Page 1



ibutors r t n o c d e r featu ort designs

+ sa davenp li enise corcoran d

oronde kairi • patty sloniger • bodacious • jolly edition • violette clark • Sweater girls KNIT Christiana thiessen • lisa davenport • neil j singh • make it! • annelie hervi • lysa mair • dale anne potter

give thanks


dream big




featuring 8 32 46 54 70


oronde kairi patty sloniger lorna ketler, bodacious lifestyles laura shema and tom hart violette clark denise corcoran regular contributor tutorial winecork jewelry sweater girls christiana thiessen lisa davenport lisa davenport designs regular contributor getting organized for the new year neil j singh jenna and chandler herbut annelie hervi lysa mair what’s in your collection? dale anne potter

92 96 112 132 146 152 168 178 194 216 220

Cover art by green couch designs quarter 2 | 2013-14



hello there! a note from the team...

celebrate As I was designing this issue and collecting and reviewing all of the content from our fabulous featured peeps, I was trying to think of a theme for this note to convey all of the words going through my mind. Passion. Love. Thrilling. Exciting! Impressive. Unique. Amazing. Talent. Skill. Drive. Determination. Never giving up. Working hard. Following your dream. Making it happen! And as I read through everyone’s amazing words, their thoughts, and their insights, I get surprisingly emotional over how incredibly talented, devoted, and brilliant each and every person is when they are talking about their lives and sharing so openly about their creative work, their businesses, and what gets them all fired up when they are really in the creative “groove”. Simply amazing. What gets me all excited now, is that I am the extremely lucky one with the immense honour of presenting all of these people and their stories to you! Whoa! I believe I have found my “big” work! This magazine is evolving and growing as we go, and some pretty cool people are really excited to help us grow even more and helping create content from the goodness of their hearts, and for that I am so thankful and thrilled, you have no idea how much! Going forward with this issue and those to come, I hope to really push the limits of what’s out there as far as other creative publications go. One of our current featured peeps said it beautifully, “I’ve had microphones shoved in my face but you guys are doing it right and letting me express myself”. And that to me is what “this” all about. So we’re stepping way outside the box. Creating this magazine big time with no rules and no limits!

So I guess in light, a word that comes to mind is “Celebrate”. We invite you to join us and help celebrate the gorgeous creative souls who have taken the time to share their lives and work with us. Being creative and working in creative fields is often not easy, it has very unique challenges and rewards that definitely deserve being celebrated! Have a read through and explore what our awesome line up of creative people work on, thrive on, riff on, and celebrate each in their own way. Come join us and share the love and celebration with our stellar line up in this issue, we know you’ll love it as much as we do!

Happiest of Holidays to you and yours, have a safe and healthy season, Happy New Year, and see you in February!

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who did what Creation, design, website, and directed by Cynthia + Norm Frenette Green couch designs Mission, BC Canada

The Features you are about to read were written entirely by each person included in this issue, in their own words.

huge thanks to... We give our thanks to Our most appreciated and valued advertisers,

we couldn’t have done it without you!

Robert Kaufman Fabrics Bodacious Delish General Store Make and Mercantile Warp and Weft Love Kitty Pink

Huge thank you’s for their contributions to this issue!

Lisa Davenport Designs, page 146 Denise Corcoran, page 92

Big thank you’s to all of our featured peeps who took the time to enthusiastically write up and send us their information and photos, we wouldn’t exist without you:

Oronde Kairi Patty Sloniger Lorna Ketler and Bodacious Lifestyles Laura Shema and Tom Hart Violette Clark Sweater Girls Knit Christiana Thiessen Lisa Davenport Neil J Singh Jenna and Chandler Herbut Annelie Hervi Lysa Mair Dale Anne Potter

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photo by: Monica Lyons


I am very much into the arts. Not because I want to be, but


the way it is.

photo by: Monica Lyons

that’s just

website The-Art-Of-Oronde-Kairi/108352829202859

Based in Philadelphia, PA,

Oronde Kairi is an artist with a massive talent for reflecting what he sees around him and sharing his unique view of the human experience. quarter 2 | 2013-14


CTION U D I N T R O I’m very much into the arts. Not because I want to be, but that’s just the way it is. In the 80’s growing up in Philadelphia, it was easy to view art. All I had to do was look at the graffiti filtered walls, subway tunnels and trains that I would ride frequently as a child. This captured my interest years before I knew the talent was embedded in me. Both of my parents encouraged me to create by all means. Which I did, only to discover that I had the ability to draw. In my late teens I was in art classes taught by Dawud Anyabwile. These classes made me want to get a arts education. I enrolled in the Art Institute and the University of the Arts where I received my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. 10

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I have a BFA in illustration, but I always wanted to create and sell my painting through galleries and trade shows. In 2006, I self-published four of my original paintings and three drawings. And the ball started to roll from there. One of the drawings “In Daddy’s Hand’s“ has taking on a life of it’s own. With well over 100,000 likes and shares on Facebook, it has graced the cover of Our LA Weekly and is still a popular sale at trade shows through out the States. By participating in trade shows I was able to make contacts with galleries and have participated in shows in the States and internationally.

Do you have formal training, are you self-taught, or a combination? Well, you know I have the degree in illustration. But it’s really a combination of practicing and wanting to learn. I didn’t have a clue what to do with paints until my last few classes in college. So I was really behind the eight ball. So I had to practice, practice, practice and then practice some more. I enrolled in a few classes and workshops though out the States and it all started to come together for me.


favorite quote...

HE greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. ~ nelson mandela

Jamming with betty


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big bill broonzy

favorite career achievement... Self publishing my work and seeing what happens is always a favorite. Doing this interview is pretty awesome. I’ve had microphones and tape recorders shoved in my face before, but you guys are taking it to another level. This is a wonderful achievement for me and my craft. We thank you! :)

What is your favorite subject matter or theme and why? I’m really into the human experience. So most of my work is figurative. I never thought about why? But every since I’ve been making art, there has always been a strong interest in creating the human form. Maybe it’s from the way I was brought up. My Mother is from the south and my father is from the north. My sister and I would spend our summers in Anniston, Alabama, which was completely different from visiting our family from the projects of Philadelphia. I’ve always admired the differences in language, posture and style. So maybe that’s why I gravitate to the figure the way I do.

ABOVE: two by the hips RIGHT: All red

photo by: Monica Lyons

Where do you work from, tell us about your workspaces and places... I had a very good carpenter build a studio in the basement of my house. I have removable lights fixed in to the ceiling and a storage room in the back . I’m going to have to get a bigger place very soon, but for now this is home.


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photo by: Monica Lyons

inspiration Finding beauty in everything inspires me to create.

photo by: Monica Lyons

Do you have any favorite vintage tools or supplies? The glass palette in my studio is actually the side window from my father’s 1973 Volkswagon. He loved that car and I love squeezing paint on to that old window. What is your go-to, always reliable media or tool?

my favorite tools The brushes I use are Silver Ruby satin and I paint on wood or canvas surfaces. I paint with Winsor & Newton and Gamlin oil paints. When drawing I use a Prismacolor mechanical pencil and Arches cold press water color paper.

Good old-fashioned oil paint. I love it! Do you need to spend a lot of money on your tools of your trade and upgrading? Some things are more expensive then others. What I’ve learned is, you get what you pay for. Cheap equipment will make you work harder than you have to. 18

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photo by: Joseph Smith

sharing a laugh with bill...

family support

Do you sell your work? If so, where? Do you have any tips on pricing your work? I sell my work on line, at trade shows, inside art galleries on tee shirts. etc... “I say this”...Know and respect where you are when you are selling art. Have the right merchandise for the right market. And you will be fine.

What is your work schedule like? I’m still trying to figure it out. Sun up till sun down. You have to love it! If you’re having a bad day, a project isn’t going your way, or everything just sucks, what do you do to turn things around? When that happens and it happens. That’s a good time to exit the studio and come back when your mind is right. What ever is bothering you, deal with it and return to work renewed.


photo by: Joseph Smith

show in bucharest

being interviewed about my work...

jamming with mister quarter 2 | 2013-14


dream big


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little wayne

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Have you won any awards or special prizes or mentions for your work? I haven’t received a physical award for my art since junior high school. Which is the only art award I’ve ever received. Being able to create has always been the biggest award for me. Anything else is just icing on the cake. What do you do to keep work, creative juices, and money flowing? Hustle... In this age of technology, you can make the art game work for you. No longer are you limited to one way of making things happen. That’s a blessing and I’m thankful. I really like creating so I’m never lost for ideas. I try to save more than I spend because I need to use the money to get to the next event. There are many shows out here for artists ,so managing your money is a must.

Where have you traveled? I’ve been a lot of places, but I never been to Canada. I’ve been invited but it was bad timing for me. So hopefully we can still make that happen.

LEFT: little green apple

I won a silver medal for the high jump.

I used to play the drums.

I don’t like touching snakes, they’re ucky.

Do you listen to music while you work? What is your favorite music to work to?

CD cover, Up and Walking

Do you donate to charity or work with any charities or community organizations through your creative work? I’ve created a painting for breast cancer. And a few years ago, I created a CD cover for Child Voice International. The name of the CD is Up and Walking. With every CD we sell, all of the proceeds serve as a donation to Child Voice International, a humanitarian organization committed to the restoration of children affected by war. I’ll be posting the CD on my new site. It’s going to have a “Pay Now” button without a price. What ever you donate is up to you. The CD will be sent to you as a thank you.

I love music and I used to listen to it often while I would create. But once it became a distraction, I stopped creating that way. What I realized was that I really needed to hear myself think and answer the questions that were in front of me. So now it’s visual concentration first and Jam session last. “And that’s on my bad foot” (James Brown) Do you have any hobbies that are really different from what you do your creative work? I work out. I’m something like a weekend warrior.

etc... I love listening to music, I just can’t stand the bad stuff. Some of the movies I like are Ralph Bakshi’s “Heavy Traffic” and “Coonskin”. Style Wars is also a good flick, you should check it out.

my favorites...

Arron Douglas, Charles White, Todd Schorr and Dawud Anyabwile are very good artists. I like them! Favorite food...hand me a plate, I haven’t eaten all day... quarter 2 | 2013-14


photo by: Monica Lyons

If you’re having trouble doing something, it’s probably because you’re not doing it enough. Keep pushing yourself until you understand how things work. 26

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top: Working on a piece, Red light Special below: redman righT: the scent of a woman

brother eric

rick ross

Mother earth is an endless inspiration. When you begin a painting, what is generally your creative process? When I have a thought in my head, the first thing I have to do is figure out how to get it from my brain and on to the canvas. I’m visual, so I already know I’m going to have to take some kind of reference picture. I’ll loosely sketch the idea on to the surface to see if I want to go ahead with the concept. If so, I’ll prepare my surface and start working.


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How do you know when a piece is finished? When what I’ve envisioned comes out on canvas, it’s finished for me. If it’s a commission piece, you’re done when the deadline is near or here.

photo by: Monica Lyons

Where do you find inspiration?

Do you have any current projects or future plans you’d like to share? Author Mister Mann Frisby and myself created a 2014 wall calendar that should be out as you’re reading this, called “Unbelievable Moments in Black History”. I’m proud to be a part of a group show entitled, “17 The Revolution Will be Visualized”. At this point it’s going to travel the States. I’m also working on my new website. So I have my work cut out for me! What does the future hold for you and your work, and where do you see yourself in a few years?

photo by: Monica Lyons

Usually the projects I give myself dictate where I need to go with my career. I don’t want to say too much, but I’m seeing museums somewhere in my future. I would like to take this time to say thank you for giving me the opportunity to express myself. It’s been rewarding.

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patty sloniger


it never really occurred to me to do anything else!


I’ve been drawing and creating art as long as I can remember,

website Beckandlundy/142555345795171

Patty Sloniger is a fabric pattysloniger

designer and illustrator from

Houston, Texas, with a passion for pattern and quilting. quarter 2 | 2013-14


CTION U D I N T R O I’ve been drawing and creating art as long as I can remember, it never really occurred to me to do anything else! I chose to study Graphic Design in college because I thought I’d never be able to make a living off drawing pictures, but wouldn’t ya know my first job out of school was illustrating for a stationery and gifts manufacturer here in Houston? So there I was making money with my art after all! I worked there for 5 years just soaking in everything I could about the industry, the printing process itself and the world of copyright and licensing. As an in-house illustrator I went to work everyday, sat at my desk in a room above a warehouse and painted whether I felt like it or not. I dreamed about one day being a licensed illustrator and working from wherever I wanted, wearing pjs if I wanted to and cashing in royalty checks instead of a payroll check.


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When the company was bought and relocated I figured it was a good time to try striking out on my own and decided to stay in Houston. I took a temp job as a packaging designer while I worked on my portfolio. That’s when a serendipitous online search for custom fabric for a little side sewing project I was working on led me to a company that would alter my future. That company was Spoonflower, a digital fabric printer that allowed you to upload your own art to be digitally printed on fabric. What? You mean I could buy fabric with my own artwork on it? My husband still remembers the day I ran into the living room jumping up and down yelling something about artwork and custom fabric before turning around and running right back into my bedroom to start designing my first repeat. I spent the next year pretty much living and breathing Spoonflower, in fact, you could probably say I was a wee bit obsessed. But it was something I did for


myself, I never imagined it would be the vehicle through which I scored my first licensing contract. But that’s exactly what happened. I entered and won a contest co-sponsored with Michael Miller Fabrics to design a collection of children’s fabric and ended up with a 2-year contract. Three collections later and we’re still going strong. I’m expecting my fourth collection to debut in the spring. What is your background? My BFA is in Graphic Design, but I owe a lot to my high school art teacher. Next to my artistic mother, she was the biggest influence on my artistic development. Somber and firm, she pushed us with assignments and exercises that didn’t always seem like fun. And at times I felt like all we ever did was draw, draw, draw, but looking back I realize that she really helped me to create a strong base of not only drawing skills but visual “seeing” skills from which I continue to build on today. Thanks Mrs. Zent!

I find inspiration in nature, interiors and fashion especially, and my go-to’s when I need a creative boost or refresh are magazines. Lots of magazines. My absolute fave is House Beautiful, it’s always chocked full of great textures, colors and patterns. I also carry around a camera and snap photos of things that inspire me. My family jokes that when we go on vacation they have to sort the photos afterward because in between photos of playing in the sand and kids in canoes there will be 20 shots of the same flower from slightly different angles, or 50 shots of macro textures that you can’t even tell what they’re from.

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Where do you work from, tell us about your workspaces and places... Most of my work is done from home but not always in the same room. Before we had our little one, I liked to get up early, make some coffee and listen to music while working in my studio (aka the old dining room) which has nice windows and lots of light. Now that I have to get up early for other reasons, I tend to create whenever and wherever there’s an open horizontal space. Or if there’s a good movie on or I want to be close to the family I’ll drag an extension cord around with me so I can plug my light box in wherever I end up. But I still love to be in my studio, it’s full of my favorite books and magazines, things I’ve made and that others have made for me and piles and piles of pretty fabrics full of the lure of new projects. Do you do what you do full time/ part time/ as a hobby, and how do you find balance between work and non-work hours? Technically I guess it would be considered part time since I already have a full-time job during the day, but it sure feels like full time because I spend all my free time doing it, and some of my not-free time too! Balance is hard and I don’t do a good job of it. I thought it was hard before I had a baby, now I see how good I had it! It’s more about prioritizing. Making a list with important things at the top and working my way down. Taking care of the big stuff, filling in with whatever else will fit and letting go of what can’t get done. Cooking and cleaning usually end up at the bottom! quarter 2 | 2013-14


What is your work schedule like? Well, I’m kind of a perpetual motion machine, I have a hard time just sitting on the couch watching tv for example. I’d have to be working on an embroidery project, or binding a quilt while I was watching. There’s so much I need to do and then so much I want to do that I pretty much work all the time. I like to think I’ll slow down when the time comes to quit my day job, but I’m sure I can find more projects to fill the time. The pace of fabric design is kind of like hurry up and wait. Partly due to the process of manufacturing, and partly due to my chronic lack of understanding of the laws of physics and time. Right before Quilt Market (there are two a year) is the craziest time of all. When I was preparing for my very first booth I didn’t get my sample fabric until the week before, and I was 38

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working full-time so I’d come home, iron, cut and sew like a madwoman until the wee hours of the morning before going back to work for like 7 days in a row. If you could’ve heard what was going on in my head for those 7 days it would’ve been like that reality show where they have to redo an entire house in a week and the whole time they’re freaking out thinking there’s no way they’re going to get it done on time and everyone’s running around like a chicken with their head cut off. But in the end it all works out and everything looks fabulous and you can’t believe you pulled it off. And then you do it all again at the next Market.

my favorite tools Mechanical pencils, MICRON pens and my trusty lightbox!

Do you need to spend a lot of money on your tools of your trade and upgrading? Yes and no. The tools I use to make the art are relatively inexpensive, just pens, pencils, paper and aa cheap lightbox. But the process of turning it into digital artwork is a bit more expensive. For that I need both hardware: a decent scanner, computer and wide-format printer, and pricey graphics software:Photoshop and Illustrator, my tools of choice.

