Saturday, December 31, 2011

August 2010 - Lisa Clarke

OK, I messed up and lost Lisa's interview while trying to redesign the blog. So instead, I am sharing with you a press release about her post. I hope you enjoy it:


Lisa Clarke is our featured blogger for the month of August. Lisa of the Polka Dot Cottage http://lisaclarke.net/ is from Stirling, NJ.



Lisa began crafting at an early age. As with many crafters, rubber-stamping helped ignite her crafting bug. She currently works in polymer clay, which she began utilizing in 1996. 

Lisa has work published on Polymer Clay Daily, Daily Art Muse and CRAFT. She has also been featured or interviewed on a few other blogs. While Lisa sells her craft, she also promotes others to learn through sharing tutorials and techniques with fellow crafters. 



Lisa Clark can be found at:

October/November 2010 - Random Stuff


OCTOBER/NOVEMBER

Random Stuff by SAM and samsstuff ArtFire both are the inventive genious of Shelley McElhiney, from Tacoma, WA. Enjoy getting to know her!

How long have you been crafting?
I've been making things pretty much my entire life. My grandmother taught me a lot, along with a number of artistic & creative teachers. Some skills I've had to relearn over time, like crochet & embroidery. I learned a lot about photography in college & through amazing artists I've met through my Flickr account, samsstuff.

Do you have a favorite medium or medium of the moment?
No, I love exploring them all. I love the possibilities of 'painting' with light through photography, the amazing new ways that embroidery is being used, as an art form & medium to portray a message. I like the ways that crochet is being combined in new ways (plastic bags, as yarn...) with new materials to create new & useful items & I love the new ways beading & wirework are being combined with vintage or found items to give them new & unique lives. There is a lot of freshness & creativity in the art world & the handmade movement is a part of that.

Is there anything influencing your work right now?
Other times & places, travel, other cultures, vintage, retro & the green movement.

Are you know for a specialty?
Upcycling & reuse, vintage style with a modern twist.



One tool you can’t live without?
I can't name just one :) pliers, needles (sewing & embroidery) crochet hooks, camera, computer...

Something craft related that you spend too much money on.
Everything, beads maybe, I can't resist shiny things & yarn, I love all the different colors & textures.

Are you featured or published?
I have been writing articles for Handmade Spark & have been featured in a number of places. I mention these (lots of great treasuries & of course, on Craft Map, etc.) on Twitter & on my FaceBook shop fan pages, samsstuff (Etsy) & Sam's Stuff (ArtFire).  I have two shops: one on Etsy with vintage & one of a kind jewelry, accessories & clothing, one on ArtFire with vintage, photography & one of a kind household type items (Etsy shop items are also listed here), both samsstuff. 

Any tip or trick you’d like to share?
Make what you love. If you decide to make something that is a current trend, make it your own way. 

You create a lot and sell a lot, do you have any pointers for someone who might be getting started?
Take advantage of all the great free & nearly free advice that's available. Blogs like Handmade Spark & Handmadeology, the forums on Etsy & Artfire, for photography The Digital Photography School has great tips & forums. Don't spend all your time promoting to other crafters, though expand to other markets that you think might be interested in what you do. Not only will you gain a whole new group of potential customers, they'll influence your creativity in whole new ways & you'll meet interesting new people!



Do you have any tutorials to share?
I have a tutorial on CraftStylish on fixing sleeves to make them more comfortable: http://www.craftstylish.com/item/49711/easy-fix-for-that-tight-uncomfortable-sleeve


If you have a creative block, is there anything that works to motivate you in a positive direction?
I'm a visual person, so magazines, photos...I can get too lost on-line. There are some great inspirational blogs: The Art of Non ConformityCleavage by Kelly DiehlsScoutie Girl & Creating My Own Reality. Only Scoutie Girl is specifically craft related.



Is there anything craft related that you would like to try or learn?
I wish I could knit, there are so many great patterns out there! I've always wanted to learn how to write music & since I love music so much (I get lost in music departments, there are too many choices) I would love to learn to make musical instruments! 



Your favorite magazine?
I have two, currently: ReadyMade & Juxtapos.  
Sams Stuff can be found at:
Random Stuff by SAM    http://samsstuff-samsstuff.blogspot.com 

Monday, October 18, 2010

September 2010 - Expect Moore


SEPTEMBER
 Our fall feature comes from Las Vegas, NV. Carolina Moore is the crafty mind behind. Expect Moore.  
Tell us a bit about yourself:
I'm a 30-year-old wife and mom living in Las Vegas, NV. My son, "Little Moore" is turning 2 in September. I like to craft, which includes sewing, scrapbooking, beading, and all kinds of other things. I don't really like to travel, but all of my family lives out of state, so I end up traveling a lot, because family is very important to me. I'm very close with my parents and 3 brothers.


How long have you been crafting?
As long as I can remember. My mom is a creative person, and she taught me how to sew at a young age. I was a Girl Scout - and we did lots of crafts at meetings (I can still braid a mean lanyard), and my brothers were Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts, so I often did "their" crafts as well - like entering a car in the Pine Wood Derby Race!

Do you have a favorite medium or medium of the moment?
I've been doing a lot of sewing lately, and some scrap booking. I really need to make more time for the scrap booking, because I'm horribly behind on my photos. I'm looking forward to doing some beading again (it has been a while), and picking up some chainmail... I've only done a little, but it is so beautiful!


Is there anything influencing your work right now?
My son influences a lot of what I do - I'm often doing something that is specifically for him. Recently, I did an entire week of Pocket related posts on my blog, which was inspired by his fascination with putting things into pockets.

Are you known for a specialty?
I get lots of comments on my tutorials. I like to have lots of pictures that detail the process. Ideally, I'd like someone to be able to follow the tutorial without reading any of the words - only looking at the pictures. Not all my tutorials are that detailed, but it is my goal.

One tool you can’t live without?
My sewing machine. I have a Husky (Viking/Husqvarna) that my parents gave me for my High School graduation over a decade ago. I love it, and am so sad when it needs to go into the shop!


Something craft related that you spend too much money on.
Fabric. I'm a sucker for fabrics. A trip to JoAnn's or Quiltique isn't complete unless I've walked through every isle, and then stopped by the remnant bin to pick out a favorite or two (or three...). I also recently bought custom-made clothing labels. They were pricey, but I love them!

Are you featured or published? If so, where can we see your work.
I'm an Editor at eLivingMedia, where I write on things both craft-related and not craft related.

I've been featured on One Pretty Thing, Totally Tutorials, Craft Gossip, and Craft Crave, as well as a couple foreign-language craft roundups.

Any tip or trick you’d like to share?
If you're open minded, creative ideas will come your way... just remember to write them down before you forget! I also keep a running list of "inspirations" which are projects from other blogs and sites that I'd like to try someday. You'll find a link to my Inspirations list in the menu bar at the top of my blog.


Do you have any tutorials to share?
You can find a list of my tutorials at:
http://www.alwaysexpectmoore.com/p/tutorials.html

If you have a creative block, is there anything that works to motivate you in a positive direction?
Going through my inspirations list always gives me projects to work on. Also, looking at other blogs is always motivating.


Is there anything craft related that you would like to try or learn?
One day I'd love to learn to crochet. My mom and grandmother both tried teaching me, but I didn't have the patience. Maybe one day...



Your favorite magazine?
I love "Family Fun" magazine for great kid ideas. Reader's Digest is great for short stories I can read before bed. I'm looking for some great craft 'zines to subscribe to, I think supporting our crafting community is important.
Carolina Moore can be found at:
Blog: 
  http://expectmoore.blogspot.com  

Thursday, September 9, 2010

July 2010 - Matthew Mead

I am sure you have heard of Christmas in July. Well, here at The Craft Map we are celebrating Christmas in July with the feature of Matthew Mead from Holiday with Matthew Mead. Help us celebrate and enjoy getting to know Matthew. 
 
Tell us a bit about yourself:
I am a lifestyle and entertaining expert and have authored numerous books including Entertaining Simple and Matthew Mead’s Halloween. As a former style editor with Country Home, I now contribute to numerous shelter publications including Better Homes and Gardens, Real Simple, In Style Weddings, Victoria, Celebrate,  Do it Yourself, and Country Living and have produced images for Pottery Barn, Dove Chocolate, Target and Stonewall Kitchen. I co-edited the 2010 issue of Flea Market Style and am currently editor-in-chief of Holiday with Matthew Mead.
How long have you been crafting?
Design and styling has been a part of my life since early childhood, although obviously in a natural and inherent way. I love being inspired by vintage objects... color, shape, design... I love finding quality style throughout the ages... and I love great things from every era. There must be a curator in me somewhere and I think perhaps that if I wasn't doing this, I would probably work at acquiring and curating items for a museum. I have been a serious collector for over 20 years and have dabbled in selling antiques... a roving dealer might also be in the cards.
Which came first the blog or the book idea?
The book. Holiday with Matthew Mead is a book-azine that encompasses all that I love about the holiday season: the traditions, celebrations and magic that is the holiday season. The pages of Holiday with Matthew Mead are filled with fresh, easy ideas that can be achieved in two or three steps. With 144 pages of holiday inspiration - featuring well-known and admired designers, bloggers and top-notch stories - and printed on beautiful paper (while not drowning in ads!), we consider Holiday with Matthew Mead part book/part magazine - a publication that you will keep from year to year and add to your collection of Holiday decorating, crafting and cooking magazines and books. We started the blog to share the behind-the-scenes process of the making of the magazine and as a way to involve readers and include them in the magazine via cookie recipe contest, whole home tour contests and more!
How did you decide to focus on the holiday theme?
I have always loved the holidays and all of the traditions and joy associated with them. It was a natural desire for me to share what I love about the holidays, so I published my first HOLIDAY issue in 2006, and am now answering the yearning within me to share more of my
ideas and inspirations. Readers have been asking me to put out another issue for years, so I decided that although my schedule is crazy busy right now, it was time to deliver!
What is your favorite holiday?
I love them all, I really do. But right now, I am focused on Christmas...I have to be!
Do you have a favorite medium or medium of the moment?
Well, not in the sense that you are referring to, but I am loving the blogging process. Bloggers are so engaging and current and just out there doing it and doing it well. Its inspiring to me because never before has there been such community connectivity than through blogs. I read many and respond often just to be part of such a great circle... I am awed by the medium and the talent.
One tool you can’t live without?
My camera. It is always with me and I love capturing beauty to share with my readers.
If you have a creative block, is there anything that works to motivate you in a positive direction?
I don`t ever really suffer from creative block. I have so many things to inspire myself... and a talented staff that works hard to embellish and grow my vision... we do so many different things as well that I often change gears and take a whole new direction based on the medium
or season I am working in... Life is like a candy store with not enough time to try it all...
Is there anything craft related that you would like to try or learn?
I am always learning and trying new things. Currently, I am loving creating beautiful things with my computer...digital media is so exciting and so many wonderful things can be created with it!

Your favorite magazine?
Holiday with Matthew Mead, of course! But I love to look through and draw inspiration from Australian design mags and I love Donna Hay`s aesthetic.
Please visit me at my two websites: www.matthewmeadstyle.com and www.holidaywithmatthewmead.com (where you can pre-purchase the magazine, distributed only via the website and straight to the readers` mailboxes).
You can find Matthew at the following links:
Website:   http://www.holidaywithmatthewmead.com                

June 2010 - Inspirational Beading

Meet Mortira from Nanaimo, BC. She is the creative mind behind Inspirational Beading

I love beads and beading. Many times I do an Internet search for something bead related and always end up on the site of our JUNE Featured Blogger. What a blessing to have her as a part of our Craft Map team. I hope you enjoy her blog and learn a little something along the way – I always do!

