People

Profiling the work of the lovely featured artists/makers in the 2012 Whipup.net calendar. I asked all the participants a few questions…

Sooz is our March Calendar girl, she likes sewing and knitting, lives in Australia and blogs at sooz

1. What are your three main craft/design influences?

I can’t go past my matriarchs for the craft influence. Both my mother and grandmother were phenomenal makers of things. Between going to work and keeping a household going, they managed to sew and knit and stitch and garden and cook in a way that made me feel like making things was essential to a happy life.

On the design front I struggle to find individuals who stand out since I think my eye for the work of the designer has developed only recently in my life. At this moment I am in really in love with Issey Miyake, in part because I realise I was in love with his designs long before I knew who he was. I love the textures and colours employed by knitwear designer Setsuko Torii.

Knitting machine

Crafty passions: knitting and sewing

2. Why do you feel the need/drive to make things?

I think there’s a lot to say on why making is important – it’s political and ideological for me – and there’s no doubt some psychological reasons in there too about justifying my existence, but really it’s quite simple. I make because I love it. It’s my meditation, my contemplation, my challenge, my peace, my pride and my joy.

3. Your favourite crafty resource?

I’m more than a bit in love with pinterest as a source of inspiration. I love it’s visual and immediate nature, the way I can look for images, share them, find the things that are inspiring other people.

4. What music inspires you to create?

My musical tastes are broad and dubious! From the Beastie Boys to the Monks of Gyuto and back again through the trash I loved in high school I listen to it all.

5. What do you do when you have a creative block?

Switch crafts/projects/work spaces. It’s very rare for me to be blocked on all things and generally if the sewing has got me down I can bake with abandon or if the kitchen has me running for the take away it’s because I’d really rather be knitting. I do best when I don’t fight what I really want to do with what I think I should be doing. It’s meant to be fun afterall.

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Berber Vos is from The Netherlands, her crafty passions are sewing and crochet and she blogs at Kisskus. She is our August Calendar girl!

1. What/who are your three main craft/design influences?

I get inspired by the many crafty websites that I follow through my Google Reader (some of my favourite blogs I link to in the sidebar of my own blog). Flickr is another fantastic source of inspiration, as well as my most recent discovery: Pinterest. When it comes to a person, I really admire Kaffe Fassett. I do not love every single thing that he designs, however I think that his bold creativity, his love of colour, his passion for his work and life itself are amazing and very uplifting. I was lucky enough to hear him talk and to see his work in person and both occassions gave me an incredible creative boost.

2. Why do you feel the need/drive to make things?

I get a kick out of creating something unique, especially out of materials that I have on hand or that are recycled. Also, for me being creative is a way to canalise the somewhat darker parts of my character into something healthy and constructive.

Berber's crafts of choice are sewing and crochet.

3. Favourite crafty resource: It has got to be Google, which leads me to craft blogs, tutorials, Youtube, Flickr etc.

4. What music inspires you to create?

These days I mostly listen to The Killers, Coldplay, Muse & Adele. I’m very loyal in my choice of music: I will listen to it over and over and over again :)

5. What do you do when you have a creative block?

Last winter I experienced a major sewing block. I missed it terribly and it made me unhappy. I solved it by learning how to crochet. I realised I needed a more straightforward and more portable craft and crochet is perfect in both ways. My sewing mood slowly returned by itself after that, so now I’m happy to have two crafts to alternate :)

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Profiling the work of the lovely featured artists/makers in the 2012 Whipup.net calendar. I asked all the participants a few questions…

Alexandra Smith lives in the USA, She blogs at Lola Nova – Whatever Lola Wants, her craft of choice is sewing, and she is our April Calendar girl!

1. Name your three main craft/design influences

My main influences are my imagination, my passion, and necessity – it is the mother of invention after all.

2. Why do you feel the need/drive to make things?

I couldn’t really tell you; all I know is that I can not imagine not making.

3. What is your favourite crafty resource?

There really are too many to name. The biggest and best has to be the library; we have a fantastic library system here it is an endless and amazing resource.

My favorite local supply resource is a little shop called Bolt http://www.boltfabricboutique.com/ and the blog http://www.boltneighborhood.com/. They are about 5 minutes from my house, with a great selection and a wonderful, knowledgeable staff. They are awesome!

Also, my mom.

4. What music inspires you to create?

Ooh, that’s a tough one! Irma Thomas, Otis Redding, Tom Waits, old mixed tapes…

5. What do you do when you have a creative block?

If the pacing doesn’t work, I take a walk with my daughter, or do something creative with her to get the flow going. Sometimes though, I just have to step away from it for a while and do something else that I enjoy. Inspiration usually pops up in the most unexpected places!

