Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Interview with Hollie from Blueberry Shoes

Here is an interview with one of our favorite local Artists. Hollie from Blueberry shoes

Tell us a little about yourself, your shop and what kinds of things do you make?
Hi there! My name is Hollie May, and I'm a dabbler in all things artsy and crafty! I like the sound of a "Crafter" more, so I usually call myself that. But ultimately I'm an Artist. My specialty is in illustration (black and white) inspired by history, fairy tales and anything else that moves me.
The crafty side of me creates head pieces that make you feel like a woodland nymph, or a feathery princess or a bubbly bright bow'd girly girl! I like to create pieces that emote and have an aura about them. So when my customers put on their accessories, they feel special and powerful. 
I'm also a writer, who loves to write poetry, stories and blog. Blogging is one of my favorite things in that it helps others, inspires and satisfies my heart all at the same time.  
I'm 25 yrs old, married to a cute Irish Boy and living in South Florida. We are saving up to move to California in about a year! I'm from Canada, born and raised…so I feel I will be more at home in the nature there. Though I will miss the crafting community here in South Florida!

How did you come up with your business name?
Hmm, it was quite instant actually. I knew I wanted to open an Etsy shop and that I wanted my biz name to very much represent me. Growing up in Northern Ontario we picked blueberries as a family, and it ALWAYS made me feel so happy and whole. I'm a major gardening freak, and obsessed with nature-and my ultimate are blueberries. I bought a pair of really cute shoes that we're blueberry blue and I took a picture of them in the grass. It hit me. Blueberry Shoes.

 Who or what inspires you?
This could take a while so I'll keep it to the most important things. Above all nature and the idea of nymphs, mermaids, fairies dwelling there in secret. Medieval history. Kate Bush, Tori Amos, Stevie Nicks, David Bowie, the 80's, hippies, longing and sadness, innocence, sarcasm and love.

When / how did you learn?
Most everything I know is self taught. It was just passed down from mom and dad in my genes. I did take an oil painting class, which was a ball, but it wasn't really for me. I love the idea of teaching oneself constantly. So that's what I do.

Can you tell us about your creative process.
I usually know right away when I'm in the mood to MAKE something. I go to my craft area and stare at my closed boxes of materials, etc. Then I think. Then I open them, stare and take out what moves me. I lay out a big blanket on the floor (my favorite way to create) and plug in my glue gun, or thread my needle and just take out ALL my stuff and start making stuff. I'll usually churn out about 5 good pieces that are sellable.

 For drawing it's very different. I'll get in a mood of discomfort, sadness and longing. That's when I know I'll draw something great and it will level out my emotions. I always draw by the computer, because that's where my music is. I'll play whatever song feels perfect, on repeat and draw until all the longing is gone. It usually takes about an hour. But it feels like an instant. It's really the perfect example of getting in "the zone".

Why do you 'bother' to make things by hand?
I hate machines. I hate the idea of them. I like classic things. Knowing women before me were making things with their hands, centuries ago, really moves me. It's real, it matters, I just love that.

 What's the most important thing you'd like people to know/understand about your work?
That every single thing I make is made from the deepest of my heart. Every piece has an idea, a spirit about it. When it goes to someone else, a piece of me is with them. Everything I make is an extension of my dreams, ideas and vision.

 What's the best thing about what you do? And the worst?
The best-seeing other people wearing my work and smiling from head to toe! Nothing in the world compares to that feeling. The worst? Not having the organization or space for crafting that I'd like. All in good time though!

  What handmade item is your absolute favorite? And where did you get it?
The quilt I lay out for crafting is thrifted and handmade. It looks almost exactly like the one mom and dad had on their bed when I was very little. It calms me and grounds me when I sit on it and look at it. So I'd have to say that!

 What do you do when you're not crafting?
Blog, create treasuries, run my Etsy team, Indie Free Spirits, be a wife, teach the bible voluntarily, thrift, attend crafty events, cook and bake artsy dishes, spend time with friends and family, travel when I can, the list goes on!

Anything else?You can follow me and my work here!Blog- http://mermaidscloset.blogspot.com
Shop- http://blueberryshoes.etsy.com
Twitter- http://twitter.com/blueberryshoes
Facebook- http://www.facebook.com/holliemayartandfashion

Thanks Hollie!
Frances ;o)

work... work... work!

just finished the cutest bibs, and onesies for Stitch Rock.  I can not wait, this show is going to be awesome! Here are some pictures of some of our lovable stuffies...

