Showing posts with label interview. Show all posts
Showing posts with label interview. Show all posts

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Meet Your Neighbor- Joe Bagley (aka Papercuts By Joe)

What is your shop name & URL, real name, and what do you sell?
My shop name is Papercuts By Joe and my url is papercutsbyjoe.etsy.com My name is Joe Bagley and I make original hand-cut paper art from a single piece of black paper.

Where do you live? Tell us a about your town.
My wife and I just moved from Florida after an extremely difficult year down in the "Sunshine" state. Long story short, it was awful, we both lost our jobs due to the bad economy, and we had to move in with family in Maine where I grew up. Currently, we are living in the ultimate cliché of my Mother's home in South Portland while my wife seeks employment. I'm trying my hand at full-time art and so far it's been a great learning experience and a small success.

How long have you been making your craft & what got you into it?
I have been papercutting semi-professionally for about two years, however I have done it off and on for the past ten years. I developed my technique and style over the period of years based on architecture and historical pieces of art.

Do you feel like your craft is related to where you live?
Definitely! I think a place like Maine is open minded for an art form like mine that does not fall exactly in the craft or fine art categories to do well. I also spent a year in Florida trying desperately to find places and things that inspired me, but only succeeded in making one design inspired by Florida. Within one week in Portland, I had 20 designs that I want to make and ready to be cut. My next body of work will be exclusively from Maine.

What are your plans for the future?
Well, First my wife will find a job (in Maine or Massachusetts) and when she finds one, I'll dive head-long into art trying to create as much good work as I can (those 20 pieces). If I need to get a second job, I will. Eventually, we both are looking to go to grad school to get graduate degrees in our other passion, Archaeology (we are both professional archaeologists with BA's from Boston University).

Friday, August 22, 2008

Meet Your Neighbor- Angela Bolduc (aka Eleventeen Apparel)

What is your shop name & URL, real name, and what do you sell?
My shop is called Eleventeen Apparel. The URL is http://eleventeenapparel.etsy.com/. My real name is Angela Bolduc. I sell handmade clothing and a few accessories. My concentration is clothing for young women.



Where do you live? Tell us a about your town.
I live in Winslow. It is about 20 miles north of Augusta. I love living in the Waterville/Winslow area. There is so much to do and much of the town is focused on the arts, which I think is wonderful.



Tell us about your family & pets.
I am married to my husband Christopher who has been very supportive of my sewing! We have been together for almost 7 years now. We have two beautiful little girls, Brianna who is 3-1/2, and Audrey who is 13 months. We currently don't have any pets. We are outgrowing our home as it is, there really isn't much room for extra members!



How long have you been making your craft & what got you into it?
I first started sewing when I was about 12 years old. So, I guess I've been sewing for 13 years now. My mother used to sew clothing for us growing up. She taught me how to use a sewing machine. She used to help me with barbie clothes, pillows, placemats, and other simple projects. My grandmother helped me to sew my first "country rabbit". I made a bunch of those when I was in middle school. I always dabbled in it, but really didn't start seriously making clothing until I was pregnant with my first daughter. I have made a lot of clothing for my two girls. I was a master at sewing children's clothing, but never dared to make anything for myself or other grown women due to fear of fitting all the "womanly parts". I took a class in alterations a little over a year ago and realized that making pattern alterations really wasn't that difficult. From there I started designing and sewing garments for myself and finally opened an Etsy shop to share my work.

Do you feel like your craft is related to where you live?

Sewing is most definately related to where I live. The Waterville/Winslow area is an area focused on the arts and culture. Inspiration can come from anywhere...downtown Waterville with it's bustling businesses and up-and-coming musicians...the nature of the Kennebec river...the peacefulness of the outskirts of town with the orchards, farmlands, or forest areas.



Tell us about the awesome craftspeople that you've met around Maine-- have you collaborated or met with any Maine Team members?
I have not yet collaborated or met with any other Maine Team members, but I definately hope to be able to attend some meetings in the future. There are so many wonderful craftspeople here in Maine. Some of them even attend the local Farmer's Market. It's nice to see so many people in the area using resources here in the state to create and sell such wonderful items.



What are your plans for the future?
Well, right now I have a job (to pay the bills) as a medical transcriptionist. Sewing is a secondary income/hobby. My goal is to be able to switch positions and make sewing my primary income and transcription a secondary job. I love sewing and truly believe that your work should be something that you love...then it will never feel like work. I look forward to being able to open my own little shop in the Waterville/Winslow area someday, but for now will continue to sell online and by word of mouth.



More links from Angela:
http://www.joliehandmade.com/
http://www.myspace.com/joliehandmade
http://www.indiepublic.com/profile­/JolieHandmade34
http://joliehandmade.blogspot.com/


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Want to be interview for the "Meet Your Neighbor" series? Email Jamie-- jamieribisi{at}gmail.com

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Meet Your Neighbor! Pam McFarland (aka FolkArtTree)

What is your shop name & URL, real name, and what do you sell?
My name is Pam McFarland. My shop is The Folk Art Tree (http://folkarttree.etsy.com/) and I create primitives in almost every medium I can play with. There are still some creative venues I haven't tried yet, like PMC (Precious Metal Clay)…but I just returned from the post office with my box of startup equipment and tools and I'm thinking I may be leaving the dishes in the sink for a day or two….

