Sunday, 7 August 2011

Handmade Blog Feature: Emma Dickie of The Candy Tree

This lovely lady contacted me a while ago answering my call for people interested in having a handmade feature done on them. I went to her shop and was delighted by her work. As a embroiderer myself (now more freestyle rather than cross stitch) I,ve seen alot of various crosstitched artworks and pillows but nothing like this and not based on original artwork by the embroiderer themselves. I emailed my list of questions and got a beautiful  story written in peach text! I also sent some suggestions for incorporating beadwork with her comfy patchwork cushions. It was lovely to get a tweet with a picture of a pillow she had made incorporating a heart embroidered with sparkly blue beads and mentioning me in the process!

So without furthur ado, I introduce to you the sweet Emma Dickey of The Candy Tree.

Hi Emma and welcome to your blog feature! Firstly what inspired you to create The Candy Tree? and what inspired the name?
The Candy Tree originates from my college days when I wouldn't go anywhere without a little sketchbook.I used to sit down and doodle and come up with little  poems and one day I drew a tree trunk with a lollipop head.The accompanying poem was "Don't eat from the Candy Tree.You will feel Dandy and free.Is that really what you want to be?"

I later turned this into a painting  but it wasn't until I started creating jewellery a few years later and needed a name for my work that I realised I already had it!
I,ve always been inspired by nature and vibrant colours so it seemed like the perfect fit and so "The Candy Tree" was born.

Patchwork cushions by Emma Dickie top cushion features beadwork in blue glass beads.

You have recently started creating cross stitched cushions and patterns based on your paintings.What inspired that product line?
I love crafts of all kinds and enjoy experimenting  with a new medium.
I created my first cross stitch two years ago and have fallen in love with the medium!
It has been a great way to bring my artwork to life in a new dimension as I love to combine different mediums to create someIthing new. Cross stitch is not only theraputic but allows me to share my work in the forms of patterns as well.
Again i,m very much inspired by nature and the vibrant shades of thread really lend themselves to my subject matter.
I decided to transform some of these designs into cushions as it became not just a great way of brightening up the home with a original piece of Art but functional too.

Copper and Gold Cross stitch pattern pdf by Emma Dickey copyright Emma Dickie.

What is the process for creating a piece of original Art and turning it into a cross stiched cushion and pattern?
It can be quite a lengthy process from artwork to cushion! Firstly the painting needs to be scanned into specialist software where I can tweak it into a pattern.
This can take several hours.As any good cross stitcher will know that a good pattern has sections of color flowing together as opposed to random squares of colour dotted all over the place- as this isn't really very theraputic to stitch! Once i,m happy with the pattern it can be printed fabrics and threads purchased and stitching can commence.

Depending on how large the pattern is it can take a few months for the panel to be stitched.

Once finished it is a case of washing and ironing the panel taking great care not to undo the hours of hardwork.Before sewing two sections of cotton on the back to create a cushion envelope.
Bird of Paradise cross stitch cushion by Emma Dickie

You also create semi-precious stone jewellery accented with sterling silver.What inspired the use of those materials?
I have always preferred silver jewellery,probably because it complements my colorings better than gold and for me silver has the elegance of subtlety about it that really brings out the vibrant pearls and stones that I like to use. My choice of materials come back to my love of nature.
The semi-precious stones and freshwater pearls I use are all uniquely shaped and I try and avoid perfectly formed round pearls. My favorite are the blister pearls as they can create a very striking look due to their erratic shape.
Autumnal tones Blister pearl necklace By Emma Dickie

Silver Blister Pearl Bracelet Emma Dickie

Some jewellers who use semi precious stones are inspired by birthstones or myths/legends ,healing properties are these one of the things that inspires your line?
To be honest I,m not sure stones have can have healing properties,however I do believe that certain colors and stones can bring about different emotions depending on their personal preferances.For example, Purple has always been my favorite color and it also happens to be the color of my birthstone Amethyst. I always feel that Amethyst soothes me,not because of any special properties but simply because I love the deep purple tones and the natural shapes of the stone.
I have transferred these ideas into my jewellery by using natural shapes in a variety of colors so that hopefully I offer something that appeals to everyones personal taste.
Pink Ruby pearl and agate necklace By Emma Dickie

Lapis Lazuli and Agate necklace by Emma Dickey

Whats next in the Pipeline for The Candy Tree?
At the moment i,m concentrating on expanding my line of cross stitch patterns and patchwork cushions. I,m also working on some knitted jewellery and i have just finished some bracelets.Matching earrings will be following shortly! They are made with wire and a selection of glass beads and semi precious stone chips.

Purple bead and pearl glass bracelet and earrings set by Emma Dickie

Whats the most enjoyable aspect of creating The Candy Tree?
The most enjoyable part of creating The Candy Tree has been trying new things and discovering my latest love for cross stitch.There is nothing more relaxing after a day at work than curling up on the couch to stitch my lastest design! I have also enjoyed creating my Etsy shop as it has allowed me to share  experiences and learn  from fellow crafters.

Whats the least enjoyable aspect of creating The Candy Tree?
The least enjoyable part for me is marketing! I,m not a natural sales person and find it difficult to promote my work. I use a variety of outlets to get the word out. Facebook and Twitter.However my difficulty is with getting my friends/family/colleagues to look at my work as I am very shy when it comes to face to face promotion.

Who are your favorite etsians and why?
I love she offers a range of acai and tagua nut beads in gorgeous colors.They are very much in keeping with my style and may even feature in my future ranges of vibrant jewellery!  also range of very modern patterns.Very inspiring!
Tagua Nut slices Dyed by

Graffiti art cross stitch pattern from

So if you want a piece of original tactile art for your couch, a vibrant piece of jewellery to brighten up your outfit and your day look no furthur than and Tweet her

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