Friday, August 20, 2010

What’s for Dinner?

How about Ham & Cheddar in a Loaf? It takes 15 min for prep about 40 minutes in the oven… just think of all of the possibilities: ham, turkey, pepperoni, left over chicken, beef, or ground beef! How awesome! Doesn't this look great? Get all of the ingredients and full recipe here.

Frances ;o)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Interview with designed by Diana

Here is an interview with one of our talented members and fellow Etsian Diana from designed by Diana. Diana makes awesome retro-inspired aprons, cute wallets and handy pouches.

Designed by Diana pages:

Tell us a little about yourself, your shop and what kinds of things do you make?

I’m Diana. I have been making things as long as I can remember. My shop started out with handbags, but has morphed into a shop full of retro-inspired aprons and some cute wallets and pouches too. My shop is very colorful and I love the retro and mod aesthetics, so you can see that in the prints I choose too.

Are you a native Miami-ian?
I’m a native Miami-an. I was born and bred here, left to Central Florida for college, but then came back. Miami is and will always be home to me.

Who or what inspires you?
My grandmother is a definite inspiration. She is a seamstress and took classes to learn it all in Cuba. She knows how to make her own patterns and can whip up any dress I can dream up. Her work never looks home-made, it’s more couture. She is definitely my sewing mentor, and I always measure up my work to the standard of hers.

Have you always made 'stuff'?

Ever since I can remember I’ve been making stuff. I remember painting a receiving blanket for my baby brother with Gonzo on it while my mom was pregnant with him. I must have been 5 or 6. I also got really into plastic canvas for a while when I was younger and made tissue box covers and locker magnets. I have to say that my teal and hot pink blowfish tissue box cover rocked! I’d tried tons of other crafts and thought I could figure out sewing, so I did. And that’s my current craft of choice.

When / how did you learn?
I don’t ever remember learning how to sew. I know my mom taught me how to knot off at the beginning and at the end for hand sewing, but other than that I just picked it up. I was surrounded by sewers in my family, so I think it’s just in my genes.

Can you tell us about your creative process.
My creative process usually starts at JoAnn’s early on a Saturday morning. I scour the cotton fabrics for cool and interesting prints that I can make into my goodies. I also get inspired by seeing things online and being mad about mod, the show Mad Men is a total style inspiration.

Why do you 'bother' to make things by hand?
People that aren’t hand makers or crafters tend to ask this a lot. I bother to make things, because I enjoy it. It’s my form of fun and relaxation. I also like the quality of handmade goods.  It’s not made in China by a machine and an anonymous factory worker. You can see the love put into handmade items. I bother to spend time making things because I like to and because I want other people to see the values of handmade.

What have you learned about yourself through your work?

I've l
earned that I’m a lot more creative than I give myself credit for. I’ve also learned that I’m meticulous with my work. And most of all, I’ve learned that with practice, your skills will improve.

What handmade item is your absolute favorite? And where did you get it?
I have lots of handmade items, jewelry, hats, purses, but my favorite has to be the clothes that my grandma makes for me. It always fits like a glove and is exactly as I imagined it.

What advice would you give to someone starting a creative business?
Starting a creative business is fun, but you have to treat it like a business. In order to make it successful, you have to put time into it. When you get home from your day job, your creative business is your second job. Just spending one hour a week on your business won’t make your business work. You have to spend time not only making, but promoting, listing, photographing, blogging. But the best thing is at the end of the day, when you do sell something you made with your own hands and the person who buys it truly appreciates it and all the work that went into it, it’s all worth it.

Thank you so much Diana!

Diana will be at PPinkghost’s Mini Market, Saturday from 1pm – 5pm on August 21, 2010. The Pinkghost Mini Markets will be showcasing 8-10 amazing and talented local artists and businesses at the Pinkghost store (1888 Polk St., Hollywood, FL, 33020). So you can some discover different handmade crafts, artists, apparel brands and much more every Saturday. Admission is free.

Frances ;0)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Were have we been?

We appologize for being MIA but... we have lots of things going on and blogging had to take a backseat.  We will have a new member of the family this October.   Julie & I are  founding memebers of Handmade Miami, along with Diana form designedbydiana and Vanessa from sophieskeepsakes
We will also be at Stitch Rock for the 3year in a row!  Great things are in store... lots of things to keep us busy for the next few months.  We will have the schedule up for the Handmade Miami Crafter-noons as well as all of our future shows. 
Frances & Julie ;o)