Tell us a bit about yourself:
My name is Mortira, and I am crazy about beads.  When I’m not sitting at my workspace creating something, I’m thinking about my next project, my next bead purchase, or my next wave of inspiration.  Doing beadwork makes me sublimely happy.  Glass is my absolute favorite material - it’s beautiful, versatile, and sustainable.  In 2009, I made a pledge to avoid using metal beads and components, hard plastic beads, and natural beads made from threatened or endangered species.  Through my beadwork, and my blog, I try to encourage other artists to examine the source of their materials as well.  


How long have you been crafting?
I can’t really remember I time when I wasn’t crafting.  All the women in my family are very artsy, and between us we’ve pretty much tried it all.  When I graduated from macaroni art, I moved on to things like papier mache and macrame.  I’ve always loved beads, but the beading bug didn’t really catch me until about 2005.  As soon as I finished my first spiral rope necklace, I was completely hooked.


Do you have a favorite medium or medium of the moment?
Off-loom bead weaving is certainly my passion.  I can’t see myself ever moving away from that - but you never know.  I used to really enjoy bead embroidery, and I would love to take it up again one day.  I’d like to wait until I can invest in a good supply of leather before I begin.  It would be awful to get started and be flooded with inspiration, without enough materials to really see it through!



Is there anything influencing your work right now?
My inspirations change all the time.  A lot of what I make is fueled by a need - to make something quick for my store, or to clear out some older materials from my stash.  I try to keep a balance between necessity projects and freely artistic work.  Running a handmade business can be a real inspiration killer if you let it run away with you.

I try to keep myself motivated to create new things by using my blog as an inspiration to-do list.  Every month I come up with a different theme and see how many pieces I can make to fit it.  Anything else I happen to make that month is a like a bonus.


One tool you can't live without?
I’d say it’s a tie between anything that measures.  My ring-sizing mandrel is probably the most valuable tool I’ve ever bought.  Now that I have it, I can make rings like mad and know that they will always have the right fit.  I also have a paper ruler taped to my work space that I use at least a dozen times during every beading session.


Something craft related that you spend too much money on.
It used to be beading magazines - I would buy them without even looking past the front cover!  Now that my son is old enough to enjoy reading, I pick up back issues every month at the library and enjoy them for free.  Still - I can’t imagine giving away my collection! 

I’ve also cut down on my frivolous bead purchases as well.  I used to raid the clearance section and scoop up anything that I thought would be fun to use.  Now, when I need to buy something, I limit myself to one or two extra goodies.


Are you featured or published? If so, where can we see your work.
I’ve been lucky enough to be chosen for a handful of wonderful blog features.  I always enjoy meeting new crafters and bloggers that way.  My most prestigious features to date are a tutorial that I shared with Auntie’s Beads, for my scalloped St. Petersburg chain technique, and a lovely feature on Christine’s Beadworks.  She always has the most amazing artwork on her blog, and it was a huge honor to be among such wonderful creators.

Any tip or trick you'd like to share?
Save everything!  I always keep invoices from supplies, empty bead vials and extra packaging materials as well.  Just about anything that you bring in for your craft can be used again for something else.  Plus having records around comes in handy when you can’t remember the name of a color or finish.


If you have a creative block, is there anything that works to motivate you in a positive direction?
I usually look over my bead stash and see if anything calls out to be used.  It’s amazing how easy it is to forget what’s in there.  If I’m stuck for ideas, or I don’t feel like making any of the same old things, I browse through my beads.  Eventually I’ll see something and be inspired all over again.



Is there anything craft related that you would like to try or learn?
I would really like to apply my beadwork to non-jewelry designs.  I’m more than a little fascinated by fashion design, so something clothing-related would be fun.  I’ve also toyed with the idea of doing mixed media or abstract beading, and my husband is always telling me I should get back to making beaded curtains and tapestries with my newer skills.

