We have both been creative in various forms from the time we were kids…but our collaboration started when James gifted me with another one of his amazing hand-drawn cards. This particular card featured an image of General Tom Thumb (since he knows I LOVE the circus) and I proclaimed “this would make an awesome embroidery”.
Amanda and James AKA The Flex's
Amanda is obsessed with music, but can't recall the names of albums or usually songs.
James has a REAL handlebar mustache and its the whole reason we met.
Amanda wishes coffee came in IV form.
James is the best hot air balloon navigator EVER!
What got you started crafting?
We have both been creative in various forms from the time we were kids...but our collaboration started when James gifted me with another one of his amazing hand-drawn cards. This particular card featured an image of General Tom Thumb (since he knows I LOVE the circus) and I proclaimed "this would make an awesome embroidery".
I have embroidered and X stitched for years off and on but I'm the type of girl who needs a pattern...so...James drew up a pattern for me and transferred it to the fabric and that was it! We started making mental lists of all the classic sideshow performers we wanted to make portraits of and away we went.
We have since started a second shop called All Night Diner (a reference to one of our favorite bands) and are currently filling that shop with portraits of favorite musicians, film characters and awesome people/things we like. (Think Twin Peaks, Tom Waits, Johnny Cash and more)
What is your source of inspiration?
We are mostly inspired by the circus, music, film, TV, literature and each other.
I find the biggest inspiration for the project from James' ability to take complex images of people and boil them down to simple lines that will transfer into an embroidered portrait while still having the images be recognizable...and he just keeps getting better!
What have you made recently?
We just finished a portrait of Tom Waits that I think is amazing. James did such an incredible job on the pattern...just wait until you see it.
We were inspired by the sheer awesomeness that is Mr. Waits and he was at the top of the list for items to make for the new shop.
Our process starts with James searching around for an image that he thinks he will be able to translate well into a pattern and then he sets to work drawing an image out. Once he is happy with it, he redraws the image in ink and then traces it onto the fabric for me with a washable fabric pen. It helps that we use light fabric!
Once the fabric is ready I set to stitching it up. I wash each piece, iron it and affix it to the hoop using double-sided fabric tape. I chose a fabric for the backing and attach it with fabric glue, trimming the edges once the glue has dried. Last step is adding the ribbon for hanging!
Where do you sell your crafts presently?
Right now we are only on Etsy, but we are thinking about doing our first Indie Craft fair here in Georgia this Spring.
Why are handmade crafts important to you?