I’ve always had a fascination with whimsical forest themes. If something is adorned with an owl, deer, or squirrel, I instantly covet it. I see a pillow shaped like a log, or stationery featuring tall pines, and I’m entranced. So it’s no wonder I’ve been noticing and admiring mushroom motifs lately.
So you can imagine my delight when I discovered Little Sparrow Nest, a line of imaginative and quaint plushies, art, and accessories by Georgia Sekura. From her lovely cuffs made of luxurious velvet, linen, and lace, to stickers and stationery featuring her original artwork, there is much to admire at Little Sparrow Nest. It was her hand-stitched, hand-embroidered mushrooms that first enraptured my heart, though. It’s very apparent from the moment I saw these plushies that so much care goes into all of the fine details of these creations. Each one is unique, and captures the magic and delight of a walk in the forest on a clear, summer day.
I got in touch with Georgia recently, and she graciously agreed to do an interview for the Flapper Girl blog, so we could learn more about her and her work.
How and when did you start sewing?
I began to sew at a very young age, probably seven or eight. My grandmother was always with her embroidery work in her lap, and no doubt laid a solid foundation. In fifth grade, I remember hand-sewing my curtains with music notes on them. Around 10 or so I was allowed access to my mother’s sewing machine, and I would spend hours creating my versions of fashion. I wish I would have kept some of that stuff… good times!
What really inspires you the most in your work?
I am compelled to create a bridge to one’s inner emotions through the things I create to wear and/or view. Nature. History. Eras of old. Feeling soft and sensual. I definitely play with two main themes in all of my work: a simple and pure, almost innocent view; and a smoldering & exotic feminine power.
What are your favorite mediums to work with?
Fabrics that feel good to touch. Trims and lace. Embroidery threads and little wooden hoops. Pastels and conte crayons thinned with poppy seed oil. Ceramic. Fountain pens with ink wells.
Is there a medium you want to try that you haven’t yet?
Glassblowing and metal work. I grew up on steel erection job sites because my father was a steel contractor. I always had fantasies of creating these gynormous metal flowers.
What do you do when you sit down to design something?
Everything I create begins with a visual image or feeling, then gets translated to sketches with pen & ink. I like to gather textures, pictures, words, fabric remnants, threads, and such, and use them to create a working prototype which most often becomes the final. Music is almost always playing and greatly influences my mood, so depending on the piece, varies and helps move me along.
What are your rituals in this process?
I seem to like to let each idea ferment a little in my head before I sketch it out. I often find myself solving all the design dilemmas and issues before I begin to create.
What’s the DIY/Craft scene like in Scottsdale, AZ?
I wish I could tell you! I am perpetually found inside my studio/home-school home, with the constant and utter amazement of how the hours of the day fly by. The internet is my true window. But I do think the Crafty Chica is from here, so she would know.
What’s the origin of the name Little Sparrow’s Nest?
I have always had a strange kinship with birds. I think of my role of mothering my four little baby birds much like that of a bird with hers. When I was splitting my original etsy shop in the fall of 2008, we had (for the third time) a little bird who nested in the cactus in our backyard.
I would watch her and the daddy bird feather their nest. Then she would sit—and sit alone—in the blazing hot sun. Then one day we would see her feeding two little chicks, and soon she was teaching them to fly & they would spend time in our yard before they disappeared. I felt it fitting to call the place where I send out little pieces of myself Little Sparrow Nest. For awhile I pondered the type of bird’s nest it would be, and finally settled on sparrow for their song, which will always remind me of a love for music and singing I have.
What inspired you to start Little Sparrow’s Nest?
I wanted a venue to create the inner emotional pieces I had been filling my sketchbooks with. I have been painting for so long I was ready to get back to my early roots of hand sewing and late night fashionings.
What’s next for Little Sparrow’s Nest in 2009?
I have an overload of things I want to get to creating. Look for more fashion-y things, some highly drippy lace adornments, working with vintage materials and findings. I am feeling the need to un-censor the things I create and unleash my more complex and detailed work. We’ll see… it should be good.
I also feel the urge to paint again, and suspect I will revisit the beginnings of my style, with my old surreal abstract work making a reappearance. Oh, and my toe in the pond of blogging, and a brand spankin’ new website too!
* * * GIVE AWAY * * *
Want to win this amazing hand-sewn Little Red Agaric Mushroom by Little Sparrow Nest? Here’s how to enter:
Just visit the Little Sparrow Nest shop, then come back and leave a comment on this post telling me what your favorite Little Sparrow Nest item is and why.
Comments will close on Monday, February 9 at 11:59pm, and I will announce the winner on Tuesday, February 10!