Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Introducing Ginnie & Jen (Shabee Stitches)

This week, we're introducing two team members, Ginnie & Jen, who are the duo behind Shabee Stitches. This mother and daughter team joined Etsy in June 2007 and feature amazing wedding accessories in their shop. Here they are in their own words...

Two Crafty Gals:

What are your favorite materials to use in your crafts?
We use all sorts of textiles, trims, and beads. Our favorites are reusing and reclaiming vintage and antique textiles, trims and beads that would otherwise be thrown out or overlooked. We also use new fabrics, but the vintage and antiques have a life and a history. It was common in Victorian times and earlier to reuse bits of lace or fabric from those huge skirts the ladies wore and so we feel we are continuing a time honored tradition. We love to try and imagine the women that made these lovely things:what were their lives like? their families? was this made for a friend or for home use? how many hours did it take to create the item? I sometimes find myself creating a whole story for the item as I'm remaking it into something else.

How did you learn your craft or art?
I learned the basics of sewing at a very young age first from my grandmother and then in schools I attended. At the time I went, Home Economics was still being taught and I learned a great deal there. The rest was practice and self taught until I went back to college and took a part-time job in the theatre department making costumes. There I learned to craft many types of theatrical costumes and to rework existing costumes into new ones. Jen caught the bug after she finished college and began beading for fun and to relax. She's still perfecting her craft but has gotten quite good at beading and loves to work out complex color schemes for

Where do you find your inspiration?
Our inspirations come from a lot of places, but mostly the fabrics or trims themselves. We first decided to do this because when Jen got married nearly 2 years ago she wanted a wedding that was Lord of The Rings inspired and it was impossible to find very much that was pre-made. So I (Ginnie) decided that in order to make her wedding what she truly wanted, I would need to make everything-from clothing to tablecloths to gifts from scratch. It took a bit over a year but it was worth all the time it took. It was then that we learned how little is available for brides who have a unique or unusual and very personal vision of their special day.

About the Etsy Experience:

How did you find Etsy?
Finding Etsy was a complete accident. I was looking for a place to sell our wedding creations and happened on a blog about crafting and selling on Etsy and decided to check it out. We had a couple of sales on Ebay but I never thought that was quite the venue we wanted. Etsy provided us with a place to sell our handmade items along side other handmade items and that was just perfect for us.

Describe your Etsy experience.
Our experience over the last year with Etsy as a seller has been a very positive one. We feel fortunate to have found such a great group of artisans and we are very proud to be a part of the best crafting venue on the net!

All About AVL:

What’s the best thing about living in the Asheville area?
For us, first thing would have to be the weather. Coming from extreme Northern New York, 30 miles from the Canadian border, we experienced 200+ inches of snow every winter and temperatures in January and February as low as -34 including wind chill. Winters were very long-from October to April and snow has fallen as late as May. Asheville feels like endless summer to us. Summer here is a bit warmer than we experienced in New York but we love it. Second would be all the wonderful people we've met here. Warm, friendly and helpful.

What’s your impression of the local arts & crafts scene here?
We've found the arts and crafts scene here to be unlike anything we've experienced thus far. The eclectic mix, the incredible community support for arts and crafts, the encouragement of and for the creative process is just unbelievable. The opportunities to share both the finished product and the creative processes has made our experience of Asheville one that we hope to continue for a very long time.

Fun with Ginnie & Jen!

What’s your favorite movie? Actor/actress?
For Ginnie: I'm a born romantic so my favorites reflect that. Currently it's The Lake House, an old one from the 1970's-Harold and Maude and one non-romantic film-Mindwalk-a terrific film about a politician, a poet and a scientist who take a walk around the ruins of an old monastery and discuss the past and the future of science and humanity.
For Jen: Elizabethtown because it talks about being yourself and letting go of the past and having the courage to take chances.

What was the last book you read? Did you like it?
For Ginnie: I'm currently reading Vincient Bugliosi's new book The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder. So far, I find it very interesting and I think many of his conclusions are spot on.
For Jen: Courage by Osho. I liked it because it showed me many things about myself that I was unaware of and it opened my eyes to the possibility of other choices.

If you'd like to see more of Jen & Ginnie's work, check out their Etsy shop by clicking on the Etsy mini below. Their work can also be found at: HubCityJazz, New Orleans, LA at http://www.hubcityjazz.shabeestitches.com/ and Legendary Stitches of Time at http://www.legendarystitchesoftime.ecrater.com/.

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