Hey everybody in crafternet world! I am starting a new monthly Q&A called 8 minutes with ______. I want to get crafters to answer 8 q’s and share their answers and a couple of pics (I draw one of ‘em, why not?)
This inaugural column is with the adorkable Krista Allison of Canoo, based out of Asheville, NC!
1-Give me a one sentence summary of you, one of your craft and one of your hobbies!
Me: socially phobic recluse, crazy cat lady, damn kids better stay off my lawn, i like bees and spiders. My craft: monstrous, creepy-cute, fuzzy, dorky, carpal tunnel-inducing, full of color and texture. My hobbies: the cats, the hiking, the music, the ballroom dancing – tango, y’all.
2-How did you ‘find’ your craft?
I found my craft abandoned in a laundry basket in the closet when I was hard pressed to come up with some stock for a craft show. Panic made me make monsters. I started out trying to make cute handbags and things, but found out I didn’t know what the hell I was doing, and that’s when I switched to monsters.
3-What are some of your favorite materials to work with?
Obviously, I love felt and fabric. I love scavenging for materials at Goodwill, and I love never paying full price for most of my supplies. But I also have a huge stash of fancy yarn, even though I haven’t done any knitting in a long time. And I still have a thing for clay.
4- What tools are you the most fond of?
I’m smitten with my Olfa rotary cutter that makes perfect circles. And my cheap-ass grocery store scissors that are still better than the pricey ones I got from the craft supply store.
5. Where do you find inspiration?
5. Inspiration comes from within, like a parasitic twin. Other than my own special crazy, I get ideas from the materials themselves: after felting the sweaters, I never know what I’m going to get when I open the washing machine. That’s when the character of the fabric shows itself, and I start to see possibilities for the end product. I also get inspired by the music I listen to non-stop – some monsters are punk, some like to cha-cha-cha!
6- What tricks or tips do you have to get rid of crafters’ block or a case of the lazies?
If I get stuck staring at a problem for an hour and can’t make a decision, I have to stop and go do something else. I either work on another project, or stamp some business cards, or crunch numbers, or just take a walk, maybe rough up some cats. Or I might need to sleep on it.
7- How do you organize your craft/etsy supplies? Any specific system to ‘keep it together’?
Or…gan…ize…? What is this strange new word you’re using? Seriously, I’ve gotten better, but it’s a huge undertaking for me. I got my fella to build me a shelving system in my studio, and it’s helping a lot. Now, instead of piling up my sweaters and forgetting they’re there, I cut them up right after felting – sleeves in one pile, torsos in another, and straight onto their proper shelves. That way I can see what I have to work with, and I don’t have to go digging.
8- What shining moment are you most proud of?
Shining moment… there are lots. Every time I get into a juried show, every time a new gallery owner says they want to carry my stuff, every time a customer comes back to tell me how much their kid loves a thing that I made… it’s pretty awesome. But I guess my favorite was receiving a hand-drawn thank you card from a 9-year-old. The family was on vacation in Asheville, and she fell in love with a stuffed rabbit I made. And Mom said no, and they went home, and the kid kept hounding Mom until she gave in. And they emailed me to get the rabbit shipped, but by then it had sold, so she had to settle for a different one, and we went back and forth with photos of rabbits, and it took forever but the kid got her rabbit, and then she made me a thank you card, and it is friggin cute as hell. Yeah, that one’s on my fridge.
I have gotta thank Krista for being the first to be subjected to the questions! For more of her goody-ness, she has a gallery showing in Asheville starting in October at Woolworth Walk downtown Asheville, NC! For those of us who cannot travel, we can visit her shop on Etsy:
And show her some love on FB!