Who says boys can’t be cute? I have 3, and they wore these shirts from Super Sweet Creations all last fall and winter for Thanksgiving, Christmas parties, birthdays, and other special occasions. I love having an outfit that gives a nod to a formal event, but is made by someone who clearly understands that kids aren’t miniature adults.
What is your craft / art / creative endeavor?
I am a jewelry maker that uses vintage beads, charms and buttons. I love a good story and try to find pieces with a unique history to incorporate into my work.
Shopping at Estate sales and hunting for the materials to work with is half the fun!
How did you get started? Have you worked in other creative areas before the kind of work you’re doing now?
I was a Marketing Director for more than 10 years before I became a mom. I always found myself lingering at the creative’s desk, hanging around the graphic designers.
I got started in jewelry by making it for friends and family who urged me to start selling it. I signed up for Etsy and it all took off from there. Now I sell in several boutiques and do home parties as well.
Is there a story behind the name of your shop?
I named my studio/shop the “Mom O Matic” in a cheeky nod to the Automats of the early 1900s. Where women sat behind vending machines and dispensed treats to patrons day and night.
As I was already dispensing goldfish crackers and sippy cups to my two smallest patrons. Adding jewelry, just became another treat to add to the mom machine.
Do you work alone? With a team? Do you engage your family or friends in the work? What is your process? How do you ensure you get your work done yet still have a life?
I make the jewelry alone, but I hardly work alone. My awesome husband often puts the kids to bed so I can start my work at night. He also pulls morning duty when I’ve done a late or all nighter making jewelry.
And of course my kids help me too. They both like to sort buttons and suggest color combinations.
Where do you sell your work? Which venues are your favorites? Do you prefer selling online or in person? Do you attend shows or fairs? Is your work in a gallery or brick-and-mortar store?
I sell at www.momomatic.etsy.com. I’m at the Hammer Boutique in LaGrange, IL www.hammerboutique.com. And will soon be in a boutique in Western Springs that I can’t talk about just yet since I’m still working on their delivery!
I’ve done a few open houses at my house and that’s a blast. It’s hard to make the stock I need for everything so I’m looking into partnering up with another crafter for my next show.
You can usually keep up with me by becoming a Facebook Fan, I do my best to keep that updated.
Do you have any favorite handmade shops or sellers you’d like to recommend?
Too many to list! I’m sure most of of my Etsy income goes back into supplies and other seller’s work. My top three would be…
For organic baby rattles and yummy work – www.etsy.com/shop/littlealouette
When I used handcrafted supplies I often turn to Metamorph as she has beautiful work.
I decorate all my Etsy packages with vintage papers, retro plastic charms or vintage paper bags. I’m often going to Hey Yo Yo for these.
If you are in the Chicagoland area you must check out Uncle Fun, that’s another great stop for vintage doo-dads to decorate packages with.
What inspires and motivates you?
Talking with other artists, finding new supplies and looking at vintage magazines. The colors in an old romance comic book might inspire a new necklace.
What do you wish I had asked you?
How do you do it all? Other moms ask how I do it and the honest answer is that I don’t sleep much. I’m up late, there are times when I should be playing a board game with the kids and instead I’m bending wire into earrings. You do your best to balance what you can and be kind to yourself the rest of the time.
Thanks Lotta! And if you want to be interviewed next, please go to DIY Interview.
In this day and age, with such an abundance of cute hats available, it should be considered a crime to put your child in a boring chapeau. There’s no risk of being charged when you put your kids in these Owl and Piggy caps from Wooly Mammoth Woolens.
I love the slightly silly felt embroidery on these. It takes the handknitting to the next level. The fact that the pig is speaking in French and the owl is Woot-ing rather than hooting, is just priceless.
Would that I could shrink my kids a bit to fit into these fabulous caps.
Ryan Ringel’s boys are hard on their toys. Any parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle or big brother or sister can probably relate. Ryan’s oldest son especially loves a good puzzle. But when ordinary, store-bought puzzles were subjected to his enthusiasm…over time, the results were not pretty.
Of course, store-bought puzzles are merely cardboard or chipboard with a sticker slapped on, or paper glued to the front…hardly designed to stand the test of time. Ryan’s boys were going through puzzles like tissues during flu season.
One day, Ryan was inspired to make more durable puzzles while watching a sculptor use a scroll saw to create intricate patterns in wood. He figured the same technique could be used to make puzzles for his kids, puzzles that were more interesting than the standard square or rectangle, as well as tougher than the flimsy ones from the mall toy store.
The first puzzle (“Faye Fish”) was a huge hit with the boys, and could keep them entertained for hours, without breaking apart, peeling, or bending. Soon, Ryan was making puzzles for the kids of his friends and neighbors, as well as his sons’ classmates, and My Daddy Puzzles was born.
Every puzzle is drawn by Ryan, and cut, sanded, stained, and painted by hand in his Alexandria, Virginia workshop. Each design is available in a variety of paint colors, in natural stain, or unpainted.
The poplar or maple hardwoods used to make them are grown and harvested in the USA, and the paints and stains used to decorate them come from a company in Ohio.
The puzzles are simple, yet challenging enough to keep kids as young as 18 months entertained and mentally stimulated. They’re painted on both sides to add a layer of difficulty, and range in size from 5 pieces for the littlest ones, to 10 pieces for older children.
There’s so much lame art out there for small people. And that is a terrible thing. I’m convinced bad art rots little brains. It’s why I ended up eschewing popular mass market toddler art for framed pages of retro books for my kids. I spent ages hunting down old books from the 60’s and 70s with interesting line art, decoupage prints etc. Lucky for you now, there is Etsy and Jonty Bloom.
Let’s face it. Babies, toddlers, etc look at their walls a lot, what with all the time they spend hanging out in their rooms. Do you really want to trap them in there with nothing good to look at? With some insipid cartoon-y depiction of jungle animals and fairy ballerinas? Or do you want them looking at something a little better, more thought provoking? The kind of art that tells it’s own story and gives you more to look at each time you examine it?
I thought so. Chances are you’ll spend a fair amount of time in the room with your kid too. Buy something that you like, that they like, and that your grand kids would probably like too, if you save it for them. Good graphics make the world a better place. Let’s work together to make ugly primary colored vinyl dinosaur wall appliques from mass market chains, go extinct. Yay art!