For our May Second Saturday Giveaway, we are doing something a little different.
Since beginning the Second Saturday Giveaway Series in September 2010, we have only featured crafters who sell their wares at shows and/or online.
But, we know A LOT of crafters who make amazing handmade goods to give as gifts or to trade or just to keep for themselves.
From now on, Second Saturday Giveaways will feature vending and non-vending crafters to highlight the diverse ways that crafters express their creativity and love of craft. :)
So, this month, we are focusing on Nicole Stevens. Nicole is a freelance book reviewer in Davison who adores trading her handcrafted items.
This is Nicole with her embroidery hoop collection in one corner of her HUGE dedicated craftroom! I didn’t bring a tape measure, but the room has to be at least 15 ft x 25 ft.
Nicole is pictured with her cat, Fred Fred, who was VERY keen on being involved in the photo shoot.
I asked Nicole to tell me about her workspace:
“I'm really lucky when it comes to my workspace... I have a room that it pretty much dedicated to crafting! I have a 10 foot "L" of counter space and half a closet of storage.
I painted the room a bright green, because there are no windows and I wanted something bright and inspiring. The whole room is filled with artwork and crafted items that I've gotten from friends and trades and things. It's busy and cluttered and inspiring!”
Nicole wasn’t lying about the room being filled with artwork and crafted items!
In addition to her collection of embroidery hoops, she has a collection of Dotee Dolls that she trades with crafters all over the world. The dolls were the creation of a crafter from Australian named Dot.
According to Nicole, Dotee Dolls must have some kind of loop on the top and tail on the bottom. They cannot be sold, only given as gifts or traded for other Dotee Dolls.
Nicole keeps a map to remember the states and countries where the crafters live with whom she has made trades of Dotee Dolls and other crafts.
She was given the map and all of the state magnets as a gift. When she makes a trade, she adds the state magnet to the map. Her goal is to make trades with crafters in all 50 states.
When she trades with someone in another country, she prints a picture of the country and adds that to the sides of the map. So clever!
Another clever idea of Nicole’s is where she stores all of her craft tools…
…in a Lazy Susan kitchen utensil caddy!
(For the record, I am not a huge fan of the term Lazy Susan. Susan wasn't lazy when she created a spinning turnable...SHE WAS BRILLIANT! So, I am renaming them Brilliant Susans. )
The Brilliant Susan caddy lives on the L-shaped desk that Nicole has in her craftroom:
I wanted to take a picture of Nicole and her adorable little dog in front of the desk, Eevee, but Fred Fred had to jump into the shot, too!
Behind Nicole, on the right, are all of her beading supplies on the right.
On the left are two inspiration wall boards that she created and green plastic organizer bins under a knickknack shelf that she built with her dad.
I had to get a close up shot of the little owl collection that Nicole keeps on her knickknack shelf. She also has wooden frogs and when you run the stick over their backs, it sounds like a frog!
You may have noticed how well organized Nicole’s craftroom is. I fell in love with the system she uses to store her stamps.
She uses the hutch from her grandfather’s old printing desk. The drawers are a perfect depth for the stamps and ink pads!
Nicole is has so many varied craft interests that I had to ask her how she got into crafting:
“My mom has always been really creative- she and my grandma made a lot of my clothes when I was really young. Growing up, we were the house all the neighbor kids wanted to visit, because we always had sidewalk chalk, or paints, or some other crazy project my mom dreamed up for us.
She taught me the basics of sewing when I was a lot younger, but it wasn't until I was out of high school that I really started crafting. I love the idea of being able to create something that no one else has.”
Nicole has a TON of stuff that no one else has…
…including a travel embroidery bag that she designed and sewed herself! (Of course, Fred Fred had to get in on the picture!)
Nicole also said that her box of embroidery floss is her favorite craft tool/material right now:
“I've gotten really hooked on embroidery lately and I love having all my colors organized and ready to go when I am. A close second would be my mom's sewing machine... because it is SO much nicer than mine and it has a zipper foot!”
Nicole’s sewing machine is still very nice. She keeps it upstairs and sews with her mom on occasion.
You may have noticed the Harry Potter movies in the above photo? Nicole is an unabashed Harry Potter fan from way back!
When I asked her what she likes to do while she crafts, this is what she said:
“If I'm embroidering I'm most likely sitting on the couch watching TV/movies. Lately it's been a lot of 'Glee' and (as always) the 'Harry Potter' movies. We just got On Demand with our cable though, so I'll be able to watch lots of different movies now.
If I'm sewing it's almost always show-tunes. I'm not really sure why, but that's what I always choose. :) Any other craft it's just whatever music I feel like off my iTunes playlist. My favorites change daily.”
But, wait, there’s more Harry Potter!
I asked Nicole about the projects she would like to work on in the future:
“My next project for myself is finishing my costume to wear to the 'Deathly Hallows, 2' premier in July. I'm drafting a pattern for a box-pleated wrap skirt and also piecing together an outfit for my (very understanding) husband.
I always have embroidery projects going and also have plans to learn to crochet... I've got a couple awesome friends who have offered to teach me.”
Before I left, I had to grab one last shot of Nicole in the storage closet adjacent to her craftroom with the crochet hook organizer that a friend made for her and her plastic bins of yarn for when she starts learning to crochet.
I told you this gal was organized! And, check out the awesome YELLOWBRICK RD sign in the background!
My final question for Nicole what she would name her company if she ever decided to sell her crafts:
“I'm a member of several online craft communities (such as Craftster.org) and my handle is always PirateColey. "Coley" because of my name, and "Pirate" because I worked the Michigan RenFest for years as a pirate. I doubt I'd actually use that as a company name, but you never know... :)”
Well, whether you know her at Nicole, Coley or PirateColey, this gal is one crafty lady and she has donated some AWESOME handcrafter jewelry for the May Second Saturday Giveaway.
“I've donated a set of four ceramic charms and a chain they can be worn on. They're all done in glazes and were made at Sandy's Ceramics on M-15 in Davison (shameless plug!). Since I've never actually sold any of my work before Crystal estimated them at $40... so we'll go with that. :)”
For YOUR chance to win the Set of 4 Ceramic Pendants (valued at $40), just complete steps A and B:
A) Follow Flint Handmade via the blog, Twitter, Google Reader or whatever newfangled "following application" tickles your fancy. Or, if you don't do the whole following thing, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will add you to our email list.
B) Leave us a comment in response to this blog post by 5pm on Saturday, May 21, 2011 answering the following 2 questions:
1) How do you follow us?
2) In honor of Nicole’s outstanding skill for craft supply organizing, we want to know: What is your favorite craftroom organizing tool or tip?
Please be sure to answer BOTH questions to qualify for the drawing.
The winner will be selected at random and posted on the blog within one week after the deadline. The winner will have 30 days to claim the prize.
We hope to hear from YOU and we hope you enjoyed our May Second Saturday Giveaway!