Page 1



ibutors r t n o c d e r featu corcoran

denise sharp l i n da j ona s

sean colohan • jennifer aldinger angerame • leanna maksymiuk • judy baldwin • lisa davenport diana thompson • fine cell work • patty from dedalos • nell burns • david camisa • kristen amicone + meagan knepp





featuring 10 32 42 52 64 78 98 116 132 136 156 172 184


Sean colohan Jennifer Aldinger Angerame Leanna Maksymiuk Judy Baldwin Lisa davenport Diana Thompson Fine cell work Patty from Dedalos Denise corcoran- Project tutorial! Nell burns Jonas- What’s in Your Collection? Kristen Amicone + Meagan KNepp Linda Sharp- article- making time for art

Cover art by green couch designs quarter 4 | 2014


Thrifty by Design Join TBD for one or both of my upcoming upcycling workshops at Vancouver Mini Maker Faire 2014. Maker Faire ( is a collaborative and community-driven event for sharing ideas, learning from others and celebrating the act of making. Wood Pallet Organizer: June 8th from 2:15pm–3pm Jewelry Out of Junk: June 8th from 4:30pm–5:30pm Look for more workshops, events & crafty happenings at




hello there! a note from the team...

persevere. This word has been really working me over the past while. It carries a big punch. I had started off on a spiel about being authentic and marching to your own drum, doing your own thing, not copying or emulating anyone else, and on and on, but dang, that’s been way over done lately so this is it.

I have a funny story to tell you about this word, “persevere”, it comes from my college days back in the ‘90’s. A friend of mine, a very talented painter and artist and all around free spirited creative soul in every way, often had these crazy things happen to her. It was like mischief always found her but somehow she always made the best of things and came out shining no matter what happened. One day we were in class and the instructors were giving us the “talk” about going out into the real world to find a job as new grads in our chosen field of graphic design. “Persevere!” they all said, “It’s tough out there, just keep going and keep trying ‘til you get your foot in the door and get a job somewhere and do your best at it,” and all that pep talk kind of stuff. My friend took the word “persevere” to heart and it really became her word when she proclaimed that everyone should “Preservere!” Since then, it’s always spoken to me with that funny mis-spelled love, like even though it’s not right? Keep at it and always preservere! With this word, I find motivation to keep going. And saying it the wrong way makes me laugh in the face of things that might not be going my way. Just preservere, haha!

So that said, people, making a magazine in it’s entirety all by myself is haaaaard, yo! It’s a labour of love and passion and a drive to make something bigger and magical, play with design ideas and concepts, and all the while have fun at it. And sometimes it’s super tempting to pack it all in, when my regular client work is piling up and my art and sewing hasn’t been touched in ages and I haven’t designed or submitted any new fabric designs, or worked on my still-secret-to-me projects, or I just really need some downtime. As I write this, I’m on my third, -or is it fourth, I have lost track- straight weekend of working straight through with no breaks. Things can change, it’s usually feast or famine, right now I’m feeling kind of like a Thanksgiving turkey dinner, stuffed to the brim. So going forward, who knows what might happen. But for now, I will preservere in good faith that MadeIn is still inspiring you to check it out each issue, share, and join us in learning about all of the amazing peeps in each issue. I don’t know about you but I get teary from some of the amazing words and stories that are shared. Very inspiring and “preservere-worthy”. In this issue you’ll find some kindred and authentic souls, working their creativity in the ways they have discovered are true to them and their own ways of working, and work. They are doing what they love, finding new ways of doing things, and bringing their unique views to their chosen craft. Go check it out, and discover some pretty amazing people. Always humbled and in awe,

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Whatever your passion, we have the tools.



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

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 Dick Blick Art Supplies Sew Sisters Dick Blick Art Supplies Love Kitty Pink Peecho Stylegarage Patty from Dedalos The Art of Oronde Kairi

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

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

Denise Corcoran, page 132 Linda Sharp, page 184 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! Sean Colohan Jennifer Aldinger Angerame Leanna Maksymiuk Judy Baldwin Lisa Davenport Diana Thompson Fine Cell Work Patty from Dedalos Nell Burns Jonas David Camisa Kristen Amicone & Meagan Knepp quarter 4 | 2014


Bring your art to the world's living rooms.

With Peecho, your website visitors can order your digital artwork as beautiful wall decoration. We take care of everything: checkout, production, delivery and customer service. You proďŹ t.





just by getting out there and doing it. Sean Colohan is an

inspired Vancouver, BC-based interior and furniture designer, with a wicked sense of style, humour, and passion for design who manages the Vancouver location of Stylegarage, an innovative Canadian modern furniture and design company.


I am mostly self taught via the school of life. I have learned about all kinds of areas of interior design,

website: @stylegarage

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ION T C DU O R T I N Stylegarage was started by two of my good friends, David Podsiadlo and Amanda Schuler. David is an industrial designer and the creator of most of the designs of our furniture. The original shop was opened on Queen Street West in Toronto as a place to sell Dave’s furniture designs. The business has since grown to include a full line of madeto-order furniture such as upholstered goods, case goods, tables, office and bedroom furniture. We have also started a brand of furniture, called Gus* Modern, that we sell from both of our Stylegarage stores. The Gus* Modern line is a quick ship line of furniture that is readily available to our customers. The Gus* line has grown over the years and can now be found in over 200 shops throughout North America. 12

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I started out with Stylegarage in 2011, as I was hired to open up and be the manager of the Vancouver Shop. I have worked in various elements of interior design for the past 23 years. I have spent my early years working for Benjamin Moore, which is where I got my introduction into the world of interior design. I have also spent many years working as a painter, builder, faux finisher and colour consultant. All of which has given me experience that has helped my transition into the world of furniture design.

Do you have formal training, are you self taught, or a combination? I am mostly self taught via the school of life. My years working for Benjamin Moore had taught me much about colour and colour theory. That lead to me becoming very interested in using paints, plasters and metallics to create textures, layers and artistic effects. From there, I have learned about all kinds of areas of interior design, just by getting out there and doing it. I will always be involved in interior design in some capacity, as that is something that I am very passionate about.


favorite quote...

F YOU DO WHAT YOU HAVE ALWAYS DONE, you will get what you have always got.

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What is your favorite subject matter or theme? These days my favorite subject matter is materials, particularly using woods such as walnut or rift cut oak or metals such as brushed stainless steel or hot rolled steel to come up with new ideas for modern furniture design.

favorite career achievement... One of my favorite achievements is when I was hired by the owners of Barcelona Night Club in Vancouver. They had imported this beautiful and complex hand painted wallpaper from Turkey to hang in the club, but they underestimated the volume that they would need and ran short, about a week before the club was scheduled to open for business. This left them with a highly visible portion of the club that would not have wallpaper, and they did not have time to import more of the paper. This left them in a tight spot as it was a crucial detail to the integrity of the design of the club. Their solution was to hire me to come in and figure out how the wallpaper was painted and to replicate it on their remaining walls. I worked very long hours for a solid week before the club opened up to make it happen, and in the end I was able to hand paint my own version of the Turkish wallpaper in such a way that most people would not notice what I even did. It is still there to this day, my signature adorns the walls in Barcelona where I did that painting.

inspiration Our furniture is inspired by classic mid-century design, mixed with elements of ‘Canadiana’; it also has some cabin chic undertones in some of our designs. We love mixing raw elements of design with slick polished ones, such as using raw industrial steel paired with classic materials such as Carrara marble.


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Where do you work from? Tell us about your work places and spaces... Our Vancouver showroom is in Gastown, at 124 West Hastings Street. It is about 3000 square feet and full of our furniture. We use that space as a studio where people can come to see and experience our furniture. That is where we will meet with people to discuss ideas and concepts about any furniture that we might build for them. We have samples of materials on hand that people can look through to help them make decisions about how their furniture will end up looking. We also have warehouse space where we prepare, store and ship our furniture from, as well as workshops where we do the actual building. We have woodworkers, upholsters, metal people, and stone people who all help contribute to the building of our furniture. Our made-to-order work is sold through our two stores - Stylegarage Vancouver and Stylegarage Toronto. We also ship our furniture all over the world, for those who are not in either Vancouver or Toronto. The brand that has grown out of our store, Gus* Modern, is now available in over 200 furniture shops throughout North America. The pricing of our Canadian-built, made-to-order furniture is done on a quotation basis, as the pricing will depend on details such as sizes and materials that the client would like. quarter 4 | 2014


our favorite tools We love to use materials such as concrete, marble, brushed stainless steel, as well as woods such as Walnut, Oak and Fir in our furniture designs. We love our sofas to have a very sexy ‘tailored look’, and we are not shy about using details such as tufting and piping in order to help reinforce that look.

Do you have any favorite vintage tools or supplies? We recently sourced original 1950’s Volkswagen interior upholstery from Holland that we used to cover one of our custom chairs to create a very unique and one of a kind rocking chair. We called it the GTI Rocker.

What is your go-to, always reliable creating media or tool? Sketching! We do lots and lots of sketching in order to try to come up with and communicate ideas. Before we go ahead and build any new furniture, we must sit down and work out the details in sketch form in order to assure that our clients and builders are on the same page. Sketching also helps us anticipate any potential issues with our designs before we go and build them. When you begin a project, what is generally your creative process? When we are coming up with made-to-order furniture designs for our clients we start by having a meeting with the client to discuss their needs as well as to review the space that the furniture will be going. Once we discuss ideas then we work to create sketches that we use to gain a more clear vision of the final look. Once everyone is happy with the details as outlined in the sketches, then we get going on building! How do you know when a project is finished? Most of our furniture has a very clear finished point. We know when a sofa is properly built, or if we are happy with the way a particular table looks. It is not like an art piece, in most cases, where there is no defined finish point.

Did you ever have any major oops crazy mishaps or things going crazily wrong while working on a project? We ship our furniture all over the place, and that can cause many different mishaps. We have had furniture arrive to its destination with cracked marble or broken glass. Sometimes pieces arrive with snapped legs. Usually things arrive in one piece, but when they don’t, then we need to go about getting things fixed or replaced. 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 things feel like they are not working out or things feel down, then it is always a good idea to take a moment to put things into perspective and realize that we are fortunate to be able to do what we do and to step back, take a moment, and get back to enjoying the creative process and understand that things are not usually that bad.


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Describe a typical work day for you... I usually get into the shop around 10am every morning. Answer emails and messages and then deal with whatever the day brings. I am often not leaving the shop until after 7pm most nights. I like to keep active when I am not working. I love to play tennis. I also have spent the last two years playing in the BC touch football league. I am an avid motorcyclist and enjoy nothing better than a ride on a warm summer night. how do you balance life/work/play/ down time? I do my best to try to leave work at work. I like to try to exercise in the mornings, before I go to work, and I find that helps to give me energy and focus on the days tasks. I enjoy cooking in the evenings most nights. quarter 4 | 2014


What do you do to keep work and creative juices flowing? Always look for inspiration in my surroundings. I love listening to stand up comedy, and I find that to be very inspirational towards being creative. Do you have any hobbies or interests that are really different from your creative work? I’m a very calm and relaxed person, but I really enjoy fight training! I have spent the last 5 years learning boxing as well as jujitsu. I train every Wednesday night in a garage in Kits. It’s kinda similar to fight club.

If you were stranded on a deserted island and could only bring three things, what would you bring? A big boat to get off the island.... is that cheating??!!

my favorites...


I love all animals, but particularly parrots. I have 3 parrots at home and I volunteer 2 days a month at the local exotic bird sanctuary. I have spent the last 5 years learning to box (boxing) and I do it regularly. I have gotten good at it! I have learned to like the taste of many more foods than I liked when I was younger - such as most fish. I used to hate fish, now I can eat it.