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Kellie Diguangco, blogs at Ricebabies , lives in Canada and loves to sew. She is our September calendar girl!

Why do you feel the need/drive to make things? : It gives me a great pleasure to make things, I love using my hands and my imagination together.

What is your favorite crafty resource: WhipUp.net – for all kinds of making ideas :: I love the work of Emily Martin- inspiring Illustrations and just plain prettiness :: My first real doll maker crush was on Johanna of One Red Robin

What music inspires you to create? I have always liked to make things with my hands, it helps me get whats in my head, out. I listen to a lot of Mindy Gledhill, Fiona Apple and a Adele

What do you do when you have a creative block? Read books to my kids and listen to their stories. Children’s minds hold a wealth of inspiration and it’s so uninhibited, pure, silly and fun.

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Thank you to all the calendar girls and to the amazing crafty online community that I have the great pleasure of being a part of. Thanks for reading and supporting Whipup.net this year!

xx
Kathreen

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Profiling the work of the lovely featured artists/makers in the 2012 Whipup.net calendar. I asked all the participants a few questions…

Jodi Anderson lives in the United States, she blogs at Daybook: A Keeping of Days. When making things Jodi loves the Conceptualizing + Implementing – that is having ideas and then making them a reality! She is our May Calendar girl!

1. What/who are your craft/design influences?

The natural world, most especially as it pertains to my rural childhood and geographical location, is the backdrop to everything that I do, and it is where I play mentally and physically. I also adore bitterly cold winters beyond all measure.

I am drawn to the mysteries of life, the unknown and the imagined, dreams of both night and day. Not knowing everything about our world allows me to fill some of that void with my own ideas.

History, in general, is a big influence in my life. I find a lot of fodder in the stories of my ancestors. I like to let myself travel further back in my mind than the historical records can take me, to a journey across northern Sweden. I am fortunate to have a lot of family heirlooms from which to draw inspiration. I also collect a lot of antique and vintage items, particularly children’s books, and these collections are greatly inspiring.

Jodi loves to make her ideas into reality

2. Why do you feel the need/drive to make things?

To me, it seems like the same need that I have to breathe. I can’t explain it; I just have to do it.

3. Favourite crafty resource?

The internet is my greatest resource. While it is difficult to trump hands-on experiences, I can find the answer to almost anything by searching online. And while I would basically do what I do without the internet, with it I can share with others while remaining somewhat an introvert. Yay, internet!

4. What music inspires you to create?

Generally, I prefer complete silence, just natural sounds like the wind or birds, not just when I create but throughout my entire life. That said, I am really inspired by Karin Dreijer Andersson (of Honey Is Cool, The Knife, Fever Ray). It’s not just her musical abilities, but her vision. She is a deep well of the extraordinary.

5. What do you do when you have a creative block?

I don’t have creative blocks, just a lack of time and energy.

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Katie Startzman lives in the US and blogs at duo fiber works, she loves to knit with occasional forays into whittling, leatherwork and hand sewing. She is our June Calendar girl!

1. Name your three main craft/design influences

I love the inspired bits I find in obscure or vintage craft books. Most recently a couple German whittling books for children have proven to be very useful in the little wood carving projects I do with my boys, even if I can’t read them. Also, we have a great used book shop in our town, Robie Books, and they always have some great new-to-me craft book when I visit. The more I read and research, the more I find my aesthetic developing, so endless research isn’t a waste, though sometimes I get caught up in the info-gathering instead of the doing- I’m trying for more balance on this front.

My family has many talented makers and doers, a lot of my creative work is to share with my sisters, mom or boys. My mom let us do pretty much anything we wanted creatively when we were growing up and that freedom to experiment and try new things has stuck with me for sure. My husband is also creative, he is an illustrator, so having someone else around to keep me accountable is really great. After we put our kids to bed he reminds me to go into the studio and get to work if I have a deadline, and I do the same for him.

Similarly, I am pleased to live in a vibrant, creative community. My small town is home to many writers, craftspeople, fine artists and dabblers. It’s energizing for creative work to be the norm, and I am inspired by the long history of creative people who have lived and worked here.

2. Why do you feel the need/drive to make things?

I like the technical challenge of creating something new. Figuring out how to knit a shape the way I see it in my mind- that’s fun. Sometimes my drive is economic, for my carved wooden play vegetables, I wanted to outfit a play kitchen with natural materials, but couldn’t afford the toys you can buy. But mostly, it’s the challenge and puzzle of making something new and beautiful, often from very humble materials. I am selling knitting patterns and sharing craft tutorials because I know the thrill of making something really special for your family, and I love sharing that ability with others.

