Maker Spotlight: Scarlett and Maria

scarlett_and_maria_1Art on the Rivers is coming to Frontier Park in historic Saint Charles on August 27. While we’re really excited to be hosting this event in conjunction with the Greenway Network and Race for the Rivers, it’s out makers, artists, and crafters that make the whole thing possible for us. Shows like this give us the opportunity to talk to the public about our individual makers stories, and also to show that there are artists living and working in the community and making a living from making things by hand. We’re thrilled to be working with each of these exciting artists, and look forward to introducing them all to you!

Today, we caught up with Eleanor of Scarlett & Maria to chat about her work, being a maker, inspiration, and goals. Join us as we meet our makers!

Tell us about your first “Maker Moment” How did you get into making things?

I used to buy tons and tons and tons of clothes from an old gothic auction site (a looooong time ago). Once I’d bought everything there was to buy and still hadn’t successfully outwardly communicated my inside through existing fashion, I realized the only way to do so was to make it myself. I had no art or sewing experience of any kind. With the help of family members and friends, I started the journey from my first shoddily made dress to the quality flower accessories I make today.

Where does your making happen? Tell us about your work space.

I carved my workspace out in a little corner of the basement. It may not make for pretty Instagram photos, but the light is always exactly where I need it 24 hours a day and I have a perfect view of the tv, my husband on the couch for conversation, and my son at play.

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What inspires you? Tell us a little about what you make and why.

I’ve always been attracted to the colors and textures of fabric. It’s a medium that I can use without the ability to draw. It’s responsive. Kanzashi making is the tedious exacting art of an uptight person, but with an explosively happy and whimsical outcome. Also a perfectly simple outcome, with no ulterior motives, hidden messages or meanings, each one just is. Each one is its own moment of Zen. And to wear them makes me feel different, but not in the “different like everybody else” way, but truly unique.

Why handmade?

Handmade is less to me about the objects themselves and more about the connections to the extraordinary people that make them. Growing up going to the art shows, the people in their tents displaying their works were like celebrities to me. Owning a “so and so” piece was more special to me than owning a “such and such” brand name. I love getting dressed and accessorizing with stories and histories, never “stuff”. Having the only one of something is infinitely valuable to me and makes me feel wealthy.

Are there any materials that you have used in your products that you think may be unexpected?

Everyone guesses that I use ribbon all coiled up. But I actually use a vast array of different fabrics, each petal cut one square at a time. Cutting isn’t prep, it’s a lengthy and vital part of the process.

What personality trait do you possess that you think helps you the most as a professional crafter?

Stubbornness. I think a lot of people would see the slow times and fear of bankruptcy as a sign to move on. I’d rather die to be honest. Even if there’s a 99% chance I will fail, it’s not quitting. Quitting is 100% chance. The rest is compulsion. If I can’t make stuff, I can’t go on living. There’s no explanation for where that comes from, it’s just there for better or worse.

What do you think differentiates crafting from other types of business?

I can’t speak for everyone, but as someone who makes “non-essentials”, I think the challenge is intensified in today’s economy. All the marketing advice says to promote the way your product solves a problem. My product doesn’t solve a problem. It’s just supposed to make you happy.

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What do you enjoy most about selling your handmade goods?

What I enjoy most is that every sale is personal and validating. A sale of something I bought to re-sell has no “me” in it. Even if I were to put recognizable characters and logos on my pieces, they would be endorsing their favorite characters created by someone else, not endorsing me and what I do. I want to be seen, to be known, and my work is a visual expression of what’s inside. It’s kind of crazy how many people on my Facebook friends list were customers first.

You can see more of Eleanor’s amazing work in her etsy shop at Http://www.etsy.com/shop/scarlettandmaria or stop by and talk her in person at Art on the Rivers on August 27!

Maker Spotlight: Sweet Spirits Farm

sweet_spirits_farm_2Art on the Rivers is coming to Frontier Park in historic Saint Charles on August 27. While we’re really excited to be hosting this event in conjunction with the Greenway Network and Race for the Rivers, it’s out makers, artists, and crafters that make the whole thing possible for us. Shows like this give us the opportunity to talk to the public about our individual makers stories, and also to show that there are artists living and working in the community and making a living from making things by hand. We’re thrilled to be working with each of these exciting artists, and look forward to introducing them all to you!

Today, we caught up with Lisa of Sweet Spirits Farm to chat about her work, being a maker, inspiration, and goals. Join us as we meet our makers!

