Random tidbits about a Denver crocheter’s life…
1. I blogged about officially quitting the Mormon church, and was featured by Dan Savage, writer of Savage Love and founder of the "It Gets Better" anti-bully movement.
2. My day job is working as an assistant to an author, whose wife is a popular spirit channeler.
3. I write for a local music magazine, as well as articles about blended families for a parenting website.
4. I used to be a teen mother (something one inevitably grows out of) and now write articles and speak at high schools to help spread the idea of safe sex, personal responsibility, and support.
What got you started crafting?
I have always loved accessorizing and what better way to keep yourself in hats than learning to make them? While visiting my beloved grandma over Thanksgiving break in 2005, I told her I was interested in learning how to crochet. Simple as that and she dedicated the week to teaching me. During my last visit, I asked to learn how to play the accordion and she gave me a lesson. She's an amazing woman.
What is your source of inspiration?
Oh, gosh, everything. I think of the most random and strange things to crochet. My thoughts generally go something like this: "I need a pair of gloves. I should crochet a pair. Gray gloves, but like, a greenish-gray. Like the color of zombie skin. Hey, zombie gloves. Gloves that look like gnarly zombie hands with scars and exposed bones."
A running joke has been that I find inspiration while drinking. This leads to outrageous, hilarious, and sometimes offensive crocheted items.
What have you made recently?
I've recently started working with felt as a way to accentuate crocheted pieces. I started out making flowers, which I found to be neater and more versatile than the usual crocheted flowers I had made in the past. Well, with the way my mind works, it didn't take long before I was bored with flowers. I branched out to making felt animals (the most unlovable animals I could think of), video game scenes, and random objects like school buses.
I start out by sketching something on cardstock, cutting it out, then tracing it onto felt. Once I have the item cleaned up of ragged edges, I hand-stitch it onto the hat. Durability is huge to me. I want someone to be able to beat up a hat, wear it camping for a week straight, throw it in the wash...and still have it look good.
Where do you sell your crafts presently?
I have an Etsy shop and an actual website. Also, there is a local bar called 3 Kings Tavern which hosts a Rock & Roll Garage Sale once a month. Artists bring their sculptures, thrift store junkies bring their vintage goods, former roadies bring memorabilia, etc. It's a fun, casual atmosphere...and with cheap Bloody Marys at that!
All that being said, I find that word-of-mouth is really my best form of advertising. The majority of my customers are friends of friends.
Why are handmade crafts important to you?
I love handmade. You can't beat it. In general, the items are quality-made, because the seller is involved in the process every step of the way. They know if a chain link is broken right away and will fix it before you ever see it; with a mass producer, they are relying on an apathetic inspector who sees every tenth item coming down the line.
Moreover, by buying handmade, you are singlehandedly contributing to the success of a passionate artisan and to the value of creativity in a world based upon the importance of money.
Finally, handmade stuff truly is some of the most interesting and unique items around. The beautiful things I find daily on Etsy are so much more appealing to me than anything that can be found at a mall.