Monday, May 4, 2015

Guest Blogger - meet Jacquelynne Steves...

I'm away at the moment on a short adventure with my beloved, so today you're being blessed by an interview with my lovely friend, Jacquelynne Steves.
Brew a cuppa, grab a nice bikkie or piece of pie, and settle in to 'meet' this vibrant and talented lady!

Who is Jacquelynne Steves?

I would say that I am someone who loves my family desperately. I just adore being with my husband and 2 daughters and son-in-law. They are truly my best friends!  I am someone who likes to sew, paint with watercolours, play in Photoshop, cook, and work in my garden. I could never live a life without some kind of creativity.  I see possibility and potential everywhere I go and I believe that God made me that way for a purpose.  In many ways, I’m still trying to figure out what that looks like, how to use my gifts to serve others.
 Are you a coffee or tea gal?

  Absolutely tea! My daughter and I are tea “collectors” and we have a pantry shelf literally overflowing with all kinds of teas.

Who regularly sits around your dinner table?

It’s a small table now! I have one daughter who is married, and the other is away at college most of the time, so it’s usually just my husband and me. Oh, and of course the dog at my feet waiting for something to fall!

Favourite 'time out' thing to do that doesn’t involve work?

When the weather is nice, my husband and I like find new parks and trails to hike. I love getting outside and being in nature and the peace and quiet. It makes me feel closer to God, enjoying His creation.

If you weren’t a designer what alternative career path do you think you would have chosen, and why?

I’ve always loved singing and all kinds of music, so I think I’d be a singer or perhaps a musical theatre performer.


What one thing sparks your creativity more than any other?

Seeing other beautiful creations. Not that I copy them, but say I see a quilt that I really like, then immediately my brain will think of 5 or 6 different ways to change it, and by the time I’m done with it, it bears no resemblance at all to the original. A painting or piece of art might actually inspire a quilt design, sometimes a quilt design will inspire a painting. I think beauty begets beauty. I appreciate design and color and my eyes, brain, and soul see those things everywhere around, sometimes in very unlikely places. And oftentimes in very inconvenient places-  it seems that the best ideas come at the most inopportune times! Then I try to jot the idea down on my phone and email it to myself, or find a scrap of paper somewhere and scribble down a sketch.

Which one of your designs to date is your favourite? Why?

Hmmm… that’s hard! I think I tend to like whatever I’m working on at the moment! I would say as far as a quilt project, I’ve always really liked my Basket of Posies. I love the fabrics and colors in it and I love the scallop border. It is one of the few projects that I’ve hand appliqued (I usually do machine applique now for the sake of time.)

For artwork, I’m really fond of my Avery collection- colourful birds, flowers, and encouraging quotes. 

(Sometimes I paint something and actually surprise myself, ha ha!) 

 Most favoured crafting tool or product you’ve discovered in the last couple of years? What do you love about it?

I love my Quilt-Cut 2, which is a fabric cutting mat with “rails” on it. Your ruler hooks onto the rails, which keeps your ruler from slipping when you cut. I’ve been using it for a while and it absolutely helps me to cut more accurately. Without it, my ruler is slipping and sliding everywhere!

One thing you wished you’d known before you started designing?

That it takes a really long time to really build a business and a brand. When I first started, I had this “If you build it, they will come” attitude. I thought all I needed was great design and that people would just magically “find” me. But I actually spend as much or more time doing marketing and promotion than I do actually designing. It’s the nature of having a creative business- the “business” always seems to come first.

(note from Jenny: oh yeeeesss...that sure is the truth!)


How far ahead do you plan?

Up until recently, I didn’t do a lot of long-term planning at all. But in late 2014 I did a fairly detailed plan and schedule for 2015, and it has worked out really well. My problem is that I have a lot of ideas and it’s very easy for me to just flit over to the next one without completing the previous one! But having a plan for the year has really helped me to focus on just one or two main projects at a time.

Can you share what we might find on your cutting table for the rest of the year?

I am really excited about my upcoming free Block of the Month, called Cozy Afternoon! Last year, I did one called Sew Sweet Simplicity, kind of on a whim…. But it worked out so well, and was so popular, that I am doing another one this year. It has a teacup theme (not surprising, given my answer to your second question!) and it has options for just piecing the blocks, and also applique and simple hand embroidery- so everyone can choose what they like best! We are having blog hops, giveaways, and Sew Along Days so it’s really going to be fun. And did I mention that it’s free? 


 I’m also working on the next issue of my free emagazine, called The Art of Home. It has little sewing projects, a recipe or two, an interview with a designer or artist, an embroidery pattern- basically whatever strikes my fancy! And I like to decorate the pages with my watercolour illustrations. It’s really fun to put together and people seem to really enjoy it. Right now I’m working on a little pin cushion pattern to include in the issue.

Is there a different craft you’d love to learn sometime in the future? If so, what is it?

I paint all of my artwork with watercolours, so I’d really like to learn to paint with oils for something different.

If you could choose one big adventure to embark on in your future (imaginary or real!)  what & where would it be?

I would love to travel somewhere exotic and completely different from anywhere I’ve ever been- maybe some place like the Amazon, or Africa. I’d love to totally immerse myself in the culture, live there for a while, meet the people, eat the food…

What legacy would you like to leave from your life?  (personal or professional, it’s up to you)

I would just like the world to be a little better because I was in it. I would like to have touched people’s lives in some way, not just my family but also others that I will never meet. That could take the form of being kind and generous, and sharing creativity and beauty. There are so many little things we can do to make the world a kinder, more loving and beautiful place.  Mother Teresa talked about doing little things with great love. I think God smiles on those little things. I hope at the end of my life, He will be able to say to me, Well done, good and faithful servant.

You can follow Jacquelynne over HERE at her blog - it's a lovely place to visit and she's a most gracious hostess so be sure to introduce yourself, okay? 



Melody said...

Lovely to meet Jacquelynne, thank you.

Vicky dc said...

Gracias Jenny, por compartir este blog tan interesante!
Me encanta todo lo que hace!Es usted un artista maravillosa!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for having Jacquelynne's guest post. I really love her designs, and this was just a fun read.

Sherry said...

I enjoyed learning a little more about Jacquelynne. I am looking forward to her stitch along.

Snoodles said...

So glad you had Jacquelynne guest her designs and am blessed and honored to call her my friend.
Hope your adventure is safe and fun!

Allie said...

Excellent guest post - I do love her style and getting to know her better!!

telephone gay said...

This blog has a lot of friendliness and a warm welcome
Thank you a lot

Robin in New Jersey said...

Hi Jacquelynne! Thanks for letting us get to know you better! I look forward to reading more at our blog.