crafts

Feature Friday: The Felting Dorcas

Happy Feature Friday!

We’re excited about today’s feature with Cherylyn of The Felting Dorcas and think you all will truly love the wool products she creates! The wool she uses not only looks so amazing (who else wants to just touch it!?) but we think it’s so important that they’re free of chemicals and harsh dyes. Cherylyn puts so much heart into what she creates and wants to use her work to impact others as well — supporting various causes with each purchase. We are huge advocates of making purchases that have a greater purpose and love makers that use their gifts and talents to give back. So while you may love what The Felting Dorcas creates, supporting her brand has a larger impact! We can’t wait for you guys to keep reading to learn more about Cherylyn and the gorgeous wool products she handcrafts.

: Tell us a little about yourself.

: I’m Cherylyn, currently residing in Melbourne with my family. I am a cat lover and apart from creating, I also love baking! I started my Etsy store, The Felting Dorcas, in 2015 – it focuses on making handcrafted items out of high quality pure wool, like baby mobiles and garlands.

: We love your felt decor! How did your shop, The Felting Dorcas, get started?

: After some experience in the corporate world, I want to run or work in a service-based business that will allow me to use the proceeds to support a needy community. I’ve always liked working with my hands – I used to make cards for friends, was into flower arrangement for a while – so it seemed natural that I started this product-based business that leant into that passion of mine, creating products that I like myself whilst allowing me to contribute more to disadvantaged children and mothers in other parts of the world.

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Feature Friday: MadeByBettyB

BY TARA AND CAILIN BURKE

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Today we’re featuring Bridget, of MadebyBettyB. We came upon her dreamcatchers on Instagram and were blown away. They are so gorgeous! We love how Bridget creates her own future and goes after her dreams. The fact that one day she just picked up a needle and thread and decided to start embroidering, without any prior embroidery skills, is a testament to both Bridget and the power of believing in yourself. When Cailin and I were little we always used to get cross-stitch kits at the craft store, but I always remember lettering being particularly difficult to do. It just goes to show that if you can set your mind to something, you can find a way to make it happen. Keep reading to daydream away while you gaze at MadebyBettyB’s awesome dreamcatchers and learn more about their creator!

 

Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 01.34.24: Explain what you do at MadebyBettyB?

logo: At MadebyBettyb I create the ability for good dreams. Dreams make up such a large part of our beginning life and only get more memorable as time goes on. Dreams are the driving force that keeps us going and pushing ourselves. I embroider and create unique dreamcatchers from vintage doilies.

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Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 01.34.24: When did you start selling your pieces? Did it start out as a hobby?

logo : I started selling in December of last year, it did start as a hobby as my grandmother passed away and left me a huge amount of her jewelry and old linens. I thought long and hard about what I wanted to create from such pieces, as half of them were broken or unwearable, and it just occurred to me, dreamcatchers.

Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 01.34.24: Describe your design aesthetic?

logo: I create from the beauty of color! I love vintage, bohemian and cardigans. I love thrift store-sifting and handlettering. I love the outdoors but I love to watch a good Wes Anderson film or being curled up on the couch with a good book. So my aesthetic comes from all over.

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Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 01.34.24: How did you learn how to embroider?

logo: One day I just picked up a needle and said, I can do this and did it. I embroidered the words You are Loved and that was it. I realized that in the hoop art world that people weren’t embroidering them and I created one with my grandmothers favorite saying and it was a big hit with friends and family… So I kept going.

Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 01.34.24: What caught your interest about dreamcatchers?

logo: My grandmothers name is Cubina Mahota, she is of Chickasaw decent and it was just one of those things I grew up learning, the art of Native American culture. I had a friend give me one for my birthday over 10 years ago and it is still there, reminding me of my grandmother every day.

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Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 01.34.24: Have you created any pieces that you weren’t able to let go/kept for yourself?

logo: Yes. I have created quite a few with my grandmothers pieces that are impossible for me to give up. I also have created some that I have given to family members and friends I know who will cherish them.

Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 01.34.24: What inspires you?

logo: Life. Its as easy as life inspiring me. Everyday we wake up and we struggle to get by and we create or work when we don’t want to. We are forced into this daily lifestyle that I forbid to be apart of. I have worked my life to create an environment for myself that doesn’t involve uniforms or bosses. I am the boss, everyday I wake up and love my job and I work and in between my work I create dreamcatchers.

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Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 01.34.24: What was the most memorable feedback you’ve ever gotten about your work?

logo: Someone once said, “I am absolutely blown away by every gorgeous detail of my custom dreamcatcher. She beautifully hand-embroidered a quote that is very special to my son and I onto the dreamcatcher and I couldn’t be happier with this keepsake for him. You can tell a whole lot of love go into each of these pieces, I absolutely recommend this shop.”

Because it is true, every piece I create with so much love as if I were going to keep it and hang it up on my own wall. I know I want quality and details into when I buy something custom and that is exactly what I want people to expect.

Actually it has been my most recent feedback.

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Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 01.34.24: Where do you see your creative career going? Biggest dreams?

logo: I see myself really moving forward with my designs, I want to include embroidered posters and prints, I really want to push myself. I have picked up weaving and have completely fallen in love with it and creating round weaves to start offering dreamcatcher weavings, but that will be another few weeks of practice before I start working on them. Its something not being done and I would love to be able to combine the two arts.

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Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 01.34.24: What challenges and successes have you gone through in running MadebyBettyB?

logo: Well I am a fulltime graphic designer so the balance of working and producing dreamcatchers is an everyday struggle. As far as successes I can say I have made some amazing friends in the crafty world that alone is the biggest success.

