So please welcome our first Non-Blogger of the Month!
1. Please introduce yourself – name, where you are from, family, pets etc.
I’m Ashley Mae, often and better known as Pinky, originally from California but living in Arizona since 2005. I have a very large extended family but my immediate consists of my mom, Mary, and my brother, Arthur. I have just one pet anymore, a small black rescue cat named Abby Dax. When I’m not cross-stitching directly I’m drawing up cross-stitch patterns, beading, or working on my seamstress training. This past year I’ve been the Artisan Crafts Community Volunteer for DeviantArt.
2. How long have you been stitching and how did you start?
I started stitching when I was really young, I used to know the exact timeframe but now all I can vaguely say is around 5th grade, so 10 or 11 years old. I started when Mom handed me one of those really simple kits to teach the craft to keep my hands busy and have something to focus on when I got really spun up and upset. I think it had just three colors: purple, yellow, and black. The end result was meant to be a flower with backstitching. About five minutes in I knotted my thread and away it went into the trash! I never did finish the flower, but the second round was a yellow cat face and that I did get through.
3. How long have you been blogging and what inspired you to start? Is there a story behind your blog title?
My formal “blog” is more like the journal feature on DeviantArt. Starting there was in 2005, so my inspiration to join it is hardly conducive to where it’s ended up; I originally joined because DA had entire galleries devoted to desktop backgrounds and messenger icons. I did try blogging for a little while with a BlogSpot page, which was encouraged by my other stitching friends, but I couldn’t keep up with it on a regular basis. My DeviantArt name, pinkythepink, doesn’t have a much deeper story beyond that my nickname is Pinky and naturally were I to be knighted I would be “the pink“. Likewise, my Blogger name “Make it Pink” is named after my Etsy store.
4. How would you describe your stitching style? Are you a serial starter, a rotator, an OAAT (one at a time), highly organized, random and eclectic, etc.?
I’d say I’m a mix between rotation and highly organized. I have different work stations around the house so depending on where I’m sitting determines the project I’m working on. So I might have a large pattern to draw on the computer in my room, a small something to stitch in the living room, a large piece in the game room, and a small carry-round project for my travel box.
5. Do you have a favourite designer or style of design you are drawn to?
There’s a time I would have said “No! Of course not!“ because there was a time when I hardly even looked twice at people’s names. Now, even when I look at names it’s difficult for me to remember them, so for me to take the continuous effort to remember a name really shows how much I like them. The top of the list are Brooke Nolan of Brooke’s Books and Nora Corbett of Mirabilia. If you know either designer you’ll know exactly why I’m so drawn to both of them: dresses! I love stitching dresses and both of them do it so extremely well. While I wouldn’t say it’s the reason for preferring them over others, both do tend to use a lot of embellishments like beads and Kreinik that add such an amazing extra detail to the finished piece.
6. Which piece are you most proud of in your collection?
I did a pattern conversion of some art by Glasmond of DeviantArt, a piece of fanart from one of my most favorite video game series: Zelda. Our original deal was that I could make and sell the pattern, and if I was up for it to stitch it for her to hang in her shop. Well, almost a year after I had finished the pattern I finished the stitching and I was just so ridiculously attached to the 262 hours I’d put into it and the characters and the sparkles and the beads… well… Glasmond agreed to let me keep it. Ahhh, that relief! Of everything I’ve done, “Between Day and Night” is easily the top of my pride list.
7. What has been your worst stitching disaster?
It isn’t really a stitching disaster, per se, and more of a personal one, but it comes in the form of trying to make gifts. Stitching is something I’m good at and something I love; it’s relatively cheap (in terms of materials, not really in labor) and is much more personal than just going out to buy something from the store, wrapping it, and calling it a day. That all said, my stitching disasters come in the form of putting a lot of time, effort, love, and so on into a piece, only for the recipient to not really be as impressed as I was hoping, or worse to not like it at all.
8. Which new technique would you like to try, either stitching, finishing or another craft?
I’d really like to figure out Hardanger embroidery. I see it incorporated into some cross-stitching pieces, especially on fancy biscornus, and every time I’ve looked at it my mind just does a little dial tone and I set it aside for another day.
9. Do you have a box of finished-but-not-fully-finished pieces? Or is everything FFO'd? What's your favourite way to fully finish a project and what do you do with them?
I have a massive stack of pieces that are done, ironed, photo’d, scanned, and clean… and just sit there. Part of this is my “For Sale” folders, which are purposefully not finish-finished because I leave it to the customer to get them framed or what have. The other stack are pieces I intend to keep for myself. Some of these are meant to be framed when I have the money to do it, like Glasmonds “Between Day and Night”, others like the Mill Hill cupcakes would be a bit silly to put under glass and I’m just not sure how I want to finish them or where they would be put on display.
10. Which of your projects most represents "you"?
Mirabilia’s “Dressmaker’s Daughter”. When I read the question I thought I might think about it longer, but no! It was an obvious answer! While my mother personally isn’t a dressmaker I do come from a long line of seamstresses on both sides of my family and it just fits in with everything I love and do so well. It’s dresses, my favorite topic, it has the seasonal theme, it has beads on it, it has sparkles on it, I added a self-made quote and even signed my name into the fabric… to look at this piece is really to give a nutshell about how I like to present myself.
"A dressmaker's job is always needed, season barren or season seeded"
11. Tell us a secret about yourself. Or a joke. About anything!
If I could somehow grow two more fully functioning arms so that I could cross-stitch and play video games at the same time I totally would.
12. Anything you would like to add?
Be patient. Many cross-stitchers are familiar with this already: a project won’t magically complete itself, and sometimes all you can fit is a mere hour a week. Be patient for the results that your hard work will bring, use the time to relax and enjoy it, and love what you do.
I do hope that you enjoyed meeting Pinky and will venture over to her DA page to find out more about her work. If you are a non-blogger, or know one, please email me if you would like to be featured in future months.