Welcome to Pepperberry & Co.’s Tuesday Tales!

As a crafter and small business owner, I am constantly inspired by my fellow crafters. Their stories, creations, challenges and successes all work to keep me motivated and to inspire me to dream a big crafty dream.

I have chosen to share this inspiration with you, my fabulous readers, through a new blog segment called ‘Tuesday Tales’.
Every Tuesday, an inspiring crafter who runs her own business will be featured on the Pepperberry & Co. blog. This means that each week, you’ll get to discover new and exciting artists from across the globe, and will hopefully pick up some hints and tips on how to start or run your own crafty venture!


Today, we meet with Eva, the vibrant creator of the Apple & Eve brand, who is an Estonian girl currently living in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. In 2005, Eva was pregnant with her second son, and was looking to make him a special toy. She sketched a bunny, and her crafting business adventure began.


“After I sketched the bunny for my son, I went fabric shopping,” she explains, “but unfortunately, I came back with empty hands, because I didn’t like any of the fabric. So I decided to make a little white cotton bunny and embroider something simple and cute onto it.”


After the first bunny, Eva felt like she should make more of them. “It was just so calming and at the same time exciting to make little sweet toys,” she explains. Little by little, she made more and more bunnies, and after discovering Etsy and blogging, requests for other animals started flowing in. “After the bunny, there was a request for birds, then kitties, then hedgehogs...” she laughs.

Having a hobby and running a business are completely different realms, however. So what inspired Eva to take things to the next level? “Receiving positive feedback from customers, enjoying every second of crafting, and being in the awesome community of creative people,” she answers simply. The transition suits her perfectly. “My favourite element of being an independent crafter and business owner is the ability to make my own decisions about every little detail.” She ponders whether that means she is a control freak. “Maybe, but I just love to see things my way. The Apple & Eve way!” she giggles.
Eva’s journey with craft began long before the concept of Apple & Eve was born. “I learned all my skills at school, where handiwork was taught as an obligatory course,” she explains. “From 4th till 11th grade we learned to sew, to knit, to crochet and to embroider.” Of these mediums, sewing and embroidery stimulated her the most. “Sewing is a very constructive medium,” she says. “You can create a whole three dimensional item from a piece of fabric. Embroidery is more like drawing or painting for me. Drawing with a needle, yes that’s it!” she laughs. “It’s also an unbelievably precise art. Every little stitch has to be perfect, so the result will look clean and perfect.”

To create her gorgeous critters, Eva goes through an intense process of research, sketching, and sewing. “First there is an idea of an animal,” she says, “then I go through many, many pictures of it- if I don’t have a certain image of it in my mind already.” Eva tries to capture each creature’s strongest characteristics, and then she sketches it “like a kid would do it- simple outlines, round forms, a few exaggerated details.” She also has to make sure her idea will be physically possible to sew.

The unique and beautiful embroidery that is a feature of Eva’s work is also inspired by hours of research. “I look at endless pictures and photos of flowers I want to make- Flickr is the best place!” she exclaims. After sketching her pattern ideas, she comes to her favourite part- embroidery. “Embroidering summarises the pleasure of the whole process,” she smiles.

The idea of making simple things for babies (and grown-ups!) is still the main inspiration behind Apple & Eve. It applies to the design of the toy itself and to the embroidery. Most of the flowers and plants you can see in the Apple & Eve store are from Eva’s own childhood memories, and reflect the things that she is most passionate about in life: “my family, good health, nature, good relationships, and sunshine,” she grins.

To further immerse yourself in Eva's lovely creations, track her down on her Blog, at her Etsy shop, on Flickr, on Twitter, or on Facebook.

I hope you've enjoyed your first Tuesday Tale! Stay tuned for more incredible artists over the coming weeks.

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Comments (20)

On August 25, 2009 at 11:40 AM , Merry said...

Oh wow....these are stunning....well done Eva. Your embroidery is so neat and perfect.

 
On August 25, 2009 at 12:18 PM , Tania said...

I found Eva for the first time yesterday, and I'm still hyperventilating over the stitchery!

 
On August 25, 2009 at 1:14 PM , laterg8r said...

those are gorgeous TFS :D

 
On August 25, 2009 at 2:44 PM , Eva said...

Dear Sandra!
How could I possibly express my gratitude for this amazing interview? I enjoyed every single word (and picture) you have put in here! It is in whole - perfect!!!
Thank You :)

 
On August 25, 2009 at 5:32 PM , Jennie said...

That was a lovely read. I can't believe those are hand embroidered!

 
On August 25, 2009 at 5:36 PM , Michelle said...

Wow! Thank you for sharing this interview, Sandra! It is so inspiring, and Eve's creations are so beautiful!!

 
On August 25, 2009 at 6:17 PM , Kreativlink said...

Loved to learn more about Eva. She does not only wonderful work, she's also a very sweet person :)

 
On August 25, 2009 at 6:26 PM , ambette said...

Man, I love these stories. Fantastic idea and keep them coming!

I'm also addicted to reading the 'quit your day job' articles on Etsy. I dream of one day quitting my science job and doing something arty/crafty full-time. These kinds of things keep me dreaming and hoping that it might be possible one day.

Love the designs by Apple & Eva - beautiful!

 
On August 25, 2009 at 8:31 PM , nima said...

thank you for shring this interview

 
On August 25, 2009 at 8:47 PM , Dina Fragola said...

Thanks for sharing! Great feature!

 
On August 25, 2009 at 9:02 PM , ArtMind said...

Aww, I loved reading how she got started! Thanks so much for sharing. I knew & admired her work already but I hadn't seen the dog - so cute! :)

 
On August 25, 2009 at 9:02 PM , LeelaBijou said...

What an amazing feature! Her work is gorgeous!! :)

 
On August 25, 2009 at 9:03 PM , Rita alias alatvian said...

Thank you so much, Sandra & Eva, for sharing!

 
On August 25, 2009 at 10:26 PM , kraplap said...

Lovely interview ! I love the hedgehogs the most !

 
On August 25, 2009 at 10:47 PM , ana carina said...

Eva is amazing! I love her creations so much! She's an unique fabulous artist, thank you for sharing!

nanouke

 
On August 26, 2009 at 12:12 AM , Tracy said...

Wonderful interview... Eva's embroidered creations are so charming! :o)

 
On August 26, 2009 at 3:44 AM , blackdahliadesigns said...

Adorable! I am absolutely in love with that hedgehog!!

 
On August 26, 2009 at 5:44 AM , gr8jewellery said...

Fantastic interview!
Eva's creations are simply perfect!!

 
On August 26, 2009 at 8:03 PM , A Spoonful Of Sugar said...

What sweet work Eva does - love the little hedgehogs especially!

 
On September 3, 2009 at 5:00 PM , dayana said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Susan

http://sketchingdrawing.com