The APD Podcast: In Conversation with Jonna Hietala and Sini Ellen

Today’s podcast guests are Jonna and Sini, the co-founders of Laine Magazine. Laine is a high-quality Nordic knit & lifestyle magazine that celebrates natural fibres, slow living, local craftsmanship and beautiful, simple things in life.This is a magazine that inspires knitters but also contains lifestyle pieces like city guides, delicious recipes and feature interviews. Laine Magazine is enriched with all of Jonna and Sini's passions as photographers, story tellers and knitters. 

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May's Maker of the Month

When I decided to have a year long focus on making, sourcing and documenting creative pursuits for The Maker's Year, celebrating those who are adding value to our creative community was at the forefront of my mind. I've decided to feature one Maker for an entire month on my sidebar to give visitors the chance to know who I'm being particularly inspired by. Whether that Maker skills people up, leads us to resources or adds a diverse voice that keeps our community rich with fresh inspiration, I want to share those stories. 

So this month, I would like you to spend some time getting to know Clare Devine of 'Knit Share Love'. I've been lucky enough to share time with Clare and was honoured when she asked me to shoot some of her work a few months ago. Clare has a mission to get everyone knitting and has just relaunched her website with this exact purpose. It seemed fitting to host her on the blog today and you will find her nestled on the side bar throughout the whole of May. 

(Maker of the Month is part of the sponsorship I offer for APD. If you'd like to be a part of this community, drop me a line and let's make that happen!)

Knit Share Love

I asked Clare to share what makes her tick as a maker and she blew me away with the answer. If you'd like to hear more from Clare, stay tuned for Season 2 of the podcast because she has a great story to tell.....

 

"Making things fills me with joy – they needn’t be complicated things or a grand undertaking – just the simple act of putting something together that I need to, or want to create is enough. I love the process, but what I love more is the sense of community I find as a “maker of things”. Using my hands to create something brings the strands of my life closer to the strands of others, both near and far. In a world so often connected by tiny snippets of information in this technological age I find a real sense of comfort in the slower process of creating with my hands and the connections it has formed in my life.

Knitting came to me slightly later on my life path – I do not have endless memories of knitting as a child but I do have so much to thank knitting for in my adult life.

Clare Devine

A year ago I was feeling a little overwhelmed, at a cross roads with multiple life decisions, nothing overly serious – just one of those moments when you have to stop and take a deep breath, ask yourself where you are going and why. I looked at what I had created around my passion for knitting and saw in it a warm and loving community who cared deeply for their craft and those they shared their love of fibre with.

I knew then that I wanted to continue sharing my knitting – that is what I love most. I started a knit-along and tagged it #knitsharelove, the core of what I felt in that moment. The response was just what I needed to guide me through the cross roads – the joy of people knitting, sharing their creations and finding support and love in the fibre community, it filled my heart with joy. I had found my space to share my passion - #knitsharelove.

The act of making needn’t be a grand one, the stitches don’t have to be complicated, sometimes the most soothing making is effortlessly simple, it is what making brings to our lives that is most important – the moments of joy, the friendships made, the skills learned, the comfort found. I am so grateful to be part of this community and love the sentiment behind #themakersyear. I have found sharing in the creative practices of others so rewarding and inspiring, everyone makes and creates so differently. Learning from each other is where the real beauty is."

knit share love

You can find Clare on most social media as @knitsharelove, join her hashtag #knitsharelove, and you can also visit her website:

 

 

{Guest Post} My Creative Identity

Last month I  celebrated the amazing power of women when they join forces to make and create together and I was very fortunate to have my hand held online by super blogger Emily of MummyLimited. Her writing has been a huge source of nourishment for me since discovering her online home and so I'm overjoyed to bring you a guest post that speaks very close to my heart indeed. 

"I wrote a post recently about a campaign to get us all to unplug for the day, National Unplugging Day.  We are so often told to switch off and unplug. That our slavish devotion to electronic devices is bad for us and as a direct result, bad for our children. I get it, I really do. The picture of us not talking to each other and ignoring our children is a tempting one to believe. The Internet is portrayed as a dark and scary place, somewhere that takes us away from our real lives and makes us look inward not out. As someone who has been blogging for over five years and loves social media, for me, this couldn't be further from the truth.

