Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Interview with Australian Cross Stitch Artisan Jacinta McGraft of the Etsy Shop - Peace + Stitches

My guest today is Artisan Jacinta McGraft who lives in Australia and finds inspiration for her cross stitch designs in the things she loves. As Jacinta describes on her Etsy profile page, she is especially inspired by things theocratic, classic, retro, modern, and alternative. I'm already intrigued by that diverse set of interests, so let's begin this interview by letting Jacinta introduce herself.

Hello Everyone.
My name's Jacinta. At the moment, I'm living in Logan which is a city just south of Brisbane in Australia and I work part time in Brisbane in the office of a mechanic. My line of work may sound a bit drab but it's ideal because it's work I can leave at work; which allows me to focus on the things more important to me when I'm not at work. My husband and I have just celebrated our first wedding anniversary and since we don't have any kids or pets and have a decent size house, I've been able to use the sun room/fourth bedroom for my creative area which has been really good. I find that having this space allows me to try out different arts and crafts I might not try otherwise.

What are you working on at the moment?

I've just started a line of NWT Bible covers which are custom made with hand embroidery and these have been so much fun to create. Because this is a bit different to the cross stitch which I really built my shop around lately I've been coming up with different embroidery designs as well as doing a lot more sewing which has been really great to get back into.

Why be an artist?

I think sometimes this world we live in can really trap us to the point where rather than enjoy all the beautiful nature we're surrounded with we can turn against nature, getting annoyed when a bird chirps louder than our TV for example. So I feel that when you are thinking about art more it just makes this world a much more beautiful and enjoyable place to live in since you tend to look out for beauty others may take for granted.

Do you work alone?

I do work alone but, in saying that, I have a couple of close friends that help inspire me with their ideas and I really would be lost without their input. I really want to keep up to date with what's popular and what people are interested in so being able to talk to friends who are interested in cross stitch is important to me since we can bounce ideas off each other to mix things up and continually keep my work enjoyable, not only for myself but for others too.

Do you have long-term professional goals?

I would love to be able to collaborate with other crafty artistic folk. This is a future goal of mine.  I currently work alone but love getting together with others since I really feel this helps my creative process.

What got you interested in art?

I've been interested in art for a long time which I can credit my Mum for, she's always been very creative and growing up around someone like this would be impossible to not have it rub off to some extent. When I was younger my parents allowed me to use my room as a bit of a canvas so I could decorate it however I liked and I think this initially sparked my interest in art.

What are your can’t-live-without craft-room essentials?

Something that's probably not much of a typical craft room essential that i can't live without is my

computer, i have so much information and inspiration on that. But more crafty craft room essentials would be; fabric, fabric pencil and my boxes of embroidery thread because these really start my creative process going. I'll usually draw up something and then go to my embroidery thread so work out colour schemes and then create from there. I'm able to draw a pattern on the computer, using their colour schemes but I just feel that having the physical item in my hands allows me to visualize my end goal for whatever project I'm working on.

Was your business planned, or did it naturally evolve?

It wasn't planned at all, it was a very happy and mismatched mistake. I'm part of a monthly book club where each member gets a chance to host. One of the members challenged us to do something creative during their month and then share it when we all met together at the end of the month. at first I wasn't sure what I was going to do and then decided to go on Etsy and have a look for a cross stitch pattern to make up. I finished this piece off and wanted to do some more so went back and bought a couple more patterns and then started looking for other patterns to do but couldn't find anything I specifically wanted, so I started designing my own. I then started listing them online which seemed to be a success and this has led to me offering other products.


If you would like to learn more about Artisan Jacinta McGraft and her work, please visit her at the following links.

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  1. It is nice to meet other JW friends who sell on Etsy from around the world. Jacinta I really enjoyed your interview and wish you all the best with your Etsy shop.

  2. Jacinta, I liked how your business just evolved from you doing the things you love. That's how so many of my pursuits have come about also. It doesn't seem like work when you're doing something you love and would probably being doing anyway, even if you didn't sell your items. Best of success with your Peace + Stitches Etsy Shop. And also, since you have some extra room at your house, how do you feel about a house guest... Just kidding, but Australia is one of the places I've always wanted to visit. I fell in love with your country years ago by reading books by Author Margret Way. Hugs to You.

  3. Thank you Markets of Sunshine for your kind words, this is a lovely way of being able to meet other like minded JW friends.

    Lynda, that is so very true about creating things anyway, and I definitely find that because I would be doing this anyhow it doesn't lead to disappointment when things don't sell. Thank you so much for your kind words, all the best with your shop and this wonderful blog. You're always welcome, although you might not be a fan of the relentless heat we're enduring at the moment! In saying that it sure is a beautiful country.

  4. Loved this interview. It's encouraging to hear someone's story. Doing what you love and sharing that with others is so rewarding. Wishing you much success sis!

  5. Thank you Nona! And yes, that's so true how rewarding doing what you love and being able to share it also.