Well hello there, weekenders! Today I have an interview with Cherish Stevens of Dandelions and Daisies–an indie dyer of fiber and yarn; and a doll maker! I met Cherish through her Etsy shop and a shared FB group. I was attracted by her beautiful and vibrant colorways and the fact that she is also a maker of dolls and other fiber creations. So much beauty in one place 🙂 Cherish agreed to an interview and the results are below. But first, some awesome photos for crafting inspiration (all courtesy of Cherish).
Where did the inspiration for Dandelions & Daisies come from?
I wanted my business name to have a special meaning and to be a tribute to my children. They bring me fists full of dandelions and daisies all summer long, after kicking around several other ideas it just felt right. I have wondered if it was the best name for my business from time to time, wishing that the name reflected my gypsy sprit but I simply can not bring myself to change it, just like I can’t bear to discard the sweet wildflower once they have wilted because they were giving to me with so much love!
What is your favorite kind of crafting project?
Oh that is tough! I honestly love all things cratfy! I feel a deep sense of satisfaction from anything that I make for my children, whether it’s healthy treats we bake together, a warm quilt I made them for Christmas, a handspun knit hat to keep them warm as they play, a sweet dress, or lovingly crafted dolly. I have to say that making things for my children is my favorite craft.
I absolutely love the entire process of handspun yarn, from sheep to finished item every last part fill my heart with peace and comfort. It is difficult to try to explain to someone but there is something terribly romantic about it, it is like the feeling you might get when you’ve finally arrived home after a long journey. That is how I feel when I sit down at my wheel. When I give a gift that is made with handspun yarn it feels like I am giving them the gift of love. I know that it sounds sappy but I really can’t explain it any other way.
I am currently learning how to make pottery, it has been a lifelong dream of mine to throw beautiful pottery on a wheel so I am over the moon excited! Hopefully I will be adding yarn bowls to my shop in the future!
Who are your biggest crafting influences/inspirations?
This one is easy! The women in my life! My great grandmother was a doll maker and taught me how to cross stitch and embroider when I was very young. Both of my grandmas are extremely artistic and taught me how to bake, paint, draw, make wreaths, jewelry making, photography, how to crochet and much much more. My mom who took the time to homeschool six children and always encouraged us to make anything and everything, she taught me to sew, to make soap and to do all things with love. And of course my sisters who are my best friends and are always up for learning a new craft with me and are always inspiring me with their own creativity.
You are also a doll maker–how did you get interested in that craft?
My great grand mother was a doll maker and made me two of the most beautiful dolls when I was young. I wanted my daughters to know the love of a handmade doll so I taught myself to make them before my oldest daughter’s first birthday. At first I just made softy style dolls but quickly fell in love with the beauty and simplicity of Waldorf dolls. I read everything I could on how to make them and ordered my supplies! She received her first Waldorf doll for her second birthday. This is actually what gave me the push to learn to spin, Waldorf dolls traditionally have handspun yarn for hair. I had always wanted to learn to spin from a really young age but I had no idea where to begin. I had never met a spinner but I knew I just had to learn! I found a used wheel on a local sales site and fixed it and the rest is history. I have not listed any dolls in my shop lately because they are incredibly time-consuming and I worry that my dolls do not hold a candle to other makers. I find more joy in creating them for my own children for now; I may feel inspired to add them to my shop again someday but for now I will continue to gift them.
Any advice for new dyers?
I would tell them to learn the rules and then break them to see what happens. Find your own style and don’t be afraid to fail, it’s how you grow. If you dye something you absolutely hate then overdye it! Some of my favorite things have come from something I thought was a mistake or something that was ruined. There is always beauty to be found. You just have to know where to look. Do what makes you happy, life is too short not to be happy!
Where can folks find your shop? or find out more about you?
You can also join my Facebook group where I host monthly Spin Alongs and give away prizes to those who play along. I also post to shop updates there and let people know about sales that might be going on.
Thanks so much, Cherish!
I love farm visits and meeting new people (and sheep!): if you are a hand spinner, a shepherdess, a small flock owner, a dyer, a mill operator, or a wool trader, I would love to feature your work on this site. Please get in touch via email or Ravelry by clicking the “About” tab (above)