please excuse my lateness in this post, it would appear the real world got the better of me yesterday, but i'm here now.
in my shiny place, as lola
would put it. i like that very much, the thought of here being my shiny place and then i think about how it is probably the only thing that i actually look forward to polishing...
and so for today's question of crafting i'm bringing you a truly shiny person, a lovely crafter that quite honestly takes my breath away with her talent...
so without further a do and before i get so completely giddy with excitement and lose my 'professional interviewing manner', i shall introduce you to Jane from ATLITW
, which stands for Alltheluckintheworld. just saying the name makes one know it's pretty special...
i first came across Jane through the wonderful world of Flickr. to be honest i can't quite pin point the time but it was her Christmas Tree that stopped me dead in my Flickr tracks.
i took a closer look which led me to her other photos
, beautiful images of vintage finds, recycled furniture and then her shop... once again i felt myself come over a little faint. this, i thought to myself, is surely how heaven should look...
over the past few months we have been getting to know each other and i do feel most fortunate that Jane has willingly participated in my 'question of crafting' feature. travelling all the way from the Netherlands to mossy shed, just so we may get a lovely healthy dose of her pretty wares and learn a little bit of the crafter behind the creations.
(oh and just so you know, i recorded this interview a few days back...)
so if you are sitting quietly and comfortably, i shall press the play button and begin
would you mind telling me and my dearest readers a little bit about yourself?
Jane: Hi, my name is Jane, I live in the Netherlands and I'm a graphic designer, artist, crafter and mother.
I was born in Australia but my parents moved our family to Holland in the 70's when I was 12 years old. That was a huge transition – everything was different. I don't know if you've ever heard people speaking Dutch but I can tell you, it's nothing like English and I couldn't understand a word at first. Although I picked up the language within about 6 months, I felt lost and terribly out of place. In those days of course we didn't have Internet so it was much harder to keep in touch with my old friends. I was a bit of a hermit spending a lot of time in my room reading and making things. Things started to change for me when I moved to Amsterdam and went to study at the art academy.
My daughters Robin and Nina are 21 and 19 and they both live away from home. Robin studies Communications at the University of Amsterdam and Nina is learning to be a goldsmith / jeweler. I’m very proud of both of them! I miss them a lot but luckily they often come home on the weekends.
Tif: do you know i really had no idea that your children were older, i imagined little ones running around for some reason
where did you come up with the name for your company Alltheluckintheworld?
Jane: As a single mum, I had to work long hours in my job as a graphic designer to support my family. When my daughters grew older and became less dependent on me I saw the possibility to start something for myself and do what I loved most. I felt (and still feel) so lucky! I wanted to share this with others by making things that bring luck and love and happiness to others because they are made with that intention. I’ve always been an avid visitor of flea markets and thrift shops so I decided to combine my passions. The combination of handmade, re-styled and vintage goods works quite well, I think.
I cut back my Graphic Design job to 3 days a week so I have enough time for Alltheluckintheworld . It was a good decision and although it sometimes is a struggle financially, I’m really happy I made it.
Tif: i am quite sure upon hearing this, there will be many that find your journey extremely inspiring, giving them the courage to follow their dreams.
when you started crafting, who or what inspired you to go down such a righteous and goodly path?
Jane: First of all, my mother. She made lots of clothes for us when I was a child. On my 9th birthday she gave me an old-fashioned treadle sewing machine and taught me how to use it. I was always sewing doll’s clothes. We had crafting/sewing lessons at school, which everyone hated, except me. That’s where I started embroidering. My dad is a draftsman and he used to draw with us a lot.
if a pesky gnome and his friends appeared on your doorstep, would you offer them a 'home for all seasons' and if so, could you describe the type of 'mini living quarters' you would craft for them to stay in? (i had to ask this one, as i can only imagine if i was a pesky gnome and landed on your doorstep, the type of living quarters you would create would make me think i had died and gone to gnome heaven)
Jane: There are 2 pesky gnomes living in my garden. They are trying to look innocent here but there is no way I’m letting them inside!
Tif: ah yes, i see them and yes they do look tres pesky to me, i'm quite sure they are happy as can be outside, next to all that loveliness :)
does your craft influence the way you dress? do you find if you dress creatively on any given day then perhaps that day ends up being far more productive work wise?
Jane: I’m not a very creative dresser. I like to wear dresses or jeans. Usually in dark colors. I have this one vintage summer dress that I loved to wear until it started to fall apart. I couldn’t part with it so I’ve “mended” it with applications and embroidery. It’s an ongoing project. Every now and then I add something to it.
