Crafter Q+A: Andrea Sabean of Artisan in the Woods

Andrea Sabean

Name:  Andrea Sabean

Location:  Quispamsis, New Brunswick

Title: Owner and Artisan at Artisan in the Woods




Twitter: @NaturalArtisan

How did you get into crafting?

I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t crafting!  Both my grandmother and my mother were avid crafters so there was always something creative going on in the house. It started with paper crafts when I was really young, and then I graduated into hand sewing and plastic canvas. Eventually my mom taught me to crochet, and then to use the sewing machine, and I’ve since added quilting, knitting,and scrapbooking to the list. It seems I’ve always been surrounded by glue, paint, beads, yarn, thread, fabric and paper and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Why did you decide to start your own site?

I started blogging on WordPress several years ago, and a year or two after that began selling some of my creations on Etsy.  I love WordPress and still use it for my classroom blog (I’m a Kindergarten teacher) but there was a lot of things I wanted to do (like showcase my Etsy shop) that I couldn’t do in that format. So last year I took the plunge and bought my own domain and haven’t looked back since. I love having complete control over my on-line space and it has been a great way to showcase the custom creatures that I make.

What’s your favourite part about what you do?

I love that every single creature I make is so different. I love the challenge that each new drawing brings. And I love seeing the drawing come to life right before my eyes! When I’m not working on creatures I also really enjoy working with wool sweaters and other recycled textiles, it’s a great feeling to take something old and make it new again. I also really love having the opportunity to share my craft with others by teaching them how to sew. Whether it be teaching my young students to thread a needle or showing an adult how to thread their first sewing machine it’s amazing to be able to show others how to enjoy this craft that I love so much!

What are some of the challenges? 

Every once in a while I am given a really complicated drawing with shapes that are tricky to create in three dimensions, or with a body position that just doesn’t work in real life (for instance a really big bird standing on really thin legs.) Those are the days where I have prototypes and animal body parts strewn all over my sewing table before I finally get it right.

What are some of your favourite craft/DIY websites?  

There are so many amazing creative blogs out there and I am constantly thankful for all of the generous people who share their tutorials and patterns.  A few that I read regularly are:

Make It & Love It

Sew, Mama, Sew!

Sew Can She

What was your first craft? 

I’m sure there were crafts before this, but the first thing I vividly remember is my friends and I making dolls out of handfuls of long grass (similar to a corn husk doll in concept) and then hand-sewing clothes for them.

 What was your favourite project?

turtle craft

Wow, I’m not sure I could pick just one! This past Christmas I made a turtle and snake toy that was pretty cool. The drawing was given to me by a woman who wanted the toy as a present from her sister, who loved this character from a favourite video game.

squirrel craft

I also had an opportunity to bring this crazy squirrel to life. He was definitely one of the more challenging ones to create, but I can’t help smiling every time I see his picture, I just love the look on his face!

Overall words of wisdom?

Don’t let mistakes or the fear of “not getting it right” keep you from finding the joy in creating. There is no such thing as not being creative. Everyone is creative. You just got to find your thing and then let yourself run with it. And if the finished product doesn’t look like something you would find in a magazine, who cares? Change it and turn it into your own thing. It will look like it was made by you, and that’s far more important.

Check out the craft Andrea wanted to share: how to make a laptop cozy from a wool sweater!

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