profile : the snow queen's garden

The Snow Queen’s Garden has an almost cult like following for her adorable little handmade decorations. Squirrels, birds, Russian inspired matryoshka dolls all get snapped up in the blink of an eye…no exaggeration. We think it’s because of the endearing personalities and fine details she bestows on each creature. A chubby little tummy on a squirrel, a pretty beaded section on a bird, or a quaint expression on a Babushka doll. All items are beautifully made by hand, and completely irresistible!

Do you have a day job, if so what is it? 
No official day job… but mum to two busy young girls. Add to that a productive fruit and vegetable garden needing loads of attention, an energetic little dog, shift worker husband and all the things I want to stitch, sew, knit, crochet and embroider… no time for a job!

When did your business begin and why? 
The seeds for creating embroidered pieces began in 2003, when my husband was posted out to country NSW. Sewing was a great way to fit into the small local community. Having a new baby and toddler, I was disappointed at the lack of beautiful, child friendly Christmas decorations. In December 2005, I sold some hand embroidered and beaded felt decorations at my daughters’ day care centre. When my grandmother passed away several months later, making Russian inspired felt matryoshka was a way to reconnect with my heritage.

Inspiration/design aesthetic? 
Large part of the inspiration comes from my grandmother’s stories of her upbringing in St Petersburg, Russian. From my early years she introduced me to a wealth of Russian fairytales, folklore and contemporary stories. Sometimes inspiration come from changes in my own perspective: finding changes in how I see patterns swirling in clouds, leaf shadows on a pavement, a moment of moonlight on a tin roof. It’s finding a moment of stillness to catch that moment and memorise it. The design then has to be robust for little hands, and pleasing to the touch.

Designers you admire? 
Always changing. In previous years, I have been influenced by stitch work from Yvette Stanton and her Mountmellick embroidery, Aimee Ray and DoodleStitching, Tone Finnager and her gorgeous colour combinations. Forever loving artists, like Van Gogh, Klimst, Matisse, and Hundertwasser.

What is your favourite part of Tasmania? 
Geographically speaking, love the mountains. Mt Wellington has so many moods to capture, with snow, rain, mist and rainbows. Sometimes all at once. Love the colours and season at Mt Field too. It is wonderful to have four distinct seasons in a year ( or a day). People also seem to have a more balance outlook on life, being able to embrace a lifestyle rather than just living to work.

What do you love about what you do...and any little gripes or niggles? 
Simply put – I love making stuff – taking a piece of felt, a sliver of wool, thread, beads and turning it into something that makes people smile. My only gripe is my ambitions often outpace my abilities – got some great ideas using a welder, angle grinder and heap of scrap metal. Maybe one day ….

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Want to see who else will be at our April event? For more interviews with our exhibitors check out our look book.

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