Tuesday 23 November 2010

show & tell - susie stubbs

chrysanthemums in blue
Hello and welcome to this month's Show & Tell.

What's that? I don't look like Susie? Well that's because I'm not Susie. I'm Kate from Foxs Lane and I've hijacked Susie's gorgeous Flower Press blog today. I thought who better to be the interviewee for the last Show & Tell of the year than the hostess herself.

I love Susie's Show & Tell. I love discovering new bloggers and more about the bloggers that I already know. I love how the same questions lead to so many varied and interesting answers and I love how inspired I feel after reading them each month.

I also love Susie's blog. I first came across it earlier in the year when I was sorting out partners for a pin cushion swap. I had a rather high profile blogger to find a partner for and after one look at Flower Press I knew that Susie and her gorgeous style would be the perfect fit.

Since then I have fallen in love with Susie's style. I love the crispness of her screen prints and how gorgeous her images look on denim and linen and paper. I love her obvious obsession with all things botanical, and reading her photo tutorials has completely changed the way I take, edit and upload my photos. She is generous with her knowledge and so quick to answer questions and help out. Susie is one of the few bloggers whom, despite the fact that we have never met in person, I can still call a friend.

So are you excited to hear how our usual hostess answers her own questions? I know I am. So without further ado, allow me to introduce you to this month's Show and Tell guest, Susie.

Susie Stubbs
Sydney, Australia
http://www.flowerpress.blogspot.com (of course!)

Short description of your blog/style/work
When Kate first emailled me about being a Show and Teller I was a bit daunted, those questions look much harder from the other side of the table! I am delighted though to join the amazing group of people who have shared themselves with us this year, and the good news is that its actually quite fun. Show & Tell will definitely be back next year and I have an overflowing list of potential victims, I mean candidates, in mind already. But back to the questions!

I'm a designer working in printmaking and textiles and my blog reflects my work, and everything else that interests me - making, gardening, botanics and the natural world, sea shells, buttons, vintage fabric and books. Food and eating, family life, travel, different cultures and art. I love photography and take photos everyday, the best ones turn up here. And I love great blogs, which is why I started Show & Tell in the first place.

collecting nature

1. Why blog? How did you start?
In mid 2007 I was googling for a knitting pattern and came across an Australian knitter's blog, with a link to her Etsy shop. Through Etsy I discovered Gocco printing, Flickr and more craft/design blogs. I'd heard about blogging before but didn't really understand why you would do it. That quickly changed and I was inspired to start my own. My twins had just started school and I finally had time to rediscover my creative side. My first post was three years ago this month and while I started quite slowly and self-consciously it soon became a joy.

Blogging feeds my creativity and has helped me develop as a maker. I often find myself thinking in blog posts and that helps me see things more clearly and more carefully. It helps me finish projects but also sees me starting way too many.

The community of blogging is a whole other part of why I blog. I've found lots of like minds online and I'm often moved to tears or laughter by their words. From the first I found the blogging community really supportive and inspiring.

doily pillows
2. Family taught/Self-taught/Trained?
I have a degree in graphic design and worked as a book and web designer before I had children. So I have a background in print, web, design, type and image making. In 2008 I did a short course in textile printing. I also have certificate two and nearly three in horticulture which I studied when my twins were little through distance TAFE. As Kate says I am mad about botanics. I especially loved the propogation and garden design subjects.

The wonderful internet has taught me everything else from kitchener stitch to bread making!


3. Workspace - studio or kitchen table?
Last year Mr Flowerpress built me a little space in the attic, its great for storage and I can sew up there without sticky fingers helping out. I still print on the dining room table though and generally manage to spread myself around the house. The drawback is I lose things all the time. But I can do that sitting still!

4. Blog/Shop name, where does it come from?
The day I signed up for Etsy I sat down with a bit of paper and tried to think of a user name. Flower Press came up about tenth in the list, and I knew straight away it was perfect. The flower part describes my interest in the garden world, and the press is both a nod to my years as a book designer and to my love of different printmaking styles.

5. Favourite medium to work in?
I think if I could only choose one discipline it would be drawing but printmaking and textile and pattern design are intertwined with that now.

6. Ambitions/future directions/future projects/medium you'd like to try?
I'm always seeing something new I'd like to try and I've tried my hand at many different crafts in my time even before the internet!
I would love to print some letterpress, that's number one, though lately I've been thinking about ceramics too, I'd like to make little bowls and cups and paint them in blue and white designs.
I'd also like to learn to sew better, and embroidery is on the list too…

pincushion swap

7. Are you neat and organised or, ahem, creatively messy?
While I'd like to think I have some neat in me, and I do like perfect clean every so often, my loved ones would definitely say messy.

8. Favourite handmade, handcrafted item you own, not necessarily by you?
I love handmade and I buy it all the time. I think my favourite things are those made by people I know. Each time I use them I think of the person who made them and I love that, I'm very sentimental! Some of my favourite things are drawings from the kids, newborn jumpers my mother in law knitted for my babies, my handcarved printing blocks, swaps and presents and prints I've bought from friends. Anything with a story.


9. Favourite food/recipe/drink?
If I had to narrow it down I'd say Vietnamese, Yum Cha and Italian. I also like seafood like fresh crab, oysters and fresh tuna. And Miss A enjoys baking so we are slowly working our way through the sweet side of life.

