Friday, October 17, 2008

Meet the Boomers!

Say hello to Barb of BlazingNeedles!   Barb is well known to those of us who hang out on the team forums, and has both an Etsy shop and a separate sales web site for personalized items and spirit wear. 

What kind of items do you sell?  My Etsy shop sells hand loomed and crochet items. These include personalized blankets and scarves, small knit bags, and funky items like mug rugs and cacti.  I also have a line of Judaica – Jewish items.  My web site sells fundraising scarves and hats for schools, symphonies, clubs and teams.

How long have you been engaged in your art/craft?  I have knitted and crocheted since I was a small person when my mom taught me.  I started selling about five years ago.  I'll have my first Etsy anniversary in December.

Do you consider yourself a hobbyist or a professional craftsperson? Professional. I took early retirement from my engineering job and started my business.   I now do it full time.

What inspires you?  I love it when someone likes my art enough to purchase it for their own. That is an incredible high.

barb3 Please share with us what a typical day is like in your workshop or studio?  I am a morning person. If it is a beautiful day, I am outside with the sun and work in the evening. If it is a rotten day, I work all day. DH also has a home office, so we share a bowl of oatmeal in the morning and work in a walk somewhere during the day.

What keeps you company while you’re working on a project?  My thoughts.  I like the quiet, though my machines can get quite loud.

barb2 What is your favorite 'task' related to your art/craft?  Definitely the design. I love the start of a project – a clean slate, a bunch of yarn and an idea.

What is your least favorite 'task' related to your art/craft?  Finishing up the ends of any project.

What teams do you belong to?  Do you promote on other sites?   I blog, but not consistently.  I am on flickr and Squidoo.  I do shows when I can – my son’s soccer schedule comes first.  I do direct mailings for my website.  I belong to etsyFAST, etsyknitters, etsyhookers, and etsychai as well as BBEST.

Related to your craft, tell us about a funny, strange or unusual situation you found yourself.   I live in PA, but was in Disney for DS soccer tournament when my dream came true:   I saw someone wearing one of my scarves!  I ran after her to introduce myself.  I think I scared her to death!

Tell us something about yourself that we wouldn’t necessarily know about you by talking to you in the forums.  Hmmm – I have a degree in education and taught school in Illinois for six years. I found out I really didn’t like teaching that much and got a degree in engineering while working as a drafter.  I ended up as a software development engineer. You never know where life leads.

Do you have a favorite book, movie or kind of music?  No favorite book, but I like early 20th-century social novels like those of Sinclair, Dreiser, etc.  I like biographies and reading about people and lifestyles.   Movie?  Gone with the Wind.  Music?  The stuff I grew up with, Motown, Elvis, early Beatles, etc.

Would you care to share any 'words of wisdom' with other aspiring artists or crafters?  The trick is to find something you like to do, hone your craft, and then get someone to pay you to do it!

Be sure to leave a comment for Barb!


ZudaGay said...

Barb is fabulous!! Great feature!!!

joonbeam said...

Woo Hoo for Blazing Barb! Always fun. Thanks for the lovely interview!

Sixsisters said...

Great blog about Barb . Thanks.

Beth said...

I Love Barbs work. This feature was wonderful.

Yankeegirl said...

Barb's work is beautiful!! I love the story about the Disney World scarf!! Great feature.

maryeb said...

Nicely done. I love that Sarah scarf.

Precious Quilts said...

Love Barb's work - great to learn about the crafter and to find out how much diverse talent there is!
Thanks for a great interview.

Chauncey said...

Great interview with our Barb! We all knew she does fabulous work, now we know she scares people at Disney! Funny story.

Zarina said...

I share Barb's sentiment - doing something that you love doing and let other people pay for it.

Nonnie said...

Great interview, Barb!
Since I've already met you, it's like you're talking to me.

Pam said...

What a pleasure to get to know you better, Barb! Your work is always terrific, and it is so exciting that you have been able to make it your full-time career! Thanks for sharing about yourself and your successes. And, what a thrill to see someone wearing something you made! I would have run, too!