Friday, June 19, 2009

Crafty Corner : Crafting-Its not just for girls

I am very excited, today is my first edition of crafty corner!!! I will feature different crafters from all over every week who i think have some amazing things that you should check out.
But before I start,a little bit about my crafting experiences. I got the bug about 12 years ago, in my senior year of high school. It all started with scrapbooking, and Ive dabbled with various things through the years, but that has been a constant for me, with little bits of sewing in between...........
Earlier this year, i was introduced to Swap-Bot through a fellow postcrosser . Swap-bot is a community of crafters who swap their handmade stuff, and even things non handmade. I have met such wonderful people through this ite, and it has really made my love for crafting blossom. I have moved on from scrapbooking to making just about anything,but my current love is making stuffies and recycling things into works of art like cds,old records,etc.
But enough about me,every week in my crafty corner, I will interview a fellow crafter...............this week it is Jolene & Alasdair Martin (MadeStuff) from
Leadhills, Scotland. I wanted to feature them this week because they are a husband and wife duo who craft together, and I thought that was amazing...............Many people think of crafting as a girly thing, and that is soo not true.........I smiled when Jo told me about their business because it took me back to a time where my husband and I were dating, and we constructed this doll house made out of popsicle We added little miniatures to it and everything. was it the greatest? Heck, no but it was made with love and we had soo much fun putting it together. We havent done anything like that since,but I think that will change soon.............this couple has really inspired me to go do something crafty with my husband, and perhaps it will inspire you too, to get your husband or significant other involved in a project of some kind...... here we go:

We started crafting in earnest around the end of 2007. It was around this time I found out about and became addicted to Japanese craft magazines and started to make gifts for family and friends. Also, at this time Alasdair became hooked on wood carving and paper crafts. Our house was very quickly getting filled with wood carvings, amigurumi and half finished dolls (yep, I've still not mastered doll making!).

To keep ourselves occupied in the evenings we sew, carve, knit, or crochet. I started to post about my handmade items to my now defunct personal blog and Alasdair was posting about his wood carvings and papier mache bowls on his also now defunct personal blog. It seemed a natural progression to merge our talents into one site. We decided towards the end of 2008 to set up an Etsy shop and started the MadeStuff website to support the shop, which we finally opened in March this year.

Our methods and materials are continuously evolving. I've discovered how easy felt is to work with and don't think I'll ever go back to cotton fabric. Alasdair has spent many hours perfecting his papier mache mix and his methods for finishing his wood carvings. I don't think we'll ever stop experimenting and improving.

Since March we've been on a steep learning curve and are very excited to be in the throws of preparing for our first craft fair next month, which is why our blog hasn't been updated in a few days.

When did you first get the crafting bug?

When I was a little girl I begged my gran to teach me the crafts I would sit and watch her doing; sewing, knitting, crocheting. I always loved crochet and have progressed from granny squares to miniature amigurumi over the past few years. I started sewing again when our son was born almost 6 years ago but wouldn't say the bug really hit until we moved to Leadhills almost 3 years ago. Our house was once the highest house in Scotland and we have amazing views that definitely inspire and we are surrounded by some very talented artists and craftspeople. It's hard not to be creative up here.

What do you consider to be your main area of expertise?

I will always be better at sewing and embroidery than paper crafts, but I'll have a go at anything.

Alasdair works mainly with wood, lovingly hand carving each piece over many, many hours.

How many hours a week do you spend on crafting?

Time is limited due to me having a day job, but I create most evenings for a couple of hours and sometimes all day at the weekend. Probably around 15-20 hours.

Alasdair spends around 30 hours a week on his crafts, although his work is bitty due to waiting for varnish to dry and his thumbs to heal! Hours can vary wildly though whilst crafting around two small children.

You are on a desert island and can only have three items to craft with, what do you have?

Felt, scissors, threads - oh gosh I don't have a needle! Can I have four? Ok, pre-cut felt, threads, needle!!!

Favorite Quote or saying?

Jolene: "You can't stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. ... You have to go to them sometimes." Winnie the Pooh

Alasdair: "arrgh! bugger! ... where're the plasters!" Haha, thats funny :-)

favorite website?

Jolene: I'm addicted to That's my daily muse.

Alasdair: I could spend hours browsing through, indeed this was my first creative outlet and I maintain an account there where I continue to post my work and discuss related topics with fellow deviants, my account there is

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