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

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

Before I was working at Stylegarage, I did lots of specialty painting, and that is when I created some very unusual things. For instance, I spent a couple of weeks working the graveyard shift at SalaThai Restaurant on Burrard Street in Vancouver where I was painting all their bathroom stalls to make them appear to be made out of bamboo. These were standard high school bathroom style metal stall dividers that I painted to look like they were made from solid wood. Not many people could tell they were painted that way when they were finished.

We play music at the shop all the time! These days we stream it from Songza. Usually something chill. We love listening to the stations that are labeled ‘Indie’. For guilty pleasure we love streaming one hit wonders from the 90’s

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FAVES: I have gotten a reputation for liking all things chicken. I would have to say that is a fair reputation. We are talking food dishes here. Nothing beats a good bbq!

One of the best tricks I know in life is to listen.

Listen better and listen more. That really helps to gain other perspectives. Nothing is more important than perspective. Also, be very careful to manage people’s expectations. If you say you are going to make something happen, then you damn well better do it.

Integrity is key.

Do you donate to charity or work with any charities or community organizations through your work? Stylegarage held a gala event this past year in our shop, where we had a silent auction that raised funds for a local charity: A better Life Foundation. We auctioned off limited edition prints of famous neon signs of Vancouver. We have also hosted events with Big Sisters, in our shop, as fund-raisers.

Where do you find inspiration? Stylegarage seeks inspiration in classic mid-century design. We love to evoke the feeling of that era. We also find inspiration in Canadiana things, as much of our furniture is said to feel ‘very Canadian’. We love to use wood and materials that are native to Canada as well, such as Douglas Fir or Ontario Walnut.


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What does the future hold for StyleGarage and where do you see yourself in a few years? We are working hard to build up the name and reputation of StyleGarage out here in British Columbia. Hopefully in a couple of years it will be a recognized name in furniture for most people out here. Our made to order furniture takes 8-10 weeks to produce. All of it is Canadian made. We also carry our in-house brand called Gus* Modern. Gus* is available for quick-ship as we stock it already to go in our warehouse and ship it when ordered. Please come on down to our lovely showroom in Gastown anytime and check out our made-to-order furniture!






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jennifer aldinger



I have been


sewing all my life Based in Wilton, Connecticut, USA, Jennifer Aldinger



Angerame creates unique and beautifully made children’s

clothing and handmade wares


adding touches of kinder, gentler days and cherished memories to modern day treasures. quarter 4 | 2014


ION T C DU O R T I N It all started years and years ago. My grandmother, Inez, learned to sew at a very young age. She then taught my mom, Nancy, when she was little. And then when I was about 10 or so, my mom taught me! Over the years, I have had many, many “businesses”. I had my own clothing line, which I “sold” to my friends, a jewelry line “Junk to Jewels by Jen” clever right?? A nail salon out of my dorm room at Texas Tech (actually this one was profitable!) I was a Fashion Design student, so I could put my sewing and creative talents to work.

So after graduation, I moved to NYC. It was Christmas of 1998 that this latest business took off! I had recently married (the Yankee), and wanted to do something fun and cute as our “first Christmas card.” The response to my card was overwhelming and a coworker even urged me to sell them! A friend (a fellow ZTA alum) was opening a stationery store in New York City, and agreed to let me use her as my “test market.” And so I kept busy creating new and exciting handmade cards. And I haven’t stopped since! The rest is history.


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You know what the problem is with owning your own company? You have to name it. My mom asked “what best describes you?” Well, I was born and raised in Dallas, Texas and married a Yankee. So it was then and there... Southernyankee was born. Today I keep busy with all my new projects (in between school buses, homework, sports and snacks). Creating all sorts of things, like finding a new way to bring life to your grandmother’s handkerchief or doily.

How did you get started in your field and what’s your background? I started at Perry Ellis Menswear in NYC, but had also started a handmade greeting card business on the side. Once our children were born, I started working with vintage linens.. I have been sewing my whole life, and received my bachelor of science in fashion design from Texas Tech University in Lubbock, TX. I always knew I wanted to be able to stay home but also be able to continue to be creative... and this has been the perfect balance.

favorite quote...


AY your bobbin always be half full.

Where do you work from? Tell us about your work spaces and places... World Headquarters is what I like to call my studio. It is a my own space in the basement of our home. What is your work schedule like, tell us about a typical work day for you... Once I get the kids off to school, I write for the local blog I run, then try to get a few hours of sewing or book keeping done... and if I am lucky , yoga. I try to get all my sewing finished before 2 pm, that is when my kids start getting home from school.

my favorite tools I love the vintage hankies I use in my pieces the most! Each and everyone is so different from the next, and all so feminine!

Do you need to spend a lot of money on your tools of your trade and upgrading? No, they are not expensive, I just have to spend “time” to hunt them down at garage sales, flea markets, etc.

Do you have any favorite vintage tools or supplies?

Did you ever have any major oops crazy mishaps or things going crazily wrong while working on a project? One time my embroidery machine kept “eating” the fabric on one specific project... SO FRUSTRATING!!! So I just had to turn it off and try again the next day, and it worked. 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 leave... if one of my machines is acting up and I have had to use the seam ripper more than once.. I figure it is time to step away! There is always tomorrow!

LOVE the vintage buttons... quarter 4 | 2014


favorite career moments... I love when I see little girls running around in one of my creations... it is the cherry on top of what I do!

Just keep trying! You will fail,

What’s the most unusual thing you’ve ever made or created? I didn’t make it - but I have been asked to make clothing for dogs!

but just keep doing what you love!

What helps you to keep work and creative juices flowing? Music, Facebook, visit antique stores. If you were stranded on a deserted island and could only bring three things, what would you bring?

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

My family (counts as one) Music Cheese/wine

All the time! this year in celebration of my 15th anniversary I am donation 15% to a different charity each month. But anytime a school, church or organization asks for a donation, I always say yes.

Do you listen to music while you work? What is your favorite music to work to? What’s on your ipod/iphone?

my favorites...

I listen to Pandora - either Pitbull radio or Brad Paisley... depends on my mood! FAVES Music: Brad Paisley Food: Mexican

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Where do you find inspiration?

Where do you sell your work?


I stared selling at local craft shows, then have built my website to get a broader reach. I wholesale to some great retail stores as well. That has been great for business.

When you begin a project, what is generally your creative process? I lay it out on my work table... then start cutting! I usually don’t hold back when i have a new idea! How do you know when a project is finished? When it has a tag sewn in and a hangtag on it!

Do you have any current projects or future plans you’d like to share? I would love to be coast to coast.. but still manage to make it all myself! I would also love to come up with more ideas for colder weather... stay tuned!


Leanna Maksymiuk is the founder and creator of The Awesome Advocates, a grassroots advocacy and awareness movement to help kids celebrate that their them AWESOME! Read on to find out more about the amazing community she


differences are what makes



has single-handedly started to help kids be as awesome

as they can be!

@ leannamaksymiuk @leannamaksymiuk

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photo by Sarah Sovereign Photography

CTION U D I N T R O What is your background and what do you do? Hmm... Where should I start?! My background is all over the place really. I love learning and take classes and courses that interest me. I have actual training in everything from Veterinary Assisting, basket weaving, phlebotomy (taking blood) to bee keeping! I love doing crafty creative type things, If i can make it, I usually do. Lets just call it what my Mom calls it... I’m a dabbler! Right now I am a stay-at-home mom for my girls. I do a lot of running around during the day when my eldest daughter Poppy is at school. Ola, my younger daughter has Down Syndrome so during the week we go to her therapy appointments. She is my right hand girl and does pretty much everything with me right now.

So let me tell you about The Awesome Advocates! The Awesome Advocates is a grassroots advocacy and awareness movement to help kids celebrate that their differences are what makes them AWESOME!  It was officially launched on my blog and on our Facebook page on March 21st of this year. I chose to launch on this day because March 21st is World Down syndrome Day. Down syndrome is caused by the triplicated 21st chromosome (hence using March the third month, the 21st day is the 21st chromosome.) That day is really important to my family because of Ola’s Down syndrome diagnosis. The original idea for the Awesome Advocates came about a month earlier when I had this conversation with my six year old named Poppy.


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(An excerpt from my blog Poot & Boogie) “Mom? Why are those boys laughing at Ola?” “Which boys?” I said casually looking over my shoulder. I couldn’t see any boys. “They are gone already.” “Hmm” I said. “I don’t know? Was she pulling a funny face?” “No she wasn’t! She was just sitting there! I don’t like that!” Sigh... Of course they were no where to be seen when I turned around. “Okay, Okay, let’s go, time to go.... ” I ushered her on to the ice and made my way to the stands. I sat down with Ola and sent out this status update on facebook. “That heartbreaking moment where Poppy says “Mom... Why were those boys pointing and laughing at Ola?

Immediately I started getting responses from friends, some of whom have kids with special needs. “That’s awful!” they said, “How horrible, sorry that happened to you guys.” I walked back onto the change room to help her get her skates off, and without missing a beat she brought it up again.  As we walked to the car I knew I had to say something to her, I had to give her an explanation. I got the kids buckled, and buckled myself in and started the car. “Mom I am just so mad. I am mad at those boys.” I turned off the engine, and turned to face her.

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I had an hour to think about what I could say to her, this is what I said: “Poppy, you know how you have Ola? And friends like B and C, and J? (these are children at her school) They all have special needs of some type. You are lucky that you have them. Having them in your life has made you and is making you a compassionate, caring, understanding and loving girl. I feel sorry for those little boys because they probably don’t have anyone in their life that has Down syndrome, or another special need. They don’t know that laughing and pointing at someone because they look or sound different hurts both that person and the people that love them.” I told her that she was given a voice for a reason and that she was extra special because she is someone called An Advocate. I told her Advocates stand up for people that maybe can’t speak for themselves, and that Advocates know that people with special needs are just like everyone else, and that they can achieve great things. I could see something in her face change. An Advocate. I could see the wheels turning. She went down a list of names in our family: “Are you An Advocate Mom? Is Dad? Uncle Bradley? Auntie Sarah? Nana? Grandpa?” I replied yes, that we all were and I choked back the tears. I told her she was allowed to talk to the boys if she saw them again. She was allowed to tell them who Ola was, and if they were making fun of her again that she could tell them that what they were doing was hurting her feelings and that they should stop. “I am allowed to talk to them about it?” “Yes, absolutely, as long as you are kind and don’t yell.” I said. I told her I loved her, and that I was proud of her, and she was content with her new found title. The Advocate.


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photo by Jag Nagra When I started talking to my husband and my Mom about what had happened, it dawned on me that if Poppy didn’t know what being an advocate was that there was little hope that the other kids around her knew what it was either. I knew that there had to be something that I could do to help fix that. I wanted the idea of The Awesome Advocates to be simple for kids to understand, and be a tangible thing that they could put their hands on and be recognized for being an advocate for themselves or another child.

I decided that I wanted a card with basic conversation starting ideas, and fun characters that the kids could relate to. (Poppy and Ola are the two characters on the left!) Attached to the card would be a pin that they could attach to their backpack or jacket to show that they had done something to stand out and make a difference.

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photo by Sarah Sovereign Photography What do you find most enjoyable, empowering, and/or exciting about sharing and teaching people about The Awesome Advocates?

Have you had any challenges along the way? I always have a bit of hesitation when I want to share something new. I always think in the beginning stages of projects that I have the BEST idea in the world, but when it comes down to the reveal I have to admit I get a little nervous. Having your idea rejected is the worst, but I tried to learn from previous mistakes. You just have to have faith that others will like what you are bringing to the table.