Where do you live? Tell us about your town.

Currently I live in downtown Ashland, Maine, population 1,400, in a big old house built in 1913. The Doctor who built the house lived and practiced medicine here for many years. This house seems to invite people to its door. We have had many of the old Dr.'s past patients and family stop in for a nostalgic visit. I once came upon a man standing in our dining room one morning during our renovation. He had lived in our home as a child (he was the Dr.'s nephew) and wanted to see the old place again. I politely showed him the house, even though I was trying not to show my shock that he didn't even knock or ring the doorbell…. Apparently, it still felt like home!

Ashland is a little logging town. Everybody knows you, your momma, and your momma's momma. It is disconcerting to have your neighbors aware of your comings and goings, but they also know when you are sick and send a meal over for the family. I guess it's a trade-off. I am thankful that my kids have had a safe and family-oriented community to grow up in.

Tell us about your family & pets.
I have been married to Charles for 23 years who just retired in March with over 20 yrs. of service. He was in the Army and then the Army National Guard (full time). We have two sons, Conner, 18, and Duncan, 16. Conner just graduated from High School and will be attending UMO in the fall studying International Affairs (a teenager who LOVES politics…go figure). He is a fabulous cook and is always introducing us to some new recipes. Duncan is a junior in High School and wants to major in music. Our house is always rockin' as Duncan likes to constantly pound the piano keys. We may hear 'House of the Rising Sun', the theme from 'the Office', and then, just for a twist, a little 'If I were a Rich Man' from Fiddler on the Roof. We have been a military family for over 20 years, making our homes in Lawton, Oklahoma, Schweinfurt and Bamberg, Germany and finally, Ashland. As much as I loved getting to travel, it was heaven to come home 10 years ago, plant roots and grow my kids up in one place.
Much to my husband's consternation, I have probably fed every stray cat within a hundred miles. Hey, if an animal looks skinny, or has an "I'm hungry" look in their eye, I have to feed it! We had one stray kitty deliver 3 litters (that would add up to 22 kittens) in our basement until we finally caught her and got her spayed. We currently live with 3 indoor cats, Indigo & Peanut Butter Cup (names picked from the movie, the Princess Bride) and Sammy (one of the 22 kittens).

How long have you been making your craft & what got you into it?
I used to draw and paint as a kid, and I learned how to sew from both of my grandmothers who were fabulous seamstresses. (They would die if they could see all the ripped unfinished edges on my dolls!) Over time I began making my own patterns and designing my own dolls. Also, growing up my dad was a huge history buff. We planned our summer vacations around what historical site we were visiting that year. Seeing the old clothing and houses and way of life at these historical places as a child, instilled a passion within me for anything old. I hadn't sold any of my creations until one 45 minute segment of time at a women's luncheon in Bamberg, Germany changed my life. I was asked to make a few things to sell at a luncheon so the ladies could shop afterward. I worked frantically for weeks and had a table of things ready for the day. In 45 minutes I made $800. At that moment I went from a casual crafter to a craft show diva. I booked myself into as many craft shows as I could and began teaching myself new crafts from books I got from the library. I segued into making santas after a friend saw one I had made for myself. I have made and sold hundreds of santas since 1993. My customers in Germany were so crazy for the santas they began calling me the "santa lady".

Do you feel like your craft is related to where you live?
Once I got back to Maine 10 years ago, I encountered a much different customer and selling environment. I had to change my creative focus to more affordable items. Because of my love for old things, primitives were a natural fit for me. I still make santas at Christmastime, but I sell them only where I can get enough money to make it worth my time.
I also invite my hometown into my home for a Christmas Open House. I spend weeks decorating my old house and I have a room set up with my products to sell. My boys have handled the sales to customers, my mom greets visitors at the door with mulled cider warming on the wood stove in the shed (the entry) and my husband keeps the fireplace going in the living room for the event, even though he hides from the chaos most of the night. People pull up chairs next to the fire and sit and chat and actually spend an evening just visiting with each other.

Tell us about the awesome craftspeople that you've met around Maine-- have you collaborated or met with any Maine Team members?
I have met Kellie (KellieJSK) and Becky (DirtgirlPottery) at the Cumberland show last week. Kellie is as funny and sweet in person as she is on the forums. Becky makes me wish I was young again. She has great energy and her pottery is fabulous!! I have been doing craft shows for 17 yrs or so, but I am a new member of United Maine Craftsmen. They have an awesome group of talented people… www.unitedmainecraftsmen.com . Every show I participate in, introduces me to wonderfully creative people and I am many times in awe of their artistic talent. I wish I could do what they do, as good as they do…I lean in while we chat and hope some of their talent will rub off onto me!

