Amy Dutsch is one of the sweetest, most giving people I know. She volunteered to help me with a banner some time ago. We didn't even know each other at the time and yet she offered to do this for me out of the kindness of her heart. She is amazing with needle and thread....and of course fabric, that helps! ;-)
Let's get to know Amy a little better.....
1. If there’s one thing that defines you, what is it? Simplicity and usefulness with a touch of humor. I do not generally make or buy things that do not have a definite use in my life or someone else's life. Even in home decor, etc....if I don't LOVE it. every time I look at it...I'm not buying it! I also try to make people laugh! If you can laugh at least once in your day then it couldn't have been all THAT bad,r ight?
2. What role does your family play in your art? HUGE! They are the reason I started! I started sewing because I was cloth diapering my youngest son and wanted cool cloth wipes. I planned on eventually making him cloth diapers, and that got pushed back more and more, with every cool idea I wanted to try!! Ironically, we no longer cloth diaper and I never got to make any for him :) But because I have two boys I strive to find fun things to create for boys because girls do seem to have the corner on the handmade market.
3. Where do you live and what is it like? Southeastern Louisiana, in a city called Slidelll, roughly 30 miles North (across the lake) from New Orleans. I both love and hate it at times! LOL I hate the cost of living down here since Hurricane Katrina but there is so much I DO love. While I hate the high probability that we will be forced to leave and possibly lose our home each and every year, it is where I'm FROM. I don't think I could find a nicer people, more creative area and city so full of history, life and FUN as New Orleans! And living in Slidell gives me the comfort of safety, good schools and 'suburbia'...while having the opportunity to just drive across that lake at any time and do what I want in New Orleans! I love where I live so much I created Handmade Louisiana, a group of artisans and musicians in and from La :) www.handmadelouisiana.com
4. Where did you learn to craft or are you self taught? I was taught by necessity, as I said, by wanting to sew cloth wipes. "How hard can it be to sew a square?" I asked myself. Famous. Last. Words. I am now a fabricholic, LOVE to sew--even when I mess it up, and will now try just about ANY craft in any genre at some point! All this in less than 2 years. Now that I work full time outside the home, for the first time in 4 years I have been having a mourning process of not being able to craft as much as I was used to! But we do what we have to do!
5. How long have you been working at your craft? Just under 2 years.
6. Where do you receive your inspiration, in general? Often times in things I see that there are a need for, for myself, friends, family or other crafters. My swiffer wetjet pads are one of my popular sellers and not an original idea. My friend Karin at www.dominopads.com graciously shared how to make them and I just started selling them just for the heck of it (after testing numerous prototypes in my own home) I had no idea that people would really want or need them! But I aim for things to have a real purpose and need. I don't really want people to purchase anything I create and have it just sit there. Even my sock monkeys...I hope they are taken home, snuggled, loved and carried around! I want to make people's lives easier, more fun and want them to really cherish ANY handmade item they purchase.
7. What is the best piece of advice you can give other artists? Don't give up!! You may think of an idea for an item that you think is FABULOUS and you think everyone will love....and it turns out they don't. Don't give up on being creative!! Take pleasure in creating for YOU, whether you sell or not. If it doesn't make YOU happy to make it..why do it? When you hit a creative roadblock, take a break from that particular craft and try something new and challenging...or go back to something you find therapeutic and calming. Sometimes you just have to CRAFT for the sake of crafting!! I love to make fabric covered buttons for a variety of purposes. They may or may not ever sell...but I LOVE making them, they are soothing and therapeutic for me. When I don't have time for other crafts, the buttons are my 'go to' craft :) Just ENJOY what you do, the low's and the highs of it!
8. If you won a thousand dollar craft shopping spree, what would you spend it on? LOL. FABRIC!! *waits for the laughter from those who know me* oh the fabric I could get with 1,000.......
Here are some links to where you can find Amy's work: