Friday 6 February 2015

Crafty Ladies: Meet Laura Strutt

Today's Crafty Lady is Laura from Made Peachy

Laura wrote a fab guest post for me about creating a DIY wedding and was a lovely friendly face at lots of the crafty events I went to last year.

She's a busy freelance lady - a designer, maker, journalist, editor, author and blogger! She's the author of the Sewing Manual and the DIY Wedding Manual and her newest book, Arm & Finger Knitting, goes on sale next month. It looks like so much fun!


Hello! I’m Laura and I live in Colchester with my husband and our sweet little Border Terrier, Waffle. I run my own creative business and spend my working days creating editorial, designing and making, offering creative constancy services and writing craft books.

As a fully trained journalist and having worked on a few popular craft titles both trade publications (as the editor of Craft Business) and working as part of the launch team of knitting magazine Let’s Knit before working as the launch editor of Sew magazine, writing is a passion of mine. Having decided to take the leap to work freelance, it is fantastic to get the opportunity to bring together my love of writing with designing and making to spend my days writing craft books.

Recently I’ve been making…

The majority of the things I have been making this year have been for work - lots of yarn based projects for me! But, when I’ve had free time recently, I have been making in-roads with calligraphy practice. I am, by no means, a natural penman, but I’ve been really enjoying the process of taking on a new creative pursuit, (slowly!) building skills, understanding rules and techniques, and discovering new favourite tools and supplies. I’m really looking forward to creating some finished pieces featuring modern calligraphy in the new year!


I’ve been working on…

Since the summer I have been working on lots of yarn based projects - mainly creating a range of exciting makes for my new book Arm Knitting & Finger Knitting - 35 no-needle knits for the home and to wear - which goes on sale in March. Creating designs with arm knitting was a fantastic challenge - it is great to be given the opportunity to work with a familiar medium and to adopt different and unusual techniques!

I’ve also been working on some exciting new jewellery designs and lots of crochet projects - which I can’t wait to share!

I’ve been blogging about…

Made Peachy is my creative journal, I love to share the things I make, recipes I love and creative pursuits to try. It’s fun to be able to share some of the exciting commissions that I have been working on too - I really enjoyed making this Sloth plushie for a new children's book release this summer!

In recent months, I haven’t been able to share my makes as much as I’d like, as many of these were for my new book - I was so happy to be able to finally share the details of this recently!

I’ve been reading…

As I have been crushing hard on calligraphy lately the most visited blogs in my browser all have a hand lettering theme!

The Postman’s Knock: not only is this a feast for the eyes, calligrapher & illustrator Lindsey Bugbee’s blog also shares lots of tips, tutorials, products reviews and even a selection of stunning free printables.

Coordinately Yours: Julie Blanner is a lifestyle blogger and entertaining expert - her blog is packed with fantastic recipes, crafts, home makes and ideas for gifts and entertaining. Julie’s calligraphy series is one not to miss!

Molly Jacques: having taken Molly Jacques’ Skillshare online calligraphy course I have been following her blog, admiring her growing portfolio and picking up tips and techniques along the way!

While I make, I’ve been listening to…

Audiobooks are my jam when I’m working - I find listening to books a bit less distracting than watching TV or a movie. I adore stories set in the deep south - like those by Joshilyn Jackson, Beth Hoffman and Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse series has been listened to more than once! Neil Gaiman’s books are also a regular feature on my Kindle too… and my not-so-secret guilty pleasure is zombie books!

Laura’s 3 Top Tips for Creative Business & Freelancers

1. Set a schedule. Map out your tasks and goals for the week - being sure to be realistic, it's common to overestimate what you can achieve in a given timeframe - and work through in order of difficulty, priority or amount of time required. I’ve adopted the Bullet Journaling system allowing me to keep tabs on what needs to be done and by when, check off competed tasks, and re-prioritise when needed.

2. Work/Play. The hardest part of having a job you really love is ensuring that you don't work all the time. Yes, sometimes late nights around an approaching deadline is unavoidable. But, be sure to know when your working day ends and your home life begins.

3. Keep Focused. For many of us being a creative freelance or running a creative business is a dream come true. Following your dreams is hard work, requires dedication, motivations and lots of resilience. Writing down your dream - or goals - periodically is a great way to help you keep on track, it is also a great way to reassess or update your goals as you develop and grow in your creative sector.


Visit Laura's blog to see more of what she's been making lately. You can also find her on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest

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

Please note: the Amazon links in this post are affiliate links.