LazyTcrochet has the most beautiful crocheted creations in her Etsy Shop. I love the pieces that she creates with warm, earthy colors. The shrugs, hats, bags....oh be still my beating heart. I also learned that she loves one of my favorite authors...you'll have to read further to figure it out. Her blog is fun to read and makes me homesick for Ohio...she recently blogged about fresh corn on the cob, zucchini, and waiting for the first tomato. I can't tell you how much I miss freshly picked vegetables from the garden. They just don't taste the same here in Arizona.
1. When did you become interested in art and did you choose art, or did it choose you?
I first became interested in photography when I got a 35 mm Pentax for high school graduation. I had a summer job during college as a "Roving Reporter" and was lucky enough to learn how to develop and print my own black and white photographs. As far as needlework goes, I just sat down one day and decided that I wanted to learn how to crochet. I just kept at it and eventually learned to knit also.
2. You get to spend one weekend each with three historical figures, an artist, a writer and one of your choice. Who are they and what will you talk about or do?
I imagine a scenic walk with Ansel Adams. To see the beauty as he saw would be a great influence. It's too easy to point and shoot with my little digital camera. I may be dusting off some of my old equipment to work with film again.
My favorite author is Diana Gabaldon. I really enjoy listening to the recorded version of the "Outlander" series (unabridged, of course). It's a wonderful story and listening allows me to get some work done at the same time! If I could meet with Diana, I would push for a big screen version. At one point I thought Mel Gibson would make a great Jamie Fraser, but that was some time ago.
As for another...to spend time with my great-grandmother, Eleanor, would have been amazing also. She was apparently very crafty, creative, and spirited.
3. Do any of these choices influence your work? and why?
Yes, I suppose I'm influenced by a desire for the simple life and realizing the beauty of old-world styles. I love seeing knit and crochet work in old movies. It makes you realize that people would wear a shawl because it was chilly in the house. I try to create items that people would enjoy wearing. I love making shawls, and it is especially fun to make them with all the gorgeous fibers available these days. It doesn't have to be the drab wools of the depression.
4. How has the popularity of the internet affected your work?
The internet has been inspiring! It has been so much fun being able to have my own online boutique and I enjoy my blog tremendously. I love browsing Fashion blogs, from NY to Paris, to Street Fashion worldwide. While there are many many knit and crochet patterns available online, I find it fun and challenging to come up with ideas and make my own. I like making things fun and functional. I always felt limited to what styles people were interested in at local craft shows. The internet allows for that extra freedom of expression. Just because something wouldn't go over well in my neck of the woods, doesn't mean I can't reach for the sky globally.
5. Have you discovered any new technique to creating your work that you can share?
There are so many standard techniques and stitches to both knit and crochet, but the fun part is what you make of it and how you combine the stitches. I do find myself looking up a particular stitch in needlework books, and sometimes designing a project around the stitch. I enjoy combining both knit and crochet and mixing in fabrics as well. Spinning is something I've wanted to try, but have been avoiding. I love to knit and crochet and I know that, if I learn to spin my own fibers, I won't have as much time to work with them. I may try it someday, but for now I'll just admire the spinners from afar!
6. How do you overcome artist block?
Anyone as addicted to yarn as I am knows that there is never a shortage of ideas. Most often, I have so many ideas floating around in my head that it can get overwhelming sometimes. I have notes attached to yarn bins with ideas for the different colors and fibers, relating to the different seasons and styles. I'm not sure if I'd call it artists block, but there are times when there are so many possibilities for a yarn that I have to take a step back, maybe work on something else for awhile, until I'm really sure what would work best for that particular yarn.
7. If I walked into your studio this moment what would you show me first? What would you want to hide?
Knowing your love for embroidery and textures, I'd show you the hooked rug that my great-grandmother made. It's in need of repair. I just haven't gotten around to it. You would probably trip over a rug frame that I made. I started a twined rag rug a few years ago, but haven't finished it yet. I do hope to finish it and post a tutorial on my blog. What would I hide? I might hide the box of Christmas crafty stuff that I attempted for craft shows years ago. I'm just not crafty like that anymore. I've packed away the glitter and glue gun.
8. Describe something that comes up in your work because of a life experience.
A friend of mine knew that I wanted to learn how to weave rugs and he gave me a loom. I haven't had time to fix it up or to take weaving classes, but he insisted that I should have this loom. He has since passed away and I haven't brought myself to work with it yet. It's not meant for rugs, more for fabrics. I will have someone show me how it works some day. For now, it's waiting for inspiration
9. Is there anything else that you would like to share?
Thanks so much for noticing my work and for choosing me for your Artist Series. I've never thought of myself as an artist and I still don't. I can't draw or paint to save my life. I have to keep telling myself that I AM a Fiber Artist. I'll just have to get used to that title now. I love your work, especially the details and textures of the embroidery and the materials that you use. It's beautiful!