I have had so many new people join me in the Vada Blue world here on the website and across Facebook and Instagram that I thought it might be fitting to finally do a feature on myself as a way of introducing myself.
For those who already know me, maybe you will learn something new.
Vada Blue has been my 4th baby for over 3 years now and I never would have imagined it would be where it is today. By growing Vada Blue I have learnt, and continue to learn new skills, made new friends and am part of a larger community I previously didn't realise existed. I also learnt that I have a very large fibre obsession.
Tell us in a few sentences a little bit about yourself:
Lets start with the basics. I am Sarah, mum to 3 babies who are 5, 3 and 2. I have been a youth worker for many years but am taking a small break from this at the moment. In my "spare" time I manage Vada Blue and help run my hubbies bricklaying business. Overall our house is a loud, messy and chaotic place.
I was born and have always lived in Adelaide. I absolutely love it here and wouldn’t wish to live anywhere else. Recently we bought property in the Adelaide Hills which was my grandfather’s place. It has been really special being able to keep it in the family and raise our children here.
Over the years I have done some big trips around the world and my favourite place of all time would have to be Spain
My creative journey started over 3 years ago while on maternity leave with my second baby. Before this I never would have considered myself creative in anyway shape or form and I am pretty sure my friends and family would have said the same.
Please share one random/ interesting fact about you.
I used to be a massive thrill seeker and have sky dived, bungy jumped, swam with sharks etc. Now I would prefer to just sit behind my spinning wheel.
How long have you been creating?
It has been over three years now since i made my very first macrame piece.
How/Why did you get into it?
I was on maternity leave and came across a Macrame workshop in my local area and I decided just to do it. I am so glad I did.
What are your future fibre goals?
I love exploring new things. I now have 3 alpacas on our farm so I am looking forward to learning how to eventually prepare their fleeces from scratch and spin these. I also want to play around with eco printing, try wet felting, crochet and upskill my hand spun yarns.
What is it about fibre art that makes you love it the way you do?
The colours, the textures, the way everything comes together to create something unique. I love how I could eventually use a yarn that I have grown (well my alpacas have), processed, dyed, spun and then woven all myself. It is an amazing transformation that I feel will be a highlight for me in the future.
I also find macrame very relaxing and I find I can easily get lost in the knots. I think i mentioned above too that I have a fibre obsession. I cant get past how many beautiful and different yarns and fibres there are to play with and I absolutely love finding these to add to the shop.
What is your most challenging piece to date?
This would have to be a massive colourful custom curtain I did a couple of years ago. I found this piece difficult because the customer had some big ideas on what he wanted. It all sounded amazing but I got lost in the reference pictures and was overthinking it. We changed the design too many times and I felt it never connected with what I thought he wanted. I also didn't feel the designs converted well to macrame which made it difficult to start.
I was constantly second guessing myself and I found it really hard to visualise the design. It was also made harder because I wasn’t in love with the colour choices and felt the amount of colours was over complicating it all. In the end the customer was happy which is all that matters even though it was my least favourite piece to date.
I must say I learnt alot about this process. I should have trusted myself from the beginning and when given full rein to create as 'the expert" I should have done just that, my way, my style. I also learnt that maybe sometimes if it doesn't feel right, you can say no!
What is your biggest achievement.
Besides growing my skills and creating some beautiful things, I love my workshops. I love the sense of community and the achievement it brings other new makers. I hope I can bring more of this to my community with tips and tricks within my private facebook group, in conjunction with the BeWeave Box.
How have you learnt your craft - self-taught, workshops, books, online tutorials?
I am mostly self-taught when it comes to macrame and weaving. This is through books that I have purchased, but I have also attended a workshop too. I occasionally watch online tutorials but I prefer a book because It is easier to refer back when needed.
With my spinning I am a part of Flock which is a wonderful online spinning class run by Kelly at Spindle and Company. She is worth checking out if you are wanting to learn how to spin.
Do you have a favourite book or tutorial you would recommend?
I love the Lindsay Campbell Welcome to Weaving series.
What would you say to someone who is thinking about getting into the craft but isn’t sure?
What do you have to lose? You never know how beneficial it could be. There are ways for nearly all crafts to start small and cheap if you are concerned about costs. Homemade looms for weaving and cheap yarns from spotlight will help you get a feel for it. I would though certainly recommend more quality yarns and ribbons as you begin to grow in confidence.
In terms of Macrame, you don’t need much. A stick, some cotton and start with the basic square knots.
The community of makers is incredible and there are so many helpful people out there. You may find yourself lost scrolling through Instagram or Pintrist though instead of making.
Is there a fibre artist that inspires you the most?
I have a few that I love looking at their work. Jamie from Jac Home Heart, Orchard Weaves, Solipdiy and Crossing Threads
What is your favourite knot/technique to do? Why
I love to do diamonds with the double clove hitch in macrame. In weaving I love soumak and twining.
Neutrals or colour?
Its funny when I do Macrame I prefer neutrals but in weaving it’s all about the colour and texture.
Are you drawn to pattern or texture?
I am more of a free form weaver. So for me it is texture.
What would you say is your style? Geometric, boho etc
I do love a little Boho.
What is your favourite VADA BLUE fibre to use and why?
This is a trick question! I don’t think you can ask me to narrow it down. Right now I am absolutely loving the bamboo in Moonlight and Old Rose. I also cannot get enough of wool roving, Sari Silk and velvet
Where can you find your work? Ie: online, markets, website, shop?
You can find it on the website and I have some pieces across Adelaide at R&S Collections in Christies Beach, Iron Maiden in Glenelg, Henley Beach at Place of Kind, Bridge Trophies in Murray Bridge and now also in Woodside at The Local Produce Shop
I often will attend local markets, especially at Christmas times. I also attend the Fibre Feast yarn and fibre market if you are in Adelaide and want to view the fibre products in person which I know is important sometimes for colour and texture. This can also be done at the studio shop in Cherry Gardens.
If you have a social media account – let us know.
Facebook Group – A Makers Space, Fibre Arts with Vada Blue