Do you sell your work? If so, where? I do, though it’s mostly for fun. I have an Etsy shop where I sell a few art prints, original tea towels and digitally printed fabrics as well as some owl softies that make really awesome baby shower gifts. I have a customer that stocks up on them every 3-4 months just to keep them on hand for convenience. I don’t make very much, but I enjoy making them, and like the idea that somewhere some little girl might be hugging hers right now.

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favorite career achievement... As I got into designing fabric I started to get interested in modern quilting, and I’m so proud to have one of my quilts, “Azteca” published. It was one of my first original patterns and I made it using my own fabrics, so I was thrilled when Modern Quilts Unlimited approached me about including it in their magazine. You can find it in their Spring 2013 issue.


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Have you won any awards or special prizes or mentions for your work? In addition to having one of my quilts published, I just had a pillow pattern published in Better Homes & Gardens “Make it Yourself� magazine. I makes me giddy to see something of mine in print. Kind of like having concrete evidence to say see? I did something right once!

left: azteca quilt by Patty Sloniger, photo by Modern Quilts unlimited quarter 2 | 2013-14


If you’re having a bad day, a project isn’t going your way, or everything just sucks, what do you do to turn things around?

Do you donate to charity or work with any charities or community organizations through your creative work?

Moose Tracks ice cream does wonders, so does seeing my sweet daughter’s 6 month old face smiling up at me. Both together are dynamite!

I’ve been a volunteer with American Hospice for 7 years, designing and producing their bi-monthly newsletter, and whatever other design or illustration work they need done. I’ve also started doing charity work through my local quilt guild, the Houston Modern Quilt Guild, they are always working on a number of different projects to donate or help raise funds.

where have you travelled? My parents lived in Lyon, France for 4 years around the time I graduated college, so I spent as much time as I could visiting them. I’ve also spent time in Switzerland, London and Germany. Loved every bit of it, the people in Hamburg were unbelievably friendly.


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When you begin a project, what is generally your creative process? I’m not very good just drawing things out of my head, so the first thing I do is find reference material. If I’m working on a floral pattern I might leaf through a seed catalog or go to the nursery down the street and take some photos. Then I just start sketching with a pencil until I get a loose rendering or composition. I put that on my light table and using it as a reference, draw over it, refining it. I continue refining in this manner until I’m satisfied and then break out my technical pens for the final artwork. (Black ink scans so much crisper than pencil) Even if it’s not perfect I can still fix minor issues once I scan it in to Photoshop, or rebuild it in Illustrator. This is also when I layer in the color.

Do the worst thing on your to-do list first so you don’t spend the rest of the day dreading it! How do you know when a project is finished? Sometimes I think it’s when I’m so sick of looking at it I can’t work on it anymore! That or the deadline rolls around.

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I like melted peanut butter on my ice cream.

I can write backwards, in cursive.

I went to college on both a soccer and an academic scholarship.


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Do you listen to music while you work? What is your favorite music to work to? Always! When I’m just getting into a project or sketching out concepts I tend to listen to mellower music like the Shins. When I’m really on a roll or in a massive time crunch you’ll find me plugged into high energy electronic music (usually on headphones so as not to disturb the rest of the household). I tend to listen to the same playlist over and over until I’ve worn it out before switching it up.

What does the future hold for you and your work- where do you see yourself in a few years? Hopefully continuing to design fabrics and quilt patterns, but I’d love to get some licensing work back in the stationery and gifts industry I started out in.

Do you have any current projects or future plans you’d like to share? Yes! I will have a new fabulous floral fabric collection Spring 2014, along with some coordinating quilt patterns and sewing projects. I also recently signed with an Art Group and have some designs in the works for Wall Art sometime next year as well.

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lorna ketler celebrate YOU! 46

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Lorna Ketler owns and operates Bodacious Lifestyles Inc. in Vancouver, BC, with a



website: bodacious

range of beautiful clothing and lifestyles

accessories, and helps women


celebrate who they are, right


now! store location: 109 – 1535 Johnston Street (Granville Island) Vancouver, BC (right beside Roger’s Chocolates!) ring: 604.688.8169 quarter 2 | 2013-14


ION T C DU O R T I N I provide a fun, safe and welcoming space to shop for awesome women’s fashion. I believe that we all deserve to wear beautiful, comfortable and well-fitting clothes to love and celebrate where we are, right now! I also live on a boat and share my life with my honey, George (23 wonderful years and still going strong!) I love to explore the world and am working on ways to combine travel with business to create the perfect life combination. My background is working in the non-profit world as a group home counselor, home-care aide and more recently fundraising and administration. 48

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The business grew out of some less-than-ideal shopping experiences and a feeling that we (I had a biz partner at the time) could do it we did. I’d been woken up too many times with the feeling that I needed to create that store that I wanted to shop in. I pushed that feeling aside for years and then one day, I knew I needed to pursue that dream. Bodacious is now about to celebrate 13 years of business and has gone through some big transitions. Moving onto Granville Island in February was a dream come true! The rewards I get every day from women who love and appreciate the vibe of the store and the clothes and accessories that we offer has made it all worthwhile!

Who or what inspires you in your business and work? Other entrepreneurs inspire me. Some I watch from afar via Facebook and websites and others are on my support team. I wouldn’t be here without them.


favorite quote...

here is nothing more rare, nor more beautiful, than a woman being unapologetically herself; comfortable in her perfect imperfection. To me, that is the true essence of beauty. ~ Steve Maraboli, Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience

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What is your favorite topic or area of interest? Body-image/body-positive websites and pages. There seems to be a huge revolution right now with women of all sizes speaking up about loving your body and accepting themselves. I’m excited to see the younger women taking the charge and pushing the envelope with fashion and the archaic “rules” around what you can and can’t wear. Where do you work from, tell us about your workspaces and places... I mostly work in my store which is a pretty awesome place to hang out.


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Do you listen to music while you work? What is your favorite music to work to? The music is always on in the store. I love creating a mood. Favourites include the ladies - Ella, Etta. Also love Adele, Norah Jones and have recently happily discovered Fiorella Mannoia


I grew up in Yarrow, BC.

I met Whoopi Goldberg.

I did a nude photo shoot 10+ years ago. :)

Life: Anything by Brene Brown, Danielle LaPorte, Pema Chodron Body-positivity: Rebecca Eisenberg, Upworthy Funny: Morgan Brayton makes me smile Shows: I’m a Coronation Street watcher, reality dance shows, just watched a Netflix series called Derek that was awesome WiMovie/70258489?mqso=81070423

my favorites...

What is your work schedule like? Typically 5 days per week with a lot of flexibility thrown in. I have awesome staff :) how do you balance being a business owner and work/life? Trying to figure that one out. I just had 2-1/2 years of working 6-7 days per week. Now I have the privilege of staff and am enjoying time off. I even took a 10 day vacation with my hubby! What do you do to keep work, creative juices, and money flowing? Communicate with my customers and staff. Hearing feedback and suggestions for what’s working and what’s not is super important. Interacting with my happy customers always feeds my spirit! quarter 2 | 2013-14


Do you have an inspiration or mood board? I do have a couple of Pinterest sites (one work/one personal) that inspires me. I also do a vision board once a year. Do you donate to charity or work with any charities or community organizations through your creative work? We’ve recently tagged up with Project True and just did a fashion show/fundraiser with them. What does the future hold for you and your work- where do you see yourself in a few years? Continuing what I do with more travel thrown in. Building my business to be able to serve customers that are not in Vancouver with an online site as well as wholesale for my Bodacious line.

Ask for help and help others! Smile and be genuine - people resonate when you are being fully you. 52

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laura shema angela tom 54

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Hailing from Cambridge,

England, Laura Shema

and Tom Hart now live and work in Baltimore, Maryland, creating their unique, one-of-a-kind stationery and illustrations for very



website @jollyedition @jollyedition

special clients, quite jolly


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Laura has been trained as a painter, she earned her BFA at MICA, MFA at UPENN, and was a studio painter for Jeff Koons when she met Tom in New York City and Tom swept her away to England! Tom is a self taught web designer who has worked for a range of companies, from start ups to large corporations. His background is in English (you’d think he was English enough) but he felt a connection towards design and pursued that road after he graduated.


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We were married in 2011, Laura illustrated a dozen portraits as wedding favors for friends and family. Our wedding photographer (Kristen Hudson-Nichols) suggested we create bespoke illustrations, it just clicked after that. We began to specialize in wedding illustrations because wedding clients are the most invested in great quality services. They care so deeply about the projects that when they choose us to create their stationery they’ve put their trust in us and that enthusiasm fuels us to give our all.

The time, care and attention we put into creating one custom stationery project is a huge investment for us and we love that our customers really appreciate it and will have those pieces as keepsakes decades after their wedding. We create one-of-a-kind stationery and illustrations for weddings and special occasions. We started our business in Cambridge, England, but we recently emigrated stateside and are currently based in Baltimore, Maryland. Laura illustrates and designs while Tom builds our website, oversees our brand, and communicates with our customers while managing our studio. Everything we make is for a specific person and we pride ourselves on illustrating personality, not likeness. We’re unlike any other company in that the energy and enthusiasm of our clients – their personalities and ideas — drive our projects. When we start a new project, our customer provides us with requirements they’d like to be included, like names and dates. Once we agree on the direction we want to go in, the hard work is done and the fun begins. From our approved sketch, we start developing the drawing and then my favorite part: painting! The best thing about Jolly Edition is that we’re together all day, we’ve never loved work so much. What is your background? We both came from pretty different backgrounds. Laura has been trained to paint realistically and to veer towards a path less concerned with clients. The difference between “fine art” and design is that art is for art’s sake while design is being handed a riddle, it’s problem solving to get to a particular solution. Laura felt more in control of her future as a business woman with design than with fine art. Tom started as an English major and quickly found himself being drawn to web design and he currently does that for a living in his favorite workplace yet! He has more responsibility now than he had even as a senior designer, his skills have become much more well rounded - he’s pretty much an expert on anything customer or office related as well as an amazing web designer.

What is your favorite subject matter or theme and why? We like to be surprised. The subject matter of our work is totally up to the client! Our favorite projects are those clients who present something completely unexpected, and are super excited to see what we can do with their ideas. One recent favorite couple met whilst studying Medieval literature in Iceland and are having ceremonies in both the UK and USA. We suggested a direction for their project that reflected their love for the medieval period and aesthetic, whilst blending in some playful references for good measure! It’s a fun twist for two really fun people. And your least favorite? We aren’t enthused when asked to re-create something we’ve already seen or done. It’s deflating because we love the freedom to experiment and play, to be asked to do something that’s already been done removes the fun from the process. quarter 2 | 2013-14


Where do you work from, tell us about your workspaces and places... We work from our home office. It’s a large, bright space with hard wood flooring and large windows. We like to keep it simple, it’s hard for us to work if there’s too much clutter around so we try to be tidy and use a ton of drawers/shelves. Our furniture is a mixture of modern with a vintage feel - we’ve got modern Ikea pieces a colorful floral rug which adds a splash of texture is Urban Outfitters and the navy love seat is from Ethan Allen. We have clients from around the world so we bought 3 clocks, 1 for NY time, 1 for London time and 1 for Sydney. We would like to add one more clock for the West Coast to keep an eye on the other side of the country.

inspiration We keep each other working, moving and thinking, like a perpetual motion machine. We don’t always obey the laws of thermo-dynamics. Other than that, Tom is always prowling the web for ideas, inspiration or even just tutorials because design and technology is always evolving and moving forward, so he’s got to be on his toes. Laura is kept in the loop by a constant stream of new and changing requirements from clients, so she needs to be thinking of different solutions all the time. Research is key... so is Pinterest.

Did you ever have any major oops crazy mishaps or things going crazily wrong while working on a project? Do you sell your work? If so, where? Do you have any tips on pricing your work? We sell on our services through our website JollyEdition. com and at We have a quote page to easily figure out how much our services would cost: It takes a while to figure out pricing especially for a service driven business. We wrote an article on it here: Basically you’ve just got to figure it out by touch-and-go. You can benchmark your company with similar companies and find a good balance between what you’ll work for and what people will pay for, that’s a good place to begin.

What is your work schedule like? We work everyday ranging from 8-10, but we take breaks to eat, exercise or just chat.

Yes! It usually has to do with the postal service (not to throw them under the bus) We recently heard from a client whose project we had shipped to in July that her portrait never arrived and we felt absolutely gutted for several reasons 1. Obviously we want happy clients! 2. We spend so much time on original pieces that can be re-done 3. It was one of our favorite portraits. She chose to not insure the piece because the UK charges an extra VAT tax. That was awful. We’ve really tried to sure up our practices at every turn, but there are always surprises that we’re constantly learning from. If you’re having a bad day, a project isn’t going your way, or everything just sucks, what do you do to turn things around? Clearing out the cobwebs with a walk, shower or movie is always helpful. When you’re focused so hard on something it’s refreshing to just not think about it and all the sudden an idea will pop into mind, usually a good one. Other than that, sometimes it’s just great to have a best friend working next to you that you can talk it over with and get a fresh perspective on matters. We’re privileged to have that option at our convenience.

favorite career achievement... Since starting Jolly Edition in 2012, we’re proudest of our “Featured Etsy Sellers” article. There are so many talented and hard working small, creative businesses on Etsy that any number of deserving shops can go over looked so to be acknowledged in that pool felt like an official nod of approval. One of our first features was on Martha Stewart’s wedding blog, which to Laura, there’s no better place to be mentioned. It was just a small image and the only copy on it was that it was wedding stationery made by Jolly Edition, and we are positive that Martha Stewart would have no idea who we are, but we’re still exceedingly happy to be associated with the incredible M.S. in anyway.

What is your go-to, always reliable media or tool? It’s not so much the tools that we rely on because with each set of requirements comes a different way to deliver the product. The most reliable tool in our tool box is actually our requirements capture form. If you’re dealing with clients who like to email this form is a life saver. We send our clients a list of questions to fill out about what they want so all of the information we need is in one place and we don’t loose valuable information through endless email correspondence. It’s especially helpful for us because we may not start on the project for sometime whilst working on other projects, it keeps our head in one place! Do you have any favorite vintage tools or supplies?

our favorite tools For the illustrations Laura loves Golden fluid acrylics because it’s high pigment and super thin. It’s also transparent so when on white paper the colors glow. We’ve also been starting to play with gauche which is a great medium but completely opposite to the fluid acrylics. Gauche offers total opaque coverage, that thickness can be fantastic for creating patterns and more complicated compositions because there isn’t the unnecessary noise of brush strokes and other imperfections left by the transparency of acrylic to compete with the complexity of the composition.

Afraid not, sorry! We have Sheriff Piggy, who is a cookie jar Laura’s dad had as a kid. Piggy is integral to our productivity. What’s the most unusual thing you’ve ever made or created? Recently it was an RSVP card that had a medieval shield that included a unicorn and a dragon! We get a lot of pets which are a pleasure to illustrate, it’s the logical progression from cats and dogs to unicorns and dragons.


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Do you need to spend a lot of money on your tools of your trade and upgrading? We do need to invest in proper tools especially for the digital part of our work. We definitely invested in good quality computers, tablet, scanner, printer and scale (for sending out packages). Not to mention the software, we invest in Adobe Cloud, Dropbox, Trello, all sorts. We like to be organized and prepared the best we can. The easiest way to fall behind is to get lax about investing in technologies that are essential to both production output and communication (in and outside of the office).

Do you do your creative work full time, parttime or as a hobby?

What do you do to keep work, creative juices, and money flowing?

We are completely in it! In it to win it. Laura’s been building Jolly Edition full time since February 2012. Tom was working a full time job until he put in his two weeks August 2012 to work full time! We were thinking of a term to indicate small business hours which are way more than full-time (9-5) - all-time maybe.

The best way to keep business flowing is engage with people inside or outside of your industry, always stay interested and update constantly. Keeping dialogue open with people you’ve worked with is always helpful and keeping your ear to the ground for new opportunities.

how do you balance being a business owner and work/life? We balance life/work/play/downtime by ear. We might need to get better at that, but for right now they all seem like the same thing to us.

Have you won any awards or special prizes/ mentions for your work? Tom won second prize at an archery competition. We have a bunch of features if that counts:

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We first met when we were teenagers and were smitten with each other. The next 8 years of our lives were spent apart, living our separate lives and growing up. We met in NYC and fell in love in 2010 and haven’t been kept apart again! Tom lost an archery competition to a one handed man. We plan to have 5 cats instead of kids. We’ll see how that works out.

Do you listen to music while you work? What is your favorite music to work to? Laura likes to listen to TV shows, the Daily Show, Colbert Report, The Office, Archer, 30 Rock. Tom likes to listen to up-tempo/electronic music and Dusty Springfield.

Our Favorite... Books: 1984, Great Expectations Movies: LOTR, Harry Potter, A Clockwork Orange, Taxi Driver, Punch Drunk Love, Gosford Park Designers: Jason Santa Maria, Fuzzco, Trent Walton Food: Anything with avocado, bacon, bread or feta Bands: Daft Punk, the Pixies, Django Reinhardt, YeahYeahYeahs, Queen, David Bowie

Do you donate to charity or work with any charities or community organizations through your creative work? We had supported a charity for a dog shelter in England. We gave them cards to sell for charity to keep the shelter going. We’d love to help out in any way we can.

Songs: All These Things that I’ve Done by the Killers, L-O-V-E by Al Green, Some of Your Lovin’ by Dusty Springfield, La Vie en Rose, The Passenger, Hounds of Love, Isn’t It Romantic Artists: Mary Blair, Brad Woodard, Yasmeen Ismail, Gary Venn, Laura Barnard. If you’re interested in more we’ve listed a ton here:

our favorites...

Where have you traveled? We’re an international duo Tom is English and Laura is American so we’ve done our fair share! Combined we have been through out the U.S., England, France, Belgium, Dubai, Canada, Caribbean, Canary Islands, Denmark and Italy. We’d like to travel more! We haven’t yet ventured to the West coast but we’re planning to in 2014.

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Where do you find inspiration? Mostly Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, and friends.

For creative businesses; don’t be just a pair of hands — make sure your opinion is heard and remember that the work is it’s own reward.

When you begin a project, what is generally your creative process? Our projects begin with a lot of research that is precipitated by the clients requirement form. Then we begin three steps each step needs to be approved by the client before we can proceed; 1. sketch 2. drawing and 3. painting Those are our basic steps, but they can be more elaborate depending on the deliverables. How do you know when a project is finished? We know a project is complete when we can concretely check off all of the requirements that were given to us for any given project and all deliverables are shipped out.

Do you have any current projects or future plans you’d like to share? We’re working on a few branding projects, one new one that we’re excited for is a beautiful Parisian flower market that has so much potential but they need help developing their online presence and their voice as a company. What does the future hold for you and your work- where do you see yourself in a few years? We will always be interested in blending our skills of illustration and design and we can do a lot of things working together which may evolve in the coming years. We’re incredibly interested in outside ideas and working with other businesses who are enthusiastic and have good ideas. quarter 2 | 2013-14


photo by: Trisha Bunn


violette clark 70

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I’m an


author, and an Idea Factory!

photo by: Trisha Bunn




Violette Clark is a South Surrey , B.C.-based artist and author, passionate about @violetteclark

helping women achieve their


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I’m an artist, author and an Idea Factory - a veritable Pez dispenser of non-stop creative ideas! My company name is PurpleJuice. I help women in small businesses “get their mojo going” if they are stuck for creative ideas and don’t know how to move forward once they have a website or blog. I’m passionate about helping women achieve their dreams by bringing their uniqueness out in the open and being loud and proud of who they are. I encourage people to “fly their freak flag”! I also sell online classes specializing in Art Journaling, have produced a Teens Dream Journal DVD and sell prints and necklaces featuring my illustrations. I was born in Casablanca Morocco and so am drawn to all things glittery, exotic and colourful. I’ve always been an artist - my entire life however I didn’t really come into my own until 17 years ago when I bought my small home I dubbed the Magic Cottage! With the help of my 72

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photo by: Trisha Bunn


Bohemian Tribe I painted, decorated and glittered the cottage into a magical colourful sanctuary simply oozing with joy. It even has a giant dragonfly on the front! The magic cottage caught the attention of the TV show Weird Homes as well as other shows. My art and publishing opportunities evolved after I unleashed my true spirit on my little home with the encouragement of my tribe. I also painted a van which I dubbed Glittergirl (now gone on to artcar heaven). After appearing on TV and on messageboards online and talking about my wacky adventures with my Magic Cottage and Glittergirl van I received many e-mails and phone calls from women wanting to know how I did what I did. How did I make my art? How did I have the courage to live in such a funky eccentric home and how they too could have a life full of meaning, authenticity, creativity, daring and joy.

My path was rather circuitous and did not take a normal straight line. I got married in my early twenties and had kids right away. I had perhaps 12 jobs before I realized that I sucked pretty much at all of them! I babysat, worked on an assembly line filling cans with mushrooms, worked as a store clerk, as a typesetter/ layout person for the Yellow pages (back in the day when everything was cut and pasted by hand!), worked as a print-a-sign operator for the Bay making signs before the days of the computer. Then when I had my kids I became a stay at home Mom. I took this opportunity to teach my kids arts and crafts, do some volunteer illustration work for non-profits, made costumes for my kids and for the kids school productions, and basically took every opportunity I could to use my creative gifts while staying at home. quarter 2 | 2013-14


I was the craft owl for my daughter’s Brownies group for 3 years. I taught my neighbours a variety of crafts – sort of like stitch and bitch only we didn’t call it that back then! Ha! Freelance cartooning work and some political cartooning for local newspapers kept my creative chops well oiled. My cartoons even appeared in the Canadian Political Cartooning book! At age 35 I went back to school to become either a Psychologist or a Social Worker. After 3 years of College I had a mini breakdown and quit. In hindsight I can see that I suffered from ADHD and was not able to stick to one thing for very long plus I suffered from depression. I have two loves – Art and psychology and inspiring people (okay – that’s three!). After having a meltdown I co-founded an anti-poverty group which helped educate women on Income Assistance about their rights and responsibilities. Thousands of women, children and men were helped over the years. I stepped away from being an advocate as that didn’t seem to be my cup of tea either (but I still stayed involved as a board member).


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photo by: Trisha Bunn

Next I became a house painter which was pretty hard work – but I did learn some wonderful techniques which later came in handy when it came to creating my art. Also one of my hobbies is recycling trash into treasures so the knowledge gleaned as a house painter came in handy once again! I have a video on my YouTube channel on how the Silverware Chandelier was created! (Click here to watch!) As I mentioned earlier when I moved into my Magic Cottage and with the help of friends revamped it that’s when my whole world opened up! I began blogging 9 years ago so that I could inspire and share with women all over the world. This led to creating art to share with my readers, which led to having my work in magazines and then in the books of other creatives and eventually my own book – Journal Bliss: Creative Prompts to Unleash your Inner Eccentric. That was not the original intent of blogging but it all happened organically. After my book was published I created some online classes. I also taught live workshops in my community too! More than 10 years ago I became fanatical about art journaling since it helped save my life and I wanted to share it with my readers. People loved my pages so much that I made some into prints, necklaces and greeting cards to sell through my blog and also at Craft Fairs. Over the years I’ve received so many questions about creativity and marrying business and creativity as well as how to get out there in the world with your message that I decided to offer “Mojo sessions” which is what I’m doing now! It synthesizes my love of art, creativity, personal growth and heart centered business.


favorite quote...

agic follows me wherever i go. ~ sark quarter 2 | 2013-14


favorite career achievement... Having my own book on Art Journaling published – Journal Bliss is right up there. Being published in the books of other well-known Mixed Media artists is too – especially Living the Creative life. Being able to turn 100’s if not 1000’s of women and teens onto art journaling is truly gratifying. Appearing on the popular TV show Weird Homes is also right up there! My art was also featured in a number of magazines including Cloth Paper Scissors Studios, Cloth Paper Scissors, Somerset, Scrapbooking and Beyond, Creative homes and more!


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inspiration My grandkids inspire me! SARK – an author and artist was my biggest inspiration years ago. She set me on a path that gave me permission to be me! I’m also inspired by my blog readers – their questions and comments fill my soul and inform what I create next! Nature is a HUGE inspiration for me – it feeds my soul and inspires me to keep creating.

Do you have formal training college/trade school or are you self – taught? I attended Kwantlen College and majored in Psychology and Sociology. Apart from taking a few art classes and workshops I am mostly self-taught!


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What is your background as in is this your lifelong career or have you done different things? I think I answered this in the “how did you get your start in your field”? I find that we learn from everything we do – even things which are incredibly mundane or boring. When I was a house painter I learned how to properly sand surfaces before painting them. This sure came in handy when it came to creating my art and also turning trash into treasure!

What is your favourite subject matter or theme and why? Least favourite and why?

Where do you work from, tell us about your workspaces and places...

I enjoy drawing people along with quotes that are inspiring. You’ll mostly find me drawing women! To be honest it’s like my art is speaking to me – giving me messages. Naturally I’ll be more open to a female telling me to follow my bliss or trust my vibes. I know that others will also be inspired by these illustrations and art journal pages as well. I start off pleasing myself and then hope that it will touch others who see the images too! Colour informs my work too!

I am so incredibly fortunate to have a separate studio in the backyard. It’s got a lovely sign with a crow on it that my partner Mr. G created for me. Unfortunately it’s so jam packed full of art supplies that I can no longer use it. But on a happy note I think my favourite place to create is in the kitchen – the hub of the home. That’s where most of the magic happens! I also have an in home office where my computer is – I spend tons of time there blogging, updating Facebook and pinning things on Pinterest and surfing the net.

My least favourite subject matter is anything mechanical like cars or trucks or machinery – it just doesn’t speak to my soul.

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my favorite tools First of all my brain – and my hands – it all starts with the brain generating ideas which hopefully are manifested with the hands! Micron pens, water colour pencil crayons, Twinkling H2O’s are my fav supplies!

Do you need to spend a lot of money on your tools of your trade and upgrading? No – the supplies I use are relatively inexpensive – you just need paper, pens, water media of some sort and that’s it. Of course you can always spend a ton of money on the latest and greatest supplies that are out there. I like sticking to the basics now. 80

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I suppose it would be my computer, Facebook and Photoshop!

photo by: Graham Venn

What is your go-to always reliable media/ tool?

Do you have any favourite vintage tools or supplies? Nope! – I have vintage marbles but they’re just there for inspiration! Do you sell your work? If so, where? Do you have any tips on pricing your work? I mostly sell work on my website’s store page: - you’ll also find my online classes there. I do have an Etsy store but it’s not active right now – I might resurrect it sometime though. There will be other products for sale on too! Occasionally I attend craft fairs or Writer’s Conferences where I take a vendors table. But generally I like to sell from my blog – craft fairs have never been a good fit for me. Pricing tips? I’m not the best person to ask – I know there are formulas out there. The way I do it is go inside and ask “what’s my happy number?”. I try a few numbers on for size……….go back inside and ask myself if it feels right. If it does then I go with that!

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What is your work schedule like? I start by having a cup of coffee and checking e-mails and Facebook. Then I answer e-mails, maybe work on a blog post or answer questions for an online interview. The day really varies. Sometimes I spend the day creating after blogging. Sometimes I shoot a video for my YouTube channel. No two days are alike. I spend Friday’s visiting my little grandsons! If you’re having a bad day, a project isn’t going your way, or everything just sucks, what do you do to turn things around? I fret for a while and then go for a walk to a local park or drive down to the beach which is a 10 minute drive away. It seems like being out in nature, listening to the waves lapping up to the shore or hugging my all-time favourite tree brings me back to center and grounds 82

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me. I’m then ready to return to the project which had frustrated me in the first place with fresh eyes. Nature truly helps put everything in its proper perspective! Did you ever have any major oops crazy mishaps or things going crazily wrong while working on a project? Yes – quite often mostly because I don’t follow rules or manufacturer’s instructions. Once while pouring resin over a table I had painted I got resin all over my hands, arms and legs (didn’t use gloves). I was sick for over 3 days! The table came out beautifully though!

Shhh... it’s a bit of a mess in here right now!

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I can light matches with my toes. I won tickets to a Donavon Concert by creating a hot mashed potato elephant with my bare hands for a radio show promotion. For those Dr. Seuss fans out there I sculpted Horton sitting on a nest! I collect vintage Marbles and have since I was in grade 3.

What’s the most unusual thing you’ve ever created? An army of freaks flying freak flags! A diorama of freaks is right up there too!

my favorites...

Do you listen to music while you work? I generally work best in a peaceful uncluttered environment. I like to work on my own with no distractions. So no I don’t listen to music. I do have a variety of music on my i-touch though – Gypsy Kings, Enya, Classic Rock music, Classical – Bach, Mozart and Johann Pachelbel, Faith Hill, Led Zeppelin, Jethro Tull, Snatam Kaur (yoga music), Jessie Cook (guitar), Tubular Bells (Mike Oldfield) – Moody Blues.

Movies: Field of Dreams, Benny and Joon, Edward Scissorhands, Amelie, The Big Lebowski, Starman, Little Miss Sunshine, ET, The Fisher King Bands: Jethro Tull, Led Zeppelin, Alan Parsons, Mike Oldfield, Gypsy Kings, Donavon, Jessie Cook Foods: Quinoa Salad, Moroccan Lentil Soup and anything with artichokes in it as long as it’s vegetarian! Artists: Van Gogh, Sark, Monet, Lynda Barry Books: Care of the Soul, The Artist’s Way, Inspiration Sandwich, Creative Companion, Women who Run with Wolves, Care of the Soul, The Four Agreements, Conversations with God

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photo by: Trisha Bunn

How do you balance life/work/play/down time? The way I see it all of life is creative – I like to put my creative spin on everything I do. When I babysit my little grandsons I like to colour with them or teach them crafts, When decorating my home I use my artistic flare to make it magical. My friends and grandson’s often receive creative handmade gifts. I love dressing in a funky bohemian manner. I use all of this as fodder for blogging too so I am able to tie everything together to express myself as authentically as possible. I’m not sure if this is balanced but it’s just what I do – I’m being true to myself.

Do you have any hobbies that are really different from what you do for your creative work? Yes – I love kayaking which gives me a wonderful sense of peace and serenity – I painted my kayak pale blue with chartreuse green polka dots and sprinkled glitter all over it! It’s a dream to paddle! Where have you travelled? Morocco, Netherlands, France, Spain, Italy, England, Scotland, Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, U.S. 86

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What do you do to keep work, creative juices, and money flowing?

Have you won any awards or prizes/mentions for your work?

Well having ADHD can be a curse to get down to things however I often use mind maps to focus myself and white boards with lists of things I need to work on along with little drawings. I keep reminding myself about my WHY? Why do I do this? I want to inspire women to embrace who they are and be more creative! I have a set of stones with my values painted on them which is a visual reminder of whether or not this creative work is in keeping with my values. I also blog and post on Facebook which is how I let folks know when I have workshops or artwork for sale.

No (not that I can remember)– but I’m hoping to win a new Pez dispenser in a Diorama contest on Facebook that my daughter Jessica has created! My Diorama is about “flying your freak flag”. (the contest is tomorrow – I hope I win a prize!) Do you donate to charities or community organizations through your creative work? Yes – I have donated to many charities in the past. Big Sisters of Canada (Teens Dream Journal DVDs), local women’s centers, women’s shelters, Advocacy groups, local Hospice Society, Girl’s Self- esteem conferences etc.

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My advice is to go inside and listen – unplug from all of the electronic devices and go within. Yoga or meditation might help, going on a retreat somewhere close to nature would be beneficial too. Go inside and find out what truly makes you happy and then go do that. Seriously. I have to keep asking myself that when I am stuck. As for advice with art journaling - there is no right and wrong – just go with it……the more you do it the better you’ll get. Have fun with it and grow. Experiment, try new techniques, read books, take classes, watch YouTube videos and experiment with that which makes you happy! The world needs happier people – Do what makes you happy!


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photo by: Trisha Bunn

Do you have an inspiration or mood board? My Magic Cottage is pretty much my inspirational mood board. It’s a veritable riot of colour, glitter, art and inspiring words/phrases! Where do you find inspiration? I find inspiration everywhere – from kind acts, from Pinterest, from my grandkids, from nature and of course from other artists. I am very much inspired by the folks who read my blog and Facebook postings and who give me a peek into their lives. I am inspired by random things like a truck passing by with a sign that I read wrong – that might prompt an art piece!

When you begin a project, what is generally your creative process? I freak out……..first and foremost, the inner critic has a heyday at this point……….and then I just begin – put a mark on the paper or paint a background…………..or I ask out loud when no one is around “If I wanted to inspire someone what would I say?” or I might ask “What do I need to hear right now?” and I usually get a feeling or a phrase that I begin with and then I’m off and running. Sometimes I begin with a mind map. It all depends on the project. How do you know when a project is finished? I rarely know when it’s finished – seriously. But at some point you have to stop. Every now and then I add something extra to a piece but usually I just stop working on it because I need to move onto the next thing.

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favorite quote...

came to live my life out loud!

~ emile zola Do you have any current projects or future plans you’d like to share? Well I’m revamping my website, which should be finished soon – maybe by the time you read this! I’ll be giving mojo sessions which I’m very jazzed about. I’m trying to figure out how to incorporate art journaling with the sessions. Also I hope to create another online class. photo by: Rob Keeping

What does the future hold for you and your work – where do you see yourself in a few years? Looking into my crystal ball I envision myself living on the Sunshine Coast of B.C. with Mr. G. I’ll have a Gypsy Vardo (Caravan) in the backyard where I’ll be giving Mojo session live and virtually! I’ll be speaking and delivering online classes. I’ll also have a licensing contract for some of my inspirational art! A few other books will be in the works as well!


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photo by: Chelsea Brooke Roisum Photography

denise corcoran of shares a fun project you can make yourself for a quick and “kewL” gift for the holidays, or any time you need a dose of crafty fun! Hey there Made in Mag friends! It’s Denise from Thrifty By Design, In upcoming issues of Made In Mag, I’ll be sharing tons of FAB info on kewl haunts, nifty happenings and easy peasy DIY upcycling projects.



To be honest I really don’t know what I’m doing. I’m new to this whole crafty thing so join me for the adventure. This past year I’ve been managed to refinish some furniture, make things out of ‘junk’ and even organize a bunch of upcycling workshops. It’s been a blast! Feel free to connect with me via social media, keep up with what I’m doing via my blog or join me for a workshop. I’d love to hear from you as well. Share an idea, some crafty tips or maybe we can grab a coffee - contact me at







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Now let’s make stuff together! I’m sharing a quick and easy project - we’re upcycling wine corks into earrings. Big shout out to Urban Source, on Main Street in Vancouver, I’m using funky paper I found there and it’s perfect for this project! For this tutorial, we’re going to make super funky earrings out of wine corks. It’s a cheap and easy project!

photo by: Carol Browne

BIG THANKS! denise corcoran

WINE CORK EARRING TUTORIAL First, you’ll want the following: - wine corks - scrap paper - Mod Podge® - wood varnish - eyelets - scissors

The supplies should be easy enough to find either at your craft store, hardware store, or in my case I found a few items in my junk drawer.

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WINE CORK EARRING TUTORIAL by denise corcoran,

1. First you need to trim the wine corks. Luckily I have a friend with power tools so we cut up the wine corks in a jiffy. You can also use a small handsaw and a vise.

Feel free to improvise. I also used scrap wood for this project. I wanted a matching pendant to go with the earrings.

After prepping the cork, Mod PodgeŽ the paper to the cork. Once the glue is dry, trim the edges with your scissors. Now you can add a few coats of wood varnish. I added 2 - 3 coats of wood varnish. You’ll need to let the varnish dry completely between coats.

2. 94

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3. Here’s the matching pendant! The wood varnish adds a nice finish. Once you’ve added 2 - 3 coats then you can screw in the eyelets. You can find these at craft supply stores in different sizes. I then used earring hooks from some thrift store earrings to finish them.

Other options would be to use metal washers. I decoupaged both sides of the washers for this pair of earrings.

So easy that I created a matching pendant for these earrings as well!

I hope you try out this project, I’ve gotten tons of compliments on the cork earrings!

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ramona chris

sweater girls knit 96

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teaching other people how to




Our greatest achievement is


Based in Albuquerque, NM,

USA, Ramona and Chris a.k.a. the Sweater Girls, take knitting on the road, sharing their passion for handcraft @SGKnit

and community.

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ION T C DU O R T I N Chris and I met at a local knitting group. Our original idea was to rent a small space somewhere, and just teach a variety of knitting classes. We realized pretty quickly that we just couldn’t afford the expenses that came with renting a space. Chris read an article in Mary Jane Farm’s magazine about Sisters On the Fly, a group of women who travel around in vintage trailers, and camp and fish together. So she brought up the idea of making us a mobile business. The idea sounded great, but we were a little hesitant about starting a business out of a vintage trailer.

Then our friend Margo impulsively bid on, and bought a vintage trailer Chris had shown her on Ebay. Margo traveled to Missouri one weekend with her family, and picked up the trailer, and brought it back to Albuquerque. She parked it in her front driveway for a couple of months until we could afford to buy it from her. We are not sure there would be a SweaterGirls without Margo giving us that “big push”. We call her the patron saint of our business. We think she knew if we didn’t go ahead with it, she could always sell a very cute trailer. In March 2010 we decided to take knitting on the road. We are the first and only knitting school and knitting supply shop that travels around in a 1955 Terry Trailer. We teach knitting classes and sell a unique assortment of knitting essentials, kits and jewelry on Etsy and our website. We have a passion for handcrafting and community that we hope to pass along to others.


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Do you have formal training, or are you self-taught or a combination? We wish there was college of knitting! I learned from a friend and Chris originally learned from her mother and then took a class years later. Most knitters learn from each other; we are very social and tend to gather in groups. We have never met a knitter who wasn’t happy to explain a technique or answer questions. We call Elizabeth Zimmermann the Julia Child of knitting. She was innovative and funny and cared much more about people expressing their creativity then perfection. She wrote several books about knitting and changed the way people thought about the craft. This is our favorite quote from her:

What is your background, as in is this your lifelong career or have you done different things before this? We have both jumped around and had a variety of jobs. At the moment we are both full-time moms. Chris has 3 children and I have two.


favorite quote...

eally, all you need to become a good knitter are wool, needles, hands, and slightly below average intelligence.�

What is your favorite subject matter or theme and why? I’m not sure we can really apply a subject matter to knitting. The nice thing about knitting is that it works on so many levels. When you just want to relax and not really think, you can knit up a quick and easy hat. When you are looking for a challenge you can take on that cabled sweater pattern and work on it for months.

Did you ever have any major oops crazy mishaps or things going crazily wrong while working on a project? Most of our major oops come from driving the trailer around. There is definitely a challenge to driving around a 1960’s trailer and truck. We have backed into a tree branch and broken a window in the trailer and have had to deal a few times with the truck breaking down. If you’re having a bad day, a project isn’t going your way, or everything just sucks, what do you do to turn things around? Usually we just walk away from the project, this can be for a long period of time until we feel inspired to come back to it. Sometimes all you need is a little distance to see a clear answer to the problem.


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favorite career achievement... For us, our greatest achievement is teaching other people how to knit. We love that we can help carry on a long tradition of hand crafting. We feel like proud parents when our former students come back and show us all their great knitted items.

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how Do you use social media? We tend to be lazy when it comes to media, so the easier the better. We use Facebook a lot and keep our website updated with classes and try to put out the occasional newsletter. Do you sell your work? If so, where? Do you have any tips on pricing your work? We sold and taught classes at out local growers market for three years. We have just recently opened an Etsy shop and we do a few craft fairs during the holidays. The question we get asked frequently is why we don’t sell actual knitted items. Our answer is that we believe our time and talent has value and we have realized that most people don’t want to pay $300-$500 or possibly more for a hand knit sweater. We would much rather teach someone how to knit and let them create their own knitted sweater. What is your work schedule like? It varies, it really depends on how many classes we are teaching. We usually work weekends and some evenings. 102

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our favorite tools Our favorite tool is yarn, yarn and more yarn. There is the traditional wool yarn, but yarn can be created from a variety of fibers including alpaca, yak, silk, bison, rabbit hair, cashmere, linen, bamboo, cotton, paper and even stainless steel.

Do you need to spend a lot of money on your tools of your trade and upgrading? The price of yarn really depends on the fiber you are using, it can easily go from $5-$100 a skein.

Do you have any favorite vintage tools or supplies? We love vintage knitting needles and patterns.

Where do you work from, tell us about your workspaces and places...

What do you do to keep work, creative juices, and money flowing?

Because we are mobile we hold classes in a variety of spaces and places. We spent many summers at our local growers market doing classes outdoors, we have done classes in parks, shops and bakeries and inns. We tend to get around!

The nice thing about being mobile and working out of our homes is that it keeps our costs pretty low and we have the freedom to work when we feel like it. We think our creative juices are always flowing, because creating something is our escape from the stresses of everyday life.

Do you work full time/part time/ as a hobby, and how do you balance work and life? Definitely part time and it is also our hobby. We really don’t. Right now our family and children tend to come before everything else. One day we hope to actually have the time to find some balance!

Do you donate to charity or work with any charities or community organizations through your creative work? We always try to donate to local charities when asked. Knitted items tend to be very popular in silent auctions.

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We always tell our knitting students,

don’t be afraid to make mistakes because your mistakes teach you the best lesson.

Do you have an inspiration or mood board? No, but we both have a very large yarn stash and sometimes that is just enough inspiration to get us started on a project. When you begin a project, what is generally your creative process? You know it changes, we never seem to have one set way of doing things, On a knitting pattern we are working on currently, I had an idea of what I wanted and I described it to Chris. We discussed together what type of stitch we could use to get the look we wanted to create and then Chris took it over and found some yarn in her stash that would work and knitted up a demo. Our creative process is definitely a partnership.

Do you listen to music while you work? Between the two of us we probably like everything from Johnny Cash to Johnny Rotten.


When we were discussing this question Chris just happened to casually mention that when she was a nanny in France she was a back-up dancer for Billy Ray Cyrus on a French television show. She was part of a dance group called the “Paris Texas Two Steppers” and they were the only people in Paris who knew how to two step while Billy Ray performed.

How do you know when a project is finished? One of us can think a project is done and the other one can still think we need to change one more thing, So we know a project is done when we both agree it is done. What’s the most unusual thing you’ve ever made/created? We have taken part in a couple of local “yarn bombings” and have knitted a few scarves for trees.

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Do you have any hobbies that are really different from what you do in your creative work? Chris loves to dance and I love to ski. Chris is a fantastic seamstress and has a side business called BabyDews, which are little baby head scarves made from vintage handkerchiefs. I dabble in jewelry and have an Etsy store called Thimbleful where I sell my embroidered pendants. We just like to keep our hands busy. Where have you traveled? Chris has spent time living in France as a nanny. I have traveled to Australia, West Indies, Canada, Mexico and various places around the United States. I think we would both love to travel more when our kids our older.


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Where do you find inspiration? Our one answer would be “everywhere�. What does the future hold for you and your work- where do you see yourself in a few years? We are not sure where we will be in a few years. Honestly we are not very good planners and we just kind of go with the flow. As long as we are having a good time and making a little money we are happy.

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Thrifty by Design Join me for an upcoming upcycling workshop: Xmas Crafternoon: November 30th from 1pm–3pm at the North Vancouver District Library (Capilano Branch) Xmas Crafternoon: December 1st from 1:30pm–3pm at the North Vancouver City Library Winter Crafternoon: December 7th from 2pm–4pm at the Guildford Library Xmas Crafternoon: December 8th (time TBD) at the North Vancouver ReStore Look for more workshops, events & crafty happenings in 2014! Details at



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and the cheeky, green spandexed elves have been very busy hoarding a sparkling grotto-ful of festive offerings. As ever, the focus is on quality retro, kitsch and vintage styles and with new products regularly introduced. In fact, there’s always something that little bit different to find. So whether you’re looking to add a bit of luxury glamour to your Christmas decor, for cards and wrap with a quirky edge or maybe unique gifts, goodies and homeware to notch up your best mate/sibling/partner-person rating it might just be worth your time.

For those after that little custom-made something, Love Kitty Pink also offers made-to-order and ready made ceiling and lamp-shades plus upcycled vintage phones and bags finished in a selection of unique fabrics by founder, Vicki Lee. The range of vintage phones have been featured in a variety of UK wide publications, are fully restored to full working order by a specialist and come with a 2 year warranty on working parts. Custom orders are very welcome, just drop them a line to find out what they can do for you.

So, there you have every good reason to meander through the website and satisfy your yuletide yearnings. Plus, even though they are UK based, the very same elves have informed me that they are happy to take international orders - just give them a nudge and they will quote the best possible postage price. Orders over ÂŁ60 in value receive a discount on international postage and are free for delivery within the UK.


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It’s almost as if

I’m out taking photos


time stands still when


Christiana Thiessen

owns and operates


Momentograms Photography, based in Langley, B.C. Canada, working in her “outdoor studio”, capturing the beauty of her natural surroundings. quarter 2 | 2013-14


ION T C DU O R T I N I’ve always been interested in photography but it wasn’t until my husband and I got a digital SLR that I really got into it. I love colours, I love nature, and I love being creative so really it was a natural extension for me. I remember shortly after we got our camera, I took it out and went for a walk. I remember looking at my watch and thinking, WHAT!?!? Where did the last 3 hours go? It’s almost as if time stands still when I’m out taking photos. Not long after we got our first camera we ended up getting a second one and this meant my husband and I could go out together and take photos. It’s fun when it’s something we can both go and enjoy together.


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While photography has been something I’ve done in my free time, in the past year I’ve been transitioning from being a hobby photographer to trying to make some money at it; that process has been both exciting and challenging. For me, I love taking photos so it doesn’t really feel like work. Going out for an afternoon and trying to create new images or editing them feels more like fun than a chore. It’s an outlet where I can be creative and challenge myself to try new things and hone my skills. There’s always room for improvement and there’s always something new to capture. I’m actually a high school teacher. My background is in teaching social studies. While it’s not directly related to photography, the two have worked well together. The summers off have given me lots of opportunities to take photos. They’ve also given me the chance to travel and take photos on trips.


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at the wharf

Do you have formal training, are you selftaught or a combination?

What is your favorite subject matter or theme and why?

Well my formal training isn’t necessarily related! I have a Bachelor of Arts Degree and an Education Degree but I haven’t taken formal training in photography. I’ve learned by researching photography on my own and by trial and error. I think taking art classes and understanding principles such as balance has been helped me frame and construct my shots but I’m not formally trained as a photographer.

My favourite subject would probably be still life. I love taken pictures of interesting objects. I particularly love old things. They have a lovely wear and patina that you just don’t see anywhere else. Some of my favourite shots have been of old bicycles, trucks, bottles, and buildings. And your least favorite? It’s not my least favourite but young children are the most challenging to photograph. I love kids and I really enjoy photographing kids but it’s a lot more challenging. They can often be camera shy and, understandably, can lose patience with having their photos taken. I’ve had some kids who cry almost the whole time. It’s a rough time for them!


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old truck

Where do you work from, tell us about your workspaces and places... My primary base is at home. That’s where I’m at the computer editing or updating my website. That being said, I primarily do outdoor photography so my “studio” is outside. That’s where the creativity initially happens and then it carries on into the editing process.

favorite career achievement... For me creating a website was a big step! I had never done anything like that before. Working on photographing a wedding was also an achievement for me. It can be very intimidating to try and capture someone’s big day. It’s also incredibly rewarding.

inspiration The beautiful things I encounter in the world each and every day. Nature is inspiring!


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What is your go-to, always reliable media/ tool? My 50mm lens! It’s simple, basic, and nothing flashy. That being said, it takes crisp photos with a beautiful bokeh (blurring of the background that draws attention to the subject). Did you ever have any major oops crazy mishaps or things going crazily wrong while working on a project? Sometimes I go to take a photo and realize my lens cap is on! This happens more than I’d like to admit. if you’re having a bad day, a project isn’t going your way, or everything just sucks, what do you do to turn things around? Go for a fast-paced walk and get some fresh air. 120

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my favorite tools My camera lenses are my best tools. It’s remarkable to me how you can stand in the same position, use the same camera, photograph the same subject, and get a completely different shot because you used a wide-angle lens, a prime lens, and a zoom lens.

Do you need to spend a lot of money on your tools of your trade and upgrading? Camera equipment is expensive. The nice thing as that investing in a quality lens means that you have a good tool that will last you for a long time. It’s certainly easy to spend money on editing software or updating your computer. There’s always going to be some new gadget that you can spend your money on.

favorite quote... I try to live my life by the words that Jesus said,


everything, do to others what you would have them do to you. It’s a daily challenge!

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Do you sell your work? If so, where? Yes, on my website and through private commissions. The best way to find out about prices is to contact me. Do you do your creative work full time/part time/ as a hobby? Right now it’s part time. We’ll see where it takes me!

What do you do to keep work, creative juices, and money flowing? I try to keep it fun! Rather than viewing taking pictures as work I view it as a hobby. I find my creative juices tend to start flowing once I’m out with my camera. I can try to envision shots ahead of time but the best photos come organically in the moment when you see something that’s both stunning and unexpected.

What is your work schedule like? My work schedule varies. Portrait sessions often take place on the weekends to accommodate my clients’ schedules. I also work in the afternoons and evenings.

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in the field

Have you won any awards or special prizes/ mentions for your work?

When you begin a project, what is generally your creative process?

Not yet! I’ve started posted some photos to the site 500px and it was very affirming to see strangers looking at my images and complimenting them.

Sometimes I visualize shots I would like to take. This is most frequently what I do with portrait photography. Particularly because I like to consult with my clients and find out what sort of images they’re looking for. When it comes to landscapes, nature, or still life, I tend to plan less and just start shooting. Once I’ve taken loads of pictures then I go through and delete any that I’m not satisfied with. When I find some I like, I edit them on my computer. Once I’m satisfied, I upload them to my website or send them off to my clients.

Where do you find inspiration? From being outside and stumbling across things. Right now I’m being inspired by all of the vivid fall colours. It’s hard to walk or drive anywhere without wanting to stop and photograph leaves and trees!

How do you know when a project is finished? When I show it to my husband and he says “that looks good.” He’s a very helpful critic. He’s also very encouraging when he likes something. 124

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greenhouse interior

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What’s the most unusual thing you’ve ever made or created? A bride once asked me to photograph her and her bridesmaids in a washroom stall. It’s not the kind of thing you get asked to do every day! Where have you traveled? Cuba, Mexico, China, Singapore, Malaysia, England, France, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Slovenia, Slovakia, Croatia, Greece, Jordan, and the US. Most recently we went to New York City. In November we’re visiting Montreal.

I love chocolate.

I’ve never broken a bone, had a cavity, or had stitches.

I seem to talk to myself a lot.

Do you listen to music while you work? What is your favorite music to work to? I don’t tend to listen to music as I work because I’m either working with people or I’m walking around and need to pay attention to my surroundings. Lately I’ve been listening to Matt Maher, Matt Redman, and U2.

my favorites...

etc... I love chocolate, fresh fruit, fresh bread, coffee, tea, and ethnic foods from Middle Eastern to Indian to Mexican to Thai.

Do you have an inspiration or mood board? No but every once in awhile it’s helpful to look at other people’s work to widen my perspective. This can mean checking out 500px or flipping through a magazine.

Favourite books include The Bible, God’s Smuggler, Chasing the Dragon, Bleak House, and our book of wedding photos. When it comes to movies I’m all over the map. I like Inception, the Hunger Games (the books more than the movies though), the Sherlock Holmes movies, James Bond, and the Batman films. I like independent music, classical music, Christian music, and more. I like walking, curling up the fire, and having a cup of coffee with a friend. quarter 2 | 2013-14


Take lots of pictures and then go back and delete all but your favourites. You have so much latitude to experiment with when you use a digital camera. When it comes to life, don’t just settle in to a routine but live life to the fullest. Think about how you interact with others and treat them. Once again, the words of Jesus come to mind, “in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you.� 128

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Do you have any current projects or future plans you’d like to share? I’ve created lots of photo cards and in the past I focused more on selling these. I’m now working on expanding the photography service side of my business. I’m trying to focus more time on photographing for clients to meet their needs. Whether they want portraits, photos of their pets, or photos of their business.

What does the future hold for you and your work- where do you see yourself in a few years? Who knows! Hopefully I’m still taking photos but I also hope we have kids by then. In which case I don’t know how much time I’ll have to work at photography on the side.

If you have any photography needs I would be more than happy to speak with you! Feel free to get in touch with me.


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d contributor


lisa davenport PLUS!


ARTICLE contributor


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Check out lisa’s expert tips and tricks for getting organized in the new year! page 142

desire to create the ultimate



I am driven by the


Based in Durham, CT, USA,

Lisa Davenport is an

interior and furniture designer with a knack for stylish, upscale interiors. A true go-getter, she loves

@lisadavenport @lisadavdesigns lisadavenportdesigns/__public

what she does and it shows! quarter 2 | 2013-14


CTION U D I N T R O Twenty five years ago I would have never thought I’d be where I am today, but as I always say, if you want to hear God laugh tell Him your plans! I started in the commercial art field working in a 4X4 cubical. Yep that didn’t work out! From there I moved on to a visual merchandising position, which I absolutely loved! I designed & built my own sets ... it was pretty amazing. Still something was missing! I moved on to work for a Paint and Decorating store putting together wallpaper, paints and window treatments ... and I was hooked. I could be creative and make people happy. After my first pride and joy came screaming into the world, I thought I’d be Donna Reed and vacuum in my pearls, ha! NOT .. so with Ashley in tow I returned to 134

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school to become an interior designer. Now, I’m living the dream ... creating environments where people’s lives happen and where memories are made. Nothing is more rewarding (outside of my kids and husband’s successes) that the excitement that a client shares when their space is completed! I’ve been married to my Prince for 23 years this December, I married him when I was 6, (giggle) do the math! Just kidding. He’s my rock, my cheerleader, my best friend and my most honest critic. We have two wonderful children. Ashley my beautiful daughter, lives the dream in NYC! She’s talented, witty, and probably one of the most insightful people I know. My baby, Joey is a sophomore in high school, not so much a baby at 6 feet tall 195 lbs! Joey, and yes I still call him Joey, is full

Reba!! I love this quote by her ....

of good ole’ yankee ingenuity, he’s bright, mechanical and incredibly preceptive ... we don’t get much by that kid! Me? I’m a pistol, a ham, a honest to goodness cornball that loves my family, they keep me grounded and real. I love high end design. Designing furniture, architectural moldings, renovations, interiors and more!


favorite quote...

o succeed in life you need three things... A wishbone, A backbone, and a funny bone. ~ Reba mcEntire

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Where do you work from, tell us about your workspaces and places... I have a Studio in a strip mall on Main Street Durham, 3 miles away from home. It is located on the second floor .. with views of the rolling hills through Durham into Wallingford and Middlefield CT. It was a typical office space with florescent lighting ... dark otherwise no character. A year later the space is truly a gem. With antique carriage house doors dressing the conference room entrance, hand painted hardwood floors, open ceilings, awesome treasures hanging through out ... Just when you think you’ve seen it all ... you find something else cool ... I’m always looking for the next piece to wow guests and clients.


When I sit at my drafting table working and I can look out the window and watch for Joe to send smoke signals that dinner is ready.... ha! Not really, but seriously I can see the field next to my house .. its really cool to know home is right there around the corner. What is your work schedule like? I try to keep my schedule Mon-Fri 8-5 ... I do work some nights to catch up, but I also offer myself the flexibility to take personal time as I need it ... I kinda have an in with the boss LOL!

n three words I can sum up Everything I’ve learned about life ... It goes on.

~ Robert frost

favorite quote... My grandfather’s favorite poet.

inspiration For my interior design work, my clients I am driven by the desire to create that ultimate environment. For my furniture design, I’d have to say my inspiration comes from two sources. My husband, my partner in crime for many of these creations ... and the hunt for that ultimate piece that will become something beyond fabulous.

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my favorite tools One of my favorite tools is my drafting table. Its an oldie but goodie. She’s seen a lot of creativity over the last 75 years, I hope to grace her with mine for many more years! I still draw all my own designs by hand ... no auto cad here ... I truly enjoy watching the drawings come to life before my eyes ...


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Did you ever have any major oops crazy mishaps or things going crazily wrong while working on a project? Anyone who hasn’t ... is a liar! Of course I have ... and when they happen ... I make sure I’ve learned my lesson in the end life keeps going on .... If you’re having a bad day, a project isn’t going your way, or everything just sucks, what do you do to turn things around?

What do you do to keep work, creative juices, and money flowing? Creative Juices Flowing .... I try to keep myself exposed to creative people! I also pour over magazines, websites and social media for inspiration ... I also surround myself with inspiring quotes and images. Keep the work coming? Referrals and marketing ... my clients are my best advertising but the social media keeps me exposed to the general public and its fun!

Smile. Do you smile because you’re happy ... or happy because you smile. When everything is going wrong, smile and keep smiling things start to turn around.

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Do you listen to music while you work? What is your favorite music to work to? What’s on your ipod/iphone? I love music. Michael here in my Studio says walking into the Studio when Lisa’s in, is like flavor of the month ... showtunes, disco, country, jazz, classic rock, throw back days with the ‘80’s and ... I still love my heavy metal!

I have a 21 year old daughter! Because of course I think I only look 29! I love to target shoot ... yep! I know not politically correct but I am who I am. I hiked the Presidential Traverse this past Labor Day weekend ... that usually blows peoples minds ... I mean really do I look like a slouch? :)

I can’t say there is a specific genre I work to ... what ever moves me that day. Current iPhone play list? Nickelback Adel Kid Rock Michael Buble Brantley Gilbert Parmelle Nora Jones .....

What’s the most unusual thing you’ve ever made or created?


A chair made out of a car hood ... yes you read that correctly. I had the hood of a 1941 Lincoln Zephyr completely restored and integrated to a customized leather chair, inspired by the classic upholstery of the Zephyrs in the 40’s. Breathing life into old discarded items.. .especially when they have completely new uses!

Favorite movie Man am I going to date myself, Pretty Woman ... I’m a dreamer at heart!

Favorite Designer Andrew Martin ... love his style, nothing pretentious or stuffy about his design. Favorite author Nicholas Sparks Again I’m a sucker for a good love story.


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my favorites...

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Do you have an inspiration or mood board? Of course ! But not a traditional one, my studio is covered with words, works and goodies of inspiration! When you begin a creative project in your chosen media, what is generally your creative process? For interior design, you talk, I listen. It’s all about learning what the client wants. Funny, once you get in their heads the creativity really starts to flow!

Do you donate to charity or work with any charities or community organizations through your creative work? When ever I can I try to give back. I believe that God gives you talents for a reason. He expects you to cultivate those talents and then give back. Over the last 9 years I have donated my time, along with my husband and children, to missionary work in KY. There we rehab, renovate or build new homes for those in great need. This past Spring, my husband Joe and I, along with three others, were commissioned as KY Colonels, for our contributions to our community and service on behalf of others. The highest honor awarded by the Commonwealth of KY! I’ve donated my design services to organizations such as, YMCA, Durham Fair Association, Connecticut Children’s Medical Center and many more.


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how do you balance life/ work/play/ down time? Sleep is over rated! Ha! James Patterson wrote about the 5 balls of life in his book Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas ... I’ve changed the quote slightly to fit my life and its a constant reminder of how I balance or rather juggle my time. ‘Life, I imagine is very much a game of juggling lots of balls. Each ball having great importance, work, family, friends, health and faith. As I keep all these balls in the air, I am constantly reminded of their texture and content, four are glass like, one is rubber. If it becomes too much I drop the rubber ball, after all it bounces ... the rubber ball is work. All the others are glass, I don’t want drop these, they could chip, crack or God forbid shatter ... “ So I guess I balance allowing work to bounce on occasion. And I remember always to take a little time for myself ... even if its just grabbing a cup of coffee and enjoying some quite time.

My grandpa used to say...

“Love what you do and you won’t work a day of your life!” ... yep, I don’t go to “work” every day! quarter 2 | 2013-14


Trusty advice? 1. If you’re married, no one ever sleeps on the sofa. No matter how bad the argument is. It’s pretty amazing how things seem clearer in the a.m. 2. If you’re raising kids, remember you’re a parent before you’re their friend. You can still be a cool parent and not be their friend. 3. Business- love what you do. Live your dream, life is too short. Lead, if you’re not a leader then get out of the way! 4. Faith, have it...


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Do you have any hobbies that are really different from what you do your creative work? Gardening ... the dirtier and sweatier the better. I love cultivating and watching it grow ... I have lots of them at the homestead! My grandfather was a baker so the kitchen is a second home to me, baking cooking ..... they all bring me great pleasure and a little bit of a wider waist line. What does the future hold for you and your workwhere do you see yourself in a few years? I’m hoping to market my furniture and get national exposure! Watch and see! Who knows maybe I’ll create a Cable Network show around it ... I don’t know ... All I do know is that Lisa Davenport Designs is a young company full of energy, grand ideas and .... it bounces when it needs to!

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Lisa Davenport of Lisa Davenport Designs, shares some simple tips for getting your studio organized and starting the New Year feeling creative and clutter free!





ARTICLE contributor


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Let’s talk honestly. Go on grab a cup of tea, coffee, mulled cider... or what ever will get you through this article and curl up with the first honest piece of writing on how to be the most organized you can be.

The champagne is flat. Streamers are tangled in your stilettos. You’ve danced until dawn, and... your party crown is a little crooked. The New Year has arrived and it’s now time for those New Year’s Resolutions. First on your list is organizing your home, office, studio, closet... life? Sounds like a plan, so let’s get started! Go! Make a list of areas of concern, supplies we’ll need, block off days on the calendar, and let’s start brainstorming. Who am I kidding! I’m not even that organized! Let’s talk honestly. So, go on grab a cup of tea, coffee, mulled cider.. or what ever will get you through this article and curl up with the first honest piece of writing on how to be the most organized you can be.

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Here’s the reality, life gets busy and everything doesn’t seem to go back into its ‘place’. We’ve all done it, we’ve got pictures ‘pinned’ to your Organization Board on Pinterest and we’re already feeling guilty because you can’t maintain these OCD spaces. Relax! I like to remind myself, sometimes daily, of a quote by Albert Einstein, “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign”. In my Studio I can’t for obvious reasons have a total ransacked mess happening, so I do use some creative ways to stay organized. Or, er, places to shove stuff when clients are arriving in 10 minutes! 148

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One of my absolute favorite storage spaces is my work island. This piece is what we referred to here in the Studio to ‘The Ultimate Ikea Hacked!’ The work station is two Expedit shelving units (101.964.31), a Numerar Birch Counter (500.864.16), a total of six Knipsa Seagrass baskets (201.105.40), a sheet of 3/4 plywood, six ‘L’ brackets and four lockable heavy duty casters. After a quick afternoon assembly and $500.00 later we had an awesome work station. Baskets hold fabric memo samples, that we more often than not, have haphazardly filled! Carpet books and my Brilliant Client Binders fill the remaining cubbies. I love gathering around this table top with clients and staff brainstorming their dreams and ideas into realities!

One of my absolute favorite storage spaces is my work island.

Brilliant Client Binders, these have become one of my most valuable ‘organizing tools’. I’ll never forget the day I had the epiphany and made the leap from client folders to binders. It was typical day, me rushing out to a client meeting, juggling the 2” client folder, my purse, sample boards and of course my coffee. I didn’t have great grip on anything that morning, and my priority was the coffee (never drop the coffee!) The file slipped from my grip and scattered clear across the floor of my office. Drawings, cost sheets, inspiration pictures, fabric cuttings and random post-it notes ... everywhere. As I scooped up the mess, I looked up square in front of me on my bookcase was a specification catalog for a plumbing company, and from there the client binder was born! No these binders aren’t perfect, but they’re darn close. Organized by room, proposals, cost sheets, drawings all now have a place ... and when I’m not totally successful with a typical morning balancing act, a binder tends to stay in tact much more than a file folder. Our client boxes were actually another stage of organizing that came from desperation. As the Brilliant Binders grew, fabric memos, paint chips, finish samples and more started to make the binders too thick! So I plucked all those out of the binders leaving only small cuttings with the binders and filled photo boxes with the large bulky sampling! As in the work center, I find baskets to be my best friend. I can stuff items away and still give the appearance that I’ve got my act together. I will admit, just having a basket designated for a specific need, i.e. trim samples, paint decks or stone samples, does keep us somewhat organized! I also find that using stackers for stationary and paper organizing keeps them clean, neat and good shape.

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The truth is, I need a little clutter to keep me comfortable, creative and productive. I often find my bulletin boards covered in layers of ideas, motivation, humor and all around assorted awesomeness. If you’ve got a little of the neat freak in ya, and you find everything in its place therapeutic, well, bless you. For the rest of us, keep it real folks, take the pressure off yourselves. You’re not a complete bust if your work stations, desks, or closets don’t look like those picture perfect spaces in magazines or your Pinterest boards, you’ll find your way. If you’re visiting Connecticut any time soon, stop by the Studio, I’ll let you peak in my baskets and see how everything isn’t always in it’s place. We just make it look that way!


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BIGlisaTHANKS! davenport

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neil j singh

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In short,

out of leather.


I make useful things website

By day, Coquitlam, BC-based

Neil J Singh is a video game artist, by night he’s a creative @josephhenryworkshop

leather worker, crafting unique and functional items full of simple beauty and purpose.

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CTION U D I N T R O I always start this story off by saying “Well, back in the 90’s...” but not this time...damn. A long time ago in Vancouver I was partner in a body jewelry business with a good friend of mine, Stephen. He had already been making body jewelry and leather goods before I met him. When we finally got into business together he showed me the whips...err ropes making simple leather items for, well, various clientele and a lot of our the 90’s...we all wore black at some point right? Lots of things happened and we made a ton of body jewelry and some leather goods until it ended for me in 1999...well around there anyways...lots of things happened. I always wanted to make leather goods someday but I didn’t focus on it until 2013. I need to be doing things with my hands, creating, making, building useful things. Making video games is awesome but the rewards are very delayed. It can take years before you see the final product on the shelf and it’s mostly done on the computer and rarely involves the 154

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use of hammers, cutting tools, sharp pointy things, glue, dye etc.. Making things out of such a versatile material in relatively short periods of time, knowing it will be used for years is an extremely good feeling and is self perpetuating. I love leather. Some people ask me, why “Joseph Henry?” I spent a good amount of time thinking about a name for this little endeavour and knew right away that it wasn’t going to be about me in the long term. I wanted something that spoke to the craft. Leather is one of the oldest versatile materials we have. My father is a hard working man to this day and he taught me the value of real skills so I wanted to somehow honour him. My wife’s father also knew the value of working with one’s hands. We have a small piece of furniture in our home that he made almost 35 years ago. Honouring Joseph (my dad) and Henry (my wife’s dad) by naming it after them instantly spelled magic to me and knowing their names are on the product keeps me inspired to make the highest quality work that I can.

In short, I make useful things out of leather. By day I am a mild mannered video game artist specializing in User Interface and User Experience. By night I put my hands to work on creating leather products to help make the world smell a little better. Who doesn’t like the smell of leather?

From card slips to glasses cases, each Joseph Henry Workshop product started it’s life out as a problem I wanted to solve. Either for myself or my friends. I try to make them as simply as possible to keep it simple, neat and focused on it’s purpose which also keeps it me at least.

