Guest Editor :: Alexandra Smith :: Make It Local

by Jules on 01/06/2013

in Whip-Up

During most of 2013, will hosting a monthly mini-series, each month edited by different crafters and designers. Enjoy!

The theme for this month is Make It Local :: with Alexandra Smith of Lola Nova

Alexandra is the creator of Lola Nova, author of the book, Creative Makers: Simple Sewing with Lola Nova, a designer, maker, mama and day dreamer.

Hello! I feel quite honored to be a guest here at WhipUp for the month of June. The theme for the month is: Make It Local!

A little bit about me. I live with my sweet family in a little green cottage in Portland, Oregon, in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. For the last six years I have been the one woman show behind Lola Nova, an eclectic mix of making, blog writing, designing and imagining. What an amazing journey it has been.


Before my daughter was born I worked a lot of different jobs, some I loved, but most were just an unsatisfying way to make ends meet. When my girl was born, I stayed home with her. Since money was tight, I started sewing things we needed from fabric I had inherited from my grandmother, or picked up at charity shops, or up-cycled from other bits and discarded things. I had sewn off and on through my life, but never had I felt such purpose and passion. I set about improving my skills, teaching myself from books and videos what I did not already know how to accomplish. The more I learned and practiced, the more my imagination grew with possibility.


Along the way I started my blog, Lola Nova – Whatever Lola wants, and discovered a whole vibrant community of makers and artists all over the world. There is so much inspiration out there and I was intoxicated by it. As I continue on this journey of creating and growing my business, I put my heart and soul into what I do and make, and I love it!


The theme I chose is “Make It Local.” I feel extremely fortunate to live where I do and I am constantly inspired by my surroundings, my community, and my environment. So much of what goes on here finds its way into my projects. Anything from the weather, to a conversation I had with my neighbor, might show up as an element in what I’m making. I wanted to talk about what “make it local” means in broad terms. It isn’t just a geographical location; it is a sense of home and community.


Local can mean so much; your backyard, your kitchen, your family, your friends, state policy, the school district, your country, your favorite shops, galleries, graffiti, community programs, mom’s groups, artists, musicians, even your network of blog buddies are “local” to you in a way. I have also regularly witnessed and even been a part of, projects where “making it local” has had a real global effect. Some questions that came to mind on this theme were: How does where you live influence your art or craft? Are you part of a community that champions your creativity? Do you source local products/supplies for your making? Do you support local farmers, growers, shops, etc.? What does “Make it Local” mean to you?


I asked these questions of a few of my favorite bloggers and they have agreed to share their thoughts, recipes and tutorials for this month. I will be adding a few posts of my own to these and I am so happy to be doing so. As for you my friends, I encourage you to think about what that means to you and to add insight, brag about your local entrepreneurs and artists, or just leave a comment with your thoughts. Many thanks, Alex

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kristin June 1, 2013 at 12:26 pm

I love the red shoulder bag… is there a pattern or tutorial available? thanks in advance!


2 Maggie June 2, 2013 at 3:57 am

Hi, love that red bag, is the pattern in your book?


3 Lola Nova June 2, 2013 at 12:00 pm

Hi Maggie, thank you. The red bag will be in a tutorial here on WhipUp later this month!


4 Annie @ knitsofacto June 3, 2013 at 7:22 am

Love the smiley pic of you! Maybe I’m biased but I think you’ve chosen a great topic for the month, both fascinating and important. Here’s hoping you have a great guest editing month x


5 Diane williams July 22, 2013 at 7:09 pm

Love the stitch on the red, white and blue crochet. Can you tell me the name of the stitch? Is there a pattern?


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