Your favorite magazine?
Beadwork Magazine for sure.  I love the projects, and the features are always so interesting.  I especially enjoy The Challenge - where different designers use the same beads with an amazing variety of results.  There’s also a real community vibe within the pages - reading it is like visiting your local bead store.


You can find Mortira at the following links:

May 2010 - Erik Homemade(R)

Erik J Hansen, Creative Director/Host
Erik HOMEMADE(R)

Happiness is Homemade..
.
Celebrating our first year on the World-Wide Web!
Tell us a bit about yourself:
My name is Erik and I love to make things! I like to be busy...and I like to design. I grew up in the Upper Mid-West (originally from MN, but grew up in WI...now live in OH). I am an avid traveler. I host the Thimbleberries' (quilting) block-of-the-Month at a local quilt shop, and have been teaching quilting and crafting since 2000. I am a Gemini (so I have a hard time concentrating on just one thing at a time). I am 43 (soon 44) years old. After attending university and having the chance to study abroad, I earned a design degree in France (where I also learned about great food!) I use my weblog, Erik HOMEMADE(R) Coffee-Break eZine, to keep me designing and creating; things necessary to keep me sane. Although I have had a hard time focusing on certain aspects, things are defining themselves as we go along; I am enjoying watching Erik HOMEMADE(R) take on a life of its own! I consider myself very lucky to be surrounded with people who take good care and support me in so many ways. Erik HOMEMADE(R) is my endeavor to design and create what I love to do and share it with the world. It has become, not just my escape, but also part of my sanity and focus. I think I am really fortunate to have such a project. It is wonderful to go to sleep at night worrying only if there is enough cinnamon in gingerbread, or if the color blue I picked is deep enough.
How long have you been crafting?

For as long as I can remember. My mother and grandmothers hands were always busy making something. To this day neither my mom nor I can sit still. We always have to be busy making something.
Do you have a favorite medium or medium of the moment?
Quilting is my big love. I really enjoy working with fabric and textiles. I like the way fabric feels in my hands or the way that a needle and thread feel as I run it through fabric. I am not a gadget person or someone who likes to do a lot of machine work. I like to finish things by hand.
Why blogging?
I also love to teach crafting. I like watching a student develop with time, work and perseverance. Things can get discouraging for some folks, but I have always found that most people want guidance and human contact while crafting and learning. It is what makes crafting rewarding--passing along a love, an art, and a passion.
Tell us about your blog – is it a collaboration - a business?
Although I am the owner/creative director/and host there is more than just me. My mom is a wonderful sounding board and she gives great advice. Jeff, our production manager, is getting more involved as time goes on and we grow as a website. He has more patience than I do, and can solve many problems without getting as flustered as I might. I also have a wonderful group of quilters and crafters around me. They listen, try things out, and contribute their two cents worth...which is always appreciated. In the next year, we hope to work with design school students giving them the chance to design a few projects we can share. I always loved working on school projects of this sort, so we are going to try it for Erik HOMEMADE(R).
Your blog has been up for just over a year, how have you seen it grow?
Erik HOMEMADE(R) has grown in so many ways! At first, none of us knew much about html, internet subtleties, nor digital anything. We knew about crafting, cooking, and quilting. We had an idea, a plan, a computer, and a camera! A year later, we have a growing subscription base that keeps us optimistic...through the blog we can reach people all over the world who are looking for a specific project or give them instructions for a technique they want to try on a project of their own. We answer questions all of the time--sometimes that are computer related that don't have anything to do with crafting or cooking...but since we love to teach, we like to help out.
It has been a lot of fun watching the blog grow...as much as my impatience wants to force things along, I am trying to take an organic approach and let it grow as we do in our own blogging skills! This August, for example, we will be able to photograph right in our our studio! (It is almost ready!) and we have the means to post video now. The re-designed site will be more original and user-friendly. We have several exciting projects planned.
Was there one thing that enhanced your blog (or page views) more so than another?
Our new banner--when we went from just text to a photograph helped quite a bit. Although we are about to go through another re-design, to celebrate our second birthday this August, this simple photo gave us good results!
We also started a mystery scrap quilt that begins posting 03 May 10 that has brought a lot of new people to our site. It has been over-whelming, but we now have a new adventure with a lot of new readers! It is amazing to see how a post/idea/instruction can go viral! When something fun catches on, it spreads like wildfire!
One tool you can’t live without?
My scissors!! I have several good pair...but I also have my favorite pair that NEVER leave my side! Best of friends, they get me out of a lot of trouble!
Something craft related that you spend too much money on.
Oh! I would have to say fabric and scrapbook paper! I see them as related because I collect both of them and have the same dilemma with both of them. Simply put, I love them. Got to have them. For my stash. What happens is I buy the fabric or paper, then when it comes time to use it, I go buy more of the same because I don't want to use what I have. Some might think that this is a sickness. I call it loving scrapbook paper and fabric! 
Any tip or trick you’d like to share?
I think that patience is important. The older I get the more I am aware of this. I am someone who like immediate results, as I think many others do today with the immediacy of everything. You have to do each step in order, "let the paint dry", and then proceed. Everything worth the effort takes time. 
Is there anything craft related that you would like to try or learn?
I am fascinated by tatting. What beautiful things can be made with a simple tool and some thread! Amazing! 
Your favorite magazine?
Too many to mention

