Today’s artist feature is for Judith Macrae, designer and owner of Me and Tex. Judith is a Sydney-based visual artist who creates wonderfull soft toys and other fabric items..… and she also knits!
Tell us a little about you and your Me and Tex
I am a designer/maker selling accessories and quirky soft toy creatures through my Etsy shop, Me and Tex. I have an eco-friendly work practice, using mostly reclaimed fabric waste and vintage fabrics in my work. I have amassed a large stash of lovely fabrics and am lucky to be able to use beautiful fabrics which would otherwise go to landfill. Most of my current work is one-off pieces, and I pride myself on quality finishing. However, visible hand-stitching and some fraying edges are also part of my creative aesthetic.
My background is in fine arts, as a painter. I started selling my hand-knitted designs some years ago on Etsy, as I wanted to make some money from my creativity in a practical way. My mum taught me to knit as a child, and it is a craft I have always loved. After an illness I could no longer pursue painting as a creative path, and this led to my learning to sew. Over time I started designing and sewing accessories for sale, and I let go of the very labour intensive hand-knitted designs. Once I developed my skills I became interested in sewing messenger bags as I liked the creative possibilites offered by a bag with a flat front flap. For me, it was like creating a 2D artwork, similar to a painting. I eventually developed an interest in creating soft toys, which I now see as a very natural progression from my painting days. The starting point for my artworks had been toys…little, adventurous characters, stepping out into the world.
I work out of my light-filled home studio in Sydney, Australia and I am lucky to be accompanied by my big, beautiful tabby cat, Tex. I love playing around with fabrics until I have found the right combination of colour and texture, and I often add little hand-knitted features…ears and pockets. My little creatures are usually based on animals: a big, grey elephant, a chubby koala, a cheeky cat, or a sweet bunny. All creatures which grace this world and make it a sweeter place to live.
What do I have planned for 2014?
I plan to focus on designing and making more soft toy creatures, as that is where my current passion and creative energy lies.
Advice to others planning to sell online, etc.
Research before you start, but don’t expect to get everything perfect before you open your handmade business. Be prepared to learn and grow, and make connections with other makers. It is very competitive selling online and it can take time to become established. Above all, be persistent and believe in yourself!
The items in Judith shop Me and Tex scream creativity and are impeccably designed. I love her colourful, quirky and unique stuffed animals and dolls. I can imagine each being a treasured toy for a small child, the type of treasured toy that becomes a best friend, that goes everywhere with a child and that they just can’t go to sleep without.
You can find more of Me and Tex here: