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My studio is in Newlands, a few minutes away from the magnificent Kirstenbosch Gardens on the eastern slopes of Table Mountain. It is so beautiful here, nature is my biggest source of inspiration and I love flowers and plants and all the little creatures that live close by. I really enjoy spending time in nature and hiking is one of my favourite ways to spend the day.
A little bit about me, I was born a twin and grew up in a creative home with my five brothers and sisters. My mum is an artist and I can remember my childhood where something creative was always on the go. Art projects at home, a consistent stream of new ideas and themes. Art has been a constant throughout my life and I have tried my hand at different art and craft forms including watercolor, folk art painting, pottery and stained-glass, interior design amongst others.
It is the fabric arts that have always been my favorite pastime. Patchwork, appliqué, candle-wicking, quilting, and ultimately, dimensional embroidery which became my specialty.
I worked with my husband in a countryside practice and we moved around and worked in different places all around South Africa. When my sons were born, my career took a turn and I began teaching others the art of patchwork and quilting.
I thoroughly enjoyed teaching self-help groups to rural women in South Africa and Lesotho. Some women in the groups went on to form their own businesses, selling readymade articles with an African flavour.
In addition to patchwork and quilting I honed my craft of embroidery. Over the years, I opened up different needlecraft shops around the country selling my embroidery designs and kits and exporting them internationally. I spent time writing books to teach others about the art of embroidery.
I am the author of fourteen best-selling books on needlecrafts and the author of the popular Box Full of Lessons series.
I also have a DVD Series that teaches a host of techniques. You can view some of the clips on my IGTV here.
Exhibiting and teaching internationally has been a wonderful experience for me. I have exhibited or held workshops in Adelaide and Brisbane Australia, in London and Birmingham England, in beautiful Paris in France, Moscow and St. Petersburg in Russia and in Kyiv in Ukraine.
I have met the nicest people along the way. I would love to meet you someday!
New technology allowed me to use my watercolors and transfer these onto cotton fabric, in full color, to use as a pattern for my embroidery creations.
In this way I could also collaborate with other artists and turn their artworks into gorgeous embroidery pieces.
I really love collaborating with other artists, it is a marvelous way to introduce their mediums to needlecrafters.
Many artists have told me how proud they are to have their work shown in thread and ribbon. It’s a way to keep art alive, giving it a new life, so to speak.
Through my experience of teaching both local and international workshops I noticed that students were desperate to duplicate the natural appearance of the flowers and leaves in their designs.
Most were having problems finding ribbons that were an accurate reflection of nature’s colours.
After many years of observation and after extensive study of flowers and foliage, I started painting my own ribbons that blended so well, the completed designs were exceptionally realistic.
I trained Carol, a talented embroiderer, and she and the team now help me to create my best-selling range of silk and organza ribbons which are purchased by embroiderers, teachers and shops all over the world.
I moved my needlecraft shops online to cater to both my local and international customer base.
I stock a wide array of embroidery kits, printed panels, threads, embroidery supplies as well as my own range of ribbons.
We cater for both the beginner and the more advanced embroiderer. You can shop my collection here.
My Blog is a place to learn and share. I love to share my knowledge of embroidery.
It is very rewarding to give back so people can learn from my tutorials, techniques, tips and hints.
I also share inspiring stories and other embroiderers’ beautiful pieces. You can read my blog here.
All of us in the Dicraft team love seeing your finished embroidery pieces. Please use #inspiredbydicraft so that we can see them on social media.
To stay in the loop with Dicraft news, special offers, exclusive discounts, as well as free designs and tutorials you can subscribe to my Newsletter.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
Embroidery is good for the soul!