Feature Friday Presents:
“I am raised by a family of makers. My mother sewed for her children and my father is a professional sculptor. I have made and created things as far back as I can remember. I get so much pleasure from working with my hands and finding homes for those creations. I also paint and garden and enjoy life with my husband and two daughters. I am fortunate to live on our sheep farm and see the birth of lambs and enjoy the beauty of the pasture. The world has so much to teach.”
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What got you interested in crafting?
Crafting is just something I have always done. My mother sewed my clothes when I was a little girl and my father was a professional sculptor so there was always something being made in our house. I remember buying embroidery thread in fifth grade to make a table runner and hand stitching a quilt as a high school student. I am happiest when my hands are busy.
What has been your favorite project to make and why?
I loved making dolls for my girls. Dollhouse dolls are especially fun because it doesn’t take much time to embellish them with trims, beads and embroidery. I could make a collection of fairies and rogues, princesses and gnomes and the children so loved to “do talking” with them. I am now making flowers for my hair accessories and really enjoying playing with all the colors I find in the fabrics I use.
What’s the secret behind your etsy name?
I opened my etsy account long before I opened a shop and chose my named based upon a series of paintings I did with my own children. The girls and I would spill watercolor and scribble and draw to fill a big piece of watercolor paper with color and pattern. I had them lay down on the paper and traced around them and we gave the figures wings and created a silhouette (or a “fairyshadow”) by painting out everything but the figure with white paint. I always found the paintings endearing and the memory of the time I spent being creative with my children one I want to keep strong.
What is the most challenging thing you have made?
I made my own wedding gown. I had my grandmother’s nightgown from her wedding night that had some really beautiful lace that I wanted to incorporate into my own dress. The lace was very delicate so I needed to carefully hand stitch each piece into place. It was very gratifying to complete and to wear. I carried a bit of my family history into my future and still treasure the dress.
What are some of your goals you hope to achieve within the next year?
I want to find homes for my flowered hair accessories by increasing traffic to my esty shop and establishing some wholesale accounts with small boutiques. I plan to vend at local crafts fairs and farmers markets and make lots more pretty things.
What inspires you to be crafty?
Most often it the materials I find when shopping at secondhand stores. I recently found a brilliantly bright red wool lap blanket already felted by an overeager washing. I first made some dryer balls (you use these to fluff the clothes in your dryer to make drying time shorter) but then thought to check for color fastness. The dye bled but I so loved the fabric and still wanted to use it so I decided to make a garland. It came out beautifully. I love looking at something and thinking, now what can I make with this.
What is your best quality when it comes to your crafting?
I am persistent. I will fiddle with a design until I like it and then I work at making the production as efficient as possible. I enjoy handwork and the repetitious nature of it. After making one type of item a hundred times I usually have all the kinks worked out and the quality of craftsmanship is where I want it to be.
If you could have one thing to help your store what would it be?
I would become more internet savvy. I see lots of suggestions for using the social media from promotion but I have been a shy person most of my life and reaching out to people outside my immediate circle is challenging. I am trying to better educate myself about how to build a community beyond my own physical space and be comfortable doing it.
Thanks for stopping by! If you haven’t already – check out her shop here: Fairyshadow