I recently did a presentation in Poppy’s class about The Awesome Advocates, and seeing the kids talk about what things make them Awesome was pretty great. It varied from sports, to hobbies, to being a good friend, to speaking two languages. They had so much pride and enthusiasm, it’s a bit contagious really! I am pretty nervous speaking in front of people, so In this case, The Awesome Advocates has been so well these kids are really helping to break me out of my shell, received that I am nothing short of thrilled each time and for that I am grateful! we get a “like” on our Facebook page! Every time I get a message of support from a mother or a teacher, I know that this idea has potential! One of the most exciting things so far was watching our Facebook “like” number climb! I was glued to the computer screen that first day, and watching it hit 50, Another challenge has been deciding what the next step then 100, then 130 that night was pretty great! is. I would really love for this to be in school as teaching Two of my friends helped with the project. Jag did the curriculum, so that is something that I will be delving amazing graphic design work, and Bethany made the into over the next few months. I don’t know any details pins, so I was texting and emailing back and forth with about how to even make that happen, but the fact that them all day too! it is happening is really exciting! 48

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Do you have any advice to give to kids and/or parents who might be struggling with similar issues that inspired you to start the Awesome Advocates? It’s so hard to know what to say isn’t it? When your child is looking at you for answers and you don’t know what the right answer is. Poppy has pulled a few doozies on me, but this was by far the hardest. I think that you just have to talk it out, and it’s OK to take a minute to figure out what the right thing to say is. I think that it is really important to teach our kids from a young age that being different is OK. We need to instill in them that our differences is what makes us Awesome! Letting our kids know that they have a voice to stand up for themselves and for others in a polite and positive way at a young age can carry your kids through difficult times on the playground. Let me give you an example: My daughter Poppy was having trouble at school with a boy who had on a few occasions had made fun of her. One time he called her “Poopy Poppy” ( was bound to happen), another time he told her that her drawings were bad and laughed at them. The last time he teased her it was about

her having a pixie haircut (really short hair.) He told her that she looked like a boy, and basically long story short she should give up on wearing skirts and pink things and just wear jeans and be a boy because she already looked like one. Through all the times that this boy was teasing her we were talking to her about not letting his words hurt her. That they are only words, that she is allowed to tell him to stop, that it’s hurting her feelings, and that if it didn’t stop that she would be allowed to talk to an adult at school. When I asked her after school on the day this last “just be a boy...” teasing happened I said “what did you say to him?” She said “Oh, I told him that I am allowed to wear pants but that I like dresses and that he can tell me that I look like a boy but I’m a girl and I can change my style all I want but that I will never change who I am.” Let me tell you, when your kid says that instead of bursting in to tears about a kid teasing her, it’s a pretty great day! She hasn’t had any problem with him since, and in fact, she is using her voice so much now that she just made it to the finals of her schools Oratory speech competition!

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Hey EVERYONE! We have a FREE PDF printable that you can share! Here is the link to download! Draw what makes you AWESOME! https://dl.dropboxusercontent. com/u/66445722/awesome_ advocates_draw.pdf

How do you stay inspired and motivated, where do you find inspiration? Staying motivated is really hard sometimes, I’m not going to lie. Some days are just hard. I am getting quite a few private messages on The Awesome Advocates Facebook page right now from parents (mostly moms) that are thanking me for coming up with this movement, so that’s an amazing feeling. It’s really nice to know that people are on the same page as me and that they are eager to share it with their kids teachers and schools. Those comments drive me to spread the word farther myself and help motivate me to write more about my families experiences. Watching Ola in her day to day journey really motivates me too. Her persistence and perseverance continually demonstrates what a little hard work can get you. Right now we are working on her ABC’s. Learning what they are, and how to say them is hard enough , but she is insistent in signing (American Sign Language) them as well. I find that when I am in need of a little bit of inspiration I put the technology away and I get out on my bike or go out for a walk. In the quiet of the wheels on the pavement I can get my thoughts together and take some deep breaths. I spend a lot of time on the computer after the kids go to sleep so during the day it’s nice to just switch off. I love inspirational stories about people/kids/animals overcoming adversity. The Huffington Post Good News is one of my favorite sources. It consistently makes my day!


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Do you have any more information or resources you’d like to share?

How can people find out more about you and The Awesome Advocates?

I have a small online shop set up where The Awesome Advocate cards and pins can be purchased  I have also set up a donation page here where we accept donations to help cover costs of cards, pins and stickers!

I would love if people would come over to the Facebook page theawesomeadvocates and see what’s happening over there. Every like and share brings awareness to the movement and helps start a conversation. There is always my blog too You can read all about our adventures, and the full Awesome Advocates story as well! If you are a visual person I share a lot of pictures and glimpses of my life on Instagram here.

I always like to share reliable links to resources on Down syndrome in case anyone is looking for more information. Here are a couple: The Down syndrome Research Foundation The Canadian Down syndrome Society

special thanks to... Page 84 Design My friend Jag Nagra that did the designs for The Awesome Advocates! The Orange Circle My friend Bethany Klassen that makes all the Awesome Advocate Pins! Sarah Sovereign Photography My Friend Sarah that took the Awesome Advocates photo for me.

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My passion for quilting and serving the public knows no bounds



Judy Baldwin, along with her sister Karen, owns and


operates Sew Sisters Quilt

Shop, a fresh and fabulous

@ Sew_Sisters

fabric store (both online and

bricks + mortar) in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, with a focus on excellent customer service and prices that can’t be beat!

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ION T C DU O R T I N In 2000, I made an “I spy� quilt for my son that required almost 500 different pieces of fabric. I had to do a lot of shopping, trading and searching to amass the collection and when it was finished, I had both a lovely quilt and a massive amount of leftovers! Figuring that other people making I Spy quilts would have the same problems I had finding enough fabric, I decided to sell packets of my leftover fabric online. The fabric square kits did very well, so much so that I began to think about continuing to make and sell them. I did so, and as the square packets became more popular, my sister joined me. Karen took over the shipping end of the business and soon we were able to expand the number of products we carried. 54

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After many successful sales, we realized that our hobby had grown into a business! We registered a name, got a tax number and hired someone to do our books - our Dad, a retired accountant. Local quilt shops became interested in our square packets so we started supplying them as well. Soon we started selling at local guild shows and larger craft shows such as the Creativ Festival. Each year we continued to dramatically expand our product line until eventually we outgrew our house.

Business Philosophy...

In September 2007, we opened a retail store at 3961 Chesswood Drive in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Our shop is loaded with fabric, notions, patterns and books that inspire quilters to create quilts to treasure. We are constantly growing and stretching to provide our customers with a larger selection, more projects and greater service. My passion for quilting and serving the public know no bounds and we aspire to provide the best customer service and the best prices possible in the market place!

Balance the business of the shop, (I take my responsibility to my customers, employees, and suppliers very seriously) with maintaining a fun, creative environment.

What do you find most enjoyable about your business? The greatest thing about owning a quilt shop is the people! Quilters are the friendliest, most creative, and all around most amazing people on earth.


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Where can we come shop with you? We are both a bricks and mortar store and an online store. In Toronto, you will find us at 3961 Chesswood Drive and online at

Tell us about a typical work day‌ I have a busy day but I love it! I get up, make lunches and breakfasts for my sons and make sure they are organized for a successful day at school. Then I get myself ready, drop them off and am at the store by 8:30. I always start the day by taking care of paperwork and then move on to managing the day to day business of the shop. What does a shop owner do? The list is endless: order fabric, design samples, dress the store, answer questions, talk to customers, schedule classes and events, plan for shows, search for ideas, plan kits, well you get the idea! Then it is back home for dinner, homework, long walk with our new dog Ollie and the hit the sack ready for another busy day tomorrow!

inspiration Inspiration comes from people and their endless creativity! I love seeing what people are doing and making and hearing the stories of their inspiration and ideas.

How can people find out more about you and sew sisters? At Sew Sisters we believe in making regular connections with our customers. There are many ways to stay in touch with us - first customers can sign up to receive our emails. Our email newsletters are sent a few times each month and give up to the minute news on classes, new products, sales, events and promotions. We have over 4000 fans on our Facebook page and that is a lively community for sharing quilts, tips, questions and information. On our blog we have tonnes of tutorials and regular updates on the goings-on in the store.

Our booth at Creativ Festival, Toronto

If you were stranded on a deserted island and could only bring three things, what would you bring? My iPhone, a solar powered battery charger, and a gizmo to make sure I could have a signal!

I am a Reality TV Junkie.

I love hot yoga.

I have been working on a 16,000 piece postage stamp quilt for 2.5 years (almost done)!

How do you balance life/work/play and downtime?

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

I limit work hours to 45 per week and when I am not at the shop I try to focus on family and friends. If I stay focused I can get everything that I need to do done and have time for fun!

At work I listen to classical music it helps to keep me focused. My iphone is another story - I have pretty quirky tastes in music - right now on shuffle I have The Pogues, Amy Winehouse, Warren Zevon, John Cougar...

If you’re having a bad day & everything just sucks, what do you do to turn it around? I’m a talker! If things are bad - I love to chat about it find the humour and move on.

Do you donate to charity through your business? Sew Sisters works closely with a variety of local charities. We are a drop off centre for Project Linus. Project Linus provides homemade blankets to children in need. We also work with Conkerr Cancer who provide cheerful pillowcases to children with life threatening illnesses. And we make and accept pillows for an animal shelter.

Have a great today - no matter what happens!


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;) w

we want to know... What is your favorite fabric collection at the moment and why? I am loving Eclectic Elements by Tim Holtz - it reminds me so much of my Dad!

How big is your own personal fabric stash? It is modest - I have a lot of 1930s reproductions but other than that I don’t stash!

Do you find time to sew outside of work and if so what’s your favorite thing(s) to sew or create?

Sew Sisters is committed to supporting and promoting Canadian quilters. We host an annual blog hop - Blogathon Canada - that turns the spotlight on Canadian quilting bloggers showcasing their tremendous talent, skill and passion for quilting.

I don’t have a tonne of time to sew outside of work but I have been working on a King Sized Postage stamp quilt for a couple of years. It has over 16,000 pieces and is nearly done! I love stitchery, 1930s repros and Modern Quilts!

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is where I shine!


designing way outside the box


Lisa Davenport is a

multi-talented designer based


in Durham, CT, USA. In this


issue we asked her to share

her love of upcycling fab finds

into beautiful one of a kind lisadavenportdesigns/__public

furniture... quarter 4 | 2014


ION T C DU O R T I N Designing fine interiors is the principle of my business. While I truly love that aspect of my career and the buzz it creates here in my Studio, there is another passion I’ve begun to cultivate: furniture design. Sometimes it’s typical furniture design, cabinets or upholstery made in traditional fashions, but other times ... its designing way outside the box!! And outside the box is where I shine!


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I love breathing life into old, tired items. Pieces of our history are with us each and every day. These fine elements have stories that can be retold or reinvented into furniture! I’m a bit of a picker. Half the fun of finding these elements to redesign is the ‘hunt’ itself. Truthfully, I’ve rarely set out on a mission with a specific piece of furniture in mind; I’d rather let the pieces speak to me.

When it comes to furniture design a good portion of my training has been the school of hard knocks! Of course I’ve had some instruction while a Paier School of Art studying design, but these unique reinventions I’m creating were hardly within the realm of typical instruction for furniture design!

I’ve had a crash course on many techniques and processes that would not normally be within the scope of my expertise. Never in a million years would I have expected that I would need to understand and navigate the waters of auto restoration or metal working! It has not only been wildly exciting, but also challenging. These fields are hardly overrun with women, so I’ve found myself not only learning the business but also working to earn the respect of these fine craftsmen. Home-baked cookies and muffins have certainly helped coax their recognition and approval.

