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February 3, 2011

Getting to know you - Saskia Hazeveld

Aloha! Are you ready for a riot of colour?! Because that's exactly what you get from Saskia of Crafty Valley! I mean, I think she is even more fearless than yours truly when it comes to crochet and colours! And that can't possibly be a bad thing - especially at this time of year! So, thank you to Saskia for letting me interview you; let's see what she has to say!

Your name
Saskia Hazeveld aka Morrewen
: : website : : blog : :

Where in the world are you?
In Assen, that is a small city in the north of the Netherlands.

Briefly describe yourself and what you make
I am creative, crafty, colourful, enthusiastic, headstrong and a bit chaotic at times! I love to paint and read adventurous or romantic books. I draw and paint but lately I have spent most of my crafty-time crocheting or crafting with my kids. I have a blog and a shop where I sell crocheted bags, yarns and patterns.

Who or what inspires you?
-My children inspire me everyday with their honest look at the world, they show me colours, shapes and things I would normally overlook.
-The colours of nature inspire me, from a red sunset to a clear blue sky or a blooming tree, it all gives me ideas for colour combinations or patterns.
-I follow loads of blogs about colour and crafts.
-Art inspires me, Monet, Picasso, Salvador Dali and so on...

When / how did you learn?
I learned to crochet a year ago. After falling with my bike and hurting my knee-ligament I was confined to a chair for weeks. I fell asleep every evening because I was so bored. When my husband asked me if I could do anything about that ( I think he thought I was not much fun ) I decided to try crochet like I saw a friend of mine do at work.

Why is making things by hand worth the 'effort'?
I own a crocheted throw that my grandmother made, it is really special to me because she made this with love and she spent weeks making it just to give it away. Besides that I think that making something handmade and not made with hundreds at a time is something unique and therefore special and different. I like to distinguish myself from the crowd and making something unique fits that philosophy.

What is your craft ”philosophy”?
Be crafty! Don’t hesitate, even if you want things to be just perfect, they don’t need to be as long as you have fun! Try new things and make something unique!

Have you always made 'stuff'?
My father and aunt are both very crafty, my father paints and makes card. My aunt makes ceramic art. I always loved watching and joining them as a child. They encouraged me to make my own things. I am very grateful they did. I cannot remember a time when I did not craft in one way or another. Even my earliest memories are full of drawing, painting, crafting and colouring.

Can you reveal a little about your creative process?
I usually try to get inspiration from nature or from images I find online, then I sketch the shape and colours I want, then I find the right stitch and yarn. Then I pick up my crochet hook and try to make the thing I have in mind, sometimes it fails terribly but usually I get it right in the end.

How do you deal with crafty mistakes? Are they mistakes?
I deal really bad with mistakes. I get frustrated and I even throw projects around the room when they don’t work like I want to! I just have to lay the project down and try again some other time.

Favourite book(s) or craftbook(s)?
I especially love vintage crochet books. Even though some projects are terribly out of fashion, some things are just fabulous!

Do you have a designated craft space? What does it mean to you?
We bought a new couch a couple of months ago and there I sit crocheting or designing. But I also crochet wherever possible, in the train to work, in a waiting room or during my breaks at work. My creative workspace can be anywhere really and I like that about crochet! Just as I can take a sketchbook with me to draw something I see.

Do you use a sketchbook or journal?
Yes, I sketch my patterns and design shapes.

Why is crafting good for you?
It gives me joy and peace. I just cannot sit still, especially with my hands, so crochet is perfect! Plus I can bring it with me anywhere I go!

Is your art/ craft a business as well? Any advice on running an arty/ crafty business?
Yes, I have a webshop since October. My advise? Do it! Start your own business if you think it gives you pleasure!

What impact (if any) has the internet had on your craft?
Without the YouTube tutorials I would have never taken up crochet, so I would not be crocheting! And I get so much crochet and painting inspiration from the internet.

Do you make art or craft? Is there a difference?
Good question! I try to make colour-art, but I let people decide for themselves if I have succeeded. Anything can be art, if it truly is? That is for the critics to decide, I guess.

If you could make any project without limits to cost, materials or skill, what would it be?
Lots of crocheted blankets in bright colours. Preferably with merino or alpaca wool.

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