“Good Morning! I hope you all had a most wonderful holiday, now it’s back to blogging : ) Who wants a feature?!”
…and what do you know? Mandy Stos replied within minutes and proclaimed, “Pick me!” Happy Holidays Mandy – your sweet little message bumped you right to the top of the featured crafter queue and I’m so delighted to show off your garage sale and curbside finds – completely revamped and recreated into an entirely new existence.
From buttons and old newspapers to cheap t-shirts and fabric scraps, iamthemandy’s style is reflected in both what she wears and designs. Although some may see fabric scraps and old magazines as trash, her philosophy remains: reuse. repurpose. reinvent.
1* i love mowing the yard. something about the smell of fresh grass makes me feel alive.
2* i am glad that Conan is back.
3* i enjoy watching court tv shows, especially judge mathis.
4* i'm addicted to animals.
What got you started crafting?
As a child I loved to run around and make a mess. I am pretty sure my crafting sprung from cutting up my mothers clothing and gluing things together that were not suppose to be. Now in my adult life, my boyfriend Joey has pushed me to start a small business with my crafting. I usually made things and gave them as gifts, which I still do, but now I have a steady following and couldn't be more thankful.
What is your source of inspiration?
My inspiration springs from my surroundings. I try to find beauty in everything and reuse what I can. Whether that means and old soda can or broken clock, I will try to incorporate these things and resuscitate or recreate them into an entirely new existence. I love when my followers suggest an idea that hasn't yet leaked from my creativity. It entices me to learn a new technique or conquer an item in a different form than I have before.
What have you made recently?
My love for music recently geared me in the direction of finding something to create with old record albums, so I began making blank journals out of them. Not only are they colorful and showcase a great era of music, but I top them off with a hand-stitched binding. I feel that it adds even more to the item than a basic spiral coil spine.
I begin by cutting the album cover to my desired size and then select a color of paper that I feel accents the color scheme. I cut the paper to fit inside my album cover and then begin making small portfolios with the paper, usually 5 sheets. I then fold them in half and score them with my bone tool.
The next step is cutting slits in the appropriate spot on the spine of the album cover. Once this is done, I then poke holes into the portfolios to align with the slits on the spine. This is important that they line up correctly so the paper block will be in unison.
Now, it is time to sew. For most of my journals I need about 4 arm stretches of waxed nylon. By arm stretches I mean taking the cord in one hand and then stretching your arms out left and right, doing this 4 times.
You then begin hand-stitching the spine. The technique I use on most of my journals is referred to as the "long-stitch", however there are many more out there and you can even create your one design if you wish.
Where do you sell your crafts presently?
I sell my handmade items on my personal website and etsy, as well as 4 local Kansas and Missouri stores. I hope to expand even more in 2011!
Miss Fortune's Creation Station, Lawrence, KS
Warehouse 414, Topeka, KS
STUFF, Kansas City, MO
OnionTree, Wichita, KS
Why are handmade crafts important to you?
I chose to support and create handmade because I love doing it and I feel that you get love with each item. You know it wasn't shipped or flown over from another country, but created in a local studio or home where quality and creativity matter.