What are your plans for the future?
My DREAM is to own a little shop somewhere where I can sell and work at the same place (some place where it is warm!). I love my solitary creative times, but I also love the people and their emotional response to what I make. I think creativity is so personal and private, and to have a complete stranger connect with you over a creation that evolved from within yourself is a really wonderful experience.



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Want to be interviewed? Email jamieribisi {at} gmail.com

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Meet Your Neighbor! Bob Matus (aka HeronCoveWoodCarving)

What is your shop name & URL, real name, and what do you sell?
My name is Bob Matus,and my shop name is HeronCoveWoodCarving at http://heroncovewoodcarving.etsy.com/ . I sell mostly hand carved wooden spoons and kitchen utensils.


Where do you live? Tell us about your town.
I live in Cushing which is perhaps best known as the location of Andrew Wyeth's "Christina's World" painting. Located on a peninsula below Thomaston it is bounded by the St George river on one side and the Meduncook river on the other. It lies a bit off the beaten path and is home to a mix of lobstermen, artists and a number of talented crafts people. We have one general store/gas station called Fales Store which has been in the same family for at least 100 years. There is an active Historical Society which has monthly meetings and guest speakers. Other than that you're on your own for entertainment!

Tell us about your family & pets.
My wife, Sydne ,has been the Coordinator of the Breakwater Homeless Teen Shelter in Rockland since it opened nearly 6 years ago. Before that she was a freelance editor working on many crafts books as well as textbooks, mysteries and other how-to's. Although she doesn't sell her work she is an excellent knitter,crocheter and sometime embroiderer.For many years she ran the Craft Tent at the Thomaston 4th Of July Festival with a friend. We just celebrated our 25th Anniversary! Our daughter, Esther, recently graduated from Boston University where she majored in Exercise Science at Sargent College. She is still living in Boston and about to begin her career. We have a 9 yr old dog named Max who started out as Mini but quickly outgrew that name! He is half black lab and half golden retriever and does NOT go in the water!!

How long have you been making your craft & what got you into it?
I have been a woodworker for over 35 years but I'd say I have been carving spoons for around the past 20 years. It started out with setting aside smaller scrap pieces of wood from larger projects such as boats. I used the bigger scraps for bird carvings but some pieces were too small or the wrong shape so I started carving spoons for fun...mostly as gifts. Every couple of years or so the Cushing Historical Society has a Craft Fair and I first began selling them there. I like the idea of creating useful objects from wood that otherwise ends up in the woodstove. In fact as I'm filling the woodstove I often set aside pieces that are just too pretty to burn!


Do you feel like your craft is related to where you live?
Yes I do,in the sense that Maine is a heavily wooded state with a long tradition of boatbuilding, woodworking and practicality. So far,all the wood I've used for carving has been either scraps, salvage/found wood, driftwood or gift/trades.


Tell us about the awesome craftspeople that you've met around Maine-- have you collaborated or met with any Maine Team members?
Back when Sydne was running the Crafts Tent for 4th of July I had a table there for several years and met many fine crafts people.I currenty have some of my work at the Lucky Dog Gallery in Rockland where a number of fine craftspeople also sell. I only recently decided to promote my work online and found Etsy purely by chance. Shortly thereafter I joined the Maine Team and met Jamie ( http://jamieribisi.etsy.com/) and Jen (http://whimsidoodle.com/) at a potluck at Jen's house in Warren. I also attended one team meeting in Augusta where I met a number of awesome craftspeople. Again,the totally awesome artist and amazing person Jamie Ribisi was also there and I have to say we are SO lucky to have her as one of the new team leaders! For me Etsy and Jamie will always be synamonous! Outgoing team leader Becky (http://dirtgirlpottery.etsy.com/) was also there and we took some photos of our work together.That is the one collaboration/cross promotion I've done so far and I look forward to doing more. There were a number of other awesome crafts people there as well and I have to say I am so impressed with our team!

What are your plans for the future?
I would like to get more sucessful with my carving business... maybe a separate website in addition to the Etsy shop. I'd also like to start listing other work besides the spoons. In the past I've done bird carvings and lately I've gotten into carving eagles,whales and mermaids! So hopefully at some point more of that will be offered.Beyond that I don't like to project too far ahead: I just wanna keep on keepin on!!
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Want to be featured in the Meet Your Neighbor series? Email Jamie at jamieribisi{at}gmail.com

Friday, July 18, 2008

Meet Your Neighbor! Jessica Moreau-Berry (aka JunqueRevival)

What is your shop name & URL, real name, and what do you sell?
I'm Jessica Moreau-Berry and the proprietor of http://www.junquerevival.com. I recently opened my Etsy shop http://junquerevival.etsy.com/ where I sell my found object jewelry.

Where do you live? Tell us a about your town.
I live In Whitefield, about 15 minutes from Wiscasset and 15 min. from Gardiner. We have an old farm house, no neighbors, a couple of old farm fields, woods, and a barn that is finally getting some TLC. There is supposedly a big artist community here in Whitefield, but I do not seem to ever see any events going on, etc. I think everyone drives to the coast to peddle their wares.