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What is your background as in is this your lifelong career or have you done different things before this? I have worked in a Rice Cake factory, pierced people in all kinds of places, made body jewelry, been a graphic designer, 3D modeller, worked for a telephone directory, made video games for Nintendo (which I still do) and now of course, make leather goods. I have always used my hands and mind to create things. My dad, Joseph always encouraged us to build things. Dad had a shop in the house and as long as I can remember was always making or building something. From electronics to plastic models to home repairs he was and still is doing something. My brother and I had access to tools and materials all through our lives and we used/destroyed them to make our own toys quite a lot. They are still my most memorable toys. I spent a huge amount of my teens making plastic model kits, often at the expense of homework to the chagrin of mom and dad. I just couldn’t stop sometimes. Taking woodworking and metalworking at school were my two favorite classes in school and served as the basis for a great deal of what was to come later in my life. 156

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favorite career achievement... As awesome as it was to have Art Directed a game for Nintendo, I would have to say that my biggest achievement is our son. Hands down.

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inspiration I like to solve problems. Hearing or seeing a problem immediately puts my mind in gear to try and come up with an idea of how to improve that thing or situation. I am inspired by anybody who has or is trying to make it better, whether that’s trying to make a better water filter, baby bottle, pancake, anything.


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Where do you work from, tell us about your workspaces and places... Being able to create all of the leather work at home is great. I have a shop in our garage where all of the dyeing and burnishing happens, while upstairs I can do all the cutting, folding and gluing. My favorite part is when I can sit in front of the fire and TV and do all the hand stitching.

What is your work schedule like? Having a full-time job, a wife, a 4 year old and a cat, things get started pretty early in the morning. I may do something quick before I leave for work in the morning but that’s rare because, you know, sleep is good. When I get home I like to spend a bit of time with the family before getting down to cutting, stitching, or dyeing and I usually work as long as I can, maybe until 10:30 or so. On weekends I use as much time as I can working on product design or creation.

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photos by nick shaw


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Do you need to spend a lot of money on your tools of your trade and upgrading? One of the great things about leather work are the tools. You don’t actually need that many to be able make basic items. I am looking forward to spending more money on higher quality tools and apparatus but at the moment I don’t feel it is necessary.

Do you sell your work? If so, where? I am really glad I found Etsy. It’s a great tool for getting your stuff out there and available for people to buy your work. Joseph Henry Workshop will do custom work and Etsy makes that’s easy for customers and sellers to manage especially when you are just starting out your business. I am fortunate enough to have Joseph Henry in two local shops, Global Atomic Designs in Yaletown and Brick and Mortar Living in New Westminster. quarter 2 | 2013-14


favorite quote...

Measure twice, cut once.

Do you do your creative work full time, part time, or as a hobby? I would classify what I do as a hobby with benefits. I love to do it and it is very stress-free. how do you balance life/work/play/ down time? I tend to occupy nearly all of my waking life doing something. There is rarely time for resting. My wife is an extremely supportive and giving person. An excellent mother to an awesome son. We are really good at managing our family time and we do almost everything together. I spend what time I can on Joseph Henry Workshop and try to not let it take over any family time if I can help it. We both work full-time so it is important that we manage our post work hours. We go to bed at the same time and drive to work together in the morning since we work in neighboring buildings, which really is nice. If you’re having a bad day, a project isn’t going your way, or everything just sucks, what do you do to turn things around? On those rare occasions when things aren’t going great, I usually just stop whatever I am doing and relax for a bit until I feel I can continue. 162

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What do you do to keep work, creative juices, and money flowing? The work itself is inspiring and there are always problems to solve, and if I can make a great product, the money follows.

Where have you traveled? In my life I have been across the Western and Midwestern United States, Great Britain, Trinidad, Maui, and all the way to Montreal and Toronto. We love travelling to Maui but are looking forward to a New York trip soon.

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Do you listen to music while you work? I usually have the TV on while I work. Some documentary, comedy series, or movie.


I am always inspired by music, film, and books. The internet is an endless source of inspiration and I spend a lot of time there. I am currently listening to Tim Hecker - Ravedeath 1972. The last film I watched was a documentary on TWA Flight 800. The books I am reading are JD Salinger’s “The Catcher in the Rye” and Rinzler’s “The Making of Return of the Jedi.”

my favorites... 164

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I write down the mileage, trip, litres and price of every gas fill up I do. Every time. The glove box is full of receipts and notepads. I love to take apart Apple products. Sometimes I fix them. I saw the Grand Canyon once. I wasn’t that impressed and then I felt guilty about that and forced myself to be impressed. I guess I didn’t know who or what I needed to direct it towards. It’s not like some dude dug it himself or anything, the river did it, thanks river.

Do you have any hobbies that are really different from what you do your creative job or work? I really enjoy photography and have for many years. I shoot a Nikon D700 and several film cameras including a large format camera when I have a chance to. I also manage a band called Elizabeth. Do you donate to charity or work with any charities or community organizations through your creative work? I have recently been asked to donate a few pieces to charity. I wouldn’t mind doing more in the future as long as I believe in their work and it makes good sense to have Joseph Henry products be a part of it.

Where do you find inspiration?

Do you have an inspiration or mood board?

A cliche, but everywhere. I have a broad range of creative interests so I am constantly on the lookout for ideas. Sometimes a feel like a shark during shark week. What does that even mean?

I have used mood boards when I did graphic design. I now use various internet features and social networks to serve as a more dynamic and broad mood board if you like. A really massive Pinterest.

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Look at your work with fresh eyes every day and it’ll never be stale. You will inevitably find someway to improve it. Use your product. Give your product to someone you don’t know and ask them to give feedback in a few weeks.

When you begin a project, what is generally your creative process? I write down why I am making this product and what problem it was meant to solve. Then, Sketches. Sketches. Some more sketches. Sketches. More sketches. Time away from it. More sketches until it “feels right”. I then do physical non-leather mock-ups using heavy paper and cardboard to iron out the kinks before cutting into some precious hide. The first 6 or so leather prototypes are used and abused a bit before making the “final” adjustments. I then offer the product to a limited audience for field testing which usually results in a whole new idea or minor improvement until I feel like I have gained enough knowledge and skill to take all the new ideas and feedback and begin the process all over again.

What does the future hold for you and your work- where do you see yourself in a few years? I am working on a line of Joseph Henry Workshop Bags, Satchels and even a Purse. This will happen in phases over the next two years with many other smaller scale products in the works.

How do you know when a project is finished? When I am holding a “final” product in my hands, I look at what I wrote down and compare. Does this solve the problem? Does it look beautiful? Will it last? If these are all yes, then it is “done”. A Joseph Henry is never really done though, it’s early days and there are so many ideas, I expect by the end of next year nothing will be the same. quarter 2 | 2013-14



jenna chandler 168

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make it!





what we do!

Jenna and Chandler Herbut are a sister and


brother dynamic duo based in Vancouver, B.C. Canada.

Creators of Make It! and


Make It University, they are


rocking the craft show scene in

a very unique way! quarter 2 | 2013-14


ION T C DU O R T I N It all started with a belt, a Booty Belt actually! In 2002 I was so fired up about my idea, that I decided to write a business plan for one of my University of Alberta marketing classes. Booty Betlz became a reality upon graduation, and I was soon selling my fabric sash belts to 120 boutiques all over Canada, USA and Japan. It was a total thrill growing my biz and it allowed me to experience and learn so much. I also became a pro at PR, and was able to get my Booty Beltz in numerous magazines, newspapers and on TV. After a couple years in, I had a new line called Bootyfly Bags that was selling a lot better than my belts. Around this time I was also starting to feel burnt out from wholesaling and wasn’t enjoying my business nearly as much. A fellow artisan asked me if I would be interested in selling some of my old Booty Beltz stock at an outdoor street festival. At first I was skeptical because


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I thought it was a step in the wrong direction but something inside of me thought it would be really fun, so I went for it! What I discovered from that experience changed my life. Selling to the end customer was exciting, gratifying and fun! I soon started schlepping my goods around Canada and selling at as many festival and craft shows as possible. It became my main focus, and slowly I had less and less wholesale accounts. I didn’t care because selling direct customers allowed me to be myself and not have to worry about all the things I used to dread like catalogs, consistent stock and cold calling buyers. Plus I was profiting well over six figures a year! Another great aspect of selling at shows was meeting amazing crafty entrepreneurs from all over the country. I loved hearing their stories and would absorb their knowledge like a sponge.

Because I have a hard wired marketing brain, it didn’t take long for me to realize that craft shows needed to revamp their branding. I was in my mid 20’s and I knew they did not appeal to any of my friends. They did not realize that there were actually some really cool stuff sold by young, hip artisans. This was around the time Etsy launched, and I saw huge potential in the growing DIY movement. So, what did I do? Started my own show along with my brother Chandler. The rest is history! The inspiration for Make It came when my brother Chandler and I saw an opportunity to create a platform for our peers to be able to sell their handmade items. We wanted to organize a show that was fun, upbeat and acted as an incubator for up and coming artists. All our exhibitors are referred to as ‘Makies’ and it’s really cool to see the tight knit community Make It has established over the years. Everyone has a blast at the show too!

Make It got it’s start in Vancouver almost 5 years ago at the Roundhouse Community Centre with only 65 exhibitors. Since then the show has more than quadrupled in size, attracts well over 10,000 shoppers and has expanded to Edmonton. Crafters, makers and artists from all over Canada are flocking to Vancouver to become part of Make It. In addition to organizing craft shows together, we also have our own side businesses. Chandler runs a successful clothing line called Ole Originals, where he handprints limited edition T-shirts and sells them online, in boutiques and craft shows. I have a blog and online training program called Make It University designed to help creative entrepreneurs sharpen their marketing skills.

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assion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.

photo by:


favorite quote...

~ oprah winfrey

We work from a studio space close to Olympic Village in Vancouver. Chandler silk screens all his T-shirts for Ole Originals here. Jamie Smith, a talented local artist, also works from this space. It’s very open and has a wonderful creative vibe.

What is your go-to social media tool(s)? Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are my favorites. HootSuite is a great way to integrate all three. What is your work schedule like? Crazy! Both Chandler and I work all the time, but we love what we do so it’s a lot of fun too. After Make It is done for the year we are able to travel which is a great way to decompress.


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photos by:

Where do you work from, tell us about your workspaces and places...

photos by:

favorite career achievement... Moving Make It Vancouver to the PNE Forum! Chandler and I are both beyond excited to have our biggest show yet at the end of November 2013. There will be over 250 exhibitors from all over Canada along with 10 food trucks and a beer garden.

If you’re having a bad day, a project isn’t going your way, or everything just sucks, what do you do to turn things around? Get outside and go for a walk! It’s amazing what a little fresh air and exercise will do to get the creative juices flowing. Do you listen to music while you work? What is your favorite music to work to? What’s on your ipod/iphone? Since we are so busy we find the easiest way to find new music is to just listen to Songza. It can be hit and miss but there are some pretty good play lists.


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how do you balance life/work/play/ down time? I’m very strict with my time and say no to a lot of things. If it doesn’t inspire me, I don’t do it. What do you do to keep work, creative juices, and money flowing? I go to a lot of workshop and seminars. I also try to read as many books as I can and go to events to meet like minded people. I find all of this helps so much because you realize you are not alone!

Have you won any awards or special prizes/ mentions for your work? We are nominated for the Small Business BC Awards this year so I’m really hoping nice people vote for us ;)

Do you donate to charity or work with any charities or community organizations through your creative work? Make It has working with the Union Gospel Mission for the past 4 years. We raise money for this amazing charity through a massive silent auction with items generously donated by Makies.

Be open to what may come. Results are not always what you anticipated but there is always a valuable lesson to be learned.

photo s this page by:

photo by:

Where do you find inspiration? Traveling, reading and meeting people are my favorite ways. The more you are open to being inspired the more inspiration you will find all around you. Where have you traveled? Chandler and I both have travelled around Southeast Asia and most of Europe. We also really love going to NYC for inspiration and ideas.


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What does the future hold for you and your work- where do you see yourself in a few years? I am currently writing a book about how to succeed in the handmade community. I love speaking to audiences and plan to do much more of it in the future. Do you have any current projects or future plans you’d like to share? I am excited to create some new courses for Make It University, which is my online business program for creative entrepreneurs. It’s been so exciting and rewarding to hear all the positive feedback from the students who have done the program and are seeing some great results. I love teaching other people to do what they love.


annelie hervi


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do what I love


I feel so privileged to get to


Annelie Hervi designs her

own fabrics then sews them into her own custom designed

childrens wear. She lives in Battle Ground, WA, USA; working from home, she wouldn’t have it any other way! quarter 2 | 2013-14


CTION U D I N T R O I am a stay at home mom of five children, with a background in Architectural Drafting and Graphic Design. All my life, I’ve loved drawing. I am a bit of a pen snob actually - it has to feel just so in my hand, and the ink has to be smooth! Pencils are not my thing. After I had my second child, I decided to “just” be a stay at home mom. I had been drafting residential homes for a few years, and while I still loved it, life was too busy. That’s when I found Spoonflower, in 2009.


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It’s been my main hobby-turned-business ever since, and I’m loving it! I feel so privileged to get to do what I love the most, from home, at whatever hour works best for me. And make money!! Yay!! All my life, I loved houses and design. In Sweden, where I grew up, you choose a program already in High School that will be geared toward your future profession. I studied in a Technical program with mostly math/ physics and engineering, which was a perfect base for my future college degree in Architectural drafting!

My first job in the field was in Washington State. I was supposed to stay for one year and then return to Sweden, but got married and stayed instead! Now, nine years and five children later, I use my drafting and design skills to create fabric and kids’ clothes patterns. I work during nap time or when everyone else is in bed. I love it. Drawing, designing, graphics, choosing colors, ordering, sewing and selling. It’s all my imagination. From first shape to the finished product. Do you have formal training, are you selftaught or a combination? A two-year college degree in Architectural Drafting and many hours tinkering on my own! Plus all the years me and my sisters spent using any graphic design program my dad would buy, of course! We created our first Newspaper to sell in school when I was in 4th grade. Thank you, Arts & Letters! Corel Xara was our greatest love, and now I use free programs such as Gimp and Inkscape and they work excellent.

What is your background, as in is this your lifelong career or have you done different things before this? I loved sewing and drawing all my life. Besides the random projects I did as a child, I actually did real things for real companies before this hobby from home I do now. I did most graphic work like logos, letterheads etc for a company in Sweden, and got asked to do logos and Websites from other companies. As for the sewing part, I learned some from mom and some on my own. She gave me free reins to fabric scraps and a Bernina machine, and create I did!

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favorite quote...

on’t put away ‘til tomorrow what you can do today. a quote I strive to one day actually follow! I am a huge procrastinator, but people who are quick to get things done are huge inspirations to me! My life priorities will always be God, Family and work, in that order. That means I have to constantly keep an open conversation with my husband and myself to make sure I’m not too wrapped up in all these hobbies. It’s fantastic that I can do them, but if my children are neglected I am definitely not prioritizing right!

favorite career achievement... Not long after Spoonflower started having their contests, I won first place with a children’s shirt pattern designed to fit one yard. It was a pattern I created from scratch, and it was so rewarding to see people actually buy this and wear it on their kids! A book called “One Yard Wonders” contacted me about this pattern, and featured me in their book!

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inspiration I love Marimekko, Lotta Jansdotter and Amy Butler. The Scandinavian in me is drawn to the first two, and the American heart in me is drawn to the free spirit and boldness of Amy Butler’s work. One designer that inspires me is Samarra Khaja. Though we haven’t met in real life, it feels like I got to know her through Spoonflower and discussion boards. When I realized how accomplished and extremely talented of an artist she is, I couldn’t believe how down to earth she was! I mean, we talked about kids and dirty diapers on Flickr, yet she actually for real designed two enormous murals in New York??? Wow. That made me think that I could do it too. On a way smaller scale, but still! She is a mom, just like me!


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What is your favorite subject matter or theme and why? I’m always drawn to houses or Architectural features or mod geometric prints. I browse Pinterest etc for inspiration, and mostly it’s color combinations I’m inspired by. And your least favorite? Maybe I shouldn’t admit this, but I don’t like almost anything with characters on it. Where do you work from, tell us about your workspaces and places... I work from home, at the computer armoire in my kitchen or upstairs in my sewing room. So far, we have room for me to keep the sewing room all to myself. I draw at the kitchen table alongside of children’s homework, supper and babies. I’m not too particular! quarter 2 | 2013-14


my favorite tools Pens, markers and Inkscape! Inkscape has become my one do-it-all program. It feels like I am still learning all I can use it for!

Do you need to spend a lot of money on your tools of your trade and upgrading? To order fabric from Spoonflower is expensive, and causes the price of my items to rise of course. I wish really bad I could offer greater discounts or buy more for my own personal use. The quality of the fabric has greatly improved throughout the years I’ve been with Spoonflower, so I feel like the price is a bit justified by the great quality!


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What is your work schedule like? Schedule??

If you’re having a bad day, a project isn’t going your way, or everything just sucks, what do you do to turn things around?

Did you ever have any major oops crazy mishaps or things going crazily wrong while working on a project?

Have more coffee. Browse Pinterest. Plan to get out in the evening when husband gets home. In other words set the project aside and come back when I’m ready to tackle it again!

