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Friday, February 13, 2009

Spotlight on Fiber Artist Elleellee

The beautiful afghan you see here was created by Elleellee, a member of the Quilt Heirloom team at Etsy. Her shop, Elleellee, Handcrafted by the Creek, is filled with warm afghans and slippers, crocheted in gorgeous colors, items in clay, calligraphy, and braided rugs. I recently interviewed her and would like to share a little with you about this wonderful fiber artist.

In the range of over 50/under 50, where would you place yourself?

"If it's age, I'm over 50."

How long have you been a member of the Quilts and Heirloom team and what made you decide to join this group?

"QuiltSALAD invited me to join the Quilts and Heirlooms Team in early November, 2008. I joined to get more exposure for my crafts within Etsy."

What do you consider your fiber art passion?

"Crochet is my passion."

Where or when did you learn this art?

"I wanted to learn to crochet, so when I was 18, I bought a little pamphlet for 29 cents, and taught myself. Today it's the only thing I do right-handed."

Do you have any encouraging suggestions for someone new to your skill?

"Like every other thing you want to learn: don't give up trying. No one is an expert at the start of anything, so rip out, and start over. Again."

Do you enjoy any other creative endeavors? And if so, could you tell us a little about them?

"I taught myself calligraphy with the instructions that came with the pens. I love doing it, but since I'm left-handed, I have to use special setups so that my hand doesn't smear the wet ink.

I love working with clay, and invented my own clay, which I've used for many years.

I've played around with almost everything: woodworking, leathercraft, soaps, candles, paper mache, weaving, painting, and more, but I always come back to crochet, clay, and calligraphy. I hardly ever use patterns; I prefer to invent my own."

As you look in your shop, what would be your favorite item in the bunch? The one you almost hate to part with?

"My favorite thing in my shop is always my newest item -- you know, the one that everyone is going to want one of." [ed. comment: at the time of this writing those would be her wonderful rose colored slippers and her woven ribbon flowers.]

Do you have any suggestions or advice for someone just starting out on etsy?

"For someone just starting on Etsy, I would say to read everything Etsy has to offer, then ask questions. Be honest. Be nice."

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