INTERVIEWS




Thanks to the creative spirits who share with us here.

I can't picture a world without art and imagination.

If you have lost your creative mojo or do not BELIEVE you can make things, my hope is you will receive a bit of inspiration in these pictures and words from creative folks.

And if you are on a creative roll...
KEEP ON CREATING!

♥ Lisa



**Would you like to share your creative inspiration here?
  Please email me at themoonlitstitch@nmo.net 
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Hello, my name is Deb Riddell and I am the resident artisan at 
Paxton Valley Folk Art.



1)    What type of items do you create?


I’m a self-taught folk artist who creates primitive and rustic dolls, critters and 
items to decorate your home. I also love to make patterns so that others can
create their own versions of my work. I love seeing how other crafters 
interpret my patterns, every single one is unique.


2)   Do you have a special space where 
       you create and what inspires you? 
I live on a small acreage in the beautiful province of British Columbia, Canada and have a studio
downstairs with wonderful south facing windows that look out over our creek and the forested hills
behind our home. I’d like to say that this is where I do most of my creating but somehow all of my
supplies, fabric, needles and thread migrate up the stairs and throughout the house! So my creating
happens everywhere in my home but the inspiration usually comes as I sit in my studio and gaze out
at the beauties of Mother Nature. She is a never ending source of colours, textures and themes that
inspire me daily.

3) Do you sell your creations?

I have had a shop on Etsy since 2009, www.etsy.com/shop/PaxtonValleyFolkArt and also have a
selling blog where my items can be purchased, www.paxtonvalleyfolkartshop.blogspot.com .
 I am also honoured to be among the artisans who sell their wares at the Olde Primitive Peddler,
www.oldeprimitivepeddler.blogspot.com and at The Prim Nest,www.primnest.com and you can find
me listed as Paxton Valley Folk Art on both of those great venues. My pattern line is currently listed
for sale on Pattern Mart, www.patternmart.com where you can also find me listed as Paxton Valley
Folk Art.

4) What is your favourite medium when

      you create? 
I started out my artistic journey as a decorative and water colour painter but over the years have
discovered a love for fabric and design. I love anything old, vintage, time worn or antique so many
‘found’ objects find their way into my creations. I have also just discovered the world of mixed
media which is opening up so many new creative doors for me and I am currently taking some 
classes in doll needle sculpting which is leading to paper clay, armatures and sculpting. So in 
reflection, I guess I’d have to say that just about every medium appeals to me!

5) What are you currently working on?
I have several projects on the go right now, which is typically the way that I work. I find if I get
stuck on one project, working away on another will often allow me to look at the project in a new
way and get me ‘unstuck’! So right now I am working on a bowl filler series inspired by children’s
nursery rhymes, a glass art garden sculpture using reclaimed and recycled glass bits and bobs, a
fantasy soft sculpture animal and some rag quilt style Christmas stockings. Rather an eclectic mix
but I am having so much with them all.

 6) What advice would you give to 

       someone just starting to create items
       to sell?
The best advice I would offer to someone just starting out would be, don’t be shy! Get out there and
promote yourself and your work; if you don’t toot your own horn, no one else will. If you are going
to sell on the internet, learn about SEO (search engine optimization) so your items will be seen and
promoted by Google and the like. List lots of items and list often. Join like-minded groups of artisans
to make contacts, sell on multiple venues, create a business page on Facebook, create a Twitter
account and tweet, tweet, tweet, start a blog where you share a few insights into your life and what
you are working on. And most of all, don’t get discouraged. It takes a lot of work and a long time to
get ‘found’, but it is so rewarding when you sell that first item and hear back from your customer
that they love it!