More than once, I’ve found projects that were ready to ship destroyed (cut up!) by my kids. It’s extremely annoying for me to have to tell a customer their purchase will be delayed, not to mention paying for rush orders through Spoonflower! Bye, bye profit!!

What’s the most unusual thing you’ve ever made or created? A cover for the butt of a gun!

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I am from Sweden.

I love [Seattle’s Best] coffee. When I read books, I forget the title the minute I’m done with the last page.

I love Marshmallow Fluff.

When I listen to music, the tune will be ingrained in my mind forever, but lyrics just aren’t sticking. Food was my enemy when I was little. And I don’t mean as in anorexia, I was just horrendously picky. Now I like almost everything but hard boiled eggs. Chipotle is my absolute fave!!


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my favorites...

Do you do your creative work full time, part time, or as a hobby? It’s a hobby still. This year I started Pellerina Design and started putting more time and effort into the whole thing. But it’s still a hobby. I get scared to take it too far and be overwhelmed, or worst case, let customers done by not delivering quality products in time! Do you have any hobbies that are really different from what you do your creative job/ work? I mentioned earlier that I share a booth in a Vintage Store. It’s a fantastic store here in town, where over 60 vendors rent a space to sell anything! Mostly I re-do small pieces of furniture to sell, or make random oneof-a-kind clothes. Have you won any awards or special prizes/ mentions for your work? A few times I’ve made top ten in Spoonflower’s contests, and that’s a great feeling! :) I’ve been mentioned in random blogs too, but nothing major.

What do you do to keep work, creative juices, and money flowing? For some reason I’ve never had to worry about the creativity. Almost anything can inspire a new design to take form in my head. As for money, I’m finally at the point where Spoonflower commission and Etsy profit covers all expenses I have.

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Where do you find inspiration? I find inspiration in all colors and shapes around me. My entire house is a mishmash of colors! Do you have an inspiration or mood board? Pinterest ends up being an inspiration board but I seldom remember to go back and look at what I pinned. Where have you traveled? When I was younger I traveled all over northern Europe with mom and dad. Then I moved to the States at age 17, and was probably more on the road than at home! I think I’ve visited somewhere close to 40 states by now.


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When you begin a project, what is generally your creative process? I might do a sketch on paper, but most of my designs start as a rectangle shape in Inkscape. Convert to path, move nodes... How do you know when a project is finished? I don’t! I am a very impatient person, so I often finish designs quickly and later realize it wouldn’t have hurt to have spent more time on them. I’m learning...

Have a great support system, and don’t feel dumb to ask for others’ input!


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What does the future hold for you and your work- where do you see yourself in a few years? Still a mom! Haha.. I would love to one day land that fantastic designing job where I can design and someone else make the items. How about for Target?

Do you have any current projects or future plans you’d like to share? About a billion. I wish I could create as fast as the ideas arrive! I love designing clothes. From the pattern to fabric etc. Also, I am hoping to create a more streamlined business plan. To carry planned collections for a season or so. But then again, when I get bored I come up with anything random to get myself excited about the day.

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photo by : Chris Mair

lysa mair


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Simply put,


photo by : Carol Browne

I draw fabric! website + Blog

Lysa Mair, a.k.a. Lysa Flower, lives in Ruskin, B.C. Canada, and loves a good stash... a stash of fabric that is! @LysaFlower @lysaflower

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My elevator pitch is “Mostly I draw stashes. Stashes of fabric not mustaches, unless they’re printed on fabric in someone’s stash... Then, I guess you could say I draw mustaches too.” Simply put, I draw fabric. After exhausting drawing my fabric stash I decided to ask other people if I could draw their fabric stashes too and you know what? They said yes! Most are bloggers and quilters, some are artists, some are authors and some are even fabric designers. All have a Modern sensibility. It’s evolved into “The fabric stash drawing project”.


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photo by : Chris Mair


How did I get started? After art school (which is kind of a long story) I had my first son. Three year later I had my second son. I loved staying home with my kids and rerouted my creative energies in to kick-ass Halloween costumes (which was the only time I sewed back then) and birthday parties! I did dabble in wood cut prints here and there while my kids were young but I patiently waited until my youngest was in school full time until I let my creative juices fly! For years I taught Art but took a break while my kids were young. After my youngest went to grade 1 I went back to teaching for a while . One of the first classes

bits and bobs

I taught was how to draw the draped figure. As much as I love drawing the human figure, it was the draped fabric that really captivated me. In hindsight I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised as I’ve always loved fabric ever since I was little. I started drawing hanging dresses , piles of clothing and my fabric stash. In 2010 I had a showing of these drawings. The following year I was invited back for a second show at the same venue. I really started to get into Modern Quilting and the focus of my second show was un-sewn fabric. In doing this show I realized how coveted our fabric stashes are. Stashes all have stories attached to them and they really tell a lot about the individual collectors. From this show came my fabric stash drawing project.

Do you have formal training, are you self taught, or a combination? Right out of high school I went to Alberta College of Art. I was there for two years then I transferred out to BC to study at Emily Carr. I learned fancy words like juxtaposition and aesthetic. After that I worked on a BFA and as I was sitting in Geography I was wondering what it really had to do with Art. I enrolled in the animation program at Capilano College the next fall. This is where I really learned to draw. We drew and drew and drew! It was two very intense years but it was really worth it! After I completed my animation program I promptly got pregnant and had a baby! These days I am more self taught and if I don’t know how to do something, I dig in and figure it out. quarter 2 | 2013-14


all photos by Raeanne Schachter, unless otherwise noted

Cathy M’s stash, “Two half spoolfuls of sugar”; left: detail Right: Lysa’s own stash, “Stash love”

What is your background, as in is this your lifelong career or have you done different things before this? I think being an artist is a way of life, like being a farmer or a monk. I feel like I always have been an artist and always will be. In the past I taught art in many forms: finger painting to toddlers, perspective to school aged children to teaching figure drawing to adults. I really enjoyed all of it. Teaching is super fun and rewarding but for right now I’m concentrating on producing work. That’s not to say that some day I wouldn’t like to do it again. I find I learn a lot by teaching. 198

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favorite career achievement... Every time someone’s eyes light up, with an “oh wow!”

What is your favorite subject matter or theme and why? My favourite subject matter is fabric, mostly other peoples fabric stashes right now but in the past it was also dresses. My oldest son was really perplexed about my drawing fabric and one day he asked me why I do it. First of all he is 13. My husband and I have come to terms with anything we do right now is horribly embarrassing to him, which is kind of fun for us... we milk it. The poor kid. I don’t think he is embarrassed by my drawing fabric but he really didn’t understand why. When I thought about an answer, the first thing that came to my head was, it makes me incredibly happy! I LOVE fabric and I get very excited when I see a piece of fabric in someone else’s stash, quilt or project that I also have. Perhaps it’s the idea of sameness. I’ve always loved the feel of fabric, the prints and the colours, especially in this era of Modern Quilting. I think I also love fabric because your choice of prints, your choice of textures, and your choice of colour, reflects and tells a story about yourself. Mostly I love fabric because of its potential, of what it might be or could be. 200

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In the past when I was drawing dresses, I loved the fabric for the opposite reason. The dresses weren’t about the potential it was about the past. Each dress told a story of why it was worn and who you were at that time. I guess the main theme between the two subject matters, fabric stashes and dresses, would be they both come with stories. Just one comes with stories about the future and one comes with a story about the past. Either way both are portraits of the owners.


favorite quote...

f you have good thoughts, they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely. ~ Roald Dahl


cheryl arkison’s stash, “a stack of a stash”

My kids and death! How’s that for an answer! Typical mom answer for the kids part but bear with me. Before I had kids I worked here and there. After I had kids had so little time to myself that I had to really focus. I also realized I want them to see me doing things I love. I want them to see me working hard and playing hard. I want them to see me when things don’t go as planned and I dust myself off and get back up on that horse and try again. I want them to see me make mistakes and see me learn from them. On top of that my kids have exposed me to things in life I never thought I’d be interested in. Often I find myself in circumstances that I’m like, “am I really doing this?” It’s made my life (and work) a whole lot more interesting and I’m willing to put myself out there for them. As for death I feel like I have a lot of ground to cover and your never know when your number is up! I also feel I need to acknowledge my husband. He inspires me. He runs his own business and I really admire the way he’s handled his ups and downs with integrity. He always has a positive attitude and he keeps going forward. I find myself watching him and reminding myself, that’s how it’s done!

shannon’s dress quarter 2 | 2013-14


Where do you work from, tell us about your workspaces and places... I work from home and from my studio. My studio is about 20 feet from our house... I tell ya the commute is exhausting! All my blogging, writing and photo editing is done at the house. I draw mostly in our house, my favourite is during the summer, when I can sit outside on our deck, feel a cool breeze and draw. When it’s raining I often set up inside the house and put on a show Now when I sew, I sew in the lovely studio that’s 20 feet from the house. I have a huge studio table that I sew at and sprawl supplies on. I tend to sprawl but I have to be careful because I share this space with my husband and all of his musical instruments. Luckily we have a common space in between us or I think he’d insist on going all Less Nessman on me with tape barriers! 202

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What is your work schedule like? For some reason the words in-between comes to mind. I don’t have set times I work. I work in-between hours when everyone has gone to school and work. I work in-between people’s schedules, in-between activities, appointments, meetings and meals. Oddly it all gets done! I used to think I needed big chunks of time but it’s quite surprising what you can get done a little here and a little there! What is your go-to social media tool of choice? Berene campbell’s stash, “I’m sew happy sew lucky I don’t give a hoot!”

I really love Instagram! It’s quite a community. Plus I love that I can post pictures right off of Instagram to Twitter, Facebook and Flickr! God that rocks!

Berene campbell’s stash, “organized chaos” quarter 2 | 2013-14


my favorite tools I’ve become obsessed with pencil sharpeners lately. I do a lot of pencil sharpening and having a sharp pencil is right up there with your first cut of fabric after you’ve changed your rotatory cutter. It’s glorious!

Do you need to spend a lot of money on your tools of your trade and upgrading? Well I have been spending a lot of money on finding the ultimate pencil sharpener lately... Really unless something has gone terribly wrong with the computer, or I’ve dropped my camera (whoops I’ve done that!) or perhaps if I had to repair or replace my sewing machine, nothing is too outrageously expensive. I try to keep my fabric habit in check by buying only those, “Oh my god I can’t live without this!” pieces or, I buy just for specific projects. Mostly I try to only buy what I need. It drives me crazy to have stuff laying around that doesn’t get used.

Do you have any favorite vintage tools or supplies? Vintage buttons, can one really have to many? I think not. I’m glad you agree. I love vintage stuff! I have an vintage typewriter in my studio, I don’t use it much but I love having it around. I also have a yellow rotary phone from the 70’s, which I love, but it scares the crap out of me when it rings! I also have my grandfathers watch making bench. I was into making resin buttons for a while so it was nice sitting at his bench working with his tools.


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Jennifer’s wedding dress

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Some rick rack, some Pompoms and some lace walk into a bar

Did you ever have any major oops crazy mishaps or things going crazily wrong while working on a project?

If you’re having a bad day, a project isn’t going your way, or everything just sucks, what do you do to turn things around?

Well, there was this one project in art school where we had to do a project about size. I decided I was going to make a cut out of a life-sized elephant... using pink taffeta. I should have known then, pink taffeta! I knew elephants were big but wow! In the end at the last minute I scrapped the whole project and used a piece of wood 12”x12” covered in black paper, mounted a magnifying glass, glued a speck of sand under the magnifying glass and put a label beside the piece titled “self portrait”. That’s when I realized big is not always better, however it seems like a lesson I keep having to relearn... I wonder what ever happened to all that pink taffeta?

I go to Fort Langley (B.C)! It’s a lovely little place that I find peaceful and inspiring. I love the old train station, Wendell’s book store and the Little White House. It also has some of the best vintage candy stores too.

What’s the most unusual thing you’ve ever made/created?

My husband is also incredibly helpful and wise (don’t let him know I told you that, we don’t want it going to his head!). Often, hmm let’s not say often... once in a while he’ll get a call from me and we’ll chat about how to sort it out. Which I really appreciate because he’s a busy guy!

A boy named Maceo and a boy named Rivers! Being a parent is some times like your very own science experiment!


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If I can’t get to Fort Langley, I’ll go for a walk either up our mountain or around our block. Walking around the block takes a while since we live out on an acreage. Also sometimes in the summer I’ll take to my garden and weed it. It’s a great way to clear out any frustrations and purge. After, from a day that didn’t go quite as planned, you get such a great sense of accomplishment.

I grew up on the back of a motor cycle and a snowmobile. I also spent many a days after-school in the back of mechanic shops. This is where I would closely monitor my Dad’s coffee because when I asked when we were leaving the answer was always, “When I’m done my coffee.” Our family does have a zombie apocalypse plan! I have Wonder Woman socks that have capes and yes I am wearing them right now!

Do you listen to music while you work? What is your favorite music to work to? For my last birthday my husband filled my phone with all new music so I am very excited about this question! Currently I am listening to the Black Keys, The Dead Weather, Fitz and the Tantrums, Foster the People, Franz Ferdinand, Fun., Gorillaz, Imagine Dragons, Jack White, The Killers, The Lumineers (just saw them and they were fantastic!), Metric, Modest Mouse, Monster Truck, Mother Mother, Muse, Queens of the Stone Age, The Raconteurs, Said the Whale, Tegan and Sara, Vampire Weekend, Weezer, The White Stripes, Wolfmother and Young the Giant... phew!


my favorites...

Okay I’ll admit, it I’m addicted to Ted Talks. Did I mention that? They’re all pretty amazing, I love peoples stories and learning from them! Which drives my kids crazy because there are a whole lot of life lessons to be learned about in TED talks. Oh, don’t you worry I tell them about each and every one! If you haven’t already, I highly recommend listening to these Ted talks: Embrace the Shake - Phil Hansen The Power of Vulnerability - Berene Brown The Difference Between Winning and Succeeding - John Wooden Your Elusive Genius - Elizabeth Gilbert The Happy Secret to Better Work - Shawn Achor I LOVE books but I find right now in my life I don’t get much time to just sit and read but I love listening to audio books while I work, or Ted Talks! As for Music, I pretty love much anything by Jack White, my friend Sue (our kids met in preschool but we bonded over our love of Jack White) makes me play lists and I pretty much follow her lead. She finds obscure, indie music. I felt for a couple of years there our music was getting a bit stagnant and Sue has breathed new life into our play-lists. And food, yes! I Love food. Actually I’ve finally took the bull by the horns and have decided to teach myself to cook! I’m also trying to make mostly everything by scratch (remember the big pink elephant, see what I mean!) I’m very inspired by my friends Hana and Cynthia! I think they know now that if they feed me something they might as well pass along the recipe because I’m only going to ask for it! quarter 2 | 2013-14


krista hennebury’s stash, left: “Over, under”, right: “and Through”, bottom: “and away”

Do you sell your work? If so, where? Do you have any tips on pricing your work?

Do you do your creative work full time,part time, or as a hobby?

Yes, I do. For years I’ve been selling at Favourite Gifts in the Londale Quay. Carol the own there has been a huge supporter of my work and the many reincarnations of it. I recently got picked up at the Little Cricket Gallery in Maple Ridge. I do commissions as well. My favourite is when they say, here this is the general idea run with it! Yes, please and thank you!

I feel like I do all three. All at the same time. how do you balance life/work/play/ down time? As a Mom and because I work from home I feel like I’m on 24/7. As I previously mentioned I always feel like I get work done in the in-between spaces of life. Every weekend I have a plan of what I need to accomplish, same with every week. Do I always get that done? Remember the big pink elephant and the lesson I keep having to relearn? But, again weirdly enough, it all gets done. Also I’ve found since I gave up my old habit of complaining more things get done and faster. What do you do to keep work, creative juices, and money flowing? Work never stops, one idea always leads to another, especially with so much stuff online! Traveling always opens up new ideas and inspiration, the world is a pretty interesting place. I can never keep up with my brain but weirdly everything always seems to falls into place and incorporates itself into my work.


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lesley stenning’s stash, above: “in repose” right: “small stacks”

Have you won any awards or special prizes/ mentions for your work? We get awards or special prizes/mentions for doing stuff like this? Maybe mine is in the mail or it got sent to my junk box by accident!

