I mostly make purses/bags etc. I frequently use up-cycled clothes to make them, lots of t-shirts, but I will use anything that looks good. I don’t always do this, many times I will use new fabric, or a combination of new and used fabric. I have been sewing since I was 6 years old. I always frustrated my mother when she was trying to teach me because I could not grasp the ideas behind using a pattern! I would always try to change something, or do the steps in a different order. I finally realized that if I stopped worrying so much about doing everything exactly right, I could become pretty creative with the things I make. I love making bags, though I do sometimes deconstruct and reconstruct clothing. I don’t like to sell clothes on Etsy, primarily because everything I make is very specific to the body shape of the person wearing it, and that is really hard to do online. The other nice thing about making bags is that it doesn’t matter what size or shape you are, you can always pull off an awesome bag! My bags are definitely not for everyone, but I like to think they all have personality.
I also spend some time painting. I use acrylic paint on canvas mostly, and I tend to be drawn to figure painting. I do sometimes do portraits, and I also love painting trees (which are surprisingly similar to figures!) I don’t do realistic paintings, and I love to use bright, bold colors.
When I am turning a t-shirt into a bag, I always follow the pattern, print or picture on the shirt. I try to allow the shape of the garment to dictate the final shape, size and style of the bag. I try to make sure that the bag I make represents the original garment. When I am using brand new fabric, I try to picture what it would look like as a bag, and I take into account the type of fabric, the colors print or pattern. I almost never use the same pattern twice, and if I do, it’s always in a different fabric. Every single bag is one of a kind.
My paintings are generally inspired by emotions, colors and shapes. I love the curves and lines of the human body, and I love spending extra time on the highlights and shadows. I usually start with colors and a mood, and go from there.
What inspired you to start an Etsy shop?
I can’t remember how I discovered Etsy. I originally made faerie wings, out of wire, fabric, glitter and whatever else worked. (Hence FAERIETAILS) While I loved doing this, each pair of wings was a very long process and there is not a huge group of people looking to walk around wearing wings! I do still make some occasionally, but mostly when someone who knows I do it requests something for a costume or photo shoot. I started listing my bags on Etsy around the same time I moved to Rochester. I decided that I needed something to do with all the bags I was making, and any extra income from sales would be nice to have.
Favorite item from your shop?
Its got the colors I love, and is just super cute!
Art/Craft tool you simply could not live without?
Without a doubt, my sewing machine.
Sculpting. I have tried a few times, and failed miserably. I love the amazing things that people can make out of clay.
What artist/craftsperson/design inspires you?
I don’t know if I can name one specific artist that inspires me. I am constantly inspired by the unique people I know and their style. I am definitely drawn to more quirky, whimsical, bright colors, but I also love punk style and the steampunk aesthetic.
Depends on my mood. Anything bright and bold. Hot pink, bright lime green, turquoise, bright purple, and bold orange. I also love the contrast of bright colors against black or white.
How long have you lived in the Rochester area?
I have only lived in Rochester since May 2010! I grew up in a suburb of Buffalo.
What attracted you to RNEST, and what would you like to bring to table?
I got very excited when I discovered RNEST. I had just moved to Rochester, and didn’t know many people. I wanted to find a group of people that would understand my sometimes insane hording of fabric and old clothes, my love of paint, and the desire to be successful at bringing our creations to others. I am not always sure what I can bring to the table, but I love participating in activities, and I am always willing to help out as best I can.
What do you do when you're not crafting?
In my free time I am addicted to all things fantasy and sci-fi. I watch all sorts of TV shows and movies, and I love to read. Books of all kinds make me happy. Every year I spend labor day weekend in Atlanta Georgia attending DragonCon, which is a huge (and I mean HUGE) sci-fi/fantasy/pop culture convention. I have done some amateur cosplay, but even when I don’t, I love the community and the completely different world I am in when I am there.
Career wise, I am a mental health therapist. I work with children and adolescents, though I am most comfortable with the teenagers. The kids I work with have all sorts of things going on, from ADHD, Bipolar, Depression, Anxiety and many of them have trauma. I love the kids I work with, but I also think that the heavy nature of my day to day job is why I seek out such whimsical styles and fantasy worlds in my outside of work life.
I have five. Four cats Malcolm, Bella, Dexter and Squeakers. One dog, a 9 year old Golden retriever named Juno. Dexter is definitely my little sewing… helper. He loves to attack whatever I am trying to sew, lay on my fabric and generally get in the way. He also loves to stick his paws in wet paint, and try to run around the house!
Anything else cool / interesting about yourself that you'd like to talk about?
I think I about covered it!!!