I am glad to have found Joanna, she is ever so bubbly and lovely to follow especially on Instagram! I really like all the colours and patterns she made in her handmade accessories. Her blog is pretty awesome too!
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Hi my name’s Joanna and I’m the face behind Adventures and Tea Parties, a blog and online shop selling handmade accessories. I recently returned, after spending 8 years in London, to my university city of Leicester, looking for a calmer, less expensive and hectic life and to focus more time on my creative pursuits. I haven’t looked back since and have just gone part-time on the day job as a Librarian, so that I can dedicate more time to my shop.
How did you become an artist?
I’ve always been making, designing, creating and crafting but never truly focused or found my passion until my late twenties. As a kid I would make entire board games and work my way through embroidery kits obsessively. As a teenager I was forever up-cycling my school bag and redesigning my bedroom. I remember getting really annoyed with friends, who would see my latest bedroom make-over and promptly copy it. I would rush home and instantly re-design it. That makes me laugh now; I should have been pleased! In my twenties I kind of left my creative side behind as I became focused on my new life in London, going to gigs, exploring the big smoke and training to be a Librarian. After about 4 years in London my dormant creative side suddenly woke up when my London flat mate brought home a sewing machine one day. After she showed me how it worked, I couldn’t keep away from it or the local fabric shop. As much as a cliché at this might sound, it was then that I realised something had been missing from my life for too long – the need to design, create and make. Since then it is now a part of my daily life, it is who I am and I couldn’t imagine my life without it.
How would you describe your art?
I would describe my creations as colourful, alternative and fun.
Last July, I was lucky enough to be commissioned by Tesco Food! They wanted four of their sandwiches to be painted for their Twitter and Instagram campaigns.
I found painting these sandwiches challenging due to complex detail of fillings but I would say – I nailed it! I’ve really enjoyed painting something so different and completely outside my comfort zone. I was very nervous when I handed over the finished piece and to my much relief, they loved it.
I am also pleased with my hand letterings, which I’ve been practising for the last few months.
Before going to France for my photography job, I was kindly given this handsome Eastpak Tranverz Carry On Bag by size? to take it out for a test drive. Initally I was a little concerned whether I could fit everything in as the hosts told me that I’d need to bring sleeping bag, blanket, and towel as they won’t be able to provide them. They also warned me that it would be freezing at nights (where we were staying is in the middle of the countryside) so I would need to bring a warm jumper too.
But on the day of packing, I was both surprised and delighted! The bag was a lot roomier than it looked. Four day outfits, toiletries (they weren’t travel sized as I was catching Eurostar train), Birkenstock sandals, cameras, jumper, towel AND blanket (honestly, that blanket was thick and massive) all fit in no problem. I was jumping with joy.
I love it even more because it is the prettiest travel bag I’ve ever own. It is not just pretty, it is also very practical. It has lots of compartments, spacious front pocket and adjustable clasp fastenings so they can be adjusted to keep everything together safely. I really like beige leather badges, handles and zip pulls, which I thought gave the bag a nice touch.
It is obviously sturdy (it survived London, train stations, crowded metro and French countryside!) and well designed. Like the website says, there is 30 year warranty! Very reassuring, right? I would truly recommend you to get one for yourself for a weekend break or even two week holiday.
It is available in black too.