Saturday, May 30, 2009

*Artisan Antics - AnnabelsAprons*

Let me tell you a little about Ann, of AnnabelsAprons... then will let her tell you a little about herself! Ann is a hoot, such a sweet, thoughtful and hilariously funny lady (but shhh don't tell her I said so, it will go straight to her head! ;D) I am happy to say I am a proud owner of my very own apron made with love by Ann. This is the one I got to wear at work at the flower shop, isn't it just perfect? She uses wonderful quality fabric that is so soft and comfy, so I could just imagine how her apron shirts feel while you wear them! So Take a gander at her work, visit her shop for your very own lovely handmade piece, and enjoy a nice read about what she has to say about herself and her craft.

A bit about myself:
Hi, my name is Ann... no “e”... no “abel”... just Ann. For as creative as I am, I think I should have been named something else. But oh well, it means graceful one, I’ll take that. My friends and family call me Annabel though, so when I was going to name my Etsy shop, it seemed to fit.
I am an artist who has found fulfillment in the design and creation process of sewing clothes, aprons, headbands, etc... Coordinating colors and patterns in fabric has become an addiction, of which I seek no help.
I have lived in Wisconsin my whole life. I currently live in a suburb of Madison. I have been married 25 years, and have four wonderful children, three boys and one girl. My daughter is currently my model for my items. I also have one granddaughter, who is amazing, but aren’t all grandchildren?

What made me want to become and artist:
I think people are divinely inspired to create. It is a gift that you can decide to grow in or not, and just say, “I don’t have a creative bone in my body!” It’s like anything you learn to do... the ability is there, maybe as small as a mustard seed, but it is there, and it takes a desire and practice to grow in it. Maybe that’s where the “deciding to become an artist” comes from. I wanted to become an artist because I am constantly amazed at the creative process. If you have the ability to think it, you can bring it to life. AWESOME!!
I have worked with many mediums, and focused on many expressions of art. Probably my most “oooh’ed and aaah’ed” work though, is my portrait work, very meticulous and detailed. Recently I have been getting more into modern abstract using multi media, obviously a more freeing type of art expression. Where does sewing fit into all this, you may ask? haha!

Describing my creative process:
Among the other artistic expressions during my life, sewing has been a constant. I learned in high school in a home economics class, and have been sewing off and on ever since. It wasn’t until recently though, that I have had a desire to make and sell my things. Now, I am hooked, line and sinker. I started to get the idea to do aprons when I heard they were making a comeback. I didn’t want to make the traditional one paneled, solid colored ones though, I wanted to make them special, so when people put them on, something deep down inside of them that doesn’t always come out, would be encouraged to come out, maybe something sassy, maybe sexy, maybe whimsical! It feels a bit like playing dress up. And when you are through, you hang it up until next time, when...
All of my designs are original, with the exception of my chef’s apron, but even that has been modified for the better, I think. The fabric shopping has got to be my favorite! I LOVE colors and patterns. But you already know that! So... giddy, I drive back home and put the fabric in the wash, (I always preshrink my fabric), and I impatiently wait for that part of it to get done so I can get sewing. I have my own sewing room, so I am free to be as loud or quiet as I want, and as messy as I want. But I do clean up....once in a while. I have an amazing industrial sewing machine, a serger, and a button hole making machine. It is set up to operate in a very smooth fashion. When I am done, I sit back and sigh....”ah”...I love it! I can’t wait for you to see it!

How I promote my shop:
I am so glad to have discovered Etsy! I started in Feb of ’09 and have slowly been getting exposure. I have improved on my photos, and I believe that has helped to get me featured in 5 treasuries to date, one featured item on the front page, with another as an alternate. So, take good pictures! haha!
I also am on Facebook, with a link to my Etsy store, and I have a flicker acct. I need to use that more. But getting out there, talking to real people, about your craft is still a very effective way for promoting yourself. Carry business cards with you at all times. You never know when you might need to hand them out. Networking with other crafters has been successful for me. That is how I met Heather! A sweetie, by the way!

In ten years I’d like to be:
I plan on being creative until the day I die. Whatever form it comes, surprise me! But if I can make someone smile when they are looking at, or using, or wearing something that I have created, I will have reached my goal! That’s where I want to be...


chantillyviolin said...

Loved the article! Annabel is a terrific person and so if Heather! I am so blessed to know these women!

AFineDistraction said...

Wonderful feature, Heather! And lovely aprons!

JessicaVanDen said...

Those aprons are just gorgeous! Off to have a look at her shop :)