7) What would you tell a fellow crafter/

     artist who is in a slump to help 
     inspire them?
Slumps, been there, done that! It is so frustrating as an artist to lose that elusive creative spark and
even harder to get it back. From personal experience I can tell you that working in multiple mediums
and on multiple projects helps me to find my mojo again. Sometimes you just need a break from
what you ‘normally’ do and exploring a new art form or a new medium can re-inspire you and help
you find that creative flow once again. Take a class to learn something new you’ve always wanted to
try, join an online group that offers challenges to get your creative juices flowing, start following the
blogs of artisans who create wonderful art that you admire but have never tried to make yourself,
search YouTube and Google for free tutorials in mediums you’ve never worked with. With the
internet at our fingertips the inspirational resources are limitless. Everyone is unique and the answer
will be different for everyone but hopefully one of my suggestions above will help you get back to
doing what you love, creating your art for others to enjoy.
I'd also like to say thank you to Lisa of The Moonlit Stitch for asking me to do this interview. Her 
willingness to showcase other artisans is so generous and she is a true example of what makes our
blogging community so wonderful. Thank you so much Lisa!
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My Links:

My Etsy Shop:  

www.etsy.com/shop/PaxtonValleyFolkArt

My Selling Blog:  

www.paxtonvalleyfolkartshop.blogspot.com

My Olde Primitive Peddler Shop:  

www.primitivepeddler-paxtonvalleyfolkart.blogspot.ca

My Prim Nest Shop:  

www.primnest.com/artist/69/Paxton+Valley+Folk+Art

My Pattern Mart Shop: 

www.patternmart.com/patterns/search/section/All/Paxton+Valley+Folk+Art/All/All


My Facebook Business Page:  
www.facebook.com/PaxtonValleyFolkArt


My Twitter Feed:  
www.twitter.com/PaxtonValleyFA


My Blog:  
www.paxtonvalleyfolkart.blogspot.com

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A Couple of My Past Creations

Snowman and Candy Canes Cheesebox Light


Uncle Sam Shelf Sitter Doll


Currently For Sale On Etsy


Thanks so much to Deb for sharing such great inspiration with us here!  I really appreciate her willingness to share - I hope you are as inspired as I am!  ♥Lisa
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INTERVIEW WITH FRAN FROM
"THE BAGG LADY"

My name is Francine but I go by Fran. the name of my blog is thebagglady and my etsy shoppe is thebagglady76.

The type of items I create are usually grubby, grungy, and primitive. I LOVE to sew them by hand. I make dolls, pin cushions, ornies, tucks, bowl fillers,etc. I LOVE to make bird nests up-cycled from and on other things too. Almost all of my creations are up-cycled, recycled, or re-purposed.

Vintage Silver Spoon with Next
Available in Fran's etsy shop

CREATIVE SPACE... 
My special place where I create is usually sitting in my bed or in the living room cuz I have to rest a lot. But I do have my own new craft/office/computer/studio that is almost completely done now. I am organizing and trying to get all my stuff in one area.

Miss Roxie Lou Hicks


INSPIRATION...
The thing that inspires me the most is me!! LOL What I mean is that I am a free spirit and I am always thinking. I find creating helps me so I look at things in a different way. I was an only child growing up and that is what made me a free spirit. I spent most of my time at my Grandmas as my Mom worked all the time. I would play and use whatever I could find. My Grandma taught me how to re-use a lot of things.


Some of Fran's Dolls (she says they love to drink coffee together!)

SELLING MY WARES...
I started selling my creations a long time ago at craft shows and even at open houses I would hold at my house, usually around Christmas. I always wanted to own my own coffee shoppe selling primitive/vintage items and creations me and my friends made. Because of my disease I can't work at a big girl job so I decided about two years ago to open my own etsy shoppe. I LOVE it and I sell my handmade and vintage items in it. 

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Fran's etsy shop:
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CREATIVE MATERIALS...
My favorite medium to use when I create is probably material. I make a lot of dolls. Lately I have been using this old flannel white blanket I got at an estate sale. It grubbies up real good with my coffee/spice mixture. I also use muslin and recycled clothing. I do a lot of thrifting. My favorite is estate and church sales. I find a lot of old/vintage items there. And the free boxes at yard /garage sales is pretty cool for finding clothing that can't be worn anymore.

