Friday 17 October 2014

Crafty Ladies: Meet Genevieve Brading

Time to meet another crafty lady - Genevieve of Floss & Mischief

I first met Genevieve a couple of years ago when we got together at the Renegade Craft Fair for a cuppa and a chat about crafty stuff. Since then I've been seeing her awesome cross-stitch patterns and kits pop up all over the place.

I've got my eye on one of her bug-themed kits as a Christmas treat for myself... once I can decide which one to choose!


Hello, I’m Genevieve. The mere sight of rice pudding makes me feel queasy, I can’t cope without my morning caffeine, oh and I’m the lady behind needlework business Floss & Mischief.

Floss & Mischief happened in late 2011 because of an ongoing argument with my boyfriend about taxidermy: he wanted to buy some, I didn’t (it’s way too creepy), so I designed and cross-stitched some beetles for him as a peace offering. I’ve been creating contemporary cross-stitch patterns and kits ever since.


Recently I’ve been stitching… 

… new products. I stitch every product myself to test if the pattern works, how difficult it is and how much thread it uses.

I’m launching two new cross-stitch kits that I’m super excited about, so I’ve been busy making samples of them. They’re DIY cross-stitched jewellery kits and the patterns are tiny – much smaller than I’m used to. I thought I’d find them easier to design, but in reality I found them much more of a challenge to get right! They were worth the trouble though.

Another of my favourite stitching projects has been to cross-stitch a caterpillar onto a fabric flower for the Craftivists #wellMAKING garden. Crafting and wellbeing go hand in hand, and this research project is trying to prove that link.

I’d encourage everyone to get involved by contributing their own flower to the giant garden installation. You can even buy a kit from the Craftivist Collective to get you going. Plus I’ll be releasing my cross-stitch caterpillar pattern free for anyone who wants to stitch their own. Update: you can download the free caterpillar pattern here.

I’ve been working on…

… getting ready for Christmas. From July onwards, Mischief HQ is a flurry of event applications, stock making and display planning. This year I’ve even had some paint whipped up in my brand colours, to help spruce up a new display. The colours are beautiful, and I confess, I did a little happy dance at the paint counter like a wally!

I’ve already road-tested the new kits and colourful display at the Autumn Crafty Fox Market this month, and both went down really well. I’m also back at Renegade Craft Fair in London on 22-23 November, and the Christmas Crafty Fox Market in Peckham on 13 December. Maybe I’ll have gone paint crazy by then!


I’ve been blogging about…

… why I recently put fabric aside, to instead stitch on paper. In the story behind stitched photos, I talk about what inspired me to create a range of stitched prints. Embroidering photos wasn’t on the business plan, but then inspiration can strike anywhere and at anytime! For anyone wanting to give it a go, you can also glimpse what goes into the making of Thread Art on the Floss & Mischief blog.

I’ve also been super excited to report back on which is cooler – knitting or stitching. Two craft heavyweights, Mr X Stitch and Deadly Knitshade, debated it at The Handmade Fair last month. I won’t give away the winner here, but both sides shared amazing examples of knitting and stitching across all twelve rounds. Truly inspirational stuff.

I’ve been reading…

… old needlework books. I especially love flicking through retro needlepoint books that contain lots of colour patterns and project photography – I think of them as modern classics. The patterns and projects are rarely to my taste, but they’re brilliant examples of how needlework has evolved according to the latest fashion. Just look at those bargello outfits!!

While I work, I’ve been listening to…

… random music from my awful back catalogue. I’ve accumulated an eclectic music collection over the years, and now my iPod is broken I can’t navigate past the songs I hate! It’s been stuck on shuffle for months like the jukebox from hell.

Genevieve’s 3 Top Tips for embroidering onto paper

1. Before stitching your design onto paper, make all the holes. Better yet, practice their spacing on a sample copy first.

2. When poking holes in your paper, pass an unthreaded needle completely through the cardstock from front to back. It’ll make things way neater later.

3. If possible use a milliner’s needle, also known as a ‘straw’. Its eye is practically the same width as the rest of the needle, so it won’t overly enlarge the holes.


Visit the Floss & Mischief shop to see Genevieve's full range of patterns, kits and other stitchy products. 

You can also visit the Floss & Mischief blog or follow Genevieve on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.  

Click here to read more posts in the Crafty Ladies series.