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Interview with Maylee of Ohmay Designs

November 11th, 2008

Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your business.
I have a love for natural fibers, textures and colors in knitting. I have designed knitted accessories that are fun and functional to wear. My shop is and is filled with my unique original designs, as well as patterns for some of my creations.

What are your favorite crafts and how did you first get involved with crafting?
I started knitting when I was 12 and so, it has been over 4 decades of enjoyment and love for this craft. I have evolved from following published patterns to creating my own designs and patterns. I also enjoy making jewelry, cardmaking and sewing.

What do you like best, coming up with ideas or executing them?
This is hard to say. When I have an idea, I would just take my needles and yarn in hand and start knitting. I would say 75% of my ideas would morph into a different design in the end. It seems as if the fibers and textures guides my hands to create something more fantastic than what I had originally planned.

Are you super organized or messy?What does your workspace look like?
I am super organized as I hate clutter. Although my workspace is jammed packed, 90% of the time I know where to look for a specific item. Did I tell you that I am a yarn addict? I have enough yarn to last me a lifetime, but there is always something new and luscious out there for me to get my hands on.

Any exciting future plans or developments in the works for your business?
I really want to try my hand on felting wool. Whether it is needle felting, wet felting or just making something and throwing it in the wash to felt. The blending of colors and the different techniques will be a complete “surprise” and a learning experience.

Interview with Elaine from Audelaine

September 22nd, 2008

Elaine Rogowski’s work is inspired most often by forms found in nature. She draws and sews, makes stuffed animals, ornaments, bags, pillows, potholders and paper goods. At the top of the list of favorite subjects are birds, bones, rodents, and sea creatures. She is an artist and natural history afficionado who likes to make both decorative and utilitarian items.

Elaine of Audelaine is certainly a girl after my own heart. Nature documentaries! Squid! Endoskeletons! She will be vending at the You Bazaar! in SF November 2nd!

I love that “birds, bones, rodents, and sea creatures” are your favorite things. Where do you go to get inspiration about those things? Are you also mad fan of the moldy oakland museum of california natural history section?

I’ve always loved forms and shapes found in nature. I’m obsessed with structure, so endoskeletons and exoskeletons fascinate me. I guess my interest started during childhood but really became full force when I started studying biology and zoology in my senior year of high school and first 2 years of college. I love all natural history collections, anywhere and anytime. I can’t wait for the new California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco to open!

What are your inspirations in your daily life that you use in your art too? Can you talk about your personal creative process? Which part is your favorite?

My daily inspirations come from walks outside, and watching people interact with each other and with nature. I’m always listening to people’s conversations and watching how individuals react as life unfolds. I like to draw with mechanical pencils and black ink pens. I try to do so at least one hour per day, more if possible. I tend to draw birds, skulls, and insects most. Lately I’ve been drawing more owls than anything else. I like taking walks with my daughter around our neighborhood and exploring local flora and fauna. Late at night I also watch nature documentaries that I’ve recorded on DVR. I love learning about nature and science. I also check out books from my local library on different animals, plus I have my own collection of science and nature books and magazines at home. I guess you could say I’m a pretty big nerd.

I noticed you dabble in all sorts of art and craft. Does that run in cycles for you? Sewing one month and then drawing another, etc?

It does run in cycles, though I try to sew at least once a day. I have so many ideas for new projects that I start many but have trouble finishing them all!

I’m always interested in other peoples work habits and work spaces. Do you set specific work hours for yourself or work when you’re feeling creative? Are you super organized or messy? What does your workspace look like (include pictures if you like!)? What kind of sewing machine do you use?

Well at this point there’s no way I can say I’m not a messy worker. I have stuff all over the place in various stages of completion. With a 2 year old running around the house I have trouble setting specific work hours so I usually end up working sort of sporadically throughout the day and then later at night after everyone else is asleep. I use a portable Elna SP to do all my sewing. It’s pretty simple and reliable, though I have no idea what year it was made. I also recently inherited an older Kenmore machine (probably 1960’s?) in a cabinet that looks pretty good but I need to have it serviced before I put it to use.

Any exciting future plans or developments in the works for your art/business?

I hope to put up my own website within the next year to further showcase my work. Right now keeping up with my Etsy store is about all I can handle, plus trying to do more local craft/art shows. I am working on possibly collaborating with 2 other fantastic local artists but not sure when that is going to come to fruition. Hopefully some time in the next 6 months. Until then I’ll keep plugging away in my own little nook.

What are some other things you like to do when you are not busy making awesome stuff?

I like to play with my daughter and our 2 small dogs, go out and explore the Bay Area with my family, read books, watch nature documentaries, and post pictures on Flickr.

Who are some of your favorite indie artist/crafters and why do you love them?

I really like the work of (in no particular order):
Miriamdema ( whose work often involves nature and vintage images; I find it both entertaining and interesting;
Holly Bobisuthi, whose talent with both drawing and metals is amazing and fascinating (;
Dianna LaFerry, another very talented illustrator and designer whose owls are divine (;
Little Robot, her style is amazing and incredibly detailed, I love the dialogue she creates with beards, nature, and inventions (
Jessica Plymate (, her work is quirky, funny, and cool;
and though there are too many to mention individually, the members of the California Crafters Club of Etsy (CCCOE) are a daily inspiration and emotional support group for me. they are all so nice.

I could keep going but that would take way too long. So many incredibly talented people out there!

Right now my only venue for selling my work is my Etsy store,

I frequently post pictures of work in progress on Flickr:

The interviewer, Minnie, also blogs about crafts and other things at Thank You For Not Being Perky.

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