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Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 01.34.24: Tell us a little bit about who you are.

logo: I am a freelance graphic designer and I sometimes work 5 hours a day and I sometimes work 15 hours a day. I create everything from logos to illustrations to web designs and everything in between. I recently got married to the love of my life and we have a super adorable rescued olde English bulldog named Ledger, after my accountant husband!

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Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 01.34.24: Any advice?

logo: Stick with it! It takes months of dedication to become a small business owner. It takes 100 fails to get one thing right… everyday is a struggle for everyone! Always support Small business owners!

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There are a lot more dreamcatchers and necklaces where that came from! Make sure to see them all:

 

Bridget is also offering a discount to all Castle Foundations readers on her Etsy! Just use this coupon code (CFOUNDATIONS15) and you can get an amazing dreamcatcher, pillow, or necklace for 15% off!

Feature Friday: Crafting Extraordinaire Amy Wanford

BY TARA & CAILIN BURKE

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unnamedCalling all crafters! If you love a good paper cutter, stamping, finding cute appliqués and just making beautiful things, this post is for you. We came upon Amy’s work on Instagram and loved her fun, carefully designed and sometimes quirky card creations. She has something to fit every occasion and design preference. Whether you are looking for something classically pretty or out of the ordinary she has a card for you. Crafting is all about trying new directions, medias and subjects. One day you can design a bag and on another you can paint wine glasses, which is why crafting is so great! You have room to experiment and find out what craft you’re best at. Amy has clearly honed her skills in card making and it shows in how professional her cards look. We could easily see any of her designs being printed and sold in major card retailers and we hope to see just that happen in her future! Check out her website, http://craftingconfessions.blogspot.co.uk, to see more of her work and see what products she uses to make her cards. Keep reading to learn more about Amy in our exclusive interview with the fabulous crafter!

What got you started?

I’ve always had a love for paper in various forms but I was hooked on card making in 2008. I visited a scrapbooking shop, (I’d never heard of scrapbooking before!) purchased a couple of stamps and inks and the rest, as they say, is history!

What are your inspirations?

It may sound cliché, but I find inspiration everywhere. I find it in trends, in advertising, in work, in people – the list goes on! I’ve been known to wake up in the middle of the night with inspiration striking! It’s good that I always have a little notebook on hand to scribble my ideas down.

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Who is your favorite professional in your field?

Oh you just can’t ask that question! I have so many! I’ll name a few, but there’s so much talent out there and so much to admire – that’s what I love about this creative community.

  • Cristina Kowalczyk wows me continually with her graphic designs.
  • Debby Hughes can make any media look amazing.
  • Iwona Palamountain has such a distinct style with so much attention to detail.
  • Jennifer McGuire teaches new things that have me saying “genius!”
  • Julie Ebersole not only has the most infection giggle, but such a wonderful style with a punch of humour.

What are your favorite medias to work with?

This is a bit of a toughie as it changes. I guess one media I always find myself working with is stamps. It’s what first hooked me into card making and there are so many different techniques you can play with by using stamps.

Apart from stamps, I’m often die cutting. I swear I must have one bicep bigger than the other given how much I do!

What is your aesthetic?

My comfort zone is clean-and-simple. I’m a sucker for graphic design and clever use of space.

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Name your favorite go-to creative spot?

I’m lucky. I get to share a room with my fiancé’s musical side so it’s great to sit at my desk and create with musical accompaniment. I always work at my desk as I’m surrounded by my supplies. It’s impossible for me to work elsewhere as I’d be running back and forth for materials – I very rarely create knowing exactly what I’ll require beforehand.

What are your future goals and biggest dreams?

Long-term I would love to make a living out of this industry. To create and earn a living would be a dream come true! Short-term I would love to find some time to sit and create some more clear stamp designs and actually learn more about digital designing. I’m a total self-taught novice and I often think that people must create in minutes what takes me hours!

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What is the hardest part about what you do?

One word: Time! There’s never enough of it! It’s hard balancing a full time job with hobbies other than papercrafting. I often find that I’m feeling more creative at night, (I’m a night-owl) yet that’s the time I need to be going to sleep for work the next morning!

How has your work changed over time? What have you learned in your creative process?

My work has changed so much! At first, I was one of those pile-it-on-high card makers with layers and embellishments galore. It makes me cringe a little to think about it, but it’s all part of the creative journey. I then found my love for the clean-and-simple style.

More recently I’ve been inspired by the mixed media/collage style and love experimenting with different products. I think you learn so much from your creative process: what works, what doesn’t work etc…

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What is the most memorable compliment you’ve received?

I don’t have a memorable compliment. However, I’m totally complimented by anyone who comments on my work, pins my work, or is inspired by my work in any way. I papercraft as a creative outlet and if it reaches anyone in a positive way then that’s a big bonus. 🙂

Tell us a little bit about who you are.

Although my name is Amy, most know me as Aimes and I’m a tea, toast and papercrafting addict. I work full time in education by day and papercraft by night. I currently live in Sheffield, England with my fiancé who is my resident technical support for everything!

Any tips?

Enjoy it. If you don’t enjoy what you’re doing then ask yourself why you’re doing it and who you’re doing it for. Do what you love, love what you do!

I’d also suggest that it’s always worth trying something new every once in a while – it’s true when they say nothing ventured, nothing gained. I have to pinch myself sometimes to see my own creative journey and most of the fabulous opportunities come from taking chances.