Tell us about your family & pets.
My Husband is known as "Big Daddy" to my internet friends. He is the love of my life. We will be married nine WHOLE years this July (quite a record for me folks!) He's a fisherman, and I often go boating and fishing with him. We love to kayak, hike go to breakfast, and I dare say we tend to be the ones to entertain amongst our friends. We have two dogs and a cat. The dogs are about 11, and I think Weezie the cat might live forever, just to annoy us! We just found out that one of the dogs has lime disease:( We have no children, just our furry babies.

How long have you been making your craft & what got you into it?
Well let's see, I think everything I have done when it comes to being artistic has really just been a natural extension of the life I have lived. My Mom (who is my best friend) was/is an antique dealer, so I was setting up at shows with her when I was a young teen. I started painting found objects in those years, and progressed up to furniture for the last 15 years. I sold hand painted furniture and antiques all over the state of Maine. I painted big specialty pieces for coastal shops. I had to have someone work for me about three days a week to help. THEN I crashed and burned!! I just got so bored painting pink flowers onto white cottage furniture. That's all anyone wanted....I think I felt stifled. I took a summer off about 3 years ago, and did nothing but kayak and garden, it was wonderful, but I am a person who needs to be creative. I went into the barn and grabbed up some old ephemera and small found objects that caught my eye. I really just started playing around and VOILA.....jewelry pieces started coming to life!

Do you feel like your craft is related to where you live?
hmmmm.....I am a nature girl, and I have always used Maine's great outdoors to inspire me. It's not that I might go hiking, pick up a pinecone, then run home and make a pinecone. It's more that our beautiful surroundings calm me, relax me and just naturally bring out the artist in me.

Tell us about the awesome craftspeople that you've met around Maine-- have you collaborated or met with any Maine Team members?
I have yet to meet up with any Maine Team members, but I can't wait to! I have become friends with other Maine artists through blogging, and have wonderful mini retreats and gatherings with them! I have had a weekend retreat here at the house that was FABULOUS! I have become friends with artist Susan Tuttle who is publishing a book called, "Exhibition 36: a Gallery of Mixed-Media Inspiration" and I will be in it!!

What are your plans for the future? (Life and/or craft)
I would like to just keep on creating! I want to teach more workshops on a regular basis so maybe I can give up slinging beers three days a week! I would like to write regularly for a magazine. I would love to open some kind of big art studio one day. I am thinking of a big old space in a fun downtown like Damariscotta or Bath where I can rent out studio space to other artists. I envision a big central workspace on the first floor where the artists can teach workshops. I would love to have a kitchen there as well, so when we have shows we can make a bunch of munchies. (and storage for our wine!) (LOL!) FOR NOW, I would consider something smaller, maybe something that can be shared with a few folks. I am lucky, I have lots of space to create here at home, but I am a people person, and sometimes I get a bit lonely.......
Want to be interviewed? Email jamieribisi{at}gmail.com

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Meet Your Neighbor! Jamie Ribisi-Braley (aka jamieribisi/constantgalore)

What is your shop name & URL, real name, and what do you sell?
My name is Jamie Ribisi-Braley and my shop name is JamieRibisi - http://jamieribisi.etsy.com/ I sell original art including oil paintings, ink and watercolor drawings, photographs, and also giclee prints. My twin sister and I share another shop called Constant Galore found at http://constantgalore.etsy.com/ which we sell our various crafts & vintage items from.

Where do you live? Tell us a about your town.
I live in Manchester, Maine which is a beautiful small town just outside of Augusta. We moved here from New York in November of 2007 in order to start a Bed & Breakfast / Artist Retreat. We found a lovely old farmhouse from the 1860's that we're currently renovating to turn into our dream business, Sweetland Retreat. You can watch our progress and send us encouragement through our website: http://www.sweetlandretreat.com/ We are very fortunate that the Sweetland sisters that lived here for many years before us knew how to keep a beautiful yard and we are amazed daily by the new flowers and plant life that we find. After this harsh winter, it certainly reminds us why we moved to Maine!

Tell us about your family & pets.
My husband, Brian, is also an artist and the best guy around. He takes wonderful care of me and we're coming up on our first anniversary in September! We recently adopted a Schnoodle named Sammy (full name: Staff Sargent Samuel Erwin, named after my brother-in-law) He doesn't live up to that ranking, though, cause he's the silliest dog around. We share the house and business with my twin sister, Joy (ribsmalone.etsy.com), whom I've known since the womb. Between the three of us, we're fairly well versed in all things art and are extremely excited to get started on our Retreat.

How long have you been making your craft & what got you into it?
I've been loving and making art for as long as I can remember. I started to get serious about it in high school when I attended a portfolio program for 4 years that prepared me for college. I attended Boston University with the notion that I would be a sculpture major because I enjoyed doing that much more than painting. Luckily, they had a well rounded program that required you to take all art subjects and when I had to make a decision in my second year, I realised that I wanted to challenge myself and learn to be a better painter. I became obsessed with color and it's been a wonderful love affair ever since!

Do you feel like your craft is related to where you live?
Now that I love in Maine, I see colors and nature that is new to me-- it definitely influences my work. Sometimes as I drive around I see some awesome color combinations and I take a mental note and apply it to my next canvas. I also have a real studio for the first time in a long time and it faces out to my back yard. Having a good view of a beautiful environment is very inspirational.

Tell us about the awesome craftspeople that you've met around Maine-- have you collaborated or met with any Maine Team members?
I love the Maine team! I've met such wonderful people that I can't name them all but I will try to name a few. Bob from heroncovewoodcarving and his wife Sydne are the nicest people that I've met in Maine so far! I first met them at a team get-together at Jennifer's house (whimsidoodle) and we stayed there so late shooting the breeze. I love to learn about people's craft/art and how and why they got into it. I love that Bob uses cast off wood from his boat building business to create his wonderful (and *very* soft) utensils. Everyone that comes to Sweetland Retreat will watch me cook breakfast with his spatula! Roxy (gigglinggnome/roxyjewelry) is literally a neighbor living in the next town and we have had a craft night together and our husbands bonded over environmental madness. I also have met some wonderful local artists around my town-- I joined the Harlow Gallery and they are *the* nicest business that I've ever worked with. They have so many events going on and it really inspires me to keep creating.
I haven't collaborated with any team members yet but let me know if you have any ideas!

What are your plans for the future? (Life and/or craft)
The first major plan is to get Sweetland started and to help out the local economy a little by giving local artisans the opportunity to teach classes and make some extra income. We also strive to create a community of artists locally and internationally and can't wait to see what this will bring into our lives.
For my personal work, I'm looking forward to really getting my work out into the world which is a new experience for me. I had been very private about my artwork previously and now I'm ready to share!
Interested in being interviewed? Email me- jamieribisi {at} gmail.com

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Meet Your Neighbor! Kellie Smith (aka KellieJSK/WordySmith)

What is your shop name & URL, real name, and what do you sell?
You’ll find me at KellieJSK.etsy.com, but my shop name is WordySmith. My real name is Kellie Smith and I sell decoupaged stuff that is covered in old book pages.

Where do you live? Tell us a about your town.
I have been living in Brunswick for 6 years. Hmmm, let’s think about all the cool stuff. There are some very good restaurants, some interesting places to shop, great donuts, and the best brownies you will ever have. Bowdoin College brings vibrancy and energy, plus the most awesome Dump and Run sale. Our home is next to the high school, which abuts miles of nature trails and a lovely Farmers Market. We built this house on a new cul-de-sac street where the neighbors want an association. They drove us to put pink flamingos on the lawn and mow the grass in Doc Martens. Keep it up, people, and I’ll be weed wacking in a thong. I agree, not pretty, but highly effective.



Tell us about your family & pets.
I am married to a handsome, smart guy named Tim. He knows everything about history and politics. And I have a very cool 14 year old daughter named Lauren who is a kick-butt drummer, a skilled softball player, and volunteers at the animal shelter. Bear with me, I gotta brag… she was one of a few freshman who won an Underclassman Award this spring as the Coastal Humane Society Volunteer of the Year. Tim is in the Merchant Marine, so it’s just the teen and I every three weeks. We have an adorable, stinky beagle named Wilbur, and two sweet kitties named Carlos and Nancy.


How long have you been making your craft & what got you into it?
Only about five or six months. For decades I was a pre-school education teacher in early intervention programs like HeadStart. So I’m all about process-oriented, open-ended art as a therapeutic learning tool. I discovered Etsy last fall and was so inspired by the creativity that poured through the front page. I started doing altered books, and appeared in a show. That was wonderful…I felt so validated! Someone at the exhibit opening asked if I was the artist who made the book they were looking at and all I could do was giggle like a schoolgirl through my mouthful of Ritz crackers. I guess that’s what separates me from Jackson Pollack! Well, plus the drug abuse and inability to drive without drinking. I mean him, not me. Then on Etsy I saw the domino pendants, and the blank bamboo tiles. And I thought of the old books we have. A light went off!! Now I’ll decoupage anything. Seriously. You fall asleep around here and I’m gonna start slapping dictionary text on you!

Do you feel like your craft is related to where you live?
Maybe the Yankee Thrift of not wanting to throw away anything…even a tattered book! I appreciate what Maine has taught me; a strong work ethic, no whining, and a good sense of humor. And a great love of whoopee pies.

Tell us about the awesome craftspeople that you've met around Maine-- have you collaborated or met with any Maine Team members?
Aww, you know how I feel about my homies at the Etsy Maine meetings…you got my heart, and I got your back! I loooove the venerable Whitman's Sampler mix of people and talent; it’s just so interesting and inspiring. A very supportive, fun group. And I love how the Maine Team is growing and evolving. It’s like watching a garden flourish without the bug bites and copious amounts of zucchini.

