The big Holiday season is just around the corner and I have already been prepping and sewing up a storm... it feels a bit like Santa's workshop in my studio except I don't have elves helping me :( Where are those elves when you need them is what I'm wondering!
I am doing 2 big shows in Boston this December, one at the French Library on Saturday the 8th (10am-5pm) called "Marche de Noel" and the other one is Boston Bazaar Bizarre on the 16th (11am-6pm) at the Cyclorama in the South End.
I kind of feel like a veteran with the latter as it is the 3rd year in a row I've been selected for it. I'm very happy because I truly love that show and this year I get to do it with my fellow crafters from Boston Handmade!
Since you're always asked to answer a few questions for the Bazaar Bizarre show so they can put it up on their blog to present the vendors, I decided to post that interview on my blog too. That will allow my readers to get to know me a bit better.
I have included some pictures of what I'm currently working on and that I will be bringing to the show. I decided to create some really funny and quirky Christmas tree decorations this year so I hope you'll come and visit me at one of those shows!
Here is the interview:
"What's your name, what's your business name, where are you from, and where are you currently located/crafting?
Anne-Claire Regan aka Hibou (“eeboo”)
I’m from France – Been in the US for 13 years first NYC then Boston
I live in Boston
Maybe your tree would enjoy some vegetarian decorations this year?
How did you get your start? Please tell us a little bit about how your business went from an idea to what is today.
I have always been making things, but when I opened my Etsy shop I started with greeting cards. I started with one-of-a-kind, hand-drawn designs, which evolved into applying collages and even sewing designs into the cards. One day I bought some felt to incorporate into one of my card designs, and I was hooked. I loved the versatility of the material, and the wide array of colors. It wasn't long before I left the cards behind to concentrate solely on plush making, including toy plush and plush art.
Inspired by my son's love for owls at the time, I began by creating simple owl plushies with vintage buttons as eyes and went on to making complex owl characters with both felt, vintage fabric, buttons, ribbons and lace from France.
As I honed my craft and gained experience working with different tools and decorative accouterments, my designs evolved to include all sorts of animals, creatures, characters, and different presentations including what I call “feltscapes” (framed felt landscapes & plush scenes that are meant to be hung like a painting).
How about Broccoli and his cousin Ninja B.? My son is into ninjas lately and I'm ready to do anything for him to think broccoli is cool!
What inspires you the most to create?
I always have a hard time answering this question because it's never just one thing that inspires me but rather an ensemble of things- but I'm driven to create when I have that feeling of child-like enthusiasm about the world around me. I like to try and capture the magic of everyday objects (they all turn to plush in my mind ;) but art, children’s books’ illustrations, my son’s vivid imagination, my fellow crafters and friends from The Plushteam, my husband’s mustache, music… can all be a source of inspiration.
What does a leek say to a radish?
What are your favorite materials to work with?
Wool blend felt, DMC thread and vintage fabrics and buttons that I get from France.
Do you have a favorite color palette?
I love all bright colors and felt comes in such a wide variety of colors that I’m like a kid in candy store!
Wait there's a crazy banana too! Yep, I made veggies AND fruits for your tree. To hell with boring decorations!
Who are some of your favorite indie artist/crafters and why do you love them?
In 3 different mediums here are a few of my many favorites (it would be too long to cite them all!). I love their work because they retain that childlike enthusiasm, and are whimsical, colorful and playful.
I like their work because it really inspires in me a strong desire to possess a piece of their magic. It also sparks my own need to create and push the boundaries of my craft.
The Felt Mistress (http://www.feltmistress.com/)
Cart Before The Horse (http://thecartbeforethehorse.blogspot.com/)
Roadside Projects (http://www.roadsideprojects.com/)
Hello Mr. Orange! I can never resist googly eyes... and a mustache :)
Any exciting future plans or developments in the works for your business? (Nothing TOP-SECRET, of course!)
I will be published again in Stuffed magazine for their upcoming issue (Winter 2013 – coming out on January 1st) and it will show 3 of my newest designs, all plush scenes that tell a story centered around a theme of water (at sea or inland)….
Here is a sneak peak at one of the pieces that will be published in the Winter 2013 issue of "Stuffed: The Crafting of Softies" magazine.
What are some other things you like to do when you are not busy making awesome stuff?
Spend time with my husband and son, and eat cheese like a true French person!
When am I not making something really? If I'm not making something I'm probably thinking of making something.... like this mustachioed lemon for example.
What are the top 3 reasons someone shopping at the BBB 2012 should be sure to stop by your table?
1. Because they should cultivate their inner child.
2. Because everyone should own unique, hand-sewn objects to enjoy year round.
3. I'll have a bunch of one-of-a-kind, spoofy, and goofy creations to help people in their struggle to break free from the shackles of tradition holiday decorations!
I also made some pretty and sparkly birds in all colors. Some will be listed in my shop soon.
What is your favorite background noise to listen to while working?
I listen to my two favorite French radio stations, France Culture and Radio Nova.
Where do you (craft) work?
At home in our spare bedroom, which is also my workspace.
What is your favorite mythical beast and what do you think their favorite crafty past time is?
My favorite mythical creature would be the Cheshire Cat and he would have, hidden in his forest, an Angora cat farm. He would use its long soft hair to knit sweaters for winter. (That story actually comes from a joke my dad and I still laugh about… when I was a kid, he had me believe you could make sweaters out of cat hair… he was always very good at inventing stories!).
Here are some animals, sheep, hedgehog, owl, cat... etc
What advice would you give to a new vendor selling at the BBB for the first time?
Take all the inventory you have, you never know how much you might sell and what people will be interested in. Also, pack some snacks because it can get really busy and you probably won’t have time to sit down and eat."
Yep these are decorations too!
I hope this will make you want to come over to the shows or stop by my shop on Etsy! Now back to my needles got some more work to do.