clever crafter


Clever Crafter – Lisa of Dress Ups

This month’s Clever Crafter is long time coop member Lisa of Dress Up Kids.
Liza 30 years agoDress Up Kids

1. Where are you based? 
Bargara Beach, QLD



2. What was your first job? How did that influence your future?
Retail Assistant.  I was trained by an amazing couple who really excelled at customer service and gave me a great grounding in understanding and respecting people.



3. What lead you to do what you are doing now (in relation to the handmade items you are making now) 
When I had my children I was deeply shocked at just how much the technical age that we live in has shaped and influenced our Little People … I simply wanted them to enjoy the fun and innocent side of being a child.



4. If you were to try a new form of crafting what would it be?
Knitting



5. Who do you have a craft crush on? 
Sher Christopher – who is an amazing English Paper Craft Artist.  He makes awe inspiring emotive paper figurines

6. What is your favourite item you make? I love the fact that our Magical Mermaid costume makes so many (mostly little girls) feel very special.



7. What was the last handmade thing you have purchased and from where?
A new stamped wedding band for my husband from a very talented  Etsy seller in the US for our 10th wedding anniversary … the last one has not left his finger and had been abused terribly!

{Website}  http://www.dressupskids.com
{Facebook} 
http://www.facebook.com/DressUpsKids

Indian Costume Chef Mermaid

Meet our Clever Crafter – Kasia From kasiabear designs 22

Where are you based?
Tea Tree Gully, South Australia

How did you come up with your business name?
I am not sure who the culprit is … but the name goes back to my primary school days. I’ve always been a ‘cuddly’ build and that was just my nickname among my friends. I now refer to my kiddos as ‘baby bear’ and ‘little bear’ so the name ‘kasiabear’ still fits. I’ve kind of grown to love it too.

Passion for my craft …
I have always been creative and am always creating something. As a little girl I loved all the traditional crafts of cross stitch, knitting, embroidery and sewing. I sewed my first piece of clothing when I was 13 … a hooded top to be precise. I tried my hand at many arts throughout my university study, focusing mainly on photography and digital art. It was hard to decide which direction to take when I graduated, so I stuck with what I knew best being graphic design, but asked for a sewing machine as my graduation present from my folks.

I chose to leave the traditional workforce just before my second bubba was born and needed to do something to feed my creative side. I started making screen printed tee’s for my kids and purchased a few sewing patterns on the internet to have a play … and kasiabear kind of started from there.. so although the ‘kasiabear’ brand is quite new, I have been selling my photography and working as a freelance graphic designer for quite some time.

As far as your craft is concerned, who in your life is your biggest influence?
This is a hard one … My kids obviously are my #1 influence to make kids clothes … but if Ella had it her way it would all be pink, girly and princess like … so the style itself most certainly isn’t influenced by them … I am quite eclectic with my art style and what I like …

I travelled quite a bit and have seen some amazing traditional art in art galleries throughout europe and on the other hand have fallen in love with a lot of the modern art, street art and art installations. So each one of these experiences has an influence on what I make both in the clothing range but in my wall prints.

If you were to try a new form of crafting what would it be?
I love the digital world but there is something about making a physical object and creating with your hands. I try wherever possible to combine the two. I do majority of my designs on the computer and then hand-cut the stencils and screen print all the kasiabear tee’s by hand. I’ve been experimenting with a few other mediums such as heat transfers and printing directly onto fabric which will be a big part of a new range I am working on now. I have played with glass a teeny tiny bit at uni but would love to have more of a play at some stage. … Maybe making glass beads … hmm …

What is your favourite item you make?
This changes day by day as I get bored easily but at the moment I am loving making the {i am …} range of age tees. They’ve taken off so fast that I haven’t had a chance to work on the boy’s range yet … but soon … they’ll be available in my etsy store too …

What was the last handmade thing you have purchased and from where?
A teeny tiny pair of silver stud earrings. I just love silver and I have a thing about square studs. I got them from a little gift shop by the beach.

