Friday, March 21, 2008

Featuring Shirley MacNulty!!!

Shirley MacNulty.......

Shirley and her husband divide their time between Wilmington and Sugar Mountain, NC.
Below she tells us a little about her self and her various handcrafted talents~

My main crafts are Knitting, Preserved Flowers and Sewing

- I design knitwear for South West Trading Company and One Planet Yarn and Fiber and have designed for Coats and Clark, Blue Sky Alpacas and Alchemy Yarns of Transformation.
- Technical Edit knitting patterns for One Planet Yarn and Fiber and also individual knitwear designers
- Designed a petit point needlepoint ornament for the Blue Room of the White House in 1997
- Chosen as the representative from Maryland to work the Maryland square in a piece for the United Way and Hallmark in the mid 1980's
- Author of Knitting for Fun and Profit, knitting book published by Prima Publishing
- Articles in Threads, Cast On and INKnitters Magazines
- Knitting Designs published in Cast On and INKnitters magazines and pending in Knit 'N Style and Creative Knitting

- Charter Member of the Association of Knitwear Designers (certified as a Designer, Author, Tech Editor, Gallery Designer, Teacher, Publisher and Retailer)
- Designer Member and also a Retail Member of the National Needle arts Association
- Member of The Knitting Guild Association where I helped write and served as first Chairman of the Master Knitting Committee for 4 years
- Member of the Blue Ridge Fiber Guild

Personal - married for 50 years to Bradford S. MacNulty - 2 adult sons, 2 adult grandsons, 4 adult step grandchildren and 4 step great-grandchildren
BS Nursing form Columbia University
Owner Bay Country Boutique, small retail needlework and gift shop since 1982 (now sell through the Great Train Robbery Emporium in Banner Elk and at CJ's Boutique in Clemmons, NC and The Prissy Hen (antique shop) in Cameron, NC (opening April 1,2008)

What are the web addresses people can find you at?
e-mail only - and
Shirley has a blog address but doesn't use it very much.....

What is your favorite color combination?
No special favorites - do not like orange

What is the first thing you can remember making by hand? How and why did you make it?
I did a lot of knitting as a small child. I also did sewing and embroidery. The thing I remember most, and it was written up in an on-line newsletter in 2006, I knitted my father a pair of argyle socks for Christmas when I was in 7th grade and this was in 1946

What inspires you?
My inspiration comes from nature and also from reading magazines and catalogues.

Where do your ideas come from?
My ideas come from nature, magazines, knit designs come from reading fashion magazines and following fashion trends. I normally try to stay with more classic designs that will last a lifetime, not as much by the way out trends.

Does the atmosphere affect your creativity?
I would say I work better on cooler days, not on the hot 100% humidity days

Where do you create, in a workroom/ studio or in a park?
All over. My knitting is portable - and I do the pressed flower designs on the dining room table usually. I do nto have a separate studio - my things are spread out all over the house and under the beds and in closets, even in extra bathtubs.

What are your favorite materials?
Natural yarns - soy, bamboo, corn, wool, alpaca for knitting and flowers from my garden for my Preserved Floral Designs

Any tips of wisdom on selling handmade stuff?
I have been doing this for years. When I was younger I used to do a lot of shows, back before the days of having individual tents for the purpose. We really had to fight the elements. For multiple day shows, the worst part was having to dismantle everything and pack up each night and often have to walk a distance to the car. I have not done any shows for the past two years - the last one was so bad as had to shut down one whole afternoon due to severe thunderstorm watch.
As for advice, check out the show before doing it. Some may sound great, but turn out to be duds. I have done shows and sold nothing, other times have had great shows. The best shows I did were in the 1980's in Southern Maryland where we used to live. Nothing has been as good since we moved to North Carolina in 1990.
I also find that there is great discrepancy in the cost of shows - from free to several hundred dollars, even for outside space.

Apart from creating things, what do you do?
Cooking, gardening, socializing, work on the Computer

What have been the most valuable lessons learned from other artists?
Everything that you think will sell doesn't, but be patient.

Do you have any current projects that you want to describe, techniques to share, give picture of?
I am always working on new knitting designs for yarn companies - I have more ideas for garments and household items that I have time to knit. I also love to garden.

In ten years I'd like to be...
I hope I will still be alive and still creating