Happy New Year!!! I have a special kick start to 2009 with interviews I am calling "Meetings with Remarkable People". I have one planned for everyday for at least the first week of January to motivate and inspire each and every one of you. I especially hope that this series will help those of you thinking of taking a big step in 2009 to enter into the world of blogs, flickr or even opening an etsy shop.
The first remarkable person is Elsita Mora . I only discovered Elsita just over a year now and I have to say she is the most incredible friend, artist, mother and wife that I have ever known. I dare to say that she enriches the lives of every person she touches with her creativity and kindness. In fact if it wasn't for Elsita I would never have started this little blog almost one year ago. I could go on and on but I think we will let Elsita's words and art speak for themselves.
What inspires you in your creativity?
I always say that inspiration is everywhere, available to everyone at any time and in any place. I also think that the best way to get in touch with it is by keeping our five senses very alert. I am most inspired when I look around and listen, smell, touch, taste or do whatever I can do as if I was a little girl discovering the world around me for the first time. I believe that Inspiration is always the result of us being alert and this could happen under any circumstance, weather we are happy or unhappy. In my personal experience I realize that I am most inspired when I have a purpose in my life, when I feel like I need to accomplish something or when I need to express something in particular. The inspiration20that I need to be creative comes mainly from the need to develop my inner world and from my need to connect with other people.
If you tried to trace back the series of events that lead to you making things and opening an Etsy shop where would it begin?
There is a particular event that happened somewhere in a little corner of my brain many years ago when I was a little girl. That little event was a dream and it had to do with myself having a tiny wonderland home full of especial objects made by myself where people could come and take something that they liked with them. They didn’t have to pay for the objects; they just brought me some food instead so I could stay alive. I imagined myself creating new objects everyday and hav ing great conversations with my visitors, then before they left they put the yummy foods in my kitchen. In my mind, that was the closest idea to happiness that I had when I was growing up. This dream never died in that little corner of my brain, that’s why when I found out what Etsy was I immediately thought: Mi Madre! I can make my dream come true! And that’s how I started my Etsy store; I decided to name it Elsita because that was my nickname when I was growing up. As an adult only a few people called me Elsita but through Etsy I let that little dreaming girl come out and take a special place in my life. I always felt that the best way for me to connect with other people and with myself was through objects created with my hands and that’s exactly what Etsy has been to me, a place of connection in some many levels.
How did you learn your crafting skills?
Once you get in touch with your inner creativity I think that the only way to learn your craft skills is by making things because practice makes perfect. As an art student I was lucky to understand that the more I let my hands do their job the better I was going to get at making things so the more ideas I was going to be able to express through my art and craft. I tried to learn as much as I could from my wonderful teachers and then I tried to put in practice all the things they taught me. It takes practice to develop your skills but it also takes passion and the will of self-improvement. It is a good thing to prove ourselves that we have the capacity to do all the things that we do right now even better. For a creative person self-improvement is like planting a little seed and seeing how it turns into a beautiful tree with flowers and fruits.
Can you describe an environment: time, place and company (people or pets) where you feel most creative?
There have been so many places, people and pets that have made me feel very creative in different times of my life. I think that the ideal thing would be to put all of them together, which is impossible, but that’s what dreams are all about so I will try to dream about it tonight:)
What do you have planned 2009?
I have planned lots of things that I can’t wait to share through my blog! And I have also planned to be as happy as I can be and to appreciate time as much as I can by using it wisely. I like to think of a new year as a blank canvas so I would like to fill up my 2009 canvas with something nice, something that I can feel proud of at the end of the year.
What advice or encouragement would you offer another creative person contemplating taking a big step to open a shop or blog in 2009?
My most important advice is not to get intimidated at all. See it as a great adventure that you are going to start. Life is so short in the end; this is the time for doing all the things that we want to do. Take your time to think, get a blank book and do lots of planning so you can have a better idea of what you would like to do. Enjoy every part of the process and don’t hesitate to ask questions to other people if you need to, there are lots of great human beings out there willing to give you a hand. And also let people know that you have started a blog or an Etsy store once you’re ready, don’t be shy about it. The internet world is a community and you are going to be part of that community by being open to communicate with other people and by let them know that you are also out there. Se e it as a little seed that you’re planting. If you take good care of it the little seed will become a beautiful plant and it will give you the most amazing fruits.
One of the most exciting events for me in 2009 will be meeting Elsita in person. I started this series with someone who has inspired me for over a year now and tomorrow I will share with you a brand new friend who opened her etsy shop the same week I did. I just know you are going to love her.
The shop opens today at 4pm eastern standard time if everything goes without a hitch. I have loaded it up with one of a kind items that I am sure you will recognize. Most of these items are not reproducible so when they are gone they are gone and it is highly unlikely that they would reappear in my shop in the future. I am already feeling sorry if anyone misses out on something they had their heart set on tomorrow but I can't really make more things than is humanly possible for a person with my career.
To compensate for that I have done my best to motivate and inspire others to create beautiful things for themselves with all my little tutorials. So here is a new one just in time for the holiday season you can use as a decoration or gift for someone you love. These trees were born out of my desire to not waste any of the scraps left over from pinecone making.
Materials: Fabric, scissors, foam tree form , 1 pin and a ruler
Step 1. Cut fabric into two inch long strips . The take these strips and make little cuts about 1 to 1.5 cm apart and about 1/3 of the way into the width of the strip. Now round off the ends of each cut so that it looks like a scalloped fringe. The number of strips you will need will depend on the size of your tree but I used about 18 inches of each of 3 or 4 different fabrics.
Step 2. Find a foam tree form or make your own like I did out of a block of florist foam. They are really easy to carve with a kitchen knife and you can make more realistic tree shapes in any size you want. It is also much less expensive than styrofoam and probably more ecological.
Step 3. Start wrapping your strips tightly around the tree starting at the bottom. I let the scallop edge hang a little below the foam. When one strip is finished just start wrapping another one by overlapping slightly. When you reach the top place your pin in it to secure.
Step 4. Cut a fabric circle about 2 inches in diameter. Scallop the edge and then cut our a wedge from it. This will be the top of the tree.
Step 5. Remove your securing pin and place the circle on top overlapping it to form a nice tight cone. Now secure this with your pin. I little pin really holds this together. My kittens have knocked them down many times and they are still together.
To celebrate my shop opening I will be giving away these trees. Please leave a comment below but you only until midnight to do so. Tomorrow morning I will draw two names. Happy tree making and see you in the shop at 4.