To see the fabulous products kasiabear designs have on offer, visit their website at http://www.etsy.com/shop/kasiabear. Some examples are shown below:


From top left

1. Boys Tees Live Love Laugh boys tee Available in boys and girls styles as well as onesies for babies. $28
2. Girls Tees {i am..} age tee Available in boys and girls styles in a range of colours. $25
3. Birth Announcement Card Available in a range of colours. $20
4. Personalised Name Print {i am..} Available in a range of colours. $20

Kasia from kasiabear designs is giving away to one lucky reader an age tee of your choice of number and size {for either a girl or a boy}!!

To enter, all you have to do is leave a comment on the bottom of this blog post or send us an email (at hc4kids@live.com.au – subject: Kasiabear Comp) telling us which of the four items pictured above you love the best (see competition rules below). Entries close Friday, 15th April, 2011 at 5 pm. The winner will be announced Friday evening on our Facebook fan page as soon as comments are counted, etc. Good luck!!! Please note that Handmade Cooperative members are not eligible to enter.

Handmade Cooperative – Australian Handmade 4 Kids Competition Rules: The competition is open to all Australian residents (except Handmade Cooperative members). * Simply enter by leaving a comment below or send an email to hc4kids@live.com.au (subject: Kasiabear Comp) to let us know which one of the four items promoted above is your favourite; * Entries close 5 pm Friday, 15th April, 2011. All email entries will be posted as comments on the blog. Each valid comment will then be assigned with an entry number. A computerised random number generator (http://www.random.org/) will be used to randomly select the number of the winning comment. An announcement of the winner will be added to the bottom of this blog post on Friday once the competition has closed, and posted on our facebook fan page wall, and the winner will also be notified by email. * Handmade Cooperative members are not eligible to enter.

Meet our Clever Crafter – Tracey White from Ben & Jess 18

Where are you based?
Frenchs Forest, NSW, Australia. I work out of our home which is great for me as I’m a stay at home mum. Working from home allows me to do all things I need to do as a parent and also work. I love my commute which is just down the stairs!

How did you come up with your business name?
I wanted to choose a name that meant something to me. So Ben & Jess is named after our son Ben and our sweet Jack Russell Jess. Both of them have stolen my heart forever. I just love them to pieces and everynight I tell my son that “I love you to the moon and back”.

A bit about your passion for your craft …

Paper is my passion. The possibilities with working with paper are endless and there are so many beautiful scrapbooking papers available that it makes my head spin not to mention the ribbon and accessories.

How long have you been crafting for?
I think I was born with a pair of sissors and needle in my hands. My mum loved to sew and she also managed a fabric store so I was surround my fabric and craft from day one. She always encouraged and inspired me to be the best that I can be and I feel that this is reflected today in what I make and sell. There is a little bit of me in everything I sell.

How long have you been selling your wares for?
I started selling my handmade items at markets around Sydney in 2008. Clients kept asking did I have an online store and that’s how Ben & Jess came about.

Do you craft part time or full time; or is it purely a hobby?
In the beginning Ben & Jess was just a hobby but I am working hard towards making this my full time job. For the majority of my life I really wasn’t sure what I wanted to do – it’s taken a while (I’m not revealing my age) but I’ve finally found a job I love!

Why do you craft; and what would happen if you didn’t?
Crafting for me is a part of my everyday life. I enjoy the whole process of coming up with designs, selecting supplies, making and interacting with clients on bespoke projects. If I couldn’t craft I would definately write. I have lots of ideas for stories I just need to put pen to paper or is that keyboard now that we are in the age of technology?

As far as your craft is concerned, who in your life is your biggest influence?
My immediate family would have to be the biggest influence. They are all crafty in their own ways, painters, sculpters and photographers. I couldn’t have started Ben & Jess without their love, encouragement and support. I’m also inspired by how Kath Kidston and Donna Hay have gone forward in their chosen career.

If you were to try a new form of crafting, what would it be and why?
I would love to try Millinery. The idea of cutting and piecing together hats for individuals sounds interesting.

What is your favourite or best selling that you make?
My favorite item would have to be my Little French Dress Garlands. I got the idea for these while I was watching the movie 27 Dresses. The best selling item is my hand stamped Party Favor Bags followed closely by my Happy Birthday Banners.

What was the last handmade thing you have purchased and from where?
I just purchased a mothers day card and some bookmarks from Seasonal Delights on Etsy. They’re in the post and should arrive any day now.