How did you get into making things?

We had an excess of goat’s milk and were looking for something to make with it.

Where does your making happen?

My home

Tell us a little about what you make and why.

It is very rewarding to know that our products help people with skin problems and other everyday uses in a natural way.

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Why handmade?

I know what goes into it.

Are there any materials that you have used in your products that you think may be unexpected?

No

What personality trait do you possess that you think helps you the most as a professional crafter?

I believe in my products and it shows

What do you think differentiates crafting from other types of business?

A personal touch goes into making crafts

What do you enjoy most about selling your handmade goods?

Traveling, meeting new people, and being successful

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Where do you hope to be in 5 years? 10?

At least where I am now.

You can see more of Lisa’s amazing work in her online shop at www.sweetspiritsfarm.com or stop by and talk her in person at Art on the Rivers on August 27!

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Maker Spotlight: Vivacious Lathers

vivacious_lathers_1Art on the Rivers is coming to Frontier Park in historic Saint Charles on August 27. While we’re really excited to be hosting this event in conjunction with the Greenway Network and Race for the Rivers, it’s out makers, artists, and crafters that make the whole thing possible for us. Shows like this give us the opportunity to talk to the public about our individual makers stories, and also to show that there are artists living and working in the community and making a living from making things by hand. We’re thrilled to be working with each of these exciting artists, and look forward to introducing them all to you!

Today, we caught up with Bryan of Vivacious Lathers to chat about his work, being a maker, inspiration, and goals. Join us as we meet our makers!

How did you get into making things?

I used to have extremely dry skin that would become even more irritated after using “Big Brand Name Soaps”. I thought there had to be something better! So I searched high and low for the best ingredients and oils for the skin, and came up with Vivacious Lathers, which is a 100% vegan soap bar that softens and nourishes the skin. The soap is completely plant-based, which includes the base oils, the essential oils, and even the colorants are plant-based! Since using Vivacious Lathers, I no longer have dry, itchy skin, and wanted to share this great product with the world!

Where does your making happen?

Right now, everything is made at home in the spare bedroom.

What inspires you?

The most inspiring part of making plant-based soaps is when customers tell me how great the soaps are for their skin! It makes me feel good that I can offer them a product that actually helps soothe and nourish their skin!

Why handmade?

Their is a lot of love that goes into every batch of soap, as well as in all of our other products, that you just can’t get from chemical laden, commercial soaps.

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Are there any materials that you have used in your products that you think may be unexpected?

All of the materials used are plant-based! The funnest parts of each soap is, of course, the essential oils and the colors we use because everyone loves to smell and look at the soaps. And by using essential oils and plant-based colorants, we are removing all of those nasty chemicals known as fragrance oils and synthetic colorants. Also, all of our packing is compostable, recyclable, or reusable!

What personality trait do you possess that you think helps you the most as a professional crafter?

I think I’m a pretty open-minded person and a good listener. I make the soaps and products that my customers want.

What do you think differentiates crafting from other types of business?

You definitely get a higher quality product with greater attention to detail when you buy handcrafted items.

Vivacious Lathers Natural, Plant-Based Soap Bars

What do you enjoy most about selling your handmade goods?

It makes me happy knowing that my products are great for my customer’s skin. They are also great for the environment too because we strive to use minimal packing, and the packing we do use is compostable, recyclable, or reusable.

Where do you hope to be in 5 years? 10?

Spreading the lathers to more people!

You can see more of Bryan’s amazing work in his online shop at www.squareup.com/store/vivacious-lathers or stop by and talk her in person at Art on the Rivers on August 27!

Maker Spotlight: A&M Accessories

a_and_m_accessories_2Art on the Rivers is coming to Frontier Park in historic Saint Charles on August 27. While we’re really excited to be hosting this event in conjunction with the Greenway Network and Race for the Rivers, it’s out makers, artists, and crafters that make the whole thing possible for us. Shows like this give us the opportunity to talk to the public about our individual makers stories, and also to show that there are artists living and working in the community and making a living from making things by hand. We’re thrilled to be working with each of these exciting artists, and look forward to introducing them all to you!

Today, we caught up with Marcia of A&M Accessories to chat about her work, being a maker, inspiration, and goals. Join us as we meet our makers!

Tell us about your first “Maker Moment”

Twenty-seven years ago I made my wedding veil and it all just clicked.

