I’m excited to officially introduce you to my friend, Alena. She’s gotten quite a few mentions here on Farm Fresh over the past year as I have become better friends with her. She is real, she is community-minded, she is crafty and she sure loves her family!! It’s been my pleasure getting to know her more and I’ve enjoyed having her to bounce ideas off of and to work with on community projects. I also like that she is willing to take on any challenge that I toss her way. And you know I do……even if we never follow up!! 😉
1. Tell me what it is you do with The Hat Mommas?
I’m at a stay at home mom. I have 2 beautiful children, I babysit up to 15 other beautiful children. (Thankfully never all at same time!) Almost 2 years ago my friends and co owners of The Hat Mommas invited me to join their team! How lucky for me, I love to be creative and to make things, plus I love to be busy! Through the Hat Mommas I make slippers, mittens, scarves, dishcloths and now I am starting to tackle hats! It is scary and fun and, oh so satisfying, to live up to the expectations of these talented ladies.
2. How did you get started down this path of creating? Have you also been creative or artistic?
I think I have always been artistic and creative. I remember as a kid cutting decor pictures out of catalogues to put into my homemade envelopes, one for every room in my dream house. I think that’s where it started. I also remember being down on the south shore of Nova Scotia, many years ago, during my university years at one of my best friends (parents) house. Her mom had this amazing tedding bear sitting on display made from her father’s suit. It was beautiful and I instantly fell in love with the idea that it was made from a passed loved ones clothing. When my Grandfather passed away 5 years ago (this past Thursday) I knew I was going to make teddy bears for my grandmother, mother and 4 aunts. I never looked back, to this day Memory bears are my very favorite thing to make. I also spend a lot of time crocheting now, and have been able to supplement my living through my crafting. I have my fellow Hat Mommas to thank for that one. They teach, support and encourage me!
3. How has your style developed or changed over the years?
I used to scrap book a lot, loved it, and still love my creations. Store bought baby books, not for this momma! In the more recent years I have gone towards crocheting more in my every day, I love doing it and learn new things all the time. I also make money at it and when you’re a stay at home mom sometimes every penny (or I guess nickel now!) counts, I get that extra income I need doing something I very much enjoy. I still love doing projects for around my house too, a little homemade nowhere near perfect sign for my new craft room, making curtains for said craft room, re doing a chair (hmmm, Lori, I think we forgot about that follow up post!). I am a very practical person who loves fun projects and I guess that shows in my crafting. I like making items that people use every day or serve a real purpose (homemade white dishcloths are not on my list, I go for dark), a cute and fun banner for my living room fire place, um yes please! I have no idea if this answered your question!
4. Who is your strongest influence starting out and who inspires you now?
I have no idea how to answer this. I have no idea where I got inspired in the beginning. My sister got me started in scrapbooking. The Teddy Bear down on the South Shore inspired me to make something thoughtful for my family after a loss. Now….everything???
5. Where do you get your daily inspiration from?
Everywhere. Pinterest, yes for sure, reading blogs like yours (Lori!) and emailing you (Lori) daily with our projects and just to chat because we’re awesome people (there’s that awesome word again), absolutely. My fellow Hat Mommas telling me I can do something I don’t think I’m ready for, yup!
My 4 best friends since childhood ( 20 some odd years) who I speak to (type to) daily who are all amazing and awesome in their own right, you betcha. In that group of ladies I have 2 moms, 1 child care provider (who I am pretty sure puts all other child care providers to shame with her awesomemness), 1 author and illustrator and owner of her own publishing company, a librarian and blogger and PHD student who is going to change many, many lives (who has made prom dresses and wedding dresses and bakes a mean cupcake) and a fellow crafter after my own heart. I am inspired every day to do better, to do more, to do my best by my husband (who actually pulls off being interested in my crafts) and my kids.
6. Where would you like this path of creating to take you in the next few years?
Exactly where I am, home. My crafting is the reason I can be a stay at home mom (I don’t always have 15 kids to care for some weeks its just 2). Crafting fills something in me, crafting allows me to be home, with my family and that’s the only place I want to be right now.
7. What advice would you offer other people who are creative?
Be fearless, believe you can, enjoy every moment, keep learning and be awesome today!
8. In closing – what is your favorite, most feel good thing about creating?
My favorite feel good thing about crafting – the moment I pass someone a teddy bear I have made for them out of a passed loved ones clothing. That moment when I can see the emotion on their face, that little glimpse of what that means to them, it’s the best moment. Don’t get me wrong I love everything I make, I love the bears I make out of baby clothing and blankets too. But nothing beats the memory bears. It’s why I do what I do.
Thank you so much, Alena for allowing me to interview you. This was wonderful! If you’d like to contact Alena, you can email her at alenadawn at gmail dot com. She can crochet you up some cozy slippers or sew you a Memory Bear!!
To be continued,