Wednesday, 19 February 2014

The Fully Felted Life... has all too often been a bumpy one!

Well hello and welcome to the latest edition of the Tigerlily Makes Blog, today I am breaking with tradition and am sharing some of the professional and personal obstacles that I have had to overcome these past few years.

Firstly let me give you a little insight as to my creative background.

My love affair with creative arts started at school with needle work and textile arts. I quickly realised that I had a natural flair and ability to create wonderful things with threads, fabric, ribbons, buttons and left over bits and bobs. After a short time I began making things for family and friends adding finishing touches to a room such as a roman blind, customising bags and making unique accessories.Then interest in creative pastimes continued into adulthood, where I was able to save money by making and customising not only my wardrobe but home too. Over the past 30+ years I have continued to develop skills in all areas of creativity, from creating decorative items for the home, up-cycling, paper crafting and felt-making.

By 2007 I was offered a position as a demonstrator for Bramwells Crafts, I was trained and accredited by Bramwells to deliver workshops, demonstrations, talks and product knowledge. I traveled the length and breadth of the UK and have also been published by a leading magazines.

I also discovered felt making around this time too, looking for new mediums to mix into my demos.  I wanted to learn how to make my own as I was so unimpressed with the manufactured craft felt at the time. I loved it so much that I just wanted to do more. I bought a techniques book and went on a few courses, which led to me taking a 1 year City and Guilds course in felt making.

In 2010  Tigerlily Makes was born and what I believed  was going to be my dream job! All too soon this dream was crushed as I was faced with a barrage of obstacles from a number of parties, who just seem to have only one goal in mind and that was to crush my dreams and my business into nothing.

Over the past four/five years I have to deal with a cavalcade of issues,  I have faced copyright battles both in terms of my own copyright being infringed and being accused of breaching copyright. Luckily mediation was delivered and issues were resolved, but it all had a devastating effect on my health, my well being and my creative design business. It left me feeling inhibited to design,  it rocked my confidence to the core and put me behind design wise for a good 18 months!

So intent were some parties in removing me from my creative corner, that I was bombarded for 6 long months with an insistence that I have my business valued for the purpose of selling out.  "THE" bidder rang me nearly every week for 6 long months, insisting I make an appointment to have my business valued! I just could not believe my ears!

I was paralysed by the fact that people would watch my every move, to see what I was doing next and then use it to their advantage before I had even gotten a chance to use it to my own.

In between all this, I had problems with landlords taking advantage of the fact I am a small business and self employed. I had a lengthy court battle over some very doggy invoicing and at one point was being over charged rent, when my fellows had been paying less for some considerable time on the recession busting rates.

Then just as I thought I was getting on my feet and beginning to recover and build my confidence and new designs again... my beloved Lily Lamb character became the latest target of copyright infringement! On presenting the findings to the infringer I was met with quite an awful situation. The reactions were so strong and I was deemed a monster! Again I was left feeling like I had been hit by a truck, despite the clear fact that copyright of Lily had been breached! I am glad to say that this infringement has now been halted.

Over these past few years these are just a handful of some of the situations I have had to overcome, my personal life has suffered as a result of all the battling and worrying and my health paid the price... this was all amongst the usual family life of raising my son, being a wife, daughter, daughter in law and the like. I felt like I was being pulled in all directions.

So after the the Lily incident I thought okay, I have been hit with it all now!! well I spoke to soon!

I suppose the biggest shock was having someone infiltrate my life and gain my trust and friendship on the pretense of something else! I am not a poor judge of character by any means, but parties were clever... very clever!  To say I had found myself with a stalker is no exaggeration. A chance meeting led to a friendship that I thought was real and true... this was not the case and after a few years it all started to go badly wrong,  my every move would be watched, my interaction with friends would be watched and then a piggy back of my movements would be carried out by the stalker, seemingly turning up everywhere I went. It was incredibly debilitating and disturbing. This again has now been resolved and steps laid in concrete to prevent this from happening again.

I have been blamed for all that's wrong in peoples life and people just seemed to think that they have the right to speak to me inappropriately, bully me and ride roughshod over my life, without consequence!

Well I am very glad to say that I have come through all of that and have dealt with every aspect of the cards that were dealt with dignity, grace, professionalism and humility. I am back to full health, very happy in what I am doing, with a clear and positive way forward. I am nobody's punching bag and have managed to remove myself from situations forced upon me by acting appropriately and professionally.

I now work from my home studio and outsource certain tasks to service providers and sub contractors in the field when I need to, but I largely run my creative corner by myself with a little help here and there as a I go.

2014 has got off to a great start with the launch of my newly built, fully functioning website, which is already receiving much interest and praise. I was featured in the Jan/Feb edition of Crafts Beautiful with a 2 page interview and plans are well on track for the year ahead. You will also see me in Re-loved Magazine this month with my recycled mobile phone cover tutorial.

I have taken time out to go back to the drawing board and give myself time to do what I do best and that is quality design and creative services. Well I have been designing and making for nearly 35 years now!  I am staying truly focused on my plans for the year, which I set out at the end of last year.

So I guess the reason I am sharing this is because I know being in a creative business, can be very tough and we can all too often wonder why we are doing this and is it all worth it!

Well the answer to that for me is a resounding YES! I absolutely LOVE what I do and its all I want to do. So when you get tough days and people try to drag you down, just remember what it is you love about what you do and hold onto that tightly and NEVER let go. It is and will be worth it.

I am LOVING being back in the design chair and I have renewed excitement and vigor for all that I do and I love seeing the enjoyment in peoples faces when they receive one of my designs, or come on one of my courses. I have set things in place to prevent such horrors from happening in the future and will not allow people to abuse me for their own ends.

We all need to be kind to each other, live and let live as life is SHORT!

With all that I have endured, the obstacles that I have overcome and the  endless hours, days, weeks, months and years of hard work... 2014 is the year that TM reaps the rewards it so deserves.

I am now looking forward to the newest chapter in my life and that is that I am very soon going to become a grandma for the first time! We are expecting the arrival of my grandson in about a months time, his lovely mother to be, my daughter in law and I are already enjoying sharing a love of felting and its such a happy place to be. There's just so much to look forward to this year!

Have a great day and I must leave you all on a high note... my latest design Mr & Mrs Von Tweetling my needle felted Wedding Cake Toppers.

Copyright Lisa Marie Olson - Tgerlily Makes

Thank you for taking the time to visit Tigerlily Makes The Felt-making Blog All content and design work, including text, photos, etc are © copyright 2014 Lisa Marie Olson owner of Tigerlily Makes (unless otherwise stated and named whereby copyright resides with said named person)and cannot be copied without prior permission from the copyright owner. Tigerlily Makes is a member of ACID (Anti Copying in Design and all designs are registered and protected.

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