Sunday, October 11, 2009

Member Interview-Crafty Panties

Todays interview is with Paula of Crafty Panties

How did you choose the name of your shop and how long have you been a member of

I wanted something quirky for my shop name; something that would stand out and that people would remember. But I didn't want a name that would pin me down as a maker of something specific. Even though I opened my shop two years ago with just temari balls, I wanted to always to feel like I could put anything else in my shop, because I was interested in making many different things. My shop name grew out of the phrase "Little Miss Crafty Pants". Someone else already had that name, so I just sort of morphed it into Crafty Panties. I just think panties is a funny word.

What kinds of items do you sell in your shop and what inspired you to start
creating them?

I sell balls - two types. Temari are embroidered thread balls that are used as home decorations. It is a Japanese folk art that dates back 500 years. They were made from the remnants of old kimonos. Silk threads were first pulled out of the kimonos, then the fabric was wound up in a ball. The silk threads were wound around that to secure it. They began as toys for kids, but over time, women began to embroider elaborate designs on them, and they were elevated to the status of art objects. In Japan today, temari carry significant meaning as symbols of loyalty and friendship and are often given as gifts. I first learned about temari three years ago just by seeing a book on it at the library. I was awe-struck at their beauty and I wanted to try it immediately. I also have made some tiny temari into keychains.

The other type of ball I make is fabric patchwork balls for little kids. Again, I happened to see a book on how to make them. I was already interested in patchwork, and my daughter was maybe two or three at the time, so I made a few for her at first. I love fabric and combing them in different ways to make an object. There must be something about geometric ball shapes that really intrigues me because I am definitely drawn to making them. Temari and patchwork balls actually have a lot of similarities in terms of the geometric shapes that emerge.

Do you donate to any charities or do any volunteer work?

I donate 10% of my sales to Peaceful Prairie. I also just participated in Farm Sanctuary's Walk for Farm Animals. My husband and I met up with some vegans we know from our Vegan Meetup Group here in Cincinnati to do the walk, and we met other vegans from nearby cities, too. I also volunteer at my daughter's school.

Do you sell your items outside of etsy, either online or in retail shops?

Outside of Etsy I've only sold to family and friends so far, but I am gearing up for my first craft show in November. Also, I just opened an Artfire shop.

Have you been featured anywhere?

One of my temari was included in Craftzine's Flickr Pool Weekly Roundup on their blog. Several other blogs have featured my temari and fabric balls as well. And I've been included in a couple treasuries on Etsy.

Do you have any future plans for your shop?

Yes, I have plans for more balls! There is another Japanese craft I'm interested in called kimekomi. I see it as a sort of combination of temari and fabric patchwork balls. Fabric pieces are used to cover a ball that is divided in similar ways as temari. They're for home decoration. I plan to make a bunch of Christmassy ones for hanging on Christmas trees. I also am making temari in traditional Christmas colors as well.

I am planning on making fabric balls modeled after sports balls, too. I already make soccer balls, but I am going to be developing patterns for footballs, basketballs, baseballs, and volleyballs as well.

What kinds of hobbies and interests do you have?

I like to draw and paint. I love to read, mostly non-fiction. I just love to learn about stuff. I love to socialize with other vegans, so I go to monthly vegan meetups. I love to spend time with my husband and daughter, making art/crafts, baking, hanging out at the park, etc. I am interested in talking about the issues of animal rights, feminism, oppression, and religion with anyone that wants to, which is usually just my husband. I love taking care of animals.

Do you have any animal companions?

We have six rescued cats with silly names: Abraham Lincoln (girl), Pirate, Purgatory (Pergie for short), Cyndi Lauper, Kitten Betty, and Dooder Bobby.

How long have you been vegan and what made you go vegan?

I have been vegan for a little over a year. Before that I was a vegetarian for six years. I went vegetarian after seeing Peta's "Meet Your Meat" video. I was so horrified and upset that I immediately stopped eating meat. I knew that I should go vegan but couldn't seem to do it at that time. I met my husband a year later and he went vegetarian pretty much right away because of things I exposed him to. Then we slowly transitioned into veganism together. Our daughter was vegetarian at first, but has finally made it to veganism within the past few months.

Do you have any favorite vegan things, like books, websites, stores, etc.?

Tofurky sausages, Dandies marshmallows, Isa Chandra Moskowitz's cookbooks, Vegan Freak Radio, The World Peace Diet by Will Tuttle

What are your favorite foods?

Spicy ethnic foods are my favorite - Indian, Thai, Italian, Mexican, etc. I love it super-duper hot. And I am lucky enough to have a husband who is an awesome cook and who loves the same types of foods that I do. I make tofu scramble a lot.

I have a big sweet tooth also. I love dark chocolate. And red wine.

Is there anything else you would like to add or share?

I have a BA in art; my focus in school was drawing and painting. I started making crafts when my daughter was a baby because it wasn't as messy, and I could stop and start much more easily.

I have big dreams of being able to travel to many places around the world and to volunteer at animal sanctuaries. I suspect that I would get very emotional in the presence of rescued farm animals.


VeganCraftastic said...

Crafty Panties - love that shop name!

melissa bastian. said...

I think we all love the shop name! And the balls are all gorgeous - so well crafted, such wonderful colors! I hope there are some holiday doo-dads in the works... :D

bäumig said...

beautiful seems like origami to me :)