Tell us about your work space.

I have a studio behind my home in rural Missouri where magic happens.

Tell us a little about what you make and why.

I make clothing and accessories. Colors and fibers inspire me.

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Why handmade?

Anyone can go to a big box store to buy “stuff”. Long ago handmade items held commitment and love. I believe people are back to seeing the value in that once again.

Are there any materials that you have used in your products that you think may be unexpected?

People are always surprised to see vintage items incorporated into my bags.

What personality trait do you possess that you think helps you the most as a professional crafter?

I’m a little weird, and I embrace it!

What do you think differentiates crafting from other types of business?

In any business you give bits of yourself, however, in crafting you give yourself and your creativity.

What do you enjoy most about selling your handmade goods?

Meeting the people is the most wonderful part of selling my work. Seeing people get excited about an item they buy for themselves or as a gift for a loved one makes me smile.

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Where do you hope to be in 5 years? 10?

My husband and I hope to be able to retire within the next 10 years and would love to travel and do shows farther away from home.

You can see more of Marcia’s amazing work in her etsy shop at www.etsy.com/shop/marciamenendez or stop by and talk her in person at Art on the Rivers on August 27!

Maker Spotlight: Fine Line Studios

fine_line_studios_1Art on the Rivers is coming to Frontier Park in historic Saint Charles on August 27. While we’re really excited to be hosting this event in conjunction with the Greenway Network and Race for the Rivers, it’s out makers, artists, and crafters that make the whole thing possible for us. Shows like this give us the opportunity to talk to the public about our individual makers stories, and also to show that there are artists living and working in the community and making a living from making things by hand. We’re thrilled to be working with each of these exciting artists, and look forward to introducing them all to you!

Today, we caught up with Fine Line Studios to chat about their work, being a maker, inspiration, and mission. Join us as we meet our makers!

Tell us about your first “Maker Moment”

Fine Line Studios was established in 2010, as a part of the national non-profit Resources for Human Development. We offer adults with disabilities an outlet for unbridled creativity and self-expression through visual arts, music, and community involvement. We provide individuals with the tools and materials to create art, and the supports to define themselves as artists. Some individuals who attend our program may have never done art before and don’t discover their hidden artistic talents until they begin exploring the opportunities provided by FLS. Other individuals may have always enjoyed making art, but were never given the chance to pursue their talents or exhibit their work. A perk of being FLS staff is often getting to witness and partake in the joys our individuals experience when they first discover their love for making art!

Where does your making happen?

Fine Line Studios is located in the Bridgeton neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri. The artists who attend FLS make all of their artwork here at the studio, Monday through Friday between the programming hours of 9am and 3pm. Our studio facility includes a large workshop area suited for painting and drawing, a ceramics studio, a printmaking room, a music recording studio, and a room dedicated to sewing and jewelry making.

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Tell us a little about what you make and why.

The staff of Fine Line Studios work to inspire participating artists by giving them access to a wide variety art mediums, instructing art techniques, and visiting local art galleries and museums. All of our artists have their own unique interests and passions, which is communicated through their art creations. Staff aspire to stimulate creativity and help each individual artist develop their skills, reach their full potential as artists, connect with their communities, and become more independent through art. In turn, staff are inspired by the talents and perseverance of the artists of Fine Line Studios, and hope to do the same for the artists they serve.

Why handmade?

It is amazing the sense of accomplishment one can feel after making something by hand. At Fine Line Studios, we seek to empower individuals with disabilities by helping them discover and develop their artistic skills and talents.

Are there any materials that you have used in your products that you think may be unexpected?

As a non-profit art studio, we are always seeking ways to reduce, reuse, and repurpose materials. From making our own paper out of used paper, to recycling clay, upcycling screen-printed t-shirts into pillows, utilizing various donated materials, and working with found objects in sculptures, we are always pursuing creative ways to use supplies. Many of our participating artists are self-taught and may use materials in nontraditional ways; we encourage our artists to experiment with mixing medias and challenging the status quo. A striking piece of art can be made with a Bic pen on newsprint paper, just as well as expensive paint on a fine quality stretched canvas. The materials our artists choose to use differ greatly from artist to artist, but they are all held in the same regard as accomplishments of self expression.

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What personality trait do you possess that you think helps you the most as a professional crafter?

