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January 23, 2008

Getting to know... me!

Oh dear, what have I got myself into? I'm a wee bit embarrassed about this, but well, there you go. I'll let the lovely Kristal take over:

A month or so back, I was honoured & thrilled to have been interviewed by the talented, creative dynamo that is Carina / Wardi! When she asked if she could interview me on her blog, I asked her if I could interview her, as well. Happily for me, she agreed! I have long been a glorious fan of hers. Carina's fabulous ideas, mastering of numerous handicrafts, and brilliant use of design and colour in her everyday life inspires and energizes me. I was excited to ask her many of the questions she has thoughtfully constructed for interviewing others, and I had a few others to add, that arose from months of pouring over her own work, via flickr...all the time wondering about her various inspirations, and the amazing ways in which Carina weaves modern design elements with traditional appreciation and insight. Here's some of her illuminating responses. A little glimpse into the wonderous world of Carina! (by Kristal @ rikrak) (p.s. Carina let me choose my fave photos of hers to add to the interview!) thanks for your wonderful answers, lovely!

Your name
Carina Envoldsen

Your shop/links

Please describe yourself (in three words)
Ugh, that's a tough one! Hmmm... Creative, sweet and shy.

And what you make (in three words)
Even harder!! Crocheted and sewn follies. That's what I make.

Please tell us, in no particular order, your top five crafting moments (highlights, lowlights, important junctures, etc)
When I made my first softie (completely hand sewn). When I got my sewing machine. My first craft fair. Teaching myself to crochet. Selling something I made to complete strangers.

Like you've asked, what or who inspires you?
I'm inspired by so many people and things. Too many to mention, ha! But here are some of them: my mum, the Romans, flowers, Edward Munch, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, colours, traditions, Japan (although I've never been there), water, Tony, artists' sketchbooks, textures, landscapes, random pictures from magazines, films, my grandmas, languages...

I’m interested to hear about where you learned your crafting skills. What crafty skills are you interested in learning next?
Well, this is kind of hard to answer for me. Growing up I did try various crafts with my grandma who was an absolute genius at any craft; she could make anything and I really regret that I didn't find this passion until after she passed away. I think she could have taught me many, many wonderful things. My mum did try to teach me to use the sewing machine when I was younger but never with any success! I think I was always kind of interested in sewing and such but I thought mastering the sewing machine was beyond me, so it was fairly limited what I did make. My creative outlets were drawing and painting. But then I suddenly got the crafting bug (in no small measure thanks to all the crafty blogs!) and I had to figure things out on my own because my mum's in Denmark and I'm here in England and I don't know anyone around here who's interested in crafting. I'm quite amazed at how many things I just 'know' how to make. I think my mum's skills must have rubbed off on me. Lucky me! I don't know if I really should throw myself at any more crafts, but I would like to try weaving and learn screen printing.

How does crafting fit into your daily life? Is that a challenge? How do you make time to craft?
Well, I try to do some kind of crafting every day, even if it is just a few crochet stitches. It can be a challenge to carve out time to make more complicated projects, but I usually do have one of those going as well, working on them when I can – usually on my day off during the week so my crafting mess doesn't bother my Tony! One way I usually sneak in some crafting is during lunch at work. I think they have gotten used to me sitting in the break room working on this or that. Even if they probably find it slightly odd... I've also always got some kind of project in my bag, for any unforeseen downtime.

Is crafting emotional for you?
Not really, but is very meaningful for me. I feel that it connects me to my mum and my grandmas. I also feel that it is empowering; I can actually make something from nothing, and I can mend things. It gives me confidence too, because I've taught myself to crochet and other things.

How does crafting affect your life?
It makes me happy. Pure and simple.

Is your craft a business? Any advice?
Not really a business. I think for it to be a business I'd have to be a lot more organised and more focused on what I actually want to make. So I don't really have any advice...

Tell us about your favourite artistic medium. Why do you love that?
I don't know. I love to crochet because you can quickly make something (useful) just from a bit of yarn and you can be really crazy and creative with it too. I love sewing because it means playing with lovely pretty fabric and colours and I get to use my head to figure things out, like in what order to sew bits together. But I also really love to draw because.. well, because I just do. And because drawing is a way to preserve ideas, places and memories.

Fave craft books?
I'm not sure I have any favourite craft books. I just like the ones that inspire me. I'm not as fond of the ones which tell me exactly how to make things. For example last year I got a Jenny Hart book for Christmas, but most of it was just patterns to embroider and I really don't need patterns; I want to figure things out for myself and make up my own ideas not work from someone else's. But I am very inspired by Japanese craft books and books that have a lot of... texture; I'm not sure how else to describe it...

How do you deal with crafty mistakes?
I do try to make them into a feature or at least learn something from them. But if it comes down to it, I have no problem with pulling things apart, or if it's really bad, throw it in the bin! I'm actually quite proud of myself for how I deal with 'mistakes', when I was younger I would have thrown a hissy fit and thrown it in the bin straight away..!

Why is crafting good for you?
Because it makes me happy! And it makes me use my head and I'm sure I'm smarter now than I was before I started crafting. There is so much joy in having an idea in your head and then making it into reality. It may sound slightly pompous or mad, but I do think that when you make something – no matter what it is – you are touched by something divine...

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