Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Getting to Know You

by Hanna ~ Seedling Design

This is a chance to get to know some of the members of HandmadeMN and a little bit more about what they make and do in their own words.

Today we're getting to know Shasta Feltman from The Traveling Cabinet who lives in Roseville and blogs at travelingcabinet.blogspot.com.
What do you make and why?
I think last summer was pretty difficult - I had just graduated from college, my two best friends fled the state for summer break, and I had no idea what I was going to do with my life. I earned my degree in Intercultural Studies, but I wanted to be more financially stable before I left for the mission field.  It felt like limbo. Then, like any good unemployed grad, I was surfing the web and noticed a bunch of inspiration/DIY blogs;  I couldn't help myself.
My grandma had just given me her sewing machine and I began experimenting with clutches and accessories.   The clutches themselves are an amazing medium for creativity - they allow me to experiement with lovely fabrics I find and craft them in my own particular style.  Even since I was a 'wee bonnie lass' I've been addicted to traveling, history, maps and the like - and I think the clutches reflect that lifestyle in a femine way.
Where do you do your making?
During school I lived in pretty small apartment, so my workspace had to be compact and portable. I repurposed a low IKEA tv stand into a rolling sewing machine table. I pull it in front of an arm chair when I want to use it and roll it into the corner when guests are over.  Right now my bedroom is my creative space, so I've decorated it like a studio.  I still use the same rolling table but there are pictures for inspiration, mason jars, twine, muslin, and vintage postcards hanging everywhere. 
What is your favorite part of the process?
Hmm, I love finding unique or vintage fabrics - I just love 'em; how they feel, how they smell, discoloring is a plus.  Anything that has detail attracts my attention - I found a really lovely lace from Korea and I've been using it in everything.  If I go walking through a shop and a textile or notion makes me thing, "Ooo, that reminds me of ...", then its a keeper.  
What do you listen to or watch while you are working?
I'm SO glad you asked this question - for me, sewing grew simultaneously with a love for Minnesota Public Television. I've never had more than the basics when it comes to TV, and since I've never been a fan of cops or reality shows, I really enjoy TPT shows like "Masterpiece Theatre", "Lark Rise to Candleford" and "Doc Martin".  I am smitten. Now when I sew, I watch an episode or two online, or I download a podcast of a Jane Austen novel.
Tell us something else that we don't know that you want us to:
For me, faith isn't just a list of do's and don'ts - so when I began working on The Traveling Cabinet it was really important for me to continue contributing to the missions community even if I wasn't able to directly participate; I wanted to find a  way to apply my degree. Although its not much now, 10% of sales go to support young missionaries I graduated with and other humanitarian aid groups that share the gospel message of Jesus.  I know that its sometimes offensive to talk passionately about faith and truth in our culture today but I believe that if you let fear run your life, it will extinguish your life.