but I wouldn’t mind trying Edinburgh). Favourite landscape ~ green rolling hills, where ever in the world they are.
14. Any tricks for juggling life/work/family with creative pursuits?
Lists. A glass of wine now and then. Lists. A sense of humour! Lists.
15. Favourite artists, artisans, crafters etc?
So many, but a few that always inspire are William Morris and his peers, the designers at Marimekko, and modern screen printing pioneers like Lotta Jansdotter.
16. Your favourite thing you've made/written/done.
The quilt I made in March this year ~ using my own fabrics for the first time ~ it was a good feeling to see something made from fabric I had designed. It felt even better to give it to a very special person.
17. Three words to describe yourself?
Focussed, persistent, sharing
18. What do you like to do besides creating?
Wandering around taking photos - on my phone (I’m addicted to instagram) and with the big camera; and, pottering around in the kitchen and/or garden.