One of Fran's Pig Dolls, "Nutmeg"

CURRENT CREATIONS... 
Right now I am working on what I call my new line of "FRAN'S JUNQUE". I LOVE to go on walks and I usually come back with some kind of rusty stuff. For example I found some old rusty bed springs back in what we call "THE PIT" in my home town along with a lot of other rusty things. In the trash I found a bucket of old rusty things including car parts. I am now using some old wooden thread spools I got at a sale and the car parts to make a sheep that sits on top of the car part and spool. I am up cycling the sheep heads out of an old coat using my own pattern. See I am always thinking!! LOL



COLLECTING...
I collect vintage sewing items and jewelry, hats, fur coats or anything with fur on it, and vintage purses. I also collect vintage jars, canning jars, and jars I find that I can recycle. I also love buttons.

HOBBIES...
My other hobbies I have are studying history. Especially my own home town. I am my churches Historian and my husband and I together have just started a historical society in our town. I love my home town and that is where I get most of my rusty stuff on my walks my husband and I take. I also LOVE Michigan History.

Fran's Grubby Up-Cycled Pumpkins!

SPECIALTY...
I guess my specialty that I create would be the items that I up-cycle. Even my dolls have some sort up cycling and recycling on them. I try to use that in all of the things I make. I love to make the dolls and I have started making my own patterns for them.

Upcycled Frog Ragdoll "Jazz"
Available in Fran's etsy shop


FOR THE ♥ OF CREATING...
My favorite part of creating is when I first see it in my head. Then gathering the things I need for it and then the finished part. I can usually get something done pretty fast once I see it in my head.

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Be sure to visit Fran on her blog:

Click HERE to visit The Bagg Lady on facebook
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My thanks to Fran for taking the time to share with us!  She has a great blog and facebook page and currently has 58 items listed in her etsy shop!  And thanks to you for your visit ♥ Lisa
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INTERVIEW WITH ROBIN FROM
THE PRIMITIVE HUTCH


What type of items do you create, Robin? 
I like to dabble in all kinds of things ~  I make wooden signs, prim dolls & Raggedies,  cross stitch creations ~ which is one of my favorites to do, and so much more.


Do you have a special space where you create? 
I create where ever I can, you will find creations all over my dining room table, kitchen counters, and next to my husband's comfy chair. In the summer I like to create outside.

What inspires you? 
Everything inspires me, blogs, pattern makers, magazines and of course Pinterest.

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Robin sells her wares at local shops in her area, farmers markets and some craft shows but you can find Robin's creations for sale on her website:



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What is your favorite medium when you create? 
Stitching and paint would be my favorites to create with.

What are you currently working on? 
Right now I'm still finishing up some bunnies, but I always have many projects going at the same time ~ it always depends on my mood and what I feel like making.


Do you have a favorite season to create for? 
My favorite season would be fall ~ I love all the wonderful hues that fall offers.

When do you typically create? 
I work on projects whenever time allows, my favorite time is when I can sit down and stitch before going to bed to unwind.

Do you have any favorite creating techniques or tips you would like to share with us? 
I work with a lot of osnaburg fabric and I would get so frustrated when it would unravel or the seams would open when stuffing ~ so Fray Check was my savior.

What advice would you give to someone just starting to create items to sell? 
Whatever you do don't give up, it takes time to create a business, go at your own pace. Don't be afraid to ask others what works best for them ~ there are a lot of giving people out there.


What would you tell a fellow crafter/artist who is in a slump to help inspire them? 
Don't worry, we all get in some slumps now and then, it will come back. Browse the internet to see what others are up to, pinterest is a good source to inspire you, sign up for a class to learn something new.

Do you collect anything? 
I collect lots of things, my biggest collections are plush Boyds bears, flower frogs, red metal handle cookie cutter, unique vintage glass bottles, vintage glass candy containers and vintage tins to name a few.

Do you have any hobbies other than creating? 
My favorite hobby is to go treasure hunting ~ I like the thrill of the hunt. I also like to go for long bike rides in the country.

Do you have a "specialty" that you create? 
I would say my specialty is wooden signs and my cross stitched pinkeeps/cupboard tucks ~ those are my two favorite things to make.



