Art 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.
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.
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
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!