Saturday, June 21, 2008

Getting to know you - Cami

Another lovely lady has graciously answered my questions about crafting. And I feel like I'm starting to repeat myself here, because Cami is really, really nice (you just have to read her blog to know that!). And maybe that is the real insight from doing these interviews, there are so many nice people in the world. But enough of the rest of the world, here's Cami:

Your name
Cami :: blog ::

Where in the world are you?
Utah, USA

Briefly describe yourself and what you make
I am an commercial appraiser by day and a crafter by night. I live in a small town in Utah, with my husband and two cats. I enjoy many different types of crafts but my favorites are crochet, quilting, and scrapbooking. I am constantly thinking of crafts: stuff I want to make, projects in progress, ideas for new projects, new layouts, yarn, fabric, etc. I have way more ideas than time and more works in progress than finished objects. The challenge of a new project is my favorite part of crafting and that probably explains why I have so many projects.

Who or what inspires you?
Other crafters, colors, day to day activities, and the internet. I don’t know where my crafts would be without the internet. There are so many talented people out there and I take much of my inspiration from them. I love to make stuff that I see but put my own twist on it.

When / how did you learn?
I originally learned to crochet from my best friend’s grandma. She taught us on thread, which was very difficult for me. I never really caught on. Around my teenage years, I started to try again, learing from my mom (she is a lefty so I had to sit in front of her and copy what she did, like a mirror image) and my grandmother. They are both very patient people.

I started sewing when I was around 8 or 10. My sister is much more talented with a sewing machine and would usually just finish my projects for me. To this day, I am not very good at following patterns for clothing.

I made my first quilt when I was in high school and haven’t stopped since. Enough said.

Scrapbooking was also a hobby of mine in high school. I have progessed significantly since then and mostly do scrapbooking for my enjoyment, not others. I have recently started making cards, and find it just as relaxing and gratifying as scrapbooking. Sometimes, the finished cards are hard to part with.

Why do you 'bother' to make things by hand?
It is just what I want to do. It consumes my thoughts daily, and I guess it is like an outlet for me. I love the feeling of a finished project and the learning process that comes from it. Some peole don’t understand why I make so many things by hand, but to me, it is just natural. Why pay for something that I could make?

What is your craft ”philosophy”?
”Don't be afraid to try”. If it doesn’t turn out the way that I want, I can always start over. I will never know what could be, if I don’t at least try. (That is why I have lots of crafty mistakes in my work, I learn by trial and error.)

Fondest craft-related memory?
Well, I have two. First, making a quilt with my mom and learning how to do maching quilting for the first time. She was very patient with me. I took over one of her unfinished projects (an online quilt block swap), and finished the quilt top. She then walked me through the steps to machine quilt and do the binding. I think this memory sticks out the most because it was just one-on-one time with my mom. Loved it- but don’t look too closely at the machine quilting because it is very sloppy and you can tell it was done by a beginner.

Second, helping my grandmother chose yarns for an afghan she was making to use up her scraps. I was young and remember picking out the colors very carefully and giving them to her to do next. When she finished it, she then gifted it to our family. It is very ... colorful! Okay, it might be considered ugly, but I love it because she let me help her make it and every time I use it, I think of my grandma.

How do you deal with crafty mistakes?
I live for ”crafty mistakes”! It is what makes a project unique, home made, and mine. I guess I live by my mom's philosophy of ”always put a mistake in a project, whether it is accidental or on purpose, that way you can tell it was home made”. And besides, I’m not perfect so neither are my projects.

Favourite book(s) or craftbook(s)?
I just got the crochet stitch bible and find it very handy since it has all the stitches I could possible want. I like to take different stitches and work out something of my own. Any craft book with lots of pictures, illustrations, etc. Is a good thing.

Do you have a designated craft space? What does it mean to you?
We just moved and now I have a whole room dedicated to my crafting. It is not set up the way I would like yet, but it will be soon. It has a big window with lots of natural light. I love having a place that I can go to work on my scrapbooks, quilts, or crochet if I want and not be bothered. Usually for my crocheting, I do it while I am watching a movie or TV.

Do you use a sketchbook or journal?
I have a sketchbook for my scrapbooking. Any ideas for layouts or cards that I have goes into that book. I also have one just filled with ideas for afghans and other goodies crocheted. I don’t have one for quilting yet, just a bunch of post-it notes with ideas and sketches. I think that should be on my ”to-do list” so that I am a little more organized. And I do have a very long ”I’d love to make this list” for all things that I want to make one day.

Why is crafting good for you?
It is a stress reliever for me. Plus, it just plain makes me happy!

Is your craft a business as well?
My craft is not a business, as of yet. I would love one day to own my own quilt store or yarn shop, but that is very far off in the future. I have toyed with the idea of selling my stuff online but I am not that brave yet. One day, I will.

What impact (if any) has the internet had on your craft?
The internet is what makes my craft mine. I love seeing all the things that people have made and then making it my own. A lot of my ideas and inspiration comes from the internet. There are just endless possibilities.

If you could make any project without limits to cost, materials or even skill, what would it be?
I would make a grandmothers flower garden quilt. It is my all time favorite quilt. I started one about three years ago but I still haven’t finished it. I work on it occasionally and then I get burned out and put it away for a while. One day I will finish it and then I will never want to use it because of all the time and effort I put into making it. But I would also love to learn to knit.

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