Monthly Maker 2012 Holiday Wrap-Up!

Happy Holidays!

Thanks to all you lovely CAC readers who have read, commented and participated in giveaways this year! The makers and I appreciate your support for independent artists. To end off the first year of the Monthly Maker column, we checked in with some of our past featured makers to see what’s new and to share some holiday memories and advice!

January’s featured maker: Denise of Thrifty By Design

What was your favorite 2012 moment?

I have a few highlights from 2012:

Donating pieces to the Langara College art auction, Artfully Yours, and attending the event. I donated paintings and upcycled Xmas ornaments. All of which sold in a jiffy!

The Culture Days upcycling workshop. 28 like-minded people showed up and we made stuff together. Young to old, everyone left with a few complete projects.

My trip to Berlin. Berlin is the best for finding upcycled, repurposed items. I found belts made from old bike tires, candelabras made from upcycled cutlery and the coolest lamp made from old light bulbs.

Any new projects or pieces you want to share with our readers?

I’m working on cat Xmas stockings for friends! Plus decoupaging a ton of old Xmas ornaments. I decoupaged old ornaments using a paper bag – it turned out to be the most gorgeous update ever. Decoupage and glitter say Xmas in a big way! :-) Over the Xmas break, I hope to plan more upcycling workshops and maybe even refinish some furniture.

Share a fond holiday memory.

Baking with my Mom — truffles, shortbread, etc. We bake up a ton of goodies then give them away. And if I have time I make some DIY packaging usually something re-usable.
Any art/craft gift recommendations for our readers?

There are so many easy DIY tutorials out there for nifty Xmas projects, whether for decorating or as gifts. I love sites like Curbly, Recyclart and ReUseConection for finding inspiration — sometimes people make the coolest stuff out of the weirdest items.

Also there are so many FAB shops and markets in Vancouver. I’m big on craft markets and pop-up shops these days. I went to the We Are Local Holiday Pop-Up Shop on Main Street a couple of weeks ago. There were some amazing handmade items, lthough I’m not the best shopper since I usually check stuff out for ideas on what I can make not necessarily buy.

Where do you do your holiday shopping?

We are a gift card kind of family right now except for my nephew. In that case I’m usually grabbing some Lego for him. Otherwise we give useful gift cards or the gift of quality time together. As my Dad says, “we need nothing.” So best to take some time making things for friends and family and then spending time with them and being grateful for all I have. That’s Xmas for me!

May’s featured maker: Sarah Jane & Brent of Ugly Bunny

How well did your 2012 goals go in regards to your creative endeavors?

Awesome! Our latest series has been a huge success and really opened our eyes to what is possible.  We have also started a Facebook page and hope to have our website complete and ready to launch after the holidays. Become a fan on our FB page to receive up to date information about our progress and where to purchase Ugly Bunny.

 Any new projects or pieces you want to share with our readers?

Since the last interview, we were approached by one of our favourite companies and were commissioned to create some “top secret” prototypes for them. We are patiently waiting to see where that may lead to but it is super exciting to have just had the opportunity. We are also in the process of drafting some ideas for new pieces that we hope to release in the spring.

Where do you do your holiday shopping?

At this time of the year especially we love to be able to support other artists and small businesses. I know that our friends and family really appreciate receiving gifts that are handmade and from the heart as much as we do.

What is your favorite place to go in the city during holiday season?

Is it cheesy to say that the best place to go during the holiday season is wherever our friends are? And mostly because they like wine just as much as we do.

Lastly, this is your chance to share something with our readers:

What we have learned this year is that it really took the two of us to do everything that is required to turn Ugly Bunny from a hobby into a growing business. We aren’t quite there just yet, but we feel that we laid out a strong foundation to ensure that we will be even more successful in 2013.  It hasn’t been easy as there is a ton of work, especially while we are both still working full time jobs, but things are really starting to fall into place.

August’s featured maker: Lisa of Draw Me A Lion

How well did your 2012 goals go in regards to your creative endeavours?

This year was the first year for my little shop Draw Me A Lion and even though it was a super hectic year, it was really great! So many people responded to what I was doing and I am so proud to say that Draw Me A Lion now has over 14 retailers and counting. I was shooting for 10 by the end of the first year and I managed to surpass that goal. That makes me really happy and confident for year two! The first few years are really important for any new business. You figure out what works and what doesn’t and if it’s worth it — and so far, the answer is a resounding Yes!

What was your favorite 2012 moment?

I think I’ll have to say that our launch for the new Colouring Mask Book that we had at the super cool shop-gallery-classroom Collage Collage. It was so fantastic to see so many people come out to support my little shop and make some masks, and goof around. Here is a link to our blog where you can see a bunch of fun photos taken at the event. It made me really happy to see so many kids and adults colour in the masks, really make them theirs and then turn into their masks when they put them on. Incidentally it was also the one year anniversary of our shop launch and we officially turned 1! I really had a great time that day. Can’t wait for the party next year!

Any new projects or pieces you want to share with our readers?

I’m so proud of the new Colouring Mask Book. It took a while to make but I think it turned out really nice and it even comes with elastics in the back of the book. The Colouring Mask book contains 10 reversible masks so that really you get 20 fun characters to turn into. The book functions on a DIY concept where you can colour in the masks of your choice, cut them out, put them on and turn into … who knows who!

Share a fond holiday memory.

Well, it’s no secret, I have always loved to decorate the Christmas tree and I still do. Not a lot of change in that department. I remember back when I was little my mom and I would put up big red shiny bobbles on the tree and my cat would delight in smashing as many of them down as possible. Oh cats, oh cats. She was the cutest. Now of course I have a dog and he pretty much does the same thing. I guess not much has changed in that department either.

Lastly, this is your chance to share something with our readers:

Last but not least, here is a little video about my shop and me. I am really proud of it and would love for you to watch it, and if you like it, pass along. Thanks so much and have some fantastic Holidays!

Thank you makers for taking the time to chat with CAC again, especially since the holidays can become quite busy for you! And readers: please consider supporting local artists when buying gifts for your loved ones this year. See you in 2013!