Saturday, October 27, 2007

This week’s Etsy artist: Diamondmeenah Creations

When was the last time you touched a garment or accessory that was totally hand-stitched? If you thought such work no longer existed, you need to check out Diamondmeenah Creations, the Etsy shop of Julie Anne Stillwell.

Julie Anne’s shop is stocked with book briefcases and “scrap aprons” that she advises her customers to “use and abuse.” All of my jeans and pajamas are covered with ink and glue because, when I’m on a roll in the studio, I tend to wipe my hands on myself. I decided it was time for a studio apron and ordered one from Julie Anne. I am just knocked out by the workmanship, the fit (accommodates a mature, womanly figure like mine), and the beautiful fabrics. So far, I haven’t been able to christen it with ink or glue. It’s just too pretty!

Here’s how Julie Anne describes the development of her work and her Etsy shop:

I'm a disabled housewife who rarely can find a thing to wear that fits right. Out of my need to make things work, I picked up fabric, needle and thread and, by looking at the seams of store bought clothing, taught myself to sew. I sew from scraps of fabric most people toss out due to them being too small. I like a challenge, and quilting scraps to create functional art is one of my favorite things about sewing.

My craft isn't done by just me alone. I have three little feathered helpers, Diamond Sunshine, AsaMina Sura and Worthington Israel Wentworth, who are my muses. Diamond Sunshine is the one who taught me to sew small and strait. If I didn't, he could unravel 3 days’ worth of work in five minutes flat. AsaMina and Worthington make sure I don't use 'scary' fabric. Diamond Sunshine and AsaMina Sura are where my business and Etsy store name came from, DiamondMeenuh Creations. I believe in giving credit where it's due.

Etsy has been the best decision and investment of my time. I've met some of the most fabulous artists and wonderful people on Etsy, and I'm honored to be included in the group.

And here’s Julie Anne’s response to the challenge to create a haiku describing her approach to her art:

piles of fabric lay
cockatiel sneaks up slowly
art begins this way

Julie Anne currently lives in Springdale, Arkansas, and is an active member of AREtsy, the Arkansas Etsy street team. She will soon move to Washington state, but I choose to see that as an opportunity to network with the Northwest, not a good-bye.

You can find out more about Julie Anne and see photos of her tiels and Elsie, her Holstein car, on her Etsylove blog.

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