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Five minutes with Rosy Nicolas and some tips for craft fun with kids

After graduating from Camberwell college of Arts rosy began working freelance across a range of fields including illustration, props and accessories. Working from her studio in Hackney, East London she draws, paints and glues stuff together for a number of various clients. Rosy favours simple, yet often time consuming hand made techniques and modest materials to make paper collages, hand drawn patterns and art deco inspired shapes. A child of art school parents, Tony Hart telly and DIY craft books, Rosy sees herself as a craft based maker, producing opulent objects to decorate both your life and head with.

Past clients include Ace hotel, Estee Lauder, TOMS, Lazy Oaf, Nike, Fred Butler. Kitty Joseph, MAC, Andy Hillman Studio, Tim Walker, Adidas, Grazia, Vogue, ELLE, Dazed, Vision, Wallpaper, and iD magazine.

Hi Rosy! So ‘Dress you up’ is that only about fashion? Its a classic step by step craft book like the ones I had when I was growing up, but it is all things that you can make and then wear, so yes I guess it is fashion led. However loads of the techniques, materials and ideas can be used in other ways so its mostly about taking simple bright craft materials and turning them into fun handmade objects. I’ve always like dressing up, it was the way I used my playtime the most as a child, doing craft or making costumes, so all the things in the book can be worn at parties, playtime, Christmas, festivals, saturday night, or just a rainy saturday morning!

Do you think kids and teenagers would enjoy it? Yes I hope so! there are varying levels of difficulty so here is something for all age ranges, although parents might have to help much younger kids. I’ve had a few mums buy the book and tell me there are making things together with their daughters so hopefully it crosses over a few generations.

What materials should all parents get their hands on to get crafty with kids? I’m not normally one for gadgets, but the invention of pom pom makers in the last few years has revolutionised one of my favourite childhood crafts. It used to take me a whole summer holidays to make one pom pom around two donuts of cardboard when i was little! now these little plastic gadgets make it so easy and kids love them, its so satisfying.You can buy them online or in craft shops and haberdasheries and the whole family can make pom poms to wear or cover your christmas tree in.

Many of your designs use simple materials which make them perfect for children to try and try again - are you big into recycling? Yes and I’m also a hoarder and very thrifty, so I have bags full of boxes, card packaging and loo rolls that i keep. I also have a folder of pretty pages I’ve ripped out of magazines, always good for collage and making cards and gift wrapping at home. I think it probably comes from all the craft on telly when i was young, cereal boxes and toilet roll craft on Blue Peter!

What is your top hit when it comes to being creative with kids? Every time i do workshops with kids they make better stuff than I could ever do. It’s always good to have a general idea and example, but unlike adults, kids always add their own changes and ideas so freely with no thought, and seeing what they make is always the most enjoyable part for me. I think the best way to encourage creativity is to make it part of everyday, so when I was a child, I made very birthday card I ever gave someone, I drew pictures and made things out of air dry clay as presents for all my relatives, painted eggs at easter, made decorations at Christmas. So, just working general making into what’s happening in your life that week.

Follow Rosy on Instagram here to keep in touch with the queen of craft.

Dec 3, 2018

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