To see the fabulous products Ben & Jess have on offer, visit their website at http://www.madeit.com.au/benandjess. Some examples are shown below:


From top left

1. Owl Happy Birthday Banner Happy Birthday Banner – featuring sweet happy owls alternated with green and white polka dots. RRP $19.50.
2. Hoot Hoot Owl Party Favor Bags Hoot Hoot Owl Party Favor Bags ~ a fun and easy way to hand out lollies and at the end of a birthday party. Different colour bags available. Custom designs welcomed. RRP $3.00 for 6 bags.
3. Babushka Party Favor Bags Bubushka Party Favor Bags in pretty pink. Different colour bags available. Custom designs welcomed. RRP $5.70 for 6 bags.
4. Little French Dress Garland Hearts & Swirls Little French Dress Garland. Five hand cut paper dresses beautifuly strung together with soft organza ribbon. A pretty decoration for any girls bedroom. Made to order welcomed. RRP $19.95.

Tracey from Ben & Jess is giving away to one lucky reader a Bespoke Perfect Party Kit valued at $37.00. The bespoke perfect party kit includes: 1 x Happy Birthday Banner in the design of your choice, 12 x Party Favor Bags in either brown, white, pink or lime, and 12 x Co-ordinating Cup Cake Toppers. Your perfect party kit will come fully assembled all you need to do is have the party!!

To enter, all you have to do is leave a comment on the bottom of this blog post or send us an email (at hc4kids@live.com.au – subject: Ben and Jess Comp) telling us which of the four items pictured above you love the best (see competition rules below). Entries close Thursday, 31st March, 2011 at 5 pm. The winner will be announced Thursday evening on our Facebook fan page as soon as comments are counted, etc. Good luck!!! Please note that Handmade Cooperative members are not eligible to enter.

Handmade Cooperative – Australian Handmade 4 Kids Competition Rules: The competition is open to all Australian residents (except Handmade Cooperative members). * Simply enter by leaving a comment below or send an email to hc4kids@live.com.au (subject: Ben and Jess Comp) to let us know which one of the four items promoted above is your favourite; * Entries close 5 pm Thursday, 31st March, 2011. All email entries will be posted as comments on the blog. Each valid comment will then be assigned with an entry number. A computerised random number generator (http://www.random.org/) will be used to randomly select the number of the winning comment. An announcement of the winner will be added to the bottom of this blog post on the following Thursday once the competition has closed, and posted on our facebook fan page wall, and the winner will also be notified by email. * Handmade Cooperative members are not eligible to enter.

Meet our Clever Crafter – Rebecca McAlister from Little Toot Creations 17

 

Where are you based?Port Macquarie NSW

How did you come up with your business name?Little Toot was my grandfather’s boat when I was a kid. He named it after Hardie Gramatky’s original 1939 tugboat character. That’s why my new logo includes the image of a little boy and girl playing with a tugboat. For me it evokes memories of my past, playing and having fun with my sister and our neighbourhood friends.

A bit about your passion for your craft …I’ve been sewing since my first daughter was a baby. I took it up while I was at home on maternity leave, for something creative to pass the time. My love for the craft has grown and grown – and my skill level has improved exponentially – so in 2010 I registered Little Toot Creations as a business. I now sew for Little Toot two days a week, plus when I can on evenings and weekends. It keeps me very busy, not only the sewing, but also shopping for supplies, coming up with new styles to try, communicating with my customers and doing paperwork. Running a handmade business really is a labour of love – but I get such personal satisfaction from it, I wouldn’t be doing anything else right now.

As far as your craft is concerned, who in your life is your biggest influence?My Nanna is my inspiration. She spent her life creating beautiful things for her family, friends and (for a short time) to earn some money for her family. Her work is exquisite – stitch-perfect garments, beautiful machine embroidery and I don’t think I’ve ever known someone to change the curtains as often as my Nan! But I’m also encouraged and inspired by the many, many other talented mums out there who themselves are running small home-based crafting businesses. We have such a wonderful handmade community; and I am honoured to be part of it.

If you were to try a new form of crafting, what would it be and why?I wish I could knit, or crochet, or both. I love the look and feel of a beautifully hand-knitted jumper. But unfortunately I’m too impatient – I need projects that I can start and finish in a day!

What is your favourite or best selling that you make?Right now I think my favourite item is my ‘Sweet couverture’ linen trousers. They’re so grown-up and pretty for older girls. And really comfy too.

