Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Craft Month Interview: Fashion Journalist Sofia Hedstrom

I met Sofia Hedstrom (AKA Sofia Headstrong) while doing a craft event at Etsy. Right away I noticed her unique fashion sense and sweet personality.

Tell us about yourself?
I'm a correspondent for Swedish and Norweigan TV in addition to being the fashion correspondent for Sweden's biggest newspapers, Svenska Dagbladet, where I also write the daily fashion blog. In a couple of weeks my first book is coming out in Sweden. Very exciting!

What kind of projects are you currently working on?
For the fashion manifesto I collected over 50 recipes from all over the world. After my shopping free year I prefer to work with what I have in my wardrobe rather than buy new clothes. I always wear skirts so I have tons of recipes for used stockings.

Is there something new that you are really excited to work on? Tell us.
The book, Modemanifestet- The new fashion manifesto
Equal parts memoir, manifesto and how-to, this book will chronicle Sofia Hedström’s non-shopping journey through New York, Paris and Milan’s Fashion Weeks and in everyday life. It will also articulate 7 principles or essential rules to become fashion fit. Finally, the book will provide 50 simple and playful “recipes” for reinventing garments. Based on Sofia’s travels from Reykjavik to Brooklyn, the book will show readers how to bury t-shirts in the ground, transform a button down shirt into a pair of pants, and cover stains with embroidery.

An exclusive foreword by world famous designer Vivienne Westwood sets the tone. In Sweden, the nation’s oldest publisher, Norstedts, will publish the book in March 2011.

Where do you find your daily inspiration?
From myself and my own experiences. I think that's the best way to go and I always try to put myself in new situations to gain new experiences. As a fashion journalist it was very interesting not to shop anything for a year, it really forced me to be creative with what I have.

Do you ever get in a fashion rut?
I always dress after a very clear vision that I get each day when I wake up. For me clothes are like a costume and sometimes I dream of Belle de jour or being a flap dancer in shanghai during the 20s.

What is your work space or artist studio like?
It's my home, so I can roll out of bed into my desk. I collect objects in the shape of animals and have porcelin plant pots in the shape of swans, dear lamps, bird name it. It's the opposite to minimalistic so it reflects me.
What is your favorite snack that you like to have while creating your art?
Popcorn. When I have a tight deadline I always make popcorn.

Are there any art or craft projects from your childhood that you still remember well?
I started experimenting with my clothes when I was really young. I have strong memories from a tie dye faze when I was 13. Me and my best friends used to get home from school, start a tie dye session and then go into the sauna while the clothes boiled on the stove.
Sofia's website
Email Sofia

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Craft interview with Brassy Apple

Tell us about yourself?
My name is Megan or "Ms. Apple" as the delivery guy sometimes calls me (ha!) - I am a pattern designer and passionate DIY-er. I love to create items that are easy to wear, display and/or create. I have dabbled in several areas of the ARTS and try to live my days just carving out my own path.
What kind of craft, sewing, or art projects are you currently working on?
My bunchy scarves have been extra popular this Spring season with the recent addition of my Extra Large flower brooches as well. I can't seem to keep them in stock.

Is there something new that you are really excited to work on?
I am finishing up a new pattern booklet for cotton fabric scarves to compliment the other 20 scarf designs that have been released. This pattern booklet will also include 3 different flower brooch designs including the extra large one!

Besides sewing and crafting my newest and most exciting project is my blog. It's a blog where a single photo is shared daily based on a monthly theme. I tiny peek into someone else's life. Their struggles, their joy.....their story.

Where do you find your daily inspiration?
Lately it has been color and simplicity. I am so motivated and moved by color. It's been the springboard for designs in all areas - home decor, fashion, crafting.....Simplicity is the other driving factor. I like things that are easily put together without much fuss. I like to take what looks hard or complicated and show people how to create the same look quickly, easily and inexpensively.

What is your work-space or artist studio like?
Full. Like most people I like to surround myself with things that I love and make me happy. I have an inspiration board full of pictures and quotes, a table that is full of projects in the works, a sewing area and of course my office desk. It's my favorite piece in the room. I purchased it second hand and redid it "Brassy" style with a high gloss black paint and decoupaged the drawer fronts with fabric.

What is your favorite snack that you like to have while making and creating your art?
Hot Tamales! When I am really in a creative "groove" or "rut" I like to munch on these.

Are there any art or craft projects from your childhood that you still remember well?
I remember I loved paper dolls. I loved creating my own clothes for them. I would sketch out the pieces, add the details, color and cut them out making sure to add the tabs so they would stay on.

My blog is always showcasing my latest projects and tutorials.
My shop has all my patterns, ready made items and ePatterns too.
My daily happenings get tweeted.
NEW page Facebook page

Monday, March 14, 2011

Jewelry Artist, Robin Humphrey

RobinCharlotte by Robin Humphrey

Tell us about yourself?
My name is Robin Humphrey, crafting under the name of RobinCharlotte. I graduated from RISD with a major in apparel design and have been working in different aspects of the fashion industry since. I currently design a line of jewelry and related products that feature real recycled fish and other found objects inside of resin.

