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meet caitlin of smith house loom

WHO ARE YOU? TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF!

My name is Caitlin Smith. I am the creator of Smith House Loom. My husband and I have three boys, 4 year old twins and a 1 year old. We live in Utah and love it. 

WHAT DO YOU MAKE?

I make woven tapestries to be used as wall decor. 

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED AS A MAKER?

I have always been trying to create things. I love working with my hands. When I was very young I used my dad's workbench and tools in the garage to make my own retainer (for your teeth. Because for some reason I wanted one...) out of wire. I used to paint and draw a lot, and I spray painted my own T-shirt designs in high school. Then one weekend a couple of years ago I went to San Fransisco to visit my brother and his wife. She had some tapestries on her wall that she figured out how to make out of a picture frame and nails. I was really excited about it so she showed me her technique. Since then, I have slowly picked up my own style and bought a real weaving loom a year ago. 

WHAT MAKES YOUR PRODUCTS THE BEST?

All my products are one of a kind and I like to keep it that way. Since I get my wood and stones from different places I visit it makes every piece unique and special. My pieces are neat and sturdy. I do all the work myself and buy my wool from another hard working woman who lives in Canada. I cut my copper pipes and clean all the wood I use. I try not to make prices unaffordable, and I strive to give my customers something they will love.  

TELL US ABOUT YOUR WORKSPACE.

My workspace is in my bedroom because we have 3 kids in a 3 bedroom apartment. My loom is propped up on my dresser with a white pegboard behind it holding all my needed materials around it. I stand and work. I have a big ceramic vase holding all my wooden materials on one side of my loom and a basket for all the current projects yarns and wools on the other. I like to be undisturbed and away from distraction when I'm working, which means I have my materials right in front of me and everyone else is occupied or asleep. I play music when I am feeling a little tired, but also because it helps me get really creative. 

TELL US ABOUT WHERE PEOPLE CAN FIND YOUR PRODUCTS?

I have an Etsy shop called Smith House Loom. You can find it at www.smithhouseloom.etsy.com. I also feature all my work and progress on my instagram page @smithhouseloom

WHERE ARE YOU FROM?

I'm from Orange County, California. I grew up 10 minutes from the beach and as you can imagine, it was wonderful. Once my friends and I were old enough to drive we would hop in someone's car on the weekends and go to the beach and eat amazing Mexican food. We'd go to LA and San Diego for the good music events. It's pretty crowded but I never noticed until I left home at 18. Growing up where it's always warm and there's a lot to do was really lucky and I visit often.  

WHAT HAS BEEN MAKING YOU EXCITED LATELY?

Embracing the fact that I have talents and pushing myself to go as far as I can with them. I also really want to urge others to do the same. I started dancing last year and I'm super excited about it. Having this business and doing something else challenging that I've always wanted to do has put my life on a completely new level of quality and satisfaction. I have been learning and discovering new opportunities which is so fun for me. Some of my profits are put toward my dance classes. 

IF YOU COULD LEARN A NEW SKILL, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

Archery. It just looks awesome. 

COFFEE OR TEA?

Tea! Chai & Earl Grey are my favs. 

ARE YOU A MORNING PERSON OR A NIGHT OWL?

For sure a night owl. My husband laughs at me though because I used to love mornings before I had kids. 

WHAT DO YOU WATCH OR LISTEN TO IN THE BACKGROUND WHEN YOU ARE MAKING?

I listen to alternative rock or indie stuff usually. RAC pandora station almost always hits the spot. If my husband and I are binge watching a show (the latest was How I Met Your Mother) I'll sometimes work on a project at the same time. 

SHARE 5 FUN FACTS ABOUT YOURSELF.

- I really enjoy fishing.

- I always tried to save animals in my neighborhood when I was little. Pretty sure it never worked...

- I've rocked a pixie cut for much of my life and cut it myself.

- I skateboard.

- I love to laugh. If you're funny or laugh easily we'll be friends. 

January 26, 2018 by Colleen Wisniewski

meet lindsey of hello hydrangea

WHO ARE YOU? TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF!

My name is Lindsey Campbell. I am a weaving fiber artist. I am married to my best friend, I became a mom almost two years ago and I live in sunny Arizona!

WHAT DO YOU MAKE?

I create handwoven tapestries and online weaving classes. I have taught over 1k students how to weave in the past year!

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED AS MAKER?

I began a craft blog in 2011 as a personal project but design has always been one of my passions. I majored in advertising and fine arts at BYU and spent a few years working as a graphic designer and marketing director while weaving on the side. When I had my son two years ago I took it as a chance to commit to Hello Hydrangea full time.

WHAT MAKES YOUR PRODUCTS THE BEST?

My designs are unique. Each one takes hours to complete and non are completely alike. I love to incorporate vintage materials and baubles with bright colors and bold graphics.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR WORKSPACE

I have a room in our home dedicated to my studio. It is ALWAYS messy. I get my best work done in a mess. I love to get the most work done in the mornings when I can sit by my north-facing window and soak in the beautiful light. I keep most of my supplies in a vintage chest of drawers with my prized stick collection piled in a handmade wooden baby bassinet.

TELL US ABOUT WHERE PEOPLE CAN FIND YOUR PRODUCTS? 

Hellohydrangea.com or hellohydrangea.etsy.com

WHERE ARE YOU FROM?

I am originally from Washington state. I grew up on a working apple orchard in a small town in the same house my entire life. I haven’t lived there for almost 10 years. I went to school in Utah, then lived in TX for a few years, now I live in AZ and I will be moving to San Jose, CA later this year! I love being on the move and changes!

WHAT HAS BEEN MAKING YOU EXCITED LATELY?

Shapes and texture. I stay up at night with new ideas for designs and products. I am inspired by the materials I use, so I spend way too much money on small artisan yarn spinners and dyers. It fuels my work!