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photo by Jen Schulten 68

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favorite career achievement... When it comes to my furniture design, I have many favorites. Far and away my most challenging and rewarding design to date has been The Zephyr Chair. (Pictured at left.) This chair is just beyond amazing, if I do say so myself. Designed to resonate the feelings of nostalgia created by the 1940’s, it is a conversation starter, to say the least. The driving element of this chair (no pun intended) is the hood from a 1941 Lincoln Zephyr. The 1940’s: when gentlemen tipped their hats to the ladies, when the women rarely wore pants, and when children played outside till the streetlights came on. A decade when our country was joining together to support our troops in WWII and show a united front here at home. With the needs of the war as a priority, this Lincoln Zephyr symbolized the last year of automobile production before the industry came to a halt to concentrate resources on the war effort. I find it very fitting that this chair is designed by a woman, representing a time where we ladies were referred to as “America’s Secret Weapon!” After all, it was the women who voluntarily mobilized to meet the needs of the US government and the country’s Industrial needs. Nice job, ladies! The upholstery I designed here is reminiscent of the upholstery found in an original ‘41 Zephyr, with of course my own little twist! The the hood has been completely restored and refinished with a classic black exterior and little divergence with the interior to match the upholstery! The finishing touch is the chrome: honestly, they just don’t build cars with these chrome details anymore! This particular chrome was sent away 1200 miles to be refurbished ... who would have thought that it would need to travel so far?! As I reflect back on this chair, I can’t help to think of it as a cool way to pave the road to our future ... by traveling down the road of yesteryear.

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photo by Jen Schulten 70

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inspiration For my furniture design, I’d have to say my inspiration comes from two sources: my husband, my Prince and 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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Where do you work from? Tell us about your workspaces and places... I do most of my designing in my Studio, but that’s not to say you can’t find me pulled over on the side of the road scribbling ideas on a Starbucks napkin! In all seriousness, the really hard thinking and planning happens in my Studio and occasionally over dinner with my Prince. For my furniture design where I’m working with elements, products, and craftsmen outside my traditional comfort zone, I tend to do research before I meet with them. I’m definitely in a male-dominated field with many of these craftsman; I’ve gotta have at least some idea what I’m looking for them to create! 72

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Describe a typical work day for you... There is never a typical work day .... that’s why I love what I do .... Although you can bet your life on one thing: there’s coffee in everyday and plenty of it! As it’s been said: “Behind every successful woman is a substantial amount of coffee.”

Do you sell your pieces? If so where? Currently, my furniture is sold and designed in my Studio. Commissioned pieces are created for clients upon their request. Next year we hope to have the furniture available through our website.

my favorite tools I’m totally a frustrated picker! So I’d have to say my favorite materials are odd ball gems, discarded items... just plain old stuff that once had a story that I can retell! I’m quite fond of automobile parts, and I can’t seem to get enough of anything industrial. I’ve designed tables with old cast legs from machines and lathes. I was once commissioned to create a unique bench for a client, and their only parameters apart from the size were to “find an inspiring set of legs” ... a petite set of sewing machine legs fit the bill. I have a cherry pitter next to my desk that will morph into a lamp soon ... and a gas pump I’m still waiting to speak to me .... So, in a nut shell, my favorite materials ... old stuff!

Do you need to spend a lot of money on your tools of your trade and upgrading? The initial investment for my upcycled furniture usually isn’t overly costly; sometimes it’s even free (insert happy dance!) The costs come in when my craftsmen start their work. I only work with highly skilled craftsmen, and with that comes a cost. But as Van Zant says: “If you’re gonna go, go all the way!” My clientele is middle-high end to high end, and my work needs to reflect that. Cutting corners is simply not an option. Pieces can become quite pricey, quite quickly, although the flip side is clients are purchasing more than just an upcycled piece of furniture. They are buying a true piece of art!

Do you donate to charity or work with any charities or community organizations through your creative work? Whenever I can, I try to give back. I believe that God gives us talents for a reason ... He expects us to cultivate those talents and then give back. Recently I had the opportunity to give back to the Red Cross. Earlier this month was their annual Red & White Ball in White Plains, NY, and I was fortunate to be able to contribute as a tablescape designer. For as long as any of us can remember, the American Red Cross, and its bold signature Red Cross on a White Ground, has been the symbol of hope, support, safety, and security. The American Red Cross rushes in when


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disaster hits. Amid the chaos, turmoil and disorder they rise, sometimes figuratively, and other times literally, from the ashes. They offer comfort, aide, and are a beacon of light in many a dark time. This year’s tablescape illustrated how the American Red Cross rises from the ashes giving hope, comfort, and security. I look forward to creating a new design for next year’s event! Additionally, I’ve volunteered building and rehabbing houses in Eastern Kentucky for 10 years, donated my design services to Durham Fair Association, Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, Coginchaug Valley Education Foundation, and many more.

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I own my own tool belt and can frame a house (well, with a little assistance). I’m married to Dr. Doolittle and honestly folks .... I’m Cruella De Vil. I only own two dogs to keep my Prince happy, it truly is a miracle we’ve made it a quarter of a century! I’m a patriot. I love my town, my state, and my country ... so much so, that I ran for State Senate in 2010. I saw a need for change and decided to go for it. Well, I didn’t secure the seat (lost by 4%) but I certainly shook things up a lot!

When you begin a project, what is generally your creative process? I guess my furniture design really isn’t much different from my interior design. With my Interior Design, I always start the creative process with “You talk, I listen” .... At the risk of sounding like I have multiple personalities ... it is somewhat the same for my furniture design. I look at that tired old piece and wait for it to talk to me. Even as I type this I think ....Lord, someone is going to think I’m absolutely NUTS!! I have to admit though, it’s true. For example, the cherry pitter my husband acquired recently, when he handed it to me and asked ‘What can you do with this?’ I just held it for a few minutes ... turned it around, upside-down, peered inside the odd looking device ... I didn’t know what it was at the time and waited just for it to reveal it’s new identity. It didn’t take long. I handed it back to him fairly quickly and said ‘A lamp.’ I didn’t have a design, and of course, I knew I’d have to think it through ... but I knew it was going to be a lamp.

I’ll admit it’s been very busy at Lisa Davenport Designs, and this cherry pitter arrived as a guest three months ago ... but driving in my car today is when the design came to me, so on a Starbucks napkin I scribbled the design ... soon it will go to velum then to my Prince, then to the electrician, and then lastly the shade maker. Not every design comes to me this way but the less I think about it and the more I let it just come to me .. the more successful the final outcome. What does the future hold for you and your work- where 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 too :)

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diana thompson


really connect with them and I find that it often brings out a little something more in the photo


I always try to get to know the person I’m shooting and



Diana Thompson is a

photographer, fashion blogger, and DJ based in London, England, UK. With a love for all things vintage, her work is full of style and beauty and shines as brightly as she does!




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ION T C DU O R T I N I’m a freelance photographer, fashion blogger and rock and roll DJ as well as being a bit of a vintage magpie! I’ve always had a love for the 40s and 50s which I think frequently comes across in some of my more editorial photography work. Although photography is what’s closest to my heart, I love running a rock and roll club night in London called Whiskey Kittens with one of my best friends. We treat it as if we’re playing records to our friends at home, and it seems to work as we’ve been going for over two years now – not bad for something which started out as a bit of fun!


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I fell into photography quite by accident – it was always something which I’d loved from a very young age, but had always been pulled more towards journalism as a career choice. As a teenager, I did a lot of music reviews to start to build up my writing portfolio, but began to find that I was enjoying shooting the photos to accompany them a little more. Soon I began to shoot portraits for fun, and then began to get more and more adventurous with ideas and themes and it all just went from there!

As I got older and my sense of style developed, the photography and writing really just fell hand in hand with fashion blogging. It’s something which I do for fun, but has led to some interesting opportunities and meeting some fabulous people. And as for the DJing? My friend and I started Whiskey Kittens purely for the love of music, and it was something which just grew and grew into what it is now. We still have it as a free monthly event, and have two award winning burlesque artists perform each time. It’s a fun night, but I spend the days which follow picking glitter out of everything!

Do you have formal training, are you self taught, or a combination? My degree was in Photography and New Media Journalism, and it was great for learning traditional darkroom techniques and writing about art history. However most of what I’ve learnt has come from assisting on jobs and making mistakes. I used to be a total perfectionist, but as I’ve got older I’ve loosened up a lot as some of my mistakes have led to finding a whole new way to be creative.

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Behind Room 8 with Luna DeLovely


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From a shoot with The New Cut Gang

Marnie Scarlet Diva

favorite career achievement... I’ll never forget the moment I got asked to shoot my first front cover. I was sat on a bus when the email came through to my phone, and it was the most incredibly surreal moment. I was on my way to meet my boyfriend, and I kind of squeaked what had happened when I saw him and burst into tears!

Bettie Blue in B Millinery


This is going to sound like such a clichÊ, but I find myself finding inspiration in everything. The movement of fabric, raindrops on a window, the patterns in things –


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What is your background, as in is your creative work you do now your lifelong career or have you done different things before this? Photography has always been somewhere in my life – even as a schoolgirl, I enjoyed shooting portraits of my friends just for the fun of it. I worked in retail for a few years, but always tried to be in places where I 88

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could learn a skill such as make-up or retouching and it was having these in my arsenal which helped me to get more and more assisting work with some of my favourite photographers. Eventually in 2008 I was able to be fully self-employed, and although six years later I still have ups and downs, I wouldn’t change it for the world. I feel so lucky to be able to get paid for doing what I love.

Do you have a favourite subject matter?

A Least Favourite?

Although shooting the fancier editorials can be a lot of fun and result in some stunning images, it’s the stripped down portraits which I really love. I always try to get to know the person I’m shooting and really connect with them and I find that it often bring out a little something more in the photo. It’s all in the eyes – a little glint or hint of emotion which really tells more of a story than what words ever could. I had such a wonderful time shooting portraits of random people who I met in Brixton for my first exhibition, “Everyone Says Hi” - the images were very candid and open, much more so than I had anticipated when trying to engage with a stranger.

I’m not a fan of shooting product images when they’re just a series of objects shot on a mannequin or against a plain backdrop. It’s very hard to be creative when the brief is to just show off the item at it’s best angle! It can also be quite long and repetitive but it does have a good side – often these sort of shoots are done from my living room, in my pyjamas, with a pot of tea whilst dancing around to David Bowie!

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my favorite tools Cameras aside, I’m all about the DIY mods when shooting. I’m a big fan of using various types of tissue, coloured gells or craft paper to diffuse light from my flashgun. I’d also be completely lost without my Wacom tablet for editing too – it makes retouching skin so much easier, and feels like you’re painting rather than scratching with a mousepad. Where do you work from, tell us about your workspaces and places... One of the best things about being a freelance photographer is that everyday is different. I’ve got a studio space set up in my living room which is functional, cosy and close to a kettle! I’ve also got a home office set up in my bedroom which is wear I do all my editing and admin. The downside to this is that your work / life balance can sometimes get a little messed up, but it also means I can work to my own schedule and at my own pace. Of course with every shoot being different, you find yourselves shooting at locations all over the country. My favourite recent one was a beautiful pebbled beach a few hours away from London where we got the images and ended the day eating chips on the seafront.

Do you need to spend a lot of money on your tools of your trade and upgrading? With photography, you do have to invest in yourself financially. Lenses, a laptop, studio lights – the costs do mount up. However if you take care of your equipment, for the most part it’ll be a long time before you have to replace it.

Do you have any favorite vintage tools or supplies? Hair pins and a headscarf are my go to vintage tools when shooting! It keeps my hair out of my face, and I can brush it out into frizz free 40s waves for whatever I’m doing afterwards.


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?

The most stupid thing I did was melting a cap for one of the studio lights as I thought it was a pin light modifier. It worked fine for about five minutes, and then suddenly the studio smelt of molten plastic! You can be certain I never made that mistake again...

If I’m having a bad day, I tend to go for a long walk or run over the Heath which is just a few minutes away from me. I’ve recently been training to run a 5k race, and as someone who isn’t a natural runner at all, really had to put the hours in. I found that it helped to clear my head, and I’d often treat myself to a cup of tea or hot chocolate on my route back and I found I’d get back to the studio in a much better frame of mind.

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I’m a bit of an astronomy nerd. Whenever I manage to sneak away to the countryside, I could spend hours staring at the sky. Whenever I can make out a constellation in London, I get so excited! I love writing fiction, with my first short story, “The Last Puppy” by me aged 6 recently unearthed with a pile of my old literature notes. Amongst my closest friends, I’m very rarely called by my name unless I’m in trouble. Mostly I get called Kitty – something derived from my teenage years which stuck.