Katie likes to work with wood and wool

Katie's work space

3. What is your favourite crafty resource?

I love Ravelry. The community, the constant stream of new ideas, the feedback on my designs, it’s the best. I also treasure my Monday night stitching group. It’s the perfect blend of social time and crafting. There are some really talented women in that group and it’s a great place to share ideas.

4. What music inspires you to create?

I listen to familiar music that I don’t have to think about when I am knitting. Bon Iver, The Decemberists, Fujiya & Miyagi are some of my favorites. I turn to Paul Simon if I need something really familiar. It doesn’t really matter to me what they are saying, I just like the way they sound. Though for designing knitting patterns, I have to work in quiet. For me, math and music don’t mix well.

5. What do you do when you have a creative block?

When I have a creative block, I often take a break creating, focusing on housekeeping, baking, or gardening instead. Sometimes, I like to switch mediums, work with wood for a bit instead of yarn. Mostly, I’m learning to go with the flow of my creative energy, sometimes the ideas come easily and sometimes they just don’t. With patience, the ideas come flowing back and I can get to work.

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Profiling the work of the lovely featured artists/makers in the 2012 Whipup.net calendar. I asked all the participants a few questions…

Teri Dimalanta is from the USA, her favourite craft is Papier Mache, she blogs at Giddygiddy. She is our February Calendar girl.

1. Main craft/ design influences:

I am inspired by the modern and iconic graphic designs of the 50′s. My favorite designers are Celestino Piatti, Paul Rand and Saul Bass, just to name a few. I am also inspired by two of my most favorite modern artists, Alexander Calder and Joan Miro. Contemporary fashion design is also another area that totally captivates me. At the moment, I am intrigued by the immensely innovative Hussein Chalayan.

Teri's creative space

Projects: Wooden quilt :: Papier mache wall hooks

2. Need to make things:

I have vivid memories of my childhood art classes. Like most children, I saw infinite possibilities in something as simple as an egg carton, or a paper cup. Nothing gave me more satisfaction or bliss as transforming art supplies into objects of my imagination.

Fast forward into adulthood, I settled into a comfortable career in finance; I had nearly forgotten what making things with my hands was like. I think having children reminded me of my inner child and I suddenly wanted my life to be about creativity, play and experimentation. Now I carve out time to fulfill my creative urges and won’t allow myself to shelve ideas for very long. The more creatively I live, the more creative I become which is all the more reason to make as often as possible.

3. Resources:

Here in the San Francisco Bay Area, we are so fortunate to have “reuse centers” where people/companies can donate unwanted artist and industrial supplies, reusable materials, paper, fabric, and general odds and ends. These items are then sold for a fraction of its original value. This idea is a total win win as it diverts perfectly reusable materials away from landfills and into the hands of artists, schools, crafters, etc. This resource has allowed me to fuel my various creative endeavors on the cheap. Now if you want to pin me down to name just one tool I couldn’t do without… that would be sticky tape.

4. Music: I listen to different types of music – but gravitate toward upbeat old school music. These days, I have Queen classics on a loop.

5. Creative block:

For me, it is no use fighting a creative block. Experience has taught me that when i give in to it, i can consider it necessary and forced downtime. It is no use to fight it. I try to rest, do nothing, or perhaps do something unambitious like doodling. Inevitably i am back to experiencing quite the opposite problem: too many ideas and not enough time to execute them all.

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Chawne is from the USA, she blogs at Completely Cauchy, and she is a Multi-Craftual Quilter, she is our Cover and November Calendar girl.

1. Name your three main craft/design influences?

For color ambition and improvisational patchwork: Malka Dubrawsky

In this same vein, one must also mention Nancy Crow and Anna Williams.

For embroidery irreverence and technical aspiration, I am inspired by all the great artists featured on Mr X Stitch.

2. Why do you feel the need/drive to make things?

I come from a long ancestry of makers of things: farmers, carpenters, cooks, sewists, and hobbyists, so the value of handwork was instilled in me from birth. At a young age I was learned to cross stitch from my godmother. What was unusual was the exacting standards she taught and re-taught me from the beginning and, to this day, my attention to detail in everything that I do is enforced by her gentle encouraging voice in my head. And I guess I keep making things both to practice new skills and to have an outlet for expressing myself in ways that might otherwise be taboo.

