Today I am pleased to welcome Jen Lindsay of Kutztown, PA from clotheslinedesigns
on Etsy. She has a very simple and straightforward line. She makes and sells these gift sets like you see below...a onsie, stuffed giraffe and playmat in different fabrics. I am really drawn to her fabric choices and her mix of patterns and colors. You must check out her shop.
What inspired you to make this product?
I recently had my first real experience with children by having one of my own. Until then, I had seen them around, but they were always a great mystery to me. Now that my son is over a year old every new stage he goes through is like a surprise to me and I'm really enjoying it. Not being the natural born mom type (and a graphic designer) I was very drawn to fabrics and toys and clothing that had a modern day twist to them. A friend of mine gave me a fabric mat as a baby shower gift and I used it every day all the time. When he was a newborn it was an essential (especially with our hardwood floors). I would take him with me all over the house and set him down on the mat next to me: the bedroom, the living room, the computer room, the kitchen. And when he was a little older we’d pull the mat out for tummy time. For those of you who don’t know what tummy time is, it’s a developmental stage in an infant’s life where they need to spend time on their stomach in order to build up muscles necessary for holding their head up and eventually sitting upright. So in the end I wanted to make a product that was both useful and hopefully pleasing to the adult eye.
Where do you live and how does that influence your art?
I’m from a small town in Pennsylvania called Kutztown. It’s got a strange blending of two very different cultures; the old ways of the Pennsylvania and the progressive ways of the local University. It’s a nice combination. I was a student at the University, and am slowly becoming a townie. I settled here because I love it. There are lots of influences and a big underground art scene. I’ve also collaborated with a few friends and some new ones to form a craft group called Z-Town Made: www.z-townmade.blogspot.com. We’re six different crafters who have a mutual appreciation for each other’s work and have chosen this area to call home. We meet weekly and help each other figure out the world of crafting, share influences, drink some beers and have a good time. It’s the one night out a week I have these days and I love it.
What inspires you on a daily basis?
Crafting is relatively new to me, but growing up my mother sewed. I think in the 70’s people did that sort of thing more often. She’d make my clothes and gifts and curtains for the house, that sort of thing. It’s easier and cheaper now to go to the mall and buy something on sale. But there’s a certain charm and deeper more sustainable feel to hand made. I’m not sure where my crafting will take me, I get the feeling I‘ll be expanding store into other ideas. But for now, when I can find the time, I enjoy sitting down to my machine to make pretty (and useful) things.