Toady's mama who makes is pebble artist Abby from Tweet Tweet Designs. I saw Abby's designs on Instagram and couldn't wait to share them with you. These pebble birds are the cutest ones I have ever seen, I love all the little extra details she makes to go with them too.
What do I create?
I create pebble bird pictures, literally flightless rocks from the beach become little characters that, in my mind, are animated and full of personality. My whole creative process is about capturing that character in little details such as their clothing or the scenery I place them in. The frame becomes a snapshot window into their little world. I know I sound a little cuckoo, (excuse the pun).
Everything I make is by hand. I cannot use a sewing machine so my pillows are hand sewn. I love trying to push myself with my ideas, I've turned a periwinkle shell into a magical teapot with a clay handle and spout.
Quite recently I have had a go a painting them with watercolours. I'm hoping one day to write and illustrate a little childrens book.
Where do I get my inspirations from?
Initially, my inspiration comes from the beach. I love going rock pooling and beach combing to find beautiful driftwood, colourful shells, pottery and, of course, the perfect pebbles. Sometimes I pick a pebble up and think ‘Aw, I know who you are!’. I can already see him playing with a balloon or snoozing next to a pile of books and a candle.
Other times the inspiration comes from sentiment or personality that I see during the day, or that customers commission me to create for loved ones: two friends sharing a pot of tea, a family playing with a kite or sharing ice lollies and chips by the sea. I think ‘Ooh, how could I make that?’ I then run to my desk and start making those little items in miniature form so I can recreate those moments and sentiment in my little tweet tweet world.
Also, doing my work inspires me to carry on because I get so much pleasure from it. I love being creative, I love to unfold my ideas into my work. I just love it.
How do I juggle being a maker and a Mum?
By the skin of my teeth it feels but apparently I do manage extraordinary well so I'm told. I have a wonderful household and all of us are creative and they are all really excited by what I do. They all help me on the beach too "Mum look at this, it could make a could wing on one of your birds". We go to explore the rockpools but it normally ends in a treasure hunt to find the best shells for the tweety birds tea party.
I feel really lucky that I'm able to juggle it all and everyone's happy. I think my secret is involving the family into my world and embracing their ideas, letting the children help and make with me. My partner always has great ideas how to grow my business and is always wanting to support me in any way he can. We're a team. And only because of that the housework gets done, after school clubs get attended and bed time stories are read.
Why do I do this?
I love being creative, I'm passionate about making and drawing. It's me. It's exciting turning a passion into a business. I hope my children will be inspired by what I have achieved. It all started off so small, just for family gifts and from a tiny seed it's grown and I'm really excited about what it can turn into. I can't imagine not being able to have an outlet for this side of me. If one day customers stop buying and admiring my work I will find something else in the creative world to do. My business has given me lots of confidence to enable me to grow, my business and my myself as a person. Love it all that's why I do it!
Best advice for other Mama's
Roll with it. I am not a power hungry person so I have'nt pushed my pebbles to go for world domination.........yet. I think you have to take it easy to a certain degree because you have a family. I work extremely hard but I always remember that it's not just me living here I have a family and that keeps me at a nice pace with good balance.
But I would say get lots of advice. Facebook business pages have been brilliant source of knowledge. There's always a handful of people that are in the know and want to help you achieve your dreams. Attending craft events as a seller have been a fantastic experience aswell. I have met loads of wonderful people who have given me hints and tips. It's great for networking and getting your work out there. I'd say that's where I have gained allot of repeat customers. Your customer service skills really come into action. It's really heart warming to talk them and find out where the picture is going and who its for.
You can find Abby's Instagram here:
Thanks for reading!