Skudfisher

Cartoons! I watch tons of cartoons.

That was Mike from Skudfisher‘s response when I asked him what inspired his fun plushies. How can you argue with such enthusiasm?

Everything from Invader Zim to Rocky and Bullwinkle (both of which are responsible for huge chunks of my sense of humour). I also pretty obsessively try to absorb as much cool art as possible from the internet. Flickr has so many amazing independent artists that it kind of blows my mind sometimes. I can spend hours just going from artist or artist on flickr. I have some pretty amazing people on my contact list on there that I really admire.

Mike has been obsessed with drawing silly characters and monsters since he was little. Then 2 years ago he decided to try and make one of his monsters into a toy for his nephew as a birthday gift, lucky kid. It only took that one toy to turn sewing into an obsession and he’s been making plushies ever since. Each monster has it’s own story along with it’s likes and dislikes to ensure monster/child compatibility.

There is something very satisfying about coming up with an idea, cutting out the fabric and sewing everything together, into something you can hold in your hands, that I just don’t get from drawing. I still love drawing though!

Mike’s current favorite is Acorn! He thinks she is just so adorable and huggable and really loves working with faux fur material. And as I was working on this, my 2 1/2 year old son told me he wanted THAT monster – so I guess she’s not just Mike’s favorite!

Currently Skudfisher’s plushies are only sold through Mike’s shop, but after many years of attending craft fairs and enjoying Montreal’s great craft scene he hopes to get involved as a vendor there soon. So if you’re in the Montreal area, keep your eyes peeled.

If you’d like to keep up with Mike’s creations he keeps a blog of all his work at and updates his Flickr very regularly.

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Visit Erika Jurneys profile on Pinterest.

Interview With Carita, Jealousy Designs

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Carita has been living in the countryside of Sweden all her life. Her current housemates include two cats and a lizard. She describes herself as an analytic, business minded nature lover with too much creativity. Carita loves fashion, especially shoes, shopping, modern design and long walks in the nature. And of course creative work, like claying, painting and silversmithing.

On a normal day, you’ll find Carita working in her studio wearing work clothes and finally getting around to breakfast around 1pm – toast, tea, fruit and yogurt. Check out her store here and her blog here.

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When you talk about Swedish Jewelry and Design elements in your work, what do you mean?

Most of my work is inspired from the nature here in Sweden and my designs are often pretty clean in the design, and that is what you usually call “Scandinavian design.”

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How long have you been making jewelry? How did you get started?

I started to make beaded jewelry back in the beginning of the 2000, I got a “jewelry start kit” from my boyfriend. This was the beginning of my jewelry company but after a while I felt that I wanted a development from the beads and the material I had been working in. So I started studying various metalsmith techniques. The material I most liked to use became sterling silver and a little more expensive gems and stones of all kinds. And there is where I am today.

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Is it hard to work with metal?

Both yes and no, it is not hard to make simple designs like just a hammered wire etc but if you want to make more detailed work and get a perfect result you need to put allot of energy and work hours for one piece. You need to think over the whole process at once, most of the time you can’t go back and change the design later. To work in metal is not anything for too restless persons I guess.

Did you go to an art school of some kind?

Yes, I studied in art school for a couple of years, this was a wonderful time when I everyday could spend all hours a day with different creativity processes.

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Is this your full time job? Hobby? Fun?

Both yes and no. I have been running a company as an interior/exterior house painter (paint, repaper etc) for many years now. But last year I decided to put that company in rest and I am right now living full time on my jewelry making but also looking for a new job and challenge.

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Where do you get your materials?

This is a hard question because I get it from so many different places. I buy the metal from a company who has recycled metal; the stones in my work are from all around the world but many of them I pick up myself in the nature around me. I like to use rough stones in my work but if I also cut out and design some stones myself.

Where do you get your ideas?

I am a person who takes my inspirations from my own impressions, things in life and nature.

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Do you do other kinds of crafts?

Yes, I am an educated artist and I love art! I work in clay, wood, and paint.

What do you see yourself doing in 5 years?

In 5 years I still live in my house, have a bigger studio and am running my successful jewelry company.

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Try Handmade
Visit Erika Jurneys profile on Pinterest.

Interview with Leigh Anne Hilbert, Overlap Sewing

Leigh Anne Hilbert lived in the Bay Area, CA, US until last year when she moved to Asheville, NC, which is closer to Virginia where she is originally from. Leigh Anne is married to “a total geek who I am madly in love with” and they have a son, Elias Grayson, who is 18 months old.

Leigh Anne describes herself as joyful, energetic, compassionate, creative, nightowlish, resourceful, and a work horse. In her spare time she cooks and eats outside, watches Sesame Street on Youtube, reads, lives and thinks of what she is going to make next. Also? She is scared of stuffed animals. Be sure to check out all her stuff at Overlap Sewing. Leigh Anne uses organic and bamboo fabrics and her appliques are made from recycled vintage lace. Her bags are made from old coats. You can Fan her on Facebook.

How long have you been creating?

I have been making stuff since I was little. My mom taught me to sew, and my grandmothers were amazing quilters, so I grew up loving the old timey fabrics and patchwork. When I started drawing and painting in high school, a whole new world opened up for me and I continued to study art from then on.

Do you have a favorite type of craft you do?

Not really. I love working with different media, and letting the material speak for itself.

Why did you start?

My hands seem to want to have something in them.

Where do you get your materials?

Thrift stores, my favorite being the Goodwill clearance center!, art supply stores, junk shops, eBay, old ladies who have lace to give away.

Can you tell us a little of your process?

I usually like to try to work with found materials, then I let them give me some inspiration. Each thing I do is unique. For a while, I tried mass producing runs of certain shirts, etc…but I got bored. I really enjoy standing with a pile of fabric or lace and just playing with them.

How long does it take?

Anywhere from an hour to a month, depending on how much time I have!

Do you have a dedicated work area/room?

Yes, which is awesome. But when people sleep over I have to relinquish it.

Is this your full-time job? Hobby? Fun?

I do this part-time right now. I also teach art to adults with developmental disabilities.

Where do you get your ideas?

Everywhere. They are nonstop.

Do you have a best seller?

The Baby Bomber hat from recycled wool, and my women’s appliqued t-shirts do well.

What is your favorite?

I love those bomber hats, too. It was the first hat I made for my son. I love the design and the reuse of material. They look damn cute on! And I am not one of those to use the word cute all over the place.

What do you see yourself doing in 5 years?

1. Running a gallery/craft cooperative/studio
2. Making stuff

Have any advice for people trying to start their own handcrafted business?

Stick with what you like and do it well. Someone else will probably like it too.

Try Handmade
Visit Erika Jurneys profile on Pinterest.