Come behind the scenes at Curious Pip. and tour Sarah's studio in Bristol.
It's a rather cosy little shoebox in the corner of our kitchen, yet it's part of my home and very much my domain. We're very lucky in that we have a rather spacious kitchen and I occupy one corner of it. It looks out onto the garden from large patio doors and gets lots of lovely sunlight.
Tell us about your space
I create all my dolls and illustrations from a large table in a cosy extension of the kitchen. I guess It's kind of in the kitchen but around a corner (so there's a bit of mystery as you can't, at first, see evidence of my work as you enter the one end of the room) I have book shelves and cupboards all over the house, but this little nook of the kitchen is where I create most of my work.
What have you done to make your space cosy, beautiful or inspiring?
I like to be surrounded by the things that inspire me. My shelves are full of books (some of which I've had since I was a teenager) about old Hollywood history, vintage children's books, fashion history sourcebooks and movie star biographies. I have bits of my unfinished work on display and lots of tins and boxes containing supplies, jam jars of pens and pencils, boxes of paint and stacks of drawing books.
How do you keep organized?
I'm not OCD when it comes to organising my space. I don't really like too much order. I like a working space to look worked in and not somewhere where you'd be too scared sit down - sometimes I can appear quite bonkers and rather chaotic! I tend to just work in however way I feel happy. Sometimes I'm perfectly content to work in a mess - 'to do' lists blue tacked to every available surface and several cold cups of tea I've forgotten to drink. I usually have lots of different projects on the go at the same time, as I like to cherry pick what I feel like working on. I drop my little boy at school before making coffee and my breakfast, then I check my social media sites, write some emails and start the day's stitching or painting. I usually work from 9.15 - 3.00 then again in the evening and at weekends.
Any tips & tricks for organising supplies?
My supplies do get a little jumbled, so having an 'organisation day' is a pretty good tip for clearing your head. When I have such days I always end up finding bits of fabric and haberdashery that I'd forgotten about and often this sparks new ideas. I keep jars, tins and vintage tea cups for buttons, trims and ribbon. I also have several sewing baskets full of scraps of vintage fabric and mini cardboard suitcases full of felt and merino wools. On top of that I have an additional cupboard under the stairs which houses lots more fabric, packaging - envelopes, bubble wrap etc.. and additional shelves for sequins, beads, sea shells and beach finds.
Which are your favourite possessions and are there any of your own creations on display?
Yes I have a few of my favourite pieces on display. One or two of them are permanent residents of the Pip household and others are half complete - so currently waiting for legs, a hat, some hair or a pair of shoes.
How do you organise your inspiration and ideas?
Lots of sketch books and scrapbooks full of drawings and magazine cuttings, computer folders of inspiring photos and draws full of old movie magazines and postcards.
Where do you look for inspiration?
I tend to be obsessive about a subject for a period of time. It could be a particular movie star, era or old children's story that dominates my head. If I've had a heavy dose of Peter Pan I always end up wanting to make mermaids. If I've been watching movies with my favourite film stars like Myrna Loy or Jean Harlow I always end up wanting to create platinum bombshells or stich up a witty Nora Charles complete with her little dog Asta.
If you had three wishes, what would you do to make it the dream space?
Perhaps make it just a little bit bigger.This would stop traces of unwanted 'Pip' makings in other areas of the house i.e. unattended needles, pins and scissors. We have a small sofa next to my studio space and I'd quite like to fill it with pretty1930's circular cushions, this would add a relaxed feel when reading books or doing those all important accounts. You definitely need to feel sufficiently calm when trying to get your head around admin and boring aspects of your business.
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