Saturday, November 9, 2013

Day after Friday Feature

Happy Saturday to you, we are just a week away from our event! We will be having goods from over 30 local artists. I can't wait to see everything and snap up some Christmas gifts. We will be featuring vendors all week. Here are two more for you.

Meet Virginia Akin. She makes smocked bonnets, ornaments, hair-ribbon and barrette keepers, grapevine wreaths, stitched cards, planters, and other rustic treasures from our homestead.

How long have you been creating your art?
I have been doing handwork since I was a child.  The beaded bookmarks started about 8 years ago, the stitched cards/pinbroidery for about 6 and I started making grapevine wreaths 3 years ago when we moved to our current home and I found grape vines in the woods behind the house.  I'm always looking for new things to try and to do.  Some of those things work, some don't, but I have fun with the process!
What are your favorite colors to work with?
I like pastel shades for some things and bright colors for others. 
How do you find inspiration?
Most of the new stuff I have tried is something that friends have suggested. 
What time of day do your creative juices get going?
In the morning after I finish housework.
Do you listen to anything while you create, or do you prefer peace and quiet?
I often have something in the background.  I have my favorite Pandora station of old hymns, this time of year I'm often listening to Handel's Messiah.  I also enjoy classical and baroque music.  Sometimes a movie.
Is there a special meaning behind your work?
Sometimes!  Some things (especially cross stitch and smocked baby bonnets) are done with prayer.  Instead of listening while I am making those things, I spend the time praying over the baby who will be getting them.
Do you create with an end product in mind, or do you just see where creativity leads?
I have an overview in mind when I start and the details happen as I go along.
Has your work been featured anywhere?
Not yet!
Each morning as soon as I wake up I make a pot of coffee and take care of the family and the outdoor animals and then sit down with my Bible.  I get the essential housework done and then I spend some time writing/blogging before I get to work with crafting. 
I do take regular breaks.  I have 30 chickens and they get rather noisy, so I'm often going outside to make sure that all is well and there are no intruders bothering them.

Now meet Natalie Warren and her family who make handmade coasters, handmade appliqued items, children's clothes, and handmade scarves.

Natalie's answers:
I have been sewing for almost 10 years but really geared up once my daughter was born.  I have been smocking for almost 2 years and machine embroidering for just over a year.
What are you favorite colors to work with?  I love greens, blues, and browns.
What time of day do your creative juices get going?  I am a night owl so most of my work is in the afternoon and evenings.  Most of my creative ideas come late at night.
Do you listen to anything why you create, or do you prefer peace and quiet?  I usually work in peace and quite because my daughter is sleeping when I work but I do listen to contemporary Christian, 70s an 80s like ABBA and the Carpenters, among other things.  I also like Broadway.
Natalie's mom and sister also answered some questions for us:
Emily Jennings: 
How long have you been creating your art? Almost two years now.
What time of day do your creative juices get going? 24/7
Do you listen to anything why you create, or do you prefer peace and quiet? Ipod: Imagine Dragons, The Carpenters, Kari Jobe, very wide variety. 
Sharon Jennings:
 have been Crocheting scarves and headbands since last fall, but my grandmother taught me to crochet when I was a teenager. My other projects have included, afghans, baby blankets and sweaters, hats and booties.
I prefer to work with with cool colors, purples, blues, and cool browns.
I love the idea of transforming yarn, wool, etc..., into a wearable garment. I like working with wool the best.  My mother and grandmother are from England and they knitted and crocheted with wool in England.
I like the fact that I am carrying on a family tradition of working with my hands to create something useful. In the Bible we are told, "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might,".
I like to apply this verse to many things I do that involve creativity.
I like to crochet on my lunch break and in the evenings. I also like to create while I'm riding in a car.
I love to listen to Contemporary Christian music, or relaxation music when I crochet. My hobby is relaxing in itself, but after a taxing day at work, the music really helps to soothe me.
I'm a cold natured person, so I like to create things that will keep people warm. I named my personal business after the places my parents are from, Essex County in England, where my mother was born,
and Asbury, Alabama, where my father was brought up.  I am a product of both of my parents. I have learned from both of them over the years. My father was very ill when I decided on
"Essex and Asbury Woolens and Things" for my business name. I wanted to honor him and my mother for all they have contributed to my creativity.
I usually use a pattern when I crochet, but I do have a few original designs. Of those that I have designed I usually just see where my creativity leads.
I have taken my items to the Boaz Harvest Festival craft show, but that was the first time to show them publicly.
We look forward to meeting all our vendors! Check back this week as we feature more vendors.

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