My name is Karen Johnson, working under the name of Millie Moth Craft, and I’m an alcohol ink artist & jewellery maker in Derbyshire.
I have a deep love of colour & plants; which is how my Wild Garden flower pieces came to be created using beautifully vibrant and free flowing alcohol inks. I usually paint on Yupo paper, which is a 100% recyclable, waterproof, tree-free Synthetic Paper. This allows the inks to sit on the surface, rather than being absorbed, which means I can use lots of different techniques to apply and blend, such as dripping, blowing, brushing & splodging! The inks themselves are such bold luscious colours, but can give the effect of watercolour paints in the way they move into each other, creating a soft, dreamy look. My choices are usually based on my own favourite flowers, or flowers & shapes from my garden. Sometimes I like the flower to be fairly accurate and recognisable, at other times I prefer to almost invent a flower and have some fun with it! My paintings are usually a mixture of the two, combined with a strong sky background and wild grassy foreground. As well as literally blue sky thinking and cloud watching in the summer, I love staring at small details in the garden and can happily sit for hours observing a tiny patch of grass as it moves in the breeze, or comes to life as insects stumble & climb up its length! Each painting is varnished with several coats before being framed to seal & protect from UV light, however I do recommend not displaying them in full sun to keep the colours as strong as possible.
I’ve always had a passion for jewellery and have worked with it most of my life. I use genuine gemstones & Czech glass crystal beads in my collections – when choosing stones and designs, I ask myself “do I love this stone, and would I wear this piece?”. The gemstone pendants I buy in to make each piece are so beautiful – the colours and the markings make each one unique, and they are so smooth and tactile! My collections are costume pieces, which means they are created using nickel free mixed metal alloys, coated with silver plate or metallic colours. This enables me to keep my prices low, making them very affordable to give as a gift. To keep them in perfect condition, please avoid contact with perfumes or water.
I’m a keen gardener and do spend a lot of time in my garden, especially in the gorgeous summer months! When I’m not heaving plants around I like nothing better than to just sit with my black cat, Dizzy, reading a good book and drinking a strong coffee. I’ve been a jazz singer since 2005 and regularly perform with my trio at private events under the name Karen Lake.
You can find me on Instagram, Facebook & Pinterest as @milliemothcraft.
Commission enquiries welcome for my paintings, jewellery & jazz!
I work under the name of Millie Moth Craft, and on this website you can see a selection of items – some of which are available to buy from my Etsy shop. I’m happy to take on commissions if there’s a project you have in mind, please contact me to discuss your requirements.
I sell my work at Design@44, Sadler Gate, Derby – a store which features cards, jewellery, giftware & homeware by amazing local designers. This is a fabulous shop to visit to if you’re in need of a quirky gift or something unique & stylish for your home! Find me upstairs near the window.
My paintings & jewellery are available from Handmade Design, Victoria Square, Ashbourne. This shop stocks some beautiful giftware, all handmade items by local designers.
You can find my paintings in Melbourne Florist – Sue sells some gorgeous giftware amongst her beautiful flowers, well worth popping in for a visit! https://www.melbourneflorist.co.uk