Do you listen to music while you work?

Do you have any hobbies or interests that are very different from your creative work? Sadly I don’t have as much time for hobbies as I’d like, so I tend to do things which help me unwind. Luckily for my boyfriend and flatmates, baking is one of them and I’ve become pretty good at whipping up batches of cupcakes. My banana and chocolate cupcake is probably the current favourite and we’ve all managed to convince ourselves that the fruit makes it healthy! I also really love visiting the cinema, even if I don’t know what’s playing. If I could live at the Prince Charles Cinema in London, I probably would!

I love to listen to music when I’m shooting as it keeps a positive energy in the studio, even when people are getting tired. Bowie is probably who gets played the most, but anything goes from jazz to garage rock and everything in-between. As for my ipod, that tends to be filled with lots of EDM for when I’m running. It helps to keep my at a certain pace and to keep my breathing even.

If you were stranded on a deserted island and could only bring three things, what would you bring? My boyfriend. A huge supply of English Breakfast tea. The pile of books in my “to-read” pile.

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Bettie Wishes from my Everyone Says Hi Exhibition

Tell us about a Typical Work Day... In my world, there’s no such thing as a typical work day but there’s one thing which happens each and every morning – it has to start with a big mug of tea!

When you begin a project, what is generally your creative process? Often with photography, the creative process can be more of a collaboration. For editorial shoots, I will work with hair and make-up at the very minimum and often there will be a stylist involved too. If it’s my concept, I’ll create a series of moodboards for style, tone, colour and so on and send them out to my team where they will in turn respond and interpret things in their own way. It’s a bit like a creative dance – one person moves, and the other moves in tandem. Sometimes the original vision you had evolves into something beyond what you’d dreamt, and it is that collaborative power which makes small teams work together frequently and often. That said if I’m working on something less grand by myself, I tend to create boards to share with my model and sketch out light diagrams and poses to use as reference points. It helps to keep my focused whilst working, and it’s always reassuring to have a plan!

How do you know when a project is finished? I’ve learnt over the years that photographs are never really finished – you just need to stop working on them before they lose all of their character. It’s so easy to over process images – people forget that the flaws are what makes up much of the charm of a person’s face and is the exact reason why I love shooting portraits more than any other type of photo.

I think it’s important to be positive.

Realistic, but positive. I see people who put so much energy into being miserable, mean and seeking out drama and I just don’t understand why. Even when I’m at my most stressed out, I can still appreciate the things in my life which are good, and that’s what I hold on to and it helps gets me through. Misery does indeed seek company and it’s toxic. Be happy and surround yourself with good, genuine people and even at it’s worst, life will still show you reasons to be happy.

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favorite quote...

daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary. - Cecil Beaton

What does the future hold for you and your work- where do you see yourself in a few years? I hope the future sees a stream of exciting and thought provoking projects. I’m currently making plans for a new exhibition which I can’t say too much about at the moment until things are finalised but it’s quite a departure from the sort of work I’m known for. I’m really excited about it. I think it’s important to push yourself to explore new ideas.


Fine Cell Work is a social enterprise that trains prisoners in paid, skilled, creative needlework spent in their cells to foster hope, discipline and self-esteem.


undertaken in the long hours


In prisons all across the UK,

inmates are filling their hours


embroidering highly-crafted

cushions, bags, pictures and

@ finecellwork

patchwork quilts.


The prisoners are paid for their work, which is then sold around the world. fine-cell-work

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photo by Isabella Panattoni

ION T C DU O R T I N The idea for Fine Cell Work was conceived by Lady Anne Tree in the 1960’s when she was a prison visitor to HMP Holloway. She became aware of how much of prisoners’ time was completely wasted and that they might do a skilled job in their cell, get paid for it and have the money presented to them on release. Her idea that if the work was top quality there would be a market for it. She thought embroidery would be a useful skill as it was easily transported in a kit bag when the workers moved prison.


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Co-written by Elena Hall & Piero Donat

Lady Anne’s mother-in-law owned Colefax & Fowler while Lady Anne herself was on the committee of the Royal School of Needlework. She managed to broker a beautiful and prestigious commission for two needlepoint carpets which were worked through the offices of the Royal School of Needlework and sold by Colefax & Fowler. The prisoners who produced the work however were not allowed to be paid for their work After many years of trying, it was 1995 that the Home Office agreed the prisoners might be able to earn a wage for their work and the Charity was registered. In 1997 it begun to operate as it does today.

What is your background and what do you do? What do you find most enjoyable about your business? Least enjoyable? Piero Donat: I’m the Sales and Marketing Manager. PD: Every day when I wake up to go to work I don’t Originally from Italy, I’ve been living in London for 13 feel the burden of earning money for someone but years, most of which working in the charity sector for people who need them. I feel I’m doing something (among which homelessness and mental health charities). When I saw the ad for my position at Fine Cell really good and giving a second chance to people who have been less fortunate than me. Getting letters from Work I really wanted to get this job and after getting it more than 3 years ago I still love the day-to-day frenzy prisoners bring tears to all of us in the office, but foster you to do even better for them. Least enjoyable thing? you’ve got here working for this charity. Dealing with clients who sometimes think prisoners Elena Hall: I’ve been working at Fine Cell work for nearly don’t deserve a second chance. 7 years after working for two other charities and have done charitable work in South America and Mexico. I also have my own business for original hand knitted and hand made jewellery.

Business Philosophy...

We wish to build Fine Cell Work as a sustainable social business and charity with the prisoners as stakeholders in the enterprise. We are aiming to become more embedded in the prison system and to guide prisoners towards formal work training and qualifications and to match them up with organisations that can provide support or employment on release.

photo by Isabella Panattoni

Where do you work from- do you have a bricks and mortar location, are you strictly online, or both? PD: Well, we have an office in Central London, which is subsidised by a local trust. It helps us being closer to clients and volunteers that can travel from the rest of the UK. We’re a small team (9 people) and it’s a small space. Of course we do sell online as well, from our website Also, in the past two years we were lucky to get some free space on high streets in London for a pop-up shop, which gave us enormous visibility. We hope to manage to get some space in the run-up to Christmas for this year too!

Tell us about a typical work day… PD: Everyday is a different day at FCW. Working for a small charity means you need to juggle with sudden and urgent changes in your day-to-day work schedule, so no matter how you plan it, there will always be something changing it. The day usually starts by reading emails and try to catch up with your workload you haven’t been able to cope with the day before. However, what I try to do on constant basis is to keep an eye on social media. Again, being a small charity doesn’t give you enough marketing budget, so social media are always helpful in order to get a push in visibility in the outside world.

Have you ever gotten any unusal requests from customers? If so, care to divulge? wink! PD: Once, at one of our events, I got a request for a commission portraying a lobster smoking a spliff. The lady requesting it had few drinks and after my follow up with her back in the office, I had no reply about her ’unusual’ request.


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inspiration inspiration PD: Always listening to good music on my way to and work and back. That can go from an inspiring Nick Cave, to some good old punk I used to listen when I was younger for stressful days, to some 50’s-60’s rock n roll or even dance music for happier moments. EH: It’s not difficult to stay inspired at Fine Cell Work. We are lucky enough to work with some amazing designers such as Karen Nicol, Kit Kemp, Ben Pentreath, and Daisy De Villeneuve. At the same time going into the prisons to visit our groups and meet the stitchers is really inspiring and reminds you how important the work is that we do. Our stitchers always let us know what they think of the designs they’re working on and we work hard to make sure they are challenging and developing their skills while at the same time interesting and enjoyable to work on.

97% of our stitchers are men.

On average we receive 80 (!) finished kits a week.


Prisoner pay, materials, transportation, and prison workshop expenses account for 70 per cent of the cost of a cushion (not a self sustainable business as you can see, so donations are more than welcome!).

Novelist Tracy Chevalier curated a quilt exhibition in London, called ‘Things We Do in Bed’. Our stitchers have been involved in the production of the ‘Sleep’ quilt, (pictured at right) and you can read a blog from Tracy on her experience at: chevalier_and_the_sleep_quilt


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photo by Bexley Heritage Trust

photo by Isabella Panattoni

How do you balance life/work/play and downtime? PD: Lots of music. Also in my free time I go to lots of gigs. London is definitely one of the top cities in the world for music scenes.

What do you do to stay inspired and motivated? EH: I make sure I go to as many of the design events and graduate shows as possible in order to stay inspired and on top of what is happening in the world of new designs. We’re based in London so there’s always lots on going on. I’m looking forward to seeing the Matisse exhibition too and sure this will be really inspiring.


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“Revolution starts at home, preferably in the bathroom mirror.”

Unfortunately it’s not mine, but a note on Husker Du’s ‘Warehouse: Songs and Stories’, one of the best post-punk albums ever released ~ P.D.

What are your best selling items? PD: Our new range of small items have started selling really well. That is lavender bags and purses. Also our SWAG and Jailbird bags are definitely top sellers. Cushion wise, our Geometric cushion has always been a top seller (this is the first cushion prisoners start stitching and each of them is different. The London Skyline, Union Jack, Artichokes and Beetroots are the top sellers among the needlepoint cushions, while for surface embroidery the Heart and Birds, Johnny Cash and Seasick Steve lyrics are always flying off the shelves.


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What are favourite items that your stitchers like to create? EH: The better paid items are a firm favourite! Most of them like something they can get ‘stuck into’ which takes a good few hours to work which will occupy the many hours of lock up and the money they earn is really important too as they can send it home, use it for telephone calls or save it for when they are released. Some of our most labour intensive designs are our Wire Fox Terrier, Clint Eastwood and the new designs by John Stefanidis. Some of our stitchers love doing French knots, such as our new designs of shells and leaves, others only want to do needlepoint while others are passionate about chain stitch. So it really varies from stitcher to stitcher as you can imagine. We teach stitchers a range of techniques through our learning programme ‘Stitchwise’ and encourage them to stitch a range of different pieces. They also need to stitch what we plan to sell so they can’t always do their favourite pieces the whole time!

photo by Isabella Panattoni What do the inmates that you work with most enjoy about their stitching work they do for you? EH: In May 2011, Qa Research published its in-depth, qualitative evaluation into Fine Cell Work at five prisons across England and Scotland. The report found that the benefits of Fine Cell Work to prisoners include: • Improved mental health and social skills. • Promotion of a calm state of mind. • The passing of time productively. • A strong sense of achievement, pride and self-confidence. • A more positive outlook on their future post-release.

Do you find time to stitch outside of work and if so what’s your favorite thing(s) to create? EH: I do a small amount of embroidery but have my own jewellery business (Elena Hall Jewellery so any time outside of Fine Cell Work is usually spent making or selling jewellery. I have produced a collection of structured hand knitted jewellery in recycled silver, copper and embroidery threads in bright colours.

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How can people find out more about Fine Cell Work? PD: Well, the first point of approach is our website. There is a testimonial section, which we try to update every month with a new ‘prison story’. Our social media is updated nearly on a daily basis, so, there, you can find anything about what we do from products to anything related to prison and stitching in general.

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patty from dedalos


falling in love with creating small characters

website Video: a-doll-comes-to-life/

Based in Florence Italy,

Patty, from Dedalos crafts beautiful one of a kind

@ DedalosArtDolls

dolls full of life, and love. Bellissima!

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ION T C DU O R T I N I’m an Italian dollmaker and visual artist based in Florence. I love this city because it gave me the opportunity to develop my artistic skills and personality. Three years ago, soon after graduating in Paintingwhich remains my first love- I decided to try to create some three-dimensional projects, and I started a small production of figurines. That’s how I landed in dollmaking, falling in love with creating small characters.