IF YOU COULD LEARN A NEW SKILL, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

Punch needle! I have a kit coming this week. If I had to venture outside of fiber… I would love to learn metalsmithing.

COFFEE OR TEA?

Hot chocolate! 

ARE YOU A MORNING PERSON OR A NIGHT OWL?

I used to be a morning person before I became a mom, ha! Now I am a night owl!

WHAT DO YOU WATCH OR LISTEN TO IN THE BACKGROUND WHEN YOU ARE MAKING?

Cooking shows… romcoms… podcasts and good ol’ Barbra Streisand 

SHARE 5 FUN FACTS ABOUT YOURSELF.

- I have two different colored eyes

- I get extremely motion sick

- I hate pumpkin pie

- I have never broken a bone

- I love musicals.

 

January 22, 2018 by Colleen Wisniewski

meet jessica of wit & purl

WHO ARE YOU? TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF!

I’m Jessica! The maker behind Wit & Purl. I live in Pittsburgh with my husband Anthony and my two cats, Winnie & Glenn. I work full-time as an attorney, and spend the rest of my time creating.

WHAT DO YOU MAKE?

I’m primarily a knitter and macrame artist. I’ve recently started playing around with more fiber and fabric arts including fiber-made jewelry and quilts and I’m hoping to branch my business out into those areas a little more in 2018.

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED AS MAKER?

I’ve always always loved making things but in my first year of law school in 2013 I was looking for a craft that I could pick-up consistently in the evenings to de-stress. I learned to knit and immediately fell in love. I haven’t put down my needles since. I learned to do macrame much more recently. This past summer, a friend had a huge elk antler, and asked if I could macrame off of it. I didn’t have any macrame experience, but I offered to give it a shot, and again, got sucked into the craft. I loved that I could wrap macrame into my business, since knitting had limited me to only selling in the colder months of the year.

WHAT MAKES YOUR PRODUCTS THE BEST?

My creations are simple, classic pieces that will never go out of style. Nothing make me happier than meeting someone who tells me they bought a scarf from me and they’re still wearing it years later. I pour my heart into my work and I make items to last.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR WORKSPACE.

I don’t exactly have a dedicated workspace in my house. We bought our house before I even learned to knit! So at the time, a one bedroom seemed like plenty of space for the two of us. Now you can find yarn just about anywhere you look in my house. We do have a loft space where I have a table for sewing and an antique armoire that I’ve tried to turn into a central space for storing all my odds and ends. I usually work on my knitting and macrame projects from my couch in front of a movie, but Anthony and I hope to move in a another year or two and a studio space for me is on top of the list.

TELL US ABOUT WHERE PEOPLE CAN FIND YOUR PRODUCTS? 

I have an Etsy shop which is usually stocked with at least some of my knits and macrame pieces! I admit I’m terrible at updating my shop though. I’m always posting new pieces and projects on Instagram and that’s also where I post about any upcoming craft markets or pop-up shops. And I always encourage people to reach out to me for custom orders!

WHERE ARE YOU FROM?

I was born and raised about an hour outside of Pittsburgh, and have lived in the city since starting college. I’m a yinzer for life, no question.

WHAT HAS BEEN MAKING YOU EXCITED LATELY?

Wearable quilts. I’ve had this idea floating around in my head for about 6 months and I just haven’t had the time to dedicate to it. Now that the holidays have passed, I finally plan to turn some of these ideas into reality. Quilting is so time intensive but so fulfulling.

IF YOU COULD LEARN A NEW SKILL, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

I’d love to learn to do pottery/ceramics someday but I don’t think I’d be any good at it. My grandmother used to teach ceramics classes and her creations are so special. She passed away when I was young but I have tons of holiday decorations that she made to remember her by.

COFFEE OR TEA?

Coffee in the morning, earl grey in the evening.

ARE YOU A MORNING PERSON OR A NIGHT OWL?

Night owl for sure. I should get to bed earlier but I’m always staying up just a little later to finish a project. And then I’m ALWAYS tired at work the next day.

WHAT DO YOU WATCH OR LISTEN TO IN THE BACKGROUND WHEN YOU ARE MAKING?

I definitely alternate between things based on what I’m working on. My husband is a film collector so a lot of the time I’ll knit or macrame while watching movies with him. The movies range from 80s slasher films (his favorites) to films noir (my preference) and anything in between. I have a no subtitle requirement for obvious reasons. This past year I got really into listening to Podcasts too. Favorites are My Favorite Murder, Pod Save America and anything else from Crooked Media.

SHARE 5 FUN FACTS ABOUT YOURSELF.

- I can’t swim. I took swimming lessons as a child, and it just never stuck. My parents even made me go back for a second round of lessons when I was in 6 th grade. I went to the local YMCA and took lessons with a bunch of toddlers for a couple weeks, and watched them all learn to swim while I continued to flounder. Maybe this is part of the reason I’ve always loved the great indoors? 

- I love what most people consider to be terrible weather. Give me all the doom and gloom. I prefer cold to hot and rain to sunshine. I think I have the opposite seasonal depression than most people. Luckily we have plenty of gloomy weather here in Pittsburgh.

- My dream job is to be an ACLU attorney. I interned with the ACLU in college and that’s the experience that made me decide to go to law school.

- I love to read. I only wish I could read and knit at the same time. I’m also a super fast reader. My husband accuses me of reading every other page…

- I had the stomach flu the day before my wedding and spent a few hours in the emergency department that night getting fluids and anti-nausea meds, luckily with my two best friends by my side. I couldn’t eat or drink at the wedding and I didn’t spend much time on the dance floor, but I made it down the aisle.

 

January 22, 2018 by Colleen Wisniewski