What was the last handmade thing you have purchased and from where?I finally purchased a satchel from fellow co-op member Selkie Smith Designs for my daughter, from online store Little Yon Yon (who also stocks Little Toot Creations). And it’s amazing! Just perfect. And Alice seems so grown up now when we go out and about, taking her own drink and snacks and her lip balm and crayon wallet. We also bought a dress recently from Little Star Clothing. It’s just stunning and I can’t wait for the weather to cool down so Alice can wear it!

To see the fabulous products Little Toot Creations have on offer, visit their website at http://www.littletootcreations.com.au. Some examples are shown below:

From top left –

1. ‘Blush’ smock – The perfect all-season item, these smock-style blouses will become a firm favourite at your place. Wear them alone in the autumn and spring, or over a warm turtle-neck or skivvy in winter. Made from the softest, most beautifully light designer cotton you will find, they wash and wear extremely well. Each top is finished with a removable crochet flower brooch. RRP $35.
2. ‘Golfer boy’ pants in blue – A fresh take on an old favourite, these slim-fit golfing-style pants are made from 100% cotton, making them light and comfortable without compromising on style. They feature an elasticised waistband and faux fly. RRP $35.
3. ‘Sweet couverture’ linen trousers – You won’t go wrong with these delicious straight-leg trousers made from quality dark chocolate linen and finished with imported Japanese cotton. This style is designed to sit just above the hips and looks particularly lovely on older girls. RRP $35.
4. ‘Home and away’ baby playmat – As mothers, we all want our babies to be safe, clean and comfortable both at home and when we’re out and about.
Little Toot’s extra-large play mats (100cm x 105cm) are perfect for at home or away. They have a beautiful designer cotton upper, a sturdy denim backing and are beautifully soft and padded with thick wool lining. Use them on hard surfaces or when you’re at the park. And because they are quite heavy, they won’t gather up under a baby who is starting to move about and crawl.

Rebecca from Little Toot Creations is giving one lucky reader the chance to win a GIRL OR BOY CRAYON WALLET OF THEIR CHOICE – Keep the kids quiet anywhere, any time with their own notepad and crayon set, all packaged up in a great little fabric wallet. Made from designer cotton and lined for stability, these wallets hold (and come with) 12 Crayola crayons and a 100 sheet notepad (replacements are available from Little Toot Creations or most newsagents). They are secured with a long-wearing magnetic clasp that’s easy for little people to open and close on their own.
To enter, all you have to do is leave a comment on the bottom of this blog post or send us an email (at hc4kids@live.com.au – subject: Little Toot Comp) telling us which of the four items pictured above you love the best (see competition rules below). Entries close Thursday, 17th March, 2011 at 5 pm. The winner will be announced Thursday evening on our Facebook fan page as soon as comments are counted, etc. Good luck!!!

Please note that Handmade Cooperative members are not eligible to enter.

Handmade Cooperative – Australian Handmade 4 Kids Competition Rules:
The competition is open to all Australian residents (except Handmade Cooperative members).
* Simply enter by leaving a comment below or send an email to hc4kids@live.com.au (subject: Little Toot Comp) to let us know which one of the four items promoted above is your favourite;
* Entries close 5 pm Thursday, 17th March, 2011. All email entries will be posted as comments on the blog. Each valid comment will then be assigned with an entry number. A computerised random number generator (http://www.random.org/) will be used to randomly select the number of the winning comment. An announcement of the winner will be added to the bottom of this blog post on the following Thursday once the competition has closed, and posted on our facebook fan page wall, and the winner will also be notified by email.
* Handmade Cooperative members are not eligible to enter.

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Meet our Clever Crafter – Chelsie Sharp from Love Paper Scissors 15


Where are you based?

Echuca, Victoria

How did you come up with your business name?
I always thought Alannah Hill had great names for her dresses so was checking out her website for inspiration when I noticed her website was designed by a company called Paper Stone Scissors – and a light bulb literally flashed in my head and that is how Love Paper Scissors was born! I think the name really encompasses what I do.

