Lisa Stickley is a designer and illustrator who has produced work for clients such as Paul Smith and the Designers Guild. Her new book Makes For Mini Folk features 25 stylish projects to make for children, but she is also the author of several children’s picture books. We had a chat with Lisa about her new book.
Hi Lisa, what was the inspiration behind your new book Makes For Mini Folk?
I have two little girls, now aged 2 and 4, and when I was pregnant with my eldest I struggled to find bits and pieces I really liked (or could afford!) for her. So, when waddling about like a beached whale, I made some. It started with a cardboard mobile and went on from there…
Have you (or your mini folk) got a favourite project in the book and why does this stand out to you?
We LOVE Long Legged Nell, the elephant. She is so great to squeeze, her ears are ridiculously floppy and she works really well as a cushion to snooze on from time to time too!
What was your favourite toy when you were little?
I had a yellow dog, called Sheila, and remember making a train for her out of shoe boxes. I think it was around the time Sheena Easton bought out ‘Nine To Five’ as I distinctly remember singing along to it while Sheila was on the train. Maybe that’s where her name came from (albeit a bit distorted) too!
Anyway – I took Sheila to the fireworks one year with my dad and lost her on the way out. I was distraught and remember going back with (my very patient dad) twice afterwards to look for her. We didn’t ever find her, it was very sad, but probably taught me to hold on to things a bit tighter!
What’s your top tips for involving mini folk in the making process?
Well, mine are quite little so it depends what project you are doing. They LOVE colouring cardboard shapes and making things like the ‘Pop Up Forest’. Sewing wise, stick them in amongst a pile of coloured felt while you get on and they will be entertained for ages! Otherwise, if they are very small, then I’d say get making during nap time!
What are you making for your mini folk next?
I just made a Hippo (called Susan, obviously) for them with little pink felt ears. And I’m planning some summer dresses and simple elasticated waist skirts for the warmer weather… that’s in their size and mine too!
Have you got any other exciting projects that you’re working on at the moment?
I’m in the process of launching a new web-shop to sell my books and some limited edition textile pieces alongside, which is really exciting. It’s all in association with the charity Beanstalk who work with children, helping them learn to read. 10% of all sales from my site will be going straight to the charity.
I’ve also got lots more children’s books being published this year, including The New Baby, (Pavilion), which came out a couple of weeks ago. I had the great pleasure of reading it to the extremely delightful Princess Charlotte recently, who seemed encouraged to be able to relate to the story a little bit with her new baby brother in tow!
Photographs by Ben Anders. Illustration by Lisa Stickley.