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I’m a self-taught dollmaker, but I have an artistic background. I graduated from the Academy of Arts in Florence, where I studied Fine Arts and Painting. I started dollmaking shortly after, and little by little I created and developed my personal dollmaking technique and process.

After my first attempts in dollmaking, I started to show my work to friends and people, and very soon had positive feedback and a following. I decided to share my work on Facebook, and got my first requests from doll collectors and custom orders from people all over the world. that’s how I landed on Etsy, where I set up my online boutique. I chose the name “dedalos” because it refers to the classic myth of the first artisan/creator and protector of creativity, but also means “maze” and suggests the labyrinthian tour into imagination and dreams.

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favorite career achievement... Some customers asked me if I could create doll portraits, and I accepted the challenge! I really enjoyed it. Even if this is something I’ve only been working on just recently, it really helped me improve my skills in sculpting and painting face details in my dolls.

What is your work schedule like? Dollmaking is made of several steps that involve waiting times. I split the different phases between my other occupation and interests. That way I’m constantly proceeding, little by little.

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inspiration When I create my dolls I am inspired by characters from paintings, movies, tales, and history. I am fascinated by real, or fiction, characters from the past, with all the little human details of their lives. Knowing more about them helps me cultivate visions and inspires ideas that I convey in my work.

Where do you work from, tell us about your workspace... My studio is set in one bright room of my apartment in the very centre of Florence. The studio is filled with plenty of art materials and tools, and everything is at a handy distance from my working space, a rough birchwood table. Pictures from newspapers and magazines, scraps of fabric from vintage clothing, buttons, and memorabilia, are lovingly organized and archived, awaiting to inspire my work or become part of a new piece.

my favorite tools I use lightweight paper clay as the modelling material for my dolls. A small set of precision sculpting tools I’ve had since my Academy days comes in handy when shaping the body and face details of my dolls. When the doll parts are dry, I refine them with small sculpting rasps and different kinds of sandpaper. I use fine acrylic paint and tiny brushes to decorate and add all the smallest details. The dollparts are assembled with elastic thread, and the clothing is created from vintage fabric with interesting patterns and colours. For the hair, I use very soft textured wool that gives me the possibility of combining many yarns and colours for the hairstyles.

Do you need to spend a lot of money on your tools of your trade and upgrading? My dollmaking process is quite regular and I use the same tools over and over, even when I indulge in new ones. I use fabric scraps and wool that I buy in local markets and shops, and I have a fortune in my collection of vintage decorations and buttons that I repurpose in my work. I wouldn’t say I have to spend a lot of money, but it takes time and care to find unique fabric, decorations, and details to add to each doll. And time is way more precious than money!

Do you have any favorite vintage tools or supplies? My cherished set of sculpting tools, received as a gift from a close friend who comes from a family of woodcarvers.


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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 cook a fabulous dinner, and enjoy it with a glass of wine. I’m Italian - and I live in Tuscany- you know!

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I’m left-handed.

I’m afraid of chickens.

I’m a blueberry juice addict.

What do you do to keep work and creative juices flowing? When I’m stuck with a new piece/ painting/drawing, I put it aside for a while and work on something else, concentrate on other things, or do relaxing activities. Creating a new piece is some kind of a love story, you have to respect the natural and sacred times of inspiration!

What’s the most unusual thing you’ve ever made or created? I created a doll reproduction of Mona Lisa from the famous Leonardo painting. the doll was exhibited for the Mona Lisa Day in Florence (2013 Lisa’s birthday event).

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When you begin a project, what is generally your creative process? The best way to describe it is with a stop-motion video of my dollmaking process, you can view it here:

How do you know when a project is finished? The results of my work are often unexpected and can surprise me! At a certain point of the work and adding detailing, I feel like the dolls start to develop a more defined personality. I like the moment when I paint the face of the doll and put the tiny wig (hairstyling is usually the very last step) and suddenly the character reveals itself to me like magic. 128

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What does the future hold for you and your work- where do you see yourself in a few years? I want to grow my skills naturally and I want my dolls to reflect the love I put into my work. Dollmaking is mostly a pleasure to me so I don’t feel I have to force the events with too many plans or expectations. I’m currently working on a book about my dollmaking work, my technique, and some tips and tricks about creating dolls and developing creativity.

denise corcoran of shares a swanky upcycled wood organizer perfect for keeping track of favorite finds and more...




Vancouver Mini Maker Faire Workshops I’m partnering up with Vancouver Mini Maker Faire for two workshops on June 8th at the PNE Forum, Vancouver, BC. The DIY Wood Pallet Organizer Workshop is at 2pm and the Jewelry Out Of ‘Junk’ Workshop is at 4:15pm.

Hey everyone! Welcome to our third fun DIY project together. We’re switching gears from jewelry to a home décor piece. This is my latest and greatest FAVE project... It’s one of those signature ideas that everyone wants. The best part is it’s an easy project and can be done on the cheap.






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How to Upcycle Salvaged Wood & Old Drawer Pulls into a Swanky Organizer

by denise corcoran,

BIG THANKS! denise corcoran let’s get started!


1. Find and/or prep a piece of wood. This could be a piece of wood from the beach, from the woods, a wood pallet, etc. I had a wood pallet cut up for my pieces. Don’t worry about the ends being perfectly cut. I figure the more imperfections the better!

• salvaged/repurposed wood - any size • miscellaneous drawers pulls or anything else you find that could work • 2 screw-in eyelets • 1 sawtooth hanger • stain or tung oil (optional) • sandpaper • drill

2. Track down 4 miscellaneous drawer pulls. I had a bunch of stashes from past furniture updates. I had some real doozies but those can definitely come in handy for your DIY organizer as you’ll see. Also feel free to use as many or as few drawer pulls as you want!


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3. At this point you can sand and stain the wood before you drill holes. Or you can just keep the wood au natural. Now measure where you want to drill the holes. It’s up to you if you want the spacing between the drawer pulls to be exact or not.

5. Now we can just go ahead and screw in the drawer pulls! Here’s an idea if you want to get fancy dancy - I shabby chic-ed these dated pulls. I used white craft paint, let it dry a bit then rubbed the surface to bring out the details in the design.

4. Now you drill the holes. Here’s my makeshift set up - not too glamorous I know! And drilling pallet wood can be intense. The wood is super dense and ugh... Not so much fun to drill into. I ended up breaking at least one drill bit. Oops! Note: be sure to use a drill bit that’s the same diameter as the screws for your drawer pull - it’ll make it super easy to screw in the pull.

6. And we’re nearly there! I added two options for hanging. I nailed in a sawtooth hanger to the back of the organizer. I also added screwin eyelets to the top. You could also drill holes in the top corners and screw the organizer directly into the wall.

7. And that’s it! It’s another one of those projects where you can get a teeny tiny bit carried away! I’m all about being efficient and getting an assembly line going on as you can see. ;-) I’ve given a few of these away to friends. Here’s a photo my photographer friend Chelsea ( took of hers with all her swanky jewelry. Yay!

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I don’t remember a time not


stitching website

Nell Burns lives and works in North Vancouver, BC, creating beautiful and original embroidery and stitched art


pieces full of inspiration and intricate details, you can see her imagination brought to life in each and every piece! quarter 4 | 2014


ION T C DU O R T I N I don’t remember a time not stitching. My Grandma taught me to cross stitch and knit. My mum is a very talented dressmaker and I used to spend a lot of time watching her. Before I was old enough to have a sewing machine I was still designing and hand stitching my own projects. I used to draw Disney and Beatrix Potter characters. I would then trace the individual sections to make pattern pieces and then secretly raid my mums scrap fabrics and steel food colouring to dye the fabrics to match the pictures in the book. After cutting out all my pattern pieces I would piece them together and applique them to make cushions and bags. I called it fabric jigsaw.


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I got my first sewing machine aged 8 and from then I was making my own clothes (badly). So going off to study design and fashion seemed very natural. I never considered anything else. Apart from aged 7 when I wanted to be an Air Steward. That career choice lasted until I flew ad discovered I HATE flying! Over the years in between various office jobs I made clothes, curtains, cushions etc for friends and friends of friends. I made bridal wear for a few years. Everything was always embellished with embroidery I realised that was my passion and I should focus more on my embroidery.

favorite quote...

Its been so much fun doing what I really love. A move from the UK to Canada gave me so many opportunities and I started to sell in gallery shops. In 2011 I got the courage to open my Etsy shop. I didn’t tell anyone what I was doing. I waited until I had been selling for a few months before I started to tell family and friends. Nells Embroidery has become way more than I ever expected,



will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere. ~ Albert Einstein quarter 4 | 2014


I call myself a textile artist. I mainly do free motion embroidery. I essentially use the sewing machine as my paint brush and my fabric as my canvas. I use a variety of fabrics and threads to create texture and dimension. I always set myself challenges to push myself to explore and learn new skills. For a while my obsession was making 3D structures from fabric embellishing them with embroidery. My current obsession is challenging myself with water soluble fabric. I have been using it for almost 20 years and I am now teaching myself to create 3D structures made entirely from stitched thread. Layers of tiny stitches and depending on the stitch direction and stitch tension I can create a variety of dimensions and forms. I also make Embroidered Supplies, including handmade buttons, beads, and hand dyed threads.


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Do you have formal training or are you self taught or a combination? I studied design at College which led me to study fashion and textiles for 4 years at University. I am the proud owner of a BA degree in Fashion and Textile design. I taught myself free motion embroidery when I saw it being demoed on a TV show while at college. As soon as I tried it I was hooked!

When I finished Uni I started working boring office jobs and dressmaking part time I struggled to find time to experiment with the embroidery so in 2005 I took a 2 year part time City and Guilds program in machine embroidery which took my experimenting and love of this technique to a whole new level.

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What is your background, as in is this your lifelong career or have you done different things before this? Since I’ve always had some sort of needle and thread in my hands I always presumed this would be my career. Despite studying fashion & design for years my career since graduating has been very varied with a lot of non textile related jobs. Growing up I really wanted to live in London so I went straight there after Uni. I got a job working in Liberty Fabric store which was heaven! I loved the department but not the sales job so I off I went working with fashion buyers in department stores which sounded creative and fun, it was the complete opposite.


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I moved away from London and became a Learning support assistant for a few years before becoming a technical support person.....I have no idea how I got that job! Once I moved to Canada I became a gallery assistant and bookkeeper before finally going full time with my embroidery. All my previous jobs even if they were a bit boring and uncreative I still learnt so many business and people skills which have proved invaluable to my business.

favorite career achievement... Having a solo exhibition at a art gallery was really amazing. The entire show was all my embroidered clocks. Seeing red dots when you walk in is amazing and then to read all the lovely comments from the public is a really inspiring to keep creating. I have just had one of my beads selected to be in Lark Crafts 500 series of beads. Its so exciting to see your name in print. I’m still shocked to see my bead in a such a beautiful book!


Nature and my environment is a huge source of inspiration.

Although buildings, cultures, writing and quotes, all provide a never ending supply of ideas. The curve of a building can inspire the silhouette of a dress. A fossil or microscopic view of a shell can influence an embroidery or a print idea. A mountain horizon can inspire a fabric collage and a single leaf can give me a whole colour story to work with. I am lucky enough to live in such a beautiful place where I can walk in the local rain forest or go to the beach. This all means I don’t have to go very far at all to get inspired! And the fun part is, it changes with each season. After living in the UK for 30 years I never appreciated the historical buildings and architecture that surrounded me everyday until I left! So now I make sure I notice and appreciate what’s around me. 144

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Where do you work from? Tell us about your work spaces and places... I work from home. I took over what should be the TV room but who needs a TV! When I first moved in I was happy to have a room double my previous space. I was able fill the bigger space with more threads and beads and fit in my dream island desk just like what we used at University. In 2012 I was thrilled to win a $5000 studio make over with California Closets. However to get my whole Studio renovated with California Closets was out of my budget, so I really thought about what I needed to create my dream space within my budget. With Craigslist and Ikea I have created a space that I LOVE to be in. My storage and organising is perfect for me and Junk! it’s a very organised space. I love things organised and everything is stored by colour as that’s how I work.

my favorite tools My favourite tool has to be my sewing machine. My old faithful machine named Hoosky has been with me for over 15 years. She was brilliant at everything I asked her stitch. Sadly in Dec 2012 Hoosky was forced into a long overdue retirement. We still stitch together on special occasions! Her replacement Juki is her replacement, a super sonic industrial speed machine. We work really well together. My favourite material that I use has to be a water soluble fabric. Weird that I love a fabric that vanishes when I have 4 chest of drawers full of fabulous fabrics! I love exploring the possibilities of water soluble fabric, every time I use it I discover new ideas.