What is your favorite part of creating? 
Seeing the end results and trying something new!


Thanks so much to Robin for taking the time to share some creative inspiration!
Be sure to visit Robin's blog:  www.primitivehutch.blogspot.com 

And thanks to those who stop by to read about the talented folks featured here,
I'm so glad you visited ~*~Lisa


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INTERVIEW WITH LAURA RHODES OF RHODES CREATIONS 

What type of items do you create?
Handmade prim, country, shabby chic, vintage home decor and gift items.

Do you have a special space where you create?
My basement is my dedicated area where I have my craft supplies, sewing/embroidery machines, etc.

What inspires you?
The outdoors, nature, God's creation, people with creative talents, my mother, my blog friends...I owe any creative talents to the Lord above who gave them to me and Him I give the glory!

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Check out Laura's etsy shop
where she sells some of her creations:

Currently for sale in Laura's etsy shop:
rosehip fixin's in a variety of yummy scents!
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What is your favorite medium when you create?
Mixed Media, Repurposing/Recycling items-making pretty and usable items from what otherwise might have been thrown away. Fabrics and vintage items such as laces, buttons, ribbons. 


What are you currently working on?
Last thing I worked on was Mussy Tussies for Couples Night.

Do you have a favorite season to create for?

Spring..I just love all the pastel colors, laces, pretty buttons, ribbons, and delicate fabrics. I always have an abundance of supplies and materials for these projects.



When do you typically create?
I'm my most creative late at night.
Do you collect anything?

Cat related items, fabric, paper, buttons, laces, craft supplies.

Do you have any hobbies other than creating?

Love being outside and in nature, God's creation, observing the beauty of the rainbow of colors and hues that are available.  Gardening, walking, exercising, hiking, biking, playing with my cats, taking beautiful pictures.



What is your favorite part of creating?
Making something unique and blessing others with a practical yet pretty handmade item that they can use or really enjoy.

Thanks so much, Laura, for stopping by and sharing some creative inspiration with us!
~*~Lisa
Be sure to visit Laura at her blog:  www.rhodescreations.blogspot.com


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INTERVIEW WITH LECIA FROM 
FARMHOUSE PRIMS
Many thanks to Lecia of “Farmhouse Prims” for sharing some creative inspiration with us! Lecia is a very sweet and talented lady. Be sure to visit her blog at:

What type of creations do you make?
Various primitive items, bonnets, dolls, snowmen, pumpkin people and penny rugs.

Some of Lecia's prairie dolls inspired by Sweet Meadows Farm, Norma Schneeman
and Chestnut Junction


What kind of space do you create in?
I don't have a sewing room so I have to create on my kitchen table, I do have a sink in my basement where I can paint and stain my items.


What inspires you to create?
Primitive magazines, pinterest, blogs, primitive shops and other crafters are my inspiration.


Do you sell the items you make?
Yes, I sell my creations. I sell through my blog, and have gotten some orders through facebook. The facebook badge is on my blog and I have just joined Early Work Mercantile.

Lecia's bunny inspired by a Homesteade Barn pattern currently available on Early Work Mercantile
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Find Lecia on facebook:


Keep an eye out for new offerings by Lecia at Early Work Mercantile on the 1st of every month!

You can also find Lecia's creations for sale on her selling blog:

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What are your favorite mediums to work with?
I love to create with fabric, I love to add things like old keys, old buttons, old fabric, etc. to my creations. I also enjoy stitcheries and making penny rugs. I want to learn everything! I want to take a beginners quilting class this year, and would also love rug hooking, needle punching, and would also like to learn how to weave baskets.


What are you currently working on?
I am currently working on some prairie dolls and a few things that I can't mention for a swap. Pictures will come later.

Many crafters and artists love to create around the seasons, do you have a favorite?
My favorite season to create for is fall and Christmas, I love making primitive pumpkin people and snowmen especially!

One of Lecia's Pumpkin People inspired from a Bittersweet Folkart pattern

Is there a particular time of day (or night) in which you create?
I create whenever I have free time, I work two jobs, So crafting comes whenever I have a spare moment. It could be anytime of the day.