Each artist who attends Fine Line Studios is uniquely skilled and talented, but some common traits many of our artists possess is perseverance and optimism. Despite the obstacles they may face in life, whether developmental, physical, fiscal, or mental, the artists of FLS overcome so much in order to achieve their goals. Being resilient to the hardships they face and creating art in an uninhibited manor with a positive attitude, often seems remarkable.

What do you think differentiates crafting from other types of business?

Artists and crafters must be resilient to criticism and failure, as well as self-motivated and hardworking, but the perks are beyond measure. Creating handmade art and objects builds confidence, independence, and a sense of purpose and self expression.

What do you enjoy most about selling your handmade goods?

Each piece of art created at Fine Line Studios was made with care by an artist with a disability, overcoming their challenges and accomplishing a goal. Every purchase further empowers the artist to continue to pursue their creative expression. Artists receive 80% of all sales, while 20% goes back to material and supply costs of the studio. When we sell artwork on behalf of the artist who created it, and are then able to hand that artist money for their hard work and efforts, it brings us nothing but joy. Through the arts, we enrich the lives of those we serve, and there is nothing more enjoyable than that.

Where do you hope to be in 5 years? 10?

Here at Fine Line Studios, we hope to continue to expand our program and services in order to provide more creative opportunities and employment for artists with disabilities.

You can see more of Fine Line Studios’ amazing work in on their facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/finelinestudios/ or stop by and talk them in person at Art on the Rivers on August 27!

Maker Spotlight: Willetta Gray Design

willetta_gray_design_1Art on the Rivers is coming to Frontier Park in historic Saint Charles on August 27. While we’re really excited to be hosting this event in conjunction with the Greenway Network and Race for the Rivers, it’s out makers, artists, and crafters that make the whole thing possible for us. Shows like this give us the opportunity to talk to the public about our individual makers stories, and also to show that there are artists living and working in the community and making a living from making things by hand. We’re thrilled to be working with each of these exciting artists, and look forward to introducing them all to you!

Today, we caught up with Mandy of Willetta Gray Design to chat about her work, being a maker, inspiration, and goals. Join us as we meet our makers!

Tell us about your first “Maker Moment”

I’ve always loved to make things ever since I was a little kid. I majored in art in college and work professionally as a graphic designer. Crafting has always been a part of my life, and I picked up sewing several years ago after reviving the sewing machine that was collecting dust in my parents’ closet.

Where does your making happen?

In my home studio

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Tell us a little about what you make and why.

My great-grandmother Willetta was a quilter and I was always in awe of the beautiful designs that she put so much time and care into creating for her family members. There is something about holding a one-of-a-kind creation that I love and that I hope I can share with others. My work is focused on handbags and accessories, but I try to use small batches of fabrics so each item I create is truly unique and different.

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Why handmade?

When someone purchases handmade, they are purchasing a little piece of the artist’s story. So much time and effort goes into creating something handmade- I love being able to see the artist’s spirit or personality based on the choices they made in creating their product.

What do you enjoy most about selling your handmade goods?

I love the thought of sharing something that I enjoyed creating with others.

You can see more of Mandy’s amazing work in her etsy shop at https://www.etsy.com/shop/WillettaGrayDesign or stop by and talk her in person at Art on the Rivers on August 27!

Maker Spotlight: RooSpot Art

roo_spot_1Art on the Rivers is coming to Frontier Park in historic Saint Charles on August 27. While we’re really excited to be hosting this event in conjunction with the Greenway Network and Race for the Rivers, it’s out makers, artists, and crafters that make the whole thing possible for us. Shows like this give us the opportunity to talk to the public about our individual makers stories, and also to show that there are artists living and working in the community and making a living from making things by hand. We’re thrilled to be working with each of these exciting artists, and look forward to introducing them all to you!

Today, we caught up with Rachel of RooSpot Art to chat about her work, being a maker, inspiration, and goals. Join us as we meet our makers!

Tell us about your first “Maker Moment”

I’ve been making things for as long as I can remember! Everyone always used to get handmade gifts from me, and they still do!

Where does your making happen?

I generally make a mess while I’m crafting but I try to keep it contained in one or 2 areas of my house. I screen print in my basement and I sew wherever I feel like watching TV!

What inspires you?

I like to make things that are a little bit quirky, but are still useful. For example, I designed my lunch bags to be functional but have designs that you may not see on a typical lunch bag, like a retro turntable. I like to think that my products can appeal to anyone from a middle aged dad to their teenaged daughter.

