This week's American creator is Maureen of Maureen Cracknell Handmade. Maureen's blog just makes me smile. Her enthusiasm for fabric and needle art shines through her beautiful blog pictures. She is an appliqué genius (go check out her quilting girl quilt block if you want proof) and she has created some of the cutest pillows I have ever seen, not to mention the way-adorable garlands she's created for different seasons and hung around her house. Her blog is a creative journal; a place to share her trek through life and crafts. Without further ado, I introduce Maureen from Pennsylvania, USA!
1. Who are you?? Tell us about yourself, where you blog, what you like, about your hobbies, etc.
I am a mother of three, wife to a hard working ICU nurse/dedicated marathon runner, blogger at Maureen Cracknell Handmade, and both a creator and lover of anything handmade! I began blogging in late January of 2010 and took up sewing that March, which is what my blog is all about these days -- sharing my daily handmade's, my passion for using beautiful designer fabrics, some of what inspires me, and I love to host designer fabric giveaways each weekend with the help of my sponsors. I've been creating for as long as I can remember. Drawing and illustration work became me entire life at a very young age, which led me to many wonderful opportunities from comic book illustrating to large fine portrait work. I learned to knit when my boys were very young, which turned into designing my own patterns and I even created a limited edition felt toy line for the popular children's music duo Renee & Jeremy. I started my blog with the encouragement of my sister who lives in Hawaii, who wanted a way to see what I was making. She was teaching blogger to her students and helped me, a girl who hated the computer and who only just finally broke down and bought one the year before, set up a blog for myself over the phone. Well, that was two years ago now, and I guess you could say the rest is history! I absolutely love it!
What do you create? (this could be a website, stories, crafts – anything)
Since I began to sew in March of 2010, it really has taken over. I create handmade items for the home, gifts for adults and children that you can find in my etsy shop, but mostly I make items for my family and I to enjoy here in our own home. I tend to jump all over the place with projects. It is not uncommon for me to begin something new and then immediately put it down to begin yet another. It's fun for me, but lately I have been driving myself a little crazy. :) I recently decided to get more organized with journaling my ideas, and it seems to be taking on another art form all together. This is something I plan to share more of on my blog soon. A lot of what I am focusing on right now is quilt work and finding my own style in quilting.
3. Why do you create?
Creating has always been what I love to do. I wake up each day motivated to create something new, through sewing, knitting, drawing, crafting, and even baking and cooking -- I love it all! I am passionate and excited about creating the amount I do, and how all of it and living amongst it might impact my own children, who encourage and inspire me so much!
4. Do you sell your creations? If so, how? Where? And is it profitable?
I do sell some of my handmade items now. However, this is something I really hope to do more of in the very near future. My youngest child will begin kindergarten in the Fall, something I don't like to think about too much, but I do plan to put every effort I have into making my handmades and blogging a full time business for myself then.
5. What mistakes have you made or lessons you have learned?
Hmm? One big lesson I learned recently that it is o.k. to open up and share the side of yourself that isn't picture perfect. I never decided when I began to blog that I wanted it to be any certain way, I just knew I wanted to have a happy place to journal and document the items I was making, how they came to be, and to have a place to look back through to see how I grow and change as a creative person. As my blogging progressed it became a challenge for me to segue into sharing some of the personal struggles I have been going though, and I wasn't sure how any of it would "fit." But with this new year, came some amazing, wonderful new opportunities for my work and my blog, and I just couldn't enjoy all the good, without sharing some of the difficult issues I have been dealing with. I made the decision to open up and I was moved to tears by the response I received. I was reminded of all the amazing friendships I have found through blogging and truly realized just how supportive and loving this community is.
6. What, to you, is success? Have you achieved it yet, or are you on your way towards success?
That isn't something I really think about. I work more for happiness than anything. So if being happy, means being successful, then yes, I am very successful! I love what I do! I can say that success for me will never be measured by money.
7. So what's next?
So much! As I mentioned above, this Fall is when I will begin to take this all on as a full time "job." I plan to put everything I have into my creating, into producing many more quality items for sale, pattern making, and will no doubt be sharing it all on my blog along the way! I am currently working with the new Riley Blake Design Team, which is SO fun!! And, I have big dreams of turning my illustration work into fabric designs of my own, as well as continuing to work on my book proposal. I am so excited about all of it!
Thank you Maureen for being interviewed today!
To see who the other hosts are interviewing on their continent, click on the buttons below!
If you are interested in being interviewed for Creating Success Around the World, leave me a comment on this post. Feel free to link up your blog or a creation you are especially proud of and meet some other crafters from around the globe!