April 2010 - Mod Podge Rocks!

Meet Amy Anderson from Mod Podge Rocks!. Amy is located in Atlanta, Ga.


AC Moore Wall Hangings
How long have you been crafting? 
Since I was born!  My mother made me take art classes from a young age.  My first "crafty" class was sewing when I was 10.  I hated doing that at the time, but now I love it.  I sew, knit, decoupage and then whatever else I can get my hands-on.  Crafting rules my world! 
Do you have a favorite medium or medium of the moment? 
I'm loving Mod Podge Dimensional Magic (Mod Podge at Amazon).  It's brand new and will be in the stores in April - Plaid was kind enough to let me try a sample.  It's a milky liquid that dries clear and raised.  I love adding texture to smaller projects with it!!  Go get some when it comes out.



Hoot Drawers and Birdhouse
Is there anything influencing your work right now? 
Pantone''s color of the year is turquoise, which happens to be one of my favorite shades!  I find myself incorporating it into my latest Mod Podge projects, and the brightness of the color makes me happy. 
One tool you can’t live without? 
My new Sizzix Big Shot (Sizzix 655268 Big Shot Cutting-and-Embossing Roller-Style Machine).  I'm obsessed.
Something craft related that you spend too much money on. 
Pretty scrapbooking papers that I can decoupage with.  If it catches my eye, I buy it.  I have STACKS.



Book Box
Are you featured or published?
I have a blog,
Mod Podge Rocks!  I regularly post for other blogs - I'm a featured designer on FaveCrafts and you can find an interview I did for Inspired at Home radio on their site, to name a few.
Any tip or trick you’d like to share? 
Spray your finished Mod Podge project with a sealer to reduce tackiness.  It's the number one problem people ask me about, and it's an easy fix.
If you have a creative block, is there anything that works to motivate you in a positive direction? 
I bust out my inspiration book!  If you don't have an inspiration book, I highly suggest you make one.  It's pages and pages of photos, magazine tears, web printouts, color chips, paper bits. . . anything that inspires me or I just plain like the idea.  When I'm not sure what to do, I take a peek at my book to get the juices flowing.  Going online to my favorite blogs (featured in my sidebar) is also a surefire way to get inspired.



Screenprinting with Mod Podge
Is there anything craft related that you would like to try or learn? 
I haven't reconstructed clothing yet, and it's on my list.  I see it all over the internet - turning an old clothing item into something new.  I have a sewing machine and would absolutely love to refashion my wardrobe.  I could probably even use some of the clothing in some Mod Podge projects.
Your favorite magazine? 
CRAFT and ReadyMade (Readymade - 1 Yr $5.95) are tied!  CRAFT is no longer in print but is online - ReadyMade is being printed still.  I cherish my issues!