Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Creative Mama Series - Jannelle

I am honoured to be hosting a score of super talented crafty mamas sharing their wisdom, crafting and snapshots of their beautiful lives. This is ‘The Creative Mama series’. Join me every weekend for a wander in these ladies crafty shoes. Guest posts, stunning photography, inspiration, interviews, poetry and giveaways...all coming up. Magic aside it can be hard work this mama business, put your feet up a minute and join us. Hopefully there is always something here to give your day a lift.

My name is Jannelle and I'm a mama to Charlie (5) Sadie (3) and Oscar(20 months). We live in Greytown which is a small rural town with a wonderful diverse community. My husband Ian is a chef at a local restaurant and I work part time as a librarian at our local library.

Ian and I like to encourage the children in our love of nature,gardening, cooking, books, music, art and craft. Ian collects vinyl records and I have a love for vintage clothing and old picture books so we haunt the local thrift stores finding little treasures. I like to use recycled fabrics and clothing as much as possible in my work so the thrift stores are an important factor in my work.

I've always had the need to be creative and with the arrival of my
children my creativity turned to photography and sewing.

I took up photography 4 years ago and love capturing little moments of innocence and wonder that children possess. I'm self taught and still learning but it helps when I have great models who put up with me.Since then I've had photographs published in a variety of books and magazines from around the world.

When Sadie was born in 2007 I developed the need to sew. My mother sewed all our clothes for my sister and I when we were children and I started to regret that I didn't take up the opportunity to learn from her when I could. But my good friend supplied me with a sewing machine and another showed me a simple dress pattern and I haven't looked back.

Life is busy in our household but I try to do at least one creative thing a day. Some days it might just be a few shots with my camera ~other days it may be cutting out a pattern or even just matching some fabrics together. With Ian at work most nights I do get a lot of evening time to myself and I like nothing more than having some hand sewing in my lap.

My creative space is everywhere. I recently just moved my sewing machine into the garage, but I hand sew wherever I happen to be in the house. It could be outside while watching the children play in the garden, sometimes in front of the fire or even in bed while watching a movie. I always have it handy to pick up when the opportunity arises.

The children like to join in when they can. Charlie and Sadie both love to have a go at hand sewing and show interest in drawing, painting and photography. Recently they made 'stuffies'. They drew a picture onto a piece of A4 sized piece of fabric with crayons. Sadie drew a turtle and Charlie a dinosaur. We set the crayon with a hot iron (use a piece of greaseproof paper in between) and then cut around the drawing leaving a decent sized seam. They then whipped stitched around the shape to make a pocket. They then stuffed the pocket with stuffing and closed it up to make their own original stuffed animal. They both took their stuffie to bed that night, something special, unique and handmade. I've now taken that craft to the library with me where we'll be doing it with a group of children for a school holiday project.

My tips for being at creative at home:
~ turn off the TV
~ get inspired through books, magazines, blogs, and the world around you
~ have supplies at hand so when you have the will you have the materials
~ involve the kids, it might slow your process down but it can also be
~ make it your own, put your own little twist to your creation
~ just do it! The washing will get folded, the dishes will get

JANNELLE'S GIVEAWAY...a Hiawatha headband! Leave a comment for Jannelle below to be in to win one of Jannelle's beautiful Hiawatha headbands. All comments go into the magic hat and the winner chosen by the smallest member of the household at the end of the week.

Jannelle's lovely blog, Heart Felt can be found HERE.

To shop or be tempted in Jannelle's Felt shop, click HERE. Etsy shop: HERE.


  1. I LOVE your tips on being creative, so true (especially turning the TV off).
    We will definitely have to have a go at making a stuffie. Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. I particularly like the tip about doing one creative thing a day.... Love the headband and great to read about Jannelle...I've seen some of her stuff around in Wellington and wondered where it was from.

  3. I've been following Jannelle steps for a while and she always inspires me! It's not easy to be creative when we have pre-schoolers around, but it is delightful when we finally finish a little dress or a special present for a newborn. Thank you Jannelle for being a kind of lighthouse to me!

  4. Jannelle has definitely inspired me.. I have always had a creative streak and really enjoying painting when I can find time. But I have taken up knitting (a skill I wish I still had my mum around for)and have just recently attempted felting. All through looking at books at the library. After kids bed time is a great time to get creative.

  5. Love it. LOVE IT. Arlo loves dress-ups, and totally into crowns and capes at the moment (though, capes are 'wings' and crowns are 'horns'). If we aren't the lucky winners, I am inspired to make our own version! So cool!!

  6. I really enjoyed reading this post. Your words and advice have an ease about them, very grounding. Like having tea with a friend that leaves you feeling calm and inspired at the same time.

  7. Hi Janelle (and Anissa)! Your headbands are very cute. Thanks for linking to this lovely Grow Mama blog, it's lovely.

  8. Awesome blog!! Your down to earth advice/tips should appeal to all parents :) thanks

  9. Count me in too. Jannelle is talent through and through. I'm the lucky owner of one of her cute cute headbands and I want MORE!

  10. Beautiful! I read HeartFelt and enjoyed this interview. Thanks.