Chawne is a Multi-Craftual Quilter

Chawne's work space

3. What is your favourite crafty resource:

By far, Ravelry is the best thing that ever happened for knitters and crocheters. I value the site most because now we get to explore the diverse ways that crafters worldwide interpret similar patterns and how some others are pressing the boundaries of what is possible to do with yarn. I never visit Ravelry without learning something new and/or challenging one of my own long-held notions about colors, textures or techniques.

A close second is Flickr. Because I pursue several different crafts, it can be difficult to visit all the main gathering points for all of them. However, Flickr is a lovely place to share your work—in any visual genre, get advice and encourage the amazing work that others are doing.

4. What music inspires you to create?

Hmm…I wouldn’t consider music to be an inspiration of my work. Currently I am most inspired by other texts like poems, novels, television shows and social media. While I work, I tend to listen to podcasts of public broadcasting shows like This American Life and Selected Shorts and those can spark new ideas from time to time.

5. What do you do when you have a creative block?

Oftentimes I just have to find a way to open up to new-to-me ideas and those are best explored by attending public academic lectures, talking to my friends who themselves are experts in various fields of discourse, and diving into a stack of books on an unexpected topic. Lately mountaineering is on my mind, for example. I’ll likely never do anything practical with all this mountaineering learning, but there is something fascinating about WHY climbers climb and studying that aspect has been transformative.

If that doesn’t work, then it’s always fun to explore what’s new in the world of branding and packaging design as illustrated on The Dieline.

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Profiling the work of the lovely featured artists/makers in the 2012 Whipup.net calendar. I asked all the participants a few questions…

Trula is a mother of 2 living in Barcelona. She tries not to let the madness of every day life as a working mother get to her. So she sews, and draws and takes pictures. But mostly sews – clothes for her kids and their friends. Blog :: Trula is January!

What your three main craft/design influences
To be honest, my main influences are my kids and general urban life.

Why do you feel the need/drive to make things?
I like making things. I prefer it to simply consuming and also greatly enjoy the process. The ideas, the experimenting, acquiring the skills, working with my hands. If I can involve my kids in the process, even better. Their view on things is so different. And even though their demands for pink, princesses or cartoon characters considered cool amongst the 2 – 6 year olds often present me with challenges, the result is always a richer experience.

What is your favourite crafty resource
I think one of my favourite resources is the ‘Los Encantes’ market in Barcelona. You can find such great things there and not one visit is like the next, no matter how often I go.
I also really like Pinterest as a tool to organise tutorials and generally inspiring things found on the web. You can find me here.

What music inspires you to create?
I listen to a lot of music. Especially when I am sewing. Here is a stream of music I like.

What do you do when you have a creative block?
I find the best thing for me is to just start making something. Something easy, something I’ve made before that doesn’t require exploring new ground. And normally, the actual making sparks new ideas.

Marcie Cuff lives in the United States, her favorite craft is Felting wool and she blogs at Mossymossy. She is July!

Tell us your three main craft/design influences
Katie Runnels “The Constant Gatherer” :: Elisabeth Dunker “Fine Little Day” :: Kayte Terry “Love Forever

Why do you feel the need/drive to make things?
I am prone to hiding sparkly scraps and bits away in cabinets and crevasses and corners—tiny morsels of futureday or of yesterday or the day before that. I suppose I believe in finding usefulness in these little bits in playful and (sometimes) functional projects—with my kids, exploring the beauty of everyday things and happenings—the messy, the comical, the unexpected. Before this, for a long time, I ran around and did a bunch of stuff for other people. Now I do other things. Smaller, slower things. But, sometimes it’s the things you do while standing still that make up who you are. And make a difference.

Images: Workshop photo :: Felted soap :: Swittens :: Craft catalog

Your favorite crafty resource?
I keep lots of craft supplies in an old library card catalog cabinet near a little workbench. Drawers are labeled with names of contents—ribbon, fabric, buttons, glue, scissors—it’s not fancy, and most supplies are simply remnants from past projects, but it’s a good place to go and quietly tinker with things.

What music inspires you to create?
Lately I’m mostly inspired by a mix of folk-y alternative rock blues-y artists like Nick Drake, Josh Ritter, Richard Thompson, Bowerbirds, Wailin’ Jennys, John Prine, Wilco, Ben Harper, Bonnie Raitt, Alexi Murdoch, Iron and Wine, Whiskey & Co, Old Crow Medicine Show, Fleet Foxes—a jumble of old school and new.

What do you do when you have a creative block?
A creative rut is my brain telling me to take a break and refuel. I bail out, grab my kids, get outside, run around, pull myself together, put on a new face, and jump back in. Or sometimes I make myself an ice cream sundae and wait patiently.

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