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Marrianne Miall is graphic designer for Search Press and is a general all-round crafty creative. When she’s not decorating her home or growing her own fruit and vegetables in the garden, she is taking on all kinds of craft projects from sewing curtains, to making beaded jewellery and festive paper ornaments.

We recently caught up with Marrianne to find out more about her new book, The Eco-Christmas Craft Book!

Hi Maz, how are you doing? What was your route into crafting?

I’m doing well thank you. I come from a fairly crafty and practical family. My mum was a textiles teacher and still continues to sew and paint in her spare time and my dad enjoys woodworking and problem solving DIY. So I have always been surrounded by something fun and colourful. I then studied Graphic Design and became one of the designers at Search Press, which has meant that every day I am immersed in gorgeous art and craft projects that artists have sent into us. It really has been the most amazing job to be in, the crafts are so addictive!

This is your third book with Search Press, how does it feel to have The Eco-Christmas Craft Book releasing?

It all feels a little surreal to be honest. We wanted to hit the ‘eco’ market as fast as we could and to publish it in time for Christmas meant that I had about eight weeks to pull it all together so that it would print in time. Our books usually take anything between 6-18 months to come together, so this really was fast and the perfect way to spend lock down! However the period between me finishing the projects and the book actually publishing and launching is quite a distance, so I have almost forgotten all about it, and now suddenly it is going to be available to the world to buy! I have to pinch myself about it sometimes because when you work in publishing I think you become quite complacent about another book coming out because it is and every day thing for us and part of my job. So friends and family are usually the ones to show excitement and admiration over it and then I have to remind myself that actually, yeah, it’s quite exciting!

Can you tell us a little about the book?

I am not an eco warrior at all, but like so many people I too am trying to reduce my carbon footprint and be kinder to the planet. My book shows you a few ways to reduce waste or to be more friendly in your choices at Christmas time. I have detailed a few projects that can be made from recycling paper and plastic waste, some make use of natural materials, such as pine cones, twigs and dried fruit, whilst other projects try to show you how to make reusable items from sustainably sourced natural fabrics.

If we all do a little bit to reduce waste and use less polluting items as Christmas, it will make a difference long term and we can look after the planet for future generations.

      

What inspired you to write your new book?

I absolutely adore Christmas and am constantly wanting to decorate the house more and more to make it feel festive and cosy. I really like reusing materials and making my own decorations because I enjoy being crafty – I think it is in my blood! So when the opportunity arose to try and meet a trend, I jumped at the chance, especially as it all came about last Christmas. I was in full festive mode when I decided to write it.

What are your favourite projects?

Oh goodness, what a question! I think the most effective ones for me are the advent calendars because they can be reused each year. Now, sewing is not my strongest skill but the Santa Sack Advent Calendar is probably one of my favourites. I love the Santa element, the fact that it hangs off a branch so can be hung anywhere around the home, be made extra beautiful with some foliage and my favourite part of all is that they were made from my sister-in-law's old pyjama bottoms!

   

Do you have any advice for beginners looking to start sustainable crafting?

Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to try something too complicated or to be 100% eco. Just do what you can because it all makes a difference. For instance, if you have some spray paints left over, use them up, but perhaps find a friendlier version next time.
Start with a small, simple project and get your friends involved, group crafting is soo much fun, and you can help each other out if you get stuck.

Do you have any upcoming plans for the rest of this year?

Not really. I think the last 18 months have been so uncertain and complicated to navigate, I would just like to take a rest and enjoy what is left of the summer. Then I will have the energy to go Christmas crazy again!

Marrianne's book, The Eco-Christmas Craft Book, is available from Search Press, RRP £12.99


If you like this book be sure to check out our full range of Christmas art and craft books here.



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