Tuesday, 24 April 2012

show & tell - shannon lamden

show&tell23 Crafty Ladies

I've been reading Shannon Lamden's blog for a few years now, its long been on my list of must reads. I love her wicked humour and 'tell it like it is' style which make me laugh often (and gasp occasionally). Her honesty and irreverence about work, life and family is always entertaining and her work is always inspiring.

Shannon is a most productive designer and has adapted her wonderful style to a range of different media. Her popular screenprinted fabric designs are favourites on the Australian craft scene. Some feature her iconic Cookie characters which she also draws in personalised hand inked portraits. Her clever graphic cushions and totes also feature regularly in design and home magazines. Shannon describes herself in the interview as organised and speedy and I can well believe her with all the different creative work she produces as well as crafting, quilting and more.

I learnt some new things about Shannon through her Show & Tell answers, I'm always amazed about how these simple questions draw out something fresh. For example its great to find out at last where her alter ego, the famous Aunty Cookie name comes from - a nice surprise.

Thanks again Shannon for being part of Show & Tell :-)

Shannon Lamden
Melbourne, Australia

 1. Can you give us a short description of your blog/style/work
My blog is a mess of things. Stuff I make, fabric I design and sell, chatting about the kids, chatting about the house, stuff I like to watch on TV, stuff I do on the weekends, holidays I take, stuff I draw... My style is conversational, I try to write as I talk and If I labour over a post it means I should ditch it! I tend to just think of something, write it - post it.


2. Why blog? How did you start?
I started blogging about two years into my freelance career when I was home with the first kid. I discovered blogs about a year earlier and became quite obsessed. There weren't as many back then and I just knew I wanted to be a part of the cool kids group!! I started making drawings and posting about that and crapping on about random stuff here and there. I opened an etsy shop to sell my drawings and slowly from there its grown. Slowly! That was about 5 or so years ago.
I have abit of a love/hate relationship with the blog, I do like writing it but I also hate it when I've got nothing to say but feel I should say... something - anything! The blog now acts a medium sized arm of my business, I notice then when I blog more I sell more, and I like that.

3. Family taught/Self-taught/Trained?
I studied painting and drawing at Uni. But went straight from there to working in an advertising and marketing department where I taught myself all my computer skills. Im one of those fake it til you make it kinda learners, taking jobs on saying I knew how to do stuff and then faked it! As for crafting, its all self-taught. Which you can tell if you look closely!!


4. Workspace - studio or kitchen table?
Used to be the end of the kitchen, then I moved into a studio for a few years which was great as I was out of the house. Then kid number 2 came along and I moved back home, that was also the point where I was crafting alot more than designing so it made sense to stay at home and not schlep all my gear back and forth to a studio. I've since then stayed at home, at the moment we are renovating our house where I will have a real studio space. I can make a mess and leave it, this is ace!

5. Blog/Shop name, where does it come from?
My blog name is actually my mother's nickname. I used it because I thought it was cute. It is a little lame, but that's cool. At times I think its a little too cute for what I make, but too bad really!


6. Favourite media to work in?

7. Ambitions/future directions/future projects/medium you'd like to try?
Ideally Id like to get a fabric company to pick up a fabric range of mine, I've been working towards this for the past year. Badgering, designing, badgering, recolouring.... hopefully soon I'll be able to get that shizz together. Other than that, I'm still making homewares and drawing alot.


8. Are you neat and organised or, ahem, creatively messy?
Totally organised. Neat, ordered in my systems. But I can't add very well, so the money side of things is done by someone else!

9. Favourite handmade, handcrafted item you own not made by you.
My red zaishu stool (pics below and on flickr), a triangular coloured knitted blanket made for my daughter when she was born (on instagram) glass baubles made for me by Kirsty (kootoyoo.com)


10. Favourite food/recipe?
Oh god. Any of my mum's curries. Any cake that is syrupy, any slice that has coconut in it!

11. Favourite colour?
Black. Grey.

12. Star sign?

13. Favourite place, landscape (not necessarily Australian)?
New York. Easy.


14. Any tricks for juggling life/work/family with creative pursuits? Ignoring your kids... no only joking. Or am I? I manage my time well, when the kids are out or babysat by the TV - I am working. I make a weekly to do list and try to do it every week. I plan meals, have a monthly calender with everyone's activities on it, I run a tight ship.

15. Favourite artists, artisans, crafters?
Michael Sowa, Frida Kahlo, David Sedaris, Lanie Lane, Sophie Blackall, Kootoyoo, Loobylu... actually there are heaps of crafty birds I dig.

Hello! Loot Totes for christmas

16. Your favourite thing you've made/written/done.
I love some of the quilts I've made, they are pretty dodge but I like them. I really like sitting and sewing. Its nice and quiet.

17. Three words to describe yourself?
Irritable, speedy, focused.

18. What do you like to do besides creating?
Riding bikes with the family, playing too many games of netball, manhandling fabric, hanging out the washing, eating party pies.



  1. Great interview ~ Shannon is a gem! Thanks for the giggle!

  2. An amazing crafter indeed. I love her kooky figures. Looking forward to seeing that fabric line. I feel for sure that Shannon can do it! :)

  3. Shannon - so good! I love her style (& her).

  4. This is such a fabulous interview! I love it :) Have been a big fan of Shannon's work for ages too. Really great to see it again... loving that name tote especially! :) Kx

  5. I have loved Shannon's products for yonks, but I only just found her blog the other day. Coincidence!



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