There’s a story about where the name of my shop (“Amy Did It”) comes from that I like to tell.
When I was in pre-school, I was tormented daily by a little girl whose name was “America.” (Note: this is NOT a thinly-disguised parable of some sort). Every day, America would beat me up. I had always learned that fighting wasn’t nice, but even pacifists have limits. On the day I reached that limit, I socked America in the nose, and ran behind the classroom door to see what would happen. America was rendered speechless and blubbering by my rare demonstration of non-peaceful resistance, even as the teacher asked her, “What’s wrong? Who hurt you?” And I, who feared obscurity more than punishment peeked out from behind the door and hollered, “Amy did it!”
The lesson (maybe this is a parable after all): You might do good, and you might do bad, but you must always, always claim credit.
I used to play tambourine for Duran Duran. I once nursed an injured baby eagle back to health. I summer in outer space. And I invented butter.
Okay. I made all that up. Sometimes I do that (that's true fact number one). Here are three other true facts about me:
I love going to the zoo and watching the elephants. I cannot -- for the life of me -- grow long fingernails. I adore Lyle Lovett so much I named my dog after him.
What got you started crafting?
I first began crafting as a young kid in grade school. In preparation for any holiday of consequence (Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Halloween, Christmas, etc.), my mom and I would discover or dream up a craft that we could make together and that I could pass out to my friends at school.
From those days of making clothespin reindeer, mini hand-sewn Valentine’s teddy bears and jelly bean jars as a kid, I’ve graduated into creating wearable art necklaces from handmade ribbon flowers; knitting and felting jewelry, clothing and toys; paper crafting; turning old photos into household wares; recycling magazine pages into beads and jewelry and occasionally dabbling in abstract painting.
For me, crafting is a creative release, stress soother and outlet for daily inspiration.
What is your source of inspiration?
I don't care if this sounds corny: My primary inspiration is my mom. She has always designed and created beauty and humor in the world around her. I grew up with three life-size soft sculpture people in our house: one was Ted Koppel, another was an old balding man with glasses named Ben William, and another was a dainty upright cow in a vintage floral dress and hat, ready for tea. When I graduated from law school, she made a soft sculpture "me" to celebrate, complete with crazy curly hair that had all the important moments and aspects of my life sewn into it in words and pictures. All my life, she has shown me that I can design and create beauty and humor too, and has given me the confidence to do it. I look back and amaze myself with the various gifts I've made for her over the years -- she inspired all of them -- what would she really like next?
What have you made recently?
I've recently started designing a line of bridal jewelry, which incorporates both my ribbon roses and antique/vintage rhinestone and pearl jewelry I've found at antique stores. I imagine a bride with a unique sense of style and dress -- someone who appreciates handmade and artisan design, and I create something for her. I start with my base and just begin layering and building the florals and these old pieces into it. It's been so much fun to combine the roses, daisies, and rosettes that I make with someone else's jewelry creation -- a blend of old and new. I started the first piece just last night, pinning everything into place to see what the complete product would look like. I'm really pleased with it so far.
Where do you sell your crafts presently?
I've sold things at a few small craft shows, but mostly I give my work away as gifts or sell it on etsy.
Why are handmade crafts important to you?
When I'm buying gifts for myself or others, I choose handmade because it's always unique. I love the idea of wearing something that I know someone put thought and care into making. I mostly buy jewelry, and I like to wear something that I know no one else will be wearing. It almost always starts a conversation with others who want to know more about it and where I got it (kind of a nice trick for a relatively shy person such as myself).