Where can customers follow your work?
How did you end up in Buffalo? Are you a Buffalo native?
My family moved around a bit, but I mostly grew up in Western New York. I moved to the Elmwood Village when I was 21 and lived in the city of Buffalo for 22 years. Three years ago my spouse and I built a wee red house on 3 acres in Gasport, NY.
In what way(s) is your work and/or lifestyle environmentally friendly?
I compost fabric and thread scraps and reuse everything I can. I am learning to use plants to dye unbleached cotton muslin for bunnies and bags and only use eco fill. I used 100% organic cotton for re-usable produce bags. In general, I’m mindful of the waste we produce and do what I can to reduce it. We also grow and put up a lot our food. We plant and maintain our property to support wildlife, bees and butterflies.
How did you become a ShopCraft member?
I met Christa at the Queen City Market and was giddy to be invited to sell my remaining inventory at Shop Craft through Christmas. In January she invited me to be a member!
Describe your creative process in as much detail as possible:
This depends on what I’m making! When I make rabbits, I’m inspired by colors, and love choosing their contrasting ears and feet. Bento bags are also all about patterns and colors.
Most of my embroideries are memento mori, reminders that we all die. I embroider hands, which are our most common and most intimate connection point with other people, and I like it when they depict the common things that we do. Holding living flowers, or Christmas lights. I free hand my embroidery, unless there is text on it.
I prefer quiet and daylight and a cat supervisor while I work. And a cup of tea.
What does it mean to you to be a member of an artist collective like ShopCraft?
I’m so excited to learn from these wonderful artists! The mix of styles and mediums are so interesting and I love to learn new things from people who are passionate about what they do. I feel proud to be among them in such a beautifully curated shop, and community is always comforting and inspiring.
How do you order your wings?
It’s been many a year since I’ve ordered wings, but mild extra crispy has always been my go to.
What is the most meaningful thing a customer/client has said to you about your work?
Because of the death positive and grief realist elements of what I do, I’ve been trusted with pieces to honor and remember dead loved ones. The responses I get from those pieces are always deeply moving to me.
If you could share a piece of advice with people who think they are ‘not creative’, or don’t think their art is ‘good enough’, what would it be?
First of all, if you enjoy it, do it. If you Love It, do it even more, skill building takes time and practice. And I would ask, ‘good enough’ for who? For every person who loves what I make, three don’t. I do it because I Love It, and for that one other person who loves it too.
What about Buffalo inspires you?
Forest Lawn Cemetery is so incredible. The remarkable architecture in Buffalo and it’s green spaces are beautiful, and Forest Lawn is a little encapsulation of both.
What is your super power?
Enthusiasm? Learning new things? Making mistakes! And napping.
What is your favorite charitable organization?
The Funeral Consumers Alliance! I’m an active proponent for home funerals and consumer’s rights. The FCA is a great resource for support and information, they help to protect the rights that most of us don’t know we have.
Tell us a joke:
I have yet to find a joke that I can’t destroy in the telling of it. There’s this, though.. A sloth gets robbed by some snails, and when the police ask for a description the sloth says, ‘I don’t know, it all happened so fast’
What is your most prized possession?
This is hard for me! I’ve actually worked at not being so attached to my belongings in recent years. I am deeply sentimental, and I have very small things from the folks I love who’ve died that I treasure. A rock, a ring, a match box, and a little rubber pig.
Anything else you’d like to share with the world?
Let’s talk about dying and death more. Lets talk about grief, only with fewer platitudes, and more listening to the actively grieving. We’re all scared of it because it’s terrible, but if we open up to other’s grief it can help relieve their isolation in it.