Monday, March 22, 2010
Creative Conversations....with Heather
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Hello Everyone! I hope you had a nice weekend! This week I have the privilege of talking with Heather of Bebe and Alice. My favorite thing about Heather's work is that each piece is individual and original! It's so fun to check out her etsy shop and see what's new and cooking over there. I'm a big fan of one of a kind pieces, so Heather tops my list in the realm of sewing and accessories.
So here's Miss Heather in her own words!
Tell me a little bit about yourself.
Wow. I am older than I’d like to be, busier than I imagined I would be and happier than I ever dreamed I could be. How’s that for a bit? Married with 4 kids, a stubborn dog, three sewing machines and a house in the mountains.
How did you start creating the work you do now?
I suppose when my husband bought me my first sewing machine seven years ago a very present and hidden piece of me started to emerge. I always knew I should be sewing with a machine and working with textiles but had never pursued it out of fear I guess. I had been sewing by hand since middle school and done a number of things by hand for our home after marriage. I taught myself how to use my new machine and devoured a zillion books from the library on basic steps and terminology. I went from doing basic pillowcases and curtains to crib bedding and slipcovers to aprons and bags and then on to clothing for children and wearable accessories.
Tell me about your creative process. Do you work diligently and with persistence? Does it come in waves?
I think I’m probably pretty typical in that my creative process is very unpredictable. Sometimes I find myself in a creative wave without having had any prompting or specific goal in mind and sometimes I find a giant creative leap when I’ve pushed myself to finish a stack of custom orders. I may wake up in the morning and determine I am going to complete a list of pieces and lock myself in my sewing room with no excitement but emerge with creative energy, a completed stack of aprons and scarves and two new pieces I am super excited about. Is that typical?
Coffee or tea?
Both please! The more sugar and milk the better J I’m a sucker for soda and milk and iced tea and Mike’s Hard anything and really just the entire world of beverages.
When do you get your best ideas?
I usually get my best ideas while I am lying in bed trying to fall asleep. Honestly, I don’t know if I struggle with sleeping because of my tendency to start creating in my head or if it’s the other way around. One of my favorite songs by the Barenaked Ladies is all about insomnia. The problem is that I have not trained myself to keep a sketchpad next to my bed so I can jot it down before falling asleep. I wonder how many ideas are floating around in dreamland still that I have not brought to reality.
When are you most creative or productive?
I’ve discovered that I am most energetic and creative starting around 2 in the afternoon. Sometimes that lasts until 9 or 10 at night and sometimes it’s just a short 3 hour burst.
With kids around the house it can get a little bit difficult staying in the creative moments I find and it’s difficult when I am in a creative groove to set it aside to make chocolate milk or help find a lost sneaker.
I think we all have a message in our work. What do you think your message is? Does it vary from piece to piece or is their a vein that travels throughout what you do?
I think you are right that everyone has a message in their work. While the message travels through all that I do the design style definitely varies from piece to piece. Tag lines for my business encapsulate the belief my work represents: Recycle. Renew. Rejoice. Eco chic design with the past in mind. Fashion that winks at the past and nods to the future. It’s as simple as mixing the adages of our grandmothers’ time with the adages we see popping up all over the place today. Mend and make do. Keep calm and carry on. Waste not, want not. Let’s trash pollution. Green is the new black. Buy handmade. Save the earth. And on and on they go.
What is the most enjoyable part of your work?
Honestly, my favorite part of my work is that I control it. I can play with it, work at it, ignore it for a bit; all of it is possible because my livelihood is not contigent on the success of it. I am blessed to be able to use it as a therapeutic activity in my life. I don’t say that lightly, it is very very true. Nobody should discount the benefits of creative hobbies. It makes me wonder if part of the energy that children possess is a direct result from the creativity that flows through them and is not squelched. I find that I am a happier, more energetic and more involved person when I have made time to play in my sewing room. At least, that’s what I’ve convinced my husband to believe ;)
Please take a minute to visit Heather's shop and blog.