4.24.2010

giveaway: simple joy studios + wise owl designs

Am pleased as punch to introduce Rachelle from Simple Joy Studios as this week's maker. This girl has got it goin' on. She is currently cranking out a line of clean burning soywax candles and also sews quilts, stuffy toys, and wall hangings. Amazingly, this busy mama of 2 still finds time to create earthwise children's clothing in partnership with her friend, Lea.

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This week Rachelle is kindly giving away this darling tired turtle onesie in either size 3-6mo. or 12-18mo. to one lucky reader.

To win, all you gotta do is leave a comment below! You can score additional chances at winning if you post a link on your blog, twitter, or facebook.

The winner will be announced Friday morn (4/30)!
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Q&A with Rachelle:

When did you first stumble upon your love of creating?
I have always been an explorer. It started out with finding all the mud puddles on my family farm and now is diversity in art making. I had an awesome high school art teacher who encouraged me and helped me to win an art scholarship to pay for college. That is when I really started to focus on creating art. I love to try new materials and use them to express myself. I guess that is why I currently have three projects going on:

SoyMade Scents: The candles started out as a handmade Christmas present 8 years ago when it was really hard to find soywax candles. It was a good challenge to research how to make them burn cleanly and smell great. Everyone who tried them preferred them to the candles they were currently using, so I started to sell them at the Omaha Farmer's Market. I love that soy is a renewable product grown right here in the midwest.

Wabi Sabi Ware: Last year, after years of my mom trying to get me to learn- she is an amazing sewer herself- I bought a sewing machine and learned to sew. I needed to learn to sew in an exploratory, wabi sabi way. I just picked up the fabric and cranked out headbands, and little tops for my daughter, and handmade toys, without a pattern....just discovering and learning from the mistakes I made along the way. I love making the quilts and wall hangings. They are little artworks for me. I don't use a pattern but let the fabric lead me while thinking about all the things I learned in art school: unity, contrast, balance, color relationships.

Wise Owl Designs is my newest venture. We moved to Decorah, IA a couple years ago and I was lucky to make a great artsy friend here. Wise Owl is Lea's sprout, I just encouraged her and then we decided to join together on it. It is nice to bounce ideas back and forth and play to each others strength. I love that we can make fun clothes for kids, while trying to be earthwise about it. We use organic cotton, overstocks or upcycled clothing whenever possible.

Describe the perfect day.
My perfect day has an element of surprise. Something that I haven't seen or noticed quite like that before. Today's was the amazing green of the moss on the trees after yesterday's rain. It is a color you would never have imagined was 'real', that you could find in nature. Somedays it is checking out a new antique store, or noticing the sunset. I love to be stopped in my thoughts and taken to a new place of wonder.

What advice do you have for crafters who dream of taking their work to the next level?
Take risks. It is scary to put yourself out there or try something new but really, what do you have to lose? Happy accidents really do exist.

Where else can we find you?
You can find me this weekend at the St. Paul Craftstravaganza, at wiseowldesigns.com, and at my etsy shop, Simplejoystudios. Wise Owl will also do a home sale if you are interested in inviting some friends over. You can combine it with a project night, we do mini courses in appliquéing your own tea towel or shirt. Or throw an interactive baby shower, setting the mom-to-be up with guest designed burp cloths to keep her smiling on those long nights!

7 comments:

Allison said...

Oh my goodness, SO CUTE! One of my best friends just had her first baby, and I would love to gift her with this! Precious!

Amanda said...

I would love to give this to my cutie nephew!

thenextarrow said...

wonderful Q&A. thanks for sharing!

xo Alison

Sarah said...

Love the onesie.. my little neighbor would look adorable in it!

katepharmd said...

Rachelle,
Glad to hear that all is going well in Decorah! The onesie is darling and Maura is going to look so cute in it ;)

Bryn said...

So so sweet. I think adorable hand made onesies are my favorite!

saradgoldberg said...

My family loves our simple joy and wise owl items! Beautiful work!