Are there any crafting tips you would like to share with us?
My favorite tip is spraying my creations with yummy primitive room sprays, I get so many compliments when I mail a package, of how it smells so good when my package is opened. Love yummy smells.

 An awesome santa created by Lecia, inspired by a Bittersweet Folkart pattern

What would you say to a fellow crafter/artist who is just starting to create?
My advice to someone starting out is to never doubt yourself, if you have your mind made up you can do it. Sometimes you just have to jump in and just do it, Many other crafters have given me pointers and advice, and I appreciate that so much. I feel like crafting is an on going adventure and you never stop learning. For the longest time I only made bonnets, I was afraid of dolls, I didn't even know that there were tools available to stuff dolls with, I would get so frustrated and be in tears. Then I found the doll turning tools, were so much easier. I would watch tutorials on how to do the blanket stitch to make penny rugs. For the longest time I didn't know how to sculpture a doll nose, then one sweet blogger sent me a whole tutorial. I am so sorry that I forgot her name, but I am forever grateful to her.


What would you tell those who are in a creative slump?
Just take a break, we all get in a rut at times no matter what we do. Sometimes I just have to take a few weeks off and then I am ready to roll again.


Do you collect anything?
I love to collect vintage kitchen items, yellowware mixing bowls, kitchen utensils with the green or red handles, old flour sifters and vintage baby shoes.

Lecia is well known for her prairie bonnets!

Do you have any hobbies besides crafting? 
Planting flowers, cooking.


What is your favorite part of creating?
My favorite part of creating is looking at the finished piece and thinking, "did I really make this"?   It makes me very proud and  gives me much joy. I thank the Lord for giving me the talent to do what I do.


Thanks Lisa for taking the time to do this for other bloggers.

Hugs,

Lecia


Thanks again Lecia!

~*~Lisa


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INTERVIEW WITH BRENDA GRIFFITH OF
THE RUSTY THIMBLE


My name is Brenda Griffith, I am the owner of The Rusty Thimble, I would love to take the time to thank Lisa for contacting me for this Interview!


I create dolls, critters, and all sorts of items that are made right in my home in Oklahoma, I am the sole creator of my items, from start to finish.

My Husband is a patient man, because we do not live in a house, we live in a factory! Our home is a small one bedroom, and there are not many areas that are not being utilized for my business. I have a wonderful storage building that I dream of turning into a studio someday.
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You can visit my blog at
where I share my life and creations, I also have giveaways every month!
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You can visit me on etsy at
where I offer my creations for sale, I have monthly specials, and every return customer gets a discount
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I love to use vintage items when creating, and I have a huge passion for Rusty Things, which is why my husband named my business. A few years back we made a work related move to Texas. Before I moved down, he rented me a shop, and named my store The Rusty Thimble.  We opted to move back home and I closed my shop a year later. There is not a day goes by that I do not miss it! But I fulfill my love of creating now from home.

My business is a none stop business, thus the joy of working from home and being blessed enough to do what I love, SEW! I can multitask and do the normal household work and my business at the same time, so my hours are my own. My days begin with my business and before laying my head down at night they end with my business as well.


Lisa asks: 
"What would you tell a fellow crafter/artist who is in a slump to help inspire them?"
Everyone hits a slump now and then, simply get up and go, make yourself create something and it all comes back. Shop around...there are many patterns designed by several talented folks out there and sometimes a new pattern will light a spark to that creative side.

Lisa also asks do I collect anything.... craft supplies, LOL! Since I am limited on space I do not collect, oh I would love to, I admire antiques, and anything vintage.


My other hobbies: we are fortunate to live at a Beautiful Lake, and hubby and I both love to fish. My favorite part is going to the water and watching the sunsets, good thing we have to drive a very short distance to get to that water, I would not get anything accomplished if I could see it out my window everyday!
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You are also invited to visit me on my Facebook page:
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Thank you again Lisa!
 Brenda Griffith
The Rusty Thimble