Thursday, May 26, 2011

Thursday Spotlight On: Ally of Crooked Smile Creation

Just a few notes, first: I'm going to try to keep interviews to Mondays and Thursdays from here out, with Wednesdays being a bit about an artist I think and I'll try to make Fridays light and springy and fun for a good boost into the weekend.  I'm going to try to cut back on weekend posting, unless it's merely a nudge at something pretty or I really have an itch to write. 

Anyway, we're here to talk about Ally, another fellow April's Army team member, and a handbag maker.  I totally appreciate the art of sewing as it's never been something I could master.  I might be able to draw a fairly straight line, but I've never been able to sew one, with a machine or without.  Ally, however does not have that problem.  Her beautiful patchwork handbags prove that much.

Patchwork Purse

Tell us three things about yourself.
I live in Tampa Florida with my hubs, our dog and cat, plus a stray that's trying to adopt us.
I have a daughter who is an ICU nurse.  I'm proud of her, but don't know where she got the medical stuff from.  I pass out at the sight of a needle.
I lived abroad for a few years in the UK, which is where I got serious about sewing.

What's your medium and how did you get into it?
Sewing.  Hub's job took us to the UK for a few years.  I had lots of time on my hands, so I got serious about sewing while we were there.  One of my UK neighbors was a designer and seamstress of wedding dresses (very impressive), so that gave me a bit of a nudge to venture into something that I wanted to do.

What's your favorite thing you've made?
The Sweetheart Chocolate & Roses purse.  I designed that as I was sewing it, instead of sketching out the idea first, so it was just a lot of fun to play around and see it come together.

From where do you take inspiration?
Many places.  Everywhere I go, I'm looking at people's bags.  People probably think I'm a purse snatcher or stalker, but I am thinking of the design, how many pockets the bag has and how I'd improve on it, plus it's always interesting to match styles to people.

Name one piece of art you wish you'd created and why?
There are so many.  Every time I see an oil painting, I wish I was talented enough to do that.  I've tried, but I just don't have the touch for painting anything but a wall.  with a roller.  and even then, I get paint on the trim.

What are you doing when you're not crafting?
Gardening and taking care of my animals.  A recent mama cat has been coming around the house.  She was skin and bones when I first saw her, but she's getting healthier lately.  I tried to introduce her to my animals, but she doesn't like my cat.  She loves my dog though.

Sweetheart Chocolate and Roses Purse

If you had to give up your medium and pursue another, what would it be and why?
Wood working.  My father made furniture, little kids games, jewelry boxes and just neat little things.  I was always intrigued by what he came up with.  Every time I smell freshly cut wood, it takes me back.

Who is one person living or dead, famous or not, who you wish owned one of your creations and why?
Margaret Thatcher.  Although she had a specific type of bag she carried, and it wasn't made of fabric, she was a strong woman in a man's world and didn't compromise on her style.  I read that she left her bag on the table at a meeting and had to step out for something.  Someone remarked, "Why don't we start? The handbag is here"

How would you explain how to do what you do to an eight year old?
I would sit them at a sewing machine with some fabric and say, "What comes to mind?  OK, let's do that."  I have many things that are very similar in my Etsy shop, but there are many more in my sewing room that are just ideas that I haven't perfected yet.

What's your favorite part of the process?
Designing.  I have a notebook of ideas, but not enough time to do them all.

One random thing you think people should know.
I am the biggest techno-idiot you'll meet.  I'm not as bad as my mom, but I'm certainly not as good as my niece either.  I see things on blogs and websites and I wish I could do that.  Silly considering most of my office career time was in IT, just not web design.
If you could go anywhere in the world, at any era in time, for one week, where and when would you go and why?
France, around 1785,  I've always wanted to meet Marie Antoinette.  I don't speak French, though, so that could be a difficult encounter. 

Your shop address/Facebook/Twitter/blog/website, etc.
Twitter: @CrookdSmileCre8
Equally neglected website:

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this wonderful interview with one of my favorite bag designers & Twitter pal! I'll bet Margaret Thatcher would love one of Ally's bags! :)