What kind of craft or sewing projects are you currently working on?
I probably always have at least 20 started projects in my studio. I make the rounds letting each one kind of dictate when it is ready to be worked on or not. Recently I have been on a kick of incorporating photography with stitching, precious gems & feathers.

Is there something new that you are really excited to work on?
I just got the most amazing collection of bird skulls that came from an elder teacher who preserved and identified each one in a tattered old journal! I have been looking for bird skulls for a long time and they couldn't have come to me in a more perfect way. I am fascinated with obsessive people and their collections. This was her life’s work, her passion, it tells a tale of her personal history. It’s just so meticulous. So, I am going to be taking her collection of skulls into the metal studio and will cast them in order in precious metals. Then they can assert themselves as the treasures they truly are.

Where do you find your daily inspiration?
I am very visual, so everything that I see through out the day inspires me. I try and read lots of blogs, always check the side walks for lost treasures and just really take the time to study everything around me. I also enjoy waking up early on the weekends and going to estate sales. I love browsing through a lifetime of treasures in beautiful old homes.

Is there any recent craft adictions you have?
Parrot feathers – its turned into a full-blown addiction in less than a few months and there are some amazing (and really expensive ones out there). I could potentially go broke if I don't start to show a little restraint!

Do you ever get in a craft rut? I do. If I find myself stuck in an uncreative environment or energy-sucking situation for too long I end up feeling creatively depleted. Which can become a rut that infiltrates all aspects of my life. So I am now much more conscious about not staying in those situations when I recognize it since being uninspired and being unhappy are one in the same for me.

What is your workspace or artist studio like? I actually just gave my studio an overhaul. I have large bins I keep all my supplies and projects in on shelves on the wall. I recently took on the task of painting every bin with chalkboard paint and now on the front I can update the revolving door of projects. I can get messy very quick, I start whipping things out of here and there, so my new bin system keeps me more organized, or maybe just makes me appear somewhat organized. I love being surrounded by stuff I am inspired by too, so I have a vintage taxidermy butterfly collection, my grandmother’s antique spoon collection in a case my grandfather built her & lots of things in jars. I am always picking things up off the ground wherever I go and then sorting them into jars.

Are there any art or craft projects from your childhood that you still remember well?
I loved all craft projects – I would get so excited and work on them obsessively. One day in 4th grade we made piggy banks in art class and for the rest of that year I was making piggy banks at home everyday. I even made a pigpen from popsicle sticks to corral them in. The next year in 5th grade I remember sewing a huge candy bar for a school project from my old Girl Scout brownie uniform because that was the only thing brown I could find in the house. That was the first time I realized creating went beyond what was sold Michaels. The idea that I could repurpose something I already owned blew my little mind – there was no turning back from that point on!

Follow Robin
Robin's website

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Spacecraft Brooklyn

I was busy making Beasties this Saturday afternoon at Spacecraft Brooklyn. The unique craft-making and supply boutique is located on the South side of Williamsburg. They offer different craft classes every week for adults and children.

I showed everyone how to make a Tomte (swedish gnome). We had such a variety of fabric to choose from it was hard to decide what to use. Some favorite fabrics of the day were a yellow faux fur and an emerald green velvet. There was even a super Tomte with a cape.

Check out the Spacecraft calendar for more crafty classes. On April 16th I'll be teaching a Easter themed class. We'll be making Easter rabbit puppets and I'll be doing a book signing for Puppet Play. Stay tuned for a Dragon Beastie class in the future too!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

NYC Wishing Well

Living in NYC can often test your patience. I was waiting for the G train in Brooklyn and began to pace back and forth. While pacing I often look down in the tracks and see unpleasant garbage, ROUS(rodents of unusual size), and a river of muck. Today I heard the sound of "water-drops" falling into a puddle on the tracks. However, this puddle was actually filled with a glimmer of coins and became an impromptu wishing well by subway riders. There seemed to be almost 50 pennies tossed into the tracks. I am not suggesting that anyone should throw anything in the tracks but I began to ponder the traditional "wishing well" and the need for New Yorkers to make one here. I also wondered what people were wishing for. Did I throw a penny? While contemplating this the train finally came.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Fire breathing Dragon

This awesome Beastie was made by Jenny Barnett Rohrs. I'm very impressed with her Dragon interpretation from the book. I love the colors. For more things crafty, check out her blog Craft Test Dummies. There are lots of great craft projects to read and product reviews for any crafting enthusiast.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Vintage Button

I bought this unique vintage button recently in Carroll Gardens. I'm not sure what the material is. Maybe plastic with a metal filagree. I love the detail work. I'm thinking of sewing it to a scarf or using it in a hairpiece.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

March is Craft Month: Fiber and Wood

March is craft month. I'm going to try to do as many craft posts as possible.

I recently went to the Renwick Gallery in Washington DC. The textile called, "The Silk Rainforest", caught my eye. This was created with silk, linen, and cotton by Sheila Hicks. The sea of blue, greens, and golden colors draws you right in. I love the rich saturated color this artist uses in all her work.

Silas Knopf created this exquisite wood cabinet with macassar ebony, walnut, and maple. Bad Hare Day, is an elegant furniture piece with an element of fun. The design of the animals is full of such movement. The rabbit and foxes look strinking against the wood and feels just like a forrest scene.