Do you have any favorite vintage tools or supplies? Not really a tool I use, but I do collect vintage and antique sewing machines. I don’t use them, although I have restored a couple of hand crank rusty rejects into sewing superstars! My arms could never spin the wheel quick enough for me to use them a lot but they are amazing machines. Restoring the machines is time consuming and I have a ‘rusty retirement’ shelf which has my growing collection that one day I hope to restore back to working machines.

Did you ever have any major oops crazy mishaps or things going crazily wrong while working on a project? I stitched through my finger with the machine. The first time was an accident I should have learnt never to do it again. 3 times later confirms I don’t learn from my mistakes! 146

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What is your go-to, always reliable media or tool? I really like the community I have discovered on Facebook. All the artists support, encourage and advice each other especially since Facebook makes it so hard for small business/artists to be seen.

Do you sell your work? If so where? Any tips on pricing your work? Yes I do! I started off selling in gallery shops and at exhibitions which I still do. I also now sell online with my Etsy shop. I get a lot of private commissions doing wedding favours and gifts. I have also just started to sell in at art/craft fairs and wholesale my embroidery supplies. Pricing is hard, you must cover your cost of materials and then decide on an hourly rate and then calculate how long each piece takes to make. Calculating your time to make an item if its made in stages can be tricky. It took me quite a few years to decide on a reasonable hourly rate and to make sure I calculate materials and time!

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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 usually take my dog for a long walk. We usually go to the beach or a hike in the forest. I can really loose myself in these places and switch off from my bad day/ project. they are great places to get inspiration too, so I often come home re-energised. However if a walk fails then I give up for the day and catch up with Coronation Street!


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If you were stranded on a deserted island and could only bring three things, what would you bring? My music so I was not left with silence. A laptop with the internet so that I could look at creative things while I couldn’t create. My dog, he would love a dog free island to explore!

my favorites...

What’s the most unusual thing you’ve ever made or created? Almost full size grandfather clock made from silk. He chimes the Westminister chime on the hour too! Do you do your creative work full-time, part-time, or as a hobby? What was a hobby is now my job which I work at full time. I feel very lucky to be able to do what I love all day everyday.

My favourite things in no particular order: My parents New Zealand All my friends Havana’s veggie hash David Bowie Carl Shinn Annemieke Mein Roald Dahl Pam Watts Pippi Longstocking The Secret Garden Jan Beaney Jean Littlejohn Enid Blyton Siouxsie Sioux Patti Smith PJ Harvey Red wine Guinness Anything furry and 4 legged

Do you listen to music while you work? What is your favorite music to work to? I have to have music while I work. I cant bare silence. My sewing machine is loud so I wear wireless headphones, I often sing (badly) Most days I listen to the radio, I still listen to the UK radio out of habit and there are no adverts. 6 music is my favourite station. It specializes in alternative music so I get my music fix there.

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How do you balance life, work, play, and down time? It’s hard! I have learnt even though I love what I do, I still need to take break otherwise I will burn out! I have learnt a lot from selling online. I have changed my product range to reduce the admin, photo taking/editing time which then frees up so much time to relax or spend it doing more creative work! 1/2 of my work is custom order, initially I used to try and get the piece done asap regardless of holidays or weekends. Now I estimate completion with time allowing for sleep and rest!.


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What do you do to keep work and creative juices flowing? My customers help keep me motivated and challenged. They ask for things I didn’t know existed or give me ideas on developing current products. I often think duh! Why didn’t I think of that! A lot of custom orders challenge me. I LOVE a challenge.

Do you have any hobbies or interests that are really different from what you do your creative work? I don’t have time for any other hobbies! My job is my hobby and I am really passionate about it. I do dabble in a variety of other fibre related hobbies, like felting, spinning, knitting and quilting.

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Do you have an inspiration or mood board? I used to make them for every project when I was at University. Now I have a large cork board in my wall that I use as my inspiration board for what I am working on. Currently it’s filled with pictures of seashells , coral and sea urchins. I normally glue and pin 3D related objects to create textures and keep it aesthetically pleasing for me!

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Photo by Christopher Annino, 2013

When you begin a project, what is generally your creative process? I always have a pencil and paper so I can doodle or write down an idea or quote that’s inspired me. Once I have an idea for a project it sits in my head for a few weeks. It brews slowly there, I think about it whenever I can. I am working out the technical stuff, looking around for colour ideas or inspiration to improve/develop the idea. When my head gets too full of information that’s when I start working on it. Creating the pattern, choosing the fabrics and the colours. I never expect it to look like my original idea, this avoids disappointment but also keeps my mind open to new ideas should I get any! 154

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how do you know when a project is finished? When it tells me! Some projects shout louder than others when they are done! I don’t ever start another project until the first is finished so that’s a good motivator to keep working at it to get it finished!

Do you have any current projects or future plans you’d like to share? My current project is big and I have been planning it for a couple of years, yes it’s massive project! I have finally started it this year. I am combining fashion design with my embroidery done on water soluble fabric. I am making a full adult size wedding dress for a mermaid. The entire dress will be made from stitched thread. NO fabric! The dress will represent the ocean bed and be embellished with sea urchins, corals, starfish, sponges, sea shells and barnacles. Its going to take approximately a gazillion million stitches and around a million hours to make so it’s going to be a project that I will have to learn to put aside from time to time. Over the last few years I have been developing my stitched cloth, adding sand pattern designs and creating 3D forms including starfish, urchins, barnacles, jellyfish, corals and sponges etc. It’s been so much fun, I have learnt so much. Now the dress is designed, I have no excuses not to get started! The veil is almost finished and is inspired from coral fan. What does the future hold for you and your work- where do you see yourself in a few years?

Describe a typical work day for you... Get up and Walk dog Have cup of tea while I catch up with Etsy and computer work. Work in the studio until lunchtime. Walk my dog again. Work in the studio until dinner time. Walk the dog again. Cook dinner. Evenings are for chilling out, shopping and seeing friends and walking my dog.

I am really excited by my current project. I think all these years of focusing on embroidery has re-ignited my passion for fashion design. I am itching to get back to the technical pattern cutting and using it in combination with my 3 dimensional embroidery and making entire outfits made entirely from stitched thread.

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what's in your

colLection Meet Jonas! At age 11 he’s an avid collector and enthusiast of early Apple products. Check out some of his favorite finds and find out what’s in his collection...


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I’m 11 years old. I started collecting when I was about 9. Family members give me their broken electronic equipment so that I can disassemble them and take out all the good parts that are still functioning. Also I’m quite into audio. My room is full of speakers and vintage receivers. When I’m older I hope to work for Apple Inc. I would also love to move to Paris and work for the Citroen car factory building and designing automobiles with the latest technology.

What do you collect? Mostly vintage Apple products, but I do collect other vintage electronics as well. What are you looking for and what would make your collection complete? Pretty much anything old but I would love to find an Apple Newton 2100 or Apple Newton emate. What would be the most amazing thing you could ever find to add to your collection?

Why do you collect the things that you do? For the fun of it, I guess. Every time I find something I don’t have it feels like Christmas because I’m so excited.

It would be the collector’s addition Apple Newton 2100 that was only made for Apple employees.

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How many items do you have in your collection? I currently have 4 vintage PDA’s, 2 vintage computers and 2 vintage laptops. I also have an Apple canvas poster from 1999 that was put up in Apple stores. Where do you find the best things to add to your collection? Most of my collection came from Santa and some of it I found at flea markets. 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.

What’s the most unusual item in your collection? Probably my Sharp MZ-80K computer from 1975. It uses cassette tapes to operate. What is your favorite item in your collection and why? Probably my Apple II GS mainly because I can still play video games on it. My mom likes to play Oregon Trail. How did you get interested in collecting? It first started with me collecting toy cars. I got older and then I started collecting cell phones and then I got my first computer in 2011. It was a Dell 1150 laptop from 2003. Then I got my first vintage computer in 2012 which was a Toshiba satellite 2200 from 1996, I believe. I just thought it was so cool that my older computer could do more than my newer one.

Thank you for sharing your collection Jonas! In the spirit of collecting, if our MadeIn readers have any finds you might like to pass along to Jonas to add to his collection, feel free to send us an email and we’ll put you in touch! quarter 4 | 2014




began very early on


my love of art

website @ davidcamisa

David Camisa lives and works in Vancouver, BC,


Canada, his pop surrealist style glowing beautifully in every piece he creates.

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ION T C DU O R T I N I’m a visual artist living in Vancouver, BC where I create works of pop surrealism. Most of my pieces are created with oil on wood, however I’m always happy to experiment with different mediums.


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I spent most of my childhood with my head shoved in a comic book and so my love of art began very early on. I grew up constantly drawing and emulating my favorite artists, realizing from quite a young age that I couldn’t imagine making a living doing anything else. I planned to finish school and pursue a career as a comic book illustrator but, after taking a few classes, found that being told what to create didn’t jive with my creative process. After some self reflection, I began experimenting and started to turn my illustrations into paintings...very bad paintings, in the beginning! Over time, I gained confidence in my work and began submitting to various galleries. Once I started booking shows, one thing led to another and here we are:)

Do you have formal training, are you self taught, or a combination? With the exception of a few classes here and there, I’m predominantly self taught.

Where do you work from? Tell us about your work spaces and places... I work from home in my cozy one bedroom apartment here in Vancouver. It’s not quite as spacious as I might like but it does the trick. :)

What is your favorite subject matter or theme and why? I’m really drawn to figurative work. I find people fascinating and so the ideas for most of my work usually start with a character of some sort. From there, I love placing this figure into a surreal setting, creating an image you’re not likely to see in real life or photograph.

“Hin-Han”, 8”x24”, Oil on Wood, 2013 quarter 4 | 2014


“Arachne”,9”x12”, Oil On Wood, 2011

“Pandora”, Oil On Wood, 24”x12”, 2012

favorite career achievement... Every show that I get to take part in is a little achievement for me. I really love creating pieces for themed exhibitions and showing the final product along with a group of artists. I like that something you spend all this time creating all by yourself then gets the chance to go off and become part of the larger art community.

“The Wanderer”, Oil On Wood, 5”x7”, 2013


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What is your go-to, always reliable creative media or tool? I love painting on wood panel. I experimented with it a few years ago and never went back to canvas. Drawing directly on the wood, incorporating the grain and having somewhat of a ready made backdrop, really help me map out a piece before I even begin painting.

When you begin a project, what is generally your creative process? I always start my projects with a sketch and work through an idea until I have a completed illustration. Then I determine what size I’d like my piece to be and usually use a projector to blow my drawing up to size. Once I’ve redrawn the image to size, I use transfer paper to place the image onto the wood panel. From there, I seal the pencil with a fixative spray and, once dry, get to start painting!

Do you sell your work? If so where?

How do you know when a project is finished?

I do! I usually partake in a number of gallery shows throughout the year where my work will be available for sale. Outside of those exhibitions, I always have work for sale through my website and am available for private commissions as well.

I find the best practice for me is to leave a project I feel is completed for a few days and come back again with fresh eyes. Usually taking a break for a few days and then examining the piece again allows me to see if I’m happy with the final product or if I feel anything needs to be changed/added.

What is your work schedule like?