Favorite phrase: Paul Klee referred to drawing as “taking a line for a walk”

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suki’s dress 210

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photo by : Carol Browne

Do you have any hobbies that are really different from what you do your creative work? Not really. I really enjoy creating. It’s infused with everything. I like to garden but it seems to really cut into sewing time, so I guess you could say my hobby has been neglecting my garden? Hmm let’s see, I’ve taken up playing video games with my oldest son. I’m pretty proud I’ve mastered walking through doorways! However, once again I find myself in one of those, “am I really doing this” situations. It’s been pretty fun and a great way to bond, over zombies mostly but still a great way to bond. Does that count? When you begin a project, what is generally your creative process? First I sort the fabric and lay it out. I consider how the person, whose stash the fabric is from, how they stored it, was it precise, was it messy, was it by colour or did it matter? I consider if there’s a special piece of fabric that has a significant story to the person and sometimes I make it central to the person’s drawing. Then I have a look at the boards I have on hand and usually within a few minutes I have a composition. I cover the board

in paper and I loosely sketch it. This prevents me from having to erase a ton when I’m on the wood. I hash out all the quirks and when that has been accomplished I draw lightly in pencil onto the wood. Next step is get a good show on, sit in a comfortable position, check the lighting, sit back and draw, draw, draw! How do you know when a project is finished? What a hard question! I have a loose check list: Have I drawn all the fabric I set out? Check! How are the proportions? Good? Check! Are all the values spot on? Check! Then it’s usually done like dinner. However, sometimes I have to let a drawing sit for a while until I know if it’s done. Sometimes I wait so I can look at it with fresh eyes. A finished drawing can be more of a feeling than a TA-DA moment. If it feels like something isn’t right I’ll usually ask my husband to have a look. He knows the drill and has a pretty good eye. If he isn’t around, I’ll sometimes take the drawing and look at it in the mirror. If something is off it usually shows up in the reflection. The real test is when I photograph my work. If the dimension of the drawing pops, then that’s when I know I’m really done. quarter 2 | 2013-14



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Where do you find inspiration?

Since working on “The Fabric Drawing Project” I’ve expanded in to doing calenders and cards. The calenders are held up by magnets on the front and the back. That way the wood isn’t affected at all. After the year is done people can reorder calenders or use the magnets to hold up their own notes or pictures.

Fabric from warp and weft, “A challenge”

Inspiration is everywhere, isn’t it? Although I find there are definite hot spots in the world, like San Francisco. I always come back with a camera full of new inspiration. I do however have three books that I love to look at specifically for inspiration. The first one is called Naive: Modernism and Folklore in Contemporary Graphic Design. The other two are Gig Posters: Rock show art of the 21st century (by Clay Haynes of We have volume one and two. Where did we get them? San Francisco. Where have you traveled? In Canada I’ve traveled up to Saskatchewan (which I love)and I’ve been to New Brunswick but nothing in between. My Grandmother was from New Brunswick. When I was 12 I told my mom in passing I wanted to go there and to my surprise she made it happen! It wasn’t until I was older I realized wow, that was really a cool thing she did! I really would like to go back there someday. I’ve traveled to Europe, Mexico. In the States I’ve traveled to Hawaii, Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada and New York. I have to say my most favourite places in the world would be Bath, England (Stonehenge was a big moment place for me) and San Francisco. My husband has meetings there every year and I just love that city. I always come back inspired and rejuvenated. Do you have an inspiration or mood board? Yes I do, I have an inspiration board. I followed the Right Brain Business Plan (written by Jennifer Lee) and used it as a guide for inventing Lysa Flower. I’ve found it super helpful. I don’t look at it every day but every once in a while I’ll realize how much it’s help me focus on my goals.

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Hmm, let’s see, advice? I think Angela Lee Duckworth’s Ted Talk about grit is great advice for anyone. Complaining is a nasty habit and one worth giving up. Sure, sometimes you’ll fall off the wagon but do your best to nip it in the bud! Favourite tip? For drawing, since I draw directly on wood I have to put a piece of paper under my arm or else it gets irritated. I also have to draw from left to right so I don’t smudge any of the drawing. The piece of paper helps with that too. Techniques? Most of the techniques I’ve learned for drawing come from Betty Edwards’ Drawing on the Right side of the Brain and Kimon Nicolaids’ The Natural Way to Draw. I found Betty Edwards explanation on negative space very helpful. As for Nicolaides he has many insightful techniques but I found his in depth explanation on how to not let your negative voice get the better of you the most helpful. The combination of these two books and their techniques have helped me get out of any drawing jam I’ve ever been in. I guess you could say these two books are where most of my tricks come from.

Do you have any current projects or future plans you’d like to share? I co-founded and co-lead the Fraser Valley Modern Quilt Guild, we’re always cooking up fun stuff to do there! What does the future hold for you and your work- where do you see yourself in a few years? In the near future, hopefully in 2014 I’d like to have a show of my fabric stash drawing project. I think it’s really important to celebrate those people who participated. I’m just in the works of trying to figure out what the right venue would be. I’d like to fiddle with silk-screening again, it’s what I settled on in Art school. However, this time instead of prints I’d like to maybe dabble doing something on fabric. Mostly I want to round out my Fabric Stash drawing to 12 people and go from there!

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we want to know...





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Are you a thrifter or vintage collector? Do you live for the amazing-vintagefind- that-some-thrift-store-employeeunknowingly-priced-at-.25¢-and-try-tokeep-a-poker-face-until-after-they’verung-it-thru-the-cash-and-you-dash-to-the- door,-Start the car! Start the car!-(Ask me about the vintage Fiestaware I found at .25¢ per piece- oh em gee!)? Me too. You might say I’m a wee bit obsessed. Some might think I’m crazy digging around in thrift store bins and dark corners of funky smelling shelves searching for lord only knows what. But I love it. What are you looking for? My most prized finds are vintage- anything before the 80’s is fair game. Dishes and California Pottery from the 50’s of all sorts

are a must seek out, Tupperware® in good condition (with lids of course), vintage glass Christmas baubles, cookbooks- always searching for that elusive Julia Child first edition!- and any crafty, quilt-y books are good too. Don’t forget a healthy dose of anything MCMthat’s Mid-Century Modern if you’re not familiar with thriftspeak, don’t worry, you pick it up pretty fast once you get started! But! The ultimate of ultimate thrifty vintage-y finds for me is fabric. Fabric fabric fabric! Being a fabric designer, quilter, and sewist, I just can’t help myself. I must rescue those lovely pieces of fabric from the kinda stinky (you know that smell, aka the thriftstore “funk”) thriftstore realm they got demoted to. The more vintage-y, the more loud, unique, or crazy wild old school the better. In particular I’m kind of crazy geeky for vintage- 60’s-70’s- bedsheets. Big bright screaming florals, funky flowers, loud stripes, and those colour palettes that scream out from their respective eras. They make perfect quilt backs! Swoon.... you won’t believe what I just found....

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What’s your favorite find in your collection to date? It’s hard to say which is my favorite from my collection so far, but one piece particularly stands out, that one right over there to the left. Yup! For real vintage Marimekko from 1971. I KNOW RIGHT! If you’re a fabrichead like me you know this is a total rare score. I found it shoved inside a bag inside a dirty old shelving bin thingy, way at the back. It was all scrunched up inside a ratty old shopping bag, and I saw the bright yellow and turquoise gleaming in all of it’s 1971 vintage-y goodness and had to investigate. GASP! What the what! I think I might have even yelled to my hubby , “Vintage Marimekko!!” and he was all like “vintage what?”.... I think I might have kind of blacked out after that. No, not really. But you know the feeling right? There were three other chunks of the same inside the bag, even better, one piece is complete with selvedge, Marimekko name, and date! ALL MINE! I think I only paid a couple of dollars for it. Total thrift SCORE! The question is, do I cut into it and make something with it, or just keep it intact and admire it for now? Now does anyone have a cure for that well-known, sometimes overwhelming “thriftstore funk”? I’d love to hear if you do, as sometimes, “Peee- yooooo”!

Above: A retro Hawaiian skirt panel thrift find. Below: A very vintage piece of handmade trim from my great-great gran’s stash.

So, if you need me, you’ll find me digging in the linens racks, scouring the kitchenware shelves, hanging around the books department, and peeking around every dark little corner for the next “find”. Pure bliss. quarter 2 | 2013-14



dale anne potter 220

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I instill



in everything I do!

website + BLOG

Dale Anne Potter

lives in

Morse, Saskatchewan, Canada,

is a mixed-media, artist,


teacher, coach, and speaker,


and she loves sharing her

positivity worldwide!

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CTION U D I N T R O I believe I have been an Artist all my life and it wasn’t until a life change in 2001, that I believed it. I started quilting back in 1984, when our daughter told us we’d be grandparents for the first time. I was a diehard hand pieced, and hand quilted person until I was working full-time in the High Arctic and wanted to finish more quilts, so took up machine quilting. I slowly worked from traditional quilt making into Art Quilts, which found me using Altered Art, stamping, surface design, etc to where I am today. I call myself a Textile Mixed Media Artist because I start with fabric and then anything else is fair game. 222

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In my own growth of living a Positive lifestyle, I have been asked to do more workshops & programs with art as the core of those teachings and that is how Positively Creative Journaling and my Community came about. I live and breathe POSITIVITY and started being asked to mentor clients, then coach. I firmly believe it is my Life work, to be an example for living a Positively Creative life and helping others ENJOY the same through my teachings and coaching.

What is your background, as in is this your lifelong career or have you done different things before this? I worked full-time as an Accounting Manager, and Office Manager for Southland Corporation (7-Eleven) for many years. I was a General Manager for Taluq Designs Lts. in the High Arctic. Red Barn Inc. Owner/Manager CEO and Founder of Dale Anne Potter I believe I am where I am supposed to be! Being an Artist, Teacher, Coach, Speaker who ENJOYS Spreading Positive Creativity worldwide. Do you have formal training or are you self taught or a combination? I have taken workshops and programs online for Law of Attraction, Coaching and Art Business.

favorite quote...


Being a cancer warrior, I live by this:

ove your life! Every second is a treasure, which turns into wonderful minutes, then AWESOME hours!

favorite career achievement... My favourite achievement is 2 solo shows and a book that will be published before the end of the year: My Creative Road Map, a Path to True Happiness.


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What is your favorite subject matter or theme and why? In my artwork, I tend to lean towards the Prairie landscape of where I have lived most of my life and trees. Trees have always shown me their strength - no matter how thin their trunks, they stand tall in the wind, rain, snow, etc. and your least favorite? My least favourite....hmmmm. I would have to say Political. I have my own political views and refuse to be influenced by the media or others so tend to stay away from it all.

inspiration I am inspired by the world around me. Everyday its changing and I see new colours, feel new feelings, etc. Nothing stands still, its ever growing like the people around us. I am partial to trees and all that they show or tell me. The strength, the colours, the shapes.

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under the silvery moon


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Where do you work from, tell us about your workspaces and places... I work from my home for now. I have turned one of the bedrooms (12 x 12 ft) in our storey and half house into my studio. I have plans and a lot for my future studio and hope to have it completed within the next year. My studio is packed with many years of supplies that inspire me everyday to create. What is your go-to, always reliable media or tool?

my favorite tools I LOVE everything in my studio, but I can safely say that I tend to lean towards hand-dyed fabrics, Derwent Inktense pencils and acrylic paints. From time to time, I ask myself if I was on an island and had only 3 supplies what would they be....I say: fabric, needle and pencil

My Janome 6500 sewing machine. Do you have any favorite vintage tools or supplies? I LOVE vintage potato mashers for my soy wax batik surface design elements and in my art journaling, I LOVE using vintage plastic doilies. I enjoy finding both at the thrift stores.

Do you need to spend a lot of money on your tools of your trade and upgrading? No - I grew up creating with what I have on hand and still to this day LOVE a good thrift store. I would only upgrade to a larger studio which I am hoping to have finished in 2014.

Did you ever have any major oops crazy mishaps or things going crazily wrong while working on a project? YES, and I am always reminded of a quote by Thomas A. Edison: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” As artists, we learn from each of OOPS and that is sometimes how new techniques or methods are created. Its all good! If you’re having a bad day, a project isn’t going your way, or everything just sucks, what do you do to turn things around? If I am stumped or unable to break through a design element, I will leave the project and go to my Art Journal. Playing with paint and paper always gets me back into a positive mindset to carry on with a project.


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What is your work schedule like? My daily schedule is different everyday as I try to be adaptable to an aging parent and husband but usually I am in my studio working from 9 to 5 pm. My coaching calls are Tuesday and Thursday afternoons and I try to leave my Art Business on weekends, so I can just play or create for me. Do you sell your work? If so, where? Do you have any tips on pricing your work? YES, I do sell my work - from my website and in person. I occasionally will do an art show/sale. My pricing tip is never undersell a gallery or store that carries your work.

I am a cancer warrior (15 yrs).

I LOVE watching the Olympics!

Do you listen to music while you work? What is your favorite music to work to? For any sewing/quilting, I usually have nothing on but when I art journal or work on mixed media projects, I will listen to podcasts or Johnny Reid.

I play Sudoku.

What’s the most unusual thing you’ve ever made or created? I made a art quilt using plastic grocery bags as the main design element. That was in 2007 and started me using more recycled materials.

my favorites...

etc... For books, I read mostly: Positivity, Mindset, and Business.

Do you have any hobbies that are really different from what you do your creative work? Genealogy and watching Hockey, CFL, and Olympics.

I’m a gluten-free person, and like to know what is in my food, so we create our meals at home. I like positive type of music (Johnny Reid), nothing sad, heartbreak, etc. I enjoy visiting numerous artists websites - too numerous to mention, but many tend to be Mixed Media.

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Coloured Trash Do you do what you do full time, part time, or as a hobby?

What do you do to keep work, creative juices, and money flowing?


I work on my Art Business everyday (even though I say weekends are my create & play time, I still will be writing down ideas for future workshops, programs or artwork). I try to develop a new workshop or program to teach online every month so that helps with the cash flow.

how do you balance life/work/play/ down time? I used to be very rigid with my studio time but with an aging parent and husband, I will be happy with the studio time I get. My own personal studio time to create or play is usually on Saturdays. After 5 pm, is when I try to stay away from my studio to be with Brian, my husband or my Mom. 230

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Have you won any awards or special prizes/ mentions for your work? I have been published in and on the cover of A Needle Pulling Threads magazine. Do you donate to charity or work with any charities or community organizations through your creative work? I presently donate my time to the SW District for Culture, Recreation and Sport Inc. as a board member. Have in the past been a board member for Saskatchewan Craft Council. I will donate a workshop, program or a coaching hour but avoid artwork as it will never be auctioned or valued at what I sell it for.

I would say, once you find your passion, there is JOY in your life everyday.

Do you have an inspiration or mood board? I have a bulletin board in my studio that holds little snippets of things I have found in magazines or artwork that someone has sent, or just a piece of fabric or art journaling paper that inspires me. I, also, have a photo of my sister, MaryLou, who passed away in 1999 as she inspires me to BE MORE everyday! Where do you find inspiration? I am inspired by the world around me. Everyday its changing and I see new colours, feel new feelings, etc. Nothing stands still, its ever growing like the people around us. I am partial to trees and all that they show or tell me. The strength, the colours, the shapes, etc.


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When you begin a project, what is generally your creative process? I will start by doing a rough sketch in one of my sketchbooks. I will think of the supplies I have on hand, locate them, and place them onto one of my tables. I seem to let them sit altogether for awhile before diving in and cutting or sewing. Once, I have the picture in my mind with the supplies laying on the table, I will then cut and sew. For me, the thinking time seems to take longer than the actual sewing and quilting part. How do you know when a project is finished? I will pin the artwork onto my design wall (a white flannel sheet hanging on one of my studio walls) and let it be for awhile. It will tell me whether its done or needs more. I will sometimes drop a project I am working on, to add the final touch to another piece.

What does the future hold for you and your work- where do you see yourself in a few years? I would like to have my studio functional for in house workshops and I would like to have regular Spring and Fall retreats for Women, empowering them through mixed media art and positive mindset work. I would like to teach in person worldwide. I would like to speak more once my book is published.

Do you have any current projects or future plans you’d like to share? I am working on the final chapters of my book: My Creative Road Map, a Path to True Happiness. I am working on plans for 2 Women’s Empowerment Retreats for 2014 and the “Your 52” program which will start January 1st, 2014.

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Call for features Our next issue is Quarter 3, February/March/April 2014, to be released online mid-February 2014. We are already planning and filling up our next issue and are opening the call to creative people everywhere to share what you do with our readers. We feature creative people who make or do unique things in their field or media. Would you like to be included? Know somebody who should be featured and want to put them in touch? Drop us a line and briefly tell us your story... give us your elevator pitch! We want to know what you do and how you do that thing you do so well. We’ll get back to you as soon as we can and set you up with all the relevant information. Serious inquiries only please. We reserve the right to decline any inquiry and/or content that doesn’t fit the spirit our publication. 234

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ADVERTISE WITH Our next issue is Quarter 3- February/March/April 2014 with Release date mid-February 2014 Made In Magazine is an online magazine targetting creative people and those who love them. Since we’re fresh on the scene, we’re offering super low introductory ad rates for our next issue, Quarter 3 February/March/April 2014, going live online mid-February 2014. Don’t miss your chance to advertise to an enthusiastic and creative audience who love unique products and services, who buy supplies and tools of all kinds to use in their work, and who love to support fellow creative shops and services! Drop us a line to find out more and get in on our next issue for the important Holiday advertising season! We reserve the right to decline any advertiser and/or ad artwork that doesn’t fit with the spirit of our publication.

Special introductory Ad rates are online now!

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quarter 3 Next Issue release:


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February 2014

Made In Mag, Quarter 2 Issue, Nov/Dec/Jan 2013-14  
Made In Mag, Quarter 2 Issue, Nov/Dec/Jan 2013-14  

Made In Magazine is for creative people of all kinds!