What are your plans for the future? (Life and/or craft)
I would like to expand more on the decoupaged objects; maybe small tables or other oddities. And we all know that Eiffel Tower ain’t gonna decoupage itself! On the personal front I’ll continue with my White Stripes obsession to the point of grave concern and restraining orders. And as of June 19th, I’ll be all done with work forever and ever. I’ll be busy being a kept woman trying to become even more shallow than what I already am. Oh, pool boy, isn’t it time for this cougar's martini?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Meet Your Neighbor - Jennifer Miller (aka jennifermiller)

What is your shop name & URL, real name, and what do you sell?My shop name is JenniferMiller http://jennifermiller.etsy.com/ and that is my real name. I make all size quilts, wall hangings, ladies clothing and lots of other smalls---ACEO's, animals, bags, bookmarks, purses, hats, dolls, vessels, placemats.....jackets, skirts, dresses...pet collars... I also making a small amount of jewelry.

Where do you live? Tell us a about your town.
I live in Lamoine, Maine which is on the coast near Ellsworth on the way to Bar Harbor and Mount Desert Island. I have lived here for just over 5 years when I bought a small house in the woods. It is a small town but has its own beach and a state park. I live on a small quiet dirt road on the side of a hill. I find I am able to forget everything when I go down the hall to work. My business has taken over one of my bedroom where I actually work but has overflowed into other spaces of my house.

Tell us about your family & pets.
I was married for 33 years but have been divorced for 6 1/2. Sadly we were to unable to have children. I have one older sister living in New York and a step-sister in Virginia. I was born in Brooklyn and grew up on Long Island.
Currently I live with about 60 snails--they are in a fish bowl near my computer. They live inside during the winter and then go out to a small water garden. As pets they are well behaved and fairly quiet. I keep thinking about getting a cat. I do shows through much of the year and hate the thought of leaving a pet alone. FYI-- snails blow bubbles which does make a noise. Years ago I tore up my ankle and since then I have always said I wanted a pet that I could run faster than. I can't run at all now and so I have snails. I had a big fish but he ran away last summer.

How long have you been making your craft & what got you into it?
I have been sewing and doing other needlecrafts since I was a little girl. My grandmothers belonged to a sewing circle and taught my sister and I how to sew, knit and crochet. I used to love making things for my dolls- small blankets from scrap yarn and elegant outfits for my bobbie doll. For years I did macrame and have also done some painting. There are so many I would love to find the time for but haven't been able to manage. Earning enough to live on is a major job in this economy.

Do you feel like your craft is related to where you live?
I love living on the coast and many of quilts have an underwater theme. I love fish-tropical. We had a saltwater tank when I was little and I fell in love with the colors and shapes of sealife. I also love flowers and wildflowers which are also used in my pieces. I grow orchids and everyday I can, I at least walk through my yard and see what has returned from last year or how every plant is doing. I start most of the perennials from seed which makes them special. This year I did a lupine and they had already started to grow. I was out there with my pencil and paper drawing the leaf shapes and then with a stack of fabrics to chose the right color. This is a happy place and my work is bright and happy and has many embellishments just like in nature. I love to add beads and stones and shells. The lupine piece is the first I added highlights with oil sticks. This has opened a whole new avenue of dimensions to my work. If I get frustrated I can always go outside and get centered again...even in the snow. I love to add the unexpected. I love what I do.

Tell us about the awesome craftspeople that you've met around Maine-- have you collaborated or met with any Maine Team members?
I have been a member of DIRECTIONS-Maine Crafts Guild for almost 20 years and have met some wonderful artists that live in Maine. Jo Diggs put a few on my quilts in her presentation years ago. I have not met any members of Maineteam, that I know of but do hope to get to the mext meeting. (interviewer's edit-- she did come to the meeting and met many wacky people!) I am also a part owner of a shop in Southwest Harbor, Maine- Flying Mountain Artisans. We have many fine artists and craftspeople selling in our shop. I enjoy looking at everyone's creations when I work.

What are your plans for the future?
I hope to be able to continue with my exploration of fabric art. I have a long list of new products that I am always looking for at fabric or craft stores that I am excited about incorporating into my art.




