Artists and thinkers coming together to promote fine crafts, innovation, and honest sustainability.

The best and brightest artists and thinkers coming together to promote fine crafts, original thought, and honest sustainability.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Taking a break...

Hello lovely readers! Just a quick note to let everyone know that I will be taking a bit of a break for a few weeks. I promise to be back before Thanksgiving (mid-November), and have a KILLER giveaway week planned for the week after Thanksgiving. So please, stay tuned and I will return soon!


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Weekly Featured Artist & GIVEAWAY: Inleaf Design (Lotta Helleberg)

I am a huge fan of art that reflects nature. The natural landscape provides so much to work with; there are times when I feel like I am letting down Mother Earth if I don't look for daily inspiration in the world around me. This week's artist, Inleaf Design, not only looks to nature for inspiration, but also for materials. She uses amazing flora as part of her process and the result is modern, elegant, and amazingly classic. From housewares to tote bags, her work is understated and sophisticated. 


Your Name: Lotta Helleberg

Your business name: Inleaf

The Basics:
My love for fabric and sewing started during my childhood. I grew up in Sweden and my grandmother was an amazing homemaker, keeping her house beautiful and fresh with little resources. My mother is a masterful seamstress, who always made my sisters’ and my clothes, when we were young. These artistic women passed on their love of handcraft, and textiles to me. I too, sewed my own clothes as a teenager and young adult. I think I truly won my husbands heart over when I made him a button down dress shirt when we were still dating. Along came a career (in journalism and graphic design), move to the US, houses, gardens, and two wonderful children.

Sewing was put on hold for a long time, until I stumbled upon an article about leaf printing, a technique in which leaves and other plant materials are coated with paint and pressed onto fabric. This later led me to experiments with other types of printing, dyeing, and stitching. For the past seven years I have created my own collection of handcrafted housewares, while exploring more artistic work such as art quilts and textile collages. I work primarily with linen, new and vintage. I reuse, upcycle, and use organic whenever possible. Leaf printing is still my main focus, and I incorporate these prints into my art quilts and other objects. I also love to include fabric manipulations, such as folds and tucks, in my work. Lately I have experimented with eco dyes and prints with wonderful results.

So I am constantly learning and growing while enjoying my life here in Charlottesville, Virginia. A rich life filled with beauty, love, teenage boys, gardening, and rambunctious dogs.

1. What five words best describe you?
Compassionate, shy, loving, honest, open-minded

2. What five words best describe your work?
Simple, elegant, natural, subtle, tactile

3. What was the very first art form you fell in love with, and, do you still do it?
It was textiles and sewing, but at the time I did not realize that it was an artform. I made doll clothes as a child, knitted, sew, and embellished my wardrobe as a teenager. Despite taking a long break from fiber creations while my children were young I have always loved the medium, and I am grateful to be submerged in it again.

4. What was your very worst ‘real’ job?
I don’t think I ever had a truly bad job. I have done some not so exciting things, like picking potatoes, cleaning the women’s ward at a local hospital, and stocking shelves at a grocery store, but all of these jobs still added something good to my life experience.

5. Is artwork your full-time life? Or, if not, are you planning to make it that way? If so, what’s your favorite part about being a full-time creative?
Yes, I work with my art full time and I cherish every minute of it. I love the creative process, as well as more mundane tasks, such as production sewing, and packaging orders. As with any endeavor I wish I had more time, because even a creative job becomes less fun with stressful deadlines.

6. What do you think is the single most important thing you could tell an artist just starting out?
Find your voice, and stay true to your style and ideas. I am always most attracted to art that is unique and individual. It also becomes easier to market yourself, if your work is a true reflection of who you are.

7. What is your favorite way to distribute our work (craft shows, online, galleries, etc…), and why?
I sell my work online and through a few local galleries. I have done some craft shows as well, but I am not very good at peddling my wares in person. I am too shy and wary about what people think…

8. What are your five favorite blogs and/or websites?
India Flint is my heroine. She stays true to her art and gentle living.
Tyler Stalling always have something beautiful and wise to share.
I love Eva’s small, but incredibly beautiful creations.
Arounna and her husband John, have found the perfect way to combine art, life, and success.
My friend Misty’s blog is an amazing artwork in itself.

9. Favorite artist?
Susan Benarcik

10. Guilty pleasure?
Mystery novels and chocolate

~~~ GIVEAWAY ~~~

Lotta has generously offered This beautiful notebook to one lucky winner!

- Go to Lotta's Shop. Find your very favorite item.
- After that, come on back and leave a comment below telling us what your favorite item was and why (the 'why' is the part we really look for when deciding on a winner... so be creative! Tell us how you would use it, why it appeals to you, what you find unique about it....that sort of thing).

You may enter only once (but keep reading for the loophole on that). The contest is open until 4pm Pacific time on the Monday following the original feature (so it's open for about six days). Winners will be posted on Tuesday morning, along with the new featured artist's piece. If you have any questions, please contact me, not the artist.

IMPORTANT: If you want to be contacted (if you are the winner), you need to leave your email address in your comment (I suggest spelling out the @(at) and the .(dot) to avoid spam from internet crawlers, or you may also leave your Etsy screen name, if applicable. If you don't leave either, you need to check back and contact me by the Friday following the contest ending to see of you won, and will need to email me (see Winner's Box in the upper right sidebar).

Bonus Entries- **You can earn an extra entry for each of the following: Follow my blog and/or follow me on Facebook. Both links are on the right-hand sidebar. Just make sure you note that you did these in a comment below!**

Please note: The winner is chosen by me and the featured artist based on your make 'em good! We make no claims that the selection is random:) It is between you and the featured artist to coordinate the getting of your loot. I make no personal guarantees about time-frame for delivery, value, or condition of the winning item.