Featured Artist: Wingsical

Here is the winner of MsBittyKnacks Blog 11th artist feature
Kate of:

Felt Christmas Tree Ornament Decoration Festive Critter
Kate is a talented artist based in Devon, UK. On this beautiful part of the UK she resides with boyfriend and two bunnies. She grew up in a household full of family where she says: "I often used to sit in with my Nan who was always making something.  My sisters, cousins and me were often receiving amazing  toys or clothes, all handmade by my Nan which were always my favourite presents." Her love for arts and crafts made Kate study Art & Design though her higher education years. Besides her handmade business, she is a self employed home crafter, she describes: "a home crafter involves me obtaining work from a company who sell crystal ornaments and window hangings. I collect crystals, etc. from them and make various ornaments from home. The pay is really terrible but I love doing this rather than working in an office like I used to!  I do spend the whole time
desperately wanting to pick up my needle a thread to create a critter so I have to be
very self disciplined."

Christmas Iphone Sock Cozy Novelty Sleeve Pouch Holder Cell Phone Flitter Critter
She commence selling handmade in 2006, she says: "I handed in my notice at my job to take some
 time off over the summer. This is when I started to feel really inspired to create something." Enjoying a summer festival at Glastonbury, which she loves, a friend was in the look out for fairy wings but was disappointed to only find the cheap, mass produced ones, this gave Kate the idea to make some herself. Then her housemate mentioned Etsy, and she says:"I have been in love with Etsy ever since!  I think that I probably spend way too much time on it!" and the rest was history. Her first shop was FlutterByDesignsUK , here she used to sell (the shop will be closing soon), wings for a variety of occasions, ex. weddings, festivals, photo shoots, theatre, even design storyboard for a very well known company. 

Pixie Wings / Fairy Wings / Fairy Tale / Fantasy: Green fabric with black, brown and silver detail
However, her current active shop is Wingsical "Things with Wings"
Here one will find Flitter Critters which are a family of little monsters designed to cuddle your mobile/cell phones, ipods, boiled eggs, etc. Or to hang on your purse/bag, key or Christmas tree!  I also make intricate faerie wings for you to wear or display as a piece of art.  I also make tiny wings for decorations. She occasionally also sells on Ebay and potentially will have her faerie wings on a local shop site, finger crossed ;). Her best seller are the iphone socks, for which she says:"I am starting to get custom designs in too which is great. I love a challenge!"

iPhone 3 Case / 3gs Cozy / Cell Phone Sleeve / Pouch / Sock / Holder Cosy / Flitter Critter
But her favorite one is:

Monster Skeleton Critter Plush
"The reason being that I pretty much look like that a lot as I worry too much, I even worry about the fact that I worry too much.  I think he looks like he needs a hug and a friendly pat on the head."

Christmas Fairy Wings / Christmas Decoration / Mini Faerie Wings/ Angel Wings Accessories
Kate finds very inspiring the country side where she lives and she shares: "I am finding that at present I feel inspired to make something around the clock which is lovely.  I literally wake up excited about what I can make." But if the time comes and her inspiration is blocked she says: "I usually look at some of my favourite books by Brian Froud or Andy Goldsworthy. Or I will go and sit in my garden with the bunnies and have a think. I have the most amazing view from my garden.  Also, I sometimes stick on a Tim Burton film or listen to some Danny Elfman music!  Bizarre I know but it really does help!"
Holiday Felt Plush Key Chain Phone Charm Ornament Pink Decoration Festive Critter
When asked which has been the best marketing strategy used Kate said: " Hmm, I haven't figured this out really. I do recommend being active in the forums on Etsy as I am pretty sure that is where I got noticed and got my very first sale. I have also created a Facebook and Twitter page but still not sure if this was a good marketing strategy or not." Kate's advise to all new handmade sellers is: " Try not to be too impatient and just carry on doing what you love. I think that the key is to really enjoy what you do and people will see this in your work.  Oh, and don't list things at a low price - most people who look on websites such as Etsy, realise that good quality handmade items do take a lot of time and effort."

iPhone Case Phone Yellow Sock Monster Flitter Critter Cozy Sleeve Pouch Holder Cosy

What does HANDMADE mean to you?
"To me, something handmade should be made by an individual or two, using their personal skills.  None of this mass produced cheapness. I love buying handmade items and do pay more as I know the effort that goes in to making each item."

Iphone 4 Cozy Emo Goth Halloween Sleeve Pouch Sock Holder Cell Phone Flitter Critter

Kate's Favorites:

Artist: "I love Andy Goldsworthy a British sculptor, Brian & Wendy Froud and also a big fan of the late architect  Antoni Gaudi - amazing!"
Materials: "Oooh has to be wire and felt! and maybe some sequins thrown in for a bit of sparkle. But mainly wire, I love playing around with it."
Colors: "My favourite colour is emerald green but also a great lover of bright colours all thrown in together.... which you can probably tell by looking at my shop!"
Techniques: "Hmm, not sure I use any techniques as such but any excuse to use my new sewing machine and I'm there!  I would love to learn how to felt so if anyone wants to show me...."
Holiday: "Christmas was always my favourite holiday, growing up in a house with my parents, two sisters, two aunties, two uncles, four cousins and grandparents - it was the best time ever.  I loved being around my whole family, with us all being there for a few days, no one leaving for work.  Lots of food, drink and games. Sadly 10 years ago my Dad suddenly past away only a few days before Christmas, I went through a stage of feeling great sadness at Christmas time but I have started to enjoy it again recently. I still feel very sad but also grateful for the family that I do have, he would hate to think that I no longer enjoyed Christmas."
Etsy Shops: "Ooh I have lots so here goes (just a few); newly discovered Fantastic Toys, Frixiegirl,
JanineBasil, obsoleteworld, FlatBonnie, Saint Angel and babycricket.  The list could go on as there are some many fantastic shops.

Iphone Sleeve Monster Cozy Pouch Sock Holder Cell Phone Cosy Flitter Critter
Kate's goals are to have 100 items listed by Christmas and to run her shop full-time. She says:" I am 32 years old and I have just finally decided what I want to do when I grow up - make things which I love to make, and sell them to people who love them also.  If I could do this full time and pay the bills I would be a very happy lady."
Devil Wings / Fairy Wings : Red Fancy Dress Devil Wings Sparkly Christmas Party
Do connect with this fabulous artist at:

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