Thursday, May 8, 2008

Featured Artist: Mandy B

Time for another feature! (I'm actually a little late this week.. ) Check out our featured artist for the week. Click on her links and show her some love!

What do you create?

handbags, baby clothes, nursery decor, home goods

What made you start?

While getting to know my mother-in-law early in my marriage, she'd teach me how to sew. One time, I sewed a skirt and it had a matching handbag. People kept complimenting me on it so I made more...and more and more! Then I designed a website and started selling them. Now I have a professionally designed website and my Etsy shop. What makes me stand out is that I only use vintage or recycled fabric, saving thousands of beautiful textiles from being thrown into our landfills. People also seem to really like my Design Your Own feature where they get to pick out their favorite vintage fabrics from my stash, extra pockets, longer handles, etc.

How long have you been crafting/selling/creating?
I've been creating my handbags since 2000 but have been "crafty" all my life!

Do you have any short/long term goals?
I'm in the very beginning stages of combining my handbags, baby stuff, and home goods line into one entity, called One Cozy Nest. I'll be offering lots of vintage items, things inspired by vintage items, and hopefully making most of them myself.

Describe your craft room/area in three words or less.
Organized, Girly, Peaceful

Where do you sell your product? (online and offline)
I sell them on,,,, and at an occasional craft show.

Where can we find you on the net? (myspace, blog, etc.)

My blog is at and the websites listed in No. 6

Is crafting your full time job?
No, I go back to work full time in June as an ecologist (working with wetlands, threatened and endangered species, and other nature related stuff)!

What inspires you?
Things I see in thrift stores, antique stores, flea markets, magazines, my sister (, and people on the street (I'm an insane people-watcher).

Any crafts you would like to learn or are currently learning?

I'd like to learn how to use a Gocco printer. I'm thinking about going in on one with my sister very soon.

What is your favorite material(s)?

I like any fabric that has great color and/or texture. It could be a dish towel, bedspread, or old house coat from the 60's. I can turn a sofa cushion into a darn cute handbag in the matter of minutes!

Are you a self taught crafter or have you taken some classes?

I'm self taught and mom & mother-in-law taught!

What is the best gift you have ever received and why?
Oh my gosh, I'd have to say my son Cooper, who was born on July 30, 2007. But if you're talking about material items, I'd have to say the hot air balloon ride & dinner my husband surprised me with on our 5 year anniversary. I didn't know it at the time but I had just become pregnant with my son after having some difficulty concieving plus a miscarriage. Now when I look at myself in pictures from that day, I think of that tiny little baby growing inside me and how truly lucky we both are to have him in our lives.

Apples or oranges?

What do you listen to when you are crafting?

Usually 80's music, anything on HGTV, or complete silence, haha!

Are you a night owl?
Unfortunately yes. I stay up way too late a lot of nights. My son gets me up around 7AM but good news is that he naps three times a day so I have plenty of chances to nap too!

Do you have any other hobbies?
I love to garden, decorate my home, and browse flea markets and antique stores. I'm not so much into antiques as I am just old junk!

How many people live in your home town/current town?

My current town is huge. As of 2000, population was over 40,000. It seems like it's growing by leaps and bounds lately though. Unfortunately we lack a quaint downtown know the sort of place I'm talking about. The parts of town where they have outdoor cafe's and wonderful little shops. I have to drive to neighboring towns to get that!

Read anything good lately?
I am not a big reader unless I'm researching something I'm interested in (like babies). I have been reading a lot of blogs of fellow crafters lately though.

Do you have kids? If so do you have any tips for other crafting moms/dads?
Yes, I have one 8 month old son. One tip is to never accidentally leave a pair of scissors on the floor near a newly crawling baby. If he's not supposed to have it, he will find it! Let's just say that I could enter him in a sword swallowing contest. Good grief...I know who's not going to be nominated for best mom of the year!

No comments: