Bj olsen

I'm a world traveling nurse with adhd and asd that has a unique take on still life. I am currently working on a series of covid19 related embroidery. Designs are based on candid photos taken all over the world during covid19.A second series is being created based medieval illumination pages, particularly medical illumination manuscripts and marginalia.


What craft do you work with? 

I’ve been in art my whole life, including watercolor painting, cartooning, and cross stitching since primary school, knitting since 2005, and embroidery since the pandemic in 2020. Most times I work with linen and cottons and occasionally polyesters, and much of my embroidery involves small beads, plastic sheeting or tubing. With the exception of satin stitch and French knots, my technique is unique to myself and specific “embroidery” stitches are rarely used.there are usually hidden messages of jokes in my works.

What inspires you to work with this craft? 

Covid19 had a lot of us feeling unsure and isolated. The funny masks I saw people wearing online inspired me to make my own versions of their still life with thread. I’d never embroidered before, but I’m not stranger to needles and fabric.Embroidery is an ancient art with traditional rules, but today’s fibre artists including myself are working to make it modern, thought provoking, beautiful and interesting.I choose images the evoke feelings, sadness, worry, disgust, joviality. The emotions we encounter navigating life from our “covid bubbles”.

How do you start your creative process?

My process is quite simple with the internet. People often send me funny or moving photos found from all over the world of people with interesting mask usage. I really enjoy when other people get involved! I also love choosing where to place colours and which colours to choose to best present how I see each person.

Your workspace?

My family and I live in a very cramped apartment! My “workspace” consists of a bench full of projects, each with its own zippered bag, and a cheap plastic tray that I keep my current work in progress on. I have a SAD light I use to see my work best, and it also helps beat the depression. People like me with ASD and/or ADHD have the ability to hyper focus on things we really enjoy. I feel like my neurodiversity is an extremely useful tool which I use to express my creativity.

Are there new techniques you would like to try?

I’m always open to trying new things! I haven’t mixed watercolors and embroidery on fabric yet, though I have on paper.

Sharing your craft and experience?

I’ve learned to trust my vision. Each time I start a new embroidery I’ve convinced myself that it’s rubbish the whole first half of the work! But mid way through I start to see what I was aiming for come to fruition, so I’ve learned to ignore that tough relentless voice in my head telling me to rip everything out and start over.My professional dream is to have my work seen by as many people as possible. I feel my work is accessible to people on many different levels and every person can take something from the art I create.I would love my work to make people think, remember and maybe even appreciate what we have been through.

Media & Contact


Freelancer of Quarembroidery







Instagram: quarembroidery

Facebook: Quarembroidery Shop


Photography credit

The photos I’ve included have been all over the internet and I am unsure of where they were taken, one appears to be in China but I have not been able to locate the original post, one may be in either Poland or a Latin country, and the picture of the elderly lady posting an envelope in PPE is a friend of mine, and her relative took that photo.


United Kingdom