Tif: that's a stunning dress... and how interesting, i know if i don't dress creatively then i can not get my creative juices flowing, it's like i need to dress 'the part' to be 'the part' if you see what i mean. the dress you are wearing today really is what i pictured you dressing in all the time.
you opened your lovely store recently, combining vintage finds along with your recycled and handcrafted wares. do you find the opportunity to create vignettes on a larger scale within the store has helped your creativity expand even further?
Jane: My sister Julie runs the real store, it’s at her house and quite a long way from where I live. I started with the web shop and she joined me a year later. Being so far apart is quite a problem, we’re still figuring out if this will work or if we should just stick to the web shop. Julie does most of the vintage products and I’m the one who makes things. She has a young family and a very busy job so time can be a problem too. It would be wonderful if we lived closer together.
how do you juggle between your graphic design job and being able to make things?
Jane: On the 3 days I work away from home, I find it very hard to spend time on my own projects. My head is filled with the projects I’m doing there. Of course I answer emails and send out orders but I usually can’t be very creative in the way of making things.
what is your most proudest crafting achievement to date?
Jane: My wall vases. I really like the way they turned out. I have made about 25 and I still have more to go. I like that they were ugly heater dishes that no-one would have wanted and I love the idea of having a vase hanging on the wall
Tif: i have to agree, this wall is simply one of the most beautiful walls i've laid eyes on, it actually has caused me to have 'wall envy', something i don't have very often
have you always used recycled items within your creations or is that something that has evolved over time for you?
Jane: Not always but I have been doing it for a long time. At least 20 years so you can imagine how big my collection of “supplies” is. I’m not very well organized though so I often have a hard time finding what I need. I have a million tins and they all have treasures hiding in them!
Tif: i now have 'tin lust' as well...
the Christmas tree that you applied to your wall last year is quite honestly the most beautiful tree i have seen. were you just sitting there one day and thought, "oooh, i know, lets stick all my quirky little collections on to the wall for Christmas"? i'm intrigued to know if that is how it happens for you, do you have crafting epiphanies that appear from nowhere, or do you perhaps have an inspiration book, where you jot down thoughts to reflect on at a later date, taking time to evolve an idea?
Jane: Well, yes, it did sort of happen like that. At first my idea was to take pictures of all sorts of christmassy items, cut them out and glue them to the wall. I did about 2 and then decided it was too much work. Why not just stick all the little objects to the wall instead? I didn’t think it would work but it did and I was very surprised when it became such a big hit. This year, last year’s tree was on the cover of magazines in Romania, Russia and Israel! Haha, I couldn't believe it.
Tif: that's fantastic and i'm not surprised, it has to be the best looking green christmas tree i've laid eyes on
if you could invite anyone to your place to have a little sit upon your stools, admire your wares and then have a chat, who would they be?
Jane: I’d like it if you could come over. I‘m sure we’d have lots to talk about :)! Also my Australian friend Tina. I haven’t seen her since Robin was a baby and she stayed with us in Amsterdam. My famous people would be Sophie Calle and Tracey Emin. They both have such interesting stories. And then of course, Johnny Depp
Tif: oh yes! i'd be there in a heart beat, i couldn't think of anything else i'd rather do, i would be most willing to help you go through your tins of treasures and quite honestly on this occasion i would be willing to share Johnny.
and last but no means least, quite a telling question i feel,
have you ever cooked a fish in a dishwasher before?
Jane: I’m thinking of saying yes to sound more adventurous but to be honest: No. Have you?
Tif: well actually i haven't, but i was saying to my man just the other day that surely someone has, and he mentioned that there might even be a cookbook written on dishwasher cooking, after that i tuned out as i knew the conversation was going in a direction i did not care for.
and so dearest readers, it just leaves me to thank Jane so very kindly for being here with us today (although really it was a few days back and this was recorded remember)
to actually take time out of her busy life to answer my rather dubious questions and tolerate my lack of quality interviewing skills is truly above and beyond... i am most fortunate indeed to have such a lovely crafter to grace the pages of my shiny place.
and i think it most true to say how delighted we are to have got to know the very talented creator behind ATLIW
she will be back on tuesday, until then she wishes you a crafting epiphany or two, of your own ~ Tif
footynote: please do note that all pictures belong to Jane, i wish i could once again say they belonged to me and only me... mine, mine, mine! but that would be wrong and wicked. so please do take notice of who's property they are and so shall i :)