Would you like to be featured or do you have any suggestions for improvement? Email me (Jamie) at jamieribisi {at} gmail.com

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Meet Your Neighbor - Susan Chandel (aka SuzeesJubileeZ)

What is your shop name & URL, real name, and what do you sell?
My name is Susan Chandel. You can call me Suzee. SuzeesJubileeZ is my shop name. It can be found at suzeesjubileez.etsy.com When the company I worked for crashed I was collecting unemployment which I converted into a Maine Enterprise Opportunity grant which meant I had to come up with an idea for a business. My original intent for Suzee's JubileeZ was a party business. What could be better than a grant to organize parties?! As you can see, the idea evolved. Pinatas were just one element in that business. My Pinatas can be found at OoLaLa's on Union St. in Brunswick. I brought a pinata down to the brick and mortar Blue Moose in Richmond and Joselyn told me all about Etsy. You can read about Joselyn's Blue Moose Emporium in my blog http://suzeesjubileez.blogspot.com/ or visit her Etsy store http://bluemoose.etsy.com/ but I am getting ahead of myself. I sell custom pinatas, needlefelted creatures,and felted bags at this time.
I have really been into dollmaking lately. The dolls take on a life of their own. And that is ever so much fun. It says right in SuzeesJubileeZ that we are all about fun. To borrow from Joel Grey's Oscar winning performance in Cabaret “Zo leave your troubles outside. In here life is beautiful , ze girls are beautiful, even ze orchestra is beautiful...” I do sell bags to benefit family crisis as well, but even the social responsibility pART is fun for me.

Where do you live? Tell us a about your town.
I live in a log treehouse in a rural zone about three miles from downtown Brunswick/Topsham. Brunswick is the home of Bowdoin College and soon to be next terminus of the Downeaster rail line. I moved here from Fryeburg in 1997 because I had spent my wonder years in Brunswick and knew people in the area and because it was convenient to Portland, Lewiston and Augusta. It was an easy commute for work in human services that I was at the time hoping to find. From our perch we can see moose, fox, and lots of deer. I even saw a great blue heron flew by at eye level one day. There is a little pond and a vernal stream on our property so we hear the spring peepers. Topsham is on Merrymeeting Bay a noted birding area and we see all kinds of birds and small animals as well. I must say flying squirrels are very weird looking. I love it here because we are convenient to the ocean and I am an ocean person born on Cape Cod and have rarely lived far from the Atlantic. You can't beat the smell of sea air. My treehouse is surrounded by fields and woods, I can't see the road from my house and I'm minutes from town whats not to love. The place even had a name when we bought it “Maple Ledge Acres” how cool is that? We are short on acres but we do have a lot of maples. I spend a lot of time poking around Brunswick ( needlefelting). I can be found at one of the many cafes or on the “mall” ( = Brunswick's town green) stabbing at little dolls. Yes, thats right don't mess with me.

By the way downtown Brunswick must have the highest concentration of restaurants /cafes than any town in Maine. It also has a very active artist community. The Fort Andross mill is sprinkled with artist's lofts. There are several galleries and museums in town. The Joshua Chamberlain Museum is great for the civil war buff and its siter Museums the Pejepscot Historical Society and the Whittier Schofield house wonderful finds for the history buff or even the steampunk officianados among us. The art museum at Bowdoin is well worth a look, as is the Peary McMillan museum both on campus. Whether your are planning to take in a Broadway caliber play at the Maine State Music theater or another play at the Theater Project on School St. near the eclectic shopping spot the Tontine Mall, be sure to save time for museums. Harriet Beecher Stowe also called Brunswick home for a while, her house is on Federal St. There were many famous graduates of Bowdoin College given a nod in town. Maine Street boasts side walk tributes to its poets of yore. If you like consignment shops, Estilo's on Pleasant is a great place I swear that several people my size with my taste drop clothes off there for me to buy. New to town, Pleasant St. runs one way towards Maine St., so beware. Second Hand Rose is a venerable and funky consignment shop as well on Maine Street. I sell Halloween costumes there. If you like donuts, check out Frostie's the born again Christian donut shop with the Nordic track for sale in the window. It is only open during the week. They have the freshest donuts around. Brunswick is also the “gateway to the midcoast” and you have to go through it to get to Harpswell neck and islands, the most convenient place to catch the vision of soaring pines, granite and sea mist. The family graves of Robert P. Tristam Coffin local poet and English Professor at Bowdoin in the 40's and 50s are on the way to Cundy's Harbor which he designed himself... they are really something. He illustrated his books with woodblock prints.

Tell us about your family & pets.
I live with my partner of 9 years, Claire St. Laurent. We are kind of like the Odd Couple. I am fat and sloppy and she is thin and particular. We complement each other very well. My two sons Jake, 17 and Eric, 20 live with us as well. Jake's at Mt Ararat and aspires to be a graphic artist but he is also into found sculpture and can be found arranging items around the house into odd little stacks, thats how we know he has been there. He has a lot to work with in his room. If you wade through to the closet you will see it is a computer wasteland. He has worked at Maine Street Art in Brunswick off and on for a few years. Eric is a musician and has an on line band Never Hundred. He is going to write the music and lay down the tracks for Mungo Mango's Immor(T)als, my needle felted band for the next art walk in July. My 22 year old daughter Renee, ever the activist, lives in Philly and rabble rouses for union workers. As you may have gathered, I strove for the Frank Capra's “You Can't Take it With You” sort of family environment and I kind of got that. Fortunately, Claire, who is very level headed adds a little ballast and we aren't quite that over the edge yet (poor Claire). We inherited my daughters cat, Ojo and last but never least, we have a very spoiled giant long haired chihuahua, Cisco who is great fun and thinks he is a person. He loves to go for rides in Claire's convertible mustang. He is overprotective, as most chihuahuas are and a bit skittish with people at times. He does not like young men in general, I think one of Jake's friends teased him one day. Claire has a methoselioma-like cancer, which she is struggling with these days, so thats been a bit stressful. Art has always been a good way of coping and as you may note the more stressful things get the sillier I get in my work.

How long have you been making your craft & what got you into it?
I earned a degree in English (a degree U Mass has revoked it a million times I am sure, due to what is euphemistically known as fat fingers on blogs and forums where I misspell words and leave out letters and even words) Trying to get a raise, because I was working at a 24/7 shelter for families dealing with domestic violence, I also have a degree in psychology. I one time looked into Art Therapy School, but they told me I needed to be a professional artist or have a degree in art, which in most ways seemed like a bunch of bureaucratic bunk to me. I have been dabbling in arts and crafts all my life, but dabbling doesn't count, it has to be “official”. When I was a kid, I made all kinds of dolls. When I taught preschool in the 70's, I made paper mache puppets to go with the kids favorite stories. I am the “go to” person for costumes. My highest point in that arena was when the the Mount Ararat H.S. drama club came over to raid my costume bins and closets for Halloween. I have done pottery, stained glass, silver work, beading, batik, watercolor, macrame, leather ...you name it I have tried it. I am also a published poet and do poetry readings from time to time. Pinatas I have been making since I was a kid. Needlefelting is new to my repertoire, I just picked that up. I saw some one doing some needlefelt embellishment last fall, then i seemed to notice it everywhere and just took off. I am a regular Geppetto. I make these creatures and they just come to life. It is a joyous occupation. When I take up a craft, I generally like to get the supplies and just do it with out any training. I think its more creative that way and I have never been big on recipes or instructions. Kits schmits I say.

Do you feel like your craft is related to where you live?
Actually I don't think it is, unless you mean as a means to keep the house of my dreams. I would be creating things or havoc no matter where I was. I am 1/8 Maine Indian ( isn't everyone?). I was raised as a military brat and have lived in quite a few different places went to 18 different school systems more owing to the size of my family and moving two or three times in each state in the area of the base. So while I love Maine and my grandfather, a commercial artist, was born and raised in Maine, I don't believe that my craft has much to do with living here now.

Tell us about the awesome craftspeople that you've met around Maine-- have you collaborated or met with any Maine Team members?
Yes where ever I go seeking the quintessential Parisian salon, always striving to rekindle my past life as Madame Recambier. I have met lots of artists and poets here in Maine. Both in Fryeburg (and greater Conway, NH) and in Brunswick. I already knew some poets from the area from way back. I met a stained glass artist and photographer from Harpswell when I first moved to Topsham at a conference on trauma in schools. We did a workshop there. I had been the project coordinator for a local clothesline project and at the time I was working for Training for Sustainable Development at University of New England, who were helping the Maine Department of Mental Health with the AMHI consent decree and that opportunity came up. That artist Alison Ammons and I are still friends. I met Kat Logan when I first came to Brunswick years ago, before she owned Maine Street Art in Brunswick who my youngest son Jake works for. I met a host of artists and activists through my daughter Renee who was very engaged in Brunswick Parks and Gardens and the Peace movement in town. I try to spend time at Josylen's shop Blue Moose Emporium every so often. Richmond is a very cool town and her shop is next to impossible to leave. I also go to Maine Fiber Arts which is right here in Topsham and I participate in the local art walks on the second friday of the month. I can't believe that I haven't run into Kellie while I'm poking around downtown. While I have gone to all the meetings for Maine Etsy, except the one in Rockland, I have not been as involved as I probably should be, owing to Claire and things being up so in the air. Last summer, I lived in the ICU at Central Maine Medical with her for a harrowing three weeks.

What are your plans for the future?
Currently, I am working on giving some needlefelting workshops. I have one scheduled at Blue Moose for on July 30th. I do like creating and working for myself, but I, like Shorty Parrot, am not very good at the business end of things (bookkeeping, etc) and my better half who is a wizard at such things, isn't really up to it these days. One thing I am thinking of doing business wise is building up Shorty's cat nip cat line by having my son and a friend of mine help make them. Another plan I have is too create a steampunk department “A&A Zapp's Purveyors of Esoteric Articles”, building on the foppish fellow Alphonso and his family. This means eventually, I might have to get back into metal work, but right now I have some steam punk ideas that I can do with out the full complement of metalworking tools. There are a lot of stories to tell about the Zapp family tree involving Aphonso, his brother Ambrose who is currently on expedition and his sister Antoinette the airship pilot. Then there is Alphonso's friend Beauticia Periwinkle the owner of the ballroom where Alphonso teaches Latin dance evenings. I may create a child in the Zapp family mix so I can rail against the “No child left behind act.” I do have to figure in social commentary some where here. .... Next venture itinerant storytelling.


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