Meet Your Neighbor - MaryAnn Anderson (aka Backwoods Creations)

What is your shop name & URL, real name, and what do you sell?
Backwoods Creations is my shop name. It can be found at My real name is MaryAnn Anderson. I sell mixed media and fiber creations of all types and kinds. My current focus is mixed media 2D pieces and fabric based jewelry.

Where do you live? Tell us a about your town.
I live in Norridgewock, Maine. A place I thought I would never live growing up as a child. We would drive through to visit relatives and I would think "who would live here?" Turns out it is me.
Norridgewock is a small town that is home to some of the most bizarre intersections in the state. If you ever come here you will understand. As with most small towns it has its share of characters. There really isn't a whole lot that goes on in Norridgewock that I am involved in. I didn't grow up here so and have lived in the area for only 3 years. I don't have kids so the little league stuff is not something I stop and watch. I have my neighbors whom I know and that is about it. Norridgewock has some of the most wonderful scenery. It is also home to the largest white pine in New England, possibly even in North America. How is that for a claim to fame! I think the largest birch tree is in Mercer the next town over. I live about 3 miles outside of town and the most I see of downtown central is driving through to go somewhere else. My backyard is a wildlife wonderland that I never know what I am going to see when I look out the window. It could be a deer, moose, wild turkey or marsh hawk swooping down low looking for prey. It is really nice to be so close to that all. I think I ended up here because I feel so connected to the woods, fields and all creatures great and small.

Tell us about your family & pets.
I live with my husband Steve, two corgis and two cats. Steve is a writer and artist. He has been a self employed something or other all of his life. He does found object sculpture as well as photography. He has lived in various parts of the world in his youth. We met almost 10 years ago. I feel as if I found my soul mate when we met. I am a very lucky woman to have found someone who really believes in me and my creative needs and vision. He is very supportive of what I do and encourages me in various ways to take chances and believe in what I do.We dote on Cleo Barkalotta and Rudy Patootie, aka Old Man Pooty, our two corgis. Both believe that we were put on this earth to throw a tennis ball and rub bellies. I disagree, especially at 5AM. But that hasn't deterred them from keep trying. We have almost been completely trained to do their bidding. The cats are Minnie and Stella. They do what cats do and leave us many little displays of their affection on the back doorstep. Sometimes it is a race between us and the dogs to see who gets to it first.

How long have you been making your craft & what got you into it?
I was brought up that when the going gets tough the tough make something. There has always been some form of handwork or artwork in my life. It was a natural progression for me to carry that into my adult life. Even when I wasn't doing "art" I was teaching myself to cook and a lot of my creative energy went into that. My goal is to live in a creative and life affirming manner. It hasn't been until I got in my forties that I realized that I had been cheating myself. With the encouragement of Steve I quit my day job and devoted my time to what I thought I should be doing. I call it living a more creative life. However with the increase in prices for oil, gas and just daily living I have gone back to a daily 9 to 5 job. I still make time every day to work on a project in my studio or to draw. At times it may be only an hour but even that moves me along the creative path and to clarify what my vision is. That I think will be an never ending work in progress. I am a bit too eclectic to focus for great length of time on any one area and I tend to bounce around.

Do you feel like your craft is related to where you live?
My work is definitely drawn from the world of nature. My figures are strongly rooted in the flora and fauna of my everyday life. Even the embroidery and embellishment work I do has a strong connection to organic forms. Layers upon layers of color, line and form built upon one another I believe is very symbolic of life itself. The substrata of the earth way down deep gives support and glow to that which is built upon it. I live in the country where I don't have light pollution and a minimal amount of noise pollution. I am nurtured where I live like a plant or animal. It gives me the peace and quiet when needed as well as the inspiration of form and texture.

Tell us about the awesome craftspeople that you've met around Maine-- have you collaborated or met with any Maine Team members?
I haven't met many of the talented and wonderful people on Etsy. The meet up in Augusta was my first time really meeting anyone who sold through Etsy. I haven't collaborated with any but I wouldn't be adverse to that idea. Right now I would say my most wow factor for meeting a craftsperson is my fellow gallery mate from River Roads Artisans Gallery ( in Skowhegan. Heather Kerner is a very talented woman who works with wool and felts beautiful bags and vessels. Her work can be seen not only at the gallery, with my own, but also on her own website at Heather is a published artist as well. Her felted vessel technique can be found in the book "How We Felt" published in 2007.

What are your plans for the future?
To keep working, learning and perfecting my vision of living creatively to put it quite succinctly. Once I stop either it is time to rollover and let someone else take my place on this earth.

(Editor's note-- check out her fabulous blog, too! )

Have some suggestions or want to be featured??-- Email Jamie at: jamieribisi {at}