A bit about your passion for your craft …
I have been designing and selling my art for a bit over a year – it is meant to be part time but I probably do 40 hours a week just to get everything done – particularly with the email enquires and administration that comes with running a business. I suppose it is my career now as it’s going quite well and I have quite a few stockists scattered throughout Australia. My first sales were actually wholesale to a store called Plains Design in Echuca and then I had locals knocking at my door wanted to buy direct during Christmas 2009. Since then I started up my own online store, have done a few markets and have recently teamed up with Millie’s Sandwich Bar in the Echuca CBD which was initially going to be a ‘pop up shop’ but has turned into a permanent ‘shop within a shop’ which has been great! Most of my range can now be seen in real life at Millie’s – I do the making and Amelia does the selling!

As far as your craft is concerned, who in your life is your biggest influence?
No real answer for this one! I just make what I like or what customers ask me to make! My husband is incredibly supportive though – in agreeing to give it a go and try something new – I used to be a police officer (I still am, just on leave without pay). The business has been self funded and I’ve made a decent profit for the first year, I’ve also spent a lot of money on wasted advertising and a few dodgy things but you learn as you go. I love getting great feedback and emails from happy customers – that is the best. A lot of my customers have at some point received an art work as a gift and go on to buy something for themselves or for someone else as a gift so my business has grown because of that … how it should be really!

If you were to try a new form of crafting, what would it be and why?
If I can find the time one day – I’m thinking of making some timber pieces or perhaps jewellery in the shapes from my range and I have teamed up with a photographer in Echuca who takes great photographs of the local landscapes – that I am going to add my paper cut outs too … one day!

What is your favourite or best selling item that you make?
Trinity Butterflies (see http://lovepaperscissors.com.au/baby-girls/paper-butterflies-framed-baby-gift) and my Diggers and Dump Trucks are very popular, I try to keep them around the $50 mark as that’s generally the limit people have for a baby gift. The owls and bird cages ranges have been a hit too. My personal favourites are the medium and large grids of the new orange and yellow ‘zesty’ butterflies and the baby girls pearls frames. Sometimes with how long they take to put together I think I pay myself $5 an hour but I love it! I should mention the memorial art I make for people too, they are really special, especially when kids are involved and parents are after a keepsake to display in their memory.

What was the last handmade thing you have purchased and from where?
My ABC fridge magnets by G for Georgia by Tamara Cadd Photography – they are gorgeous, a steal at just $10 and my kids love them..

To see the fabulous products Love Paper Scissors have on offer, visit their website at http://lovepaperscissors.com.au/Shop. Some examples are shown below:

From top left –

1) Hoot Hoot Owls – 5 owls in colours for boys and girls or black and white polka dots for grown ups – rrp $55
2) Trinity Butterflies – 3 gorgeous butterflies in colours of your choice, fully customised with your names/poems etc – rrp $55
3) Love Frames and Marriage Certificates – Frame you wedding vows and favorite photographs with a cascade of butterflies – rrp from $130
4) Diggers and Dump Trucks – Available in 3 frame sizes and colours – add a name if you like, great for a farmyard themed bedroom – rrp $55

Chelsea from Love Paper Scissors is giving one lucky reader the chance to win a $20.00 gift voucher to spend towards any artwork of their choice available online – http://lovepaperscissors.com.au/Shop.

To enter, all you have to do is leave a comment on the bottom of this blog post or send us an email (at hc4kids@live.com.au – subject: LPS Comp) telling us which of the four items pictured above you love the best (see competition rules below). Entries close Thursday, 3rd March, 2011 at 5 pm. The winner will be announced Thursday evening on our Facebook fan page as soon as comments are counted, etc. Good luck!!!

Please note that Handmade Cooperative members are not eligible to enter.

Handmade Cooperative – Australian Handmade 4 Kids Competition Rules:
The competition is open to all Australian residents (except Handmade Cooperative members).
* Simply enter by leaving a comment below or send an email to hc4kids@live.com.au (subject: LPS Comp) to let us know which one of the four items promoted above is your favourite;
* Entries close 5 pm Thursday, 3rd March, 2011. All email entries will be posted as comments on the blog. Each valid comment will then be assigned with an entry number. A computerised random number generator (http://www.random.org/) will be used to randomly select the number of the winning comment. An announcement of the winner will be added to the bottom of this blog post on the following Thursday once the competition has closed, and posted on our facebook fan page wall, and the winner will also be notified by email.
* Handmade Cooperative members are not eligible to enter.