Thursday, 24 March 2011

Artisan Feature: Roslyn Mitchell

Hello lovely souls!

Today I'm really excited to be sharing an interview that I did recently with the very talented and colourful designer maker, Roslyn Mitchell.  I hope you enjoy!

View From Largs

Hi Roslyn, to begin with, will you tell us a bit about yourself?

I live in Largs, on the Ayrshire coast, with my husband & three sons aged 13, 4 & 18months. I've always loved art & design, and studied Interior Design at Glasgow College of Building & Printing. 
After the birth of my first son I was self-employed as a glass-painter which was ideal as it fit in well with having a new baby. However, I eventually had to get a 'proper job' to help buy myself a home but over the last few years, the pull towards doing something creative has been too hard to ignore and I decided to jump in with both feet & start my own business. I've only been trading since November but I'm really excited by how things have taken off. At the moment I do this part time as I still work 2 days in my other job & look after the kiddywinkles during the day, but hopefully in the not too distant future I can make Roslyn Mitchell Designs my full-time job!

Boat Notice Board

When did you first become interested in working with textiles?

I kind of fell into it by accident! At college, my friends & I used to get really annoyed when we were asked if we made curtains and cushions after being told we were studying Interior Design!! ... Oh the irony that I spend most of my time making cushions now! I was a bit of a rock-chick then (I even had a motorbike!) so didn't want to be associated with such things! lol! When my first son was born I made a personalised quilt for his big pram & a few things for his nursery but it was years before I went near a sewing machine again! A couple of years ago, a family friend gave me her old Singer Slant-O-Matic sewing machine (what a great name!) that she no longer used. It was the first one of that model in Scotland & she bought it in 1958... it's a real workhorse & sews like a dream! That inspired me to sew more & I've just kind of taught myself as I've gone along!

Butterfly Cushion

What kind of fabric/materials do you work with?

I work mostly with cotton, denim, linen... that sort of thing. I really love anything bright & cheery! I could spend hours in the fabric shop but I've usually got 2 boys in tow so it's easier said than done!


 How are you inspired/what inspires you?

I LOVE the great outdoors though I've yet to incorporate elements of it in my work. I feel my most alive when I pull on my wellies & traipse outside, or jump on my bike with the boys! I'm lucky to live with the seaside in one direction & the countryside on the other. 

Will you share some of your favourite artist/craftspeople on the interweb with us please?

When I first started sewing again, I bought one of Tone Finnager's books & started sewing house angels... I just love her work, so bright & cheery! Even her website is gorgeous...

I've also very recently stumbled across an artist who sums up all the things I love...  Her work is also bright & cheery, and she uses a lot of inspirational words & sayings in her work. Plus she loves the simple things in life which is what I'm striving for!

I also love Alison Willoughy's skirts & would love to have a go at making one from her book '49 Sensational Skirts'... this is a future project...!__pleat/photostackergallery0=0 ! x

Facebook has been brilliant for 'meeting' lots of creative people! There's such a supportive creative community out there that I knew nothing about... when I first started I thought I was all on my own & that everyone would be fiercly competetive... how wrong I was

Rainbow Bunting

Where do you work?  Home/studio/attic etc?
My workspace is in the upstairs hall, out of the way with my own window... unfortunately I'm extremely messy (oh to be tidy one day!) & my work tends to spread itself all over the house! In the Summer I'm hoping to buy a more portable sewing machine (the Slant-O-Matic is housed in its own table) so that I can work outside in the garden!

 Box Frame

7. How do you deal with creative block?
A walk usually helps, or even just doing something other than stressing about what you should be doing! I usually get ideas when I really shoudn't... I get lots during my meditation class when my mind should be empty!

A Bespoke Order

What's your favourite product that you have created?
I get new favourites all the time! At the moment it's a Christening Cushion that I made for my friend to give to her neice for her Christening, I just love it! It has her name in the clouds & the time of the Christening on the church clock tower!

 Christening Cushion

Are there any other crafts or mediums that you enjoy working with?
I love to paint on glass... that was my first love! When I did glass-painting full time I mostly painted my personalised photo frames... I don't do enough of those these days so would love to start doing more. I also love to paint tealights.

Glass Painted Tealight Holders and Frame

Tell us where we can find your lovely work :)
I have a website - - but Im working on a Proper Website with a shop which Im hoping to get up and running soon.  I also have a Facebook Page and a Folksy Shop.
I'll be doing some craft fairs in Glasgow & I have a pop-up shop (within a shop!) in the West End of Glasgow for a week in June which I'm really excited about!
I also do 'party plan' so if anyone in West Central Scotland would like to host one please get in touch! (roslynmitchelldesigns(at)


Thank you SO much Roslyn for a brilliant interview, I've really enjoyed getting to know a bit more about you and your beautifully colourful work.  I hope you all feel as inspired as I am by Roslyn; I love discovering people who chase their dreams, and I love to follow their journeys as they make them real.

Next week, I will be sharing a little bit of colourful hooky lovliness with you here.  I feel a Ta~Dahhh moment coming on...brace yourself people, for a Ta~Dah of the stripiest, hookiest, most wearable kind...

Til then, sending you arm loads of bright red tulips, sunshine and happy moments.
Julia x 


  1. Thanks for that...very interesting...I love hearing bout other people's work
    Take care
    can't wait for the ta-dah moment!!

  2. Thank you for the introduction. Hope all's good with you, Ax

  3. It's always great to discover new artists - thankyou Julia.

    I'm excited about your reveal!

    Oh and I made miniscule silver forget-me-nots and a tiny silver wren today after seeing both in the garden- hopefully they'd be good for the Being Creative pool.

  4. Thanks so much for giving me the chance to do this Julia... I've loved your other Artisan Features so am so flattered to be included.
    Sending you fish n chips & ice cream from the sunny seaside in Largs!
    love, Roslyn x

  5. Glad you're enjoying the feature folks! Mmmmmmmmm fish and've got my mouth watering now Roslyn!!!

    J x

  6. Love Roslyn's work, 'met' her through facebook a while ago... She is a very talented lady! xxx

  7. She really is a great artist, I love her work! Thank you so much for featuring her!

  8. Hello Julia! Thank you for this unique and wonderful post! It's always nice to meet new artists! I love her work - that pillow is amazing!
    Have a lovely weekend! Teje

  9. Such an interesting post, thank you Julia! It was great to discover Roslyn's gorgeous creations and to read about her work and life. Have a wonderful weekend.
    Helen x

  10. Loved the interview. I liked your questions.

  11. oohh loved that interview :-) I am doing more soon too so keep your eyes peeled :-)

  12. LOVE in LOVE with that pillow!!!

  13. Julia -

    That was so very lovely to read & thankyou Roslyn for sharing your story & the picture of your work....



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