Clive the Chameleon by Hazel Blomkamp
9th November 2018
If it’s true that our needlework is a mirror into our souls, then you must be curious as to what Clive the Chameleon says about its creator Hazel Blomkamp. In actual fact, Clive reflects everything he should about Hazel and they share many similar characteristics. No, that does not mean Hazel looks anything like a reptile! (We love that we have such a close relationship with Hazel that we know she won’t be offended by our banter!).
Clive is vivacious, he is a work of art, he is meticulous in detail, he’s colourful, he’s engaging, and he was a delightful surprise when we first met him. And you are 100% correct in assuming Hazel herself is all those things as well.
So how did Clive come be? We asked Hazel for his backstory:
‘Clive came about when Susan O’Connor asked me to do something for Inspirations issue #100. I was busy on the Crewel Creatures book at the time, so was in ‘creatures’ mode. It seemed natural to make one more. Besides, I had developed the freestyle filling technique that I used in Clive’s body while I was doing Roger the Rhino. By the time I had finished Roger I realised that this technique was the perfect vehicle for space-dyed, over-dyed and variegated threads, so couldn’t wait to try it out with some of the DMC Colour Variations, threads that I’ve never really known what to do with. ‘
When Clive first arrived at the Inspirations office, it was such an occasion we took photos of his unveiling and were thrilled to meet him!
We loved that he was nothing like anything we’d seen before and although clearly a boy with the name Clive, he had a soft feminine side with ornate beaded flowers and hues of strawberry pink and peach.
So, if like us, you have fallen in love with Clive and want to join the fan club, we asked Hazel for some advice when stitching our own version of Clive:
‘If you don’t purchase a Ready-To-Stitch Kit, feel free to change the colours using any variegated thread from any of the ranges out there as a starting point. Then go on down to a shop that stocks Japanese beads to match the colours for the flowers.’
Hazel first appeared in Inspirations Magazine with her project Masterpiece in issue #70 and graced the front cover of issue #92 with Sugarplum. With 10 projects and counting featured in the magazine, plus her spectacular piece Winter Sunset in A Passion For Needlework | Factoria VII, we asked Hazel what being part of the Inspirations family is like from her perspective:
LEFT: Masterpiece issue #70 RIGHT: Sugarplum issue #92
‘From my early years of passionate embroidery Inspirations Magazine has been the one publication that I have bought continuously for its, well, inspiration. But, also for its beautiful presentation. I would never have dreamt in those early years, that I would not only be featured in this fabulous publication but that I would regularly travel over to Australia for its conventions. And that is quite apart from becoming friends with all the fabulous Inspirations people. My association with Inspirations Magazine is a huge source of personal pride.’
Now that we’re blushing, it’s time to return the favour as we share a little of what it’s like for us at Inspirations Studios to work with Hazel. In a word – it is an absolute hoot! Hazel is always making us laugh with her hilarious stories about her daily life experiences living in South Africa, her dogs and her needlework adventures. Even when we contacted her for this interview, she made the following observation about the photos of Clive in issue #100:
‘If you look very carefully you will see a dog hair in two of the photos. So, the dogs made it in too! Darn high res photography.’
We’ll never look at the photos of Clive the same way again – all one can see is a dog hair! All in all, we are incredibly grateful for Hazel’s contribution to Inspirations over the past eight years, we cherish our friendship with her and look forward to celebrating more of her needlework in future publications.
Can’t Get Enough Hazel?
We can’t either, so you might want join Hazel at the Perth Guild’s anniversary convention in September next year, and look out for her upcoming books featuring birds (Hazel says she’s mainly featuring male birds because of their dramatic plumage), and a bead embroidery stitch guide which will include all the ins and outs of 3-dimensional flowers/bugs etc.
Make Your Own Clive the Chameleon
Step 1 – Purchase Project Instructions
Clive the Chameleon by Hazel Blomkamp is a fabulous chameleon with opulent beaded camouflage.
Step 2 – Purchase Ready-To-Stitch Kit
The Inspirations Ready-To-Stitch kit for Clive the Chameleon includes everything you need to re-create this fabulous chameleon: Fabrics (unprinted), fibre-fill, beading threads, embroidery threads, beads, needles.