Artist, Mom, Maker of Things
My story has two significant beginnings. The first is when I realized I was a fiber artist. I used to paint and draw, and while my work was ok… it never really looked like the vision I had in my head. I was frustrated that I couldn’t match up the picture in my head with the finished products I kept getting. Until one day after my 21st birthday (for which my mom had given me my own sewing machine) I scrapped a painting I had been sweating over for weeks and started to create it in fabric. I swear there were fireworks, alarm bells, light bulbs glowing and then popping above my head. That was it, it looked exactly like the vision in my head! I packed away (have I mentioned I have packrat tendencies?) all my paints, canvases, colored pencils, markers, bristol paper… Oh so much stuff. So from there I was stuck to fiber like cat hair on your black dress pants. I made quilts from patterns and from my own patterns. I made bags, clothing, more bags and even dyed a bunch of fabric. I switched my major in college to Art with a concentration in textiles. I learned to weave, learned to knit, and I kind of know how to crochet. I’m all in.
My second beginning was a solution to a problem. I have a bunch of stuff I can’t get rid of. For whatever reason, sentimental, anecdotal, or no reason at all. But… I have no use for it either. One thing in particular was a shirt of my mom’s. It was just a silly T-shirt with that Tootsie Pop owl that says “how many licks does it take?”. I really liked it and mom wore it, but she was way smaller than me so I can’t wear it. I didn’t have kids yet to save it for. (but really, when my daughter is 15 will she want to wear a tootsie pop owl shirt? Who can say for sure.) And that was my second light bulb moment. What is a T-Shirt? it’s just fabric sewn together in the right places to make it stay on a body. Well, if I cut it apart, it becomes fabric again. So I cut it up. I measured, I cut, I sewed and I ripped out seams and I sewed again until I had my very first T-Shirt Tote Bag, and no one has been able to stop me since!