10. Favourite colour?
Until a few years ago I would have said purple and before that maybe green.
I'm quite fickle though, recently it swings between red, aqua and chartreuse. Also black and mushroom grey. And somehow this post ended up in shades of blue!

11. Star sign?
Sagittarian. Enthusiastic and likely to put foot in mouth any moment.


12. Favourite place, landscape (not necessarily Australian)?
My parents live on land in northern NSW and its truly magical. That's their house on top of the hill. That's one of my favourite places. I also enjoy exploring new places. There's nothing like a good road trip with stops along the way. I love to stay in funny old holiday houses and eat in new places every night.

My sister lives in Vietnam and my brother and I and families visited her a couple of years ago, its gorgeous. We had two weeks together and it was fantastic, the food, the people the sights. I also want to take the kids to Italy, which I love, get a house for a month and pootle around the countryside.

13. Any tricks for juggling life/work/family with creative pursuits?
Lists, late nights, a supportive partner and lots of patience. I am the ultimate multitasker, though I'm not sure that helps me finish anything. For example I might be cooking dinner and look out into the garden and see the light changing and so I'll slip out and take some photos while the rice cooks, end up weeding a bed or moving a plant. Or I might be paying bills and get up to find a pen and ten minutes later find myself knitting on the couch while I help someone do their homework.

finished quilt
14. Favourite artists?
I love Australian women artists like Clarice Beckett, Margaret Olley, Rosalie Gascoigne. My favourite garden designers are Beth Chatto and Piet Oudolf. I like famous painters like Van Gogh, Picasso, Rothko, Degas, Modigliani. I love textile design from the 50s. I love good graphic design and great photography.

15. Favourite blog post/thing you've made/photo? 
Perhaps the quilt I made last year. I really made it as a sewing challenge, but it gets used all the time, its very cosy and the perfect size to snuggle under. There are quite a few photos I've taken that I'm really happy with.

My Ruby Slippers print is something I'm very proud of, it lives with many people around the world now, and my Filigree design tea towels too.

16. Three words to describe you?
OK, hardest question. I'm going with creative, busy, enthusiastic. (I've edited out the bad stuff!)

17. What do you like to do besides creating?
I have to garden, its my meditation. I enjoy cooking. I read the paper every day and a book every night.

One of my favourite things is road trips with my little family exploring new places. I like to play games with my beautiful boys and make stuff with my darling girl. I love to meet up with my bloke during the week for lunch or a swim at the beach. I like christmas holidays with family - talking for hours over food or a glass of wine, watching the kids little concerts. Camping with the other side of the family. Or lunch with a friend or two catching up on all the news.


  1. Squeal! Thanks, Kate - a star turn. It's such a delight to learn more about you, Susie. I agree with Kate - you are very generous with sharing tips and have been ever since I started blogging, four months ago, and sent you an email asking how you took such glorious photos. Thanks so much for your generosity. J x

  2. Great read. You know what blogging allows ... it allows for that story to be asked, and written of where that thing came from and why it is significant to us and our family.

  3. Ha! LOVELY to have you in the spotlight! You do fabulous Show and Tell...Rosalie Gascoigne, huh?

  4. I loved your Show and Tell Susie!
    Thanks so much for letting me take over and ask you your own questions, its been such fun. Can't wait to see who you've got lined up for next year. X

  5. Yeeeeah, thank you Kate for hijacking Susie's blog, and giving us this fabulous interivew! Susie, you're awesome... and it's so nice to get a deeper insight into your work, and life - love it all. Really loving your new work too - the doily cushions especially... they are stunning! xo hugs! K

  6. And a really big thank you for featuring the artists all year long too Susie - I know it takes alot of time, and work, and it's just so nice of you - truly. Thank you for the great reads, and the opportunity too. lotsa love! K

  7. Hooray! So glad the spotlight has been turned on one of THE most talented people in the blogosphere! So many things to love about this Susie but I laughed out loud at the Sagittarian foot in mouth disease. I lived with two women in my family who were sagittarians and they were constantly doing it - and still are! Also putting my hand up to learning kitchener stitch on the net and owning a pair of your ruby slippers!

    Great read ;)

  8. Great to see you here Susie - I did giggle when you confessed how difficult the questions suddenly looked :)) Loved reading more about you. Kx

  9. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this and getting an insight into Susie's life and work - thanks for sharing :) I found out we share the same star sign and admiration of Rosalie Gascoigne's work...

  10. fun! great idea to have this set up :)
    i like your multi~tasking abilities . . . i like to think i can do it, but for sure the rice would be soggy/burnt!
    love these interviews.

  11. Lovely to 'meet' you Susie. Great to get a bit more of the story about you and your creativity. Lou.

  12. loved reading this and finding out more about you! ...Stubbs is a great creative name!!

  13. Lovely interview! So nice to see Susie in the spotlight!

  14. lovely show & tell. i also love rosalie gascoigne. i hope you get the other set of blocks!

  15. What a wonderful interview and great to see a lovely photo of you!

  16. Only just read this Susie - slightly behind here! What a fabulous interview - so good to hear more about you! I also laughed out loud at the Saggitarian comment - so typical! (& I should know - I'm one too!)


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