Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Interview Wednesdays: M and J Designs

Hello there! This is Nicole from Blue Bicicletta, and I am a new member of the SactoMetro Etsy Street Team. I just wanted to take a moment to introduce you to a new series of posts here on the SactoMetro Etsians Blog. Every Wednesday, I will be putting up an interview with one of our very own SactoMetro Etsians, so that we can take a peek into the creative lives of wonderful local artists/crafters, get to know each other, and in general celebrate all of this wonderful creativity we get to be a part of!

Without further ado, here we go!
Our first interview is with Malea from M and J Designs.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

We are Malea and JP. Our shop is called “M and J Designs,” but I hadn’t thought of that when I signed up for Etsy so we come up as “maleaab” which is my first name, middle and last initials. We are in Carmichael, CA. We are…ecclectic?

Little Man Tie Stenciled Onesie in Red

When you aren’t crafting, what else are you up to?

Malea: reading, reading, reading. I also like bicycling and running but am recovering from a leg injury. I also am a movie addict (thank goodness for Netflix’s Watch Instantly!). I also tutor a variety of topics and write. I write stories, poems, and letters. I have several pen-pals throughout the world.

JP: playing computer games, learning about computer programming, reading about science, playing with his cat. The cat isn’t always nice though…we’ve nicknamed the creature “El Gato Diablo.”

What first inspired you to become a crafter/artisan?

I’ve been doing artsy stuff since my mom enrolled me in drawing classes in third grade. I hated those classes but eventually learned to really love to draw and that evolved into other crafty pursuits. In high school I made a nightstand out of cardboard…my sister called me a freak for doing such a thing. I wish I still had that little table. It could hold books underneath and had a little drawer. Maybe I’ll make another… JP has been crafting since he was a toddler and I put markers and clay in his little hands. He’s 11 now…

Monster Plush, Steve the Punk

Describe your creative process. What do you do to get inspired? How
do you make your pieces, when do you work on them, what materials do
you use?

Most of the time, ideas come to me in the shower or as I’m falling asleep. I also write poetry and have had to start keeping a journal and pen in the bathroom and next to the bed. My inspiration tends to just come to me out of the ether, or it is from talking with JP. The plush monsters in our Esty shop are the direct result of one of his sketches, as is our avatar and banner. As for process, um, we use tons of different materials, techniques, etc. Our shop is quite eclectic in materials and style. Most of the crafting is done late at night. JP is homeschooled, and we keep odd hours.

What handmade possession do you most cherish?

My most cherished handmade possession is a clay pinch pot JP made in 3rd grade, before we began homeschooling. It holds his baby teeth. He wouldn’t let the tooth fairy take the teeth so I collect them in the little pot. It even has a lid.

Snail Mail Card Set

Name your top 3 books, movies, musical groups and websites.


Year of Pleasures – Elizabeth Berg

Rosie – Anne Lammott

The Book Thief – Markus Zusak


LA Story

The Edge of Heaven




Peter Gabriel

??? Too many to pick only one more…

WEBSITES (other than Etsy!)


Our homeschool group’s Meetup page

Earthlink – for email…I check it obsessively

Blue Squid Women’s T-Shirt

What piece of Etsy advice can you give your fellow team members that has been most helpful to you so far?

Be patient…

How do you promote your Etsy shop/products?

Right now I mostly use a Facebook Fan page. I have a blog but I’m terrible about blogging. I also keep a photo album on my personal Facebook page that is just for my Etsy and other creative projects so non-FB Fans see my stuff too.

Buddhist Mandala Inspired Panel

What is your ultimate goal with your Etsy shop(s)/crafting/artwork?

Between crafting, writing, and tutoring, I hope to pay for graduate school without student loans and pay for JP to take flying lessons. Long term, after grad school, I hope to avoid a “real” job. My idea of a dream job is one that allows me to sit at home in my jammies while I work.

Where can we see you online?

Thank you Malea for sharing a bit about your creative life with us!

We are looking for more SactoMetro Etsians to feature here, so please see this post on the Google group to get more info about submitting your shop!


Trucdart said...

How fabulous! What a terrific interview. It's great to learn so much about you, Malea! Nicole, I can't say enough about what a great job you did with this. Thank you for your hard work!

maleaab said...

Oh my gosh!!!! Yay!!! :) Can't wait to read the next person's interview!

Thanks Nicole!

Susan: said...

Sit in you jammies.. me too!! Great interview Malea!!!

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