Interview with Karla owner of theitsybitsyspider
Tell us how you start your day.
Coffee! I don't even function until I have a steaming hot cup of coffee in front of me. I like to have my first cup in front of the computer while I check mt email, facebook, blogs, etc.
Fun tip -- to enjoy your coffee Itsy Bitsy Spider-style, get yourself hooked up with a Keurig brewer and a box of Donut Shop Coffee by The Coffee People. Yum!!! (coffeepeople.com)
Where did you grow up and where do you live now?
I was born in Pittsburgh, PA and grew up in a lake-shore suburb on the west side of Cleveland, OH. About a year ago (after we adopted our daughter), my husband and I decided to move back to the town where I grew up... and here I am!
What makes where you live special?
My favorite thing about my home town is being so close to Lake Erie. There is something so soothing about always having a big expanse of water just to the North. I don't get up to the lake shore as much as I would like, but when I do, I could spend hours just watching the waves come in.
Tell us about how you got started creating plush.
I started creating plush after two major changes in my life. The first was a diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), back in 2007 and the second was the arrival of our daughter, Kaia, in 2008.
I used to be a crochet afghan/sweater person, but the RA made it more difficult to work with larger projects. Add that to a curious little girl who gets into EVERYTHING and I knew it was time to focus on smaller projects that I could easily put away when I needed a break.
I've always loved dolls of all kinds and amigurumi really struck my fancy, so I bought a pattern book by Tammie Snow (called Tiny Yarn Animals) (roxycraft.com) and started crocheting. Before I knew it, I was designing my own ami's and loving every minute of it.
What inspires you?
My daughter. We go places together (like the zoo or the bakery) and I want to show her all the amazing things around her. Of course, not everything is touch-friendly for a two-year-old girl, so when we get home, I make amigurumi versions for her to play with.
One of my favorite Kaia-inspired designs was my amigurumi cell phone. She kept stealing mine, so I made her her own to play with. That design won me a first prize in the Instructibles Critter contest judged by Lion Brand Yarn! (instructables.com )
What would your perfect day be like?
Coffee (of course). Play with my daughter... More coffee (maybe with my mom & daughter at a local coffee shop)... Lunch with my daughter and my husband... An afternoon of crochet... Some more playing with my daughter... followed by a romantic dinner with my husband and a glass of wine on the lake shore.
If you had to choose another medium, what would it be?
I really love fibers... does it count if I say knitting? Probably not... that's too close to crochet. But, if I woke up tomorrow and all my crochet hooks were gone, you can bet that the next pace you'd find me is with my knitting needles.
If I had to give up fiber entirely, then my choice would be colored pencils. When I was little, my dad used to bring me new colored pencils from the shop near his office in downtown Pittsburgh. Just one at a time and only every once in a while. I still have many of those colored pencils and use them in my amigurumi design process today!
What's the one thing you can't live without?
My family. Short, sweet, and simple. They are my life.
Extra: Tell us a random fact about yourself!
Random fact..... hmmmm.... When I was a teenager, I was a bit of a punker. Doc Martins, purple hair, hard core industrial music (I still *love* Nine Inch Nails). I really want to add a highlight of purple to my hair again (just a few strands) but I can' seem to work up the courage to do it.
Oh... and I still have my Doc's :-)
Karla is also a member of the Etsy Plush Team