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’m generally up quite early in the morning and find the best practice for me is to get working right away. If I’m successful at that, I find I can work quite happily for most of the day just taking a few breaks...If not, and I allow myself to get distracted early on, it’s quite easy for me to procrastinate all day long! And Netflix definitely helps. :)

I’ve learned that the best thing to do when things are not turning out is to walk away and take a break... even for a few days if necessary. It’s tough when you’re working on multiple projects, or are faced with deadlines, to not keep plugging away but, for me, I find forcing a project always leads to more frustration and ultimately a final product that I’m unhappy with. Space gives me a bit of clarity and allows me to decide if a project is worth working through the mistakes or to start over from scratch.

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“Persephone”, Oil On Wood, 24”x30”, 2012

“Stargazer”, Watercolor on Arches Paper, 16”x8”, 2014

What do you do to keep work and creative juices flowing? For me, it always comes back to sketching. It’s how most of my ideas get started and it really helps to work through those creative blocks as well.

Do you listen to music while you work? What is your favorite music to work to? Yes! I love music and it’s essential for me when I’m working. I really listen to a little bit of everything but, when I’m painting, it’s usually something dance-y and upbeat. It’s great to keep my energy up and is even better for mini dance breaks in between painting sessions. :)

Do you donate to charity or work with any charities or community organizations through your creative work? I can’t say I work with any one particular organization but I do my best to contribute to different causes when I can. We artists don’t always have a lot of extra cash in the bank so I’m always happy to be able to donate a piece to a silent auction and have my work raise a bit of money for a good cause.

Do you have an inspiration or mood board? Not quite, but I do usually pull a number of reference photos when I’m working on a new piece. I generally collect images over time that I find interesting, even if I have no idea what I’m going to use them for just yet. Whether it’s an interesting pose, unique setting, intricate garment, or really anything that speaks to me, it’s tucked away until I know where it’s going to work.

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“Prelude To A Monster”, 16”x20”,Oil On Wood,2011

What does the future hold for you and your work- where do you see yourself in a few years? I hope the future finds me honing my skills and finds my work getting stronger. I’d love for the list of galleries that I work with to continue to grow and, hopefully, for work to continue to roll in:) I love what I do and feel honored for every project I get to tackle.

“Tears Of A Clown”, Oil On Wood, 6”x12”, 2013


kristen amicone meagan knepp

We are inspired by creating something from scratch and seeing it grow.


We put glasses on animals and those animals on merchandise.


Kristen Amicone and Meagan Knepp

@ SmartGirlAccess @smartgirlaccessories

are a biz savvy duo creating a unique business, putting being smart and stylish at the height of fashion! quarter 4 | 2014


ION T C DU O R T I N We put glasses on animals and those animals on merchandise. Merchandise is anything to which we can apply an animal wearing glasses, e.g. pint glasses, t-shirts, tank tops, hoodies, buttons, magnets, underwear, you get the picture. Not satisfied with merely t-shirts, which thrives on our obsessive googling for that perfect feel and fit, we decided to get crafty. Now we spend most Sundays with fingers sticky from resin and a power drill (after we fire off an email to our t-shirt printer).


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We met in 2006 playing roller derby for the San Diego Derby Dolls. We quickly became besties, bonding over the emotional turmoil that comes with a full-contact sport on wheels. We ran merchandise for the league and were awesome, taking it from a negative balance to a profitable venture (makin’ it rain!). We took the job seriously both because it could be a money-maker for the league and because we really enjoy seeing people wearing our stuff. There is no greater thrill (well, few greater, there might be one or two others) than seeing someone wearing something we created and watching them feel like they are a part of something bigger (plus lookin’ so fly).

Do you have formal training- college/ trade school, etc. or are you self taught or a combination? We’ve got assorted superfluous, yet interesting, degrees between us - but in this venture, we are self-taught. Because #learning. We’ve become really good at finding tutorials online and yelling about excessive government paper work (but we’re pretty sure we’re fully legit now). There has been a great deal of trial and error but we can now say we are creators of some of the zazziest jewelry around.


favorite quote...

f I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense.

~ Alice, Alice in Wonderland

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favorite career achievement... We can’t pick just one, so - putting on our big girl pants and starting our LLC. Holding up a coat so someone could change behind it to put on our smart cat shirt immediately. Popping the star out of the pendant mold for the first time. Picking up the first run of smart bird tank tops. Mixing that first cup of resin. Holding that first $20. Buying our very own cashbox. #memories

What is your background, is this your lifelong career or have you done different things before this? We both have office big girl jobs which are nuanced and challenging but we were feeling unfulfilled creatively. We missed working together and counting t-shirts (and money).

Where do you work from, tell us about your workspaces and places... Currently, we cover a new kitchen table in trash bags for jewelry crafting. We count t-shirts on cat-fur covered carpet and do our best thinking on long walks (and over excessive text messaging during our workday). So we work from our homes, our cars, our places of big girl employment, pretty much anywhere.

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We are inspired by creating something from scratch and seeing it grow. We envision our merchandise empire, the shop cats that will live in it, and the shelves and shelves of nail polish for painting our nails while brainstorming.

What is your favorite subject matter or theme and why? Animals wearing glasses because they’re the cutest and it’s something we want to wear and look at and think about pretty much all day long. For example Question: Why aren’t there more shirts with purple cats wearing glasses, because I want one. Answer: I’mna make one.

And your least favorite? Animals without glasses. They are blind and that’s sad.

our favorite tools Industrial grade crystal clear resin, the green plastic sticks from Starbucks that make your coffee not spill, giant spools of ball chain, power drills, and more organizational bins than you can imagine.

Do you need to spend a lot of money on your tools of your trade and upgrading? No, though once we start printing our shirts in house, that’s a pretty penny. There’s really only one good way to print t-shirts (we’ve tried them all) and there’s no shortcut for something you’ll want to wear. We won’t put our or anyone else’s body in a shirt we don’t own, so t-shirts cost what they cost. We’re not getting paid for this yet, so we’re pretty resourceful when it comes to borrowing and procuring tools and supplies for jewelry crafting. When we started creating the jewelry charms initially, we went with something we could do easily and relatively inexpensively. Resin fit the bill nicely and we have a lot of versatility with what we can create. We pretty much imagine something we want to wear and then ask, right, how can we do this?

What is your go-to, always reliable creative media or tool? Getting together and drinking a glass of wine always gets the juices flowing.

Do you have any favorite vintage tools or supplies? No, not yet. But we did break the first drill we used within the first five minutes.

Did you ever have any major oops crazy mishaps or things going crazily wrong while working on a project? There’s ways to work on a project without that happening? We plan for mistakes so when they happen they aren’t life-crushing or huge disappointments. That being said, we reserve the right to yell about them and pout if necessary. For example, an entire batch of resin didn’t set, ruining nearly 50 necklaces. Another weekend we wandered around Home Depot for two hours looking for anything that could be used to hold drying bits of jewelry (because the tray we ordered was teeny-tiny). But we’re lucky enough to work as a team and you can’t ever really get too down when you’re hanging out with your best friend building a merchandise empire. 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? We think of a new adorable animal that should wear glasses.

What is your work schedule like? We text constantly throughout our big girl job work days and get together to do the actual crafting and filling out of terrible government forms at least once a week.

There’s probably cat hair on anything anyone has ever purchased from us.

Do you sell your work? If so where? Any tips on pricing your work? We sell through our website as well as at events and conventions. We start by asking ourselves what we would spend, then we ask other people what they’d be willing to spend…then we put erasable price tags on things and see if people buy them!

We give very very good advice (which people would know if they ever followed it).

We do our best thinking while roller skating around lakes.

Do you listen to music while you work? What do you do to keep work and creative juices flowing? Keep our eye on the prize.

our favorites...

We are really loud when we work, so music would mostly create more cacophany (we are still working out of our homes). But we do, as we believe we mentioned, watch Labyrinth over and over and over again…along with “My Fair Wedding” (which we may have also mentioned). Cats wearing glasses. Birds wearing glasses. Hedgehogs wearing glasses. Foxes wearing glasses. Sloths wearing glasses. Unicorns wearing glasses (coming soon!).

What’s the most unusual thing you’ve ever made or created? A t-shirt with an octopus wearing glasses and holding a comic book. Do your creative work full time/part time or as a hobby? In addition to working our big girl jobs and running Smart Girl Accessories we run, knit, read, drink, watch various things on television, listen to various musics, and try to find time for other people (after our cats).

Smart girls wearing glasses.

If you were stranded on a deserted island and could only bring three things, what would you bring? 1. Our smart bird tank, because it’s so comfortable. 2. SPF 50 3. Our boyfriend Justin Timberlake (Sexy Back Era).

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Have you won any awards or special prizes or mentions for your work? Nope, not yet, but if you want to give us one, we’ll accept it. Here are some suggestions for awards you could give us: Most likely to succeed. Prettiest. Smartest. The Justin Timberlake Award for Greatness (and smooth moves). Putting Glasses on Animals, 1st Place Smiling Faces, Honorable Mention

Do you donate to charity or work with any charities or community organizations through your creative work? We plan to once we’re profitable - it’s on our lengthy list of goals.

In business, as in roller derby, find a partner and stick to them (or at least always know where they are). If you are outsourcing any part of your work, make sure you trust the person, they like what you’re doing, and you can communicate openly. Love what you’re selling. If you wouldn’t wear it, use it, own it, don’t put it on your merch table. How do you know when a project is finished? When it is purchased and on someone’s body, we know we got it right. Do you have any current projects or future plans you’d like to share? What does the future hold for you and your business- where do you see yourself in a few years?

Unicorn wearing glasses, y’all!!!

Merch empire, obvs. quarter 4 | 2014



your art



ARTICLE contributor

BIGlinda THANKS! sharp

artist linda sharp shares some of her unique artist’s insight, finding time to make art can be a real adventure!...

1) 2) 3)

The time machine I ordered from Ebay never showed up, so I have no time for art.

1) 2) 3) 4)

Plus I spent 3 months browsing Ebay for Time Machines,so I have no time for art.

1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 6)

I’m a busy person since every night I have to explain Cable TV to concerned Aliens who came a long ways after getting those initial broadcasts of “I Love Lucy”. No time for art.

1) My brain doesn’t work well when 2) I don’t find time for art. My 3) imagination shrivels and I can’t 4) come up with memorable and secure 5) passwords.

1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 6)

Where was my time? Where do I start? I decided to think about it during coffee break. Gesturing wildly (my daily exercise regime), I knocked over my coffee onto piles of unused art supplies breeding nearby.

This brief non-commercial message has been brought to you by:

Leonardo Da Vinci, who said: “If you look upon an old wall covered with dirt, or the odd appearance of some streaked stones, you may discover several things like landscapes, battles, clouds, uncommon attitudes, humorous faces, draperies, etc. Out of this confused mass of objects, the mind will be furnished with an abundance of designs and subjects perfectly new.” Some of you might doubt some aspects of this practical advice column, and I have to admit that there is a veracity issue – I was actually drinking tea, not coffee.

7) 8) 9) 10) 11) 12) 13) 14) 15) 16) 17) 18) 19) 20) 21) 22) 23) 24) 25) 26) 27) 28) 29)

I drew on the coffee stains for a few minutes. The next day I went to a coffee shop with my postcard sized paper and watersoluable pencils, and an alien who dared to leave the protective radioactivity of the TV. Sure enough, there was time at the coffee shop. People were spending lots of time. Could I draw in public? The logo with the mermaid ripping herself in half was making me nervous. I spilled my coffee. I drew on coffee stains for 15 minutes on small pieces of paper while the alien tried to change the channel on the people at the next table. I found my time. I found where to start. The alien likes his portrait.

Our next issue is TBA after a short hiatus Stay tuned and thanks for supporting us!

Q4 MadeIn Mag 2014  
Q4 MadeIn Mag 2014  

Creative mag for creative peeps!