I have an etsy shop, so I spend a great deal of time on the site. Last week, I randomly found this chickadee and fell in love with her products and ideas for creative reuse. I sent her a quick email to see if she wanted to tell us a little about herself and she agreed.
Here’s the email interview:
1. Tell us your story. How did “this chickadee” get started?
it is tough to assign a starting date to this chickadee. it has been more of a creative evolution, spread out over time and going in many different directions! the chickadee that you see today was really born from a desire to give myself and others an alternative to the overwhelming amount of mass produced goods out there. and at the same time, i wanted to honor the rich tradition of d.i.y. that has been passed down to me by my mom and gramma.
2. Why do you reuse materials?
for many reasons…reusing and repurposing materials is something that my grandparents did all of the time. they did it first because they had to, their resources were very limited, and then because it just made sense. why would you waste something when you could find a new use for it? also, i’m particularly fond of vintage textiles. the patterns and the colors are more attractive and exciting to me than so much of what is being made today.
3. How do you come up with your ideas for a piece?
most of my ideas for things come out of necessity. i started sewing when i wanted pillows for my home and didn’t see anything in a store that interested me. so i looked around for materials that were on hand and dreamed up a plan of what to do with them. other times it is the fabric itself that inspires. daydreaming and drawing are essential activities. so are missteps and mistakes.
4. Where do you find your supplies?
all over the place. mostly thrift stores…but i also do shop at contemporary stores as well. i hope to achieve a balance between the old and the new.
5. Who/What inspires your work?
well, my gramma and my mom are huge inspirations for me. just spending time in my gramma’s house, which is wall to wall handmade, gives me motivation for making new things. my family is exceptionally supportive and always encouraging me. also, there are so many fantastically creative people out there in the craft world that i admire.
6. What advise do you have for anyone looking to reuse materials to make arts and crafts?
just do it! experiment, try different things. the interwebs are full of helpful sites (like this one) with tutorials and tips to get you started. don’t be shy about asking people for help or advice either. the craft community is a pretty awesome group of people who want to spread the desire to d.i.y.
7. Ultimate goals as an artist?
hmm…ultimate is hard because it implies a stopping point. i’d just like to keep on making and learning new things and moving in whatever direction is calling. along the way it would be great to inspire others to pick up their needles or hammers or paint brushes too.
8. Anything else you would like to say.
thanks for getting in touch!
You can see more of this chickadee’s products and stay up-to-date with her creative reuse by visiting the following sites: