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Friday, July 1, 2011

Friday Feature -- Tamdoll's Silver Mountain Originals

This week's featured Etsy artist is the Etsyblogger of the month! Congrats to Tammy of Tamdoll's SILVER Mountain Originals! I love how unique her work is, with such rich textural detail -- these fabric heart charms are adorable!
Enjoy the interview!

1. Please tell us about the items in your Etsy shop. What do you make? How did you learn your craft? What is involved in your creative process?

Right now, in my Etsy shop, you’ll find a few handbags, some fabric jewelry and sewing patterns for my original cloth art dolls (a mermaid & a dragon). I love to create with fibers and beads – usually making things that can be worn and that are one-of-a-kind. I love to recycle & reinvent items - some of my bags and jewelry are "upcycled" art, made with reclaimed materials.

How did I learn my craft?

I’ve been crafting since I was a little girl, mostly self-taught: hand-sewing doll clothes and knitting when I was young; then making gifts for others while I was trying to be thrifty in college; until finally taking a pattern workshop in 2001 where I unleashed my pattern making skills, creating my first completely original doll, a dragon. In recent years I’ve taught myself to crochet by watching online tutorials.

My creative process is never ending - I get an idea, jot it down in words or rough sketches, let it mull for a while… could be days, weeks or even years… until I find the time to turn my idea into 3D – whether by sewing, crochet, knitting or a combination of them all. I love taking the challenge of what’s in my mind and making it into something that I can touch and feel.

2. What Etsy teams do you belong to?

I belong to: EtsyBloggers, Team EcoEtsy, New Hampshire Team and EtsyChai where I’m the blog maven.

3. Tell us two (or more) other interesting things about you.

Interesting? What will anyone want to read about?

I can often be found online (maybe obsessed a little?!), it is just so convenient (look for ‘tamdoll’): I love to read and keep my book lists online at Goodreads.com; keep track of my knit and crochet work on Ravelry.com; photos on Flickr; website favorites on delicious.com; and of course there’s keeping track of everything else I make on my blog!

In college I earned a degree in Mathematics and Computer Science, wanting to be involved with computer graphics and gaming, but since then ended up doing more marketing than coding. I still love working on blogs and websites, helping out friends when their sites need some tweaking.

One of my passions is recycling – I don’t like the idea of wastefulness. To that end, I challenge myself to look at things in new ways, figure out how materials can be refashioned. Sometimes it’s one of my husband’s torn shirts used as a lining in a new pocketbook, other times it’s running the book sale for the local public library and finding a home for the unsold ones. In my community, I’ve joined the Solid Waste Commission, with my personal goal being to improve recycling in schools.

At home, I’m a mom of two beautiful high school age girls, who I’m very proud of – one knits, the other crochets, both sew, so I’m pretty happy! My oldest even has her own Etsy shop and sells yoyo necklaces locally.

4. What inspires your creations?


Everything inspires me. I never stop thinking of ideas! Song lyrics, puns, phrases, adages all become pictures or colors in my head - turning the words into images in my mind. Sometimes, this is the most fun for me, when I can see something in my mind and have the original idea. I wish I could write or draw them all down and then have someone else create them for me. Challenges definitely inspire me, creating combinations from unlikely objects or colors. I once made a pocketbook focused around a toy chicken:


Once, I was inspired to knit into a pile of gray wool roving that I didn’t know how to spin, and it took the shape of a cute round leg, turning into an elephant!



Sometimes a creation will continue to inspire me after it’s made and I’ll often think of a story to go along with an item.



5. What advice do you have for other folks selling or buying on Etsy?

Use Flickr to showcase your items. Their terms of service don’t allow selling, but I’ve had folks see my items there and through my profile or messaging they’ve been led back to my online shop.

It can’t be said enough – but if you’re a seller, your pictures need to be sharp and clear and close-up! If I’m shopping, I want to see details. If I’m blogging or creating a treasury, I want to use high quality, attractive pictures to feature. I’m always trying to improve my own pictures and I know there is lots of help on the internet, no sophisticated equipment is necessary.


6. What crafting skill(s) do you wish you had or hope to learn someday?

I wish I could draw better, even more skill at drawing cartoon-like people. I’d like to make little comics of the funny things I think of sometimes – stick figures and rough sketches are all I can manage.

7. What has been your biggest success and/or proudest moment since opening your Etsy shop?

An exciting moment –

Fairfield saw something I had made, a quilted, decorative birdhouse, using their products and have included me at their website. You can see it here with a link back to me as one of their ‘world contributors’.

8. Give us some insight on how you personally, or your shop, gives back to your community.

I volunteer quite a bit. My husband and I decided early on in our marriage that if we didn’t have money to donate, we at least had time to give to different causes we felt were worthwhile. I’ve volunteered for the public library, art groups in my town, in schools, and as a driver for the elderly .

9. Where else can we find out more about you and/or your creations.

http://tamdoll.blogspot.com
http://www.facebook.com/TamdollSMO
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tamdoll/
http://www.ravelry.com/people/tamdoll
http://www.tamdoll.com
http://www.twitter.com/tamdoll

And locally, a different selection of my items are for sale at http://apothecaflowershoppe.com/ - these I usually announce on Facebook for folks to see what’s new.



2 comments:

tamdoll said...

Thanks for the post & for the interview!!

Jen (Mama's Magic Studio) said...

my pleasure! thanks for being interviewed!