My creative Identity

It is easy to judge someone when you observe a snippet of their day. If you could see me now, you would see a woman tapping on her phone, while her children play in the park. I look as though I'm ignoring them, but I am near, I can hear them, I am still listening and looking up, as I write. What they don't see is the 6am wake up, the refereeing of brotherly squabbles, the help with a board game, the scooting with my 4 year old, as he took me on an 'adventure'. They won't see the ice cream cones I will make once we're home or the solo bedtime I will do, or finally, after being on mum duty for 13 hours already, the hour or more I will spend feeding, rocking and soothing my baby to sleep. None of this is unusual to me and I don't expect or need praise for it, but nor do I deserve judgement for finding the odd moment in my day to connect with the digital and yet creative world.

My Creative Identity

The Internet and it's vibrant creative community has unlocked my own creativity in ways I could never have imagined. It's improved my skills and ideas, my interest in stuff and certainly my parenting. This resonates with so many parents, mostly mothers, many of whom have experienced the loneliness and frustration that parenting can bring. Parenting can often be a lonely pursuit, as in fact can making and creating and the support, honesty and humour I've found online has been invaluable over the last six years. Rather than make me look inward, the ideas and views I read make me better. A better person, a more patient and creative parent and a more proficient and inspired maker.

Before I started blogging and reading blogs, my creative outlet began and ended with knitting. Very basic and not very good knitting, i didn’t really push past the basics. It was through an online community that I found beautiful crochet did exist and it was far more than the 1970's inspired afghans that comes to most people's minds. I would never have picked up a hook without the Internet and now working with it is as ingrained in my being as reading or cooking.

My Creative Identity

Most creative people will say it's like an itch. Something they must do to feel at peace. That's how it is for me. A few days of not nourishing my creative being and I feel at odds with my world. The Internet allows me to do that and still function in a busy life with lots of responsibilities. Pinterest gives me lots of ideas, for acting on now, especially with the children or for later, for those days way into the future where I have time to explore new creative outlets. Instagram allows the very amateur photographer in me to notice and record the beauty in something or to tell the story of my day. There isn’t always the time to pick up a project in the day, there is time to fit in a bit of digital creativity.

Kate's theme last month was women as makers and it always strikes me how many inspiring women are writing online, about their creativity, their families, their lives. The women makers, I've found online inspire me and my digital life informs and influences my analogue life. We are telling stories, writing social history. The story of our lives may seem small, but it's important. It is a record of how we live, of who we are and of what we create. I want to record mine and I want to listen to others. The Internet allows us to reach across oceans, forests and miles of sprawling metropolis to find our tribe, to share our lives. I won't be told this is damaging and wrong. It just isn't possible. Sharing these things makes us, as women and mothers, stronger and that can only be a good thing."

 

Emily writes about her making, parenting and many things in between at Mummy Limited. You can find her all over the Internet as @emilyandmore. When not online she can often be found hooking with yarn, building Playmobil and breaking stuff.

{Guest Post} Publishing as a Feminist Act

This week, I shared an interview on the podcast with Melanie Falick that inspired me enormously. As well as being a highly acclaimed published author in her own right, Melanie has built a career on nurturing and empowering women to find their voices and become published authors. When the interview ended, we both felt there was still a little more to add. As is often the case when I interview a guest, we talked a little while off air and Melanie very kindly offered this guest post to share an important idea. 

Rebecca Ringquist's Embroidery Workshops


When I interviewed artist Katharine Cobey for my first book, Knitting in America, she said to me, "If I were a man and I were knitting things, I would feel perfectly calm. It would be perfectly ordinary to have a beautiful studio, to say what I do is as important as I can make it." But women don't always feel that confident and entitled. "It takes putting both feel firmly on the ground," Katharine continued, and saying, " 'Stand up,' all the way that you can go. Just as big or as little as you are, but as much as you can."

(c) Abrams Books

(c) Abrams Books

I think of Katharine words often. As an editor of craft books, I always try to give my authors (who are most often women) the chance to "Stand up," that is, the opportunity to express their creativity and knowledge in a bold, solid, confident way. Gone are all of the apologies that women often make for being a bother or taking up too much of someone's time or space. Gone is the modesty that many of us have come to believe we must express lest be labeled bossy or egotistical. Gone is the idea that what we do with yarn or thread and needles is trivial. Instead, we create a book that is as beautiful and substantive as we can make it, that allows us to say to the world, "I have something important to express, my work is worthy, I believe in myself." 

(c) Abrams Books

(c) Abrams Books

I'm not sure how to define the term "feminist act," but I do know that I have always been dedicated to the idea of celebrating what women do, especially the parts of women's lives that have often been devalued and under-appreciated. 

 

Find Melanie online on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest  as @Melaniefalick and also at her new online home, MelanieFalick.com.
 

15 Mins with..... Fall for DIY

A new feature just for the blog!