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Why handmade?

Every piece is unique. It’s pretty difficult (at least for me) to produce things that are exactly alike. So handmade allows a person to have something that no one else has.

What personality trait do you possess that you think helps you the most as a professional crafter?

Everyone always tells me that I’m quiet, but maybe I’m just drawing inspiration from my surroundings!

What do you think differentiates crafting from other types of business?

Crafting evolves a lot over time. Your ideas, process, materials, design etc change as you realize what works and what doesn’t.

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What do you enjoy most about selling your handmade goods?

I think it’s pretty cool that someone wants to take something home that I made. I also like seeing people’s reaction to my products.

Where do you hope to be in 5 years? 10?

Hopefully still working on my crafting business. I have ideas to take either my lunch bags or t-shirts to the next level. I also really want a retro camper to sell my stuff out of. Maybe in 10 years!

You can see more of Rachel’s amazing work in her etsy shop at https://www.etsy.com/shop/RooSpotArt or stop by and talk her in person at Art on the Rivers on August 27!

Maker Spotlight: Beqi Brinkhorst

beqi_clothing_1Art on the Rivers is coming to Frontier Park in historic Saint Charles on August 27. While we’re really excited to be hosting this event in conjunction with the Greenway Network and Race for the Rivers, it’s out makers, artists, and crafters that make the whole thing possible for us. Shows like this give us the opportunity to talk to the public about our individual makers stories, and also to show that there are artists living and working in the community and making a living from making things by hand. We’re thrilled to be working with each of these exciting artists, and look forward to introducing them all to you!

Today, we caught up with Beqi of Beqi Clothing to chat about her work, being a maker, inspiration, and goals. Join us as we meet our makers!

Tell us about your first “Maker Moment”

I made things since I was old enough to hold a pencil, but I started making them for a living when I turned 30. The first thing I sold was a skirt, and the minute the money came into my Paypal account I felt a rush of personal gratification that something I had designed had been good enough for someone to spend their hard earned money on it. 16 years later, every single order still feels like that.

Where does your making happen?

All over. The actual sewing happens in my studio, but the jewelrymaking happens literally everywhere. Libraries, coffee houses, on the bleachers while my son learns tennis, etc. If I can haul it in a bag, I can work.

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What inspires you?

Everything that’s both beautiful and tough inspires me. Street fashion, roots music, wildflowers, thrift stores, rough minerals, tattooed girls, whiskey bottles, trees that grow in the winter. I love the paradox of hardy things still being ornamental.

Why handmade?

Because I have trouble delegating authority. 😉

Are there any materials that you have used in your products that you think may be unexpected?

Stones I’ve actually picked up myself from campsites. The occasional miniature toy. Creepy Victorian porcelain doll parts. If I can use it, I do.

What personality trait do you possess that you think helps you the most as a professional crafter?

ADHD and a caffeine addiction.

What do you think differentiates crafting from other types of business?

It’s much more rewarding and less cutthroat. We have a real community of very good, very friendly artists who all get along. We’ve raised funds for fellow crafters who have had tragedies happen, and we support each other and share ideas and resources. Far from being in competition with one another, we want to rise as a group. I’ve never ever been in a business like this.

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What do you enjoy most about selling your handmade goods?

Having people come up to me and tell me they bought something from me 5, 10 years ago, and they still wear it, and they feel beautiful in it and get compliments on it. Everyone deserves to feel beautiful, and I’m glad to have a hand in that.

Where do you hope to be in 5 years? 10?

Basically the same, but in more stores and maybe with an assistant to do the paperwork. When my son is in college, I’d like to start a craft outreach for girls and boys who might not have the same access to art that I was lucky to have. Art saved my life, in a very non-hyperbolic sense. I’d love to give that gift to the next generation.

You can see more of Beqi’s amazing work in her online shop at http://beqiclothing.com or stop by and talk her in person at Art on the Rivers on August 27!

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Maker Spotlight: Josephine’s

Josephine's JewelsArt on the Rivers is coming to Frontier Park in historic Saint Charles on August 27. While we’re really excited to be hosting this event in conjunction with the Greenway Network and Race for the Rivers, it’s out makers, artists, and crafters that make the whole thing possible for us. Shows like this give us the opportunity to talk to the public about our individual makers stories, and also to show that there are artists living and working in the community and making a living from making things by hand. We’re thrilled to be working with each of these exciting artists, and look forward to introducing them all to you!

Today, we caught up with Ruthie of Josephine’s to chat about her work, being a maker, inspiration, and goals. Join us as we meet our makers!

Tell us about your first “Maker Moment”

Well I have always loved art and making things since I was a young child and as I got older I have always tried to be resourceful and make gifts for people and then people started to ask me to make them things and then started suggestion selling items I make .So I made the decision start doing craft shows then moved on to art shows and have enjoyed meeting a whole lot of wonderful people along this wild crazy journey !!

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Where does your making happen?

OOH my , my workspace it has over taken my house…lol….I do a lot of my work at my kitchen table after I get home from my full time job. Occasionally when I break out the power tools I head outside under the covered porch . But I have been known to do my work in many different places like in restaurants to hospitals. When you have deadlines to meet you do what you can and where you can.

What inspires you?

I started out as a seamstress but most of my dabbling is in jewelry and I love to find things that is not made to be jewelry components and turning them in to a one-of-a kind piece of jewelry . I also love to take broken pieces and make them whole again. I have had many requests to make new jewelry pieces out of broken family heirloom pieces. Just love seeing peoples faces light up when I can take their vision and make it happen .

Why handmade?

Because there is nothing better than handmade. With my jewelry there is only a few pieces that I can duplicate because I love to use vintage items that are very limited and can not be reproduced making them one of a kind.

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Are there any materials that you have used in your products that you think may be unexpected?

Vintage scraps (belts, wire , buttons), recyclables(old tile pieces,) hardware(washers). For example I like to take vintage lapel pins and make hand crocheted necklace out of them . I make things from bullets. Scrapbook items turned into jewelry ect.

What personality trait do you possess that you think helps you the most as a professional crafter?

Thinking outside the box is a must for me.

What do you think differentiates crafting from other types of business?

People put their heart and soul into each and every piece that they make which I believe makes it even more special.

What do you enjoy most about selling your handmade goods?

Getting the personal satisfaction of seeing people loving my pieces that I create and meeting new people and making new friendships along the way.

Where do you hope to be in 5 years? 10?

I hope to be in a river town somewhere living in a old Victorian home that has an attached shop where I can sell my wears ……it would be a dream come true.

You can see more of Ruthie’s amazing work in her online shop at http://josephinesjewls.weebly.com/ or stop by and talk her in person at Art on the Rivers on August 27!

Maker Spotlight: Rambling Eclectica

Rambling EclecticaArt on the Rivers is coming to Frontier Park in historic Saint Charles on August 27. While we’re really excited to be hosting this event in conjunction with the Greenway Network and Race for the Rivers, it’s out makers, artists, and crafters that make the whole thing possible for us. Shows like this give us the opportunity to talk to the public about our individual makers stories, and also to show that there are artists living and working in the community and making a living from making things by hand. We’re thrilled to be working with each of these exciting artists, and look forward to introducing them all to you!

Today, we caught up with Merlin Whitman of Rambling Eclectica to chat about her work, being a maker, inspiration, and goals. Join us as we meet our makers!

Tell us about your first “Maker Moment”

Ever since we were able to, My mom would have us make christmas presents for our relatives every year. We were always making something different and so I learned a wide variety of crafty pursuits.

Where does your making happen?

I work up on the third floor, surrounded by boxes of stuff leftover from our move. My crafting table is next to a big window, so one of our cats is almost always sitting on the windowsill watching me work.

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What inspires you?

I’ve always been fascinated with different ways to create something. I’ll see a technique I don’t know and immediately want to go home and try it. I enjoy working with my sisters in creating new and unique items for our shop.

Why handmade?

There’s love and energy that goes into a handmade item that you don’t find anywhere else.

Are there any materials that you have used in your products that you think may be unexpected?

The journals we make are covered in paper towels and cardboard. It’s super cool that a little bit of paint makes them look old and antique

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What personality trait do you possess that you think helps you the most as a professional crafter?

The ability to daydream.

What do you think differentiates crafting from other types of business?

You have the freedom to try new things and to experiment.

What do you enjoy most about selling your handmade goods?

The look on people’s faces when they see our items and the enjoyment I know they will get from them.

Where do you hope to be in 5 years? 10?

Hopefully crafting and making full time!

You can see more of Merlin’s amazing work in her Etsy shop at or stop by and talk her in person at Art on the Rivers on August 27!