For a long time, I've been pondering how to share more stories of people who inspire me. I host 2-3 interviews a month on the podcast but have always been a little sporadic about doing so on the blog. I think I felt more at ease with interviewing in 'real time'. 

Well, that's about to change and my first '15 Mins with' guest is the perfect person to help me launch this new feature. 15 minutes with Francesca had me itching to make, create and cheerlead others who do too. Francesca couldn't be more perfect for today's playful moment if she tried. She's just launched a kickstarter to encourage everyone to get creative and she gave me 15 minutes to find out what the We Make Collective is all about:

Fall For DIY's Francesca

Fall For DIY's Francesca

Please introduce yourself and what it is that you create.
Hello! I’m Francesca. I write the DIY/Crafts blog Fall For DIY which is place to explore my hands on side and my life long love of making. I have always believed in combining craft with design to create something that is desirable and useful, and this ethos is a recurring theme throughout my blog. I create anything and everything from jewellery, fashion and accessories to easy artwork, furniture and interior DIY’s. I’ll try my hand at pretty much anything and I’ll always find a way to write about it on Fall For DIY!

We Make Collective

You have founded the 'We Make Collective', what is the idea behind it?
I decided to start We Make Collective after meeting far too many people that don't believe in their own creativity. Creativity is something we practice and learn. Not something we're gifted with. This idea is one that many of my readers also feel strongly about, so in response to this need for easy access to skills, materials and inspiration I am launching the We Make Collective - a site to share what we do and what we love online and in real life. We Make Collective will bring together: the bloggers, the makers and the dreamers. Anyone with just the glint of creativity in their eye in a new way to boost each other’s creative journeys.

Fall For DIY Quote Banner

How are you collaborating with other women and supporting them in their making?
We Make Collective is all about collaborating and working together to increase creativity. We’ll be collaborating with independent businesses to stock the materials kits. Our first box of goodies comes from two indie businesses run by incredibly creative women. Working Clasp is a laser cutting service and Rebecca makes off the rack jewellery as well as bespoke pieces. We’ve worked together to design and create a travel loom for the first kit. We’re also working with Kim Smith from Alterknit Universe in Bristol. We’re hoping to include some really interesting recycled yarns to use on the loom. It’s all very exciting! As well as working with other women to create the kits we’re enlisting the help of some of my favourite bloggers to inject masses of creativity into the site. Each kit will include exclusive access to tutorials created by these amazing women to encourage ideas and experimentation. 
The site is also going to include a section to share links to how you have used the kit. Whether you write a blog post about it or just take a photo on Instagram you can share with our community and help inspire others. I really want to create a hub of ideas that we can all work from and interpret in our own ways which will hopefully help more people find their creative voice. 

Raw Stone and Silver necklace (a  Fall for DIY tutorial )

Raw Stone and Silver necklace (a Fall for DIY tutorial)

What have you learned through establishing this collective?
We’re just getting started and I’m sure I will have so much yet to learn, but so far to biggest thing I’ve learnt is that so many people are scared of getting started. I can really connect with this feeling. Even during this project there are times I have put off jobs because I’m scared of the results. But the more I put myself and We Make Collective ‘out there’ the more positive feedback I receive. I hear more ideas that can make the Collective stronger and I find better ways to help others make those initial steps. 


What can we expect to see from the collective? How can people join in?
We’ve just launched our Kickstarter campaign to welcome on board the early adopters! Everyone who signs up here is guaranteed to receive one of our limited edition, first ever material kits. They will also be sent their kits a week earlier than everyone else with full access to the We Make Collective project site before anyone else. Once the Kickstarter has finished we will be selling a very small amount of kits to anyone who missed their chance. We will need a cut off point so that our partners have time to put together all the beautiful materials in time for sending out!
We completely understand that some of you might want to source your own materials - which is totally fine of course! Once the site goes live for everyone will have access to a few of tutorials for free and if you want even more there is the option of paying a small subscription to get full access to the whole site!

Fall for DIY

You have such a strong voice from your online home, Fall For DIY, how has your making and sharing your projects with the world helped you develop that? 
I’ve been blogging now for almost five years in total. For a long time I was terrified each time I pressed publish on a blog post. I always loved sharing the projects but I was scared people would think I wasn’t good enough. Over time I started writing more and my readers started commenting more on the posts. This really helped me realise that even though it was scary to do, opening up and showing my personality was the best way to reach out to and connect with my readers. Even though I still find it difficult I try to write each post from a personal place.

What does the term maker mean to you?
To me, the term maker means anyone with an idea. You don’t need to be well practiced to be a maker you just need to start making! Everything else you learn along the way.